Latest Blogposts

  • Nasdaq's real all-time high; Uber rewards and the future of the toy industry

    Stocks reversed course just before noon today breaking into positive territory, but not with any kind of authority. NYSE floor trader Keith Bliss of Cuttone & Co. says expect more of the same for the foreseeable future.

    “The markets will be in a tight trading range,” he believes. “All the hot spots around the globe seemed to have calmed down for some time. Outside of any exogenous event that we can’t predict right now, I expect the markets to be pretty ambivalent as we go through the next couple of weeks.”

    He says the next real shot at a catalyst up or down is the March Federal Reserve meeting.

    Despite trading at fresh highs, Bliss says stocks have room to run in this environment. “The path of least resistance is upward for this market and I believe that as long as we get calming tones out of the Fed, out of Europe, out of China you’ll continue to see this thing grind higher.”

    Toy story
    American toymaker Mattel (MAT) could learn a thing or two from Denmark, says Yahoo Finance’s Jeff

    Read More »from Nasdaq's real all-time high; Uber rewards and the future of the toy industry
  • Investors have just about had it with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). The Dow (^DJI) member is down 10% after revenue of $26.8 billion missed analyst forecasts. Although adjusted earnings per share of 92 cents narrowly beat forecasts CEO Meg Whitman did cut full year profit goals blaming the stronger U.S. dollar because HP does get over 60% of revenues from overseas. While we can let Ms. Whitman use the currency card this quarter, the problem is HP's multi-year turnaround is just taking too long for many investors who are reluctant to even call it a turnaround at this point.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    DreamWorks Animation (DWA) is putting together a fairytale comeback story, at least that is what the stock action is telling us today. The House of Shrek announced a loss of $3.08 a share on revenues of $234 million, both well shy of expectations. Shares initially fell about 10% on the news but started recovering immediately on the open of trading today. The

    Read More »from HP becoming has-been of large cap tech, Facebook jumps ahead net neutrality vote
  • Hillary Clinton paid $300,000 to explain what ails the middle class

    She’s identified the problem. Now, assuming she runs for president, Hillary Clinton will have to come up with ways to solve it.

    During a speech in Silicon Valley, Clinton, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, highlighted the displacement many workers have suffered as new technology has made many jobs obsolete. “The old jobs and careers are either gone or unrecognizable,” Clinton said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The old rules just don’t seem to apply, and, frankly, the new rules just aren’t that clear. “[If] we want to find our balance again, we have to figure out how to make this new economy work for everyone.”

    Clinton also addressed Silicon Valley’s male-centric culture, one factor responsible for a notable gender pay gap in the tech industry and a shortage of women in the field. “We’re going backward in a field that is supposed to be all about moving forward,” the former senator and secretary of state said. Clinton herself is a counterexample: She earned a

    Read More »from Hillary Clinton paid $300,000 to explain what ails the middle class
  • President Obama's veto Tuesday of a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline is hardly the end of the line for the highly-debated project. The veto wasn’t unexpected, but supporters in and out of Congress have vowed to fight on. Republicans in the Senate have said they will try to override the veto but likely do not have the votes.

    But even the White House is saying this is not the end of the road. The administration has been careful to point out that the President vetoed the legislation, not the pipeline as the White House awaits its own review of the pipeline being conducted by the State Department.  That review has taken years.

    “There is still this small possibility that the Obama administration itself could still approve the pipeline once its own official review is complete which is coming soon,” says Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman.

    “I think the Keystone XL pipeline will get built at some point,” says Newman. "It may not be in this administration but I think that there

    Read More »from Obama vetoes Keystone but pipeline will still get built
  • Op-Ed: As service members return home, say ‘yes’ to hiring a veteran

    By all accounts, U.S. Army veteran Mark Luneburg‘s transition from the military has been successful. Hired by a Fortune 500 company into a three-year rotational program for junior military officers in 2013, Luneburg began his civilian career after serving over seven years as a field artillery officer, including a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. On leaving the service, he had to overcome a challenge facing many veterans: translating his military skills for a private sector career. Doing this led to several promising job prospects. A year and a half later, Luneburg considers himself fortunate to have found a job where his skills are being put to good use. Others have not fared as well.
    While unemployment for veterans has improved during the past four years, there is still a need for private sector companies to hire veterans. Hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women will transition out of the military over the coming years and return to civilian communities across the country looking

    Read More »from Op-Ed: As service members return home, say ‘yes’ to hiring a veteran
  • Hewlett Packard disappoints as old guard of tech shows more weakness

    Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) missed analysts sales forecasts for the second quarter in a row on Tuesday, making it the latest of the old guard tech stalwarts to disappoint Wall Street in 2015.

