How long can the S&P 500 keep 2,000?
How long can the S&P keep 2,000?

The Federal Reserve and Congressional politics threaten to rain on the market party.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

We are beginning to recognize that the sovereign debt crisis will be solved -- just not in a way that is satisfying to anybody.

By Jim Cramer Sep 19, 2011 9:08AM

the street logoSome things never get old -- or discounted, for that matter. That's how I am feeling about the sovereign debt crisis.

 

You put it past you for a couple of days and a lot of money is made. Not a little but a lot. And then it comes back and bites you again because it can't be solved easily. The fact is, though, we are beginning to recognize that it will be solved. It just won't be solved well and in a way that is satisfying to anybody.

 

In other words, get used to it, it will play out, it will hurt people, but it might not hurt as many stocks as you think.

 

I am taking this posture because I like to see how players react to the same stimuli over and over. In other words, whenever futures are down off of Europe, do the same people who missed the rally big hold their hands up, point fingers and say "I told you so?"

 

As often happens, strong bearish sentiment helped boost the market all week, but it’s best to wait to buy until a pullback occurs, which could come as early as mid-week.

By MoneyShow.com Sep 16, 2011 6:11PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The stock market got very close to the key levels in the major stock ETFs Monday, and then spent the rest of the week rebounding. This was in spite of very little in the way of positive news, either on the US economy or the Euro debt crisis.


Some of the Euro pain was lessened last Thursday, after the world’s central bankers moved to offer unlimited dollar funding through the end of the year. This helped the hard-hit European banks, especially those in France, to rebound.


The news on our economy was not a big help. Retail sales were flat and Best Buy (BBY) reported 30% drop in income for the second quarter. Retail sales were hurt by the several days lost because of Hurricane Irene.


A recent survey of economists by The Wall Street Journal sees a 1 in 3 chance the US will slip into a recession. They also put even odds that the euro would breakup.


The Conference Board was even more negative on the economy, as they see a 45% chance that there will be a recession.

 

Energy Transfer Partners may run into a problem with growing cash distributions.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 16, 2011 4:19PM
I think you can do better.

Yes, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) pays a current yield of 8.2%. But with a master limited partnership like this, what I want to see is the potential for solid increases in cash distributions over time. And on that front, Energy Transfer Partners looks like a laggard.

I’m selling this master limited partnership out of Jubak’s Picks as of today.

Standard & Poor’s, which gives this stock a buy rating, forecasts that cash distributions will climb just 1.7% in 2011.
 

The bears probably won't be in hibernation next quarter.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 16, 2011 2:43PM

By Evan Niu

 

The dread continues for besieged BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM).

 

The self-proclaimed "global leader in wireless innovation" reported gloomy earnings last night. Net income came in at $329 million, or $0.63 per share, dropping nearly 59% from last year's $797 million. Top-line revenue of $4.2 billion dropped by "only" 10% from the previous year, falling short of the $4.5 billion that Wall Street analysts were looking for. Meanwhile, gross margin took a big hit, falling to 38.7% from 44.5%. If you ask me, the only thing that RIM is leading is its own implosion.

 

The company shipped 200,000 PlayBooks and 10.6 million BlackBerry phones. The (already reduced) estimates called for 562,000 PlayBooks and 11.8 million BlackBerry phones. The discouraging figures don't paint a pretty picture for the future of the company's QNX platform.

 

Could a Chinese online shopping site really raise that much in a public offering? It seems to think so.

By Kim Peterson Sep 16, 2011 2:37PM
The largest Internet IPO in U.S. history is coming up -- and it's not Facebook.

The company is Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co., which runs the online shopping site 360buy.com. The business is growing at an insane pace, and Jingdong is now expecting to raise a whopping $4 billion to $5 billion from the IPO, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That would totally blow away the $1.9 million that Google (GOOG) raised in its 2004 IPO. 

Brian Lazorishak, who heads the Chase Mid-Cap Growth Fund, discusses some of his best-performing holdings.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 16, 2011 2:22PM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreetTheStreet

 

This year is the moment of truth for mutual fund managers. As the economy slows and stocks fall, managers' strategies are laid bare, and those who can't make money for investors face the firing squad.

 

The Legg Mason Value Trust (LMVTX), which beat the S&P 500 Index for a record 15 years under Bill Miller, has slumped 10% this year. Ken Heebner's CGM Focus Fund (CGMFX), which used to gain more in one quarter than most funds did in a year, has dropped twice as much as the Value Trust. Even Fidelity's Contrafund (FCNTX) has declined 1.9%. The Boston mutual fund firm's Harry Lange, the manager of the Magellan Fund, was replaced this week because of poor performance.

 

Brian Lazorishak of the Chase Mid-Cap Growth Fund (CHAMX) is earning his keep. The mutual fund is in the top 2% of its category in terms of performance this year, with a return of 6%, and in the top 1% over the past 12 months, with a 27% gain, as tracked by Morningstar. The S&P 500 ($INX) is down 4% this year and up 8% over the past 12 months.

 

Why did the state give the television show a tax credit of up to $420,000?

By Kim Peterson Sep 16, 2011 1:54PM
New Jersey residents are angry that their taxes are helping fund production of the MTV television show "Jersey Shore."

Taxpayers will foot the bill for as much as $420,000 in production costs from the show's 2009 season, the Star-Ledger reports. This week, the state's Economic Development Authority agreed to give the show a film tax credit. 

Bolder actions are needed to stop the slow bleed out of the eurozone. For ideas, the region's leaders are turning to measures the US took in 2008.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Sep 16, 2011 12:47PM

The European debt crisis is a festering wound on the face of the global economy. Until it heals, the global recovery, which was so strong in 2009 and early 2010, can't continue. After a handful of rescue packages -- two for Greece, one for Ireland and one for Portugal -- eurozone policymakers just can't draw a line under the problem.

