8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.


Wells Fargo boss John Stumpf thinks growth will rebound in the second quarter.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 17, 2014 12:38PM
Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Caption: Chairman & CEO of Wells Fargo John Stumpf addresses the 2014 annual conference of the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) April 25, 2014 in Washington, DCBy Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

The U.S. economy is "stronger than people think," Wells Fargo (WFC) Chairman and CEO John Stumpf told CNBC on Thursday.

"We were all surprised by the first-quarter GDP," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Who knows what second quarter will be, but I think it will surprise on the upside."

Gross domestic product contracted at a 2.9 percent annual rate the first quarter, the economy's worst performance in five years. Economists expect GDP to growth around 3 percent in the second quarter.

If you exclude housing, Stumpf said, the economy is better now than it was during the boom years of 2000 to 2008.

Tags: WFC

Investors will be paying close attention to the company's cost-per-click revenue, among other areas.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 17, 2014 12:03PM
Caption: The entrance of the Google offices in Brussels on February 5, 2014
Credit: © Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Cadie Thompson, CNBC

Investors will be looking to see whether Google (GOOG) has turned around the decline in cost-per-click revenue when the company reports earnings after the bell on Thursday.

Although paid clicks -- or the number of people clicking through paid search ads -- increased 26 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, the cost per click declined 9 percent for the same period.

"People are going to be very focused on CPCs [the amount an advertiser pays Google per user click] because it's an indication on how they are monetizing mobile. Monetizing that well is important in moving Google forward," said Shyam Patil, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, Google needs to make sure that its click growth rate can help compensate for declines in CPC, which are likely to continue for some time, Patil said.


If you're worried about the moves in the current market, you need to cash out now.

By Jim Cramer Jul 17, 2014 12:02PM

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, 2014 © Lucas Jackson/ReutersNobody likes spoilsports, least of all me. Yet that's exactly what we are getting after months and months of tranquility, and it is beginning to worry me.

In the past few weeks, I have received a number of calls and way too many Tweets from people who are complaining about small moves in stocks. One caller is very worried about the sudden 2-point swoon in Gilead (GILD). Another is upset about a buck-and-a-half decline in Celgene (CELG). Two Twitter followers feel scalded by a set of $0.20 and $0.30 declines in the stock of Rite Aid (RAD).

But Wednesday took the cake when a 9-cent drop in Globalstar (GSAT) caused a caller to be both apoplectic and scared.

OK, put aside the knowledge that Gilead and Celgene are up from $65 to $87 and $68 to $86 in a little more than three months. Overlook that Rite Aid is up by 40 percent and Globalstar is up 132 percent this year!


The Chinese e-commerce giant had wanted to have shares trading by mid-August, but that proved too ambitious.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 17, 2014 11:50AM
Caption: The logo of Alibaba Group in China
Credit: © Ju Huanzong/Rez FeaturesBy Telis Demos, The Wall Street Journal

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is now planning to launch its initial public offering after the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Sept. 1, according to a person familiar with the company.

The Chinese e-commerce giant has been working on a potentially $20 billion initial public offering for this summer, and it had been planning to launch the deal as soon as the end of this month.

The decision to delay the deal was made because the company couldn't be certain it would complete its pre-IPO work this month, the person familiar with the move said. 

The goal had been to complete the IPO and have the shares trading by mid-August, before the IPO market slows.


The notorious dictator is upset that a 'Call of Duty' title made him out to be a kidnapper and murderer.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 4:13PM
File photo of Manuel Noriega
© Alberto Lowe/ReutersBy Joseph Adinolfi, MarketWatch

Three years after being freed from a U.S. prison and returning to Panama, former strongman Manuel Noriega (pictured) is suing Activision Blizzard (ATVI) for using his name and likeness without his permission.

Panama's notorious military dictator, who ruled the country from 1983 until 1989 when he was removed from power and imprisoned in the U.S., alleges that the game "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" portrayed him as a "kidnapper, murderer, and enemy of the state."

The lawsuit alleges this was done to "heighten realism in the game . . . [which] translates directly into heightened sales," The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Noriega is not the only notable figure whose likeness was used in "Black Ops II." The game received media attention on its release because of a character resembling former U.S. Gen. David Petraeus.


It's had a big run over the past few months, but it still hasn't reached its full potential.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 3:54PM
Apple logo at a store in San Francisco, Calif. (© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Jeff Reeves, MarketWatch

Apple (AAPL) is a force on Wall Street, with a cult-like appeal for investors and consumers.

