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Priority Inbox adds an extra filter for important messages.
By Anthony Agnello, InvestorPlace.com
First Gmail sorted out the spam. Now it will make sure that important contract doesn’t get lost amid chain letters from college pals or trash talk over your fantasy football team.
This week, Google (GOOG) will begin offering a new feature the company calls Priority Inbox. It will automatically predict which incoming messages are more likely to be read and therefore are more important to you.
Some people are worried that Gmail is getting a bit too nosy, but other time-strapped e-mail readers could embrace the technology as a better way to check mail. Here are the big features and possible drawbacks.
Merger-and-acquisition chatter is swirling around the technology sector, and these companies are in the spotlight.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
After a tough 2009, companies like IBM (IBM), HP, Dell and Intel now see a window of M&A opportunity, particularly given renewed uncertainty about the broader economy.
Instead of waging bidding wars and offering buybacks, top-tier technology companies should do something better with their cash -- like raise their dividends.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Don't these tech companies today make you feel like a chump?
How many times did former CEO Mark Hurd tell you that Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) had the soup-to-nuts offerings necessary to own the whole information technology chain? I know Dell (DELL) said it, too, but I never believed that company, hence my initial reaction to the 3Par (PAR) bid. Now the whole shebang shows the farcical nature of the assurances we have received about HP and Dell and their "multiyear" growth rates.
I am not reassured, by the way, by the $10 billion repurchase that HP announced. We all know now that share buybacks have largely been failures -- particularly in tech -- when it comes to keeping stock prices higher. Only dividends have worked.
And both HP and Dell, in my opinion, work lower, not higher, in large part because of this ridiculous, embarrassing bidding war. Can't they do something better with their cash?
HSBC has the green light to make an offer for South Africa's fourth-largest bank.
Old Mutual owns 51% of Nedbank and the insurer is a motivated seller because the company is selling assets to pay down debt. HSBC won't be able to gain 100% of Nedbank's outstanding shares because South African law reserves a percentage of shares for black investors, but the company should be able to gain the 70% of shares that it has said will let it achieve its strategic goals.
The executive is on track to receive nearly $60 million in pay this year
Hastings has sold 5,000 or 10,000 shares of company stock every week for seven years, the New York Post reports. With shares on fire this year, Hastings has received $31 million from the sales so far.
If shares can sustain their momentum, Hastings may get close to $60 million for all of 2010, writes Claire Atkinson. That's more than the $43 million received in 2009 by Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS(CBS).
As the bidding war rages on for the cloud-computing stock, these 2 picks could become the next acquisition targets.
By Bryan Perry, editor of Cash Machine
OK! I get it. Just when the American consumer is about to throw in the proverbal towel on the economic recovery, Dell Inc. (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) erupt into a classic black-heart-of-capitalism, knock down, drag out, donnybrook of a bidding war over data warehousing upstart 3PAR (PAR), a Silicon Valley-based company that is an early entrant in the much-ballyhooed cloud computing, virtualization, optimization revolution. Damn the consumer, business is business!
The main driver behind the bidding war comes down to the reality check of dealing with the onslaught of downloading complex digital/video content and new smartphone technology that clogs onsite data storage banks, drastically slowing data retrieval because of cyber bottlenecks. Cloud computing alleviates network overload and facilitates high-speed retrieval of bandwidth-hogging data banks.
But after the 3PAR dust settles, the real question is: Who's next in tech?
Yes, I'm talking about gold, starting with an established Canadian producer.
It is an established Canadian gold producer with operations principally in northwestern Quebec and exploration and development activities in Quebec, Ontario and Nevada. In addition, it owns producing properties in Finland and Mexico and is focused on the expansion and large-scale exploration program of its LaRonde Mine, which is expected to result in increased gold production and expanded gold reserves.
Gold is both a trading commodity and a major production component for the jewelry and electronics industries. As the economy recovers, the demand for jewelry will increase. Right now, the Europeans, Chinese and Russians are investing heavily in gold coins and bullion. Good producers like this can always make a profit.
Rumors of a potential acquisition surface as Skype readies for an initial public offering.
The TechCrunch site says that it heard about the offer from "reliable sources" and that the acquisition would have to be huge, since Skype insiders are hoping for a cool $5 billion valuation from the IPO. Another news site, VentureBeat, says it was also able to get confirmation of the offer from sources.
Cisco shares are down slightly in midday trading. Guess investors aren't that impressed with the rumor.
The Google-owned video service is moving toward an online pay-per-view rental model. Will it work?
By Anthony Agnello, InvestorPlace.com
Google (GOOG) was already making cable television providers nervous with its set-top box software, Google TV. Now major media companies should be downright terrified.
According to a report at the Financial Times, the ever-popular Google-owned video hosting website YouTube will soon begin offering pay-per-view rentals of major Hollywood films.
The unnamed on-demand service will be rolled out to American Internet users before an international launch. While pricing may change prior to launch, streaming movies will cost $5 per viewing.
