The stock market can be as ruthless as nature itself: Some stocks get pummeled when disaster strikes, while others climb higher. And just as homeowners board up their houses and stock up on water, investors can fortify their portfolios when storm clouds loom. As respectfully as possible, we review what Irene hath wrought, in search of lessons.
Storms are always good for hardware-home improvement superstores, as droves of people stock up on supplies beforehand and work to repair any damage afterwards. If you want to try to profit from the wake of Hurricane Irene, the orange-aproned merchant is the one to turn to.
Earnings season is almost over, and corporate America has so far provided a steady stream of strong earnings to counter the doom-and-gloom headlines. Last week, the focus was squarely on retailers, and they didn't disappoint: A diverse group of companies beat estimates, showing that U.S. consumers are far from finished.
What does the current state, and the likely future, of the American real estate market mean for companies like Home Depot and Lowe's? We break down the numbers to see which (if either) is a good investment.
Given the market's extreme and distressing gyrations over the past week, you'd be forgiven for thinking corporate earnings had been, on the whole, disappointing. But that's not actually the case: A large majority of public companies have performed quite well.
Next week brings more earnings reports from big-name companies, including several home improvement giants, a couple of "good enough" computer makers, penny-pinching discount masters, and office supplier Staples -- whose results might stand as an indication of the broader economy's health.
After Lumber Liquidators cut its full-year revenue forecast Thursday, investors took the nation's largest hardwood flooring specialist to the woodshed. But while the short-term will be challenging, this highly profitable company still has a strong position and ample room to grow.
Over the last few years, Home Depot has expanded its retail stores aggressively, adding more than 200 outlets annually. However, the firm has recently embarked on a $1.1 billion program to improve its Web presence while dramatically reducing the number of new store openings to around 10 in 2011.
As the competition between home improvement heavyweights Lowe's and Home Depot intensifies, customer service is emerging as one of the key features on which they will need to innovate. Lowe's latest attempt is a new incentive program for customers paying with the store's credit card.
With Amazon eating up retail sales in the U.S., Best Buy has long looked like a questionable bet. But now, with its stock price depressed and a revitalized sales strategy, the big blue store is looking like a good -- and undervalued -- bet.
Major benchmarks have stalled after climbing by double digits during the previous two quarters. So what's an investor to do? Investment guru Jim Cramer has some tips on what you should avoid and where you'll find the best bets in the second quarter.
Spring is just around the corner and as we begin cleaning up our homes and adding a fresh coat of paint to our walls, there are stocks that could benefit. Nikhil Hutheesing and Dan Burrows face-off on three springtime stocks: Sherwin Williams, Toro and Home Depot. Watch the video for the bull and bear cases.