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Ticker Shock: Costco Still Safe Play; Harry Winston Only Temporarily Shiny

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

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So my wife didn't think we had enough Christmas lights outside, and surprised me with another string when I got home. I hooked the new ones up - and lo and behold, somehow another string went dead.

Guess who's going be out there again tonight - and in the rain, no less? Honey, electricity and water don't mix too well, do they?

One husband, served extra crispy - coming right up.

Asian markets rose as we slept. The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were both up under 1%. And Europe was showing me some green this morning as well. At present here in the US, we're trading slightly higher.

Costco Wholesale (COST)
The Washington-based company -- which almost surely profited from my wife this holiday season -- turned in its first-quarter results.

Excluding charges, it put up $0.65 per share, which was $0.03 north of estimates.

Long story short, I see the shares are taking a bit of a hit early on the session. However, I think the company is one of the safer plays in retail right now. I'd rather be here than, say, with some of the apparel or mall-based chains.

Given the consumer's growing interest in saving money, I'm thinking the company will fare pretty well in the next few quarters.

Harry Winston (HWD)
The well-known miner and jeweler offered up its third-quarter numbers after the close last night.

In the period ended October 31st, it earned $1.17 a share. That number is a little less shiny when one considers that $0.80 of that came from a strong US dollar. In the comparable period last year, it put up a $0.13 per share loss.

From what I'm seeing, it looks like the stock received a pretty good goose after the open. If I were long, I'd probably use this as a chance to bail and move on to greener pastures. To its credit, however, it does sport an attractive dividend.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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