Place your bets for the rest of 2014
Place your bets for the rest of 2014

Investors know what's working and what's not. Jim Cramer says these stocks could power higher through the end of the year.


The S&P 500 manages to keep a deathgrip on 2,000, but key areas of the market are already buckling under pressure.

By InvestorPlace 9 hours ago

Credit: © Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Caption: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 18, 2014 in New York
Image File Name: Markets_081914_RM_300By Anthony Mirhaydari

Traders and investors returned from the last hurrah of summer to a cold dose of reality Tuesday. ISIS extremists are beheading journalists. Russian-backed separatists are on a roll in Ukraine. Major central bank decisions loom. And corporate bonds are under pressure -- especially junk bonds -- in a way that has accompanied turbulence for stock prices.

While the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) did all it could to stay above 2,000 on Tuesday, key areas of the market are already buckling under pressure. Energy stocks in particular are showing signs of weakness. And currencies were extremely lively, with the U.S. dollar surging against the yen.

The question now is: Where does the market go from here?


We're closer than ever to finding ALS treatments. Here's the most intriguing stock in the field.

By MSN Money Partner 10 hours ago
Credit: © Jessica Foster/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Caption: Major League Baseball Chief Operating Officer and Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred participates in the ice bucket challenge along with MLB employees at the MLB Headquarters on Wed., Aug. 20, in New York CityBy Michael Brush, MarketWatch

You have to admire the courage of anyone taking the ice bucket challenge.

Not because they get hit with ice water. But because they give away money to try to find a cure for a disease that's so vexing, treatment has eluded us for decades --ever since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS in the late 1930s. 

The lack of a cure, of course, makes life worse than hell for ALS victims, their friends and families.

Much less importantly -- but I am an investment writer, after all -- it also means it has been impossible for investors and companies to find any angles here. But all that is changing now -- good news for ALS victims and investors alike.


The NBA star could receive as much as $300 million in the 10-year deal, according to reports.

By MSN Money Partner 12 hours ago
Credit: © Sue Ograki/AP Photo
Caption: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots a technical foul shot in the second quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals NBA basketball playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Oklahoma CityBy staff

Kevin Durant, the NBA's reigning MVP, announced Sunday that he would re-sign a shoe deal with Nike (NKE), rebuffing advances from Under Armour (UA). 

The 10-year deal with Nike could reach up to $300 million, with a $50 million retirement package, USA Today reported. This surpasses an Under Armour offer for the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar's endorsement estimated to be worth $250 million to $285 million.

Under Armour is looking to advance its share of the lucrative footwear sector, and it sees basketball as a valuable market, The Baltimore Sun reported. The sports apparel maker signed Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry away from Nike in 2013.


Those free employee meals are great perks, but they're also taxable, the agency says.

By MSN Money Partner 12 hours ago
Credit: © Ted S. Warren/AP

Caption: The breakfast bar at in the employee cafeteria of Google Inc.'s campus in Kirkland, WashBy Mark Maremont, The Wall Street Journal

There is a grumpy new face in line at Silicon Valley's lavish freebie cafeterias: the Internal Revenue Service.

Staffers at technology companies such as Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) long have enjoyed free gourmet meals, courtesy of their employers. The groaning buffets, in-house pizza joints, and kitchens stocked with organic produce are an intrinsic part of the culture in much of Silicon Valley, encouraging both collaboration and longer work hours.

The IRS, arguing that these freebies are a taxable fringe benefit, has given new attention to the issue in recent months during routine audits of some companies, tax lawyers said. When employers haven't been withholding taxes related to the meals, the IRS increasingly has sought back taxes that can amount to 30 percent of the meals' fair-market value, the lawyers said.


Jeremy Siegel is still optimistic about stocks, saying the US economy is the best in the world. Still, he says, we're getting closer to fair values.

By MSN Money Partner 12 hours ago
Credit: © Matt Stroshane/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Jeremy Siegel, the Russell E. Palmer Professor of Finance at the Wharton SchoolBy Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

Wharton School Professor of Finance Jeremy Siegel (pictured) has been bullish on the stock market for years now and he's not ready to change his mind yet.

But he introduced a caveat Tuesday on CNBC: "We are creeping closer to fair market value [for stocks], which I think is approximately 18 times S&P earnings."

"We're not over with this bull market. I'm sticking with my projection [for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU)] of 18,000 by year end," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Our economy is the best of the three major engines in the world, and that's why I have faith in U.S. stocks."


