Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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Metal prices are so high that the uncertainties of a US default make a further advance unlikely.
The gold and silver markets Thursday didn't have any better idea than you or I about whether a deal on the debt ceiling or a U.S. default is more likely. But after the run-up in gold prices to a new nominal record, investors are getting edgy. Any rumor of progress is an indication to sell.
As of 1:06 pm ET, gold was flat for the day and silver was down about 1.9% on news reports that the House of Representatives will vote tonight on a Republican plan to raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion as part of a package with $917 billion in budget cuts over the next 10 years.
It looks like enough Republicans are falling in line behind House Speaker John Boehner to give the bill the 218 Republican votes it needs to pass. (It's unlikely that the bill will pick up more than a handful of Democratic votes.)
The organic grocer defies a curdled economic climate.
In a sour economy for consumer-facing companies, grocer Whole Foods Market (WFM) has managed to keep its business fresh.
Third-quarter net income increased 35%, to $88.5 million, or $0.50 per share. Whole Foods' total sales increased 11%, to $2.4 billion. Same-store sales surged 8.4%, an admirable increase in this day and age, and a heartening indicator of growing market share.
In addition, Whole Foods beat analysts' estimates for earnings of $0.47 per share. The organic grocer also increased its earnings expectations for the year to between $1.91 and $1.92 per share, compared to analysts' expectations for $1.90 per share.
Whole Foods' quarter looks particularly fresh in relation to many of its rivals' wilting results.
Banks across the country are sitting on run-down houses no one will buy. What to do with them?
In other cases, the bank is simply giving them away.
The bank is donating 100 foreclosed homes in Cleveland, Bloomberg reports. It will give away as many as 100 in Detroit and 150 in Chicago and plans to add up to nine more cities by the end of the year.
Even if a deal comes through before Tuesday, it's unlikely that the government can cooperate well enough to prevent a downgrade.
By Howard R. Gold, editor-at-large, MoneyShow.com
It’s been a hot summer, and it’s been even hotter in Washington, D.C., where Democrats and Republicans have been burning down the House with a pitched battle over the debt ceiling, the cap that Congress puts on the national debt.
Usually it’s a mundane bit of legislative business barely worthy of C-Span. Congress hikes spending and then authorizes an increase in the debt ceiling to pay for it. It’s happened 78 times since 1960.
The retailer's commercial paper has a lower short-term yield than some T-bills.
A recent report showed that Wal-Mart's commercial paper due Aug. 4 had a 0.04% yield. U.S. T-bills due the same day showed a yield of 0.16%, The Wall Street Journal reports, and a Fannie Mae discount note due Aug. 4 had a 0.06% yield. Wal-Mart's yield was even lower than that of T-bills due Aug. 11, which had a 0.1% yield.
Commercial paper is a short-term security sold by corporations to get some quick money for payroll and other purposes, and a default is extremely rare. Normally, investors like commercial paper because it gives a slightly higher yield than Treasury notes.
Amazon strikes another streaming deal, narrowing the gap between itself and Netflix.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
This is the second deal in a week Amazon has announced, forming a similar partnership with CBS (CBS) just last week.
This brings Amazon's portfolio of movies and television content to about 9,000, and while this is less than half of Netflix's 20,000 or so titles, it brings Amazon Prime one step closer to competing with the movie rental giant.
Banking executives send a letter urging lawmakers to cut a deal and act responsibly.
Wall Street chief executives have written a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress, telling them to take steps to put the country on "sound fiscal footing." Lawmakers must correct our fiscal course and inspire market confidence by paying our bills on time, the letter said.
Thanks for that bit of "do as I say, not as I do." The sheer arrogance of the letter is breathtaking, given that Wall Street's greed and recklessness helped get us to the point where we are today. Do Goldman Sachs (GS) and the rest of the Fast and the Furious even know what "sound fiscal footing" is?
Even if Congress reaches a budget deal, S&P might still cut the nation's credit rating. Suggestion: Increase your positions in cash and precious metals.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
On March 28, after a week that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) jump 3%, money manager Jeffrey Sica predicted that the borrowing and spending by the U.S. would prompt a downgrade of U.S. debt. Four months later, it appears that gloomy prediction will come true.
Even if a short-term compromise on the debt ceiling is reached, Sica is bracing for a downgrade of U.S. debt by credit ratings agencies by making what some observers have called unpatriotic bets: short positions against U.S. Treasurys and the U.S. dollar, moving to higher levels of cash and buying commodities like oil, silver and gold. Sica is the president and chief investment officer of Sica Wealth Management, a Morristown, N.J., company with about $1 billion in assets under management.
