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The Utility Forecaster newsletter picks Aqua America and American Water Works for safety, yield and growth.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 8, 2011 11:27AM
by Roger Conrad, The Utility Forecaster

US water utilities entered and exited the 2008-09 market crash/credit crunch/recession with barely a scratch.

With fears of another recession running high, US water utilities are even better positioned on their current fundamentals. Here's a look at Aqua America (WTR) and American Water Works (AWK)

The market may be close to a bottom, and next week’s action will likely either confirm that or send investors running for the hills. Still, there should be attractive buys out there.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 7, 2011 6:40PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Last Tuesday’s headline in The Wall Street Journal, “Market Nears Bear Territory,” was enough to spur further selling in an already weak market.

The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials both dropped well below the August lows before staging an impressive late-day reversal. For a change, it was encouraging news from the Eurozone that helped spur the rally, but there was also likely some serious short covering.

As I noted in late September, there seemed to be a consensus building that we either were definitely going back into recession mode or were already there. A consensus in the financial markets is not always wrong, but the high degree of negative sentiment suggested joining the “gloom and doom” camp might not be the right idea.
 

Reports say the bank has started lobbying Congress and federal regulators to keep its planned fee intact.

By Kim Peterson Oct 7, 2011 5:24PM
Bank of America (BAC) knows customers are furious over plans to charge debit card users a $5 monthly fee. So it's taking steps to make sure that fee doesn't get derailed.

The bank has launched a massive lobbying effort to support the fee, Fox Business reports. The bank is contacting members of Congress as well as the new Consumer Protection Bureau to explain the logic behind the fee.

It may take some convincing to keep the Consumer Protection Bureau off of its back. 
Tags: BAC

Investors aren't listening to the Oracle of Omaha.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 7, 2011 3:29PM

By Alex Dumortier

 

What would a stock tip directly from the Warren Buffett be worth to you? Ten days ago, that's exactly what he gave me -- and all of us. How did I come about this valuable information? The same way you did: he announced it publicly. Despite this, investors appear steadfast about ignoring this opportunity. Are you willing to seize it?

 

The stock is Buffett's own company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B). My guess is that you're now thinking two things. No. 1, it's boring. No. 2, the opportunity has already vanished. The news is out that Buffett is willing to repurchase Berkshire shares, and it's already baked into the price.

 

Think again.

 

I can't argue with the first point: Berkshire is boring. What of it? Investors who find that quality objectionable need to ask themselves if they are in this game for excitement or to make money.

 

Dividend reinvestment advisor highlights four favorite ADRS: Novo Nordisk, ARM Holdings, America Movil and China Mobile.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 7, 2011 2:20PM
By Chuck Carlson, The DRIP Investor

Because of the risks inherent with investing overseas, investors interested in dividend reinvestment programs need to be particular when venturing abroad.

To make it easier for you to identify quality ADRs, I have highlighted some of my favorite ADR investments, including ideas in healthcare, technology and telecom. 

Buying 100 shares back then was a fairly small investment that would have brought big returns.

By Kim Peterson Oct 7, 2011 1:14PM
Steve Jobs is clearly one of the most universally admired chief executives in history. But it wasn't always that way.

He didn't have the faith of investors back in 1997, when he returned to Apple Computer. The company was barely hanging on, and when Jobs was named interim chief executive in September, the stock price was around $21.81 (or $5.45 adjusted for splits).

What if you had believed in him back then? What if you had bought 100 shares and sold them on Aug. 24, 2011, the day Jobs resigned as CEO? 
Tags: AAPL

Central bankers around the world are responding to the growth slowdown with more stimulus. But the economy was already recovering.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 7, 2011 12:44PM

Just when everyone was ready to leave the recovery for dead -- murdered by things like $4 gas and the loss of America's AAA credit rating -- it's starting to come back.

 

Recent economic data have been surprising analysts consistently to the upside. Friday's September jobs report was well above expectations, with the biggest jump the service sector since April. As a result, the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index (shown below) is about to move into positive territory for the first time since stocks were setting highs back in May. All of this reflects what I've been saying for weeks: The growth slowdown was caused by a loss of confidence, not irreparable damage to real economic activity.

