Wal-Mart Throws a Snarky Counter-Punch

Here are two retailers making headlines in the markets today.

Jun 23, 2014 at 1:32PM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 30 points this afternoon after a six-day rally for both the Dow and S&P 500. One tidbit of economic news for investors to note is that the National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales in May increased 4.9% to an annual rate of 4.89 million units -- the largest increase in nearly three years. As the housing recovery continues, albeit at a modest and sometimes unpredictable pace, it should provide some economic strength.

As we kick off the first trading day of the week, here are some retailers making headlines in the markets today.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) threw a counter-punch at The New York Times recently when it responded to columnist Timothy Egan. It's a good read, in fact, and if you have the time to glance it over, you'll be left with the impression that Wal-Mart needs to redesign its yellow smiley face to give it a huge smirk -- the image would fit perfectly at the top of its response. Here's how the response begins.

"Tim, Thanks for sharing your first draft. Below are a few thoughts to ensure something inaccurate doesn't get published. Hope this helps. -- WMT"

Despite Wal-Mart's enjoyable response, Egan's column is only the latest of many columns hounding the retailer about its practices, which include part-time contracts, low wages, and hurting small businesses. Wal-Mart will always face complaints regarding these issues.

One of Wal-Mart's strategies to improve its often maligned image is its "Made in America" effort. When the retailer announced in January 2013 its plan to buy $250 billion in U.S. manufactured products over the next 10 years, it was met with some skepticism. However, Wal-Mart has again beefed up its efforts to increase apparel and textile production in the U.S., and over time its push for more American products could prove a boon to its reputation. Stay tuned.


CarMax retail store. Source: CarMax press kit.

In other retail news, CarMax Inc. (NYSE:KMX) soared on Friday after posting its fiscal first-quarter earnings. Net sales and operating revenue drove 13.3% higher to $3.75 billion, topping estimates. Total unit used sales rose 9.8%, but more importantly, its used-unit sales in comparable stores increased 3.4%. CarMax's net earnings jumped 15.7% to $169.7 million for net earnings-per-diluted-share growth of 18.8% to $0.76.

Demand for used vehicles has risen in unison with the automotive industry's overall rebound in sales. As the job market continues to improve modestly and interest rates remain low, vehicle sales should continue to rise sustainably.

Warren Buffett's worst auto-nightmare (Hint: It's not Tesla)
A major technological shift is happening in the automotive industry. Most people are skeptical about its impact. Warren Buffett isn't one of them. He recently called it a "real threat" to one of his favorite businesses. An executive at Ford called the technology "fantastic." The beauty for investors is that there is an easy way to invest in this megatrend. Click here to access our exclusive report on this stock.

Daniel Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends CarMax. The Motley Fool owns shares of CarMax. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers