Wild market ride is just beginning
Wild market ride is just beginning

October is known for above-average volatility, though the reasons are unclear. Expect more of the same this time around.


US markets were able to rally hard and largely trim the day's losses. Meanwhile, a bounce in crude oil could be in the offing.

By InvestorPlace 8 hours ago

Credit: © Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: A pedestrian carrying an umbrella passes a U.S. flag on Wall Street in front of the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange in New York
By Anthony Mirhaydari, InvestorPlace

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are rattled global markets on Monday, continuing the selling pressure from last week.

Asia ex-Japan was down hard, with the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) dropping below its 200-day moving average as a result. Beijing has reportedly given local authorities 48 hours to stop the protest -- lest they attract attention in the mainland -- setting the stage for an outbreak of violence.

But after Europe closed, U.S. markets were able to rally hard and largely trim the day's losses. In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent, the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.1 percent, and the Russell 2000 lost 0.1 percent.


There is such a thing as too much information, especially if it leads to frenetic trading.

By MSN Money Partner 11 hours ago
Credit: © Milenko Bokan/Getty Images
Caption: Young woman on the street with smart phoneBy Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch

There's a phrase that consumers and investors should remember at times when they're looking for ways to improve their financial lives by using their smart phone:

There's a nap for that.

No matter how many financial apps I look at, most of them would be better replaced by simply putting down the phone and taking a nap. You might not save enough time to take the ideal 26-minute nap recommended by NASA as the perfect pick-me-up, but you also won't blow up your finances by accident.

That doesn't mean that all financial apps are bad, because there are plenty of good ones out there. I like finding the nearest, low-cost gas station with GasBuddy when I'm running on empty, I have friends with multiple rewards credit cards who swear byWallaby, and I'm reading the financial news whenever I have a spare minute (yes, using the MarketWatch app), which simply helps me to do my job.


Economic growth doesn't automatically lead to salary growth, the former president says.

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago
Credit: © Greg Allen/Invision/AP
Caption: Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the closing plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative on Sept. 24, 2014 in New YorkBy Katie Kramer, CNBC

For former President Bill Clinton, host of the annual gathering of business and political leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative, the American economy isn't feeling as secure as it should.

Median household income in 2013 was $51,900, according to recent reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, 8 percent lower than before the recession began in 2007. 

During the Clinton presidency from 1993 to 2001, median family income in the United States rose to $49,000 from $37,000.

"Median income hasn't gone up for three reasons," Clinton said. "One is the labor markets aren't tight enough, and we haven't raised the minimum wage as we should. And the second reason is we haven't changed the job mix enough, to raise the median income and have more poor people working into it. The combination of jobs has to pay, on average, higher wages."


The economy is growing and inflation is under control. What's the problem?

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago
Credit: © Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Caption: A trader points to a stock chart on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly before the closing bell in New York July 2, 2014By Jeff Reeves, MarketWatch

As the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) recedes from recent highs over 2,000 points, investors are once again assaulted with bubble talk.

Never mind that the stock market is still up about 7 percent in 2014 after slipping 1.4 percent last week. 

And forget that forecasts for third-quarter GDP are strong, and estimates for earnings growth in the same period are around 8.9 percent.

The end is nigh, right?


Investors pulled $10 billion in assets following the departure of co-founder Bill Gross. The company could lose at least $100 billion in all.

By MSN Money Partner 14 hours ago
Credit: © Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: A Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO) advertisement is displayed on a building in Hong Kong, China, on Nov. 13, 2013By Kirsten Grind, Gregory Zuckerman and Min Zeng, The Wall Street Journal

Pacific Investment Management Co. suffered roughly $10 billion of withdrawals following the Friday departure of co-founder Bill Gross, a person familiar with the matter said, a sign of how quickly Mr. Gross's surprise move is reshaping the bond-investing landscape.

Pimco is bracing for more outflows on the heels of the veteran investor's departure after months of internal strife over his leadership. At the same time, some managers say they remain committed to the firm.

Some within the Newport Beach, Calif., investment firm are projecting it will lose at least $100 billion or more in assets due to withdrawals, the person familiar with the matter said, and some analysts peg the estimate higher.


The fourth quarter has historically been an especially good time to own stocks.

By MSN Money Partner 14 hours ago
Credit: © Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Caption: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 22, 2014, in New York CityBy Alex Rosenberg, CNBC

With summer over and fall beginning, the market may be ready to turn a new leaf -- and a big, green bullish leaf at that.

Over the past five years, the fourth quarter has been an especially good time to own stocks. And with managed money badly lagging the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) for 2014 as the fourth quarter kicks off on Wednesday, the market may be in for a surge of bullish bets that could drive stocks significantly higher.

"A lot of funds have underperformed the market, and as you get into the fourth quarter, you'll definitely see a lot of performance chasing," said MacNeil Curry, technical strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "We do tend to see a strong trend where anyone who is a buyer of risk tends to do very well in Q4 as well as in Q1 -- in equities in particular."


The service is free to join, boasts no ads, collects no data and is joinable only by invitation.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 3:28 PM
Credit: © Ello.co
Caption: Screenshot of Ello website entry pageBy Matt Hunter and Uptin Saiidi, CNBC

The extremely rapid growth of Ello, an ad- and data-collection-free social network, already has some in the press referring to the company as a Facebook (FBkiller.

And while there's no denying the network is growing fast (currently about 27,000 people are signing up per hour, founder Paul Budnitz told CNBC), or that the site was launched, at least partially, in reaction to all the data Facebook collects on its users, don't expect the nascent company to really threaten Facebook's dominance, said Jason Stein, founder of social media analytics firm Laundry Service.

Ello was first launched in July with little engagement. Part of the reason for the latest growth spurt is Facebook's recent suspension of accounts of drag performers who weren't using what's considered to be a "real name."


After falling for 11 years straight, the company's soft-drink volumes have seen a lift in the last year.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 2:19 PM
Credit: © Coca-Cola via YouTube
Caption: Still of Coca-Cola promo video showing Coke bottles with namesBy Mike Esterl, The Wall Street Journal

How do you get Americans to drink soda again? Put their names on bottles and cans.

Coca-Cola's (KO) carbonated soft-drink sales in the U.S. have risen more than 2 percent after the world's most-famous beverage brand began labeling Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero this summer with names of individuals, from Aaron to Sarah to Zach.

The labels -- which also included warm-and-fuzzy terms like "Friends,'' "BFF,'' and "Family'' -- were launched in the U.S. in June.

The idea was to get consumers to buy personalized bottles and cans not just for themselves but also for friends and family. The "Share a Coke'' campaign has been such a hit that, for at least a few months, it reversed a decadelong decline in U.S. Coke consumption. 

Tags: DPS

October is known for above-average volatility, though the reasons are unclear. Expect more of the same this time around.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 2:05 PM
Caption: Stock graph
Credit: © Fry Design Ltd/Getty ImagesBy Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch

This week's extraordinary stock market volatility is just a harbinger of things to come.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's ($INDU) daily change each day this week, for example, has been in the triple digits. The CBOE's Volatility Index (VIX) closed Thursday more than 30 percent higher than where it stood at the end of last week.

Unfortunately for those of you who crave calm markets, October is likely to be even more volatile, at least as measured by the VIX.


Once a high-flying stock shop, the company got hit hard when the Internet bubble burst.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 1:31 PM
Credit: © David Zalubowski/AP
Caption: Unidentified shoppers walk past the sign outside the Janus Capital Group offices in Denver, April 27, 2004By Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch

Bill Gross just made Janus Capital Corp. (JNS) relevant in the mutual fund industry again.

Janus was the high-flying stock-picking shop of the 1990s that got crunched when the Internet bubble burst and dragged through the mud for its involvement in a 2003 rapid-trading scandal that pushed fed-up investors out the door.

Since then, the company has been an afterthought in the fund world, known more for losing its last brand-name managers than for rebuilding its tarnished reputation. 

Denver-based Janus Capital is best known for stock-focused funds. It managed $177.7 billion in assets as of June 30, and fixed-income assets accounted for just $31.4 billion of that.


