Jobs Data, GM Drama, ECB Rates, and Last Week's Stock Market Winners and Losers

The four things you need to know on June 7.

Jun 7, 2014 at 7:00PM
Before you start dropping the big bucks on Cali Chrome this weekend, check out what sent stocks to fresh highs this past week. The top headline worth writing home to Mom about was the 217,000 new jobs added in May -- which finally brings total payrolls up to the level where they were before the financial crisis. That solid number helped send the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI)(DJINDICES:^DJI)(DJINDICES:^DJI)(DJINDICES:^DJI)(DJINDICES:^DJI) up 88 points Friday. Mazel Tov.
1. The stock market winner ...
It's wedding season -- and that means a good amount of open bars that will be featuring young people ordering uncreative "Jack and Cokes." That's more good news for Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF-B)(NYSE:BF-B)(NYSE:BF-B), a big-time liquor distributor.

Brown-Forman was on investors' top shelves last week after an earnings report worth pouring some Scotch to -- the company announced that net sales globally rose 6% over last year. And it's Jack Daniels that's driving the push as sales of the whiskey increased 8% across planet earth.

It's not just that America has refound its taste for whiskey on the heels of the craft brew trend. Its flavored whiskeys, in particular, that are what BF wants to capitalize on. BF's "Tennessee Honey" brand of Jack doubled sales in its first year, with total sales rising 36% in the last year. Next, BF plans to introduced "Tennessee Fire" to add a cinnamon spice to its flavored whiskey lineup (and compete with Fireball Whisky).
2. ... And the stock market loser
We used to love munching Krispy Kreme (NYSE:KKD)(NYSE:KKD)(NYSE:KKD) doughnuts after Pee-Wee hockey games -- but ever since the company over-expanded in the early 2000s and fell in 2004, the stock has been trying to claw its way back.

And while 2013 was solid for the glazed-doughnut king, the first quarter of 2014 wasn't as tasty. The company reported earnings last week, indicating an unimpressive $121.6 million in revenue for the first three months of the year -- less than 1% more in revenue during the first quarter of last year.

Like the big-box retailers Target and Wal-Mart, Krispy Kreme execs are taking the easy way out -- they're blaming winter weather. But the notable issue for investors was that sales declined globally by 4.5%. And while sales at the company's franchises rose by 4.5% since last year, sales at company-owned stores dropped 1.5%, and as a result, Krispy Kreme lowered its sales projections for the rest of the year.

3. GM announced firings for recall drama
Tires and heads are rolling at General Motors (NYSE:GM), where the recently anointed CEO blamed predecessors for the company's recent recall drama. Investors continue to punish the stock, as GM admitted it covered up the mechanical glitch nearly a decade ago, resulting in over a dozen road deaths. Now GM's fired many of those responsible and plans to refocus on building multiple lines of uninspiring-looking cars. 

4. The ECB dropped interest rates to negative levels
How low can you go? Apparently pretty low if you're in Europe. The European Central Bank announced that it's lowering interest rates to negative levels -- instead of paying interest to banks holding cash, it's going to start charging them if they don't put the money to work jump-starting European economies struggling with unemployment. Wall Street applauded the stimulus news with big gains and croissant-binging competitions. 
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Jack Kramer and Nick Martell have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors. 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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