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Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Beat Q4 Market Expectations

February 8th, 2013

amazonETF Base: As one of the world’s leading technology firms, Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) quarterly reports are eagerly anticipated by the markets, and their set of figures for Q4 proved no exception. Following the news that Q4 earnings were higher than expected, Read more…

Earnings, Technology

Four Reasons Amazon is a Bear Killer (NASDAQ:AMZN)

January 30th, 2013

amazonAmazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) did it again. The world’s best merchant came into this quarter with substantial, aggressive shorts all seemingly betting a miss would send AMZN shares into a tailspin. The basic idea of shorting Amazon Read more…

Uncategorized

Why The Smart Money Is Selling Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)

January 29th, 2013

amazonDavid Mamos: I love the super deals that I get from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). They always seem to beat the brick-and-mortar stores and I get two day-delivery for free. Read more…

Markets, Technology

Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN): “Hey You! Get off My Cloud”

January 22nd, 2013

amazonNext up, Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) is doing to the cloud what they did to retail. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article cloud-based computing is the fastest expanding business at Amazon. They call it AWS Read more…

Uncategorized

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB): Is Todays Announcement A Sell The News Event?

January 15th, 2013

winkelvossfacebookS&P futures are down 4-6 handles this morning as earnings season gets set to start in earnest. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t really say anything unexpected yesterday after the close except that he thinks the Debt Ceiling should be Read more…

Technology

Why The CIA and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) Are All Over This Quantum Computing Upstart

November 1st, 2012

Michael Robinson: The CIA and the world’s biggest Web retailer want to see the world of Big Computing turned upside down. Read more…

Government, Technology

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB): 3 Ways Facebook Can Earn Wall Street’s Respect

October 23rd, 2012

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) reports earnings today after the market close for just the second time since going public last May. Expectations are low, to say the least. The consensus estimates are $0.14 EPS on $1.37billion in revenue. If you take them off the record and ask them Read more…

Technology

Amazon in Solid Growth Trend With E-Book Business

May 27th, 2011

originally posted at Minyanville 

by  Tony Daltorio. contributing writer

Amazon says it is selling more e-books for its Kindle electronic reading device than paperback and hardback editions combined.

If you would have told any book lover a few years ago that electronic books were poised to surge in popularity and overtake traditional books, you would have been scoffed at and drawn more than a few stares.But here we are a few years later. The Association of American Publishers recently reported that US e-book revenues had grown 146 percent in March over the same month a year ago.Figures for March showed e-book revenues of $69 million. This trailed only adult paperbacks, which were down 8 percent at $116 million, and adult hardbacks, up 6 percent at $96.6 million.

So it should come as no great surprise to investors that Amazon.com (AMZN) is at the forefront of the trend toward e-books. The company began as an online seller of printed books in 1995 and launched the Kindle e-reader in November 2007.

Amazon’s Growth

Amazon said it is selling more e-books for its Kindle electronic reading device than paperback and hardback print editions combined. It now sells 105 electronic books for every 100 printed ones. Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos commented, “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly.”

This is a trend which has been in place for roughly the last year now. Sales of e-books surpassed hardcover titles in July 2010 and overtook paperbacks six months later. And now its bested both categories combined!

A real positive is the fact that Amazon stated that this trend helped its book business do its strongest growth in more than a decade.

Amazon only released unit sales data rather than comparable revenue figures, and Kindle editions typically sell for lower prices than print titles.

However, the data did suggest that Amazon might be extending its leading market share in e-books. This follows the release six weeks ago of a cut-price Kindle at $114 for US customers willing to accept sponsored screen savers and other advertising.

Publishers, who gathered this week at the annual Book Expo America in New York, think that this trend toward e-books will continue. They believe Amazon and other e-book sellers are likely to benefit from the trouble afflicting Borders and other brick-and-mortar book sellers. Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

If you decide to make an investment in Amazon, be sure you have sufficiently evaluated the risk for your investment. Even though Amazon looks to be in a solid growth trend with its e-books business, it’s important to maintain an intelligent risk strategy to earn higher returns.

Buy and protect — it’s the smart way of investing.

