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Holly Thompson founded TWM Today to assist clients in reaching their life goals by providing objective financial guidance. Thompson Wealth Management is a fee-only financial advisory firm. We work solely for you and receive no commissions or compensation from any other source. This eliminates... More
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  • TWM Today: Wall Street
    McDonald's Sales Rose in May, Helped by McCafe Drinks ~ McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) says sales in U.S. restaurants open at least a year rose for the fourth month in a row because of an improving economy and successful products such as iced coffee drinks. Around the globe, sales in locations open at least a year rose 4.8 percent. That's considered a key measurement because it excludes stores that open or close during the year. McDonald's also said it will take a hit to its full-year profit because of the weak euro, which accounts for about 25 percent of its operating income. (NYSE:AP)

    CollegeHumor Partners with PepsiCo's SoBe to Launch SoBe Studios ~ CollegeHumor, an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ:IACI), today announced a new premium partnership with SoBe to launch SoBe Studios, a content factory that will produce a steady stream of brand-relevant videos for distribution across multiple media platforms, including TV and the Web. With more than 5 videos already launched and more in production, CollegeHumor and SoBe today also announced the upcoming premiere of a new three-part web series, "Mr. Vicarious," as a part of this collaboration. The latest campaign between the partners is "Mr. Vicarious," which will premiere on June 9, 2010. Featuring comedians Paul Scheer and Nick Kroll, the new series coincides with SoBe's redesign or "re-skin" of the SoBe Elixir and Tea bottles. Filmed at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, the comedians "re-skin" themselves and live vicariously through three actors dressed up as different characters, including a karate sensei, a massage therapist and a caricature. (NASDAQ:CBOE)

    Bernanke Says Unemployment Unlikely to Fall Quickly ~ Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. recovery probably won’t quickly bring down the unemployment rate, which is likely to stay "high for a while.” Given the depth of the recession, the recovery is “moderate paced,” Bernanke said last night in a question-and- answer session with Sam Donaldson, the ABC News journalist, in Washington. In Europe, policy makers “are committed to avoiding default in Greece” and elsewhere, he said. While the Fed will raise interest rates from a record low before the economy returns to “full employment,” Bernanke said officials don’t know when that process will start. The banking system isn't fully healthy and lenders are “cautious” in providing credit, he said.  (Bloomberg)

    Netflix Target Raised to $130 at Caris Following iPhone App Announcement  ~ Caris raises its Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) tgt to $130 from $120. Yesterday, at the AAPL developers conference, AAPL made official what it and many other NFLX bulls had been naturally anticipating ever since the launch of the Ipad 2 months ago - that a free NFLX app will be available for the Apple I-phone "this summer." With some 20mm I-phone units now circulating in the United States, firm is boosting numbers once again. (Briefing)

    Yahoo, Facebook Getting Social Together Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is becoming more social in its quest to attract more and longer site visits, and more revenue. The Web portal is stepping up its integration with Facebook, the No. 1 social networking site. It's making it easier for users to post or link items to Facebook from Yahoo sites, while also improving privacy controls. Over the next two weeks, Yahoo says it will give users the ability to access their Facebook accounts on 15 Yahoo sites, including its news, sports and e-mail sites. Users can share stories and other information from those pages with friends and other members of Facebook. Yahoo had limited integration with Facebook, but the new pact expands that relationship. "This is a very smart strategy," said Augie Ray, a Forrester Research analyst. Interlocking Facebook into Yahoo is a fast way for the portal to tap into the social media landscape, says Jim Stoneham, Yahoo's vice president of product management. He's in charge of the integration. "We think this is huge because it gets Yahoo in the middle of this whole social discovery phenomenon that is going on," he said. "It allows people to equally share what they are doing on Yahoo with the people who they care about on Facebook." (IBD)


    Disclosure: Long NFLX
    Jun 08 11:33 AM | Link | Comment!
  • TWM Today: Wall Street
    JPMorgan London Unit Gets Record Fine From U.K.’s FSA ~ JP Morgan Chase's (NYSE:JPM) London unit was fined a record $48.8 million by Britain’s financial regulator for not properly separating client money from the firm’s accounts.  An average of $8.6 billion wasn’t properly segregated by JPMorgan Securities Ltd. in an error that went undetected for seven years, the Financial Services Authority said in a statement today. As much as $23 billion of client money held by the bank’s futures and options business wasn’t put in separate overnight customer accounts between 2002 and 2009, the FSA said.  (Bloomberg)

    Jobs Data Show Labor Market Improving ~ The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, while private employers added jobs in May, further evidence the labor market was improving. The data on Thursday came ahead of the government's closely watched employment report on Friday, which is expected to show non-farm payrolls increased 513,000 in May, buoyed by hiring for the decennial census, after a 290,000 increase in April. That would mark five straight months of job gains.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 453,000, the Labor Department said. That was a touch above market expectations for 450,000.Separately, private employers added 55,000 jobs in May after increasing payrolls by 65,000 the prior month. (Reuters)