Standard & Poor's warned last month that it would downgrade the triple-A rating of U.S. debt if significant progress were not made in dealing with a ballooning deficit. The credit ratings agency said the U.S. would need to cobble together a plan that would lead to $4 trillion in savings, a task that appears impossible amid the partisanship in Congress.
The maker of Keurig coffee brewers sees shares soar after posting blowout earnings.
Updated: 4:48 p.m. ET
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) surprised nearly everyone this week, blowing past analysts' expectations for sales and profit and wowing them with its fiscal 2012 profit forecast.
The beat was so strong that investors rushed into the stock Thursday, sending shares up 20% in early midday trading. The stock closed at $102.57, up 16.4%. It was the first time the stock had surpassed $100. It was only in November 2008 that this stock was trading for a mere $8.
Analysts continued to shake their heads in disbelief. The stock that no one paid much attention to in the past has more than tripled in the past year, and that momentum will likely continue.
Risk-averse investors might like this fund's size, safety and stability.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
The developed world's debt issues have commanded headlines and weighed heavily on investor sentiment in recent weeks.
As Congress and world leaders continue to seek the best way to solve their respective issues, it may be tempting for some investors to head for the exits.
This, however, should not be a prime course of action. On the contrary, as we have seen throughout the current earnings season, many domestic companies continue to exhibit strength despite the ongoing threat of economic turbulence. Instead of fleeing for the exits, long-term investors should consider doing some portfolio maintenance. By constructing a well-rounded portfolio, you can weather the effects of negative headlines and prepare for when global markets recover.
Ensuing actions by the Fed, such as another round of stimulus, could jolt commodity markets, analysts say.
By Andrea Tse, TheStreet
In either of those cases, "you're going to see the Fed react to that very swiftly and aggressively," says PFGBest senior energy analyst Phil Flynn.
"Initially everyone will freak out and say, 'Oh, my gosh, demand destruction'" in the world's No. 1 oil-consuming nation, then reverse their views upon another round of government stimulus or quantitative easing, which would bring an influx of hot, speculative money into the commodity markets, Flynn explains.
Summit Energy analyst Matt Smith agrees with Flynn to a lesser degree, saying that another round of quantitative easing would cause investors to immediately consider commodities as an inflation hedge, given that it would support dollar weakness and heighten inflation expectations. But "I think the view is tempered by the negative realities of quantitative easing."
Will Wednesday's market mauling be enough to push politicians toward compromise on a debt deal?
Maybe the president and the Democrats got their way Wednesday. Maybe they got what they wanted: a lower stock market. That's the only thing that has changed since Wednesday's debate, but it might have the desired effect among some fence-sitters.
He's not for lower stock markets, believe me. He's one of the best capitalists around, from a state that embraces capitalism, and he is a member of the Gang of Six that's been trying to get a big deal done.
But he confirmed that red ink in the market does force the politicians to rethink intransigence and that only the most intransigent of extremes won't care about this market's decline.
I think he's hoping that the intransigents become at least flexible, and that could matter Thursday.
They don't have the best track record, and critics wonder whether they are too influential.
Let's start with Holman Jenkins at The Wall Street Journal, who says the ratings agencies, especially Standard & Poor's, helped turn an artificial crisis into a real one. Standard & Poor's is signaling plans for a U.S. debt downgrade unless the government figures out how to cut deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade.
But the U.S. is not in danger of default, Jenkins writes. It still has enough cash to avoid a partial government shutdown until at least mid-August. America's IOUs are still completely acceptable to the markets.
Precious metals are under pressure as the US dollar surges.
Stocks moved lower Wednesday as the debt ceiling stalemate in Congress continued. Adding to the pressure have been renewed eurozone worries, with Greece and Cyprus both suffering downgrades, as well as a weak durable-goods report here at home.
The big winner in all this has been the U.S. dollar, which is sort of ironic. Despite all its faults and political brinkmanship, the United States is still seen as the haven of choice when things are looking dicey, as they are now.
As a result, the big losers are dollar-sensitive precious metals, which got a boost on U.S. default fears. I think these guys are prime short candidates now, since they are in trouble either way: If the U.S. defaults, haven flows are likely to boost the dollar and hurt precious metals. If a default is avoided, the "fear trade" will come out of precious metals and they'll fall. I wondered in my last blog post whether gold and silver were vulnerable to a pullback. Wednesday, we got the answer.
Here's how to take advantage.
Sharp declines in a pair of big steel stocks caught many investors by surprise, but analysis could have revealed weakness in advance.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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