The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.
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Investors are already reacting, and their reactions will have big effects.
By Dan Caplinger
Few weeks on Wall Street can match the craziness that last week gave investors. Four days of huge volatility, followed by what seemed like a quiet Friday by comparison with a 125-point jump for the Dow, has everyone on edge.
In the aftermath, everyone's looking for answers about what's to come. Poring through all the things that investors did during last week's roller-coaster ride yields many different insights:
- On the commodities front, hedge funds poured into gold and precious metals, but interest in other commodities like base metals and foodstuffs largely evaporated. In particular, copper saw speculative demand drop by more than 60% for the week, potentially boding ill for big copper producers Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) and Southern Copper (SCCO).
Statoil is on a roll, announcing its third high-impact discovery this year.
Sitting out the madness or rebalancing portfolios? MSN Money readers share their strategies.
Many of MSN Money's readers have recently shared what they're doing in this topsy-turvy market, and I bet their advice is just as good as any that you'd find from a professional.
On MSN Money's Facebook page, Chris S. says he has been timing major market cycles since 1980. He thinks you can time the market -- but you just can't time it on a short-term basis. "You have to educate yourself and study, and most small investors do not do that," he writes.
Worries about Pentagon cuts have hit defense stocks hard, but sentiment now appears to be turning.
The current crisis in Europe is a continuation of the financial meltdown that struck the US in 2008, says the billionaire investor, and the future of the euro depends on Germany.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
Soros made the comments in a interview with German publication Der Spiegel, where he weighed in provocatively on several topics.
Asked to compare the 2008 crisis in the U.S. subprime market with the current European crisis, Soros said, "This crisis is still the continuation of the same crisis."
The retailer wants 'Jersey Shore' star Michael Sorrentino to stop wearing its clothes. Is this just an ill-conceived publicity stunt?
Not Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF). The apparel retailer is not happy that its clothing is favored by Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, one of the stars of the reality show "Jersey Shore." And Abercrombie allegedly wants Sorrentino out of its clothes so badly that it's willing to pay him for it.
The company said that it offered Sorrentino a "substantial payment" to wear something else and that it's "urgently awaiting a response." Company shares are down more than 8% Wednesday, by the way.
So what's so wrong, exactly, with The Situation wearing Abercrombie? The company says "this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand" and "may be distressing to many of our fans."
Chart patterns show the recent price decline is just a correction within a long-term uptrend.
Star investment managers purchased technology and energy stocks while paring financial holdings.
By Chris Stuart, TheStreet
Wall Street's brightest investment minds were required to release their holdings this week, giving mere mortals insight into their strategies.
Here's a breakdown of the top hedge fund and investment managers, and the winning and losing industries and stocks during the second quarter, the latest for which information is available.
In financials, Appaloosa Management, a top-performing hedge fund firm run by David Tepper, cut its bank stock holdings by 6%. Tepper reduced his stake in Bank of America (BAC) by 42%. Citigroup (C) is still Appaloosa's biggest holding, as the hedge fund holds 7.2 million shares. In the quarter, the fund trimmed the stake by 5%.
Consumer spending, corporate spending and the game-changing iPad are making life difficult for the veteran PC maker these days.
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
Dude, who's getting a Dell (DELL) these days? From recent financial reports, it looks like only a precious few consumers.
Founder and CEO Michael Dell announced Tuesday a meager growth projection of just 1% to 5% on the year, and Dell shares took a tumble. Shares were off about 8% Wednesday morning.
We'll see lower stock prices until large companies say the downturn is only temporary.
So far, Urban Outfitters (URBN) is in a class by itself in saying that the last 10 days leading up to its conference call were disastrous in at least one of its divisions, Anthropologie. I am still reeling from that startling statement and have tried to back it up with others to be sure that URBN isn't something unto itself.
I didn't get it from Home Depot (HD), which didn't have anything negative to say at all. Last night, when talking to Steven Sadove, the CEO of Saks (SKS), I heard that the days leading up to the quarter have been business as usual, consistent with excellent metrics. I didn't hear it from Howard Schultz on Tuesday either, with Starbucks (SBUX) seeing no slowdown.
But last night on the Dell (DELL) call we got lots of evidence that consumer demand is "weaker and a bit more uncertain," which translated into a hideous outlook: revenue growth going from a 5%-9% increase, totally respectable, to 1%-5%, completely unacceptable, hence why we are seeing so much selling.
Their Urban Outfitters moment, reiterated several times like on the URBN call, specifically identifies "the last few weeks" as the time frame.
The projections from South America's largest McDonald's franchiser sound great -- until you look at the inflation battles ahead.
There's a lot riding on the rest of the year.
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
It' going to be an eventful next few months for Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), and most of it should be good. Let's go over a few days that shareholders should already be looking forward to in the coming months.
Sirius XM investors may not take Clear Channel (CCMO) seriously, but the terrestrial giant is investing a lot of might and star power into promoting an upgrade of its iHeartRadio app.
Next month, Clear Channel is hosting a two-day music festival in Las Vegas to promote the streaming application's update. Not so humbly self-billed as "the biggest live music event in radio history," magnetic recording stars including Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and Jay-Z are scheduled to take the stage to show the terrestrial radio operator some promotional love. According to Clear Channel, the music festival sold out 10 minutes after tickets were put on sale to the general public in July.
Standard & Poor's analysts cut their rating and price target on Google after looking more closely at the Motorola Mobility deal.
That $12.5 billion price was a surprising 63% premium over Friday's close. And while there are certainly some pros to the deal -- boosting Android's momentum and cutting out the middle man -- analysts are taking a closer look here.
There is greater risk to the company and the stock now, wrote Scott Kessler, equity analyst from Standard & Poor's. "Despite MMI's extensive and valuable patent portfolio, we are not sure it will protect Android from IP issues," he added in his note, reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The soccer team is reportedly considering a public offering in Singapore, perhaps to help its heavy debt load.
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.
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?
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Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
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