Rally is back, baby.
Stocks Now Love the Weak Dollar
What's the old saying on Wall Street trading floors -- the trend is your friend? Well, there is a new short-term trade emerging that has started to dominate the markets: When the U.S. dollar plunges, stock prices go up. This stands in start contrast to last week when the stock market was going up in flames, fueled by a rise in bond yields. The U.S. dollar continues to fall apart, reaching a 15-month low on Wednesday, Feb. 14, as investors anticipate an era of rising deficits and eroding purchasing power. The selling has intensified since hitting a short-term peak on Feb. 9. Yardeni Research reminded us with this on Thursday, Feb. 15: "A weaker dollar tends to be bullish for corporate revenues and earnings. More bullish for corporations is global growth. Both makes for an even stronger bullish cocktail." Obviously, this dollar weakness is great for multinational giants such as Action Alerts Plus holding Apple (AAPL) , Walmart (WMT) and McDonald's (MCD) .
Speaking of McDonald's
McDonald's said Thursday it will be making changes to its Happy meal menu, with all of its Happy Meal options to have fewer calories, less sodium, less saturated fat and sugar. Gone from the menu will be cheeseburgers and chocolate milk. Mickey D's said the changes will start to be seen in June. On the one hand, McDonald's should be applauded for the efforts. It will no doubt hurt sales, but it had to be done. But can't we just cut through the BS for a second and ask: Why is the company still selling Happy Meals? Why is McDonald's still OK with trying to lure kids into fried foods with cool little toys? Just be done with the entire concept and build a modern-day kids menu without boxes featuring toys and creepy yellow smiles on the outside. That's all I got for you right now on this one.
Goldman Sachs Conference, Day Two
It kills me not to be sucking down Red Bulls at the Goldman Sachs tech conference, and staying up around the clock to write and meet all sorts of people. Grr. Nonetheless, our man Eric Jhonsa is doing a nice job holding down the fort for TheStreet at the event. Jhonsa had this insightful exclusive with PayPal's (PYPL) Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready. He also continues to work the crowds, and will have more stories on the way shortly. A note from Goldman on Twitter (TWTR) caught my attention this morning, especially seeing as founder Jack Dorsey was in attendance. "With revenues inflecting, double-digit engagement growth and improvement in product, management expects further investment in the user and advertiser experience to drive continued strength in Twitter as a platform in 2018. We continue to believe that Twitter is well-positioned to grow share of incremental ad dollars moving online with an attractive margin profile, and that risk/reward skews positive at current valuations." Goldman has a $40 price target on Twitter, or about 17% higher from current levels.
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