Some investment advisers are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow.
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Upstarts look to swat Facebook from its lofty perch, but the social network may be its own worst enemy.
By Joe Mont, TheStreet
It must feel pretty good to be Facebook. It has some 700 million users worldwide, out-clicks the rest of the Web, including Google (GOOG) -- Google -- and buzz has even started about using Facebook as a search engine.
But there remain skeptics. Some might point to MySpace, since in 2007 an estimated one in five Americans used the site, or even to Friendster, once 100 million-strong and now with about 1.5 million users since rebranding as a gaming site (and expunging all older user profiles and content along the way).
What did in Friendster, aside from some internal politics, was failing to listen to user feedback, and to some that sounds like Facebook now.
Total assets in exchange-traded funds and notes fell below $1 trillion for the first time since January.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Shaky market action weighed on exchange-traded products over the past month.
According to the flow data compiled by the National Stock Exchange, total ETF/ETN assets dipped by $90 billion in September, closing out the month at $972 billion. This is the first time assets have broken below the $1 trillion mark since January. September's assets marked a decline of more than $160 billion since April's peak.
Despite the overall decline in assets, the total universe of exchange-traded funds and notes continues to expand. Over the past month, 34 new products were added, bringing the total number of ETFs and ETNs to 1,335.
These drug stocks show good relative strength, a global presence, and pay sizable dividends, a highly productive recipe.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The big drug companies have shown some of the best relative performance, or RS analysis, since the August lows. Equally important is that most surged with the market this week as they continued to act better than most stocks.
Of the four stocks that I have selected, all have very attractive yields that from their financials appear to be quite safe.
Another important factor, in my opinion, is a robust presence in some of the overseas markets which have the best demographics, like the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Once the emerging economies start to expand again, these drug companies should be well positioned to profit.
Hoarding cash isn't any safer.
You might think it’s a stupid idea to buy stocks right now. And I’ll admit, things are a bit bleak. Seasonal hiring is disappointing, and unemployment remains stubbornly high. Inflation is eroding family budgets, while wages and personal income are stagnant. Debt woes in Europe are in focus, but the "supercommittee" ensures that debt problems in America will be the subject of ridicule sometime soon.
It’s indeed ugly on Wall Street. September saw us shed about 4% from all of the major indexes, and if we hadn’t seen some big up days last week, we could have languished at lows that were off about 6% on the month. And who knows what October will bring after a flop earlier this week and a rally off the lows in the past two days.
But the risk you should be focusing on right now isn’t the risk of owning stocks. No, the real risk could be what will happen if you are not invested in the market.
Here are three reasons you should stop fretting and start investing now, with opportunities to prove the point to consider:
The uniquely American Apple visionary transcended even our greatest industrialists, from Ford to Rockefeller, making the impossible simple.
Who was Steve Jobs? Was he our Henry Ford? Let’s see, Ford did create a car for the masses, he made it possible for every American to afford a vehicle, which democratized transportation.
Was he our Sam Walton? Perhaps. Walton created a national chain of stores that democratized what it took to get a job in this country. Walton offered affordable clothing for men and women and children. The impact? You could look for a job and no one could judge you, because you looked like all of those who had made it.
Fewer golden parachutes and more vision are needed for corporate America to make a comeback.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
There will be a million legacy stories written about the passing of Apple's front man, but the one I hope gets the most attention by investors is the story of Steve Jobs the CEO -- a true leader at a time when many people in corner offices are frankly not worthy of the post.
We need more leadership in corporate America right now and fewer golden parachutes.
Investors may be able to put the fear on hold and actually see what earnings season has to say.
As long as pension funds are continually allocating ever more money into commodities, they will drive the price up. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If there were ever an official league for screw-ups, Wall Street and Congress would earn perfect attendance awards nearly every year. It seems like everything they do to "fix" some flaw in the system only serves to create two new problems down the road. (Guess who pays the bill each and every time?)
This cycle of inept intervention is described in greater detail by Dr. Randy Wray, a respected economist at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, as he describes the across-the-board increase in commodity prices in recent years.
Denmark recently became the first country to implement a tax on saturated fats, and other countries are likely to follow.