Any twists in these dramas could impact stocks and bonds. Keep your eye on them.

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago
A member from the oil police force stands guard at Zubair oilfield in Basra, southeast of Baghdad
© Essam Al-Sudani/ReutersBy Marek Fuchs, MarketWatch

Here's hoping you sounded every last chime of the summer, because Tuesday marks the first day of the rest of the year.

Summer, after all, is a dainty season of linen and little news, but as of Tuesday, you better roust yourself from that slumber. 

The record-setting Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) has risen nearly 3 percent since Memorial Day -- about half the year’s gains -- but the universe does not hold still forever.

Now it's back to reality. That's why September is, historically, such a God-awful month for stocks. Reality tends to bite. Before you get back to toting barges and lifting bales, though, take a moment. You need a sight line from which you can see -- or, at least, attempt to see -- the news stories that will define the rest of the year.


James Albertine at Stifel Nicolaus says investors' enthusiasm for the stock is like a 'freight train.'

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago
Credit: © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Caption: A sign for a Tesla showroom in Palo Alto, Calif.By Tomi Kilgore and Claudia Assis, MarketWatch

Shares of Tesla Motors (TSLA) rallied to record-high levels on Tuesday after Stifel Nicolaus analyst James Albertine turned bullish on the electric car marker, citing a "sizable head start" with respect to production over any potential rivals.

Albertine set a $400 price target on Tesla's stock, which implies a further 48 percent rally from Friday's closing price of $269.70. He raised his rating to buy after being at hold for a little more than a year.

He compared investors' enthusiasm for Tesla stock with a "freight train."

Albertine's price target is now the highest of the 16 analysts surveyed by FactSet, and well above the average price target of $259.62.

Tags: TSLA

Investors know what's working and what's not. These stocks could power higher through the end of the year.

By Jim Cramer 15 hours ago

Image: Stock investor © Tom Grill/CorbisBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

You look at the charts. You study the fundamentals. And you get the same thing. logo

Even on an up day like this one, the market's going to distinguish between stocks that get hurt by a Ukraine-Russia conflict and stocks that are unaffected by it. 

We are now well into discounting a protracted conflict on the Ukraine border without any sign of a diplomatic solution.

It's been a brutal period for some stocks and halcyon days for others. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) keeps bumping into new highs because many of the U.S.-based international companies we had been banking on to produce multi-year growth, as they finally started getting revenue relief, are now rolling over and that money's pouring into domestic winners. 

It is true that many of the internationally oriented stocks have rallied since the downing of flight MH-17, the benchmark of the international downturn, but they are stalling out and you need up days like Tuesday to trim them.


The number of job openings is up, but executives still feel uneasy about committing to new employees.

By MSN Money Partner 15 hours ago
Image: Resume © Dynamic Graphics, age fotostockBy Lauren Weber and Rachel Feintzeig, The Wall Street Journal

It's getting tougher for companies to say "You're hired."

U.S. employers are taking longer -- 25 working days, on average -- to fill vacant positions. That is a 13-year high, according to the Dice-DFH Vacancy Duration Measure, an index created by University of Chicago economist Steven Davis. 

At companies with 5,000 or more workers, the time to hire is even longer, at 58.1 working days. The index defines working days as Monday through Saturday.

Economists and employers say there is no single cause for the slow hiring pace, but the lag time can be read as a proxy for corporate confidence in the economy. On one hand, companies are feeling sunny enough to post jobs -- openings reached 4.7 million in June, the highest number since 2001 -- but, fearful the economy could falter, they are finding it hard to commit to hires.

Tags: LNKD

These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.

By InvestorPlace Fri 2:48 PM

Image: Gold Bars © Stockbyte/SuperStockBy Anthony Mirhaydari

Fear and uncertainty is back in the air heading into the long Labor Day holiday thanks to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This is a guy that, according to Time magazine's coverage naming him their 2007 Person of the Year, has the mental discipline to not blink when giving his blue steel staredown.

It's about intimidation, I guess.

But no-blink contests aside, Putin's demonstrated time and again his steely resolve to protect ethnic Russians living in diaspora. And after repeated feints at de-escalation, he seems to be moving all in on reports of large numbers of Russian soldiers, as well as heavy armor and artillery, engaging with Ukrainian military forces.


