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After a short but sweet rebound rally, evidence suggests that a pause is in order.
Although I'm still bullish over the long-term, stocks and other risky assets are poised for a short-term pullback in the wake of the impressive rally that's taken the S&P 500 ($SPX) up 5.6% since the end of August. After bounding higher, shares are now meeting overhead resistance while at the same time, various technical indicators have moved into overbought territory. That's not a good sign.
Moreover, there are fresh worries over the health of the European financial system on reports this week that recently completed "stress tests" by regulators -- which were intended to boost confidence -- weren't as rigorous as they should've been. This has cast doubt on the entire situation and led investors to bid up safe haven assets like the U.S. dollar. That, in turn, has weighed on commodity prices and equities in general.
So while I still expect stocks to move up and out of the multi-month consolidation that has held the broad market indices since May, the situation is vulnerable to a pullback. Here's why.
A poor harvest in Colombia has triggered in a boom in prices.
Gold prices are hitting record levels, but there may be a better place to put your money.
With coffee prices hitting a 13-year high, the Wall Street Journal is hinting that investors might be better off owning coffee beans.
A second-straight poor coffee bean harvest in Colombia has triggered in a boom in coffee bean prices. The move higher may just be a supply-related event, but demand for coffee around the world is rising. This move in coffee may be the beginning of a bull run that has yet to run full course.
The weak economy has slowed the pace of public offerings, creating a large backlog.
That's the biggest IPO backlog since 2000, when anything with a dot-com in its name was going public. And this time, the companies hope to raise more than $56 billion -- a record amount.
"The question is whether the market can absorb it all," a principal at Renaissance Capital, the research firm that collected the data, told the Times. I'd say the answer to that is a big fat no.
Emerging-market stocks are set to grow significantly in market value as their economies expand.
And the market value of stocks in emerging markets could hit $80 trillion, overtaking developed nations, the analysts added, as reported by Bloomberg. Emerging nations are growing their economies faster, and could nab as much as 55% of the world's equity capitalization within 20 years.
Wall Street is all over this one. Look for emerging-market stocks to start filling in a larger chunk of investment portfolios as we head to this new reality.
The company is rolling out 'Google Instant,' which shows results as you type in queries.
The new feature, called Google Instant, will start showing results as the letters come in. If you were to search for "Sleeping Beauty," for instance, you'd start to see results with the first "S" -- and the list would change with each letter added (You can try it here).
The idea is to shave just a few seconds off of the typical search query. Google says that it takes people 9 seconds to type in a search and 15 seconds to pick a result, according to VentureBeat. This new way of showing results could cut that process by up to 5 seconds.
Critics think the move aims to encourage drive-through coffee drinkers to get a larger, more expensive cup.
In a move that critics see as a greedy menu change to boost profits, Starbucks (SBUX) has erased the "tall" (small) coffee option from its drive-through menu. Defenders claim the switch is simply a way to reduce order confusion.
The "tall" remains on in-store menus and, yes, you can still order a drive-through "tall" if you request it. But across the nation, that size has all but vanished on outdoor drive-through signs. The new signage, rolled out over the past few weeks, lists only "grande" and "venti."
The theory among some consumers: Starbucks is encouraging you to buy a bigger cup of joe to perk up profits.
Consumer Reports scores MCD last out of 18 restaurants. Should the company be worried? And who ranks No. 1?
By Burke Speaker, InvestorPlace
McDonald’s (MCD) may be the No. 1 burger brand in the world, but it also has the dubious honor of having the worst-tasting burger in a new Consumer Reports ranking.
The poll of 28,000 online subscribers to the independent consumer advocacy magazine asked respondents to rate the burgers they had eaten on their most recent restaurant visits.
So who won the survey?
Finding 100% profits in 12 months isn't out of the question if the cards fall right -- either via huge growth or buyouts.
Finding stocks to buy is simple on paper. It's all well and good to say a stock posting improving earnings is a good buy with upside potential. But how much upside?
The truth is that picking investments capable of dramatic gains -- potentially as much as doubling your money -- is much harder. That's because charts don't offer much support for big moves like this, and efficient market theory argues against such short-term performance.
