The Daily Dose: Secret Menus and Risk

 | Jan 23, 2014 | 10:00 AM EST
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I have been trying all this month to find a way to jazz up this column TheStreet trusts me with writing each morning. Mind you, the column has always been super spunky because, hey, that's yours truly. So I think the only path left  is to make this page as visually appealing as possible -- short and punchy and a direct reflection of the Twitter feeds you see lighting up every day. Here we go.

Is Starbucks a Coach or a Best Buy?

Nope, Starbucks (SBUX) isn't either by any stretch of the imagination. But my firm, Belus Capital Advisors, downgraded the stock on Jan. 13, 2014, citing this primary factor:

  1. No appreciation of new risk factors by the broader consensus, such as a food shift that is causing operating issues in the store (and some lost sales) and a shift in how consumers are, well, consuming stuff.

More could be learned in this CNBC video and accompanying pre-earnings prep comments.  I thought these Starbucks tweets that I sourced in an early morning walk-through are helpful (still trying to decipher what the red packets are from an international Starbucks).


Flash: McDonald's Weak Quarter

I wrote this column before McDonald's (MCD) earnings results hit the newswires, so how did I know the quarter was going to be weak? One simple answer: the stores are being fundamentally hurt by the out-of-control new initiatives flowing in from McDonald's headquarters. That is a thought I pointed to here in 40 undercover photos. Avoid the stock: get ready for a strong quarter from Chipotle (CMG).

Starbucks, Chipotle, and McDonald's are loving the social media talk over secret menus.

 Inside EBay

eBay (EBAY) is a stock my firm rated a hold, basically for all of 2013 (I know, not very actionable). I just wasn't digging the market's response to the company's slowing revenue and margin growth rates. As it pertains to the Icahn battle cry news, I can state this from having discussions with EBay in the not too distant past:


Columnist Conversations

The $SLB setup is starting to play out.  Would love to see some follow through in the coming sessio...
we'll roll this one up to april, great earnings and reaction. SOLD CRM MAR 80 CALL AT ...
MSFT may be on the verge of a deep pullback.  Today the stock is taking out key trendline support that li...
good followthrough here and an improving chart, decent flow and price action. BOUGHT CELG APR 120 CAL...



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