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Macke's Movers: Starbucks' Missteps


Coffee giant blames economy for self-inflicted wounds.


Hello from New York, where I just got back from the emergency room with my daughter. She'd gotten her finger stuck in a wooden train-track and not all the home-remedies in the world (at least that her dad could think of) would get the thing loose. As it turned out, the answer was to rush to the hospital and let the kid wiggle the thing off while we checked in. A quick cone and a hug later and she can't even tell which finger was involved.

And it's good she's feeling better. She'll need that health to take care of me as the stress and frustration of the morning lopped a good five years off the end of her dad's life. Here's what I'm watching in the meantime:

  • Starbucks (SBUX) is really starting to annoy me. On April 9th I suggested Starbucks: A) cut the menu in half; B) dump baristas in favor of kids with mops; C) stop with the music sales and D) Ignore the economy and competition. Instead the company warned last night, citing the "worst economy in SBUX history" and insisted folks still want to spend money at SBUX but just can't afford it. Balderdash. I can't say for sure how the market would react to my plan but I can say for certain that Wall Street is selling the plan SBUX is using so far.

  • Nintendo (NTDOY) is down a tick after forecasting slightly weaker results for the year. While we're giving advice I'll say this to Nintendo: Make more Wii units. The hardware is still in limited stock.

  • About a year after suggesting he'd pay "mid-30's or more" for Wendy's (WEN), Nelson Peltz is buying the chain for what seems to be a bunch of Arbys (TRY and TRY.B) stock and a bagful of magic beans. In a perfect world, Triarc would have announced the deal via its newly signed free agent spokesman, the Hamburglar.

  • I suspect the same folks hoarding rice this week spent last month selling their wedding bands to buy metal detectors. It's a fake crisis, folks, but I'd bet Minyans already know that.

  • In the same vein (or field, if you will), Potash (POT) did nothing wrong and is getting battered today. I love the company but see no reason to rush on the stock. POT could drop another 15% and do nothing wrong, technically. If it rallies from this level, I'm content to admire it from afar.

  • Microsoft (MSFT), a company I admire from up-close, reports tonight. Love it though I do, from a trading perspective the 8% one-month run into tonight's number gives me pause. I'm holding my long position where it is and I'm rooting for a pullback.
Position in MSFT.

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