And that's only the beginning of the Internet giant's push into digital broadcasting.
As the yen continues its troublesome rise, investors should watch exchange-traded funds such as BJK and IAU.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
ETF investors will be watching to see what steps will be taken to deal with inflationary problems in Vietnam and the troublesome rise in Japan's yen. Here are five exchange-traded funds that may make a move this week.
I have often looked to Vietnam as a promising frontier market. However, recently, the nation has faced pressure as its government takes bold steps in an effort to rein in its growing trade deficit, while at the same time preventing against the threat of inflation.
In response to the actions taken by the nation's leaders, the Vietnam ETF was pounded throughout most of last week, at one point testing new all-time lows.
The S&P 500 has dropped more than 5% over the past month, yet these shares have posted big gains.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The S&P 500 ($INX) has tumbled 5.6% in the past month as weak data have spurred a migration into bonds. But not all stocks have suffered in the sell-off. Here are five that have made big gains during the correction. Excluded from the list are telecom and utility stocks, which have countercyclical appeal because of their steady performance and large dividends.
5. The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com (AMZN), gained 5.5% over the past month. Second-quarter profit soared 45% to $206 million, or 45 cents a share, as revenue gained 41%. The operating margin narrowed from 4.7% to 4.5%. Amazon.com has $5.1 billion in cash and $132 million in debt.
AMZN trades at a forward earnings multiple of 35 and a book value multiple of 9.6, premiums to indices, but modest discounts to Internet retail peer averages. Roughly 54% of analysts covering Amazon.com rate its stock "buy." A median target of $142.69 implies a return of 15%.
The Seattle icon looks to build on the success of its Via instant coffee with a line of Ready Brew java.
Starbucks (SBUX) made a huge splash recently with its line of Via Ready Brew coffee, which tallied $100 million in sales after only 10 months on the market. The Via packets have been a big hit because of their portability, a relatively low price of $1 a drink and, of course, a Starbucks-quality flavor.
With the instant-coffee marketplace expanding to upwards of $300 million thanks to Via, Starbucks is now looking to take its Ready Brew technology to the next level with a new line of flavored drinks.
But is the move diluting Starbucks business?
Its high-end health food and natural products will benefit from the overarching trend toward eating better and fighting obesity.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Who is bullish on their American prospects these days? Who is unrestrained about the opportunities here? I have found one company, one company that has more demand than it can handle -- besides Apple (AAPL) -- and that's Hain Celestial (HAIN).
A series of meat and egg recalls coupled with the overarching trend toward combating obesity has got this company on a multiyear growth path, even as people somehow think it can't shoot straight.
Hain makes all sorts of high-end, healthful, organic products, including teas, snacks, baby food and cleaning supplies. In each case, it distinguishes itself by ethos: It won't produce something unless it is best-of-breed good for you. That is why it has more than 1,800 stock-keeping units in Whole Foods (WFMI), which itself is doing phenomenally well.
While individual investors have been fleeing the market, institutional investors keep buying. Here's a few top stocks the big boys are keen on.
It's no secret that individual investors have been taking big chunks of money out of stocks since the market turned downward in late April -- according to the Investment Company Institute, investors removed a net of more than $46 billion from U.S. equity mutual funds from the beginning of May through mid-August. (Mutual fund flows serve as a pretty good proxy for individual investors; at the end of 2009, more than 91% of U.S. equity mutual fund assets belonged to individual investors, according to ICI.)
Interestingly, however, individual investors as a group weren't even all that keen on stocks during the big rally that began in March 2009. In fact, investors collectively were net sellers of U.S. equity funds from the beginning of April 2009 through April 2010, pulling a net of about $6.8 billion from the funds, according to ICI's data. During the same period, the S&P 500 was gaining almost 50%.
Those numbers indicate that institutional investors -- hedge funds, endowments, etc. -- led the rally that followed the deep bear market of 2007-09. And institutions have continued to buy stocks this summer while the market has struggled. According to the research group Lipper, institutional investors added more than $13 billion to world equity funds in June and July while many individual investors were running from stocks.
Friday was an up day but I can only hope it will be an up week coming
Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so its broader than the S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- recovering but still weak
- Index down .11% week over week
- Index down 5.70% for the last month
- Barchart short term 20% sell -- overall 1 buy, 4 holds & 8 sells
- Trading below its 20, 50 & 100 day moving averages
- 14 Day Relative Strength Index 45.69% and rising -- a bright spot
Barchart Market Momentum - Contains approximately 6000 stocks -- Percentage of stocks trading above their Daily Moving Averages for various periods -- recovering slightly
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The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks ended modestly higher as the S&P 500 climbed 0.2%, and the Dow added 0.4% to register its 19th consecutive Tuesday of gains.
The major averages saw little change during morning action, but afternoon buying interest helped lift the indices to session highs. Most cyclical sectors (with the exception of materials and technology) finished among the leaders, but the defensively-geared health care sector settled atop the leaderboard as biotechnology outperformed. ... More
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