As such, I make a habit of checking in on Apple every three months or so. In December, I gave 10 reasons to buy Apple in this column; the stock is up 18 percent since then, double the  Standard & Poor's 500 Index's ($INX) gain. After strong earnings in April, however, I warned there may be trouble on the horizon.

And now that Apple has tacked on about 30 percent in three months, the stakes are raised. So is Apple stock gathering steam, set to jump amid the company's earnings report Thursday? Or is this big run over the last few months too much, too quickly?

While it may sound like a flip-flop after my take in April (or, maybe a flip-flop on April's flip-flop from December?), I actually think Apple has more upside to come this year.

Here are a host of reasons why, and what to look for when the company reports earnings Thursday after the stock market closes:


The move, known as an inversion, has never been attempted by a major American retailer.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 3:32PM
People walk by a Walgreens in Boston, Mass., on April 30, 2013 (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)By Paul Ziobro, The Wall Street Journal

Walgreen's (WAG) first pharmacy opened 113 years ago inside a hotel on Chicago's South Side and this year, the chain will derive nearly all its sales and most of its profits from its 8,700 U.S. locations.

But Walgreen is currently thinking about leaving American shores, as part a plan to buy the rest of Alliance Boots GmbH, which operates a U.K. drugstore chain and is based in Switzerland. 

The move could help Walgreen lower its U.S. tax bill saving the company hundreds of millions of dollars a year -- money that wouldn't flow into the U.S. Treasury.

If it goes ahead, it would be an unusual use of the controversial and complex maneuver known as an inversion. While well tested among pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies that earn much of their income overseas or have assets like patents that are held offshore, the move has never been attempted by a major U.S. retailer, according to tax experts.


About 70 percent of them say they want to quit, but that just doesn't happen.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 2:42PM
Teenager lighting a cigarette (© Diverse Images/UIG/Getty Images)By Mike Esterl, Karishma Mehrotra and Valerie Bauerlein, The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. adult smoking rate has plunged to below 20 percent from more than 40 percent half a century ago. 

Increasingly, smokers are poorer and less educated. And many smokers call themselves "occasional" or social smokers, consciously reining themselves in to try to avoid getting hooked.

Still, there are more than 40 million smokers in the U.S. today. And beneath the broad trends are pockets of growth and opportunity that are generating great interest in the tobacco industry.

Smoking rates are higher in gay, lesbian and bisexual groups, which are being targeted by the industry. More Americans are switching to menthol cigarettes like Newport, Lorillard's (LO) biggest brand. Indeed, Newport is the hot brand that Reynolds American (RAI) expects to add to its portfolio with its planned $25 billion acquisition of Lorillard, announced Tuesday.


The precious metal could keep sliding until a major floor is found again.

By InvestorPlace Jul 16, 2014 1:23PM

Image: Small Stack of gold ingots © Anthony Bradshaw/PhotographerBy James Brumley

It's the proverbial pie in the face for traders who were sure gold was destined for higher highs.

On Monday, gold prices, along with the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), plunged a stunning 2.3 percent -- the biggest one-day dip of the year -- when Portugal's debt crisis didn't cause the country to sink into the ocean and drag the rest of Europe down with it.

The closing price of gold on Monday was $1,306.70 per ounce, pulling the commodity's price to its lowest level since June 18.

Gold fell further on Tuesday but slightly recovered Wednesday. In morning trading, gold for August delivery was at $1,299.40 an ounce.

The $64,000 question is, of course, what's next for gold prices? Answer: most likely, more downside.

Tags: GLD

Just wait until corporate IT departments start ripping out their PC gear to install Macs and iStuff.

By TheStreet.com Staff Jul 16, 2014 12:47PM

(From left) Apple & IBM logos © Hitij/epa/CorbisHow big a deal is the Apple-IBM deal? Wrong question. How smart is the Apple-IBM deal for Apple? Very.

I know IBM (IBM) is rallying harder than Apple (AAPL) on its newfound affiliation with the best ecosystem in the world. That's all well and good, and perhaps Ginny Rometty can spin the earnings that are reported Thursday with some Apple-infused excitement.

But to me, this is all about IT -- meaning that the objections of the IT departments are finally being met from the ground up.

