Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?
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It's time for the Russell index rebalancing act.
By Dan Caplinger
A lot of investors are going to be surprised by the huge spikes in volume that many stocks are going to see near the close this Friday. Some will wonder whether it's another sign of market manipulation. But don't worry: It's all perfectly normal, although it does give you an opportunity to get in on some interesting stocks before the investing masses do.
Playing index games one more time
Every June, Russell Investments, which is the company behind the well-known small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 index, changes its lists of component stocks for several of its indexes. Inevitably, the index reconstitution leads to some up-and-coming companies making it into the benchmarks, replacing those companies that no longer qualify for inclusion.
Given that this happens every year, you'd think that everyone would treat it as a non-event. But with nearly $4 trillion of institutional investments tied to Russell's indexes, there's a ton of money at stake -- and with the many index funds and other money managers that have to follow Russell's moves, you can expect to see substantial volatility as the changes become final on June 24.
Author JK Rowling announces that the e-books will be sold exclusively through her Pottermore website.
J.K. Rowling announced Thursday that her Harry Potter books will be available as audio downloads and digital e-books in October. The mysterious Pottermore website, which had teased Harry Potter fans for days, will be the only place to buy them.
The announcement falls a little flat for fans who had expected breakthrough news, perhaps maybe an online Harry Potter role-playing game. But Pottermore will have some new material: Rowling has reportedly written 18,000 words for the site, which will also feature games, social networking and an online store.
Here are five funds for investors who are looking for yield in a shaky market.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Although the U.S. markets have enjoyed some small doses of strength over the course of the week, caution remains warranted as we look ahead.
With Greece's debt woes still dominating headlines and weighing on sentiment, the need for protection is essential. There are a number of ways investors can use ETFs in order to both defend against the market's current shakiness and prepare for strength on the horizon.
Dividend-paying equities and other income-oriented investing options, for instance, may appeal to investors looking to construct such an all-weather portfolio. Here are five ETF options investors may want to consider when attempting to target yield.
Technology and semiconductors have been lagging the S&P 500, and even strong earnings aren’t likely to reverse the negative outlook.
These technology bosses may not last the year in their current roles, thanks to slumping stocks and stunted turnaround strategies.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Salty Yahoo (YHOO) chief Carol Bartz has long lost her gruff charm, and she may not be able to hang on to her job much longer if new reports stating that the company is searching for her replacement are true.
It's been a tough run for Bartz, who was hired more than two years ago to bring order and direction to the disarray that Yahoo had fallen into.
But Bartz isn't alone. Other tech titans have been called out for failing to meet market challenges or, in some cases, driving business into the ditch.
Bernanke simply kicked the can down the road. With his Fed-speak behind us, it's time to focus again on individual stocks, leaving others to pontificate on the big picture.
What did people want from Ben Bernanke? Did they want him to say, "I am an idiot and I can't get the job done, so go find someone else?" Did they want him to tell us that the Greek worries are ridiculous and we shouldn't be fearful of a contagion? Did we want him to say we are on the eve of destruction?
No, I know what they wanted him to do. They wanted him to wave a magic wand that would force Congress and the president to stop profligate spending, including war spending, cut back entitlements, issue long-term U.S. government debt to take advantage of the low long-term rates and stave off a liquidity event, solve the pension problems, raise age limits for Social Security, and speed up the stalled housing foreclosure process and buy 2 million vacant homes to torch them.
Big wish list.
In truth, it would have been better if Bernanke had called out the bad guys rather than saying that he's given all he's got, like some sort of Scotty trying to save the Enterprise from being sucked into a black hole.
The company is seeing rising demand for seeds and pesticides, which could help it grab market share from rivals.
If fears continue to build, investors will want to unload these shares.
By Jamie Dlugosch, Stockpickr
It is human nature to be fearful. For some reason, we are all wired with some degree of skepticism about the future. Perhaps it's due to our awareness of the ultimate inevitability of our demise. Over the past six weeks, the amount of skepticism and fear in the stock market has risen.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), also known as the "fear index," is up 23% since the end of April. Typically such spikes are accompanied by sharp declines in the stock market. Indeed, the S&P 500 ($INX) is down about 5% over the same period. As painful as it is to lose 5%, the losses could be a lot worse.
