The Dow has run up to -- and been turned away from -- 16,000 twice before.
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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett starts a stake in Dollar General, while hedge fund manager William Ackman boosts his company's position in Family Dollar.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Hedge fund managers are getting bullish on dollar stores. Should you?
William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital increased its stake in Family Dollar Stores (FDO) as of June 30, according to a regulatory filing.
Ackman now holds about 11.1 million shares of Family Dollar, valued at $6.4 billion, from about 10.9 billion shares prior to June.
In May, Ackman became the largest shareholder of the dollar store, saying the company was poised for gains due to the potential of a buyout.
The famed investor turned his portfolio inside out in the second quarter, with big buys and even bigger sells.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
A few of the largest acquisitions for Soros Fund Management were Golar LNG Partners (GLNG), which operates a fleet of liquid-natural-gas carriers; computer giant International Business Machines (IBM); Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH), an exchange-traded fund that invests in semiconductor makers; VMware (VMW), a provider of virtualization software for cloud-computing systems; and SandRidge Energy (SD), an oil and natural-gas company.
The fund closed out of its positions in Internet search engine Google (GOOG), at $68 million; luxury-goods maker Coach (COH), a $46 million position; gold miner Novagold Resources (NG), which was a $45 million stake; Power-One (PWER), a maker of power-conversion and power-management products, in what had been a $25 million stake; and a $25 million position in Tenet Healthcare (THC), an owner and operator of health care facilities. Those are just a few of the largest sell-offs.
It hurts even at the top, with some bosses taking a 50% pay cut. But don't cry for the guys still making eight figures.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com editor
As prices of gas and food have crept up while wages have remained largely stagnant, many Americans are feeling the squeeze. Even if you haven't been laid off, you may face a furlough. Even if you don't face days off without pay, you may still be suffering under a wage freeze. And even if you get a 1% or 2% raise, that may not keep pace with inflation, the way things are going.
Throw in the stock market antics messing with your 401k or IRA, and it can be depressing to look at your bank account.
Since misery loves company, perhaps it's worth pointing out big-name companies where CEO compensation has also been falling, with some executives taking as much as a 50% cut. You may find it comforting to know that even the guys at the top are feeling the squeeze.
With Europe's biggest economy growing at just 0.1%, we must remain on recession watch.
Did anyone actually believe that all of these crises in government would be good for the economy?
Did anyone think Germany was in as good shape after the past month as it was before?
Yet when a weak German GDP number came out this morning -- 0.1% growth, down substantially from 1.3% growth in the previous quarter -- markets nosedived as if people had been thinking that the little engine that could runs no matter what it's fed, including the thin gruel of total lack of confidence, fiscal austerity, and worldwide tightening and indecision.
I've been on recession watch ever since we started the horrendous budget process that led to a nearly disastrous deal, and I have been waiting for data like this to shock people into realizing how much damage was really done. The answer is: a whole lot of damage.
Did the August sell-off in the Tokyo stock market take prices down too far?
A diversified portfolio is a must, right? Not for most people, says investor Mark Cuban.
Investor Mark Cuban, who also owns the Dallas Mavericks, says it's impossible for most people to diversify because it's simply too hard to learn about all the different categories.
You're supposed to invest in what you know, right? Well, how can you invest in what you know but then spread your investments into emerging markets, real-estate investment trusts, small-cap stocks, dividend-paying stocks and bonds?
Your brain meets your money.
By Morgan Housel
After being burned by one of the worst investment bubbles in history, Isaac Newton reflected. "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men."
That's just as true today. It doesn't matter how smart you are. You'll be broke before long if you don't have the right mind-set. As markets continue to bleed investors dry, all of us would do well to stop, take a deep breath, and spend a few minutes thinking about some of the innate biases that lead investors astray.
Here are three.
Economist Nouriel Roubini says 5 factors helped turn the nation's economic surplus into a deficit during Bush's presidency.
Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor nicknamed "Dr. Doom" for his dour views on the economy, says in this video that when President Obama came to power, he inherited a budget deficit of $1.2 trillion. When Bush came to power, the country had a surplus of $300 billion.
How did we get a $1.5 trillion change in our fiscal condition during Bush's time in office? Roubini lists five factors:
These exchange-traded funds allow investors to play this market for its strengths and weaknesses.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
The global markets' whipsaw action over the past week has injected a hearty dose of fear into investors around the world.
