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Editorial Results (free)

1. Keeping What's Yours: Fund Investing Has Never Been Cheaper -

NEW YORK (AP) – Being cheap pays off when it comes to fund investing, and more investors are heeding the call.

Investing is full of uncertainties, as the gyrations of the past few months attest, and keeping costs low is one of the few things that investors have within their control. Plus, having low fees is a pretty good predictor of a fund's future success, researchers say. That's why it's encouraging that a pair of recent reports show that investors paid less in expenses last year across their stock, bond and other types of funds.

2. Why Wall Street's Worried About Tesla -

Elon Musk's track record for technological feats as chief of SpaceX has turned skeptics into believers in everything from his quest to open space travel to Mars to his desire to build a tunnel for high-speed travel between New York and Washington. As Tesla's CEO, his ambitious vision for electric cars has also earned him a faithful following.

3. Kellogg Says its Frozen Foods are Hot With Millennials -

NEW YORK (AP) – Kellogg, known for Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops cereals, says millennials are hot for its frozen foods, helping boost the company's sales.

Sales of Eggo waffles and MorningStar Farms veggie burgers, both in the frozen foods aisle, jumped more than 10 percent during the first three months of the year, Kellogg said Thursday.

4. Why So Few Female Fund Managers? It's Not Their Performance -

NEW YORK (AP) – Why is just one of every 10 managers at the helm of U.S. mutual funds a woman?

Many reasons may be behind the disparity, but researchers at Morningstar say they have disqualified one as a possibility: performance. After measuring how 11,272 funds have fared since 2003, the researchers found no big, statistically significant difference in performance between those led by men, women or teams of mixed genders.

5. A Fantastic Year for Fund Investors: Everyone's a Winner -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sometimes, everyone's a winner. Last year was one of those times for mutual-fund investors.

Nearly every fund made money during 2017, which ended up being one of the most enjoyable years in history for investors as improvements in corporate profits and economies around the world lifted markets. Even some of the biggest laggards of recent years shared in the gains, including funds that focus on Latin American stocks, commodities and other niches.

6. Wrong Mutual Fund Can Rob Years of Retirement Income -

You may not know it, but there's a class system inside your investment portfolio.

At least there is if you own mutual funds, as nearly 55 million households do. Mutual funds are frequently divided into share classes, which essentially means different fee levels. The same fund – with the same manager, investment holdings and performance – may come at a significantly different cost, depending on the share class you're in.

7. It's Tax Time for Fund Investors, Even Those Doing Nothing -

NEW YORK (AP) – The end of the year can mean tax headaches for some mutual-fund investors, this year potentially more so than others.

Companies have started to warn investors of distributions they'll make by the end of December. For anyone with a fund outside a tax-advantaged account, these payments can trigger a tax bill, even if they never sold any shares themselves.

8. Full Steam Ahead: Funds of All Types Rose Again Last Quarter -

NEW YORK (AP) – Utopia is still in effect for fund investors. Funds of all types again powered higher in the third quarter, as stocks and bonds around the world rose in unison. Not only did investors get strong returns from their funds, they also got them with remarkably few headaches along the way.

9. With 401(k) Accounts Booming, What Should Investors Do? -

NEW YORK (AP) – Did you notice that your toe doesn't hurt because you didn't stub it today?

We tend to pay the closest attention to things when they're going badly, and the same is true of the stock market. When stocks crashed during the financial crisis in 2008, phone lines for financial advisers and 401(k) providers were jammed with panicky investors. Now stocks are at record highs, and the market is tranquil. It's easy to feel comfortable leaving your account on autopilot.

10. Wall Street's Goldman Sachs Moves Quietly Into Main Street -

NEW YORK (AP) – More homeowner, less hedge fund titan. Goldman Sachs, long known for its super-rich clients and well-connected executives, is starting to act a lot more like a neighborhood bank.

11. Many Women Think Men are the Better Investors; They're Not -

NEW YORK (AP) – Many men and women think men are the better investors. They're wrong.

After checking how 8 million of its customers did during 2016, Fidelity Investments found that women did better than men by an average of 0.4 percentage points.

12. After The Fed: What Some Top Bond-Fund Managers Are Saying -

NEW YORK (AP) – Rising rates don't have to mean despair for bond-fund investors.

