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Two Ways To Play: It's a Jungle Out There... Unless You're Amazon


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

Amazon Amazing!

Amazon (AMZN) doubled its profit in the second quarter with aggressive discounting and free-shipping programs which helped lure shoppers who have grown more cautious about spending.

Shares of the world's largest Internet retailer jumped nearly 9% in after-hours trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings of 37 cents a share, and a 41% increase in revenue to $4.06 billion. Further, the company raised its revenue forecast for the year to between $19.35 billion to $20.1 billion, and expects full-year profits in the range of $745 million to $920 million. See Professor Scott Reeves' column TiVo, Amazon Ask You to "Buy It Now."

From the Bull Pen: The better retail plays may be in the warehouses. BJ's (BJ) may be an option as the stock approaches the $35 level.

From the Bear Cave: AMZN's strategy and execution can only go so far. In the end, consumer demand will falter. Bears can fade (read: sell) this strength into the $80 level.

Nokia and Qualcomm Settle

Reuters reports top mobile phone maker Nokia (NOK) and U.S. firm Qualcomm (QCOM) have settled on a patent agreement ending three years of legal battles. The agreement which calls for Nokia to make upfront payments and royalties to QCOM for the next 15 years covers the world's most widely used mobile phone technologies and some key emerging ones. The companies said the net royalty rate for Nokia would decline, but did not disclose other financial details. Shares of NOK rose 1% overseas, but QCOM is up 20% in the premarkets. Professor Sean Udall mentioned Qualcomm yesterday in Qualcomm Sending Strong Signal.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Udall has said QCOM is a solid play, but does Nokia have more room to the upside? Sell-stops can be set below yesterday's close ($26.70).

From the Bear Cave: Is AT&T (T) the bad tech play? Bears might be tempted to play the downside if the shares can rally to $34.

For more ideas in real time throughout the trading day, check out Minyanville's Buzz & Banter.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.20%, Nikkei +2.18%, Sensex -1.11%, Taiwan +0.80% and Shanghai +2.55%.

Glancing across the pond, we see the CAC -0.62%, DAX -0.76%, FTSE -0.56%

As of 8:10 AM EST, S&P futures are lower -3.4 points to 1279, and Nasdaq futures are up +6.5 points to 1855.

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are lower. Crude oil is down -0.22 to 124.21. Gold is lower -1.60 to 921.20. Silver is lower -0.545 to 17.400, and copper is off -2.65 to 369.00.

The dollar index is up +0.103 to 72.913.

On the Radar


8:30 Initial Jobless Claims: 366 k prior
8:30 Continuing Claims: 3122 k prior
10:00 Existing Home Sales: 4.95M cons, 4.99M prior
10:00 Existing Home Sales MoM: -0.9% cons, 2.0% prior

Click here for the full trading radar.

Happy Thursday! Good luck and good trading!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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