Here's how you can get on the bandwagon with telecom gear, cloud-based software and data analytics.

By Jim Cramer Fri 10:59 AM

Close up of smartphone on laptop keyboard © Marek Mnich/Getty ImagesSo Workday (WDAY) couldn't do it. It couldn't get the high-growth stocks going.

But a trio of Avago (AVGO), Veeva (VEEV) and Splunk (SPLK) sure will.

Here you've got semis for mobile phones and telecom gear, cloud-based software for the life science industry and big data analytics all shining at once -- three for three! Plus, Veeva and Splunk are heavily shorted, the former in a way that has pretty much shocked a lot of cloud enthusiasts because the clients themselves love the stuff.

The move couldn't be happening at a better time for tech, because there are plenty of worries out there that DRAM supply is coming on. Remember when Micron (MU) was a leader? And the shorts were out in full force at the end of the day on (CRM) betting its big move was a one-off.


The Ukraine crisis festers and other fresh concerns boil to the surface, knocking down markets and giving volatility some life.

By InvestorPlace Thu 6:32 PM

Credit: © John Moore/Getty Images
Caption: Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 30, 2014By Anthony Mirhaydari

Some fear returned to the stock market on Thursday and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) dipped back below 2,000 on growing evidence that Russian forces have moved into Ukraine with significant military assets.

NATO released satellite images of what it identified as Russian artillery battalions cross the border and setting up offensive positions against Ukrainian forces.

And after the close, President Barack Obama said Russia's "ongoing incursion" into Ukraine was responsible for the violence there and that the latest events would bring "more costs and consequences for Russia."

This comes as the summertime lull looks set to end (traditionally, after the Labor Day holiday) with stocks looking vulnerable perched at new highs (barely) amid collapsing volume and fresh signs of concern.

Investors need to take notice.


The jeweler's stock continues to defy gravity thanks to a combination of new products and improved performance.

By InvestorPlace Thu 4:22 PM

Credit: © Rex Features
Caption: Tiffany & Co jewelry store in Moscow, RussiaBy Will Ashworth

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) delivered a sparkling second-quarter earnings report Wednesday morning that easily beat analyst expectations.

When it comes to luxury retail, hardly anyone with the exception of Michael Kors (KORS) seems to be doing nearly as well ... so what makes Tiffany & Co. better than most?

Well, there are many reasons for Tiffany stock's strong performance, some of which are company-specific and others have more to do with competitor weaknesses.

Ultimately, successful retail is about executing a plan to near-perfection. To use a sports vernacular, Tiffany & Co. is currently operating in the zone, which makes it very hard to stop. So while Tiffany stock might be trading within 5 percent of its all-time highs, management optimism suggests there are future gains in the offing.


The electronics retailer is burning through cash and could run out by the end of 2015.

By Staff Thu 12:10 PM

A RadioShack store in Greenwich Village, New York on Aug. 27, 2014 © Richard Levine/Demotix/CorbisBy Richard CollinsThe Deal

Electronics retailer RadioShack (RSH)  has several options on the table it is considering, including a refinancing and a bankruptcy filing, said sources familiar with the matter.

The desired endgame is a refinancing, sources familiar with the situation said, even as bankruptcy is being weighed.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company has struggled in recent years as it has attempted to make itself relevant in the age of Amazon's (AMZN)  e-commerce empire and Apple's (AAPL) sleek modernist stores.

New York hedge fund Standard General LP may be the one to ride to the rescue by helping to arrange that financing.


The back-to-school season could be strong, and this year's holiday season could follow suit.

By Jim Cramer Thu 10:34 AM

Macy's Store in Kennewick, Wash. © Francis Dean/REXBest Buy (BBY) and Macy's (M) say it all. Both missed. Both guided down. Both were pretty shocking. Macy's because it has been amazingly consistent and Best Buy because, honestly, the commentary could not have been more negative.

Macy's got hammered, and it turned out to be a fabulous buying opportunity. Why? Try as I have, I don't know. Maybe it is just a belief that things are getting better. Maybe because people believe that the lower gasoline goes, the better Macy's does. Perhaps it was an aberration? Maybe they saw how J.C. Penney (JCP) came back but not so much that it made a difference? Maybe it was a recognition that there has been less price cutting in the group? We don't even know. No one has the answer, but I have heard a lot of conjecture.

The simple fact is that there is a huge bid under retail and Macy's is retail.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


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