While it may be tempting to flee these markets, I encourage investors to avoid taking brash action. Defensive-minded asset classes like dividend-paying equities, gold and safe-haven currencies will allow investors to not only weather the current storms, but also prepare for the market's eventual turn around.
The Big Mac Index suggests a new long-term trend for the yuan while the US dollar tries to bottom. These ETFs could make good alternatives to stocks in this volatile market.
Professional money managers say almost every stock is worth considering now as the market gyrates with every new economic report and development.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Individual investors have been increasingly fearful as they grapple with wild swings in the stock market. Professional investors, on the other hand, say there are plenty of value stocks for folks who can stomach the risk.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) has swung wildly this month, but with many stocks trading at only 11 times earnings in a near-zero-interest-rate environment, professional investors are turning greedy while the masses have become fearful.
Brian Frank, the manager of the Frank Value Fund (FRNKX), says the valuation of his portfolio was the cheapest ever heading into second-quarter earnings, and that includes during 2008 and 2009, when share prices plummeted in the heart of the deep recession. "Guess what. Now it's even cheaper," he says. "The fundamentals are still getting stronger, even if there is economic weakness in the future."
High hopes for companies like Facebook, Zynga and Twtter have individual investors looking to get in ahead of their public trading debuts.
By Joe Mont, TheStreet
Are you upset you didn't get in on the LinkedIn (LNKD) and Pandora (P) IPOs? Not just because you passed on their public offerings but because you didn't have a horse in the race before they went public?
For the most part, private investing in pre-IPO companies has been an exclusive and expensive club, limited mostly to financial and venture capital firms or very wealthy individuals. Facebook, for example, announced earlier this year that it was offering up to $1.5 billion of securities to clients of Goldman Sachs (GS), provided they invested at least $2 million and pledged to hold the shares until 2013.
Increasingly, however, smaller investors are looking for ways to hop the fence and join the party, especially given the hot prospects of several well-known Web-based and social-media-focused companies.
Doing so is easier said than done.
The discount giant is losing its reputation as the low-price leader. If it doesn't stand for bargains, what is the company's strategy?
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
The discount giant, which prides itself on its motto of "Save Money, Live Better," appears to have lost its price perception among consumers. According to a survey conducted by WSL Strategic Retail, 86% of Wal-Mart shoppers no longer believe the retailer has the lowest prices.
"Every brick-and-mortar retailer lowered prices and shouted sales throughout the recession, while the Internet became the go-to place for shoppers in search of the lowest prices," the report said.
This raises a serious conundrum: If Wal-Mart no longer stands for everyday low prices in the eyes of consumers, what does it stand for?
As fear subsides, look for a recovery.
Wow, what a ride. Stocks go down 600 points one day, up 500 the next, only to give it all back the day after. Friday’s calm 125 point increase on the Dow was like a walk in the park.
Too bad it left us a bit short of break even for the week. Oh well, I suspect most investors will take the small loss as some sort of victory. They should be cheering all the way to the bank.
The intense volatility has created one of the best trading landscapes in recent years. Dare I say day trading is making a come back? Why not when you can make 10, 20 or even 30% on a stock trade in one day?
If you can remove the fog of nonsense from the discussion, you will find plenty of reasons to want to own stocks, even for the long term. The ETF I would own this week is the iShares S&P North America Technology and Multimedia Fund (IGN).
The deal could make Android smartphones the standard and knock Apple's iPhone from its perch.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
Google (GOOG) isn't afraid to go on shopping sprees. With more than 75 acquisitions since 2006 -- including the $3.1 billion buyout of DoubleClick to bolster its online advertising presence, and the $1.65 billion buyout of YouTube -- the cash-rich tech giant has made these deals a normal part of its growth plans.
But Google's plan to snatch up Motorola Mobility (MMI) for about $12.5 billion is by far the most dramatic in the history of the company. The partnership, announced Monday, could forever change the makeup of Google and the landscape of the smartphone business, and it might finally create a gadget that can give Apple (AAPL) and its iPhone a run for their money.
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices settled on their lows following a steady, session-long slide. Similar to yesterday, small-caps paced the retreat as the Russell 2000 fell 1.6%, extending its December loss to 3.6%. The S&P 500 settled lower by 1.1%, widening its month-to-date decline to 1.3%.
There was no specific news catalyst behind today's slide, which had the markings of broad-based profit-taking. Seven of ten sectors settled with losses of 1.0% or more while only two groups ... More
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