Facebook, Alphabet Stock Could See Boosts From Direct-To-Consumer Brands

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Description: Upstart direct-to-consumer brands—think Warby Parker eyeglasses or Allbirds shoes—should give a sustained boost to companies such as Facebook (ticker: FB) and Alphabet ’s (GOOGL) Google that benefit from their marketing efforts. Source: Barrons.com Date: Feb 25, 2019 Link: https://www.barrons.com/articles/facebook-alphabet-stock-could-see-boosts-from-direct-to-consumer-brands-51551111477 Questions for discussion: Summarize what the report says about changes taking place online. What does this mean for investors?

The $1 reason to keep buying one of the S&P’s hottest stocks: Netflix

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Description: There’s been some fist-bumping among the Netflix faithful this week, as the video streamer’s “Roma” walked away with multiple honors at Hollywood’s Oscars. Source: MarkWatch.com Date: Feb 26, 2019 Link: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-the-1-reason-to-snap-up-one-of-the-sps-hottest-stocks-2019-02-26 Questions for discussion: What does the article say about Netflix, pricing and its stock appreciation potential? Do you agree with this assessment?

Opinion: How the Upper Middle Class Is Really Doing

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Description: Is it more similar to the top 1 percent or the working class? Source: NYTimes.com Date: Feb 24, 2019 Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/opinion/income-inequality-upper-middle-class.html?fbclid=IwAR2FSM1zNTrM5USXVZCPKjRW5w4RVA1kI5nOlNE43OrLfLkUmAV74SxxEdM Questions for discussion: What does the research data say about the distribution of wealth since 1980? How much do you think real estate and the stock market have contributed to this phenomenon? Should… Read more »

GE shares surge 13% after Danaher agrees to buy biopharma business for $21.4 billion

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Description: Danaher will buy the biopharmaceutical business of General Electricin a $21.4 billion deal, the companies announced Monday. Source: CNBC.com – video report Date: Feb 25, 2019 Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/25/danaher-to-buy-the-general-electrics-bio-pharma-business-life-sciences-for-21point4-billion.html Questions for discussion: What motivated the deal for each firm? Explain the rise in stock values? Is this deal good for GE investors in the long run?

Why the $15.4 billion Kraft Heinz brand write-down was unusual

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Description: The ‘mega-impairment’ was non-routine and event driven according to research firm Audit Analytics Source: MarketWatch.com Date: Feb 22, 2019 Link: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-154-billion-kraft-heinz-brand-write-down-was-unusual-2019-02-22 Questions for discussion: What does the article say about the reporting issues at the firm? Do you think investors will be affected?

Warren Buffett’s Big Consumer Bets Bite Back

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Description: Warren Buffett has warned investors to stay in their circle of competence when it comes to bets. But now, more than 30 years after Buffett started plowing money into Coca-Cola Co., the rules of the consumer-product game have changed. Source: Bloomberg.com – video report Date: Feb 22, 2019 Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-22/buffett-s-consumer-bets-bite-as-kraft-coca-cola-face-pressure?srnd=premium Questions for discussion: Why did… Read more »

Warren Buffett wants to make an ‘elephant-sized’ purchase, but says ‘prices are sky-high’

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Description: Despite a sour year in which Berkshire Hathaway posted a loss and was forced to write down $3 billion on its investments, Warren Buffett told shareholders that he wants to make a big acquisition. Source: CNBC.com Date: Feb 23, 2019 Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/23/warren-buffett-wants-to-make-an-elephant-sized-purchase-but-says-prices-are-sky-high.html Questions for discussion: What does this report say about the strategy Buffett employs for… Read more »

Kraft Heinz has lost the one thing that distinguished it from General Mills and Mondelez

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Description: The one thing Kraft Heinz had going for it was its profit margins. Now, it doesn’t even have that. Source: CNBC.com – video report Date: Feb 22, 2019 Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/22/kraft-heinz-lost-what-distinguished-it-from-general-mills-mondelez.html Questions for discussion: What does the article say about changes taking place in the food industry? How should investors deal with the challenges?

5 things to know about Levi Strauss & Co. before it goes public

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Description: Levi Strauss & Co. outlines a number of strengths ahead of its IPO, but also faces challenges like climate change Source: MarketWatch.com Date: Feb 16, 2019 Link: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-levi-strauss-co-before-it-goes-public-2019-02-15 Questions for discussion: What does the article say about the IPO? Do you think it represents a good investment?

Amazon abandoning NYC headquarters is a cautionary tale for big tech

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Description:  Amazon’s (AMZN) abandonment of its proposed HQ2 location in New York City is a cautionary tale for tech companies looking to open offices in new cities, several members of the tech community told Yahoo Finance. Source: Finnance.Yahoo.com – video report Date: Feb 06, 2019 Link: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-long-island-city-lessons-163016646.html Questions for discussion: Summarize what the article says about management’s strategic… Read more »