With the introduction of a reformulated Sprite, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is taking a risk with one of its important brands to find new ways to retain customers more sensitive than ever about the adverse health effects of sugar and sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners make up a significant portion of the soft drink market, and both Coke's and PepsiCo’s (NYSE:PEP) last earnings reports revealed stagnant growth in major markets while emerging market growth is still proceeding apace. The need to find ways to stimulate demand in the US and Europe is becoming acute, and the drive toward higher perceived food quality is one vector to turn around shrinking margins.
Stevia, unlike aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose is an extract from a plant, and therefore carries the connotation of being natural, which is becoming more and more important in today’s food and beverage market. Ben & Jerry’s, a division of Unilever (NYSE:UL), made headlines recently with its pledge to eschew the use of GMO foods in its ice cream’s supply chain by 2015.
With the upcoming overhaul of the U.S. health care market, known as the Affordable Care Act – that’s ObamaCare in common political parlance – it is expected that there will be a drive towards specialization in the pharmacy industry. Looking at recent history we’ve seen the pharmacy majors come out with their Q1 2013 as well as Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), AKA Walgreens, and Alliance Boots (Private) receiving regulatory approval to purchase an equity stake in AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC).
Read the rest at Market Playground.
My goal here is not only to provide knowledge but also to dispel a myth, the myth that markets are predictive. They are not. They are probabilistic. My trading methodology revolves around defining and assessing those probabilities based on a stock’s past behavior and the distribution of that behavior.
On the one hand, quantitative analysis is defined as a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and trading volume. Technical analysis (TA), on the other hand, uses charts and other tools to identify patterns that can suggest future activity. A security’s intrinsic value is of no interest.
Read the rest over at Trading Markets.
Gold prices after an historic crash have rebounded very sharply. Since hitting $1320 per ounce on Monday April, 15th, Gold (NYSEMKT:GLD) has risen as much as $145 and looks ready to climb even higher to end this week.
Gold has risen every year since 2001 but is off more than 10% this year so far. Investors buy the yellow metal as protection against currency and savings buying power erosion. But, the combination of poor economic data and slowing inflation despite the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing had investors skittish about the Fed ending its monetary stimulus program. That’s the official story. There are reports of failures to deliver allocated gold circulating as well as the announcement that allocated bullion accounts at Dutch banking giant ABN Amro would be settled in cash rather than physical metal which has radically increased the demand for the physical metal around the world
Read the rest at Investor's Hub Daily
Graphics chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is in a difficult position long term. While its discrete graphics card business is still relatively strong, taking market share in 2012 from rival AMD (NYSE:AMD), this is a market that, overall, will continue to shrink in the coming months and years. To its credit Nvidia has attempted to move into different markets, most notably the low-power mobile SoC (system on a chip) market with its Tegra line of ARM-based solutions. Now, it is in the process of launching its fourth generation of the Tegra based on the Cortex A-15 core, for which early benchmarks are long on big numbers and short on context. The news last month confirming rumors that the company would not be supplying the SoC at the heart of the next Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet deals a serious blow to the company’s projected sales for the rest of 2013.
Read the rest over at Minyanville.