Rebecca Stropoli

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Rebecca Krasney Stropoli is a news editor and writer with Yahoo! Finance. Before joining Yahoo! in 2007, she worked as an editor and writer in a variety of settings, including academic publishing houses and trade magazine newsrooms.

Blog Posts by Rebecca Stropoli

  • Is Barbie's legendary allure on the wane?

    Are there cracks in the facade of Barbie's Dreamhouse?

    Mattel's (MAT) second quarter earnings report did not, on the surface, tell a pretty tale regarding the iconic fashion doll's global sales, down 12% in a fourth straight quarter of declines. The leading toymaker, whose brands also include Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and American Girl, saw its overall net income drop by 24%, hit by the slide in Barbie sales as well as a $14 million write-down on its Polly Pocket line. Overall sales managed a 1% gain year-over-year, at $1.17 billion. Mattel shares sank 6.8% in the trading session following the report, closing at $43.16.

    Does the recent losing streak in sales speak to fatigue regarding the eternally youthful, improbably proportioned yet always well-dressed Barbie, who celebrated her 50th birthday amid great fanfare four years ago?

    As CEO Bryan Stockton noted on the analyst call, Barbie, which still reigns as the largest doll brand in the world and is sold in some 150

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  • News Corp. stock still well above lows as hacking scandal continues to unfold

    News Corp. stock (NWS) on Tuesday slipped so slightly on low volume following the announcement that criminal charges have been brought against eight key figures in the never-ending phone hacking scandal, including ex-News of the World editor and former U.K. director of communications Andy Coulson and former head of News International Rebekah Brooks.

    Also being charged are several senior tabloid reporters, along with  private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. This is just the latest development -- and a very significant one -- in an interminable tale that goes all the way back to 2006, when the first arrests were made on suspicion that now-shuttered London tabloid News of the World was allowing its reporters to hack into the voice mails of royal family members.

    Since then the investigation has widened enormously -- it really caught fire amid gruesome allegations that the tabloid hacked into the voice mail of a missing British 13-year-old girl who was later found murdered -- and led to

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  • Why Starbucks just went into the bakery business

    Starbucks (SBUX) is spending a bit of bread to get into the bakery business: The coffee giant plans to lay out $100 million in cash to purchase San-Francisco-based Bay Bread and its La Boulange brand. This is the largest acquisition Starbucks has made yet (its purchase of Seattle Coffee Co. for $81 million in stock previously held this title), and it speaks to CEO Howard Schultz's desire to better-satisfy hungry customers.

    The company referenced customer demand for "more wholesome and delicious food options" when it announced the deal on June 4, and it seems the La Boulange menu -- which, along with organic breads, includes everything from warm goat cheese salads to flank steak sandwiches to mac 'n' cheese with truffle oil -- might help achieve such a goal.

    Food sales at Starbucks have already jumped in the past couple of years, and its culinary offerings bring in about $1.5 billion of its annual U.S. revenue; its current menu varies by region (food is shipped in by local suppliers),

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  • Facebook: Happy IPO week-iversary. Now let's talk about timeline

    Ah, was it just a week ago today that the world was waiting in wide-eyed anticipation for Facebook (FB) to begin trading on the Nasdaq? Yes, waiting...and waiting...and waiting, as 11:00 a.m. ET came and went and trading did not commence? And thus began the debacle that has been Facebook's initial public offering -- botched trades, lawsuits and market losses, oh, my.

    Again -- has it really been only a week? This afternoon, as we head toward market close before a long holiday weekend, the stock is trading at $31 and change -- close to $7 below its offering price of $38. In its first week as a public company, it has traded in a range of $30.94-$45 (and that $45 was a very brief pop on its first day out of the gate, when it closed just 23 cents above $38).

    But does the typical Facebook user care about the IPO? Does it matter to them if the company has a $100 billion valuation or a $10 billion one? If it continues to trade on the Nasdaq or moves over to the NYSE (as if that would solve any

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  • Lunch Breaks: Do They Do a Body Good?

    Do you remember the days of the three-martini lunch (or as Jimmy Carter put it, the "the $50 martini lunch")? Or a time when a lunch hour could actually take -- an hour? Or even the standard half an hour?

    Perhaps not. In a society that is increasingly work-obsessed and overly "connected," the lunch break, for many, is not a "break" at all, but a sandwich or salad hastily consumed at our desks as we continue on with our workday. Last year, a survey by human resources consulting firm Right Management found that "one-third of employees have lunch at their desk each day" and "another one-third takes no lunch, or only occasionally."

    "Lunch patterns allow us to infer a few things about the North American workplace…and one thing that we already know is that the pressure for productivity and performance can be relentless," said Michael Haid, senior VP of talent management at Right Management, in a release on the study.

    Many Workers Take No Break

    Another recent study by CareerBuilder found

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  • Apple’s iOs chief cashes In $38 million in stock

    Someone got $38 million richer on Friday -- and it wasn't you.

    According to Apple Insider (and an SEC filing dated April 27), Apple's iOs chief Scott Forstall cashed in more than 65,000 shares of AAPL last week, getting in on a price that ranged from $601 to $605 for the day. This range was below Apple's all-time closing high of $636.23 on April 9, but the sale came in the middle of a four-day dip that saw Apple close at $582 and change on Tuesday, its lowest since (erroneously fearful) pre-earnings jitters brought it to $560.

    So -- better Friday than Tuesday, right? Forstall's official total came in at $38.7 million. On Wednesday afternoon, the stock was trading up more than 1%, at around $583.

    Forstall's sale amounted to 95% of his holdings; he now has a mere 2,988 shares to his name. But if anyone wants to speculate that this might mean Forstall -- who Inside Apple author Adam Lashinsky said was most likely to replace current CEO Tim Cook after he moves on to non-Apple-producing

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  • Mom wins $3 million suit against Nutella

    Have you bought a jar of Nutella in the past four years? Were you under the impression, as you slathered the creamy hazlenut spread onto your crackers or scooped large spoonfuls of it from the jar directly into your mouth, that you were indulging a health food craving? Well, you could soon find yourself at least $4 wealthier.

    Yes, that's right. Ferrero, the company that manufactures the highly addictive yet apparently not terribly healthy spread, has settled a $3 million lawsuit filed in February 2011 by San Diego mom Athena Hohenberg. Hohenberg, it seems, believed that Nutella was a great dietary choice for her four-year-old daughter. She claimed the company's advertising -- particularly giving TV-ad viewers the idea that Nutella was part of a nutritious breakfast (see ad below) -- led to her erroneous perception.

    But when she realized the spread is about as healthy as your average Snickers bar, she decided it was time to get even -- and get cash.

    While the total award sum is a

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