This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.

1. Tea ball
Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) is birthing new concepts lately.

The java giant opened its first stand-alone juice bar three months ago. This week it announced plans to open its first Tazo tea shop. The first location will open in Seattle's University Village shopping mall, home to one of the oldest and busiest Starbucks stores.

The Tazo-branded store will sell tea lattes as well as hot and iced tea beverages. Customers will also be able to whip up customized blends at a blending station.

It will naturally take years before Evolution Fresh juice bars or Tazo tea stores move the needle at a company as large as Starbucks, but it's always good to see seemingly mature retail concepts explore new ways to regain the sizzle that growth-stock investors crave.

2. Subscribe and save a social networking juggernaut
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) appears to be making headlines for all the wrong reasons since going public last month, but it's been on a good run lately.

The company finally broke back above $30 late last week, and this week it acquired Face.com -- an Israeli company with face-recognition technology that will make photo-sharing on the site easier and ideally more viral.

However, the most important move by the world's largest social networking website operator is that Facebook is now allowing developers to begin charging subscriptions for their apps. In addition to the existing piecemeal digital purchases, developers can now slap on monthly subscriptions. As usual, Facebook will be there to collect its 30% share of the action.

Obviously most Facebook users will resist paying monthly fees for simple social games, but the free markets will now help developers decide on the best model. Along the way, the revenue will be incremental to Facebook.

3. Take two tablets and call me in a few months
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) wants a piece of the tablet market, even if it has to break from tradition and make the hardware itself.

The software giant's unveiling of Surface was generally received well by critics. Cynics who argued that Flash and native support for Microsoft Office may not be enough to set Surface apart from the iPad are underestimating Microsoft's ability to spend billions to gain market share -- a move that should translate into aggressive pricing.

Microsoft diving into consumer hardware has its hits (Xbox) and misses (Zune), but it's the right approach to battle a company that's carving up the market with ridiculous margins to boot. Some naysayers wonder if Microsoft will get the developer support that it needs to turn Surface into a hit, but the company already has some of the hottest app makers on board. Why? Well, the movers and shakers are on board because -- once again -- Microsoft isn't afraid to write big checks to get noticed.

4. Brave new world
Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) Brave opens today. The Pixar flick is the computer animation powerhouse's first foray into the princess-propelled fairy tale that its parent company Disney has excelled at in the past.

The initial critic reviews haven't been as glowing as those for Pixar's Toy Story trilogy, but the early reports are that it's more than enough to get filmgoers to forget last year's poorly reviewed Cars 2 -- a rare critical miss by Pixar that still managed to perform well at the box office.

5. The electric slide
Tesla Motors
(Nasdaq: TSLA  ) made the cut for this list last week as Lazard Capital initiated coverage of the electric car maker with a buy rating and an ambitious $42 price target ahead of today's debut of Model S deliveries.

Well, this week it was Goldman Sachs raising its price target on the shares from $36 to $50.

Tesla's Model S has the potential to make electric cars popular after a slow start to the ballyhooed niche.

Keep it coming
If you want to make some smart stock moves yourself, find out Motley Fool's top stock for 2012. It's a free report, but only for a limited time, so check it out now.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Facebook, Starbucks, Tesla Motors, and Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Tesla Motors, Walt Disney, Starbucks, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Disney. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1921255, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2014 6:40:33 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement