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Ticker Shock: McDonald's Tasty as Ever; Yahoo, GM, Beazer Looking Sour

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Monday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.

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Friday was pretty sweet. Whaddaya say we do it again?

Given the Chinese stimulus plan, it looks like we might. Asia is in the green. The Hang Seng was up more than 3%, and the Nikkei was up more than 5%. Europe is showing me some green this morning as well. The Dow is off, and in positive territory.

General Motors (GM)
There's been a lot of talk over the past few days that GM is in a world of hurt - it could probably use some cash, and fast. The good news for the company (and perhaps for other automakers): The Democrats may want to pony up some cash to save the ailing industry.

But would I buy the stock?

Nah. I don't want to bet on politicians. Of course the stock could pop if the government does end up "saving" these guys. However, until the company can convince me it's going to do things differently regarding costs as well as product, I think I'll steer clear.

Beazer Homes (BZH)
Early this morning, Beazer offered up some insight into the fourth quarter.

I saw both good and bad in the release. The bad: Home closings were down 38.2% from last year. The good: Its cancellation rate came in at 45.7%, which was actually an improvement from the 68.1% it experienced in the comparable period last year. Of course, that's still a pretty darn high number.

It didn't offer up any earnings guidance. But take a look at the expectations currently out there - it's a flood of red ink.

So here's the deal: This is one of those companies that I want to believe in, that I would consider bottom-fishing. But until I have some sense that things are getting unambiguously better, I can't justify pulling the trigger.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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