Energy boom makes oil a safe haven
Oil becomes a surprising safe haven

The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.


The soccer team is reportedly considering a public offering in Singapore, perhaps to help its heavy debt load.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2011 3:38PM
You may soon be able to own a piece of Manchester United.

The U.K. soccer team is reportedly looking to raise as much as $1 billion through an initial public offering in Singapore by year's end. Two-thirds of the team's fan base is in Asia, so it's no surprise that its American owners are looking at Singapore, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But before you go jumping into some shares, look at the team's financials in the same way you would any other major company. It has nearly $1 billion of net debt, The Journal reports. It earned $47 million last year before interest and tax, but its interest expense was $119 million. 

Lower volatility and stronger economic data set the stage for additional gains. But there are likely to be bumps along the way.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Aug 16, 2011 3:06PM

The crazy crisis environment of the past few weeks has calmed somewhat. A sense of normalcy is returning. Stocks are up more than 8% off their lows. Volatility continues to be drawn out of the system like snake venom from a wound. Emotions like fear and panic are fading, giving way to a more reasoned approach.


Even the economic data are beginning to surprise investors to the upside again. Industrial production in July jumped 0.9% vs. the consensus estimate of 0.5%. June's result was also revised upward. Manufacturing is coming on strong, thanks to a rebound in auto production. Other positive data points include a drop in jobless claims, a rise in labor income and an increase in loan growth as credit standards are eased.


Nerves are still raw, however. Witness Tuesday's market drop, driven by renewed concerns over the eurozone. For investors, the question is: Now what?


Saying that politicians from both parties have failed to lead, Howard Schultz urges a boycott where it counts.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2011 2:01PM
Even chief executive officers are sick of politicians.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks (SBUX), says top bosses across the country should stop donating to political campaigns. Taking away that money might pressure lawmakers to fix the growing budget deficit.

"I am asking that all of us (forgo) political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people," he wrote in an email Monday night to business leaders. 

The presidential candidate says the Federal Reserve would be playing politics if it printed more money before the election.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2011 1:07PM
Ben Bernanke, you might think twice before heading to Texas anytime soon.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning for president this week, said the Federal Reserve's printing more money between now and November 2012 would be like an act of treason.

"If this guy (Bernanke) prints more money between now and the election," Perry said, "I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we -- we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous -- or treasonous in my opinion." 

Greenlight Capital, in trying to reverse losses, short-circuits its strategy by buying dud stocks.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2011 12:41PM


By Robert Holmes, TheStreet


David Einhorn, trying to make up for losses in his Greenlight Capital hedge fund, is turning to unloved stocks such as Huntington Ingalls (HII) and Aeropostale (ARO) for a second-half rebound.


It's hard to tell who's having a tougher year, Einhorn or the New York Mets, the baseball team in which he's seeking to buy a $200 million stake. Einhorn's hedge fund fell 5% through the second quarter, prompting him to shake up his investments. The Mets are 20 games back in the standings in the National League East division.


Unfortunately, Greenlight Capital's four new positions have likely been unprofitable for Einhorn, who was brutalized by Yahoo (YHOO). In a letter to shareholders last month, Einhorn disclosed that Greenlight Capital sold out of its stake in Yahoo at a loss after the Internet search giant's dispute over the ownership transfer of Alibaba's online-payments business Alipay.


Only 4 sectors are higher for the year, but analysis indicates that a few are likely to outperform in the months ahead.

By Aug 16, 2011 12:19PM
By Tom Aspray,

It has been a wild year for most market sectors, and the sharp recent plunge in the stock market has not helped to clarify the picture. 

The first quarter’s star performer was the Select Sector SPDR Energy (XLE), which gained 16.8%, leading the second-best performer, the Select Sector SPDR Industrial (XLI), by over 8%.

For the year, only four sectors are in positive territory, but all have also been hit hard over the past three weeks, as they are all well below the 2011 highs and have broken several levels of support.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett starts a stake in Dollar General, while hedge fund manager William Ackman boosts his company's position in Family Dollar.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2011 11:44AM

TheStreetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Hedge fund managers are getting bullish on dollar stores. Should you?

William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital increased its stake in Family Dollar Stores (FDO) as of June 30, according to a regulatory filing.

Ackman now holds about 11.1 million shares of Family Dollar, valued at $6.4 billion, from about 10.9 billion shares prior to June.

In May, Ackman became the largest shareholder of the dollar store, saying the company was poised for gains due to the potential of a buyout.


The famed investor turned his portfolio inside out in the second quarter, with big buys and even bigger sells.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2011 10:51AM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreet


Legendary investor George Soros, 81, had a wild second quarter as his $5.6 billion hedge fund added 198 stocks and sold 348 in what turned out to be a wholesale reshuffling of his portfolio.


A few of the largest acquisitions for Soros Fund Management were Golar LNG Partners (GLNG), which operates a fleet of liquid-natural-gas carriers; computer giant International Business Machines (IBM); Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH), an exchange-traded fund that invests in semiconductor makers; VMware (VMW), a provider of virtualization software for cloud-computing systems; and SandRidge Energy (SD), an oil and natural-gas company.