TheStreet.com logoWe all know what's been going on at companies in this country for years and years. Ingrained IT people have been reluctant to support Apple, because Apple is a consumer company. It always wants us to carry around many devices. It always pleads that it is security that keeps the WINTEL system in place with its Blackberry adjunct.


The company courted the former Ford CEO for months. He injects a dose of independence to a group that has added just 1 other new member since 2005.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 12:38PM
Credit: © Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Alan Mulally, outgoing chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co.By Rolfe Winkler, Alistair Barr and Joann S. Lublin, The Wall Street Journal

Former Ford Motor (F) Chief Executive Alan Mulally, who flirted with Microsoft's (MSFT) top job last winter, has joined the board of another tech giant: Google (GOOG). (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

Mr. Mulally (pictured), who retired as Ford's CEO on July 1, became the 11th member of Google's board on July 9 and adds a dose of independence to a group that has added just one other new member since 2005. Mr. Mulally will serve on the board's audit committee.

Mr. Mulally, also a former Boeing (BA) executive, brings to Google expertise in both the auto and aviation industries as the search giant expands into self-driving cars, information and entertainment systems for cars and delivering Internet access from drones and satellites.


Time Warner surges after rejecting an $80 billion acquisition bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

By TheStreet.com Staff Jul 16, 2014 12:24PM

A general view of the Time Warner Center in New York City © Jason Szenes/epa/AlamyBy Keris Alison Lahiff, TheStreet

Time Warner  (TWX), owner of the Warner Brothers movie studio and popular pay-TV networks TBS, TNT and HBO, was surging Wednesday after confirming it had rebuffed media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox  (FOXA) bid to buy the company in a deal worth $80 billion.

Shares of New York-based Time Warner were gaining 16.4 percent to $82.70, its highest price since August, 2001, as investors buy into a deal whose offer may have to be increased before can be consummated. Fox, ever the acquirer, was dropping 1.7 percent to $33.49.

"21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies," New York-based 21st Century Fox said in a statement. "The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner." 


The bid for Time Warner may not go through, but it's an indication that the industry is ripe for consolidation.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 12:19PM
Credit: © Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Caption: A post that shows trades Time Warner stock on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2014By Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

The surprise $80 billion offer from 21st Century Fox (FOX) for Time Warner (TWX) may have been rejected, but more consolidation in media is likely, former Time Warner chief Gerald Levin told CNBC on Wednesday.

It's "part of the digital disruption" of the industry, he said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

"Even though content is normally king, the new age of the Googles, the Amazons, the Apples, the Netflixes all suggest that you have to be very entrepreneurial," Levin continued, "and most importantly, try and redefine your company."

"It's ultimately all about management," he added. "The ability to manage a combination. It's not just about blue-chip assets. That's another lesson from AOL-Time Warner."


The investor made waves recently when he was photographed in an Outback, but these days he favors Caddies.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 4:14PM
Credit: © Nati Harnik/AP

Caption: Warren BuffettBy Joann Muller, Forbes

Pretty much anything that billionaire Warren Buffett says or does makes news, it seems. 

So last week, when the influential investor was photographed sitting alone in a new Subaru Outback, a hungry blogger at AutoEvolution turned it into a story, which then went viral, including this post explaining how the no-nonsense Subaru is a perfect fit for the Wizard of Omaha's frugal investing style. 

CNBC tweeted the news to its 1.5 million followers and Subaru even jumped on board, posting the grainy photo and story on its Facebook page.

Buffett, whose modest tastes are well-known, was flabbergasted by the attention -- especially because the story was wrong. 


We already knew what she was going to say because, these days, the Federal Reserve can't stop talking about its plans. It wasn't always this way.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 3:58PM
Credit: © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Caption: Federal Reserve Chair Janet YellenBy Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

Humphrey-Hawkins Day used to mean something, but when Janet Yellen (pictured) went to Capitol Hill Tuesday to testify on the state of the economy, investors didn’t pay much attention.

We already knew what she was going to say because, these days, the Federal Reserve can barely shut up about what it thinks and what it plans to do.

These days, Yellen has plenty of other opportunities to explain herself and the deliberations of the Federal Open Market Committee. The Fed chairwoman doesn't need to wait for her ritual appearances in front of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. 

Yellen holds press conferences and conducts on-the-record interviews. The FOMC itself releases a long explanation after each meeting, and includes detailed forecasts and assumptions about the course of the economy every quarter. We even have a "dot plot" showing where each member thinks the federal funds rate will be years from now.



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