A stock market graph trending down © jmiks/Getty Images
Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

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Think low prices are here to stay? Think again.

By InvestorPlace Sep 28, 2011 10:42AM

Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


After hitting a high of about $115 a barrel just a few months ago, crude oil is trading near one-year lows. Oil is down around $80 a barrel as a weakened global economy has put a damper on demand. (The 2010 low for crude was around $77 a barrel.)


As a result, energy stocks have been held back this year. The broad-based iShares Dow Jones US Energy Sector ETF (IYE) is off more than 12% year to date, more than twice as bad as the Dow Jones Industrial Average's nearly 6% decline. While major oil stock Exxon Mobil (XOM) has outperformed its peers, XOM is still in the red since January.


Despite these headwinds, investors with an eye for the long term should seriously consider jumping into the oil sector now. Macroeconomic trends across the next few years really favor oil stocks as a long-term buy.


Here are five reasons to drill for profits in oil and energy stocks:

 

Best Buy just announced it will hire about half as many workers this holiday season, and that's part of a broader retail trend.

By InvestorPlace Sep 28, 2011 9:24AM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


If you're looking for a seasonal job this holiday shopping season, you might get a lump of coal in your stocking. The demand for temporary retail work in November and December appears tepid at best.


The latest sign of concern: Word from Best Buy (BBY), the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, that the company will hire about half the seasonal workers as last year -- a mere 15,000, compared with 29,000 in 2010.


This is a broader trend that should be disturbing to anyone looking for a temporary job in the next few months.

 

Don't be surprised to see some last-minute wrangling before Europe's version of TARP passes.

By Jim Cramer Sep 28, 2011 8:54AM

the streetThey hated TARP here, too. Remember?

 

Remember when that first vote failed and the markets took that breathtaking dip?

 

We have to figure we could be on the road to that form of perdition right now, before the obstinate leaders in Europe come around to the impossibility of their position and the certain destruction of multiple banking institutions if they don't take action.

 

That's what this moment is all about. Just as it seemed Hank Paulson had the votes to get TARP approved and didn't -- the first time -- we have to be thinking that when a German finance minister calls part of the bailout "silly" and when there are 17 disparate parties arguing, nothing's a shoo-in.

 

Limits on certain mortgages will make it harder for some people to buy higher-end homes.

By Kim Peterson Sep 27, 2011 3:08PM
It's getting harder to buy pricey homes now that lower mortgage caps are on the way.

The limits are set to kick in Saturday, and it's unclear what the changes will do for the housing market and the economy. At issue are the 90% of new home loans guaranteed by the government. What is the maximum mortgage the government will support?

When the economy was tanking in 2008, Congress raised those limits in order to boost the housing market, The Los Angeles Times reports. That helped people buy more-expensive homes, because lenders knew they could count on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration for backup. 

Potential values from around the world.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 27, 2011 2:27PM

By Tim Hanson 

 

Like most investors, I keep a watchlist. And that watchlist has four columns. Column 1 is a list of stocks I would like to own. Column 2 is a list of the prices at which I would like to own said stocks. Column 3 is the current price of those same stocks. And Column 4 calculates the percentage difference between Column 2 and Column 3. The list is sorted by Column 4, with the stock at the top of the list being the one where the current price is the farthest below the price at which I would like to own it.


So … want to get a free sneak peek at my watch list?


Don't blink
Based on prices from midday yesterday, here are the three biggest bargains I'm watching now.

 

Can the activist investor save the struggling BlackBerry maker? Investors hope so.

By Kim Peterson Sep 27, 2011 1:58PM

Updated: 4:44 p.m. ET

 

What? Research In Motion (RIMM) shares were up 4.5% Tuesday? Quite a change for a stock that has slumped more than 50% in the past year.

The pickup is mainly due to rumors that activist investor Carl Icahn has bought a stake in the BlackBerry maker. Icahn and RIM aren't talking, so we can't confirm the whispers.

 

The investor leaves BBC anchors speechless after saying he goes to bed at night dreaming about a recession.

By Kim Peterson Sep 27, 2011 12:51PM
The stock market is toast, the economic crisis is like a cancer, and Goldman Sachs (GS) rules the world.

Not the kind of rhetoric you normally hear on the BBC. And that's why jaws dropped at the network when Alessio Rastani launched into doom-filled predictions in an on-camera interview.

Hedge funds and other institutional traders "know the market is toast," Rastani said. "They know the stock market is finished." 

The market has been on the defensive since May, leaving a value hunter's paradise for these stumbled stocks.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 27, 2011 11:53AM

Image: Stock rebound (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Robert Walberg, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Buying stocks is as much about timing as it is about research. It's important to do your homework and find stocks that meet your investment criteria, but even then you might be in for tough times if you don't pay at least some attention to timing.


Psychology plays a critical role in determining a stock's price, and if you like to buy stocks at a good value, as I do, then you want to make sure to spend considerable energy on ascertaining a proper entry point.

 

Most of us have heard the phrase "Don't try to catch a falling knife." In other words, if you buy stocks that are falling, you might get cut and bleed out before the stock bottoms and starts to go back up again.