Read more here:
Amazon in Solid Growth Trend With E-Book Business




HERE IS YOUR FOOTER

Uncategorized

Seagate jumps into iPhone, Pad, iPod business of Apple

May 16th, 2011

Big news out of Seagate in announcing today the  first mobile wireless storage device for iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches,(AAPL). Nothing like joining the Smartphone revolution!

With the growth of the tablet and iPad markets and the larger volumes of high-quality media now being consumed, there is a clear need for access to content that is not plagued with the challenges of streamed video over the Internet,” said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager of Seagate’s retail group. “The unfortunate fact is that these popular new mobile devices are hampered by their limited storage capacity while one of their primary functions is that of media consumption”.
(so:  http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=goflex-satellite-mobile-wireless-seagate-pr&vgnextoid=0deea262bf5ef210VgnVCM1000001a48090aRCRD )

The GoFlex mobile wireless storage device is a battery-powered external hard drive that can wirelessly extend the storage capacity of any Wi-Fi-enabled device.The device can store 500 gigabytes of data and extend a device’s storage via 802.11 b/g/n wireless networking. It has enough storage capacity to back up the entire library of video, music, pictures and documents that most people have on their mobile devices. The devices can connect directly to the GoFlex Satellite drive via a free GoFlex Media app now available on iTunes and the Apple app store. GoFlex Satellite is available at online retailers such as Seagate.com, Amazon and BestBuy.com for $199. With an battery life of 5 hoursand stand-by life of 25, plus a rechargeable battery, you have plenty of time to backup that new music you just downloaded.

Having bottomed out at the $12 range, and now trading in the $16 range, now might be the time to enter.  If you do, remember though to have your risk  protection strategy ready, whether for exiting or hedging. SmartStops shows today’s risk alert price points at $16.31 for short-term investors and $14.71 for longer-term investors.

Read more here:
Seagate jumps into iPhone, Pad, iPod business of Apple




HERE IS YOUR FOOTER

Uncategorized

The Four Horsemen of the Tech Market

May 11th, 2011

 by Raghu Gullapani,  SmartStops.net contributing editor
 

AAPL GOOG  IBM  AMZN 

Over eight months the market has steadily climbed up. This climb has been led by the technology sector. Four explosive companies have led the charge.
  
Apple (AAPL) has led the charge but of late, the charge has stalled. This slowdown in forward momentum is reminiscent of price action last summer. From a technical perspective, the stock has been forming a bull flag and has been holding above its 55 & 210 ema. I would be hesitant to invest more than a feeler at this point until it more clearly resolves to the upside and starts to break above resistance at $360.   SmartStops.net indicates the short-term stop is $341.06 and the long-term stop is $339.49
 
Google (GOOG) has been the laggard in this group for some time now. Lower than expected earnings and the market’s disdain for new CEO Larry Page have led it down. And while it may be tempting to buy on recent news, the technicals don’t bear it out. The stock is trailing the 55 and 210 ema.   Smartstop.net projects the short-term stop is $527.77 and the long-term stop is $525.04
 
IBM (IBM) has shown relative strength, leading the 55 and 210 ema. After a brief pullback the stock looks like it may make new highs.   Smartstops.net  has the short-term stop at $165.73 and the long-term stop at $158.75
 
Amazon (AMZN) has been the recent leader in this group after nearly bouncing off it 210 ema. The stock is showing a lot of relative strength and looks to continue to make new highs. Smartstops.net has the short-term stop at $187.85 and the long-term stop at 168.24
 
The four horsemen were leading indicators of doom.   Keep an eye on leaders to protect yourself from volatile markets.  Market leaders are known to drop 72% from their peak per Investor’s Business Daily.

Read more here:
The Four Horsemen of the Tech Market




HERE IS YOUR FOOTER

Uncategorized

Swept Up Into an Inflation Tornado

May 2nd, 2011

Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.

Precisely two weeks from today, on May 16, 2011, the U.S. government will exhaust its power to borrow money.

That’s the official estimate of when the U.S. Treasury bumps up into its debt ceiling … runs out of funds … and is forbidden by law to borrow a penny more.

But in the murky world of government financing, official deadlines are one thing; the real, drop-dead deadlines are another.

