Morning News of Note:
- WFMI: Whole Foods Fare's Pricey? Check Out Shares Upscale Organic Chain Presents Solid Growth, but Rivals Loom And Analysts Turn a Bit Jittery Shares of Whole Foods Market are as pricey as the organic fare that the grocery chain sells, leading some analysts to wonder whether investors might start putting the stock back on the shelf. It is easy to see why investors are interested in looking. The Austin, Texas, company, which started with a single grocery store in 1980, now has 180 stores in mostly metropolitan areas, including a huge, flashy flagship store in Austin, and plans for another in London. (Full Story) WSJ
- Hedge Funds: Hedge Funds' Wizardry Will Trickle Down WHILE HEDGE FUNDS STRUGGLE to differentiate themselves in a crowded field, traditional fund companies are bringing to the masses some of the inventions cooked up in hedge funds' kitchens -- and they're concocting some exotica of their own. Products such as commodity funds; new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that try to beat popular benchmarks instead of matching them; and even mutual funds that behave like hedge funds should help individual investors smooth returns and diversify their portfolios better in 2006. (Full Story) WSJ
- GM: GM Says GMAC 2005 Net in $2.5 Bln `Range' After Goodwill Charge General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said its finance unit's 2005 net income will be ``in the $2.5 billion range'' after it lowered the value of a commercial finance business acquired in 1999. General Motors Acceptance Corp. will take a $450 million charge for the fourth quarter to reflect the lower worth of the unit, GM said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Full Story) Bloomberg
- Fund Flows: equity fund flows $5.9bln, ex ETFs outflows ($3.925bln); ETF flows: IWM $381m, IYR $305m, EWT $178m, XLY $159m, EWY $135m, QQQQ ($703m), IWD ($129m); bond funds rptd inflows $773m, corp funds rptd inflows $580m, MBS fuds rptd outflows ($244m); money mkt funds rptd inflows $2.828bln -- AMG Data
- Mad Money Summary: Cramer said that it was time to buy the greatest medical stock you have ever heard of, OccuLogix (RHEO). Cramer said that the company has a treatment for dry macular degeneration, which usually comes before age-macular degeneration. Cramer added that this was a speculative call and investors should use limit orders. Cramer recommended buying JDSU (JDSU) back in September and said that if you did buy the stock at $2, he would recommend taking some off of the table. Cramer said that if you did not get in at $2 like he suggested, the shares are still a buy, especially if shares fall to $2.50. Cramer noted that the Chinese government said it wants to spend trillions of dollars to improve the country's energy and transportation sectors. Cramer sees shares of Fluor (FLR) as the way to play this call, since the company is one of two American companies incorporated in the country. Bob LaPenta, chairman of Viisage Technology (VISGD), joined Cramer on his show last night to discuss the company's acquisition of Identix (IDNX). Mr. LaPenta said the integration would integrate some key law enforcement and homeland security products under one platform
Market Comments: The market opened up a little this morning. The core PPI came in below expectations (+0.1% vs. +0.2% consensus). Oil is back down below $64, and bond yields are lower at 4.38%.
Stocks had their first correction day of the year yesterday, and I would expect something of a modest down day today also. The bond and commodity markets close early ahead of the holiday weekend, while the stock market closes at its regular time.
So far its a mixed bag in terms of stock action. Analysts seem to be more willing to downgrade stocks after the nice run we've had. Except for HANS, which is spiking on Citi's new $130 price target.