The Daily Dose: Irksome Friday Factoids

 | Mar 28, 2014 | 11:30 AM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

lulu

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wmt

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FB

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twtr

With the stock market quietly on a skid, and with useless banter about trading ranges floating around, here is list of neat factoids for you this Friday. Please do have a wonderful weekend.

1. U.S. stocks have declined in four of the past five sessions. Whoa -- earnings-warning season can't start soon enough!

2. The Nasdaq Biotech (NBI) fund is down 11% since the end of February. It has gained 304% over the past five years.

3. Whoopsie, the Russell 2000 Index has shed 2.7% since the end of February.

4. Facebook (FB) is down 11% month to date. WhatsApp with that?

5. Twitter (TWTR) is down 16% month to date. So much for that deal with Dr. Dre.

If there is anything for the bulls to hang their hats on during this stealth stock pullback, it's this: When market players book profits, that cash is not really finding a home elsewhere. There appears to be this wait-and-see approach in force right now, and it will probably persist until the March employment report.

My Views on Lululemon

Lululemon's (LULU) same-store sales went negative for the fiscal fourth quarter -- a once-unthinkable development. First-quarter earnings guidance was well below consensus, as well. This is worrying, even if we consider that Lululemon is not known for guiding in-line during times of operational greatness.

EPS guidance for the full year, maenwhile, implies a long-awaited turnaround in the company's financial statements, driven by tighter product manufacturing and an army of new products: As new CEO Laurent Potdevin noted, the company has to work on "reigniting [its] product engine." This is all a second-half thing, meaning the company risks implementing these plans during a period of intensifying competition in athleticwear, both in new shop openings in large-format stores and better online experiences on the part of rivals.

Yet the stock popped in response -- which is odd. But I will not be jumping on this ship right now. First, to date, Lululemon is still suffering declines in store traffic. Second, the company is seeing more strength in lower-margin seasonal products, which tells me people are buying cheaper athleticwear from rivals. We definitely saw this in the results from Nike (NKE) and Under Armour (UA).

So You Think I'm Crazy on Wal-Mart

Hopefully you watched this video, and read the supporting text, I did on Wal-Mart (WMT) Monday. Let the below photo, which a contact shared with me, serve as yet another visual reminder of what I detailed in the video.

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