The reason: To postpone that day of reckoning, Secretary Geithner can shuffle some funds around, put a few creditors on hold temporarily, and keep the government running for a few more weeks — until July 8.

Then, after that date, says Geithner, it would be curtains: The U.S. would default on its maturing debts.

This Is Beyond Crazy!

Yes, we know. It’s nearly all political posturing.

But if Democrats and Republicans want to play a game of chicken on the edge of a cliff — or Russian roulette with live bullets — they should at least do it with their own money and their own financial hides at stake. Not ours!

What irks us even more, however, is their hidden agenda —

  • to do everything in their power to gut the dollar …
  • so they can pay back creditors with cheaper money, and …
  • keep the party going regardless of some very nasty consequences!

Look. Those consequences are not some distant cloud on the far horizon. They are striking right now! Indeed …

After barely escaping a monstrous deflationary quake just two years ago, the United States has now swung 180 degrees in the opposite direction … and is about to be swept up into an inflation tornado.

Already, the U.S. dollar is collapsing, within a hair of its lowest lows of all time. And already, gold has flown past the $1,500-per-ounce level, propelled by spreading fear of paper money. But if you think that’s dramatic, consider this shocking comparison:

  • In 1980, inflation soared to 13.5 percent. But the fiscal challenges back then were miniscule compared to todays.
  • In 1980, the deficit equaled 2.7 percent of this country’s gross domestic product. Today’s annual deficits have been hovering near 10 percent of GDP — more than three times more.
  • Also in 1980, the total national debt was a mere $900 billion. Now it’s over $14 trillion, 15 times greater!
  • The 1980 deficit was only $73.8 billion. Today, it’s $1.6 trillion, nearly 22 times more.

Moreover, compared to 1980, our reliance on foreign investors for deficit financing has nearly tripled … our money-printing presses are out of control … and our influence over foreign governments — whom we’re counting on to accept our debts — is a shadow of its former self.

It’s nearly a perfect recipe for another dollar collapse and, closely on its heels, rip-roaring inflation.

Why Is It That Many Fellow
Americans
Still Don’t Get It?

When I first moved to this farm in central Brazil in 1952, the Brazilian currency had already been devalued 1,000 to one. And by the time its long decline ended nearly a half-century later, it had fallen to one quadrillionth of its former value. It reminds me of the little mule they always gave me whenever our family went horseback riding in the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna). But the mule had a lot more intelligence.

When I first moved to this farm in central Brazil in 1952, the Brazilian currency had already been devalued 1,000 to one. And by the time its long decline ended nearly a half-century later, it had fallen to one quadrillionth of its former value. It reminds me of the little mule they always gave me whenever our family went horseback riding in the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna). But the mule had a lot more intelligence.

Maybe it’s because they haven’t lived in a country where the currency was chronically ill. I have.

Over a half century ago, my father decided he wanted to buy a second home in the tropics. He dreamed of going there to escape Wall Street winters, write quietly, and contemplate the world economy from afar.

Finally, in 1952, after three years of searching — in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Cuba — he found his dream retreat, thousands of miles to the south, in the central highlands of Brazil.

Its name was Tr

Commodities, ETF, Mutual Fund, Uncategorized

Stepping Inside the Bearish Engulfing Bull Trap in Gold GLD

March 25th, 2011

Wow – what a turn-around intraday in gold prices!  Buyers who purchased gold or the GLD ETF on the breakout to new highs in the morning session were cursed with a mid-day reversal that triggered a Bull Trap that created an ominous looking Bearish Engulfing Candle on the daily chart.

Let’s take a moment to look at the daily chart then step inside today’s intraday action to see what went wrong and learn a lesson in protection when the obvious play becomes a vicious trap.

First, the bigger picture from the Daily Chart:

First of all, I’m showing GLD – the popular GLD ETF on the daily structure.

I’ve mentioned this in weekly reports and I believe in a blog post, but the recent action in gold has concerned me – namely that gold pushed up to a new lifetime breakout high in early March but failed to sustain it.