But finding doublers, while difficult, is not impossible.
The movie-rental company joins forces with Nu Image and Millennium Films.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Netflix (NFLX) announced a deal on Wednesday that will expand its streaming library.
The movie-rental company will partner with Nu Image and Millennium Films, which will give Netflix rights to stream first-run theatrical films distributed through the studio during the "pay TV window." The films typically have been licensed to premium TV channels.
Netflix has been expanding its content library in recent months through agreements with Fox, MTV Networks and Warner Television.
If there's another bank-related slowdown, watch for a shift out of value shares like Bank of America and into these discounted growth stocks.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why these two pairs? Because I think they represent the cheapest to growth and the cheapest to value. And if things really are slowing badly again, after we determined last week that they weren't, and if value stocks are losing value while growth is coming to the fore, then Teva and MHS -- both of which bucked the downward trend Tuesday -- will get more legs.
I like these two growth stocks because they are selling at the biggest discounts to their growth in their histories.
Equipment maker Joy Global bumps up guidance as a backlog of orders climbs.
Investors who bid up the price of construction machinery and mining equipment stocks before Joy Global (JOYG) announced earnings on Sept. 1 should be happy with the company's report (For more on the sector, see my post).
Joy Global announced July-quarter (the fiscal third quarter for the company) earnings per share of $1.13, 10 cents ahead of the Wall Street consensus. Revenue came in a little light at $850 million, versus the analysts' projection of $877 million.
But the big deal was the company's increased guidance for fiscal 2010, which since Joy Global's fiscal year ends in October means a big bump in guidance for the fourth quarter of 2010.
The search giant gives more details about its new 'Google TV' service, which it plans to launch this fall.
Google (GOOG) said it will launch a free service this fall that lets people browse the Web on their televisions, joining a growing crowd of companies fighting for a piece of the living room.
The company is working with television-set makers to add "Google TV" to new sets, and has so far signed Sony (SNE) as a partner, Reuters reported. Samsung is also considering the plan.
"Once you have Google television, you're going to be very busy," said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt Tuesday as he demonstrated the product in Berlin, according to Wired. "It's going to ruin your evening."
A quick and easy guide to deflation.
For the answer to that question, check out the "visual guide to deflation" at the Mint blog. It's a really nice overview of deflation, what causes it, what does it do to the economy and how do we fix it.
The guide is actually a little dated, but it's being resurrected by some financial types this week because deflation concerns are weighing heavily on economists' minds lately.
Morningstar unveils the top stock sales from its 'ultimate stock-pickers' team.
Morningstar reported the second-quarter holdings of its 'Ultimate Stock-Pickers' this week, and for the most part, few of the top 10 had changed. The stock-pickers still like stability, choosing companies with solid revenue, sound balance sheets and a growing cash pile, writes analyst Greggory Warren.
All the usual suspects were on the list, including Coca-Cola (KO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Microsoft (MSFT). Note: Microsoft publishes MSN Money.
But the list of top sales is where it gets interesting.
Our northern neighbor has big opportunities in banks, railroads and more because of strong financial footing and natural resources.
By Richard Young, InvestorPlace.com
Canadian stocks are coming into favor as the specter of inflation rears its ugly head and the fate of the recovery is anything but certain. That’s because Canada’s financial system is stable and because the nation is rich with natural resources and can keep plugging along even if consumers don’t open up their wallets again anytime soon.
That means Canada investments could be big in 2011. Why Canadian stocks? Well, there are a few reasons:
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In the never-ending contest for sales, American carmakers are pulling ahead.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended modestly lower with the S&P 500 shedding 0.3%.
The benchmark average saw an opening loss of 1.2% after Japan's Nikkei tumbled 7.3%. Japanese stocks sold off amid continued volatility in Japanese Government Bond futures as the 10-yr yield spiked almost 16 basis points to 1.002 before the Bank of Japan's JPY2 trillion liquidity injection caused yields to retrace their gains.
Adding insult to injury was news out of China where the HSBC ... More
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