Yes, the Federal Reserve raised short-term rates Wednesday, the latest move higher in what economists expect to be a long campaign. Bond investors have historically seen rising rates as the enemy because they result in falling prices for the bonds they own.

13. Dow Jones Industrial Average Breaks Through 20,000 Milestone -

The Dow Jones industrial average crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time Wednesday, the latest milestone in a record-setting drive for the stock market.

Strong earnings from Boeing and other big companies helped push the Dow past the threshold early on and had U.S. stocks solidly higher in late-afternoon trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite were on course for record highs of their own after each closed at all-time highs on Tuesday.

14. How the Incredible Shrinking Stock Market Affects Your Fund -

NEW YORK (AP) – More companies don't want you, or any other investor, to buy their stock.

Instead of listing their shares on a stock exchange, businesses are going private or never going public in the first place. Security company ADT, for example, pulled its shares off the market this spring after going private in a nearly $7 billion buyout. Uber, meanwhile, makes it simple for customers to hail a car, but investors can't easily buy a piece of the privately held company, which is valued at more than $60 billion.

15. The Hidden Risk to the Economy in Corporate Balance Sheets -

NEW YORK (AP) – America has a debt problem, but it's not what you think. Yes, the federal government owes trillions of dollars more than it did a few years ago. Yes, Americans are still struggling to pay off mortgages and student loans. But it's the buildup in debt elsewhere that is most worrying some experts, and the big borrower this time may come as a surprise: Corporate America.

16. Costly Financial Fees You May Not Know You're Paying -

At the supermarket, shoppers receive detailed receipts of their scanned and bagged items. After restaurant meals, wait staff hand diners itemized bills. But call out "Check, please!" to a financial services provider and the result might be a rundown of cryptic line items – 12b-1? Expense ratio? Or a passing reference to Part 2 of Form ADV.

17. Morgan Stanley Accused of Mismanaging its 401(k) Plan -

NEW YORK (AP) – Even Wall Street workers are unhappy with how their retirement plans are run.

A participant in Morgan Stanley's 401(k) plan filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in New York alleging that it offers investment options that have too-high fees and poor track records, including some mutual funds run by Morgan Stanley itself. The suit accuses the $8 billion plan of causing "hundreds of millions of dollars" in losses for its roughly 60,000 participants.

18. Report: Walgreens Nears Deal to Buy Rite Aid -

Shares of Rite Aid jumped nearly 40 percent Tuesday afternoon on a report that it may be gobbled up in the next major acquisition by Walgreens, the biggest U.S. drugstore chain.

The Wall Street Journal said Walgreens Boots Alliance is in advanced talks to buy Rite Aid, which is based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. The deal would combine the largest and third-largest U.S. drugstore chains, based on store counts.

19. Caterpillar Says It Could Cut 10,000 Jobs to Reduce Costs -

Caterpillar is planning another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people through 2018, as the construction and mining equipment maker adjusts to downturns in key markets.

That could amount to more than 8 percent of the 126,800 employees it had globally as of June.

20. Tracking Second-Quarter Market Trends -

With the second quarter basically in the rear-view mirror, have the trends that began in the first quarter of the year continued during the second quarter? Or, has there been a reversal? Let’s take a look, starting with the broad global stock markets. All returns are thru Wednesday, June 24:

21. Dow Reshuffle: Apple Joins Blue-Chip Index and Boots AT&T -

NEW YORK (AP) – Apple is in. AT&T is out.

In another victory of sorts for the popular and profitable iPhone giant, Apple will replace AT&T in the venerable Dow Jones industrial average on March 19, the manager of the index announced Friday.

22. 2015 Financial Markets Off to Converse Start From 2014 -

The first two months of the calendar year can present an intriguing opportunity to examine the state of the financial markets, as fourth quarter earning’s season is basically complete. Let’s take a look first at the broad equity markets, starting with a 2014 review:

23. Out-of-Patience Investors Sell Off Amazon -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has long acted like an ideal customer on its own website: a freewheeling big spender with no worries about balancing a checkbook. Investors confident in founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' invest-and-expand strategy flooded into the stock as the company revolutionized shopping, upended the book industry and took on the cloud — even though its vast range of initiatives ate up all the company's profits.