This kind of behavior is a non-confirmation by price action and is inherently a caution/warning signal.  We typically expect new breakout highs to be met with a rush of buyers which are joined with a frantic rush of short-sellers being forced to buy to cover their losses as price breaks through their protective stop-loss levels.

A breakout that fails to trigger an immediate feedback loop of upside action is suspect and must be monitored very closely.  Gold seems to be displaying this non-confirm or “unexpected” breakout failure action at the moment and must therefore be watched objectively and closely.

No, it’s not true that every single bearish engulfing candle results in a trend reversal, but while price remains under the candle formation at the $139 to $141 level, then gold is in potential danger of a steeper pullback.

A firm breakout – accompanied with higher volume and momentum – negates these signals and puts them behind us, but while they exist, you’ll need to watch your open positions much more closely than otherwise.

Here, let’s step inside the hourly chart to see the progression up and today’s stunning reversal:

Here’s the recent ‘failure’ breakout to new highs in early March which eventually built-up to today’s failure breakout and reversal.

Always pay attention to price relative to momentum and volume – on guard for confirmations (higher price, volume spike/rise, momentum spike/high) or non-confirmations (divergences in volume or momentum with price highs).

Though the first push-up on March 2nd was met with confirming spikes in momentum and volume, the second push on March 7th was NOT.  The divergences hinted at a reversal lower (short-term) and that’s what happened – as price fell along with stocks during the Japan situation to the $135.50 level (from $141).

The recent push-up initially was met with higher volume spikes and higher momentum, but the recent ’second pushes’ on March 23rd and 24th (today) were NOT met with higher momentum – the negative divergence is clear.

That was the structure going into today’s high – that of a weakening of momentum and failure to sustain above the “Resistance Band” I drew from $140 to $140.50.

A breakthrough to new highs WITHOUT a confirmation from volume and momentum is like a handful of troops breaking free from the ranks as they charge ahead into battle, only to look back to see no other soldiers are charging with them.  The result is that the eager troops must then fall-back to the safety of the other troops.

Similar things tend to happen in the markets.

Let’s drop down to the 15-min chart to see that momentum was even worse on the lower timeframes:

The 3/10 Momentum Oscillator peaked on March 18th on the gap/surge to the upside.  From there, price pushed to three additional highs but each time, the oscillator registered a slightly lower high.

I discuss momentum principles – both leading to the upside and forecasting reversals via divergences – in Chapter 3 of the new Trading Course book (which you may actually be able to read a portion online via Amazon).

Anyway, momentum tends to lead price, and you want to see momentum and price surging to new highs together to have confidence in a successful (high probability) buy trade (of course, relative to your timeframe/holding period).

We did initially have volume spike-up in confirmation on the 23rd and today but today, volume steadily and clearly trailed lower each 15-min period until price reversed.

So how do you protect yourself if you bought a breakout this morning?

First, don’t let your greed/emotion blind you from new price developments.

Watch for our old villains “Ownership Bias” and “Confirmation Bias” to sneak up on you – with these, we tend to ignore conflicting evidence to our position (long).  Thus, we might ignore the previous divergences and then ignore the later price breakdowns through rising trendlines and rising moving averages on multiple intraday timeframes.

Namely, price shattered the rising intraday trendline that also happened to be the rising 20 period EMA on the 15-min chart at $140.75.  Fifteen minutes later, price deeply sliced under the 50p EMA at $140.25 then under the key $140 level.  That should NOT happen if you expect a big impulse breakout to happen.

Also, putting moving averages aside, price shattered under the prior support-level price low at the $140.25 region (from Wednesday).

Price also then sharply broke under the rising 20 EMA on the hourly chart – something also that should NOT happen.

The safety/protection play was to exit on the ‘unexpected’ breakdown under the $140 level – it’s that kind of action that triggers “popped stops,” which create big moves as a result of one side of the market rushing for the exits at the same time.

If you hold and hope during a collapse-down or change in chart psychology, you expose yourself to the potential for a serious and sudden loss.

That’s the main logic of protective stops – place stops under logical price levels (namely confluence support levels) under which price should NOT move.  In the event price DOES move under those levels, take your exit gracefully and painlessly as possible.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite axioms of trading wisdom that I frequently share in the daily reports:

“If something SHOULD happen but does NOT, then it often leads to a LARGER than expected move in the OPPOSITE direction.”

