Fast Food, McDonald’s (MCD), and Fast Profits

We’ve got new highs, ladies and bohunks, on all the major indexes. It’s a certified breakout, and considering the charts we’re about to show you, it’s also setting up to be one wham-doggy, slap’o’the porpoise affair. This is a chart of where Main Street is currently situated vis-à-vis the stock market. And as you can see, there’s not a whole lot of enthusiasm for equities these days. Despite the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ posting new all-time highs this week, the American Association of Individual Investors has now declined for ten of the last twelve weekly readings and is fast approaching six year lows. Given the contrarian nature of this indicator, it is not conceivable that a market top is in place or that one is even remotely close. Individual investors are, as a group, among the worst market timers in the game. They consistently vote, as a group, to sell at bottoms and buy at tops. The latest AAII reading must be understood in this context. Extreme pessimistic readings are a green light to load up – not sell. Next Up: Corporate Cash, Where is it Heading? Our next chart (below) shows that against Main Street’s myopia, corporate America’s vision…

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Oil falls to five-year low, China exports slow, McDonald’s (MCD) same-store sales sink and Alipay platform (BABA) jumps in usage

Markets opened lower on Monday morning after oil dipped to a five-year low. The price for a barrel of oil dropped more than $2 per barrel to $66.77. Pricing this low has not been recorded since October of 2009. This drop followed the recent meeting where OPEC decided they would not be cutting oil production despite the dropping price. There was also a report released on Friday by Morgan Stanley, which said that they predict oil prices could hit $43 per barrel next year. Adam Longson, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, said, “Without OPEC intervention, markets risk becoming unbalanced with peak oversupply likely in the second quarter of 2015.” Concerns of global growth were mounting after China announced a less than stellar economic report. China announced that exports rose 4.7% and imports fell 6.7% in November. This left the country with a trade surplus of $54.5 billion. Economists were expecting exports to grow 8.2%, imports to rise 3.9% and hold a trade surplus of $43.5 billion. Andy Ji, a senior currency strategist with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said, “Despite another record surplus, the details paint a grim picture with slower export growth and a contraction in commodity imports in volume terms.”…

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U.S. Postal Service data breach, McDonalds (MCD) sales down and General Motors (GM) ordered parts two months before recall

Markets were heading slightly higher on Monday after the United States Postal Service announced that there was a data breach the affected it’s employees and their call center. They reported that nearly 800,000 employees have had their personal information compromised along with customer’s data that called into the call center from January through August of this year. The information that was compromised from employees could include things such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and more. David Partenherimer, the spokesman for USPS, said that they start alerting employees on Monday morning and they would be covering a year of credit monitoring for it’s employees. He also said, “The intrusion is limited in scope and all operations of the Postal Service are functioning normally.” The FBI is leading the investigation. Shares of McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) were relatively flat after the company announced that worldwide sales at their established restaurants were down in October. The company partially attributed the drop from stiffer competition and their supplier scandal in Japan and China. Sales at stores open at least 13 months were down 0.5%. This did, however, beat out analysts’ expectations of a 2.2% drop. When focusing just on the U.S. same-store sales…

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