Geopolitical crises are taking a toll on stocks as we head into the seasonally weak month of August.
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Amid the massive bets distorting the market, stocks are tossed around like rubber ducks in the South Pacific. Dividend stocks may be the only way to make money in this madness.
When we speak of the confusion out there, when we speak of hedge funds being stymied and mutual funds unsure of themselves, when we try to rationalize what the heck is going on by looking at all of the various bets out there, we have to conclude one thing: No one knows what the heck he or she is doing!
Consider, just this week, how rampant the seeming irrationality is and try to address these six glaring inconsistencies.
The automaker warns of weakness in the European car market, while the software company announces restructuring plans.
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet
General Motors (GM) said its third-quarter profit fell 15% to $1.7 billion, or $1.03 a share, on revenue of $36.7 billion. While the results beat the 96-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, the company said weakness in the European market may cause it to miss profit targets this year.
Adobe Systems (ADBE) said it plans to eliminate 750 jobs, or roughly 8% of its work force, as part of a restructuring. Adobe backed its outlook for fiscal-fourth-quarter adjusted earnings, saying it still sees a non-GAAP profit of 57 cents to 64 cents a share on revenue of between $1.075 billion and $1.125 billion.
Hard times in the financial industry could lead to a cut in bonuses by as much as 45% in some areas, according to one research firm.
The survey by Johnson Associates, a consulting firm, says that Wall Street professionals can expect sharply lower bonuses for the second time in four years.
The Brazilian bank has a sky-high annualized return on equity. Is this stock all it seems to be?
So far, Anheuser-Busch InBev isn't saying much about what could be the newest member of the Bud Light family.
The new beer, which would be called Bud Light Platinum, has received label approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, according to Advertising Age. You can see the application here.
Groupon could be a tough act to follow.
By Tim Beyers
Shares of Groupon (GRPN) are already up more than 30% from the IPO price of $20 apiece. Will Zynga, which is valued at just under $11 billion (according to data from private-equity exchange SharesPost), enjoy a similar pop when it comes public before the end of the year?
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My guess is yes, but only because IPO engineering is the new "it" strategy for companies coming public. The game is simple. Limit the amount of shares available -- as Groupon, LinkedIn, and Zillow all did -- and you guarantee a significant pop on the first day of trading.
The retailer has beefed up its financial services over the years, providing an alternative for fed-up bank customers.
The retailing giant is seeing new banking business from people fed up with Bank of America (BAC) and other financial institutions. As banking customers close their accounts, Wal-Mart is there with some options.
The cloud-computing company's third quarter proves the industry is growing strong.
Rackspace Hosting (RAX) reported third-quarter revenue Monday that was better than analysts expected, sending shares nearly 7% higher Tuesday.
The cloud-computing company's profit of 14 cents per share was in line with expectations, but its $265 million in revenue beat the $261.6 million Wall Street wanted to see.
Historical patterns suggest that now through the end of the year is the time.
What's the best time to buy gold on a seasonality basis? Now. Over the past 40 years November and December accounted for almost half of the year's gains for gold.
And 2011 doesn't differ all that much from the long-term seasonal trends. We had the characteristic spike in May, followed by a substantial correction in September-October.
New surveys show that shoppers plan to spend more money online this coming season -- and that's a positive for many retailers.
A survey by Shop.org shows that 68% of retailers expect online sales to grow at least 15% or more over last year's holiday season. This survey is in line with another survey by the National Retail Federation that found the average shopper plans to do approximately 36% of his or her shopping online this season, up from 32.7% last year.
Lower consumer spending could explain the reduced number of diners using the company's online reservation system.
The online restaurant-reservations site announced its quarterly results last week. While the company's operating costs continued to grow briskly, the weak economic environment clearly led to lower consumer spending. That could explain the reduction in the number of diners using OpenTable's online reservation system.
One investment firm tracking liquidity and fund flows says the sidelines are the place to be right now.
By Michael Baron, TheStreet
Stocks roared back in October, ostensibly because the situation in Europe has achieved some semblance of clarity, but anyone paying attention to last week's volatility knows sentiment can turn on a headline.
TrimTabs, an investment firm tracking liquidity and fund flows, decided a few weeks back to get on the sidelines. The firm is neutral on U.S. stocks, a position it defines as 0% long, and has even moved its model portfolio completely into cash.
Materials and industrial companies are expected to outpace the S&P 500’s gains by up to twofold next year.
By Lindsey Bell, TheStreet
S&P 500 companies are now expected to post almost 8% growth in 2012 earnings per share. But material and industrial stocks will be the driving force, generating growth of 12% to 16%, says Morgan Stanley (MS).
German equities stand to benefit most from an unlikely split in the region.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
Tuesday is likely to be another pivotal day in the Eurozone debt crisis as the markets will not only be watching the vote in Greece, but also Italy's key parliamentary vote in the afternoon.
The yields on Italian bonds hit a high of 6.76% on Monday but softened later on intervention by the European Central Bank. Of course, it is the spread between the Italian bonds and German bunds that the markets are really watching.
European debt woes and a changing regulatory environment are keeping management on pins and needles.
Last month Goldman Sachs (GS) posted its second ever quarterly loss as a public company but that’s not management’s biggest concern.
The firm says Europe is its top focus right now for both risks and opportunities.
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Investors are anxious to see if hiring can maintain its strong pace in the second half of the year.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market punctuated July with a broad-based retreat that sent the S&P 500 lower by 2.0% with all ten sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index posted a monthly decline of 1.5%, while the Russell 2000 (-2.3%) underperformed to end the month lower by 6.1%.
To get a better feel for what led to today's retreat, we'd like to look back to Wednesday, when the market had ample reason to rally, but did not. Instead, it ended basically flat after a sloppy day of ... More
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