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Two Ways To Play: Marvel a Superhero To Investors


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

Marvel Strong on Iron Man and Hulk

Marvel (MVL) beat expectations for the second quarter this morning. The comic book publisher posted a profit of $0.59, which was 14 cents better than consensus forecast of $0.45. Revenues rose 54.6% year-over-year to $157 million, also above expectations of $131 million. For fiscal year 2008, the company expects profits in the range of $1.55-$1.75 which isn't comparable to expectations of $1.96. It also sees 2008 revenues in the range of $450-$480 million. notes that this updated guidance reflects a modest increase in full year contributions from its licensing segment and slightly reduced operating income due to publishing. Revenues and expenses from its feature films Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk have also been included in its financial guidance.

From the Bull Pen: In this space, is Hasbro (HAS) a better play off of the 50 DMA ($37.20)? Those bullish can set sell-stops below that level.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can look to Mattel (MAT) for a downside play. Buy-stops can be set above $21.

Toyota Unit Cutting Staff

The Wall Street Journal reports a production unit of Toyota (TM), based in southern Japan, said it laid off about 800 workers in June and August to cut production of vehicles bound for the U.S. The figure amounts to about 10% of the unit's overall workforce and comes days after Toyota said sales in the U.S. fell 18.7% on year in July. A spokesman for the unit did say, however, that it will rehire 500 workers in autumn or afterward to prepare to increase output, an indication that the company expects the adjustment to last only several months. See Professor Jeff Macke's comments on Toyota in yesterday's article, Back to School Blues for Costco, Wal-Mart.

From the Bull Pen: Although Toyota's stock is suffering through a long-term downtrend, the stock could find support near the $80 mark. Bulls can test the upside for a quick trade should the stock reach that level. Tight sell-stops can be set below.

From the Bear Cave: Bears might see an opportunity in Harley-Davidson (HOG) with the thesis that the stock will likely retest its July low. Buy-stops can be set above $39.50.

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

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed mostly lower with the Hang Seng -2.51%, Nikkei -0.14%, Sensex +2.63%, Taiwan -2.35% and Shanghai -1.86%..

A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +1.61%, DAX +2.23%, FTSE +1.80%

A Look At Commodities

Commodities are lower. Crude oil is down -2.53 to 118.88. Gold is off -17.30 to 882.80. Silver is lower -0.525 to 16.615, and copper is down -5.65 to 343.10.

The dollar index is higher +0.402 to 73.863.

On the Radar


10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite; 48.8 cons, 48.2 prior
14:15 U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee Meeting
14:15 FOMC Rate Decision; 2.0% cons, 2.0% prior

Click here for the full trading radar.

Happy Tuesday! Good luck!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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