    HP shares dropped 9% in early trading on Wednesday.

    After surprising strength in PC sales last year bolstered HP, Intel (INTC) and others, this year has seen challenges from the strong dollar, Chinese resistance and the resurgent migration to mobile and cloud computing. First Intel, then Microsoft (MSFT), and now HP have disappointed investors with their first reports of the year. All three companies have tried to emphasize newer, faster growing businesses, but the results are still uncertain.

    Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Intel have seen their share prices slide this year after disappointing earnings reports.Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Intel have seen their share prices slide this year after disappointing earnings reports.

    HP posted revenue of $26.8 billion for its fiscal first quarter of 2015, the three months ending January 31. That was 2% less than Wall Street expected, according to FactSet. Adjusted earnings per share of 92 cents just beat analysts’ forecasts of 91 cents. But the  company also trimmed its full year adjusted

    Read More »from Hewlett Packard disappoints as old guard of tech shows more weakness
  • No cable network? No problem

    This is a story the cable networks don’t want to hear.

    One of the country’s smaller cable providers, Suddenlink, pulled the plug on Viacom (VIA) programming in October in a carriage fees dispute…and it didn’t matter.

    Suddenlink, which covers about 1.4 million homes in 16 mostly southern states, says despite losing channels such as Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, just a tiny number of customers-- three-tenths of one percent-- dropped their service in the fourth quarter. CEO Jerry Kent saying:

    We believe we have successfully challenged the current video business model, proving that our programming partners must deliver value to our customers in line with what they charge.

    Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task feels there is a very strong message here:

    “This is a warning to all content providers that there is so much choice out there that if you are dropped from a cable system, people might not notice,” he says. “And even if they do notice, they can go online and watch most Viacom

    Read More »from No cable network? No problem
  • Could a Kanye West video game rival Kim Kardashian's?

    Kanye West is working on a video game. You read that right. The rap star, who’s branched out into other fields like fashion, is now developing a video game.

    West dropped the news in a radio interview with “The Breakfast Club” where he was discussing his new song with Paul McCartney, “Only One.” The song is about his late mother, Donda West, who died following a surgical procedure in 2007.

    The video game will feature his mother trying to get to heaven. Little is known about the game other than that. Yahoo Finance reached out to Glu Mobile (GLUU), the app developer behind Kim Kardashian West’s successful app “Hollywood,” to find out if they were working with West but did not hear back.

    But West’s revelation got us thinking about all of the other successful stars who’ve tried their hand at games.

    Kim Kardashian

    West may have been inspired by the success of his wife, Kim Kardashian. She’s one of the most recent high profile celebrities to get into the world of games. She released an app

    Read More »from Could a Kanye West video game rival Kim Kardashian's?
  • Staples small business loans? Yeah, they got that!

    Staples (SPLS) is about to become even more convenient. Starting today the world's second largest online retailer will offer small business loans.

    Staples launched a partnership with a company called Lendio that specializes in matching small business borrowers with lenders.

    Small business owners can go to Staples’ website where they will be pitched the “value proposition” of using “Staples Business Loans powered by Lendio.” Should they decide to proceed, they will be taken to a Staples branded section of Lendio’s site where they can fill out an application. Lendio handles all the nuts and bolts of the transaction.

    The technology behind the process is an algorithm that looks at more than 20 loan options ranging from $2,500 to $1 million and finds the best match for the small business based on that company’s application.

    The new Staples / Lendio partnership is convenient for those businesses to be sure, but Staples’ name is also front and center should a loan application be rejected.

    Read More »from Staples small business loans? Yeah, they got that!
  • Yellen says the Fed will be less predictable

    p>It's 'Round Two' for Janet Yellen.

    The Federal Reserve chair told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday the central bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates. Yellen once again stressed the word "patience." On Wednesday, she appears before the House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee.

    Yellen talked about a solid and improving economy but also about disappointing labor force participation and anemic wage growth. She said it would be several months before the Fed would boost rates. Stocks soared on the news with both the S&P 500 and Dow closing at record highs. The Nasdaq also saw healthy gains and is now less than 1% away from the 5,000 milestone.

    But The Wall Street Journal's Pedro da Costa called Yellen’s testimony "hawkish" because, he says, Yellen “seemed fairly willing to leave the idea of a June interest rate hike on the table which many in the market had not been expecting.”

