Slow moving Friday
Morning News of Note:
- MSFT: Microsoft loses money on each Xbox The cost of building a Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console is nearly 40 percent higher than the retail price, technology and microchip research company iSuppli said on Wednesday. The firm estimated the total cost to manufacture and test a premium Xbox 360, the software giant's sleek and powerful new gaming machine, which debuted on Tuesday, was $552.27, compared with its retail price of $399. (Full Story) CNET
- Canadian Stocks: Bloomberg.com reports that Canadian stocks rose to the highest in five years, led by dividend-paying companies such as Toronto- Dominion Bank and BCE Inc., after the government lowered taxes on the payouts and decided against taxing income trusts. Banks, telephone companies and utilities, which have some of the biggest dividend yields among the Standard & Poor's TSX/Composite Index's 10 industry groups, led the advance. Canadian Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said yesterday that he would raise the dividend-tax credit to 19 percent from 13 percent. He also said he had no plans to tax income trusts, which some investors had feared.
- TASR: Taser Int'l-TASR gets notice from the NASDAQ due to late filing of its Form 10-Q The notice says that Taser's stock is subject to delisting. Taser plans to appeal the request through a hearing in front of the NASDAQ's staff.
- Mad Money Summary: Jim Cramer was positive on shares of Best Buy (BBY) Wednesday night on his show. Cramer said that "it's going to be a Best Buy Christmas" and that kids and adults are after electronics this year. Cramer said that he would look out for competition from Wal-Mart (WMT) but would do a "'mon back" if shares of Best Buy are weak after the company's earnings. Cramer sees the weakness in shares of GameStop (GME) as a buying opportunity and that once supply of the XBox 360 and its games catches up with demand, gamers are going to be buying. Cramer is also positive on shares of ITT Educational Services (ESI) as Congress may repeal a rule that requires for-profit colleges to teach 50% of their classes in buildings. Cramer likes the shares as they do not have as much risk as its peers Apollo Group (APOL), Corinthian Colleges (COCO) and Career Education (CECO). Herb Greenberg appeared on Cramer’s show and was negative on shares of J2 Global Communications (JCOM) and Bankrate (RATE). Cramer said that shares of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD) deserve to be in a "sell block" as the company has more problems than they know what to do with.
Market Comments: Not a lot of action on this post-holiday session. Most people are probably still recovering from their turkey-induced comas. Except for those people on that Wal-Mart video that were trampling each other at 5am. What were those people thinking?!? Maybe they should think about shopping online.
The oil market is closed today, while bond yields are down slightly to 4.44%. The market is roughly flat. Chip stocks are up, and BBY is the standout retailer so far today. Look for Canadian royalty trusts to trade higher on the positive news that they wont' be subject to higher taxes. Nice.
long MSFT, WMT