The country is the first to slap a tax on saturated fats. Now, residents will pay about 12 cents more for a bag of chips, 39 cents more for a small package of butter and 40 cents more for a hamburger, one Danish group calculated. Hungary also recently implemented a tax on soft drinks, pastries and salty snacks.
The movement could spread to other countries; Finland and Romania could soon follow suit. Governments around the world are desperate for cash, and the tax is one way to raise more money while appearing to take a stand on public health.
General Motors, like Ford, sees opportunities to expand its reach through the emergent car-sharing business.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
RelayRides allows vehicle owners to rent those vehicles to others, with the San Francisco-based firm providing a marketplace and insurance. General Motors Ventures LLC is in "advanced discussions" with RelayRides about an investment in the company, GM said.
The planned partnership would link GM's OnStar system to RelayRides, enabling the owners to rent out their cars using OnStar. The service would be available in a mobile application that would allow potential customers to check for vehicles and make reservations with their smart phones. The relationship will launch early in 2012.
Why superb products aren't translating into booming sales.
By John Rosevear
The market may not be loving their stocks, but buyers appear to be loving their vehicles: Despite grim economic predictions, all three of the Detroit automakers posted solid sales gains in September, with the market's overall pace the strongest seen since April.
Chrysler led the way with a 27% year-over-year sales gain, thanks to a surprisingly well-refreshed product lineup that is starting to gather momentum in the market. But the real story, at least from a Detroit perspective, is this: General Motors (GM) posted big gains, while supposedly stronger Ford (F) barely kept pace with the market.
What's behind that?
Tuesday's big reversal creates patterns pointing to higher stock prices.
Stocks surged into the close Tuesday after a day of heavy volatility on late-breaking news that European officials -- even the intransigent Germans -- are considering a "concerted, coordinated effort" with a "sense of urgency" to prevent the eurozone debt problems from turning into a full-fledged banking crisis by recapitalizing Europe's financial system.
That unleashed a frenzy of buying as overleveraged and overconfident short sellers were forced to close their positions quickly. With U.S. large caps dropping into bear market territory in intraday trading, the last thing most people expected was a rally in the last hour of trading.
The warehouse retailer faces rising costs, and a 10% fee increase will help counter those expenses.
The reason? Costs are going up, and even though sales are doing just fine, margins are headed down. To offset some of those costs, Costco will increase individual membership fees by $5 to $55 and executive fees by $10 to $110.
The announcement comes amid disappointing quarterly results. The retailer reported $1.08 per share in profit on $28.18 billion in revenue. Analysts were looking for $1.10 per share on $27.84 billion in revenue. So even though Costco came in higher on sales -- same-store sales rose 12% when analysts expected 10% -- the narrow profit miss got most of the attention.
When Ackman, Buffett, Peltz and Jefferies all agree, you should listen.
By Jonathan Chen, Benzinga
What a difference a few days makes.
Family Dollar (FDO) reported better-than-expected earnings on Sept. 28, raising its guidance and announcing it would be buying back an additional $250 million worth of stock. But the shares slumped along with the rest of the market. Then, on Wednesday, the stock got a boost from an analyst upgrade. As of midday, it was up $1.50, or about 3% to $53.
It's time for the rest of Wall Street to sit up and take notice of the improving story here.
This may be a make-or-break month for the economy. But history doesn't favor investors.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
October has a history of being an especially cruel month for investors. And if the stock market's disastrous performance and volatility in the third quarter were a prelude, it may well be again.
Economists are divided on whether the U.S. economy is about to fall into a recession and drag the equity market and Americans' 401k's down with it. That's a scary prospect, because the benchmark S&P 500 ($INX) is nearing a bear market, having declined almost 20% since late April.
Other asset classes such as commodities, oil and real estate also have fallen.
Economists' latest prognostications will make your head spin, but they agree on one thing: A resolution of the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis this month would go a long way toward getting the world's economy and stock markets back on track.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on the defensive after spending the entire day in a steady retreat. The S&P 500 (-0.6%) posted its third consecutive decline, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.9%) slipped behind the broader market during afternoon action.
Equity indices were pressured from the start following some overnight developments that weighed on sentiment. The market tried to overcome the early weakness, but could not stage a sustained rebound, ... More
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