Tensions at the company have bubbled up in recent weeks as investors have pulled their holdings.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 12:02 PM
Bill Gross
Jonathan Alcorn/Newscom/ZUMA PressBy Kirsten Grind and Michael Calia, The Wall Street Journal

Legendary bond investor Bill Gross (pictured) has left Pacific Investment Management Co., the firm he founded in 1971, following a year of heavy outflows from his flagship bond fund and a fight with his former chief executive and heir apparent.

Pimco, a unit of German insurer Allianz SE, was getting ready to fire Mr. Gross just before he resigned, according to people familiar with the matter. The move was driven by Pimco, not by Allianz, these people said, and comes as tensions had bubbled up at the firm in recent weeks.

Mr. Gross will depart Pimco for a position at Janus Capital (JNS), where he will manage a newly created bond fund.


It's a delayed reaction for sure, but at last we are seeing the real-world impact of lower gasoline prices.

By Jim Cramer Fri 11:34 AM

Image: Buying gas © moodboard/CorbisFor days on end, we've watched the price of oil go down, taking with it not just the oil and gas complex but the entire stock market.

At the same time, people worry that this key commodity's decline signals perhaps a larger economic slowdown in the offing, not just a developing glut of U.S. oil from the new shales I am always writing about.

I have said over and over that the stock market can be dysfunctional for days on end, and this oil decline has been a perfect example of how stupid the market can be. Naturally, when oil goes down, there is a reaction in the real world, and that reaction is quite different from the constrained and often barely coherent stock market world.

Oil's decline -- whether from voluminous supply or lackluster demand or even a stronger dollar -- means lower prices at the pump and lower packaging costs for the packaged-goods companies. That's good! Yet the oil price plummet has had a dampening effect for days on the entire S&P 500. That's the insidious moron effect that comes from the thoughtless computer-driven algorithms: Soft oil equals a soft economy.


Stocks take a beating on Apple, Russia and a collapse in bonds. A correction may be in the wings.

By InvestorPlace Thu 5:02 PM

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange minutes after a Federal Reserve announcement on January 29, 2014 in New York City
© Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBy Anthony Mirhaydari

For weeks, I've known something was off.

High-yield bonds have been coming under intense selling pressure, no doubt related to the approaching end of the Federal Reserve's QE3 bond purchase stimulus next month.

The U.S. Dollar has been absolutely soaring, pinching euro-dollar carry trades and pummeling commodities including crude oil and precious metals. And internally, within the stock market, breadth has been narrowing dangerously as buyers find fewer and fewer stocks attractive at these levels.

Well, on Thursday, something finally snapped.

As a result, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) plunged below its 50-day moving average for the first time since July while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) lost more than 260 points as it fell back below the 17,000 level.


Here are the sob stories and rising stars in the competitive retail sector.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 2:51 PM
People walk past a Men's Wearhouse store on November 2, 2011 in Oakland, Calif. (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch

Are RadioShack (RSH) and Sears (SHLD) giving you a sinking feeling about retail stocks?

In the dog-eat-dog world of retail in the United States, there are always sob stories and rising stars. On the tables below, we listed the companies with the best sales growth over the past year, as well as those with the best numbers over the longer term. 

We also provide the same information for the "worst" retailers. Following that, we look at which of the winners and losers are expected by analysts to achieve the strongest sales growth over the following two years.


Are you more swayed by the Fed's easy-money policy, or by corporate earnings and other fundamentals?

By MSN Money Partner Thu 1:39 PM
Credit: © Image Source/Corbis
Caption: Bull and Bear MarketsBy MarketWatch staff

What's your take on the market? 

Are you a bull, teeming with the belief that stocks are enjoying a healthy runup in price? 

Or a bear, quavering at the specter of market corrections in every piece of economic news? 

Either way, it's likely that bulls and bears are poring over the exact same data sets. Therein lies the quirky nature of financial divination.

One of the main differences between bulls and bears rests in their belief about the origin of this current bull market: the easy money Fed policy; or mostly by fundamentals, such as earnings.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new week on a cautious note. The S&P 500 lost 0.3%, but managed to erase more than half of its opening decline. Thanks to the rebound, the benchmark index reclaimed its 50-day moving average (1976.78) after slipping below that level in the morning.

Equities slumped at the open amid a couple global developments that dampened the overall risk appetite. Continued student protests in Hong Kong and a potential response from China weighed on the ... More


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