Raleigh - http://www.bloggingstocks.com/bloggers/michael-fowlkes/
Blockbuster was once the biggest name in video rentals, but it has been unable to keep up with changes in the market created by companies such as Netflix (NFLX) and Redbox.
Some good news for everyone out there looking for a job: unemployment fell to a two-year low in March, down to 8.8%.
While an 8.8% percent unemployment rate is still nothing to celebrate, it is a clear indication that we are headed in the right direction. Companies hired new employees at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began.
In addition to Libya, oil also got a push today from a falling U.S. dollar. The greenback was down in reaction to speculation the European Central Bank would be raising interest rates, to fight possible inflation.
There are a lot of upset people today following Google's announcement that Kansas City was the company's choice for its blistering fast 1 Gbps broadband Internet.
When Google (GOOG) announced its desire to find a place to test the development of a 1 gigabit fiber to the home network last February, cities and towns all across the nation started working on their presentations to get Google to come to their area. Google received 1,100 applications, but in the end, it is Kansas City that got the nod.
According to the ADP Employer Services Report, the private sector added 201,000 new jobs in March, basically in-line with 203,000 new jobs that analysts had been expecting to see.
February's figures were revised downwards to 208,000 from a previously estimated 216,000 new jobs.
March's employment gains bring the four-month average of new jobs to 211,000, more than enough to keep the labor track on path. Analysts estimate that the economy needs to add 125,000 new jobs each month in order to keep up with population growth, so any jobs over that figure result in a lower unemployment figures.
Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) reported its fiscal second quarter results this morning, topping analyst estimates and sending the stock higher in premarket trading.
For the quarter, Family Dollar reported it earned 98 cents per share, topping analyst estimates by a penny. During the same period last year, the company earned 81 cents per share.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index read 74 during February, but dipped in March all the way down to 63.4. Going into today's reading, analysts had been expecting to see the consumer confidence index decline, but only to 65.
Going into this afternoon's earnings report, analysts had been expecting to see Oracle report earnings of 50 cents per share. Excluding one time items, Oracle stated that its quarterly earnings were 54 cents.
Going into the earnings report, analysts had been expecting to see Best Buy report earnings of $1.84 per share for the quarter. Best Buy topped estimates by posting earnings of $1.98 per share.
The book seller has been searching for months for a potential buyer, and the search will likely continue for a couple more weeks, but people close to the bidding process have stated that it looks unlikely that the company will be able to find a buyer.
Going into the earnings report, analysts had been expecting to see the Pittsburgh-based company report earnings of $0.43 per share, but the company beat by a penny with earnings of $0.44. During the same period last year the company had earnings of $0.38 per share.
This is the fourth year in a row that the Cupertino based company has grabbed the top slot. Apple's respect comes mainly due to the company's ability to release new products at an amazingly quick pace, often updating its main product lines at least once a year.
As we noted in our earnings preview yesterday, analysts had been expecting to see the company post earnings of $3.06 per share. AutoZone shattered analyst estimates with reported earnings of $3.34 a share.
Going into tomorrow's earnings report, analysts are expecting to see Autozone announce earnings of $3.06 per share. During the same period last year the company had earnings of $2.46.
The housing market got a bit of bad news Monday morning, with pending home sales falling faster than expected in January.
Consumer confidence has been on the rise over the past couple of months, but that boost in confidence did not carry over to pending home sales, which were down 2.8% during the month of January.