A Rejuvenated J.C. Penney Soars; Netflix Rallies on Growth, Price Hike

Home Depot, feeling the love of spring, ends as one of the best stocks in the Dow on Monday

Apr 21, 2014 at 6:22PM

With Easter just behind us and Passover nearly over as well, the stock market returned from its three-day weekend and finished the day with muted optimism. Most stocks advanced, but major European markets were closed today, and trading volume was light. Investors will have plenty to think about in the next few days, as a slew of companies report quarterly earnings and data about home sales and jobless claims become public. But on Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) edged modestly higher, gaining 40 points, or 0.3%, to end at 16,449. 

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) nearly finished as the best-performing stock in the Dow today, with gains of 1.1%. My colleague Daniel James believes that the stronger-than-expected sales growth we saw from U.S. retailers in March bodes especially well for Home Depot going forward. The company, too, sees brighter times ahead, forecasting a pickup in overall sales and same-store sales in the coming quarters. Existing home sales in March as well as new home sales for last month should both be released by mid-week, giving investors a better gauge of how the real estate market is holding up.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), another company that would likely benefit if consumers continue to flee from their homes and head to the mall as the weather improves, roared 9.2% higher on Monday. The sudden optimism is a little enigmatic; J.C. Penney won't report quarterly earnings until next month, and little of note happened with the company today. A volatile stock in the middle of a turnaround effort, shareholders watch each quarter with bated breath, watching carefully for ominous verbiage. Fellow contributor Brandy Betz wonders if the company can build a competitive advantage. So do I.

What I don't wonder about is Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which boasts a number of competitive advantages. Its share of the video-streaming market in the U.S. is high, it's a highly recognized and trusted name, and it's also begun developing some critically acclaimed shows of its own, strengthening its appeal to new customers. As a first-mover in the area, it was able to snap up customers early, retain them over time, and grow by word of mouth. Netflix also has plans to expand internationally. More important, Netflix beat earnings estimates in the fourth quarter, and reached 4 million domestic and international subscribers, far more than the 3.85 million analysts expected. It's also planning on bumping up its monthly price to new subscribers by one to two dollars per month, which should do wonders for Netflix's margins.

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John Divine has options on J.C. Penney. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot and Netflix and owns shares of Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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