tv Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo CNBC April 5, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
it's been a very good year for the stock market. i'll see you monday. a complete recap on wall street, maria continues with the second hour of the "closing bell." and it is 4:00 on wall street. do you know where your money is? i'm maria bartiromo on the floor of the new york stock he can change. market ending the day mixed. dow closes for a third straight session. the nasdaq ended higher due to technology. coming up, strategists tell us how investors should be positioned after the decline. nasdaq sources telling cnbc that facebook has decided it will list on the exchange the nasdaq 've got all of the angles of the huge decision, facebook going to nasdaq. take a look at how we finished the day on wall street. dow jones down 1358.
volume light on this light day because of a long holiday weekend. nasdaq higher by 12.5%. almost a half of a percent at 12,080. financial and energy among the weak spots. retail got a bid. i've been speaking all day with traders on wall street. after posting sharp increases in the fourth quartñr since 1998, dow closing off on thursday lows but for the week the dow declined 1%. biggest weekly decline so far this year. s&p 500 remember telecoms got a bid and strong earlier in the week. all eyes, of course, to the labor department's jobs report for the month of march out tomorrow morning despite the fact that the markets are closed. they are looking for the unemployment rate to remain steady a 8.3%. but that the economy creates
203,000 new jobs. we're talking about face boong a boongbook and a lot of the story. volatile week, materially in europe, bob. >> everyone hates this word biforcation. there's no biforcating. but we have been biforcating. europe has been underperforming in the u.s. while it hasn't been grade, it's been doing better and china hasn't been over for a few days. the s&p is down fractionally. there is some splitting off that is going on. in the last two weeks it's been happening. >> bob, we're heading into earnings season next week. i'm a little concerned, given the fact that the s&p 500
earnings are only expected to grow under 1%. >> earnings growth for the first quarter and you've got double digit gains. there are expectations here and fundamentals here. well, yes, today we're talking about a gain of the s&p 500 and go back a few months before that they were talking about even bigger numbers. normally these numbers come down. analysts routinely overshoot. these numbers, these coming down, the numbers coming down are greater than anticipated. what it means, maria, is expectations for growth are sort of -- earnings growth is pushed into the back half of the year. the third and fourth quarter is where we're expecting big growth and financials better start putting up some good numbers. we're going to need them. otherwise, it's going to be some problems. >> all right. third and fourth quarter is the quarter that we're focused on. bob pisani, thank you so much.
of course, sources telling cnbc that facebook has made the decision deciding to list on the nasdaq when it goes public. kayla tausche is joining me now. kayla? >> neither nyse or nasdaq has confirmed but we have heard that facebook will list on the nasdaq in times square in may. even though facebook was wanting to be a blue chip, it's no doubt that a large cap name would immediately land a fund in the same way that google and apple has and it will be interesting to see exactly how nasdaq did win this. the race is for nasdaq to lose. not only less expensive but home to other legends and for a company it's not surprising and
if you're looking at it right know, showing the social names as far as the nyse, we're hoping to get a comment from them soon. what we're waiting to hear is how nasdaq pitched the 8-year-old social networking giant, marketing for the initial trade and going forward is one of the biggest, if not the biggest considerations of a company's listings and the package was very nice. maria, it will be especially nice to see whether they ring the bell remotely from their headquarters in menlo park and whether they come to do it in nasdaq. that was one of the nas big pitches there.
and back in october of '07, facebook announced in an equity round of funding, microsoft, as a result, had 1.6% in the company. you wonder if that had influence, microsoft listed on nasdaq. >> no doubt, maria. of course, this allen and company and media and tech rubbing elbows. they are all talking ideas. their difference experiencing going public and i imagine there are a lot of influences picked up there as well. you think about a story like michael dell, founding dell in a basement, drawing parallels from a story like that and bill gates dropping out of harvard to found microsoft and this place for contrarians, there's a lot of anecdotes as well at play here. >> what does this mean for the fight of the hottest social media?
this solidifies the nasdaq position in the space. where does that leave the new york stock exchange? let me ask do you think they won this? >> for the nasdaq it rebuilds that sort of technology brand. the nyc has gotten better at this game. it's been a fight and not confirmed yet. they certainly appeared to be in it. this wouldn't have happened and i don't think it would have been as close of a battle three to five years ago but if nasdaq has one, you've got to congratulate them because it reinforces the big tech place to go. >> you think this is partly because microsoft is an investor, has a stake in facebook, maybe microsoft because it's listed on nasdaq was an influence here? >> i think potentially that's a good -- you know, that's a possible idea. but i don't think we'll find out
what really -- >> what went down? >> yeah. all of the facts. >> kayla mentions a good thing. first, the exchanges can't discount the actual fees. but what they can offer is the packages. it can be facebook and nasdaq. and commercials are up in the times square bulletin board. so it will be interesting to see the packages that were offered, wherever the winner is. >> how big of a flow is this for the new york stock exchange? has it really lost? >> you can't take away a win for the nasdaq. it's a big win. so i don't think that the nyse, it's critical for nasdaq to look at it here. it's made very solid progress in technology. linkedin and the nyse has gotten
a good win for nasdaq as well. >> rich, when it comes to the actual trading platform, does it matter which exchange facebook trades on? >> as far as valuation as an analyst, i don't believe it does. i think either one investors are going to end the market to decide where the stock trade is. >> for branding and just for the fact that there's a lot of hype around this company, both players wanted this badly? >> absolutely, without a doubt. it is a big -- you can't take both nasdaq and nyse are proud of their brands. facebook is a brand as well. both of them wanted it. >> and in terms of what the exchange at the end of the day gets from having a company like facebook list, what does nasdaq get here, really? >> well, you know, at first on
an absolute basis it isn't as big as what you would expect from the numbers. they get listing fees, they get the one-time fee to list on the exchange and annual fees. you know, it's per year. so that's, it can amount to 500,000 for the nyse. it's less for nasdaq. but i think you hit -- the important thing isn't just the numbers here. it's sort of the momentum and the brand and winning the top ipo for a number of years. >> sure. rich, great to talk with you. thanks so much. >> great to see you. >> we appreciate it. another startling fact about facebook, based on cnbc calculations, facebook could find itself in the top ten companies in the nasdaq 100. at $109 billion, facebook's market value would fall just below cisco. amazon.com, comcast, news corp., ebay, and even starbucks. we'll keep a close watch on this
story as the numbers could change once facebook goes public. meanwhile, lots of other news on the docket today. take a look at the rest of the business headlines. the number of americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low. jobless claims dropped by a better than expected 6,000. tomorrow's jobs report is expected to show nonfarm jobs fell in the month of march. president obama today signed the bipartisan jump-start our business start ups, or the jobs act into law. that happening earlier this afternoon. the law is expected to help create new jobs by making it easier for startups and small businesses to raise funding. there is some concern that relaxed regulations in the law could end up hurting investors because of reduced transparency and how to help companies raise that company. into british broadcaster has
admitted that sky news unit authorized a journalist to hack into e-mails of people suspected into criminal activity. they say the actions were editorial justified and in the interest of the public. it's the latest black eye for news corp. which owns a large stake in bskyb. let's take a short break. investors have been loving luxury retail recently. that's where the money has been going. can the stock and taking a look at cnbc, including the impact that europe is having with the markets. >> the market is taking a breath, looking to gain at the
strength of the u.s. recovery and also at europe and concluding that the u.s. recovery is decent but not powerful and that the european crisis. >> there is not the largest level of government debt that greece had. spain is not headed to 166% of debt. it's still only at 90. >> i think it can go low volume. it's a good thing if the market is not frothy. relative strength in dex on the s&p now below 55. >> america has a horrible distinction of the corporate tax code in the world. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the cookie-cutter retirement advice ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you get at some places. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 they say you have to do this, have that, invest here ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you know what? ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you can't create a retirement plan based on
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i'm seema mody. the nasdaq 100 held on to 14 straight weeks of gains. but the s&p tech sector losing momentum this week. sandisk, ibm weighing on the risk. large hard declines, first solar another loser today. investors continue to hit the sell button on that name. jpmorgan siting a change and lastly i want to bring your attention to polycom. the company didn't go into a lot of details, basically citing shortfalls in asia pacific and north america. maria? >> seema, thank you so much. we kicked off the second quarter on a positive note on
monday but things took a turn for the worst today the dow and s&p at a more modest pace. the catalyst behind the move, we have the march federal reserve minutes after no indication of additional qe 3 to come anded aing to was the flight from risk where we saw the u.s. dollar gain strength. how do you protect yourself? chief investment officer at capital iq and kate moore a. strategist. good to see you ladies, thank you so much. are you expecting a correction in the second quarter? >> yes. in the second and third quarter we would expect a pullback and we're looking to protect ourselves. >> how do you do that? >> two steps. first, it's identifying the stocks that are most likely -- most vulnerable to the downside. we use the default model for what we like the least and take money off the table.
>> i want to ask you about those stocks and where you see the biggest risk in terms of groups. kate, let me ask you in terms of the screens that you look at and what we've seen over the last six months is impossible to replicate over this quarter. we're not going to get an ltro that takes the bank by surprise. on positioning, we're not as bearish as we were when we started six months ago. on the profit side, you know, things were quite good and we were talking about earlier revisions to economic data expectations already. so we're not going to get the big push from those three big drivers causing us to be more cautious in the long term. >> so how do you want to present yourself in the next couple of months? >> we're telling investors to stay focused on the big themes
that outperform during an era of deleveraging. and that's yield, growth, and quality. stay in the high quality, high cap, large cap space and make sure your own companies that have access to growth, even if earnings are slower than people would like. >> and those companies tend to pay dividends as well? >> they do tend to pay dividends. >> what about you? where are you expecting the most weakness in terms of this quarter and the next quarter if you are in fact expecting declines? >> yes. so one of the things that we look at is a default. two stocks that we don't -- ones that we particularly don't like is sears holdings. it's had a huge run-up. it doesn't pay dividends. it's all about taking the right money off the table for the correction. we don't want you to get out of equities completely but being able to pick those weak stocks is really key. >> you're saying you've got sells on sears, you've got buys on apollo and cf industries?
>> yes. >> tell me about the groups. are there sectors that are more -- >> it's looking at the fundamentals of each stock? >> what will pressure things? >> we have historically that sell and maim go away. we had that in the years where we had the huge downturn and then six to nine months for recovery. again, i just know that there is this huge runup in the first quarter following the pattern that we've had and we're definitely vulnerable to a pullback. >> one thing that we talked about earlier, the earnings expectations are sort of up here and and, in fact, they are looking for just under 1% growth for the s&p 500. it seems like the expectations are up higher than that. >> yeah, i would also say, let's step back from the u.s. for a minute and look at global earnings expectations because especially in emerging markets we saw expectations first before
we saw downward revisions and we're starting to see some more optimism, sort of like percolate there and we're seeing global earnings and revision ratios get better over the last four months. that leads us to believe that we're near the bottom of the cycle in terms of analysts cutting expectations. even if they are not going to raise them to 10, 12%, which would make us feel pretty good about the market. >> do you want to buy outside of the u.s. or are you looking at multinationals? >> wee still like it on a secular basis but on a long-ger term basis, best companies are underowned. >> kate, thank you so much. >> thank you. markets in the u.s. are closed tomorrow. investors are still standing by to did i jeft the employment report for the month of mark will europe remain the focal point in the near future? and why friends of james bond will being shaken and stirred in
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. welcome back to the "closing bell." i'm brian shactman at the new york mercantile exchange. take a look at silver and gold. despite today's gains, gold is down 2% for the week. traders i talked to simply not in the market. they feel 1600 gold is more likely in the near term than 1700. could become a bit of a safe haven if we see more sovereign risk in europe. it's interesting when you take a look at copper. they had their worst day of the year. they did not catch a bid like gold and silver. based on what is going on now, a little bit more jobs optimism was not enough to offseat. copper was a definite laggard. >> here's a look at the stocks we're following on the "closing bell" ticker. panera bread, the stock is up 55% since the beginning of october. credit suisse analysts are
telling us that the growth earning potential has not been priced into the stock. western union was upgraded to buy. western union shares today take a look, up a fraction. luxury retail has been red hot. will new concerns about europe and the stronger dollar weigh on the bottom line? and the so-called pink slime every day, how is this controversy affecting the ranching industry? jane wells is working on the story. >> maria, we are going to talk about it and how it is actually sliming ranchers after the break. ♪
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climbed about every single day. take a look at that. this is a one-month chart that you're looking at. normally that puts a lot of pressure on material stocks and some of the big international global names, commodity stocks. that did happen most of this week but only a couple days. today it wasn't a big mover but you can see energy materials and financials up. apple was up for the week. >> amazing, bob. all right. thanks so much, bob pisani. it's been a huge day for the retail industry. march same-store sales came in better than expected. jcpenney celebrated their new pricing strategy. courtney? >> jcpenney began with new pricing. so far stores have been decloth tered, inventory and signage has been reduced but the plans for 100 shops within a shop will not be unveiled until august. the entire transformation won't be complete until the end of 2015. so what's the grade so far?
>> i would give them a b in terms of how quickly they have come on and they know where to get things up and running and where i think that can move to an a is if the brands and if the town square initiative as we hear more about it can can drive the traffic as desired. >> a former employee said despi despite cutting costs, the changes aren't resonating with customers. he believes two-thirds don't know about the new pricing and estimates that down two month. he gives jc penally a c plus at this point in the transformation. all agree it will be years before final assessments can really be made. along with jcpenney transformation plans came with the revelation that they will no longer report month low comps.
they outperformed expectations of 4.3% for march and same-store sales gaining nearly 7%. warm weather temperatures set across the country for the month of march. the warm weather and early easter helping to drive foot traffic but up to 5% month over month compared to a year ago. translating into higher margin sales in a number of categories for many retailers. discounters among the biggest winners. ross stores and t.j. maxx up 10%. gaps calling for spring merchandises is calling for an increase. wet seals is down. now, target comp call for execs
to full quarter comp sales. tjx and ross stores have seen all-time highs. >> great analysis. thank you so much. within the retail sector, wealthy shoppers continue to spend the big bucks, luxury sales have been outpacing cheaper items. at saks, sales up, nordstrom, fine jewelry, cosmetic, all reporting strong demand last month. so with the economic picture looking rosier, our guest is joining us good to see you, ed. thanks for joining us. >> hi, how are you? >> you're positive on the overall luxury retail market but how might it be affected by the volatility in commodity and currencies? how do you think it plays out? >> look, obviously volatility is not good for the consumer but we see unemployment continue to
move down as long as the stock market continues to move up, we see them spend. >> why do you think they are fragile? what is driving that, ed? >> a couple of things. first, we have a number of fashion trends which are adding newness and causing that consumer to look at that closet. they are seeing a job prospect improve, not worried about losing their job, and then finally looking at their 401(k)s and seeing the damage that has been done has been undone. we think that consumer feels a lot better. >> let me ask you about the names that you like. one of the stocks that you favor is tiffany's. the sales are mostly driven by taurus. given that, should we worry about the strength of the dollar? >> you're spot on, there clearly is a taurus trade. outside of new york city they have a lot of local consumers. >> and asia is very important for tiffany's, right? >> absolutely. >> where would you be allocating
capital at? >> two other names we like, nordstrom. we think they have the best customer service in the department store industry. we like coach. as the middle income consumer likes to spend more, they go to coach. >> could anything reverse this trend? you say you're watching the dollar but what are the other catalysts or red flags out there? >> we're watching the dollar and the stock market. that impacts the consumer's confidence. we're still watching the situation in europe. tourism is very important for somebody hiring retailers and should the conditions deteriorate, that could be tough for the retailers. >> anything that you would avoid? >> some of the stocks that we're currently avoiding, a premium manufacturer but not one that is on trend. we're avoiding that stock right now. >> and in terms of the international scene, foreigners,
where are they spending much of the money right now? i know there's a big foreign come noecomponent in new york - >> it's not just new york. it's l.a., las vegas. the chinese tourists are being watched very closely. it's been a tourist that has come out in the past couple of years to help drive some of that spend. >> love it. ed, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> we'll see you soon. now to a story that's getting a lot of attention lately, the backlash against the beef industry. the so-called pink slime seems to be growing on a daily basis. it's caused one processor to file bankruptcy. jane is covering the story. over to you. >> hi, maria. whether you call it by its proper name, or by the infamous nickname, pink slime, it's not what's for dinner at a time when people should be firing up the
bbq. hitting 3 1/2 month lows yesterday, brent crosby says, boxed beef is in a free fall with no demand in sight. wholesale prices that would have had retailers filling their freezers are getting very little interest now. this is knocking 100 to $150 off a head for a typical rancher and they are way in the red. beef prices are in for a correction. higher carcas weights. it's caused everyone by surprise. deutsch bank has raised whole foods and pink slime back slash. no rise in demand for chicken at the expense of beef and tyson says drop in demand will not last and longer term with the end of lftb, you'll need to use other parts of the animal
reducing overall beef supplies 2 to 3% and that could actually make prices eventually go back up. but not now. >> jane, is this hitting all types of beef or just some kinds? >>. >> mostly ground beef because that's where the lftb was used. hamburger, you have to understand, is a very big business. a lot of what goes into here is not your steer but your old every dairy cattle. this has a ripple effect much broader than what you think of cattle industry. it goes into the lean estimate. if you don't want it, you have to have the fattier ground beef. >> jane wells, thank you. tiger woods hasn't won a major golf tournament since 2008. plus, will tomorrow's march employment numbers be enough to help restore the stock rally? got everything you need to know ahead of those numbers on "closing bell."
>> announcer: time now for going global europe. >> hello, everyone. these are the stories we're watching in europe on tuesday. it's hard to believe it, but earning season is here again with alcoa and the u.s. being the large cap to report quarter results. we've had decisions from the ecb, bank of england, and now it's the bank of japan's turn. we'll find out whether or not it will stand pat on rate and policy movements. also, has greece managed to bulge the budget deficit? tune in to cnbc world to catch all of the action overseas. at cnbc's european headquarters, going global with your money. sometimes investing opportunities are hard to spot. you have to dig a little. fidelity's etf market tracker shows you the big picture on how different asset classes are performing, and it lets you go in for a closer look at areas within a class or sector that may be bucking a larger trend. i'm stephen hett of fidelity investments. the etf market tracker is one more innovative reason
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we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. welcome up to the masters. why golf betting has become so popular. darren rovell? >> reporter: thanks, maria. more people bet on nba games than golf but they are as good as making golf odds as other major sports. golf futures are also on the board for a longer time.
this masters could have been bet eight months ago. then there are the odds themselves. so many players in the field, if you pick a long shot and win, it's big money. the truth is, tiger at 7-2 odds for this tournament is always the worst guy to win for the books. some glam blamblers think he's . if one golfer is being bet on a lot, book maker at las vegas motel is particularly worried about kj joy with a substantial amount of action on him at 30-1. join me from augusta, the home of the masters, for a special edition of sports biz which includes jack nicolas as a guest at 5:30 p.m. eastern time on cnbc. >> all right. thanks so much. up next, the market may be closed tomorrow but the march employment report is out. it will have an impact on your investment when trading begins next week. that's next. if you're like most americans, you probably like chocolate.
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>> announcer: here's what to watch for tomorrow. >> rick santelli on the floor of the cme group. tomorrow is the big march employment report. 8:30 eastern. expectations about 205,000 jobs. a bit less than the 227,000 headlined last month but the whisper numbers have been higher. on the unemployment rate, many are looking for it to remain unchanged at 8.3. tune in. yes, that will be the report to watch. as jobs data takes center stage, a wave of positive numbers give a jolt of optimism or is the growth we're seeing simply not enough? president of mc global is going to be joining us momentarily.
good to see you. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> brian, let me ask you, what is your take on the jobs number tomorrow? >> we're expecting just what rick said, 8.3 range, 8.2 range. and about 200, 210,000. >> and i guess we got a suggestion of that when we got the adp numbers out. david is joining us. good to see you. >> hi, maria. >> you say employment is not growing enough? >> that's right. you need to have 300,000 job growth. we might get that tomorrow but probably not. that's why the economy feels a little soft. >> okay. what is it going to take to get that kind of job growth? 303,000 a month sounds really strong. >> it has been done in the past and it takes business confidence. you've got to get to a point where businesses want to hire people and with the plan that they are going to keep those
people. so they've got to see order flow and i think also some more stability on the tax front. you know, we've got this big tax increase at year end that's being holds off some of the hiring >> you think that's going to happen, david. i mean, part of that with the bush tax cuts expiring, dividend taxes are going to triple. you think they are really going to do that? you will cut a deal, but the problem is until you know what the deal, is you hold off on the hiring. same thing on the health care escalation of costs. until you know how they are going to fix that major problem, then you don't hire, and i think that's holding it down. >> yeah, that makes a lot of sense. brian, you're also watching corporate earnings that kick off for the first quarter on monday. alcoa a number of others reporting and jpmorgan. what are your expectations rather? >> well, you know, it will be interesting to see this next quarter. alcoa starts it off on tuesday. we're really waiting to see what wells fargo and jpmorgan can provide on the financial side on friday. you know, we're expecting
moderate growth throughout this quarter. it's going to have tough numbers to beat year over year, but we're confident, that you know, for the most part expectations have come down realistically so, you know, we're hoping for no surprises. >> do you see any strength on the revenue growth side of things? >> you know, i think we've seen some strength in particular sectors, i mean, one that we continue to like is the consumer discretionary area. raw stores came out with some great numbers, and i think there's pockets where if you're a stock picker and you can find good companies that provide, you know, good growth prospects at reasonable valuations, there's still opportunities. >> david, what do you think about that? here is a market up 17% on nasdaq and 13% or so year to date on some of the other averages, and you've got earnings growth expected at under 1% for the first quarter. have things gotten overdone? what's your take? >> near term i'm cautious, but i do think the equity markets are very good at looking into a year
from now, into next year, and so if they see that earnings are going to be stronger, then they will be able to motor through this or plow through it. i'm -- i'm cautious because of europe and because i think we are going to get slower earnings growth than what we've been used to the last few quarters, so that's a reason for near-term caution. the nfib reports monday morning, and so it will be interesting to see how -- that's the national federation of independent businesses, and it will be interesting to see how small businesses are reacting to the changes in the environment. >> yeah. i guess we're sort of still on watch mode, right? >> i am because if you say for the second quarter and for the second half of this year is gdp growth going to be 2% or 3% or 4%, right now it's hard to tell. i have to take the lower side of that based on the investment flows from small businesses, but that could improve if there were -- if europe solves some of
its problems, if china appears to be growing, so i'm in a watch mode for now. >> so, brian, you point to the four-year high in consumer confidence. what does that tell you? >> well, you know, there were a couple of issues that we had coming into the year. we were looking for stability into the housing market, job growth and a return of the consumer, and, you know, we're seeing that in -- in both the jobs numbers and the consumer confidence numbers. you know, i think david touched on it earlier. what we have to see is see the corporations come back. i mean, there's a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines, and from our perspective, regardless of what they do with that excess cash, whether it's pay dividends or buy back stock, that's good for the shareholder, but even better yet is to have the confidence to invest in our economy and really put that money to work going forward. i think that over a long term that's a great thing for the u.s. economy and -- and we're pretty confident that, you know, the consumers are going to benefit from that either way. >> bottom line, guys, what kind of a 2012 are you looking
forward to in the markets? david? >> i think it will end up being up year at the end of the year, but right now we're in a pause mode. i think investors want to invest in countries that are doing structural reforms. that means restraining their government, for example, or doing better regulations or allowing oil and gas exploration, and so we don't see that yet, and so i'm near term cautious. >> brian, what's your take the rest of 2012? >> we'd put about a 1,500 target on the s&p so we're expecting, you know, 5%, 10% growth around here. >> we're at about 1390 right now. gentlemen, thanks very much. we'll see you soon. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> up next, another look at today's mixed day on wall street. plus, why some fans of james bond are crying fowl over a casting decision of sorts. stay with us. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about fees.
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controversy over a casting decision as force. the british secret agent will ditch his famous vodka martini, shaken not stirred, for dutch beer heineken in at least one scene. one of the franchise's biggest changes ever because of the character of james bond has also been so closely linked to the martini for the past 50 years. heineken, meanwhile, plans to run a big ad campaign around the move toe highlight bond's new taste for beer. and before we go, here's another nugget of info for all you chocolate lovers out there, including myself. my favorite is milk chocolate with almonds, but as most of you know easter is this sunday, and apparently this week is one of the most popular times of the year to indulge, coming in second to halloween. which brands do americans prefer when it comes to the sweet treat? a survey done by 24/7 wall street reveal the most popular in the country, the top five. coming in at number five is kitcat. number four hershey's. in third place is reese's. number two m & ms and coming in at number one, drum roll,
please, america's favorite chocolate is snickers. we are wishing you a happy holiday weekend, everybody. happy passover, happy easter. have a great long weekend, and before we go a recap on wall street. we did have a downgrade of the u.s. from egan jones just a few minutes ago, by the way, from aa plus to aa negative and sean egan tells me it's because of the lack of any tangible progress on debt and continued rise of debt to gdp. the dow jones industrial average down 12.5, the nasdaq up 12.5 and the s&p down a fraction. hope you'll follow me on twitter and on google plu plus @mariabartiromo. "fast money" begins right now. stay here with cnbc.