3 Consumer Stock Stories for Midweek Investment Shopping

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX): Closing price $70.72

According to Brand Eating, the beverage behemoth is testing “handcrafted” sodas at stores in Atlanta and Austin. The report says that, “The kicker here is that Starbucks is using a machine to add carbonation to the drinks so that you can ask them to adjust the level of fizz to your liking.”

The flavors include Lemon Ale, Ginger Ale, and Spiced Root Beer, all concocted on the spot by a barista and therefore advertised as being fresher than soda direct from a can. Starbucks says that the drinks are made with natural ingredients, “no preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no artificial flavors.” The Spiced Root Beer is characterized as “a refreshing blend of classic root beer and signature Starbucks Chai spices that include cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.”

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN): Closing price $294.70

The online retail giant is accelerating its warehouse building spree, heralding the importance of getting products to customers more quickly while experiencing increasing competition from EBay Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Amazon’s center in Chattanooga was launched in 2011 after taking roughly 10 months, compared with as much time as two years for older warehouses.

Boasting more space and tech that makes it easier to locate items, the building forms part of Amazon’s nearly $13.9-billion spending binge on 50 new facilities since 2010, which is  more than it spent on warehouses in its lifetime, and brought the total to 89 at the end of 2012. What is more, Amazon has announced five more in the United States for 2013. Vice President, Worldwide Operations and Customer Service Dave Clark observed during an interview in Chattanooga, that, “We’ve standardized them in such a way that opening them and replicating them happens very fast.”

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J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Closing price $13.32

In at eye-popping admission in his second-quarter letter to investors in Pershing Square Capital Management LP, Bill Ackman conceded that some high-profile investments are not exactly behaving the way that he would like, especially after he resigned from the board of J.C. Penney & Co. Ackman said that Pershing may ultimately divest its 17.7-percent position in the retailer.

In the letter, the activist investor stepped back and peered broadly at Pershing’s investment track record and then declared that all told, “our successes vastly overwhelm our failures. Clearly, retail has not been our strong suit, and this is duly noted,” adding that, “We may choose to exit J.C. Penney after more or less time depending on developments at the company, the stock price, and the availability of other investment opportunities.”

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Stock Picker Newsletter now.


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