McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD): Current price $94.49
On Monday, the fast food behemoth warned that worldwide sales at established restaurants would be relatively flat in October, and also that weakness would continue in the fourth quarter, placing some sizable pressure on its Chief Executive Don Thompson. The CE has been at the top for over a year, and has shaken up management and menus to drive sales and profits while the chain remains beset by lackluster economic growth and intense rivalry. McDonald’s has posted four consecutive quarters of disappointing sales, according to Hedgeye Risk Management restaurant analyst Howard Penney on Twitter.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Current price $54.29
Is the biggest of the big banks being singled out by United States regulators? Some observers think that the $13 billion settlement JPMorgan Chase is said to be ready set to pay — the largest imposed on a single firm — is evidence of just that. News of the resolution, which broke over the weekend, reaffirmed a view that is pervasive on Wall Street. JPMorgan is being singled out because Jamie Dimon had the effrontery to critique the Dodd-Frank legislation, and then the Obama Administration used the bank’s London Whale fiasco as an excuse to get its revenge on the man previously described as “Obama’s favorite banker.”
However, the former investment banker and best-selling author William Cohan, has the opinion that JPMorgan Chase is only “the first domino in what’s going to be a series of large civil settlements with large payments from Wall Street. There’s going to be more of this to come,” Cohan observed, suggesting the JPMorgan settlement will be the “template for other banks” that were big players in the mortgage-backed securities market, among which incldue Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): Current price $91.05
Johnson & Johnson’s board has declared its fourth-quarter dividend at 66 cents per share, which the same rate the company has paid for the past two quarters, after hiking the payout by 8 percent from 61 cents per share. The board said that the quarterly dividend is payable on December 10 to the holders of record at the close on November 26. The regular dividend payment equates to a $2.64-per-share annual dividend, yielding 2.9 percent based on the current price of Johnson & Johnson’s shares.