The RealMoney contributors are in the business of trading and investing all day on the basis of ongoing news flow. Below, we offer the top five ideas that RealMoney contributors posted today and how they played those ideas.TheStreet.com brings you the news all day, and with RealMoney's "Columnist Conversation," you can see how the pros are playing it on a real-time basis. Here are the top five ideas played today. To see all that RealMoney offers, click here for a free trial. 1. PPI and Retail Sales
By David Sterman
8:32 a.m. EDT After rising 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.2% in the prior three months, core producer prices (PPI) were flat in March, just below the 0.1% consensus. The year-over-year core price inflation rate was up 4.0% in February, but dropped to 3.8% in March. This is still higher than we need to see, but all signs still point to deflationary pressures and not inflationary ones. Retail sales (excluding autos) fell 0.9%, compared to expectations of zero growth. Retail sales are likely to stay weak for quite a while as consumers continue to rebuild savings, so the best path to profit growth for many players will be a reduction in stores. A few more months of weak sales could leads to a fresh round of store closures -- which would be a real positive for the group.
2. JNJ Quarter
By Justin Ferayorni
9:04 a.m. EDT Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) posted a top-line miss and bottom-line beat on tight expense control. The consumer segment declined 5% in the U.S. -- J&J is seeing the same private-label competition as many of the consumer staples names. Medical devices looked OK, while pharma was weak as expected. I'm interested to hear how the company grew Remicade in the quarter -- sales came in at $737 million up 9% in the U.S. Prescriptions were down nearly 20% in the first quarter. The company reiterated guidance for the year. Short JNJ