24. Robotic Rise of the S&P -

The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high again last week for the 34th time so far this year. However, U.S. stocks appear increasingly detached.

While the S&P 500 has risen nearly 10 percent year-to-date, stocks outside the US have returned less than 3 percent. In fact, U.S. stocks have pummeled their international competition by an astounding 70 percent over the last five years.

25. Walgreen Turns Down Inversion to Cut Tax Bill -

Walgreen plans to keep its roots firmly planted in the United States, saying it will no longer pursue an overseas reorganization that would have trimmed its U.S. taxes but drew political scorn.

The nation's largest drugstore chain – which bills itself as "America's premier pharmacy" – said Wednesday that it will buy the remaining stake in Swiss health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots that it does not already own.

26. Pharmacy Sales Boost Major Drugstores in June -

A jump in pharmacy revenue fueled June sales growth for two of the nation's largest drugstore chains, and they may start adding gains from the health care overhaul later this year.

Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday that pharmacy revenue from their established stores climbed more than 11 percent at Walgreen and 5 percent at Rite Aid last month. Walgreen runs the nation's largest drugstore chain with 8,215 stores, while Rite Aid ranks third with 4,754. The company in the middle, CVS Caremark Corp., doesn't report monthly results.

27. Savers Beware: Fees May be Shrinking Your 401(k) -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It's the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees.

And now a new study finds that the typical 401(k) fees – adding up to a modest-sounding 1 percent a year – would erase $70,000 from an average worker's account over a four-decade career compared with lower-cost options. To compensate for the higher fees, someone would have to work an extra three years before retiring.

28. Report: Exchanges Yield More Specialty Drug Claims -

Patients from the health care overhaul's new insurance exchanges have been more likely to use expensive specialty drugs for chronic conditions, according to data from the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager.

29. How to Fight the Flat -

Markets have regained their composure after a sharp, but necessary, sell off in early January. Sentiment has now retreated from the euphoric levels reached toward the end of last year, to more neutral levels.

30. AutoZone Caps Milestone 2013 With Record Results -

Not only is AutoZone Inc. an earnings machine, but the company continues to generate results other public companies might have reason to envy.

31. Chasing Growth -

The pressure to show investors growth and a return is one of the most basic realities of operating as a public company.

And the three Memphis-based companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list are pressing forward on their own distinct paths toward satisfying that pressure.

32. Company Creates Nashville Exchange-Traded Fund -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A Nashville company has developed the nation's first city-based exchange-traded fund that follows an index of companies based in Nashville and the surrounding counties.

33. Investors Flooding Into Floating-Rate Funds -

NEW YORK (AP) — For most bond mutual funds, rising interest rates are kryptonite.

Higher rates on newly issued bonds make the lower yields on older bonds in their portfolios less attractive, and the price of those bonds declines. Many investors are worried about interest rates because the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has been rising. It hit 2.35 percent Wednesday, its highest level in 15 months.

34. AutoZone Beats Forecast in Third Quarter -

AutoZone Inc.’s just-ended fiscal third quarter results show why it’s a rarity among public companies.

The Memphis-based auto parts retailer – the nation’s largest in the sector – is an earnings machine. Net sales were $2.2 billion for the quarter, and profit was up 6.8 percent to $265.6 million. The quarter also included AutoZone’s 27th straight period of double-digit earnings-per-share quarterly growth.

35. Barnes & Noble Chair Wants to Buy Retail Business -

NEW YORK (AP) – The last remaining national bookstore chain is being taken off the shelf and dusted off for sale.

Founder Barnes & Noble's founder Leonard Riggio disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that he wants to acquire the company's stores and website, but not the business that makes the Nook e-reader or the company's college bookstores. No price was disclosed.

36. Office Depot Agrees to Buy OfficeMax in Stock Deal -

NEW YORK (AP) – Office Depot and OfficeMax are being collated.

The retailers said Wednesday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion that would transform the office-supply retail sector by helping the No. 2 and No. 3 chains compete against industry behemoth Staples.

37. Turning the Page -

It’s that time of year again. It’s that time when journalists across the fruited plain collectively try and make God laugh – with our prognostications, of course, about the year ahead and of what might be.

