Marriott Pushes Into China, Sam’s Club To Rival Costco: Consumer Biz Update

Shares of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) fall over the cliff following a miss on earnings along with lowered guidance, which has ignited a spate of analyst downgrades. Notable Calls has warned investors to stay clear of a value play as word gets out the company’s business model is “broken.”

Department stores and mall-based retailer shares held up fairly well in early trading, following chatter that the storm’s effects would cause them trouble in the fourth quarter. However, analysts are wondering how to predict which of the companies will be able to recover lost sales. There were two exceptions to Wednesday’s pattern, as shares of J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP) and Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) lost ground notably, having had a somewhat larger percentage of stores in the path of Hurricane Sandy than the sector average.

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Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) is expanding in China at the rate of one hotel a month during the next five years. Both larger metropolitan areas and secondary cities are being targeted.

Sam’s Club (NYSE:WMT) Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer predicts that higher pricing, new brands, and promotions will aid in building the division into a $80 billion to $100 billion juggernaut to challenge Costco. Additionally, she foresees the chain establishing more stores in metropolitan areas, along with reinforcing efforts to push online sales.

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