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The Japanese currency fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in years. Stocks in Tokyo, meanwhile, push past the 15,000 mark for the first time in over five years.
A weaker yen continues to drive Japanese stocks higher.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 ($N225) closed above 15,000 for the first time since December 28, 2007 on Wednesday. The index is now up 77% from its November 2012 bottom. Toyota Motor (TM) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU), two members of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio, were up 3.7% and 3.1%, respectively in Tokyo trading.
The yen fell as low as 102.42 to the U.S. dollar, the lowest level for the Japanese currency since October 2008, before closing at 102.24 in Tokyo.
The financial markets seem to be betting that the yen has a clear path down to 105 to the dollar.
In this installment of Investor Beat: CEO Larry Page discloses he's been diagnosed with vocal-cord paralysis.
The disclosure comes as Google readies to launch a subscription music service. In our lead story on Investor Beat, Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Matt Argersinger explain what it means for investors.
The overly battered sector is slowly lumbering toward a turnaround.
By Aaron Levitt
It's no secret at this point that gold miners are going through a rough patch.
After the precious metal's recent routing, firms that dig it out of the ground have fallen by the wayside, and they continue to drift lower as labor issues and political problems have raised production costs to reduce margins.
Some smaller miners have even crossed the critical "marginal cost of production" line, deeming many projects unprofitable.
Given the various headwinds, it's easy to see why the inverse Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares (DUST) -- which basically shorts the sector, with some leverage -- has been one of the best-performing investments of 2013.
Stocks are higher despite some mixed domestic economic reports and data confirming a continued recession in the eurozone.
While stocks make a nearly vertical ascent, ignoring ongoing economic weakness, blemishes are appearing.
Instead of selling in May and going away, investors are scrambling to buy into a stock market that's gone parabolic.
Shares are blasting higher with no clear catalysts and indirect opposition to weak economic data, extended market technicals, extreme bullish sentiment, and signs we are in the late stage of the corporate profit cycle. And it enabled quick hit profits in picks like AMD (AMD) and Nokia (NOK), which gained 45% and 10% respectively since I recommended them earlier this month.
Wednesday, on confirmation of an ongoing European recession -- now joined by Germany -- and weakening manufacturing activity here at home, there were signs that this is a surge to sell into. Here's why.
His hedge fund Baupost Group has meanwhile sold News Corp. and Oracle.
According to the most recent filings of his investment company, the Baupost Group, Klarman bought BP (BP), American International Group Inc (AIG), Elan Corp (ELN), Rovi Corp (ROVI), Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX), DirecTV (DTV), and sold News Corp (NWS), Oracle (ORCL), Genworth Financial (GNW), Allied Nevada Gold Corp (ANV), Ituran Location and Control (ITRN) during the three-month quarter ended March 31, 2013.
As the markets hit all-time highs, an old-line railroad stock is one of the leading performers.
Here we sit in the year 2013 and guess what? A railroad stock is one of the leading stocks in the entire market!
Union Pacific (UNP) is a $71.7 billion large-cap stock, whose company is headquartered in Omaha, Neb. It's also a stock I own in my conservative growth accounts.
Now you may be asking: Isn't this a stock of yesteryear, a stodgy old one? Yes, but it doesn't have the performance of the majority of stocks of yesteryear. It continues to retain its "Best Stocks Now"-like performance!
The search giant is reportedly going to announce a new service at its I/O developer conference later this week.
The music-streaming service industry is about to get a lot more crowded as Google (GOOG) reportedly gets set to enter the fray. Meanwhile, Google shareholders are listening to a happy tune as the stock moves past $900.
A Google music-streaming service could hurt the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Pandora (P), as the companies fight for advertising dollars, users and mindshare. It's unclear what Google would charge for the service, though Spotify and Pandora both have free ad-supported versions, as well as plans with a monthly charge for unlimited, ad-free listening. Spotify charges $9.99 per month to listen to an unlimited number of songs on any device, while Pandora charges $3.99 per month for its service.