38. BancorpSouth Keeps Focus on Staying True to Banking Basics -

BancorpSouth Inc. may have new leadership, but the Tupelo, Miss.-based company likes to say it still has an old way of doing business.

39. Planning for the Future -

A few months ago, CNBC broadcaster Jim “Mad Money” Cramer all but reached up to the TV screen on his set to high-five Bryan Jordan, president, CEO and chairman of First Horizon National Corp., whose image was there via satellite.

40. First Horizon Likely to Post Negative Q2 -

The Memphis-based parent company of First Tennessee Bank is likely to break a string of profitable quarters when the company makes its second-quarter earnings presentation in a few weeks.

41. AutoZone’s Q3 Earnings Grow 18 Pct. -

Memphis-based AutoZone Inc., the nation’s leading auto parts retailer, opened 33 new U.S. stores during the company’s third quarter that ended earlier this month.

42. AutoZone’s Q3 Earnings Grow 18 Pct. -

Memphis-based AutoZone Inc., the nation’s leading auto parts retailer, opened 33 new U.S. stores during the company’s third quarter that ended earlier this month.

43. Analyst: First Horizon Prime Buying Target -

In one analyst’s opinion, the parent company of First Tennessee Bank is one of the most attractive buying targets for large banks in the U.S. at the moment.

44. Avoid Too Many Apples in Your Portfolio Diet -

Apples to Oranges Investors and media have run out of superlatives to describe Apple Inc. Not only has Apple become the biggest investment story, it has also become the world’s most highly valued company. Today Apple represents 4.4 percent of the S&P 500 and 16 percent of the Nasdaq composite index.

45. Analysts Expect Small Profit for Regions -

The bank that controls the biggest chunk of customer deposits in Tennessee and is one of the top two in the Memphis area is likely to post a small profit for the quarter as well as the full calendar year when it reports earnings Jan. 24.

46. Smith & Nephew Cuts Part of Tough Year for Industry -

Smith & Nephew is the latest medical device maker to cut Memphis jobs in what’s proven to be a formidable year for the industry.

The London-based company Tuesday, Dec. 16, reduced its workforce by about 80 at its Memphis-based orthopedics unit, where it employs roughly 2,000 people.

47. AutoZone Q1 Profit Improves 11 Pct. -

Memphis-based auto-parts retailer AutoZone Inc. keeps riding its business model to ever-higher growth, posting an 11 percent jump in its fiscal first-quarter profit and beating Wall Street’s earnings-per-share expectation.

48. Expectations Higher for AutoZone -

Analysts are forecasting a nearly 18 percent jump in earnings per share when AutoZone Inc., the leading auto parts retailer in the nation, reports quarterly earnings next week.

49. Barnes & Noble Q3 Net Loss Narrows -

NEW YORK (AP) – Barnes & Noble Inc. said Thursday it plans to invest more heavily in its Nook e-book reader and digital media, even as it reported a third-quarter loss as sales of physical books continued to decline.

50. TVs are Hot Sellers This Holiday Season -

NEW YORK (AP) – In an unexpected twist, TVs are topping many Christmas shopping lists this year.

Wal-Mart says TVs are among the top gifts people are putting on layaway at its 3,000-plus U.S. stores during the holiday season. The Westinghouse 46-inch LCD HDTV that was on sale for half off at Target for $298 was a top seller during the start to the season last weekend. And Abt Electronics already has sold out of 55-inch Samsung LED TVs that were marked down by half to $1,099.

51. Fund Managers Preach Patience -

“Sentiment is as fearful and irrational as we have experienced.” That’s a line from the most recent quarterly letter to shareholders of the Longleaf family of mutual funds that’s managed by Memphis-based Southeastern Asset Management.

52. Universal, Sony/ATV to Buy EMI for $4.1 Billion -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – EMI Group Ltd., the iconic British music company that is home to The Beatles, Coldplay and Katy Perry, is being split and sold for $4.1 billion.

The deal will open EMI's buyers, Universal Music and Sony/ATV, to regulatory scrutiny as they increase their dominance of the music industry.

53. Barnes & Noble Unveils $249 Nook Tablet -

NEW YORK (AP) – Barnes & Noble unveiled a $249 Nook Tablet Monday just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season as the book retailer fights for a larger share of the lucrative e-book market.

