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Vale has good dividend news for shareholders, and is planning a share buyback.
Looking for a big shareholder-friendly Brazilian commodities play?
I'd look right past Petrobras (PBR), where the Brazilian government took a bigger stake (48%) after the company's $67-billion share offering last week, to Vale (VALE), the country's big iron ore exporter. (For more on why the Petrobras offering was bad news for investors, see my post).
Vale announced two important moves for shareholders last week. First, the company will pay out $2.75 billion in dividends to shareholders in three tranches by next January. The cash for this dividend payout comes from Vale's sale of its aluminum assets to Norsk Hydro (NHYDY) for $4.9 billion.
Google's Android is now neck-and-neck with Apple's iPhone.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
The iPhone continues to lose ground to the gaggle of Google-powered smart phones running the Android software platform. And if Apple doesn’t do something fast, it risks losing its perch among smart-phone manufacturers.
Specifically, 38% of some 4,000 surveyed said they would prefer to buy a phone running the Apple iOS in the next 90 days and 37% of respondents were eyeing an Android-powered phone. That’s a big shift from three months ago, when 50% of future buyers were favoring the just-released iPhone and 30% were anticipating an Android smart phone.
The index is close to seeing its 50-day average surpass its 200-day average. What does the phenomenon mean?
A golden cross is generally considered good news for stocks, and one hasn't been seen in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 2005. A golden cross occurs when the 50-day average moves higher than the 200-day average (when both are rising).
The 50-day average for the Dow is 0.1% away from the golden cross, Bloomberg reports. It would take a significant sell-off to avoid a golden cross, writes one Seeking Alpha contributor.
The retailer partners with Humana to beat out other plans for Medicare recipients.
Wal-Mart (WMT) upended the drug industry in 2006 by offering $4 generic drugs. Now the retailing giant is at it again, unveiling the cheapest prescription drug plan in the country.
Wal-Mart has partnered with health insurance company Humana (HUM) and will offer the plan to people on Medicare, Bloomberg reports. Starting Jan. 1, the plan will cost only $14.80 a month -- less than half the average Medicare premium for prescription drugs.
It's a win-win for both companies. Humana wants to boost its market share and hopes Wal-Mart will bring in enough business to keep its drug plans profitable. Wal-Mart wants more people to visit its pharmacies instead of Walgreens (WAG) or CVSCaremark (CVS).
Microsoft's big 3-phone debut at AT&T will take the spotlight off Apple for a change.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
AT&T is expected to unveil phones from HTC, Samsung and LG, according the The Wall Street Journal. They will be the first phones in the U.S. to run on Microsoft's long-awaited Windows 7 operating system. Given what's at stake for Microsoft and the size of its bank account, the Windows 7 event at AT&T will not be a low-key affair.
The timing of the announcement, reported to be Oct. 11, and the media blitz leading up to the launch in November will attempt to put Microsoft phones center stage during the holidays. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)
A double standard exists in the media: Being bearish means never having to say you're sorry.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Asymmetrical thinking. That's what my friend Tom Keene at Bloomberg calls the notion of how you're viewed as an excellent thinker and a helpful participant in the debate if you are negative about a stock or the market -- right or wrong. If you are positive and right about the stock and the market, it means very little. And if you are positive and wrong about the market, then you are roundly criticized, often to the point that it ain't worth it. That's how bad the heat is.
We had a classic example in the papers this week. In Wednesday's Wall Street Journal a constantly saturnine writer, Kelly Evans, who writes a very important article on the left-hand corner of the "Money and Investing" section, penned a piece called "Weak Economy Saps Dollar Stores' Strength." In it there were a series of negative thoughts about Family Dollar (FDO), which was due to report the very morning the article appeared.
The incredibly cautionary article talked about how the "discount space is looking increasingly crowded" and how there already may be too many stores. Then the article gets more negative: "More troubling, the squeeze on dollar stores' core lower-end shoppers is getting worse as unemployment continues to hover just below 10% and the economic rebound proves anemic." That macro backdrop, Evans writes, "is likely to put pressure on margins."
One website takes a screwdriver to Apple's latest gadget and finds a chunk of storage.
One of the most notable features in Apple's (AAPL) new Apple TV device is the storage -- or, more specifically, the lack of storage. That's one reason the device, which brings online video to your television, is so tiny and affordable.
The previous Apple TV had a 160GB hard drive, but Apple now wants people to rent movies and TV shows instead of buying them, thus eliminating the need for storage.
Or so we thought. The tech website iFixit got hold of the new gadget and took it apart -- only to find 8 gigabytes of storage space included.
Every Dreamliner delay hurts, but this plane has a huge order book awaiting its arrival.
