VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Your guess is as good as mine to explain why the market does what it does. I'm just here to report the facts as I see them.
First let's visit the Conference Board's report on the Leading Economic Index -- LEI. You'll remember that this is a once a month report I use to get a quick gauge on the state of the economy. The LEI was up .3% for the tenth month in a row with the Coincident Economic Index up .2% and the Lagging Economic Index is still declining at .1% but slowing. That makes 2 up and the Lagging slowing -- good signs of good things happening.
Now on to my 3 Barchart indicators that I follow:
The Value Line Index -- contains 1700 stocks so it's broader than the S&P 500 and the narrower Dow 30 -- up 3.45% for the week which is the second week in a row of price appreciation
The Federal Reserve's technical move of the discount rate will not help income investors, but these dividend stocks might.
After the market closed on Thursday, the Federal Reserve increased the discount rate by 25 basis points. The nominal move may be the beginning of the end of the easy money policy that has been used to lift the U.S. economy out of recession.
Let’s not get too excited about what the central bank is now saying is merely a technical move. While all expect rates to rise eventually the timing of real increases in rates is still far down the road.
Interest rates even with Thursday’s move are still essentially zero and the yield curve remains quite steep. (10 stocks benefiting from a steep yield curve)
Such an environment has been quite the challenge for those investors needing income from investments for retirement living expenses. Bank CD’s and Treasuries simply won’t cut it.
What does cut it in this environment? Dividend stocks are clearly the big winners.
Several of the market gurus I follow -- including the great Peter Lynch -- are seeing big opportunities in stocks
A federal deficit crisis is looming, unemployment remains high, and the Federal Reserve has increased one of its key interest rates. But, while concerns linger about the economy, the investment gurus I keep an eye on have been sounding bullish on stocks over the past week.
Most notable among the top strategists who spoke out was mutual fund legend Peter Lynch, one of the investors upon whom I base my Guru Strategy computer models. Lynch, who retired as manager of Fidelity's Magellan fund in the early 90s after producing one of the best track records of all time, doesn't give a lot of interviews these days. But this week he opened up for the Israeli publication Globes, and he said that the so-called "lost decade" for stocks hasn't soured his view of stocks.
"The significance of the lost decade is very simple,” Lynch said. “Companies earn more than they did ten years ago, and they are traded at lower prices than they were then. There’s an investment opportunity here. There are companies on the market with good balance sheets and wonderful reputations, that make better profits today than ten years ago, and will continue to grow. This is an extraordinary period for investment.”
Mouse House touts comic company's library of 5,000 characters, but it will have a hard time turning many into moneymakers
Sure, "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" racked up billions at the box office. But film rights to those characters are parked at Sony (SNE) and Fox, respectively, keeping them off limits to Disney, except for a small percentage of the profits.
What's more, those movies centered on heroes already firmly implanted in the popular culture lexicon long before they ever hit the multiplexes.
They aren't pretty, but they're getting more popular. And banks are getting more comfortable with them, too.
Short sales are soaring in the distressed real estate market. Under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they nearly quadrupled in the first nine months of last year, according to The Los Angeles Times. Other mortgage lenders report a 165% increase.
These kind of sales make realtors -- and buyers -- groan. They're complex and time consuming. But they're a way out of an underwater mortgage.
The market has no clue where to go or how to get there. That's why sentiment is turning neutral.
Apparently, the "correction," if you can call it that, has done nothing to make investors more sure-footed one way or the other.
Before the correction, a survey by Investors Intelligence showed a 52% bullish reading. Now, that's dropped to 35.6%. The bearish percentage is at 27.8%.
Citigroup plans to charge some credit-card holders an annual fee as the CARD Act comes into force.
By Bill Hardekopf, TheStreet
Some Citigroup cardholders are receiving letters about a $60 annual fee that is being attached to their account effective April 1. If consumers make $2,400 in purchases during the year, the annual fee will be credited to their account. Only about 20% of credit cards in the US have annual fees, according to data compiled by LowCards.com.
It appears that Citigroup's test of adding an annual fee to a small share of customers in August 2009 proved to be successful for the issuer, which competes with Visa (V), MasterCard (MC) and Capital One (COF).
When a product doesn't work it should be recalled. Washington isn't working so maybe we need another recall to save the economy.
The representatives we sent to Washington think they should have the right to call the President of Toyota to come from Japan, bow before them and take a whipping in public for knowing he had a problem and taking too long to fix it. Some are even asking for his resignation. Let's use the same standard on them.