54. Fidelity Expands 529 College Savings Options -

BOSTON (AP) – Fidelity Investments is opening up some of its college savings plans by including other companies' mutual funds on its menu of investment options, rather than restricting investors to Fidelity's own funds.

55. Retailers Bank on Kindle Fire for Holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon's Kindle Fire is a Catch-22 for retailers: The $199 tablet computer could both help Christmas traffic and hurt future sales.

Retailers hope the Kindle Fire's low price tag – which is less than half that of Apple's cheapest iPad tablet – will attract shoppers to stores during the busy holiday season. But the device, which offers free shipping and other incentives for customers to shop at Amazon, ultimately could drive sales to their online nemesis.

56. SouthernSun Small Cap Fund gets 5-Star Rating -

Memphis-based SouthernSun Asset Management, which has 24 employees and more than $1.9 billion in assets under management, announced its SouthernSun Small Cap Fund has received a five-star Overall Morningstar Rating out of 305 small value funds.

57. Fidelity Ousts Manager of Struggling Magellan Fund -

NEW YORK (AP) – Fidelity Investments on Tuesday said it is replacing the manager of its struggling Magellan fund, once the largest mutual fund in the world.

Jeffrey S. Feingold, manager of Boston-based Fidelity's Trend fund and several others, will succeed Henry Lange, who led Magellan since 2005.

58. Health Care Stocks Endure Turmoil Better Than Most -

Health care stocks historically provide a relatively safe haven in roiling markets. They're less tethered to the economy's every movement than other stocks and tend to be less volatile.

Anxious investors might be considering putting money in the sector, but the current outlook is complicated by uncertainty over the government's changing involvement in health care. The wild card is potential cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, soon to be considered by Congress' new debt-reduction supercommittee.

59. Walgreen to Spend About $429M for Drugstore.com -

NEW YORK (AP) – Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Thursday it will spend about $429 million to buy online retailer drugstore.com in a deal that gives it access to 3 million online customers.

60. Wal-Mart Expands Online Order Pickup Program -

NEW YORK (AP) – As competition grows from Amazon.com, Wal-Mart is battling back by expanding a program offering the convenience of shopping online along with same-day gratification.

61. ‘Clear Leader’ -

AutoZone Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Bill Rhodes told analysts during a presentation of the company’s second quarter results Tuesday morning that the Memphis-based auto parts retailer had its best quarterly performance since the end of 2003 for the period ending Feb. 12.

62. 'Clear Leader': AutoZone sets industry tone with another scorching quarter -

AutoZone Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Bill Rhodes told analysts during a presentation of the company’s second quarter results Tuesday morning that the Memphis-based auto parts retailer had its best quarterly performance since the end of 2003 for the period ending Feb. 12.

63. 2011’s ‘Feast Or Famine’ Environment -

Below the Waterline
Last year, nearly every asset class advanced as loose monetary and fiscal policies penalized cash and rewarded risk. Gold rallied 30 percent, emerging markets 19, oil 15, U.S. stocks 15, and even bonds rallied 7 percent.

64. Health Insurers Adjust to Once-Scary Reform Rule -

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A new health care overhaul mandate that once stirred fear among insurers is proving to be challenging – but not too challenging – as it makes its debut in 2011.

65. Investors' Return to US Stocks Could be too Late -

BOSTON (AP) — Investors are finally inching back into the stock market. But are they too late?

While millions sought refuge in traditionally stable bonds over the past two years, they missed a more than 90 percent rally in stocks. Suddenly bonds don't look so safe, and some of the $11 trillion that Americans have parked in mutual funds is shifting back to stocks.

66. Auto Demand Seen Rising for Those With Good Credit -

NEW YORK (AP) – Demand for new cars will likely spike in 2011 among consumers who lenders will be happy to do business with: those with very high credit scores.

More than 60 percent of the leases expiring next year are held by borrowers in the "super prime" category, meaning they have credit scores of 720 or better, reflecting excellent on-time payment histories, according to TransUnion, a Chicago-based credit reporting agency.

67. Starbucks: 4th-Quarter Net Income Nearly Doubles -

NEW YORK (AP) – As more people visited Starbucks cafes and spent more at the end of summer, the company's fourth-quarter net income nearly doubled, handily beating estimates, and the company raised its target Thursday for fiscal 2011 profit.