Namely because one side of the market is now being unfortunately squeezed out of their positions as the other side capitalizes on this situation, thus creating a temporary but sometimes violent/powerful feedback loop of perpetual motion that cripples those who fight the move in motion.

I’ll leave it at that – trade as normal but always be on guard for surprise actions and know levels ahead of your entry where you will exit.

Today’s action makes gold very suspect – it’ll need to push on to new highs very soon, else it may be in trouble to retest lower support levels soon.  Watch very attentively as the next few days progress.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT
Afraid to Trade.com

Follow Corey on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/afraidtotrade

Corey’s new book The Complete Trading Course (Wiley Finance) is now available!

Read more here:
Stepping Inside the Bearish Engulfing Bull Trap in Gold GLD

ETF, Uncategorized

Stepping Inside the Bearish Engulfing Bull Trap in Gold GLD

March 25th, 2011

Wow – what a turn-around intraday in gold prices!  Buyers who purchased gold or the GLD ETF on the breakout to new highs in the morning session were cursed with a mid-day reversal that triggered a Bull Trap that created an ominous looking Bearish Engulfing Candle on the daily chart.

Let’s take a moment to look at the daily chart then step inside today’s intraday action to see what went wrong and learn a lesson in protection when the obvious play becomes a vicious trap.

First, the bigger picture from the Daily Chart:

First of all, I’m showing GLD – the popular GLD ETF on the daily structure.

I’ve mentioned this in weekly reports and I believe in a blog post, but the recent action in gold has concerned me – namely that gold pushed up to a new lifetime breakout high in early March but failed to sustain it.

This kind of behavior is a non-confirmation by price action and is inherently a caution/warning signal.  We typically expect new breakout highs to be met with a rush of buyers which are joined with a frantic rush of short-sellers being forced to buy to cover their losses as price breaks through their protective stop-loss levels.

A breakout that fails to trigger an immediate feedback loop of upside action is suspect and must be monitored very closely.  Gold seems to be displaying this non-confirm or “unexpected” breakout failure action at the moment and must therefore be watched objectively and closely.

No, it’s not true that every single bearish engulfing candle results in a trend reversal, but while price remains under the candle formation at the $139 to $141 level, then gold is in potential danger of a steeper pullback.

A firm breakout – accompanied with higher volume and momentum – negates these signals and puts them behind us, but while they exist, you’ll need to watch your open positions much more closely than otherwise.

Here, let’s step inside the hourly chart to see the progression up and today’s stunning reversal:

Here’s the recent ‘failure’ breakout to new highs in early March which eventually built-up to today’s failure breakout and reversal.

Always pay attention to price relative to momentum and volume – on guard for confirmations (higher price, volume spike/rise, momentum spike/high) or non-confirmations (divergences in volume or momentum with price highs).

Though the first push-up on March 2nd was met with confirming spikes in momentum and volume, the second push on March 7th was NOT.  The divergences hinted at a reversal lower (short-term) and that’s what happened – as price fell along with stocks during the Japan situation to the $135.50 level (from $141).

The recent push-up initially was met with higher volume spikes and higher momentum, but the recent ’second pushes’ on March 23rd and 24th (today) were NOT met with higher momentum – the negative divergence is clear.

That was the structure going into today’s high – that of a weakening of momentum and failure to sustain above the “Resistance Band” I drew from $140 to $140.50.

A breakthrough to new highs WITHOUT a confirmation from volume and momentum is like a handful of troops breaking free from the ranks as they charge ahead into battle, only to look back to see no other soldiers are charging with them.  The result is that the eager troops must then fall-back to the safety of the other troops.

Similar things tend to happen in the markets.

Let’s drop down to the 15-min chart to see that momentum was even worse on the lower timeframes:

The 3/10 Momentum Oscillator peaked on March 18th on the gap/surge to the upside.  From there, price pushed to three additional highs but each time, the oscillator registered a slightly lower high.

I discuss momentum principles – both leading to the upside and forecasting reversals via divergences – in Chapter 3 of the new Trading Course book (which you may actually be able to read a portion online via Amazon).

