Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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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.
Even state governments are preparing in response to the budget drama.
For many of them, this means hoarding cash or getting hold of as much cash as possible -- just when we were finally starting to see companies loosening up with cash in the form of higher dividends or share buybacks.
Now companies are not only holding on to cash, but they're delaying hiring and investments, The Wall Street Journal reports. They're also laying off employees.
General Electric (GE), for example, ended the second quarter with $91 billion in the bank. "Our main protection against something like that not going well, or having a rocky outcome, is to have a lot of liquidity," the company's chief financial officer told the newspaper.
The latter plans to compete with Big Oil for a place in your fuel tank.
By Adam J. Crawford
Americans might be addicted to oil, but the world's largest integrated oil company is addicted to natural gas. ExxonMobil (XOM) has gone on a natural-gas shopping spree, with no end in sight -- and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) should top its list.
Exxon execs recently revealed the company is looking for some "liquid plays." Chesapeake would be a good place to start that search.
Chesapeake is heavily committed to the natural-gas liquids market. The company plans to allocate 75% of its 2012 capital expenditures to NGLs, up from 30% in 2010. The extreme shift to natural gas liquids could seriously boost revenue, considering that NGLs historically follow the price of crude.
Among this week's crowded field of stock market debuts, the premium tea retailer ranks as a favorite because of its growth story.
By Debra Borchardt, TheStreet
Teavana is a specialty retailer that sells loose-leaf tea and tea-making accessories. Predominantly located in malls, the retailer is known for courting shoppers to try the tea, which is premium priced.
The Atlanta company is looking to raise roughly $100 million through the sale of 7.1 million shares at $13-$15 per share. It plans to use the proceeds to redeem preferred stock and pay off its debt. The company's shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TEA.
The corporate parent of the coffee and breakfast giant goes public at a steep premium, fueled by aggressive growth plans. The stock jumps more than 40%.
Updated: 4:37 p.m. ET
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
According to the slogan, America already "runs on Dunkin'." But after a nearly $424 million IPO Wednesday morning and aggressive expansion plans to satisfy shareholder appetite, Dunkin' Brands Group (DNKN) hopes the world will run on its doughnuts and coffee soon.
Dunkin' plans on doubling its U.S. store count and making an ambitious move into emerging markets -- adding 500 stores a year.
On its first day of trading Wednesday, the stock was up 46.6%, closing at $27.85 from an opening price of $19.
Consumer spending has been noticeably strong despite the impasse on Capitol Hill.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
The gloomy debt situations facing the United States and the EU have led many people to question the strength, stability and longevity of the global economic recovery. While the current economic climate is certainly challenging, there are still a number of places investors can turn to in order to find stability and strength.
Earlier this week, I highlighted gold miners as a pocket of strength, given the market's uncertainty and the continued appeal of gold. Funds like the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) have managed to power higher, outpacing not only the broader markets but also physically backed gold offerings like iShares Gold Trust (IAU).
While gold and gold miners have surged and will continue to stay in favor as investors second-guess the strength of the market's recovery, other corners have become attractive because of their surprising resilience in the face of market turmoil.
Consumers, for instance, have held strong throughout this bout of market rockiness. As Washington, D.C., lawmakers have continued to butt heads over a debt ceiling agreement and EU leaders struggle to sort out their own debt crisis, domestic consumers have remained willing to open their wallets and spend.
Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers, Elan and other companies are following a strategy that suffered a big blow recently.
By Barry Cohen, Health Care Writer
It's true that a rising tide can lift all boats.
At the same time, a sinking ship can suck the innocent down in its vortex. That's exactly what might happen to a number of pharmaceutical companies that had high hopes for their Alzheimer's treatments.
Pfizer (PFE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Elan (ELN) and a host of other companies are following a strategy that suffered a big blow recently. The death knell for drugs based upon the assumption that the buildup of amyloid in the brain causes Alzheimer's might have been sounded when Eli Lilly (LLY) released results of a follow-up study at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Paris.
Before you bet against it, consider the impeccable track record of CEO Reed Hastings.
You know what? In a curious twist on Shakespeare, that is not the question.
To me, the question is: Do you take advantage of the decline in Netflix and have faith that management did the right thing in raising subscription rates?
It's very rare that there is such a hot-button battleground stock like Netflix. The world seems to be divided between people who think Netflix is always one quarter away from being revealed as a colossal joke and those who believe Netflix is going to take over the world.
To me it is not that simple. To hold on to Netflix or even to buy it, you have to take a leap of faith about management, about CEO Reed Hastings and about his ability to navigate the waters of price increases and payments to creators of entertainment. You have to believe that he has loyal customers in America and that he will have loyal customers in the future, particularly overseas, where the company has just started to expand.
The oil-services company is now able to raise prices across product groups and regions.
Sometimes a stock has everything you want but is not a bargain
I'm 64 years old and have already accumulated a large portfolio. I want to keep what I've got but still need growth to beat future taxes, inflation and whatever other uncertainties that may be thrown up for me to cope with by either the economy or politicians.
Some of my readers have complained that my articles are "cookie cutter" but I take that as a complement because I want all my stock to have he same attributes. I want to know the same information about any potential investment and pass on any that don't meet all my criteria. They are:
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[BRIEFING.COM] There wasn't a lot of excitement in the stock market today and there is nothing wrong with that. After rallying in broad-based fashion on Friday, the major indices stood their ground (for the most part) amid a lack of conviction from buyers and sellers alike.
Today wasn't a case so much of the stock market going up as it was a case of some influential stocks going up to keep the major indices on a winning path. In fact, decliners were just about even with ... More
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