68. Office Depot Chairman and CEO Odland Resigning -

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – Office Depot Inc.'s Chairman and CEO Steve Odland is stepping down as the office supplier struggles to turn its business around in the face of tough competition.

69. Cold Smoothies, Hot July Spike McDonald's Sales -

CHICAGO (AP) – McDonald's lesson from July: If you want to start selling cold, fruity drinks, pick one of the hottest months in U.S. history.

The fast-food giant posted its biggest monthly increase in more than a year in an important U.S. sales figure as U.S. as the fast-food chain's new fruit smoothies and ice-cold frappes got a warm reception from customers.

70. Southeastern Asset Prez, CEO Up for Stock Manager Awards -

Memphians Staley Cates and Mason Hawkins – Southeastern Asset Management Inc.’s president and chairman/CEO, respectively – have been nominated as Domestic Stock Managers of the Year by Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar Inc.

71. Risk-taking is Back for Banks One Year after Crisis -

NEW YORK (AP) - A year after the financial system nearly collapsed, the nation's biggest banks are bigger and regaining their appetite for risk.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and others – which have received tens of billions of dollars in federal aid – are once more betting big on bonds, commodities and exotic financial products, trading that nearly stopped during the financial crisis.

72. Longleaf Managers Reassure Investors as Bear Market Recedes -

In a letter they sent to shareholders a few days ago, the managers of a family of Memphis-run mutual funds worked to reassure investors their holdings are on track to recover last year’s losses.

The Memphis-based managers of the Longleaf Partners family of mutual funds – who promised, once the Great Recession took hold last year, they would keep a conservative approach as “an anchor against fear” – told shareholders they’re optimistic again. And they are slowly posting the results to back that up.

73. New CEO Took Reins at Best Buy on Wed. -

CHICAGO (AP) - It was September 1985 when a 24-year-old Brian Dunn knotted his skinny leather tie and set off to began a job as a sales clerk inside a small electronics store in Minnetonka, Minn., named Best Buy.

74. Convertibles Taking Investors on a Good Ride -

CHICAGO (AP) - Mutual fund billionaire John Calamos fields the question frequently from investors: Just what exactly is a convertible bond?

"People get confused. Are they stocks, are they bonds – what are they?" said Calamos, CEO and chief investment officer of Calamos Investments in Naperville, Ill.

75. FedEx Lays Off 500 -

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. laid off 1,000 salaried managers and professionals across its global work force Friday, a day that a FedEx spokesman described as painful and one “we thought we could avoid.”

76. FedEx Layoffs Hit Memphis HQ Hard -

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. laid off 1,000 salaried managers and professionals across its global work force Friday, a day that a FedEx spokesman described as painful and one “we thought we could avoid.”

77. Retailers Report Dismal 4th Qtr, Gird for Future -

NEW YORK - Retailers marched out a series of cheerless results Tuesday for their most important season of the year, the fourth quarter, when consumers seem to have put off buying almost anything they had a choice about.

78. AIG Looking at Alternatives for Government Loan -

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Beleaguered insurer American International Group Inc. is apparently asking for its fourth loan from the federal government just days before it is expected to report a fourth-quarter loss.

79. Caterpillar CEO Sees More Company Layoffs -

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - President Barack Obama's stimulus plan may be good for Caterpillar Inc., but the company's chief executive says the equipment maker will probably have to lay off more staff before it starts thinking about rehiring any of the more than 22,000 employees it already plans to cut.

80. Office Depot Closing 112 Stores, Cutting 2,200 Jobs -

CHICAGO (AP) - Office Depot Inc. will close about 9 percent of its North American stores and cut 2,200 jobs over the next three months while planning to open fewer locations next year in an effort to cut costs.

81. McDonald's Same-Store Sales Jump in November -

NEW YORK (AP) - Consumers hungry for cheap meals boosted worldwide sales at McDonald's Corp.'s established locations by 7.7 percent in November, more proof of how the fast-food leader is thriving in a downturn that has eaten into sales at its competitors.

82. Longleaf Managers See Brighter Days Ahead - Memphians Mason Hawkins and Staley Cates apparently consider themselves “the luckiest managers in the mutual fund world.”