    “In a sense, the market’s reaction is surprising,” da Costa told Yahoo Finance in the

    Read More »from Yellen says the Fed will be less predictable
  • World markets are sitting at or near generational highs, driven by pretty dang solid consumer news, a dash of animal spirits and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's ability to play the obfuscation game just as well as Greenspan and Bernanke before her. Here's some stuff to keep in mind as we cross the halfway point of the week.

    #1

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) made its 4th record closing high of the year yesterday. The official catalyst was Yellen's testimony on Capitol Hill but you and I both know better. Even if you concede all the participants are intellectual agile that doesn't mean any actual debate is going on in these meetings. Yellen and the pols are all observing what carnies and pro-wrestlers call Kayfabe; the portrayal of staged events as real or true. Yellen's job was to show up, say some confusing stuff and not terrify the market. The politicians were simply hoping to come up with hard-sounding questions they can use as a soundbite for future ads. Everyone did their job. There won't be

    Read More »from 3 Things to watch instead of Yellen in today's trading game
  • Stocks are not making any big moves in either direction this morning after yesterday's record run. 

    The S&P (^GSPC) and the Dow Industrials (^DJI) both hitting record highs on Tuesday following Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress that indicated the Fed was not in any rush to raise interest rates.

    The Fed Chair giving her second day of testimony to Congress this morning.

    Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task says Yellen’s biggest job today is to not make any big headlines.

    Investors also weighing a fresh batch of corporate earnings.

    Target (TGT) reporting a beat on both its top and bottom line for the holiday quarter as sales grew more than 4% from a year earlier. The company has been trying to win back customers by changing up its merchandise and even lowering its free shipping minimum this week.

    Related: Target tops estimates; Lowe's builds up profits; Apple ordered to pay up

    Lowe's (LOW) posting earnings and revenue that topped estimates thanks to strong sales growth

    Read More »from Stocks step back from records; AmEx may raise rates; Why Buffett loves Germany
  • It’s a happy time for select retailers. Home Depot (HD) shares hit an all-time high Tuesday after posting $19.2B in fourth quarter revenue and comp-store sales of 7.9%. Shares of the world’s largest home improvement retailer have gained 11% this year giving investors a bigger payoff than the S&P 500 (^GSPC) which has gained 2.7%.

    The returns in Home Depot and other retail-discretionary stocks have pushed valuations to levels some may consider rich.“Valuations are starting to get up there,” cautions Tom Lydon, editor, ETFtrends. The Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) carries a price-to-earnings ratio of 22X compared to 17X for the S&P 500. Prompting Lydon to ask, “Is that a little bit of a warning sign?” Walmart (WMT) is the largest holding of the RTH representing nearly 11% of the fund.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    While consumer discretionary stocks have enjoyed the benefit of lower oil prices in recent months, change may be afoot. “Oil prices are

    Read More »from Retail and discretionary stocks are killing it but are they still a buy?
  • With gas prices bouncing a bit this week, the idea of locking in fuel costs near their recent multiyear lows might be tempting. 

    Unlike loading up on paper towels when Costco has them on special, though, stockpiling a few months’ worth of flammable liquid isn’t exactly practical. 

    In America, of course, there’s often a business that promises to meet impractical consumer wishes. For those who want to lock in today’s pump prices for a long time, there is MyGallons.com. The company offers a way to “pre-buy” gasoline around current prices, to protect against another big surge in coming months or years.

    A customer can pay the current price in his or her state for a large quantity of gas, and then “cash in” those gallons any time as prices rise. The amount of the gas-price increase is simply credited to the customer’s checking account, or is loaded on to a MyGallons prepaid debit card. 

    MyGallons charges a $30 annual membership fee per vehicle (deducted in "gallons" upon an initial purchase)

    Read More »from Want to lock in today's gas prices? It's possible, but complicated.
  • Most Americans failed this simple tax quiz

    It’s a good thing we don’t have to pass a test on the U.S. tax code to get a job — a lot of us would probably be out of work.

    Financial education company NerdWallet recently put more than 1,000 adults to the test with a 10-question quiz on basic tax information. The average quiz-taker failed abysmally, answering just 5 out of 10 questions correctly

    “The U.S. tax code confuses the average American,” says Shiyan Koh, general manager of NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor, where consumers can ask experts tax-related questions. “And that confusion can be costly.

    When it comes to taxes, the more you know, the more you can potentially save. More than 40% of quiz-takers did not know that taxpayers can deduct expenses associated with things like fostering a pet or even gender reassignment surgery. And more than half incorrectly answered a question about whether they could write off the loss if a friend or family member doesn’t pay them back for a loan (hint: in some circumstances, you can).

    Read More »from Most Americans failed this simple tax quiz

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