President Putin urges Russian resilience for hard times

President Putin: “The times we are facing are hard and difficult”


President Vladimir Putin has warned Russians of hard times ahead and urged self-reliance, in his annual state-of-the nation address to parliament

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Rev. Billy Graham’s health is declining, son says


Evangelist Billy Graham, seen three years ago, is in declining health, his son said Friday.

The famed 95-year-old evangelist’s son said prayers are welcome and that ‘I’m not ever sure he knows Nelson Mandela has passed away,’ one day after the beloved South African president’s death.

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Wal-Mart Nails The “Consumer Recovery” Coffin Shut

(  Welcome to the new normal recovery… if ever there was a headline that summed up the idiocy of the mal-invested distorted new normal, Wal-Mart just managed it:


So, it seems the “if we build it (or stock it), they will come (and buy)” mentaility has failed yet again… As we noted before, as goes Wal-Mart, so goes America…

Via Bloomberg,

 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting orders it places with suppliers this quarter and next to address rising inventories the company flagged in last month’s earnings report.


 U.S. inventory growth at Wal-Mart outstripped sales gains in the second quarter at a faster rate than at the retailer’s biggest rivals. Merchandise has been piling up because consumers have been spending less freely than Wal-Mart projected…

Ouch! Exxon Mobil posts big profit miss (57% Decline)


Exxon Mobil on Thursday reported a 57 percent decline in second-quarter profit as oil and gas output dropped and earnings for its refining business fell.

The Irving, Tx., company’s profit was $6.9 billion, or $1.55 per share, compared with $15.9 billion or $3.41 per share in the same period a year earlier.

Oil and natural gas production fell 1.9 percent.

After the earnings announcement, the world’s largest oil and gas company saw its shares fall in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Exxon.)

Analysts had expected Exxon to report earnings per share of $1.90 per share on $105.54 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Hasbro 2Q results miss Wall Street’s expectations

Hasbro’s second-quarter net income fell 16 percent, hurt by cautious consumer spending and a steep drop in sales of boys’ toys.


Toy industry sales have been in a slight decline all year, stung by a video game industry slump, shoppers’ curtailed spending and increased demand for electronic gadgets like smartphones and tablets.


Separately, the nation’s second biggest toy maker announced on Monday that it is expanding its merchandising relationship with The Walt Disney Co. for properties including Marvel and Star Wars.


For the period ended June 30, Hasbro Inc. earned $36.5 million, or 28 cents per share. That compares with $43.4 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.


Removing pension-related charges of 1 cent per share, earnings were 29 cents per share.


Analysts expected earnings of 34 cents per share.


Revenue for the Pawtucket, R.I., company fell 6 percent to $766.3 million from $811.5 million, missing Wall Street’s $800.6 million estimate.


Sales were weak not only in the U.S. and Canada, where a 4 percent decline was reported, but overseas as well, which posted a 6 percent drop.


Sales of boys’ toys declined 35 percent against tough year-ago comparisons that got a boost from merchandise tied to movies. While Nerf sales rose, sales of other brands, such as Marvel and Beyblade, weakened.

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McDonald’s predicts tough year despite new items

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s is mixing up its menu with healthier, fresher sounding items such as its chicken McWraps, but not enough customers are biting.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain on Monday reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent but fell short of Wall Street expectations. It also said July sales are expected to be relatively flat and warned of a tough year ahead.

Its stock was down more than 2 percent at $98.05 in premarket trading. Over the past year, its stock is up 13 percent.

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