That’s the way they put it in the quarterly report released last week for the Longleaf Partners family of mutual funds they manage. They used those words to describe themselves because they have in large part not been abandoned by shareholders of their funds – even though those funds have taken quite a beating this year.

The Longleaf Partners fund, Longleaf Partners International fund and Longleaf Partners Small-Cap fund each have lost about half their net asset value so far in 2008. To get an idea about the reason for the financial pain, holdings of the trio of funds include FedEx Corp., Sun Microsystems, General Motors and Dell Inc., all of which have troubles of their own.

GM is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Stock analyst Keith Schoonmaker said Memphis-based FedEx took a “one-two punch” in 2008 in the form of lower package density combined with increases in jet and diesel fuel prices. Sun – a computer, computer parts and computer software vendor – announced last week it is cutting at least 6,000 jobs.

Fortunate days?

Meanwhile, the managers of the Longleaf Partners funds wrote in their third quarter shareholder update that they are lucky. The reason for their good fortune is they have “loyal and long-term fellow shareholders” who have continued to support the funds even as dark days appear to be on the horizon for the global economy.

“For those with the conviction, fortitude and time horizon to live through this volatility, we firmly believe that their patience will be rewarded,” the fund managers wrote to shareholders.

The quarterly report comes on the heels of a flurry of communication over the past several weeks from the managers of the Longleaf Partners funds who also are executives of the Memphis firm Southeastern Asset Management. Hawkins is chairman and CEO of the firm, and Cates is its president.

The money managers sent a letter to shareholders last month in which they promised a conservative appraisal of the funds’ economic picture as an “anchor against fear.” They arranged a conference call for shareholders on Oct. 7 for which the executives received more than 300 e-mails with questions in anticipation of the conference call.


The Q3 report adds context to the picture and represents a transparent assessment of the funds’ situation from its managers.

Investors are being urged to stay calm. “Some pundits are talking depression and positing that today’s environment is somewhat analogous to the 1930s,” Hawkins told investors during the conference call. “We strongly disagree and believe that such talk is not only irresponsible but is not supported by the facts.”

Among the themes of the Q3 report, Longleaf’s managers assure shareholders they know what the companies in their portfolios are worth and that many of the executives whose companies are included in the portfolios have much of their net worth tied to their own stocks.

As a further show of confidence, each director on the board of directors overseeing the Longleaf funds has much of their wealth tied up in the funds, according to Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar Inc. The directors have more than $100,000 invested in the funds, and most of them have more than $100,000 in each of the three funds.

The Q3 report is available at the funds’ Web site, www.longleafpartners.com.

“We are confident that the Longleaf portfolios will deliver large returns coming out of the bear market because of the competitive and financial strength of our holdings, the extreme undervaluation of their shares, and the numerous and aggressive share repurchases at these discounted price levels,” the fund managers assured investors in the report.


83. Payday Lenders Grouse About Proposed Ordinance -

Lobbyists representing check-cashing businesses, payday lenders and auto title loan shops are meeting with Memphis and Shelby County lawmakers to voice their concerns over a proposed zoning ordinance designed to curb their growth.

84. McDonald's Same-Store Sales Rise 8.2 Percent -

NEW YORK (AP) - Consumers worldwide who are watching their spending bought more burgers and chicken breakfast biscuits at McDonald's in October, leading to a big rise in sales at established locations for the fast-food leader.

85. Local Managers Keep Stake In Longleaf Funds -

“When the seas are roughest, a conservative appraisal is our anchor against fear.”

That’s one line from a letter sent to shareholders last month by the Memphis-based managers of the Longleaf Partners family of mutual funds. Its reference to choppy financial waters is an apt metaphor for the group of funds, three of which have taken a beating during the year-to-date period and at times lag the performance of rival funds and the S&P 500 Index.

86. FedEx Continues Weathering Economic Storm -

It is arguably the most successful business story to emerge from Memphis, and it is a company whose performance is widely regarded as a ground-level indicator of the country’s economic health.

So it’s probably no surprise last week’s wild stock market swings did not spare

87. FedEx Sees Growth on Horizon -

For both shareholders and executives of FedEx Corp., the transportation giant’s expected outlook for 2009 soon will come more into focus after several months of wrestling with the housing and economic slump in the U.S.