With the VIX currently at 18.21, there is a lot more fear to be had in the market. When stocks bottomed in March 2009, the VIX peaked at 53.25, more than double where we are today. But should fear in the current market continue to build, here are five names I would consider liquidating.
Still in a fragile recovery, the doughnut chain looks to yogurt, juices and specialty coffees to sustain momentum.
So in order to keep momentum going, the company is ... getting healthier?
Chief executive James Morgan wants to add oatmeal, yogurt and fruit juice to the menu, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. He's also looking at specialty coffee, starting with custom blends in September and espressos and lattes over 18 months.
Homer Simpson would be disappointed, and I admit I am as well.
The tech giant could partner with a television maker to 'blow Netflix and all those other guys away.'
We're talking full-on TV sets. The DailyTech site says it has interviewed a former company executive about Apple's plans to bundle Apple TV and iTunes inside television sets. The idea, the executive said, is to "blow Netflix (NFLX) and all those other guys away."
Apple would get the TVs from a major supplier, the source said, but put its own brand on them. "You'll go into an Apple retail store and be able to walk out with a TV," the source said. "It's perfect." The TVs could come out this year or next.
Nearly 15,000 readers rate the carriers they love and hate.
That's the takeaway from the latest airline survey from Consumer Reports. Nearly 15,000 readers rated the top airlines, and the one that charged significantly fewer fees was the strong winner.
Southwest (LUV) topped the list, with a rating of 87, getting top marks for easy check-in, good service, clean cabins and baggage handling. Southwest might have nailed that last category because it's the only airline that lets you check two bags with no extra charges, Consumer Reports says. Additional bags cost $50 each.
You can hear more about Consumer Reports' survey in the following video.
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Many don’t trust the market’s latest rally, but technical indicators suggest that even when this rally stalls, the market may be well supported for a new run to the prior highs.
Fears of government spending cutbacks have kept many aerospace and defense stocks trading at bargain prices.
With talk of deficits, debt ceilings and potential budget cuts dominating the U.S. political landscape in recent weeks, a good deal of fear and uncertainty have been swirling around stocks of companies that could be impacted if the government starts slashing its budget.
One such area is aerospace and defense firms. The defense budget has come under great scrutiny lately as Congress tries to claw away at the $1.4 trillion U.S. budget deficit. That -- along with investors' increased appetite for riskier stocks amid the Federal Reserve's money-printing binge -- has helped keep the shares of many A&D companies trading on the cheap.
Last week, however, the House Appropriations Committee passed a defense budget that cut President Obama's spending request less than some had feared, good news for defense-related companies.
Mortgage woes weigh on the company, but the stock may be too cheap to resist.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
Bank of America (BAC) looks ugly, yes, but when do its shares become too cheap to pass up?
That's the question analysts and investors have been asking since October, when it finally sank in that housing-related legal challenges were likely to cost tens of billions of dollars and that Bank of America appeared to be on the hook for most of it as a result of its acquisition of Countrywide Financial in 2008.
Countrywide was one of the most aggressive actors out there when it came to making home loans that were unlikely to be repaid. The lender appears to have ramped up its mortgage operation just as the housing market was at its frothiest.
Streaming apps just don't work on Android.
By Tim Beyers
Android's versioning problems are far from over. In tests this weekend, I found that none of the major streaming apps aside from YouTube work on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 I received during Google's (GOOG) I/O developer conference last month.
And that's after upgrading the underlying OS to the latest edition of Honeycomb, version 3.1. Knowing this, I wonder how any of us can be surprised that Apple's (AAPL) iPad still dominates the conversation when it comes to tablets.
To be fair, Apple users have their own issues with version 1.3 of the iPad edition of Netflix (NFLX). "I LOVED this app until the update prior to this last one," reviewer dailyink wrote of the app at Apple's website. "Now the app constantly crashes when searching titles.
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The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More
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