That's set up an opportunity to buy this stock for the eventual good news about its product cycle while getting paid a yield of 2.55%, just below the 2.65% yield on a ten-year Treasury.
Boeing's shares were down 5.4% Wednesday from their price on Aug. 2. You don't have to look very hard for a reason for the drop: another setback for Boeing's oft-delayed 787 Dreamliner.
After blasting higher on dollar weakness, gold and gold stocks look ready for a pullback.
Gold has been a hot commodity over the last few months as the U.S. dollar tumbled. The trend picked up some momentum lately after the Federal Reserve announced last week that it was shifting its focus from fighting inflation to fighting deflation -- and would consider another round of money printing to support its efforts.
As a result, since July 28 the Gold Trust SPDR (GLD) is up 12.7% and the Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 20% while the S&P 500 only managed to add 2.8%. Gold mining stocks have even outperformed the broad index since stocks put in a low on August 26. this was helped of course by the 4.8% slide in the dollar.
But now, there are signs that gold mining stocks are poised for a meaningful pullback. Despite the push to new highs by gold prices, mining stocks Kinross Gold (KGC) and Newmont Mining (NEM) have lagged behind. A similar "negative divergence" warned to trouble back in June. Let's take a look at a few examples of the weakness that has begun to plague the industry group.
One market observer says Sept. 30 in a midterm year is a special day.
Sept. 30 in a midterm election year is generally the market's low point of a presidential election cycle, Eddy Elfenbein writes. It's the best day to buy stocks, he adds.
Elfenbein looked at the numbers over the entire history of the Dow and found that the Dow generally gains about 24% in the one-year period starting Sept. 30 of the midterm election year.
If the numbers hold true, that means the Dow could see a 24% rise from today through Sept. 6, 2011.
Shares continue to climb despite another setback for the new freighter.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
In early afternoon trading Thursday, Boeing stock was up 1.3% to $66.85 despite the news. The shares opened the year at $55.72 and have gained about 25% year to date. Boeing remains the third-best-performing stock in the Dow average, behind Caterpillar (CAT) and DuPont (DD).
Boeing said Thursday the first delivery of the 747 cargo aircraft is now expected in mid-2011.
The company cites higher fuel costs for the 'pricing adjustment.'
If your business relies on FedEx for shipping its products, this might not come as the best news. FedEx (FDX) announced Wednesday that it will raise prices by an average of 3.9% starting Jan. 3.
The world's largest air-cargo carrier says the hike is an attempt to compensate for the rising cost of fuel. FedEx apparently spent $887 million on fuel last year, an increase of 33% over the year before.
Six months ago, when the US was out of control, news of Ireland's $68 billion bank bailout and Spain's debt downgrade could have sent us into a tailspin.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why can't they just release all the bad news at once over in Europe? This morning I watched a pained Irish finance minister talk tough about the Irish bank bailout that will take years for the country to recover from. This was a long, drawn-out process that we all knew had to take place, all except the poor uninformed individuals who were still allowed to buy the common stocks of the Irish banks, even after it was obvious they were going to be diluted to death.
A tough-talking Brian Lenihan laid out plans for a $68 billion bailout that will include a cash induction for Anglo Irish and a majority control of Allied Irish (AIB), a stock that people have asked me about repeatedly because it "looks so cheap."
At the same time, Moody's cut Spain's bond ratings because of the large deficit in that country -- rocked again by a property bubble gone bad and overspending by the government -- and the gloom proceeds unabated.
American Tower is on a roll, but much of its expected revenue growth is already priced into the stock.
On Aug. 3, the company reported second-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, 5 cents a share above Wall Street's projections. Revenue climbed by 11% from the second quarter of 2009, coming in at $469.9 million -- about 1% ahead of expectations.
But the key metric for American Tower is price-to-cash flow. The company takes its cash flow and uses it to buy more cell-phone towers (or to buy complete cell-phone tower competitors). That in turn produces more cash flow, which American Tower uses to buy more towers.
The company is reportedly working with Skype to allow members to call and video chat with each other.
Recall that Google recently launched voice calling from Gmail, allowing (through the end of the year, at least) people to make free calls from their Gmail page. I've been using that feature daily to make free long-distance calls from my computer.
Some thought the new service was the death knell for online calling service Skype. But Skype showed Wednesday that it's very much in the game with an alliance with Facebook (also known as Google enemy No. 1).
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 settled lower by 0.8% after early strength turned into afternoon weakness.
Today's headline event came in the form of Ben Bernanke's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. During his remarks, Chairman Bernanke said premature tightening of monetary policy could stall the pace of recovery. This followed weeks of conflicting remarks from FOMC members, which sparked speculation regarding possible changes to the Fed's policy course.
However, ... More
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