Chin Up in the Downswing: Casual Dining and Housewares Doing Well; Recession Opportunities for MSF Grads, What’s Good About Scary Headlines
by Anne Szustek
Among today’s positive news headlines: Bed, Bath & Beyond and Ruby Tuesday shares boosted by better-than-expected numbers, financial master’s grads stand to benefit from current economic conditions and a financial company CEO points out the good news inherent in negative headlines.
Shares of home goods chain Bed Bath & Beyond rose on the back of its best gross margin performance since 2007 and “better-than-expected same-store results,” reports The Wall Street Journal. JP Morgan boosted its rating on Bed, Bath & Beyond from “underweight” to “neutral” and financial research firm Sanford C. Bernstein upped the company’s target price and earnings estimate, saying that the retailer showed “evidence of continued market leading position and resilience to trade-down risk." Also faring well during Wednesday morning trading was casual dining chain Ruby Tuesday, which posted earnings for third-quarter 2008 that beat analysts’ estimates.
The business regulatory environment, likely to toughen after this banking crisis, should heighten the demand for financial experts. That means more jobs for graduates who hold a master’s of science degree in finance, suggests BusinessWeek. Phil English, the director of a MSF program at American University in Washington, D.C., told the magazine, “There are a lot of very upset people out there and they're going to look towards an increase in regulation.” And compared to MBA programs, MSF programs can be a cost-effective way for young financiers to enter the industry: while the annual tuition is nearly the same, MSF programs typically take one year rather than two.
When Stanford Wealth Management CEO Joseph L. Shaefer, sees headlines like “Home Prices Plunge 40% in California!” what he actually takes out of it, he writes in a Seeking Alpha article, is “that home sales are up 100%—and the ownership is going from weak, over-extended borrowers and flippers to stronger, higher-quality borrowers who are likely to actually live in the homes.” He also points out that recession or not, the economic laws of supply and demand are still in effect. With technological development and lower prices on materials, prices will come down—and demand will rise, he argues.