 

Instead, dithering and a lack of big, bold measures -- like those enacted by President George W. Bush during the worst of the 2008 financial crisis -- have allowed speculators to push the currency union to the edge. They're running a flanking maneuver: While officials struggle to implement a new plan hammered out in July to save Greece, hedge fund types are pressuring too-big-too-fail Italy and Spain by pushing up borrowing costs.

 

The infection has spread to the banking system, which is having a hard time raising cash. The result is a drop in loan activity as banks, especially those in France, hoard capital in an effort to restore confidence. This, in turn, is pushing Europe ever closer to outright recession. What a mess.

 

Chart patterns indicate that an upcoming pullback in the tech sector will be well supported.

By MoneyShow.com Sep 16, 2011 11:40AM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


While the S&P 500 and Spyder Trust (SPY) have failed to surpass the 50% retracement resistance from the May highs, the Nasdaq 100 is a different story. Technology stocks have been getting lots of press lately, and many hope that this sector will help turn the market around.


Though the Nasdaq 100 is made up of both technology and biotech stocks, it is the technology space that has been getting the most attention. A closer look at the market internals for the Nasdaq 100, as well as the key chart points and the sub-industry tech groups suggests that we should get a pullback in the next week or so that will provide a better risk/reward entry level for those who are not already long.

 

A buyout offer could come soon from a private equity firm, a Chinese Internet giant or one of the biggest names in the US tech sector.

By InvestorPlace Sep 16, 2011 9:40AM

By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com


On Sept. 6, Carol Bartz was unceremoniously fired from her post as CEO ofYahoo (YHOO). Now that the market has had almost two weeks to digest the sound bites and debate the tech icon's future, there appears to be a clear focus on who willbuy Yahoo, not who will take over as CEO.


Yahoo, of course, stubbornly refused a $44.6 billion buyout offer from Microsoft (MSFT) in early 2008. The company's current market capitalization is less than half that, at about $18.4 billion. The lower price this time around means a much more interesting group of prospective buyers. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)


So who could acquire Yahoo? Here are three front-runners, along with their plans for the company:

 

These exchange-traded funds, created to give individual investors the same leveraging opportunities that hedge funds have, don't level the playing field -- they distort it.

By Jim Cramer Sep 16, 2011 9:17AM

the streetWait one minute. A rogue trader at UBS lost $2 billion trading ETFs versus underlying stocks with derivatives? That's what the unauthorized trades were about?

 

Typical.

 

Typical of what we don't know about these instruments. Typical of the confidence that securities people place in the way ETFs work versus the actual securities they are supposed to represent.

 

If a major company like UBS, with all sorts of risk controls, couldn't see through what a trader might have been doing as he flitted back and forth through the ETFs to the underlying stocks to the options market, are we really supposed to be able to trust these kinds of desks when they tell us not to worry, that ETFs aren't more powerful than the stocks?

 

Should we really trust them when they make their assurances that ETFs, particularly the double and triple ETFs, don't affect the markets in bizarre and difficult-to-understand ways, including exacerbating trends that shouldn't be exacerbated?

 

Despite the fragile economy, Cummins forecasts a 14% compound annual growth rate.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 15, 2011 5:56PM
It's not just what Cummins (CMI) told Wall Street analysts on Sept. 13. It's that the company said it at all.

I mean, Cummins knows there’s a global slowdown going on, yet the company’s chief executive and chief operating officer said Cummins would hit $30 billion in annual sales in 2015, up from $18 billion today and a 14% compound annual growth rate.

And that EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margins would expand to 18% from 14.5% today. And the capper: that earnings per share would hit $20 in 2015.
 
Tags: oil

There is more to the company's warning than meets the eye.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 15, 2011 3:20PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

 

Investors shouldn't be surprised by Netflix (NFLX) hosing down its domestic subscriber targets this morning.

 

Any rational person could see that the company and blinders-donning analysts were underestimating the consumer resentment spurred by Netflix's decision to begin charging subscribers on unlimited DVD plans for streaming access. That move resulted in a price increase of as much as 60% for those wanting to receive optical discs in the mail and stream from the dot-com giant's growing digital catalog.

 

The outcome isn't a shocker. Netflix was targeting 25 million domestic subscribers by the end of the third quarter two months ago. Now it sees just 24 million accounts in this country when its quarter comes to a close in two weeks.

 

Struggling to compete with Wal-Mart and Amazon, the toy retailer pins its strategy on exclusive deals.

By Kim Peterson Sep 15, 2011 2:14PM
Toys "R" Us could have been put out of business by Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN). No one would have been surprised.

Toys are a historically low-margin business, and there isn't much room for a specialty retailer when behemoths like Wal-Mart can undercut prices. Yet Toys "R" Us has been able to increase market share.

How has Toys "R" Us survived? By doing a little gambling. The company tries to predict the holiday's hottest sellers and loads up ahead of time, according to MarketWatch. It worked in 2009, when Toys "R" Us had the Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters when other stores ran out. 

Fat cats go free, politicians don't get it, and credit is still frozen after one of the biggest market shocks in history.

By MSNMoney partner Sep 15, 2011 2:07PM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

 

On Sept. 15, 2008, the world learned a debt-riddled Lehman Brothers would be no more. The Dow dropped more than 500 points that day, and a month later the index was off about 25%.

 

And that was only the beginning.

 

So what have we learned exactly three years after this market-shaking event? Unfortunately, almost nothing.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.

Equity indices opened with slim gains, ... More


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