S&P 500 Breaks Winning Streak, but Apple and Amazon Are Big Winners

The three things you need to know for April 24.

Apr 23, 2014 at 11:00PM

The S&P 500's six-session winning streak was snapped and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) dipped 13 points after a bad case of housing data on Wednesday.

1. Huge iPhone sales boost Apple earnings
 (NASDAQ:AAPL) is officially a phone company, as it reported $10.2 billion profits for the first quarter of 2014 mostly on iPhone sales. Profits and revenues were up from last year, but total iPhone sales killed analyst estimates, growing to 43.7 million from 37.4 million last year. The downside was the iPad and the ol' iPod -- sales dropped 16% for the former and another 51% for the latter (but everyone's asking -- who bought 2.8 million iPods in the quarter?).

Is Apple's business in decline? No way. Programmers are working on having Siri kick you in the groin in response to that question. The iPhone just became available to China Mobile, China's largest carrier, earlier this year, and sales were up 28% in the country with the most people.

It was a blitz of news packed into Apple's press release. To spoil shareholders with more Apple cash, the company is increasing its buyback of shares to $90 billion from $60 billion, and it's increasing the quarterly dividend to each shareholder to $3.29 per quarter. Finally, Apple is doing the splits. Seven-to-one, to be exact (Apple's not playing Twister). The share price is too big, so on June 2, every shareholder will get six new shares for every one existing, but they will be worth one-seventh the amount.

Get ready for the pop that will hit Apple stock tomorrow morning. Trading of the stock is up 8% since the markets officially closed at 4 p.m ET. Also get ready for a bigger-screened iPhone and a better TV product. Maybe an iWatch too (or another iSurprise). This huge quarter should keep the haters at bay for a while and let Tim Cook finally try to make his mark on the company with a new product.

2. Netflix drops big after major HBO-Amazon deal
The deal of the day goes to Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), which inked HBO to a licensing agreement that has us pumped to watch The Wire and order a case of jumbo-size Skippy peanut butter simultaneously. Under the agreement, HBO's first with an online video provider, the company will offer older programming to Amazon Prime's video-streaming service.

That's great news for Sopranos fans and God-awful news for Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shareholders. Just after the company reported solid earnings that sent the stock up 7% earlier this week, shares of Netflix dropped over 5% Wednesday on word that HBO had given its flower to Amazon.

The takeaway is that things are starting to heat up between Netflix and Amazon worthy of an HBO drama. For Amazon "Primers," these older shows will now be available to stream without an additional fee. And since Netflix just made clear that it's increasing prices for new members by at least $1 per month, Prime might end up being the cheaper option.

3. New home sales surprisingly drop 14.5%
Don't raise the roof, because sales of new homes nationwide were so bad last month, we want to watch reruns of MTV's Cribs just to feel better. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new home sales fell 14% in March to reach an annual rate of 384,000 sales, their lowest level in eight months -- economists had been expecting the sales rate to rise 2.3%.

It ain't just winter weather that kept away homebuyers. Interest rates have been kept super low by the Federal Reserve's stimulus policies for years now to encourage economic growth -- but the improving economy over 2013 has seen the Fed scale back its stimulus plans, helping banks' interest rates inch up a tad this winter. And even barely higher interest rates have discouraged some buyers from taking out loans (aka mortgages) to buy Cribs-worthy palaces.

  • Weekly jobless claims
  • First-quarter earnings: Starbucks, Amazon.com, JetBlue

MarketSnacks Fact of the Day: In Norway, electric cars are exempt from tolls, can ride in bus lanes, and get to park and charge for free.

As originally published on MarketSnacks.com

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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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