RB's "Morning Market Notes" Waiting on Fed, Pixar's "Brave", Burger King, NBA Sponsors Win & More

By: Rob Black - Wed, 20 Jun 2012 11:30:20 -0800

Top Stories This Morning

Greece Works Toward Coalition.   Greek political leaders struck an agreement on a governing coalition that will seek relief from austerity measures tied to emergency loans.

Federal Reserve concludes its two-day, monthly policy meeting today.  Will they restart its government asset swap program known as “Operation Twist” in order to help provide greater liquidity to the U.S. economy

Adobe Systems cut its full-year revenue outlook, suggesting that weak demand in Europe could affect sales of recently launched versions of its popular design software.

Procter & Gamble forecast that annual earnings for its coming fiscal year would be either flat or up by a mid-single digit percentage amount, with underlying sales set to show a 2 to 4 percent increase. The reduced forecasts illustrate the difficulties faced by consumer-products makers as rising unemployment in Europe an dNorth America restricts spending.

This Morning’s “Winners & Losers”

Loser: Market Waits For Federal Reserve Action
Winner: Disney’s Pixar's 'Brave' Hits Theaters
Winner: NBA Sponsors Winning  Like LeBron James
Loser: Burger King Goes Public
Loser: Craiglist Kills Matt Groening’s 'Life in Hell'
Winner: Gas prices Drop 10  Straight Weeks 
Loser: Housing is an Investors Market Not Buyers
Winner: Video Game Investing Diablo 3 & Black Ops
Winner: Disney’s Pixar's 'Brave' Hits Theaters

Pixar’s Summer 2012 film, Brave, hits theaters this weekend.

The film is getting good reviews.

But looking to the future a trailer for Disney/Pixar’s big Summer 2012 film, Monster University hit the web today.

The movie is a prequel to Pixar’s 2001 film Monsters, Inc. which earned $525 million at the global box office.

This is only the third Pixar movie to get a second film. The first was Toy Story which earned $2 billion at the global box office ($1 billion of it from Toy Story 3). With Cars 2 last summer Cars became the second film to earn a franchise. Now Monsters, Inc.

Dream Works Animation  has #1 movie in America right now with Madagascar 3.

Winner: NBA Sponsors Winning  Like LeBron James

LeBron James in on the verge on winning his first National Basketball Association championship.
League’s sponsors can already claim victory.

While football remains the most popular sport in the U.S., the NBA has the most fans in China, with more than 52 million followers.

Basketball advertisers like Yum Brands , the owner of Taco Bell and KFC restaurants, is aggressively opening restaurants in China.  Yum’s China’s revenues equal roughly 44% in total.

Other NBA sponsors include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca-Cola , Sirius Xm Radio, Live Nation,  Cisco and Sprint Nextel.

McDonalds is not an NBA sponsor but they do sponsor King James.

Loser: Burger King Goes Public

Shares of Burger King opened at $14.50.

The world's second-biggest hamburger chain said is known for its "Whopper" hamburgers.

Burger King struggles to compete with McDonalds in the U.S.

Burger King will open 1,000 restaurants in the China over the next five to seven years.

 Burger King earlier this month announced plans to open several hundred new locations in Russia and  inked with a franchisee in Brazil last year.

Loser: Craiglist Kills Matt Groening’s 'Life in Hell'

32 years, Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening quietly pulled the plug last week on his Life in Hell syndicated comic strip.

Life in Hell is an urban tale of a bunny named Binky and his girlfriend, Sheba.

Newspapers have been dying for years due to the internet.

Groening paid just $18 a week for the strip.

He lost money for last 10 years.

At its height, Life in Hell was distributed to 379 newspapers. Now it's down to just 38.
Alternative papers  were  hurt badly by the loss of classified ads, which went to Craigslist and other websites cut back.

Groening’s  second animated series, Futurama, which returns tonight  for another season on Comedy Central.

Winner: Gas prices Drop 10  Straight Weeks 

Gasoline prices have dropped for the 10th week in a row and are closing in on falling below $3.50 a gallon.  Lowest levels since January.

The average price of a gallon of gas is  $3.58

That's down 4 cents in a week and  down from  $3.76 a year ago at this time.

Prices peaked in April just shy of $4 a gallon.

Why the falling prices? Blame the declining price of oil from $105 a barrel to roughly $80 a barrel. 
Weakened world economy, especially given the problems in Europe.

California is the only "region" where average gas prices are still above $4 a gallon.

Loser: Housing is an Investors Market Not Buyers

As the nation's housing market shows signs of bottoming after years of declining prices, many first-time buyers are getting a rude awakening. Instead of having their pick of homes to buy in some markets, they're losing houses to cash buyers and bidders with bigger down payments, or they're facing bidding wars spurred by shrinking numbers of homes for sale.

The competition is for lower-price homes in markets hard-hit by foreclosure, such as Phoenix, Miami and parts of Southern California , or those with relatively strong economies, such as Washington, D,C, and San Francisco.

First-time buyers who use FHA loans might be in for the toughest time. They're frequently low-down-payment bidders

Winner: Video Game Investing Diablo 3 & Black Ops
At E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), Activision Blizzard (ATVI) updated guidance and is comfortable with 2012 earnings per share estimates which was reinforced by the slate of games at the conference.

The upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will likely be the top selling game in the holiday shopping season due to its large fan base, advanced weaponries, and new game mode.

World of Warcraft has a new expansion coming so expect the subscribers to rise.

Sales of Diablo III are doing better than expected.

Winner: Kristen Stewart tops Forbes' actress list

The top-10 actresses get paid only about 55 percent of what the top-10 men earn.

The new No. 1 actress is Kristen Stewart, who, thanks to films based on the Twilight books and her "Snow White and the Huntsman," earned a hefty $34.5 million last year.

Cameron Diaz at $34 million
Sandra Bullock at $25 million
 Angelina Jolie at $20 million
Charlize Theron at $18 million.
Veterans Julia Roberts ($16 million)
Sarah Jessica Parker ($15 million)
Meryl Streep ($12 million)
Kristen Wiig ($12 million)
Jennifer Aniston ($11 million).


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