The fund closed out of its positions in Internet search engine Google (GOOG), at $68 million; luxury-goods maker Coach (COH), a $46 million position; gold miner Novagold Resources (NG), which was a $45 million stake; Power-One (PWER), a maker of power-conversion and power-management products, in what had been a $25 million stake; and a $25 million position in Tenet Healthcare (THC), an owner and operator of health care facilities. Those are just a few of the largest sell-offs.


It hurts even at the top, with some bosses taking a 50% pay cut. But don't cry for the guys still making eight figures.

By InvestorPlace Aug 16, 2011 9:38AM

By Jeff Reeves, editor

As prices of gas and food have crept up while wages have remained largely stagnant, many Americans are feeling the squeeze. Even if you haven't been laid off, you may face a furlough. Even if you don't face days off without pay, you may still be suffering under a wage freeze. And even if you get a 1% or 2% raise, that may not keep pace with inflation, the way things are going.

Throw in the stock market antics messing with your 401k or IRA, and it can be depressing to look at your bank account.

Since misery loves company, perhaps it's worth pointing out big-name companies where CEO compensation has also been falling, with some executives taking as much as a 50% cut. You may find it comforting to know that even the guys at the top are feeling the squeeze.


With Europe's biggest economy growing at just 0.1%, we must remain on recession watch.

By Jim Cramer Aug 16, 2011 8:47AM

the streetthe streetDid anyone actually believe that all of these crises in government would be good for the economy?


Did anyone think Germany was in as good shape after the past month as it was before?


Yet when a weak German GDP number came out this morning -- 0.1% growth, down substantially from 1.3% growth in the previous quarter -- markets nosedived as if people had been thinking that the little engine that could runs no matter what it's fed, including the thin gruel of total lack of confidence, fiscal austerity, and worldwide tightening and indecision.


I've been on recession watch ever since we started the horrendous budget process that led to a nearly disastrous deal, and I have been waiting for data like this to shock people into realizing how much damage was really done. The answer is: a whole lot of damage.


Did the August sell-off in the Tokyo stock market take prices down too far?

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 15, 2011 4:42PM
Jim JubakHere's the question that global stock markets are grappling with now: If global economies are slowing, stocks should get marked down in price. But by how much?

Monday's economic data from Japan and the reaction of the Tokyo stock market suggest the August sell-off may have gone a bit too far.

The news certainly wasn’t good from Japan. Gross domestic product fell at a 1.3% annualized rate in the second quarter. That's the third consecutive quarterly decline. Japan is most definitely back in recession.

But GDP fell more slowly than the 2.5% drop projected by economists, as spending on reconstruction efforts after the March earthquake and tsunami started to offset some of the damage from the event itself, and the slowing in exports caused by a stronger Japanese yen.

A diversified portfolio is a must, right? Not for most people, says investor Mark Cuban.

By Kim Peterson Aug 15, 2011 4:12PM
Oh, sure, it sounds great to have a diversified portfolio. That's one of the golden rules of investing. But what does that even mean, and can the average investor pull it off?

Investor Mark Cuban, who also owns the Dallas Mavericks, says it's impossible for most people to diversify because it's simply too hard to learn about all the different categories.

You're supposed to invest in what you know, right? Well, how can you invest in what you know but then spread your investments into emerging markets, real-estate investment trusts, small-cap stocks, dividend-paying stocks and bonds? 

Your brain meets your money.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Aug 15, 2011 3:46PM

By Morgan Housel


After being burned by one of the worst investment bubbles in history, Isaac Newton reflected. "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men."


That's just as true today. It doesn't matter how smart you are. You'll be broke before long if you don't have the right mind-set. As markets continue to bleed investors dry, all of us would do well to stop, take a deep breath, and spend a few minutes thinking about some of the innate biases that lead investors astray.


Here are three.


Economist Nouriel Roubini says 5 factors helped turn the nation's economic surplus into a deficit during Bush's presidency.

By Kim Peterson Aug 15, 2011 2:32PM
One well-known economist says that former President George W. Bush is to blame for the current economic crisis.

Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor nicknamed "Dr. Doom" for his dour views on the economy, says in this video that when President Obama came to power, he inherited a budget deficit of $1.2 trillion. When Bush came to power, the country had a surplus of $300 billion.

How did we get a $1.5 trillion change in our fiscal condition during Bush's time in office? Roubini lists five factors:  

These exchange-traded funds allow investors to play this market for its strengths and weaknesses.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 15, 2011 1:31PM

TheStreetBy Don Dion, TheStreet


Here are five ETFs to watch this week.


1. iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index Fund (DVY)


The global markets' whipsaw action over the past week has injected a hearty dose of fear into investors around the world.


While it may be tempting to flee these markets, I encourage investors to avoid taking brash action. Defensive-minded asset classes like dividend-paying equities, gold and safe-haven currencies will allow investors to not only weather the current storms, but also prepare for the market's eventual turn around.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market capped the trading week with losses across the major averages. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to surrender its weekly gain, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.7%) and Russell 2000 (-0.9%) underperformed. The two indices posted respective losses of 0.8% and 0.6% for the week.

Equity indices were pressured from the get-go after several heavyweights disappointed the market with their earnings and/or guidance, which led to some broader profit-taking. After ... More


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