    U.S. Economy: Service Industries Grew in May for Fifth Month ~ Service industries in the U.S. expanded for a fifth month and factory orders rose, pointing to a broadening economic recovery that’s generating more jobs. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses, which makes up almost 90 percent of the economy, held at 55.4 for a third month in May. Readings above 50 signal expansion. Bookings at factories rose 1.2 percent in April, a Commerce Department report showed. Companies from Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) to Deere & Co (NYSE:DE) are seeing a pickup in sales that indicates confidence is growing even as the European debt crisis roils financial markets. A government report tomorrow is likely to show employers added more than 500,000 jobs last month, leading to gains in incomes and spending that will help sustain the economic rebound as government support wanes.  (Bloomberg)

    Fed Chief Urges More Lending to Small Business ~ Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said Thursday that banks needed to increase lending to small businesses to reduce unemployment and help the economic recovery. Outstanding loans to small businesses declined to $660 billion in the first quarter of 2010, from almost $700 billion two years ago, Mr. Bernanke said, adding that it was difficult to tell whether the decrease was a result of reduced demand or tightened credit standards. In any case, he said, increasing the flow of capital to small companies was crucial to the recovery. “While maintaining appropriate prudence, lenders should do all they can to meet the needs of legitimate, creditworthy borrowers,” Mr. Bernanke said at a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s branch in Detroit. Healthy small businesses are critical to job growth but have a harder time expanding payrolls than large companies without sufficient access to credit, Mr. Bernanke said. He said only 40 percent of small businesses that tried to borrow in 2009 had all of their needs satisfied.  (NYSE:NYT)

    Disclosure: Long TGT
    Tags: JPM, TGT, DE
    Jun 03 3:33 PM | Link | Comment!
  • TWM Today: Wall Street
    AT&T Moves Away From Unlimited-Data Pricing ~ AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) is abandoning unlimited-pricing plans for new wireless subscribers to email and Internet services on smartphones, kicking off an important and long-awaited shift in how carriers bill their customers. The change, which takes effect next week for new AT&T customers, could mean lower rates for typical customers but higher costs for heavy data consumers. Current AT&T smartphone customers, however, can opt to keep their existing plans indefinitely, even if they switch phones, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said. With the move, AT&T's second price cut for wireless plans in six months, the company appears to be trading a hit to short-term revenue for greater control of its network and more power to price accordingly as wireless-data usage grows. "The new plans appear well designed to reduce undue network stresses," said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. AT&T said Wednesday it will eliminate its $30 unlimited data plan for new smartphone subscribers starting June 7, when Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to announce its latest iPhone. The plan will be replaced by new offerings costing $15 an month for 200 megabytes of data traffic or $25 a month for 2 gigabytes. Users who exceed 2 gigabytes of usage will pay $10 a month for each additional gigabyte. (WSJ)

    Nissan, Hyundai Lead Asian Carmakers’ U.S. Sales Gains in May ~  Nissan Motor Co (OTCPK:NSANY) and Hyundai Motor Co (HYUA) led U.S. sales gains in May for the biggest Asia-based automakers as improving consumer confidence helped sustain a recovery in demand. Nissan, Japan’s third-largest automaker, yesterday reported a 24 percent increase from a year earlier, while Seoul-based Hyundai said its sales rose 33 percent. Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM), the world’s biggest automaker, posted a 6.7 percent gain and Honda Motor Co’s (NYSE:HMC) were up 19 percent. “Nissan and Hyundai have been judicious with their use of incentives,” with the South Korean automaker’s sales increase led by the Sonata sedan, said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “These great percentage gains are also in light of the depths of despair we were at a year ago.”  (Bloomberg)

    Visa To Block China UnionPay's Intl Transactions ~ Visa International (V.N) has asked its global financial institutional members to stop international transactions through China's UnionPay system from Aug 1, the official China Securities Journal reported on Thursday. China UnionPay is the nation's sole bank card processer. No visa card transactions outside the mainland, including ATM cash services or card payments, should go through the UnionPay system. If they do, member institutions will be fined, the report said, without providing more details. (Reuters)

    U.S. Proposes Rules on Airline Tickets and Fees ~ The Department of Transportation proposed a wide range of air passenger protections on Wednesday, signaling that it will be more aggressive in forcing airlines to address common traveler frustrations. The proposed new rules would raise compensation for passengers denied boarding on oversold flights, allow customers to get a full refund within 24 hours of purchasing an airline ticket and require reimbursement of baggage fees and expenses when luggage is not delivered on time. The proposed rules also require the airlines to be more prompt in notifying travelers about flight delays and cancellations — at boarding gate areas as well as through airline Web sites and phone updates. Other proposed provisions would prohibit price increases after a ticket is purchased and ban airlines and ticket agents from advertising prices that are not the full fare — specifically mandating clearer disclosure in advertisements for “one-way” fares that can only be purchased as part of a round-trip ticket. “All of these rules come about as a result of complaints that we’ve heard from the flying public,” Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, said at a news briefing about the proposed regulations. “These are the things that people get irritated about.” Wednesday’s announcement follows a previous set of passenger protections that took effect in late April requiring airlines to give passengers stuck on the tarmac the option to get off the plane after three hours, with exceptions for safety and security reasons. Carriers were also required to develop plans to deal with lengthy tarmac delays and provide passengers with snacks, water and working bathrooms. (NYSE:NYT)

    Disclosure: No Postitions
    Tags: T, TM, HMC, AAPL
    Jun 02 8:18 PM | Link | Comment!
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