Over the weekend, a Foolish reader, presumably from somewhere west of the Rockies, took us to task for our East Coast bias. (We launched last Thursday's Final Take bleary-eyed with a reference to tired baseball fans and a market that "shot out of bed.") Believe us, the only thing we'd rather not be than biased is offensive. So, we apologize, Fools.
Curiously, that same reader points out that while "events" end earlier out there, brokers and such get up ungodly early to make the next-day market open. Not to get all Einstein-Zen here, but if two people, a continent apart, nod off after a game and wake up hours later to open a market, are they both bleary-eyed?
Maybe we should really be apologizing to those Fools -- wherever they call home -- who don't give a darn about sports!
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Rambus Takes Off
- Quote of Note
- Mortgage Rates Fall
- Discussion Board of the Day: Buying or Selling a Home
- McDonald's New Nuggets
- Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Credit Center
- More Fool News
- And Finally...
Rambus Takes Off
Back in January, the Fool's Tom Jacobswrote, "...The Supreme Court won't take the case." That's exactly what happened with Rambus
The stock soared 37% on the decision because it puts Rambus closer to possibly collecting tens of millions in royalties from Infineon and other memory-chip maker hold-outs.
Today's victory aside, Rambus is far from collecting more dough, and the case, which started in 2000, has been costly. (Tom Jacobs has followed this in more than a dozen related articles.) Additionally, today's Supreme Court action was not a decision on the legal merits of the case, but merely a move to let the Court of Appeals decision stand, so Infineon has vowed to fight on, and the case will likely return to a Virginia trial court.
Either side could still win the verdict. Initially in this case, a lower court awarded Infineon victory (it is claiming fraud at Rambus) and $10 million, until the Court of Appeals overturned it.
Meanwhile, the key patent lawsuit filed by Rambus against Infineon has been upheld and returns to a Virginia court. Adding to the plot, Rambus faces other lawsuits. The big claim is that Rambus helped set the standards for the memory chip industry and then moved to collect royalties on its patents after setting self-beneficial standards.
With $2.4 billion in market value, Rambus had nearly $100 million in revenue last year and is expected to earn $0.17 per share this year, making the $25 stock look expensive. Investors are clearly hoping for more legal victories and some of that $400 million a year in payments to start rolling in. A waiting game on such an uncertain outcome is only for high risk investors who can sleep well at night despite all the unknowns.
Quote of Note
"Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, and writer
Mortgage Rates Fall
If you've been kicking yourself for missing out on the historically low mortgage rates back in June, let's just hope you've been wearing soft-heeled shoes. True, the refinancing window came and went faster than you could ask, "Is there a draft in here?" -- but, hey, borrowing costs are falling again.
Bankrate is reporting that mortgage rates have fallen for four weeks in a row. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan is being doled out at 5.79%, while the more attractive 15-year option is down to 5.11%. No, we're not at record lows again, but we're close. Borrowing costs haven't been this low since July.
Stockwise, that's good news for homebuilders like Lennar
But what about you? Are you ready to refinance your home or dust off those shelved plans to find a new homestead? If so, you've already learned that this finicky window of opportunity doesn't stay open forever. The low rates might also give you the flexibility to go with a simple fixed-rate loan.
Right now a quarter of all new home loans are being written up as adjustable-rate loans. Sure, they start off attractive, but with rates more likely to head higher than lower, that could prove a costly decision down the road.
So think smart, but, if at all possible, think fast.
Discussion Board of the Day: Buying or Selling a Home
Yes, our Home Center is a great place to start gathering research on the home hunting process, but how long do you think these low rates will last? If you're selling your home, do you really need a realtor? What is the best way to negotiate a house deal? All this and more -- in the Buying or Selling a Home discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Not yet a member of the Fool Community? Jump into our discussion boards free for 30 days!
McDonald's New Nuggets
While many of us laughed off the obesity lawsuits brought against McDonald's
First, Ronald's bunch began testing adult Happy Meals in Indiana that include a salad, a pedometer, and an exercise booklet. Today, the Chicago Tribune is reporting a rather dramatic and risky move from Mickey D's: revised Chicken McNuggets.
Over the next six weeks, all the company's restaurants will be serving nuggets made from 100% white meat that will be lower in calories and fat content. "It's clear now that consumers prefer white meat, so we started to work on how we might evolve the McNugget to a situation where it is now all white meat," the appropriately named Wendy Cook -- McDonald's vice president of menu innovation -- told the paper.
Why is it a risky move? The nuggets are one of the company's most popular items, and if the new concoction doesn't deliver the familiar taste and texture, it could harm sales. As Ms. Cook says, "Kid's don't like change. We don't want to disappoint any of our customers, especially our youngest customers."
Here's hoping consumers can stomach the new nuggets... as well as all the healthier innovations industry-wide.
Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Credit Center
Get to know where you stand in the eyes of the lending industry. Check your credit record, find out who's checking it, and fix the boo-boos before you try to apply for a loan. You'll thank us later. (You're welcome!)
More Fool News
- Playing a Sun Buyout?
- The Next Big Thing?
- Making Monopoly Money
- Knight Rides High
- Biovail's Accident
- When Wheels Aren't a Steal
- What Will College Really Cost?
For a list of all our stories from today, see Today's Headlines.
Is Schering-Plough Value or Trap? You decide.... Well, Mathew Emmert's finally, er, done it. He's managed to let his cat teach him (and you) all about financial planning.... Have you had your fill of Weird Financial News today? If not, did you hear the thing about Traverse City, Mich.?
Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Paul Elliott, Mathew Emmert, Jeff Fischer, Tom Jacobs, Jeff Hwang, LouAnn Lofton, Alyce Lomax, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Dave Marino-Nachison, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim