Week's Winners and Losers: Starbucks Pours, Walmart Snores
Starbucks (SBUX) -- Winner
The baron of baristas is also apparently open to tapping a keg or uncorking a wine bottle as the hours drag. The cult-fave premium coffeehouse chain rolled out Starbucks Evenings on Tuesday, transforming some of its units in select markets into lounges complete with beer, wine and appetizers after 4 p.m. Yes, you can still get all of its signature beverages at that time.
It's a smart move. Business peaks in the morning at Starbucks and while it's not exactly a tumbleweed-infested ghost town at night, there's clearly not the same kind of demand for caffeinated blasts of coffee later in the day. It's a great way to expand its offerings at a time when baristas have more time on their hands.
Starbucks will be taking things slow. It envisions Starbucks Evenings at just a quarter of its more than 12,000 stateside locations in five years. If the concept takes off, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the rollout escalate.
Ashley Madison -- Loser
Some hackers apparently aren't cool with adultery. The mailing list of Ashley Madison -- the fling site that proudly positions itself as a place for married people to hook up -- was compromised. Reports Tuesday indicated that 32 million registered account addresses were made public following the hack.
In a juicy twist, many of the email addresses apparently belong to the domains of some of big banking giants of New York City as well as federal employees. Let that be a lesson to anyone who thinks that it's OK to use a workplace email to register for a site that can come to haunt you in the future.
Lumber Liquidators (LL) -- Winner
One of this year's worst stocks bounced back on one of the market's darkest days. Shares of Lumber Liquidators soared 9 percent on Thursday with the rest of general market taking a hit.
The hardwood flooring retailer got a rare boost after a Wall Street analyst upgraded her rating on the stock, raising her price target from $15 to $18 along the way. Cantor Fitzgerald's analyst recently toured a store with senior management, walking away with a feeling that gross margins in the long term won't be as low as she had initially feared.
Lumber Liquidators has walked the plank this year. The stock had fallen nearly 80 percent in 2015 before Thursday's pop, most of that damage coming after "60 Minutes" ran a scathing report alleging that its China-sourced laminates had dangerous levels of formaldehyde. However, after months of analyst downgrades and plunging price targets, there's finally someone ready to pound the table.
Walmart (WMT) -- Loser
It isn't easy being Walmart these days. The stock hit another 52-week low after posting uninspiring quarterly results. Walmart lowered its profit guidance for the entire fiscal year. Adding insult to injury, rival Target (TGT) also reported fresh financials, and it actually boosted its outlook.
Home Depot (HD) -- Winner
The orange aprons are cleaning up. Home Depot came through with a strong quarterly report. The home improvement superstore chain experienced a 5.7 percent spike in comparable-store sales since the prior year, and it's also boosting its guidance.
The strong report earned Wall Street's attention. Analysts at Argus and Credit Suisse raised their price targets on the retailer.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot, Lumber Liquidators and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lumber Liquidators and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Looking for a winner for your portfolio? Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.