Anyway, momentum tends to lead price, and you want to see momentum and price surging to new highs together to have confidence in a successful (high probability) buy trade (of course, relative to your timeframe/holding period).

We did initially have volume spike-up in confirmation on the 23rd and today but today, volume steadily and clearly trailed lower each 15-min period until price reversed.

So how do you protect yourself if you bought a breakout this morning?

First, don’t let your greed/emotion blind you from new price developments.

Watch for our old villains “Ownership Bias” and “Confirmation Bias” to sneak up on you – with these, we tend to ignore conflicting evidence to our position (long).  Thus, we might ignore the previous divergences and then ignore the later price breakdowns through rising trendlines and rising moving averages on multiple intraday timeframes.

Namely, price shattered the rising intraday trendline that also happened to be the rising 20 period EMA on the 15-min chart at $140.75.  Fifteen minutes later, price deeply sliced under the 50p EMA at $140.25 then under the key $140 level.  That should NOT happen if you expect a big impulse breakout to happen.

Also, putting moving averages aside, price shattered under the prior support-level price low at the $140.25 region (from Wednesday).

Price also then sharply broke under the rising 20 EMA on the hourly chart – something also that should NOT happen.

The safety/protection play was to exit on the ‘unexpected’ breakdown under the $140 level – it’s that kind of action that triggers “popped stops,” which create big moves as a result of one side of the market rushing for the exits at the same time.

If you hold and hope during a collapse-down or change in chart psychology, you expose yourself to the potential for a serious and sudden loss.

That’s the main logic of protective stops – place stops under logical price levels (namely confluence support levels) under which price should NOT move.  In the event price DOES move under those levels, take your exit gracefully and painlessly as possible.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite axioms of trading wisdom that I frequently share in the daily reports:

“If something SHOULD happen but does NOT, then it often leads to a LARGER than expected move in the OPPOSITE direction.”

Namely because one side of the market is now being unfortunately squeezed out of their positions as the other side capitalizes on this situation, thus creating a temporary but sometimes violent/powerful feedback loop of perpetual motion that cripples those who fight the move in motion.

I’ll leave it at that – trade as normal but always be on guard for surprise actions and know levels ahead of your entry where you will exit.

Today’s action makes gold very suspect – it’ll need to push on to new highs very soon, else it may be in trouble to retest lower support levels soon.  Watch very attentively as the next few days progress.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT
Afraid to Trade.com

Follow Corey on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/afraidtotrade

Corey’s new book The Complete Trading Course (Wiley Finance) is now available!

Read more here:
Stepping Inside the Bearish Engulfing Bull Trap in Gold GLD

ETF, Uncategorized

Now’s the Time to Buy this Comeback Stock

March 21st, 2011

Now's the Time to Buy this Comeback Stock

Len Riggio must be kicking himself. The chairman — and largest shareholder — of Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) rebuffed a takeover last summer from Ron Burkle of Yucaipa Investments for a reported $20 a share.

At the time, I thought any buyer of the beleaguered bookseller would simply inherit a bunch of problems. [Read my original analysis.] Shares went on to fall 40% since then.

Seven months later, I'm changing my tune. Not because shares are much cheaper — but because recent events have altered the dynamics for this retailer. Even though hurdles remain, the odds are increasing for a convincing turnaround.

When competition shrinks
One of the greatest challenges in the retail sector is too much capacity. In certain niches, there are simply too many stores to profitably satisfy demand. Yet, when the number of stores in a niche is reduced, profitability for the remaining stores can soar. Pier One Imports (NYSE: PIR) saw rivals Bombay and Linens 'N Things close stores in 2007 and 2008. Since then, shares of Pier One have risen from $0.11 to $9 in the past two years — and that's during a time when retail spending has been depressed. Credit goes to shrinkage in the total industry store base.

This factor is just one of the reasons I'm shifting gears on Barnes & Noble. Rival bookseller Borders, as part of a bankruptcy plan, will close 200 stores. And that may not be the end of it. As we've seen with video-rental firm Blockbuster, the first round of store closures doesn't necessarily return a company to profitability. Blockbuster is on its fourth round of store closures. I expect Borders to keep retrenching.