While Tiger Woods has the option of fading into the background after today's press conference, his sponsors are out of time. With video reports.
Tiger Woods started his long road back to the golf course today with a much-anticipated statement in Florida. However, a 15-minute affair with no time for questions is far from a sign Tiger is embracing the public eye again.
The jury is still out on whether the golf great has made the right move with his stonewalling since the infamous car crash over Thanksgiving. But one thing that's certain is that Woods' sponsors Electronic Arts (ERTS), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Nike (NKE) don't have the luxury of waiting this thing out any longer. They need to decide very quickly whether they're sticking with the Tiger brand.
Here's what some of the leading Tiger Woods sponsors appear to be planning.
People may fail to realize that the Fed tightens when it's pretty sure of job growth.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
If you step back from the emotion of a Fed gone from soft to not-so-soft and ask what it really means, you come back to a simple concept: Are the banks strong enough to borrow from the private markets?
The answer, I think, is yes, except the ones that were goners anyway, including the several the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will seize this weekend as part of its Friday-night seizure policy.
That's really the only "real world" implication. That and the relentless decline of the euro becomes a little more relentless.
A sustained recovery in home prices and homebuilding shares remains elusive.
Thanks to a combination of ultralow interest rates and massive government support, homes prices started to climb early last year -- ending three years of pain that cut 30% off of the peak values reached in 2006. For many, it seemed as though the housing implosion was finally over.
Unfortunately with many of these supports about to end, and with the underlying supply-demand relationship still soft, another round of price declines looks inevitable. This is the opinion of the global economics team at Deutsche Bank doesn't expect home prices to put in a definitive bottom until 2011 as the inventory of vacant homes remains high and foreclosures continue to mount.
Even if you have a low opinion of economists and their forecasts, the stock market is singing the same sad tune about the housing market. Right now, after testing resistance at the top of a seven-month trading range, homebuilder stocks like D.R. Horton (DHI), Toll Brothers (TOL), and Lennar (LEN) have stalled out and are starting to roll over.
Wall Street is begging you to trade, but is that the right approach?
The financial crisis, stock market crash and bear market of the last two years led many to believe that buy and hold investing is a sure way to performance mediocrity. Trading is surely the way to go in this day and age.
But like most things the pendulum swing to trading may have gone too far.
And for what benefit? According to this Wall Street Journal article a study by discount brokers of some 2 million trades found that those who trade the most fared no better than those who traded the least.
Politicians have placed themselves at the center of the Toyota recall crisis -- and not because they're so concerned over faulty gas pedals.
By Jim Woods, InvestorPlace.com
By now, nearly everyone is acutely aware of just how big Toyota's (TM) recall problems have become. But the Japanese automaker's woes aren't just confined to throttle pedals and steering wheels. Nor are its problems purely the province of product liability lawsuits.
Now, Toyota's troubles have become political.
Congress, as it's always zealous to do with any crisis, has pushed itself into the center of the Toyota turmoil. A House committee has asked Akio Toyoda, the chief executive of Toyota, to testify at a hearing in Washington next week on the recalls of millions of faulty vehicles.
I suspect that many in Congress are champing at the bit to grill Toyoda and other executives over the company's problems -- and here's why.
Sysco's cost-cutting pushes its operating margin to its highest level in a decade.
Revenue for the three months that ended in December 2009 was $8.87 billion, roughly matching analysts' expectations for $8.83 billion.
The most encouraging news in my opinion came on operating margins. Second-quarter revenue fell by 3.1% from the year-earlier period, showing that the company and the economy aren't yet out of the woods.
Home Depot, Nordstrom and Aeropostale could beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Don't expect too many surprises from retailers' fourth-quarter earnings reports. Most companies cut costs dramatically in 2009, so modest sales growth could boost earnings, says Craig Johnson, president at Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting firm.
Investors should look for stable prices, sequential sales growth and commodity forecasts. The strongest retailers will be able to increase sales without giving up margin gains from the past year, says Chandi Neubauer, an analyst at Majestic Research. Steer clear of retailers that plan to add US stores in 2010 or even 2011, says Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi. The domestic economy must strengthen before companies can resume growth.
These retail stocks offer good upside potential:
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.
U.S. equity futures trade with slim gains amid cautious overseas action. The S&P 500 futures are higher by 0.2%. ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|