88. Easing Inflation Could Help Bonds -

NEW YORK (AP) - Investors who rushed to the relative safety of bond funds when the stock market began to stagger last year might have felt they had outrun the troubles in equities - only to face the new threat of inflation when oil prices started soaring. But with the cost of crude now falling, some fixed-income investors could now find themselves in an enviable position.

89. RMK Funds Handoff Conceived Months Ago -

Over the past several months, federal lawsuits have mounted in West Tennessee on behalf of investors who suffered large losses in a group of beleaguered Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds.

During that time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has requested information about the low-performing funds from Regions Financial Corp., the parent company of Memphis-based Morgan Keegan. And investors from around the country have peppered the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority with requests for arbitration related to the funds.

90. Lawsuits Active, Multiplying Against Morgan Keegan -

At 5 p.m. Feb. 18, an attorney-client meeting was called to order at the Poplar Avenue law offices of Apperson Crump & Maxwell PLC.

In attendance was a group of about 10 people. It included at least four lawyers, Regions Morgan Keegan mutual fund shareholders and representatives of other shareholders who were not present. The first item of business: mapping out the next few steps in a complex securities class action suit filed on behalf of those shareholders against the Memphis-based Morgan Keegan brokerage firm.

91. First Horizon In Spotlight at Tues. Shareholders Mtg. -

Shareholders of First Horizon National Corp. will put the Memphis-based financial services company under close scrutiny this week.

The first big opportunity comes Tuesday, when the company's 2008 annual meeting of shareholders convenes in the auditorium of the First Tennessee Building at 165 Madison Ave. Several things are on the agenda for that meeting, including the election of four Class III directors and one Class II director and a vote to approve the declassification of the company's board of directors.

92. Regions Prepares For Q1 Earnings Report in Light Of Credit Crunch -

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp., one of the largest banks in Memphis, will report its
first-quarter earnings April 15, kicking off a year that likely will be dominated by decisions connected to the nationwide credit crunch.

93. Cincinnati Bank Proceeds With Suit Against First Horizon -

Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati wants a federal court to order Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. not to touch Fifth Third's new signage and other property it recently installed at nine Atlanta-area bank branches.

94. RMK Funds At Center Of Regions Troubles -

They were supposed to be a good place to park cash. The mutual funds were so stable and generated such profitable returns, in fact, that one broker who steered investors to them reportedly described one of the funds to a client as a "widows and orphans fund."

95. First Horizon Execs to Cushion Earnings Blow -

First Horizon National Corp. will make its fourth quarter earnings announcement Thursday, closing the books on a turbulent 2007 for the Memphis-based financial services company.

Some of the results won't come as a surprise.

96. New Suit Filed Against Morgan Keegan, Others -

The number of angry investors who have lost money recently in one or more of a group of Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds - and who are itching for a legal battle because of it - is growing.

A new lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Memphis on behalf of two investors in a pair of the funds, the values of which have plummeted since the beginning of 2007 because of their exposure to subprime mortgage-related assets.

97. New Suit Filed Against Morgan Keegan and Others -

The number of angry investors who have lost money recently in one or more of a group of Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds – and who are itching for a legal battle because of it – is growing.

A new lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Memphis on behalf of two investors in a pair of the funds, the values of which have plummeted since the beginning of 2007 because of their exposure to subprime mortgage-related assets.

98. RMK Funds Have Legal Wheels Rolling -

At the four law firms across the U.S. where attorneys are jointly investigating the recent management and performance of several Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds, the phones ring just about every day.

99. Lawsuits Imminent on Behalf of RMK Investors -

Lawyers from four firms across the U.S. are working together to investigate the management and performance of several Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds.

As a result of that investigation, as many as a dozen complaints are expected to be filed in the near future on behalf of investors who've seen the value of their investments in those funds plummet dramatically. If other investigators and lawyers are looking into the funds too, still more complaints could be on the way.

100. Wal-Mart Nixes Mall of Memphis Plans -

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has nixed its plan to develop a Supercenter on a chunk of the 95-acre property formerly home to the Mall of Memphis.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based discount retail chain had been under contract to buy about 20 acres of the sprawling property at Perkins Road and Interstate 240 for at least a year. This spring, Wal-Mart submitted tentative architectural plans and filed a $7.1 million building permit to build a store at the Mall of Memphis site.