 

Despite the storm clouds still hanging over the global economy, analysts expect great things from this trio.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 27, 2011 11:46AM

Image: Storm (© Warren Faidley/Corbis)By James Rogers, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) and Oracle (ORCL) should offer investors some relief from the gathering economic gloom over the next few months, analysts say, pointing to the companies' downturn-busting credentials.

 

Weak consumer spending, a stateside debt crisis and European economic jitters have certainly taken their toll on tech stocks, pushing the Nasdaq ($COMPX) down more than 5% this year. Experts, however, expect great things from Amazon, Apple and Oracle during the final quarter of 2011.

 

A tight spending climate, for example, plays neatly to Amazon's strengths, while Apple will be basking in the warm glow from its latest, greatest iPhone, not to mention its rapidly growing presence in China.

 

In a volatile market like this one, you need to own a blend of cyclical, defensive and dividend stocks.

By Jim Cramer Sep 27, 2011 8:48AM

the streetThe past couple of days demonstrate the value of being diversified. You want to catch a rally, and with a eurozone fix evidently in place there is more room for this one to run. But you don't want to have too much risk on -- meaning you don't want to have only stocks that go up when the economy is strong. You also want companies that have good dividends and companies that do well in a slowdown.

 

Why do you want all three? Pretty simple: On down days you lose less money, and on up days you do just fine. In a market with a bias to the downside, you have to be worried about both.

 

So consider a portfolio that holds a good pastiche of all of them, one that has Procter & Gamble (PG) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on the soft side, Eaton (ETN) and DuPont (DD) on the cyclical side and AT&T (T) and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) on the utility side.

 

Even the company seems to be backing away from claims of a fourth-quarter iPad order cut.

By Kim Peterson Sep 26, 2011 6:08PM
Many in the tech world were confused about a JPMorgan report Monday that said Apple (AAPL) is cutting orders to manufacturers for its iPad tablet computer.

Apple reportedly lowered its fourth-quarter iPad orders by 25%, according to analysts from JPMorgan's electronic manufacturing services team in Hong Kong.

But JPMorgan analysts in the United States were not convinced. In fact, the JPMorgan analyst covering Apple in the U.S. did not lower his estimate of 10.9 million to 12 million iPad shipments in the third and fourth quarters. And Apple isn't commenting. 

The service sector looks healthier than many believe -- and is home to a number of intriguing stocks

By John Reese Sep 26, 2011 5:15PM

Over the past several decades, America has shifted consistently and dramatically toward being a service-dominated economy. Fifty years ago, 59% of U.S. private jobs came from the service sector, with 41% from the goods-producing sector; by 1981, the gap had grown to 67.8% for the service sector vs. 32.2% for the goods-producing sector; and today, 83.4% of America's private jobs are service-oriented.


We rely less on people buying our cars and appliances and clothing made in America, and more on people using our cable, phone, and Internet services; shopping at stores that sell goods made elsewhere; using healthcare services like doctors and nursing homes and rehabilitation centers; and needing transportation services to move products imported from other countries.

 

That means service-type companies, and the service sector as a whole, have become the real bellwethers of U.S. economic activity. And lately, if you listen to the pundits, you'd think that the service sector is in dire straits, with fears of another recession -- or worse -- having dominated the headlines for the past couple months.

 

But guess what? The real, hard data from the service sector hasn't been that bad.

 

The company's big announcement Wednesday is widely assumed to be a low-cost Kindle tablet.

By Kim Peterson Sep 26, 2011 3:33PM
Amazon (AMZN) is widely expected to announce its new Kindle tablet computer at a press conference Wednesday. Finally, Apple (AAPL) may get what is assumed to be a legitimate rival to its market-leading iPad.

But Netflix (NFLX) should also be worried. That's because Amazon has quickly and efficiently lined up a solid library of streaming videos in advance of the launch. 

The man who invented the chips has died and will be buried with some of them.

By Kim Peterson Sep 26, 2011 2:32PM
The man who created Doritos corn chips has died at 97, and his family plans a special tribute at the grave.

Arch West, a retired marketing executive with Frito-Lay, will be buried with some Doritos. His daughter told The Dallas Morning News that the family planned on "tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn."

A fitting memorial for a man who believed in Doritos even when Frito-Lay wasn't so sure.

West was on vacation near San Diego in 1961 when he found fried tortilla chips at a snack shack, The Associated Press reports. He took the idea back to headquarters and got a lukewarm response. Perhaps in the 1960s the idea of a fried tortilla was considered too unusual for mainstream tastes. 

Secular sideways markets are comprised of many cyclical bull and bear markets ...

By V.N. Katsenelson Sep 26, 2011 1:53PM
The following is an excerpt from the Little Book of Sideways Markets.  In addition, here is a copy of the presentation about sideways markets.  – Enjoy.

 

Secular sideways markets are comprised of many cyclical bull and bear markets [take a look again at the chart below].  Though cyclical bull and bear markets can provide great buying and selling opportunities, our emotions will try to get in the way between us and the right decisions. Markets will constantly try to brainwash us into doing the opposite of what we should be doing.  I hope [excerpt from] this chapter provides an antidote to this as it contains two missives.  Read the first one [You Are Not as Dumb as You Think] during cyclical bear markets and the second [You Are Not as Smart as You Think, which I did not attach] during the cyclical bull markets.  Good luck!

 

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