BlackBerry is downgraded to 'market perform,' and LinkedIn is initiated with a 'neutral.'
Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
As the economy improves, these two companies are poised to reap the benefits -- one from the nuts-and-bolts side, the other from a financing angle.
By Mark Skousen, Forecasts & Strategies
Homebuilder stocks have made a significant turnaround in the past year, and that trend should continue.
New data show the U.S. housing market is recovering after years in the doldrums. Sales of single-family properties climbed 1.5% last month, and the March numbers contributed to the best quarter for new home sales since 2008. Housing starts rose to their highest level in five years, and while existing home sales fell last month, they're still ahead compared to a year ago. Inventories, too, have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years. Home prices are also coming back, thanks to the Federal Reserve's easy money policies.
Best way to play it? DR Horton (DHI), the country's largest residential homebuilder.
Hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb's call to spin off the entertainment businesses would be smart, but it's still no reason for others to invest now.
Even as the market rises, these names may be ripe for a pullback. What should you do?
By David Sterman
Investors who seek to hedge their portfolios by taking short positions in certain stocks have felt a huge amount of pain in recent quarters. As the S&P 500 ($INX) is on track to post its eighth straight monthly gain, the vast majority of stocks have been pushed higher, which has fueled unnerving losses for short sellers.
Faced with the prospect of yet more losses, some short sellers are simply throwing in the towel by covering their positions and moving to cash. Data released May 9 showed that in just the last two weeks of April, the short positions in Microsoft (MSFT), Micron Technology (MU), Groupon (GRPN), Comcast (CMCSA) and Nokia (NOK) fell by more than 15%. That's a huge amount of short covering in such a short amount of time.
It benefits as medical facilities outsource their costly laundry and other services.
By Benjamin Shepherd, Money & Medicine
When investors contemplate opportunities in the health care sector, the first choices that typically come to mind are sexy investments such as pharmaceutical companies making breakthroughs in treating diseases or hospitals developing ground breaking surgical procedures.
However, many unsung companies deal with the nitty-gritty of patient care and make the best investments because there's value in doing the dirty work. That's where Healthcare Services Group (HCSG) comes in.
Patients in a hospital or long-term care facility receive more than just medical attention; they require clean sheets, towels and gowns and three meals a day.
Most CEOs were too hesitant and pessimistic to ink any buyouts when they could get them on the cheap. Now the door is closing.
There should have been mergers and acquisitions. That's right, during this whole run-up, there should have been many more deals, more acquisitions to spur growth or to take market share. We can sit here and wonder why the heck there's been such a dearth of M&A since February. Or we can reach a very logical, inescapable conclusion: Most CEOs were too stupid and pessimistic to take the opportunity to do any buying.
Well, here's some real bad news. The time for transformative deals, unless we get a broad-market pullback, has probably passed. Harsh judgment?
I don't think so.
This technology company reported impressive first-quarter results and boasts improving prospects.
By Zacks Equity Research
We upgraded semiconductor wafer probe card supplier, FormFactor (FORM) on May 6 to "outperform" based on its impressive first-quarter results and improving prospects.
Why the upgrade?
The company's first-quarter 2013 loss came in at 18 cents, well below the Zacks consensus estimate of a loss of 26 cents per share. Revenues increased 10.4% sequentially and 51.2% from the year-ago quarter to $52.6 million. Over the past four quarters, FormFactor has delivered an average surprise of 27.9%.
Following the release of the first quarter results, the Zacks consensus estimate of a loss for 2013 has gone down 30.8% to 9 cents per share. Moreover, the Zacks consensus estimate for 2014 has gone from a loss of 7 cents to a profit of 8 cents, up 214.3%.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The market was ripe for some profit taking and that is what transpired when the opening bell rang. By the same token, it was ripe for a buy-the-dip trade -- a trade that has worked for a long time -- and that is what transpired after some initial sellling pressure.
The gains for the major averages today are modest in scope, yet meaningful nonetheless when taking into account that the S&P 500 was up 4.4% since the end of April alone entering today's ... More
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