 

But policymakers, who always operate on a lag, have been scared into action. Politicians are hamstrung by budget austerity at home and overseas, forcing central banks to take action. And boy, are they taking action, setting the stage for another low-volatility stock market rally in the months to come as cheap money floods into system already bolstered by a stronger economy.

 

The S&P 500 is down almost 20% from April's highs. Does that reflect reality?

By TheStreet Staff Oct 7, 2011 12:14PM

By Chris Stuart, TheStreetTheStreet

 

The benchmark S&P 500 ($INX) earlier this week almost fell into a bear market, defined as a 20% decline from peak to trough. And that's after the index of the largest U.S. companies doubled in two years. What gives?

 

While I myself don't dwell on bull- and bear-market cycles, it sometimes helps to take a step back to see the big picture and tune out the noise. The recently concluded bull market, at least according to some, reached a peak April 29, marking a perfect 100% increase from its start March 7, 2009. The most recent bear market, which is undisputed due to its 56% plunge, began Oct. 12, 2007 and reached a bottom March 6, 2009.

 

Mutual funds of all stripes have loaded up on shares of the iPhone maker over the years.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 7, 2011 11:58AM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreetTheStreet

 

The death of Apple (AAPL) co-founder and former chief executive officer Steve Jobs on Wednesday may have jostled many investors into checking on how many Apple shares they actually own.

 

Some will be surprised about how many they hold, given the company's ubiquity as a top holding in mutual funds, pension funds and index funds. That recognition should prompt them to reassess their own portfolios' diversity, since a concentration in one stock, or one industry, may add to volatility and reduce returns.

 

After a rough quarter, a sustained rally looks more likely.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 7, 2011 10:33AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

The third quarter ended last week. Only one sector was higher in that period, while just three of the major sectors are higher for the year.

Of course, if you are a stock investor, it is more important to compare the sector's performance with a major average such as the S&P 500.
 

These stocks' payouts provide a buffer against weak performance.

By InvestorPlace Oct 7, 2011 10:15AM

By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com


The housing market is battered, to say the least. Many investors wouldn't even dream of getting into real estate right now, no matter how low interest rates go or how far home prices have fallen since the financial crisis.


But if you think housing has nothing to offer, think again. Your best dividend investment right now could be in real estate.

 

With their global growth potential, McDonald's and Starbucks are strong positions for a volatile market.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 7, 2011 9:32AM
By Glenn Rogers, Internet Wealth Builder

The markets have been crazy, so we need to stay defensive. In this environment, I want to recommend two iconic brands.

McDonalds (MCD) and Starbucks (SBUX) both offer the broad global footprints that come with geographic diversification. 
Tags: MCD

A look at the value of the US dollar in 1929 and 2008; what has changed and where that leaves us today

By Benzinga Oct 6, 2011 4:08PM
By Marco Rabinowitz, Benzinga Staff Writer

How did the purchasing power of the US dollar change in the Great Depression and the Crash of 2008 and what can this information tell us today, three years after the Crash of 2008?
 
Many have drawn parallels between the current global financial crisis and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Analysts have not been shy in claiming that the current global financial crisis is the "worst since the Great Depression." Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman even recently mentioned on his blog that he's "got that 30s feeling, all the way."
 
Tags: Benzinga

Faced with declining viewership and escalating expenses, Fox is hinting that it wants to end TV's longest-running sitcom.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2011 3:42PM
The end of "The Simpsons" is near.

Fox wants the show for only one more season at the most -- and only then if it can get it for a 25% to 30% discount, TheWrap reports. The show is too expensive for Fox, and the six main voice actors have been asked to cut their salaries nearly in half.

If the actors and 20th Century Fox Television cannot reach a deal, then the current season of "The Simpsons" will likely be its last. 
Tags: Hollywood

Turnaround stock specialist highlights 9 stocks that have raised their dividends every year for 25 years and offer yields of at least 3%.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 6, 2011 3:38PM
By George Putnam, editor The Turnaround Letter

Standard & Poor’s maintains an index it calls the “Dividend Aristocrats,” consisting of blue chip companies that have increased dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years.  

Since it is no mean feat to raise your dividend every year for 25 years, there is a strong presumption that these are very well-managed companies. 
Tags: ABTPEP

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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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