Wal-Mart Cuts Costs Investors Hope For More

Wal-Mart decided to lay off 450 employees Friday at their headquarters in Bentonville Arkansas. Currently there are 18,600 employees working there. The stock rallied a little bit on Friday after the announcement, about 0.2%. The company at the same time has begun hiring seasonal workers.

The company made a statement stating that customers have changed and they need to make changes to stay competitive. The stock of Wal-Mart is down 22% year to date as investors fear competition from Amazon and flat revenue. Same store sales have increased 1.5% in the second quarter and 1.1% in the first quarter, so it's not all bad news.

Mining Stocks Are Currently Selling At Bargains

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc

We put much of our faith in the international monetary system, but we know the market can collapse at any time. In the 20th century, the system crashed three times in less than 60 years. James Richards, a well-respected expert in the financial world believes another financial collapse is on the way. He also believes in owning tangible assets because the value of money goes up and down. At the moment, gold is one of the most stable physical assets on the market. Even though this precious metal is solid, stock prices for gold mining companies are lower than usual. These undervalued share prices are exciting many investors, and they are taking advantage of this opportunity by purchasing gold mining stocks and ETF's. When a person invests in a mining company, as opposed to purchasing the actual metal, they are doing so to gain from the intrinsic value. An example of an undervalued stock with excellent growth potential is Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF).

Yandex NV (YNDX) Produced Major Gains While Google Inc. Fell Back Noticeably

Sep 16 2015


Owners of Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) benefited from a push upwards yesterday with a 7.25% increase in the stock price following an announcement that Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service determined Google Inc. (GOOG) was guilty of taking unfair advantage of its dominant position in the search space.

Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX), a leader in the search engine space for consumers in Russia, took offense to how Google Inc. (GOOG) essentially used a domineering posture by requiring Russian Android phones to have the Google search engine pre-installed. They were also found to give special treatment for where a number of Google mobile apps are located within their mobile operating system. Similarly, it was only in 2014 that a number of device manufacturers found they were unable to install Yandex apps on Android devices pre-installed in the same way that Google does today. The interesting distinction is that whilst Yandex controls 60% of search traffic within Russia currently, smartphone users see a different picture with Google controlling 86% of the Russian search market.

Barnes and Noble Loss Increases


The stock of book seller Barnes and Noble fell this week (15% on Wednesday) as their revenue fell and their costs increased. The company sold its education division which helped revenue but the retail sales and Nook sales were weak. Sales per store increased but the number of stores fell which resulted in negative revenue growth for the retail business. Sales of the Nook fell 22% from the previous year and streaming media sales were down 28%.

H&R Block Earnings and Stock Buyback


H&R Block jumped higher yesterday by 6% at the open after the company posted a smaller loss and better revenue than anticipated. The company also announced a stock buyback program of $3.5 billion in addition to closing its banking business a month ahead of schedule.

The company’s adjusted gross earnings for the first quarter came in at a loss of $96 million with revenue of $138 million. Analyst were looking for $108 million loss, the same as last year, and revenue of $134 million.

Hedge Fund Activity in Consumer Services


During the last quarter, hedge fund traders were bullish on five stocks in the area of Consumer Services. These five stocks include McDonalds, Comcast, Liberty Global, Charter Communications, and Insider Monkey which composes a small cap strategy portfolio of stocks, takes the best of the hedge fund picks, and puts them together. Their strategy has returned 118% since the middle of 2012, beating the S&P 500 by almost 100% according to the company. These stocks are some of that portfolio.

Amazon has been a strong performer and hedge funds piled into the stock during the period ending June 30th. The company started delivering packages on Sundays and Holidays through the United State Postal Service. The only downside is the companies lack of strong profits and a small lawsuit from authors that are feeling squeezed by the retail giant.

Wal-Mart Misses Profit Estimates on Wages and Pharmacy Income

Aug 19 2015


Questions came today after Wal-Mart missed earnings with profit margins coming down from 5.6% a year ago to 5.1% this quarter. The retail giant blamed the pharmacy business, shrinkage, and increasing wages. The company now has a starting wage of $9.00 an hour which is set to raise to $10.00 an hour early next year. This increase in wages translates to a 24 cent reduction in profit.

Wage growth is not happening organically according to recent economic reports. But is expected to occur more so next spring, at which time, revenue growth is also expected to accelerate. These two moving at the same time allows companies to maintain profits. Artificial wage growth without top-line improvements causes profits to fall, like we are seeing at Wal-Mart and other companies that moved towards the federal governments desire for a $15 minimum wage.

Alibaba Misses Revenue But Buys Back Stock


Alibaba was recently featured as a hot IPO in the ecommerce area, but is now suffering with a slowdown in the always growing country of China. The site is trying to expand sales by finding new customers that want to tap into the expanding Chinese middle class. Another effort is to make the exchange more available in the countryside of China. The stock, traded on the NYSE, has fallen from its high and is now only 14% above its IPO pricing.

Alpha Natural Resources Files For Bankruptcy

Coal Miner inside Deep Mine 41

Alpha Natural Resources Inc., is one of the biggest coal companies in America, and recently the company has decided to file for bankruptcy. The company's filing comes just as the president of the United States is about to unveil new measures that are aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions that are produced from coal-fired power plants.

The company has blamed regulatory standards that favor renewable energy as the reason why it has decided to file. Not only that, but the price for its coal has been tumbling, and that too has contributed to the decision to file bankruptcy.

When it comes to metallurgical coal that is used to create steel, Alpha is the third largest supplier of it. However, a slowdown in China has also affected Alpha's business.

China Growth And Oil Trading Fears

Jul 28 2015


Fear of China Growth Crush Oil & Commodities

US oil prices remained on their downhill slide Monday. In the U.S. a barrel of crude hit a 52-week low coming in at $47.20 a barrel. This launched investors into reeling and reacting to China's largest 1-day stock sell-off since 2007. Worries over an oil glut continued to gain momentum as the fears of economic slowdown in China swept the world.

Today China is the world's second-largest economy. It is, however, no longer growing at its old double-digit pace like it was only a few short years ago. This is causing investors worldwide to question its reported 7% growth during the second quarter, and to wonder if that figure truly reflects China's economy to date.

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