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The increase in China's exports and imports is big news because it wasn't supposed to happen.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
We just get a number, simply a blow-away number, from China, showing much stronger exports and imports -- fully 50% more than people were looking for in terms of exports -- and what's the first thing the reporter and the anchor ask? "Is it sustainable?"
Wait a second. It wasn't even supposed to happen. This is huge news. China was supposed to be slowing to a crawl as they break the real estate market -- people are still looking at prices, which were up, and not transactions, the precursor, which are down huge -- and yet the economy there roared. That means they need more of our imports.
That means Europe is still growing, because China sells more into Europe than the U.S.
Rumors of solid economic numbers from China could give investors some comfort.
If only this leak is correct!
Reuters is citing three unnamed people who report that a Chinese government official told an investment conference that May consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 3.1%, exports jumped 50% in the month, and new loans totaled $92 billion.
If those numbers are correct, investors can tune down fears that the euro debt crisis and China's own efforts to rein in inflation have slowed its economy by a notch. It won't be possible to discern a strong positive trend in the numbers, I'd guess, but the leaked figures at least don't show a strong negative trend, either. And in the current situation, that's a big plus for financial markets.
Despite a lot of volatility, stocks have been trapped by two important technical levels. That's about to change.
Stocks continued to act like little schizophrenic chipmunks on Wednesday after a 126 point gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that took the big cap index over the 10,000 level was reversed into the closing bell. The small caps in the Russell 2000 managed to close with a small gain.
It's sure been a directionless couple of weeks -- since May 20 the Wilshire 5000 Index, the broadest gauge of the U.S. stock market, has lost about 1%.
But boy have things been volatile: There have been new fewer than six sessions since then (out of 13) that have resulted in a change of more than 1% for the Wilshire. So although it feels like we've all been put through the ringer, the equity market really hasn't gone anywhere since mid-May.
It's the five-year anniversary of Alan Greenspan's "bubble" speech.
"Although a 'bubble' in home prices for the nation as a whole does not appear likely, there do appear to be, at a minimum, signs of froth in some local markets where home prices seem to have risen to unsustainable levels," he testified to a Congressional committee.
June 9 has become known as National Froth Day, according to Jon Lansner at The Orange County Register. It's a time to "honor our inability to see a brewing bubble," he writes.
The number of new drugs being developed is falling. Who's to blame?
Is it even worth it to invest in pharmaceutical companies anymore? Last year, only 25 new drugs were approved, reports The Atlantic.
Drug companies aren't producing as many new products these days. And groundbreaking, blockbuster arrivals are scarce -- which is surprising given the technology and resources available to scientists at those companies.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly why this is happening. Are the companies to blame, or is it the Food and Drug Administration's fault?
One analyst ups her price target and now expects iPad sales of 10 million this year.
The firm's Apple analyst, Katy Huberty, has raised her price target to $332 from $310, Fortune reports. Her increase is largely driven by the iPad, which is seeing surprisingly strong sales. Apple shares were in the $249 range Wednesday.
Some analysts, like Charlie Wolf at Needham & Company, expected Apple to sell 2 million iPads this year. Turns out Apple did that in two months.
Look at an agribusiness that has website, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube pages as a long term holding
Over my lifetime I've seen the same story unfold over and over again. Someone accumulates raw land with the idea of building an agribusiness like a dairy, cattle farm or orchard and is pretty successful. A city not far away begins to grow and pretty soon the suburbs stretch right to the border of the farm and the farmer becomes a real estate developer.
I grew up in Fort Lauderdale and saw that happen in Davie as dairies, cattle farms and orange groves became housing projects. My brother lives in Loxahatchee west of Palm Beach and now you see shopping centers and high schools surrounded by orange groves. Before Walt Disney changed it all, sleepy Orlando was a cattle and citrus farming town. I watched this happen on the north side of Atlanta and now I'm watching the same thing happen on the south side of Charlotte.
I've never had the capital to make major investments in real estate except for ventures into small rental units and REITs but maybe you can.
Burger King is ramping up its frozen food and snack lines in an effort to tap into bigger sales.
The debate over whose fries are better, Burger King (BKC) or McDonald's (MCD), is one of the oldest fast-food fights in the industry. But rather than just limit the debate to the drive-thru window, Burger King has changed the battlefield to the supermarket aisles.
