We know the drill: U.S. retailers count on the holiday shopping season for as much as 20% to 40% of their total sales for the year.
And we know that this year won't be any different.
What we don't know is how much American consumers are going to spend: Will this season go like gangbusters, or will it just be a bust?
The National Retail Federation (NRF) is expecting a gangbusters holiday season, having just forecasted a record $602 billion in sales, a healthy 3.9% jump from 2012.
The Next Microsoft CEO Will Look a Lot Like This
The answer to that question is crucial to the health of the struggling tech giant and the revitalization of the company's stock. A series of missteps - not the least of which was Microsoft's failure to recognize the mobile revolution until it was too late - had left the stock languishing for more than a decade.this is the person with the most realistic shot at turning Microsoft around...
Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Money Morning Weekly Recap
The stock markets have been going up so far and for so long that many analysts predict a correction is in store. The S&P 500 hit a record high today (Wednesday) to trade above its record high hit last week, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs Monday and Friday.
While the Twitter IPO dominated headlines last week, we aren't fans of the stock. There are much better places to put your money to profit from these record market highs, as we've detailed below.To continue reading, please click here...
Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Money Morning Weekly Wrap-Up
Money Morning's best stocks to buy last week focused on key earnings reports, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and the continued climb of market indexes.
Markets closed out October - a month haunted by the specters of the 1929 and 1987 crashes - with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 3.6% and the S&P 500 higher by 5.4%. Year to date, the indexes are up 19.7% and 24.2% respectively.To continue reading, please click here...
Today's Stock Market News: JPM, NFLX, FSLR, AAPL
Today's stock market news focuses on earnings and the release of a backlog of economic data that was delayed due to the federal government shutdown.To continue reading, please click here...
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) Earnings: It's All About Mobile
One of the most closely watched earnings reports comes after the close Wednesday when Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) earnings for the second quarter are released.
Can Google Earnings (Nasdaq: GOOG) Push Stock to $1,000 a Share?
Google earnings for the second quarter come out after the bell today - with most analysts expecting a strong quarter.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) is expected to report Q2 earnings of $10.78 per share on revenue of $14.45 billion. That compares with a $10.12 EPS profit on revenue of $9.61 billion in the same quarter a year ago, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
In fact, Money Morning tech specialist Michael A. Robinson told Money Morning members on July 9 how Google stock is poised to gain roughly 50% by the end of 2015, after a stellar two-year run of 70% gains.
Monday, GOOG hit a high of $928. Shares are up 30% year-to-date, compared to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gain of about 18%. Giddy investors are hoping Q2 numbers will be great enough to propel the stock over the $1,000 per share threshold.
However, even if investors don't get $1,000 a share, they just might get a stock split. Earlier this year, the Mountain View, CA-based company reached a legal settlement allowing it to split its stock for the first time ever.
A Surprise in Google Earnings?
While the Wall Street consensus is for Google to show a 4% decline in cost-per-clicks, in line with historical charts that show seven consecutive quarters of decreasing click prices, that figure is likely to come in higher-much higher.
Looking for Google to post better-than-expected numbers in this crucial segment are two "in-the-know" firms: The Search Agency, the largest independent paid search company in the U.S., and Adobe's digital marketing division, reports Venture Beat.
For the first time in two years, costs per click at Google are going up, not down, data from the two sources reveal.
Figures from The Search Agency show an 8.3% year-over-year increase and whopping 21.2 jump quarter-over-quarter. Adobe's numbers are a bit more modest with a 6% increase in the last quarter and a projected 5%-10% increase for the current quarter.
But the trend is the same - up.
Three Things to Look for in Google Earnings
With all the positivity surrounding Google, it's easy to overlook the details. Following are three things that will impact Google's present and future bottom-line.
This Hiring Coup Could Jump-Start Google's Stock
Futurist Ray Kurzweil is one of the world's busiest people.
And that's no surprise. A best-selling author and subject of a major documentary, Kurzweil has an unmatched talent for explaining how cutting-edge technology is going to change our lives.
That means this "A-list" speaker is always on the go, traveling the globe as he spreads his futurist technology gospel.
That's why I made sure to buttonhole Kurzweil at the recent Singularity Summit technology conference. As he headed into the San Francisco lecture hall to share the newest insights into how the brain works, I was able to walk along with him and have a quick chat.
As we talked, little did I know that Kurzweil was working on something that would stun the tech world in a manner that's usually reserved for one of his predictions.
No, I'm not talking about the buzz that's been generated by his new book, How to Create a Mind, the Secret of Human Thought Revealed.
Kurzweil, as it turned out, had accepted a major position at none other than Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), the Web giant that is to search what the tech futurist is to prognostication.
And Monday was Kurzweil's first day on the job as the company's new Director of Engineering.
A lot of investors have glossed over this news. That's a big mistake. As I see it, this single hire speaks volumes about how Google views itself, and how it intends to keep building shareholder value.
If you're interested in Google, this is a bit of strategic intelligence that you absolutely have to know.
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Don't Bet on a RIM Stock Rally (Nasdaq: RIMM)
Research in Motion Ltd. (Nasdaq: RIMM), maker of the BlackBerry phone, traded sharply higher yesterday (Thursday) after Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski upgraded RIMM to a "Buy" with a price target of $16. RIM gained 4% Thursday to close at $11.54.
Although there are a growing number of bulls among analysts on the Street, there is still a large and vocal group of bears who think that RIM is done for.
Research in Motion is planning to launch its BlackBerry 10 smartphone on Jan. 30, 2013. The company is pinning its hopes of survival on the BlackBerry 10 taking a small piece of the smartphone market away from giants Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), which split the smartphone market between their iOS and Android operating systems, respectively.
Goldman Sachs' Jankowski says that the BlackBerry 10 (BB10 in the terse to the point of being unintelligible analyst-speak) doesn't even have to be a success for RIMM shares to perform well.
"We now assess a 30 percent chance of success for BB10 given positive early reviews, broad-based carrier support, attractive features, and interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS," Jankowski wrote.
Other analysts are even more bullish.
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