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These picks can weather any potential pullback.
Despite growing pessimism, the market continues to take indices to new highs. The constant drip higher has a growing number of sidelined investors looking for a way to get their cash to work without feeling they're setting themselves up to buy on the highs and sell on the lows.
One strategy that allows these investors to feel a little more comfortable with putting money in the game at these levels is to target lower volatility stocks within leading indices. The idea is simple: Lower volatility performers may be less likely to see deeper pullbacks when a correction does occur.
With this in mind, the table below identifies the ten lowest volatility stocks in the Nasdaq-100. This index represents the largest domestic and international non-financial securities listed on the Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) based on market capitalization.
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Government support and low rates make a compelling case for real estate-related stocks.
By Jim Powell, Global Changes & Opportunities Report
The government's biggest stimulus target is now the housing industry. More than any other industry in which we can invest, housing has a mandate to be successful. Without a housing rebound, the economy has little chance of becoming self-supporting again.
Besides the long term capital gains we can expect, housing also offers a good way to convert paper and electronic "wealth" into real, tangible wealth. In addition, real estate is usually a great inflation hedge. If you put all the attractions of the housing sector together, you get what I believe is a compelling case for making an investment.
A housing recovery is already underway, but it's still in its early stages. I think prices will start to move much higher this summer. The big question is, how much higher are prices likely to go from this point?
Producers stand to benefit as farmers make up lost ground in corn fields.
By Jim Probasco
Until last week, only 15% of the corn crop in Iowa (the leading corn growing state in the nation) had been planted.
Then came a week of good weather. Iowa farmers responded by launching an invasion of farm machinery into their fertile fields. As of Sunday, 71% of the corn crop had been planted according to The Associated Press.
The same scene played out in all of the key grain states to the extent that the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop progress update that 71% of the corn crop had been sown in those states as well. This figure isn't far off from the 79% average farmers planted by this time over the past five years.
That exclusivity is one reason shares of this company are up a market-beating 40% this year.
Real estate is one of the hottest investment stories on the Street. That's because for the first time in six years, home prices logged an annual gain in 2012. That momentum has carried into 2013, with the S&P/Case Shiller house price index showing prices on the upswing.
Thanks to health-conscious millennials, this company is in fine shape.
Younger people hate the food chain. It's like Ronald Reagan with Russian missiles. He was willing to trust them, but he wanted to verify. The millennials, who will be about 30% of this country in a half-dozen years, want their food vetted and verified.
That's exactly what Whole Foods (WFM) does. What it stands for. The millennials believe Whole Foods wouldn't sell something unless it were as good as it can be for them. I say "good as it can be" because, even if it is made or sold at Whole Foods, it can still be fattening. It can still be "bad for you," so to speak. But you need Whole Foods to protect you from a world of mass production the way you needed Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as a way to expose the wretched unsanitary conditions of the meatpacking industry at the turn of the century.
However, the overall revenue growth will remain healthy owing to the retailer's strong direct-to-consumer channel.
- Gap is scheduled to release its first quarter fiscal 2013 earnings on May 22. Gap's first quarter revenue growth stood at 7% with comparable store sales increasing by just 2%.
- The retailer performed well during February and April due to strong marketing and seasonal product offerings. However, the prolonged cold in March weighed on its results as demand for spring clothing declined.
- We expect the strength in the direct-to-consumer channel to continue, which will drive Gap's overall revenue growth.
The home improvement retailer's latest report contains all the metrics that explain why it's crushing its rival.
The sub-slinger simply told us something we already know.
By Kyle Woodley
Stick to sandwiches, Subway.
The "House That Jared Built" recently went on the offensive against McDonald's (MCD) and the rest of the fast-food gang by unleashing the results of a survey gauging customer "shame."
The results were both entirely predictable and mostly useless. Reports Business Insider:
Investors await the Fed chief's Congressional testimony about the economy and monetary policy.
By Tim Parker
U.S. markets reached another record high Tuesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) added 50 points and the S&P 500 ($INX) nearly three points. All eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony at 10:00 a.m. ET Wednesday.
The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.
AutoZone (AZO) took a slow ride Tuesday, after posting successful third-quarter earnings and matching revenue estimates.
The Memphis-based firm's EPS rose 15.7% year-over-year to $7.27, beating expectations of $7.23.
Revenue increased 4.5% to $2.2 billion, finishing about even with the Wall Street consensus.
Web Traffic Spikes
AutoZone's “all other” segment, consisting of ALLDATA, AutoAnything and E-commerce, spiked approximately 80% during the quarter. The surge was likely due to its acquisition of ALLDATA in December, which gave it an additional revenue stream versus Q3 2012.
In this installment of Investor Beat: Best Buy and HHGregg fight to stay alive. And shares of Dow component Home Depot hit an all-time high.
Meanwhile, HHGregg's 4th-quarter profits fell 82%. In our lead story, Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Jeff Fischer discuss the electronics retail industry and why investors should steer clear of both stocks.
Demand for the two metals is growing while mining supply declines.
The dust has settled at Stillwater Mining (SWC) with the election of four new board members backed by the Clinton Group -- an activist investor that wants the company to focus on the profitability of its U.S. platinum and palladium mines, and cut back or end plans to expand into copper mining after a 2011 acquisition of copper reserves in Argentina.
That removes a major distraction hanging over the company’ stock and should leave the shares free to reflect Stillwater’s unique position as the only U.S. producer of platinum and palladium -- at a time when mines in South Africa are cutting production due to strikes. (Stillwater Mining is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.)
Palladium and platinum are two of the very few commodities that remain in a supply deficit in 2013 and that are likely, Barclays projects, to remain in deficit in 2014. Because of strikes in South Africa, global platinum production fell 10% in 2013 and palladium production fell 11%.
Investors don't have to settle for low returns -- if they're willing to do a little homework.
Stocks are higher as the Dow looks to extend its streak of consecutive Tuesday advances -- it hasn't finished lower on a Tuesday since January 8.
As the stock market reaches new highs, Goldman Sachs sees more gains ahead. Fueling the market: An improving economy, growing dividends and low interest rates.
The stock market rally of 2013 has been so merry that Goldman Sachs (GS) has boosted its forecast on where it's headed over the next two years. By quite a bit.
The Wall Street giant sees the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) rising to 1,750 by year-end, a 5% gain. In 2014, their forecast is for an additional 9% gain to 1,900, with 2015 producing a 10% gain to 2,100.
For the widely watched index, that works out to a 26% increase from Monday's close over the next two years. As important, Goldman Sachs sees dividends growing 11% in 2013 and 2014 and 9% in 2015.
Goldman Sachs' forecast came as stocks finished higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closing at new highs. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) closed above 3,500 for the first time since October 2000. The major averages ended higher for a 19th straight Tuesday, the longest winning streak since 1968.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 settled lower by 0.8% after early strength turned into afternoon weakness.
Today's headline event came in the form of Ben Bernanke's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. During his remarks, Chairman Bernanke said premature tightening of monetary policy could stall the pace of recovery. This followed weeks of conflicting remarks from FOMC members, which sparked speculation regarding possible changes to the Fed's policy course.
However, ... More
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