How? Well, with a new line of frozen foods that include crinkle-cut French fries and healthy apple fries coming soon to your grocer’s freezer. There’s even a healthy line of Apple Fries, with the fruit skinned and cut to look like French fries and packaged in that familiar BK cardboard cup.
With China's property market bottoming and middle-class growth intact, we can cross one item off our list of concerns.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
We can cross off one item from my checklist. The data coming out of China this week is showing robust growth with less inflation and a taming of the red-hot property market. I am willing to state that this development is unequivocally good news and can be a major reason we can stabilize, and a reason we may not violate the 9,700 level on the Dow ($INDU) we reached yesterday -- just 200-odd points from where I expressed that we might go without a systemic collapse.
Now, we don't know what China's export numbers are going to be like; they come out tomorrow. But apparently a leak from Reuters -- at least according to Bloomberg -- suggests that the numbers will be strong. When the leak came out, China's stock market spiked.
More important, though, are two pieces of data that matter tremendously:
The company responded quickly to complaints that customers' televisions were stuck on one channel.
Customers poured complaints into DirecTV's customer service department Tuesday, saying their televisions would not respond. This comes a day after the company upgraded its digital video service to allow customers to watch shows in up to 15 rooms with a single high-definition DVR.
The company fixed what it called a "transmission glitch" Tuesday afternoon, however, and apologized to customers for the inconvenience.
The company continues to roll out international stores -- but they don't look like the ones in America.
Wal-Mart's international expansion has gone big. This year, for the first time, the majority of its stores will be outside the United States.
The retailer's international business is so hot that it has surpassed $100 billion in sales, The Washington Post reports, and those sales are growing nine times as fast as domestic sales.
Could Wal-Mart become as pervasive worldwide as it is in its home country? That's the idea. "The company has become increasingly reliant on the appetites of international shoppers to pick up the slack and drive growth, mirroring a broader global shift in purchasing power," writes Ylan Mui.
Deepwater Horizon becomes a flash point in debate over drilling around Lofoten Islands.
The ripples from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico have reached Norway.
Norwegian opponents to opening the fragile ecosystems around the Lofoten Islands -- with their critical spawning grounds for cod -- to oil drilling are arguing that Norway needs to delay any decision until the country fully considers the lessons from the uncontrolled oil release off the coast of Louisiana.
The oil industry estimates that there are 1.3 billion barrels of oil in the reserves around the islands. Production from those reserves will help offset declining production from Norway's mature North Sea fields.
The company pulls out the stops to move an executive from Paris to its headquarters.
Or, in the case of Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), it takes a ton of money and perks. The company pulled out the stops to lure Claude Lopez to the Buckeye State to become its president of global sales, according to the Footnoted blog.
First, the company is spending $100,000 on a "mobility allowance" just to move Lopez and his family from Paris to Ohio. What, are they buying a plane just for the move?
Then, he will have a $6,000 a month housing allowance
In Europe, bracelets might become the new fashion accessory for entrepreneurs.
That's apparently the new code for "I'm so rich that I'm nonchalant." The Financial Times reports that these accessories are an update of backpacker souvenirs and friendship bracelets, and now show you have experience "beyond the suit."
Male bracelets are gaining in popularity in England and especially in Italy, where one tailor says he is wearing them to change the mood in classic men's dressing.
The Fiat-run company's recent sales growth a year after its bankruptcy is nice, but isn't as rosy as you may think
The May auto sales numbers that recently hit Wall Street were cheered by many in Detroit. Between recall woes at Toyota (TM) and a rebound in consumer spending, Domestic Automakers Ford (F), GM and Chrysler posted nice year-over-year gains.
Unfortunately, those figures may not mean much. After all, we're comparing numbers with the month that consumers learned GM and Chrysler were entering bankruptcy protection -- so it would be hard not so show improvements.
A closer look at the numbers show that all is not well, particularly at Chrysler. In fact, here are three reasons the company could fold completely if things don't change in a hurry:
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This North American food and drug retail giant is showing signs of sluggish growth.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Commodities are mostly lower this morning, despite weakness in the dollar index, given the broad market weakness., hurt by a crash in the Nikkei, which fell over 7%.
Crude oil futures have been in the red all day so far and fell as low as $92.21. June crude briefly rallied back above $93 and is now -1.5% at $92.89/barrel.
Natural gas has been modestly lower all morning and was sitting about 0.2% lower just ahead of the weekly inventory data. Following the data, June ... More
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