Many of the Borders stores that are slated for closure are in reasonable proximity to similar Barnes & Noble locales. So it's logical to assume that Barnes & Noble will pick up a chunk of business. Goldman Sachs now assumes Borders-related sales boosts will add more than $30 million to Barnes & Noble's bottom line.

A growing dot-com
Part of my change in sentiment is also due to a factor that I got flat wrong. I assumed Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle would run away with the e-book field. It didn't help that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad makes for a pretty good e-book reader as well. Yet, Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader is actually holding up well. Market share is just above 20%, well below Amazon's 67%, but still impressive when you consider the total market doubled from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2010 and now generates more than 6 million quarterly unit sales. This means Barnes & Noble is selling more than 1 million Nooks per quarter.

As time passes, that rising installed base of Nook readers is likely to help to generate rising profits for the bookseller's Internet arm, BN.com. Digital titles downloaded to the Nook carry far higher profit margins than hardware sales. The BN.com website posted a 52% jump in sales in the third quarter of 2010 (ended December) to $319 million and is one of the fastest-growing e-tailers in the country. I had my doubts that Barnes & Noble could effectively compete in the online and brick-and-mortar worlds simultaneously, but each part of the business looks better than it did six months ago.

To be sure, Barnes & Noble's legacy store base still has room for improvement. The company just missed estimates for the fourth straight quarter, though the bar for future expectations appears to be set lower and the periods of serial disappointments appears to be over.

Uncategorized

An Anonymous Attack on the “Global Banking Cartel”

March 14th, 2011

On one front after another, the Federal Reserve is coming under siege.

On Saturday, to begin, the hacker group calling itself “Anonymous” issued a video manifesto calling for “a relentless campaign of nonviolent, peaceful civil disobedience.”

“We aim to break up the global banking cartel centered at the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlements [sic] and World Bank,” Anonymous says.

The group has been around for years, but made its biggest impact last fall, when WikiLeaks began releasing its stash of State Department cables. As Amazon, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard all cut off their business ties with WikiLeaks, Anonymous launched “distributed denial of service” attacks – basically slamming their websites with so much traffic until they were forced to shut down.

“As a first sign of good faith,” says the manifesto, “we demand Ben Bernanke step down as Federal Reserve chairman.”

This morning, Anonymous released some emails given to them by a former employee at Bank of America. The emails are separate from the BoA documents that WikiLeaks is sitting on.

The emails haven’t been independently verified…but they appear to show that, among other things, loan numbers were routinely falsified with the intent of putting mortgage holders in default. You think the “robo-signing” scandal was a big deal? Wait until this one gets legs.

Anonymous is nothing if not ambitious. And they have a rising tide of public anger on their side.

Then, on the same day the tsunami devoured 100 miles of Japanese coastline, New York Fed chief William Dudley – a 21-year vet of Goldman Sachs – stepped out of his bubble to explain Fed policy to real people in Queens.

It might not have been the first time Dudley attempted to gain the trust of the hoi polloi, but we’re pretty sure it’ll be the last. The details here were reported widely. We divined the scene from a Reuters report.

First Dudley swore up and down that inflation was no problem. “When was the last time, sir,” came a reply from the audience, “that you went grocery shopping?”

Dudley boldly proceeded to explain the concept of “core CPI” – the cost-of-living measure designed for people who don’t eat or consume energy. Heh, we know firsthand how well that goes over…

Then in a brilliant stroke, he pointed to Apple’s shiny new iPad 2 to illustrate his point. “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he gamely explained. “You have to look at the prices of all things.”

“I can’t eat an iPad,” someone yelled from the crowd. How big a leap is it from “I can’t eat an iPad” to “douse myself with gasoline and light my body on fire in the street”, we wondered while reading the report. Depends entirely on who’s listening, we suspect.

Addison Wiggin
for The Daily Reckoning

An Anonymous Attack on the “Global Banking Cartel” originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning now provides over half a million subscribers with literary economic perspective, global market analysis, and contrarian investment ideas.

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An Anonymous Attack on the “Global Banking Cartel”




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