Indexes might not be in correction territory, but they're getting closer. Now's the time to consider what moves to make.
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The sector's popularity has inspired funds that track farming.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
As I explained earlier this week, commodities have become difficult to tame as the broad market works through this current rough patch. While attempting to target the wide resource spectrum as a whole may be tricky now, there are individual segments that are showing promising strength.
The veteran Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO) has enjoyed a welcome jolt of activity as rising food prices drive investors toward farming-related companies like Mosaic (MOS), Deere (DE) and Monsanto (MON).
The stock was priced at $16 and has soared as high as $26. What are investors seeing here?
Online music service Pandora Media (P) saw a nice jump in its initial public offering Wednesday. The company raised about $235 million, pricing shares at $16 each.
The stock opened at $20 surged to $26, but ended up closing the day at $17.42. At the $20 opening, the company was valued at more than $3 billion. Fairly outrageous, since Pandora has never made a profit, gets revenue mostly from advertising and faces enormous competition.
Check out this video discussion about Pandora's pros and cons and why the company can't achieve economies of scale.
Closed-end mutual funds can offer discounts of 10% or more. But do your homework before jumping in.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
That means bond funds, Dow stocks and REITs. But they may be overlooking closed-end funds, such as the BlackRock Credit Allocation Income Trust (BTZ), which offer discounts of 10% or more and generous yields that may produce positive returns this year.
Picking a closed-end fund with an outsized yield trading at a discount to its net asset value (the perceived value of its underlying investments) can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. But with diligence and research, they can be found, says Patrick Galley of RiverNorth Capital, a Chicago company with nearly half of its $1 billion in assets invested in closed-end funds.
Utilities are heating up, and these three stocks have found strong support, creating attractive—and relatively safe—buying opportunities for income-minded investors.
Where tech investors crave growth -- in cloud services and the surge in smartphones -- Pandora is a hit. With video on Pandora's first day of trading on Wall Street.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Sure, the company will continue to drip red ink for the rest of the year, maybe longer. Yes, with only 9.2% of the outstanding shares being sold in the IPO, it qualifies as a so-called sliver offering, a distortion of thin supply and heavy demand that helped overheatLinkedIn's (LNKD) debut.
It's also an easy-to-imitate service that, even with its vaunted predictive musical-taste-matching system, seems to offer a limited selection and repetitive results.
Yet while all that may be true, Pandora has what investors crave.
The iPhone maker will probably find a quick replacement for Ron Johnson, who is leaving to lead JCPenney.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
Apple (APPL) should shrug off the departure of its retail guru Ron Johnson to JCPenney (JCP), according to Goldman Sachs (GS), which says the company's growing network of stores will continue their upward trajectory.
"While Mr. Johnson has been a key figure in Apple's expansion and we view his departure as a loss, the company's retail strategy is now well established," explained Bill Shope, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, in a note released on Tuesday. "As a result, there is a firm retail template in place and we see little disruption to the company's plans or performance."
Johnson will assume the Penney CEO's position on Nov. 1, according to the Plano, Tex.-based retailer, succeeding Myron (Mike) Ullman III. In a statement, Penney also confirmed that Johnson will join its board of directors, effective Aug. 1.
While spending in the U.S. may be hurting, China’s demand for luxury goods remains strong
Kohler, the American plumbing fixtures manufacturer, now sells the $6,400 Numi luxury toilet in emerging markets like China. Driven by the demanding tastes of China’s newly wealthy, the Numi features a heated footrest and a “sleek iTouch style remote,” according to the Financial Times, that controls an internal music system, the adjustable bidet, and the temperature of the seat.
It also allows the user to play video games, read e-books, and call friends on Skype. Yes, Skype. The press release didn’t elaborate on whether or not Skype’s video conferencing features are enabled; I sincerely hope that they are not.
This story about a tricked-out toilet is good for a laugh, but it also is a serious example of the potential of emerging markets. Consumers in regions like China have money to burn on consumer and luxury goods even as Americans are cutting back.
Ron Johnson is a visionary in the retail world who will help lead the stalled-out department store into its long-awaited next turn.
Johnson, if you aren't familiar with his work, is the man who invented the look and feel of the Apple (AAPL) Store -- which, by the way, is the most successful retailer in the world. The average Apple Store is estimated to sell about $27 million in product each year, which comes to more than $4,000 per square foot. No merchant on earth comes near it -- nobody even has more than $1,000 per square foot that I can find -- and I would attribute an outsized amount of that money to Johnson, who turned Target (TGT) around before he went to Apple and has the best eye in the business.
Remember, every other computer company has failed at retail. Apple is the best success story in retail -- ever -- and Johnson was instrumental, with innovations like the Genius Bar and the swarming smart young people who help you and get you started. Once someone has bought something at an Apple Store, the repeat business is astounding.
Higher fuel prices and labor costs take a bite out of GOL's operating margins even as traffic and revenue climb..
Bidding online for everything from designer jeans to appliances was supposed to overhaul commerce as we knew it. What happened?
What happened over the last decade? Now, even eBay doesn't care much for online auctions (they make up 31% of sales on the site) and the very concept of bidding for something over the computer seems to be dead, writes Wired Magazine.
EBay has gone from being an auction company with a payments business (PayPal) on the side to being a financial company with an auction business on the side. PayPal is growing like a weed, and brought in $3.4 billion in revenue last year.
EBay still runs auctions, but most of those go through the fixed-price "Buy it Now" option that eliminates the need for bidding.
Firming economic data and a recovery in the credit markets are helping stocks push off of their worst oversold condition since the late 1990s.
Well, isn't that better?
Stocks, commodities and other risky assets blasted higher Tuesday, thanks to a batch of good economic data. Inflationary pressure -- one of the main reasons for the market sell-off over last the past two months -- is beginning to abate because of lower energy prices. Retail sales were better than expected. And inventories remain very tight, setting the stage for a production rebound in the second half of the year while businesses restock their shelves as the economy re-accelerates.
This is a welcome change after the S&P 500 lost 7.7% from its May 1 high and settled into one of the worst oversold situation in decades. Breadth is blowing out, and by all indications, the rebound is the real deal and should continue. Here's why:
The lawn and garden company eyes medical marijuana as a potential business opportunity.
Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) is definitely interested in medical marijuana. And why not? The company's premium topsoil, plant food and weed killers could find new customers among marijuana growers.
It's an opportunity that chief executive Jim Hagedorn can't pass up. "I want to target the pot market," he told The Wall Street Journal. "There's no good reason we haven't."
Check out the following video interview for more about Hagedorn's comments.
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A strong lineup of brands will help the company claim more than 40% of the at-home coffee-drinking market, one analyst says.
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Already the clear leader in the single-serve coffee market through the success of its Keurig brewing system, Van Winkle said he raised his market share expectations for Keurig from 15% to 25% and then to 30%, but sees the one-cup brewer garnering upwards of 40% market penetration "given the strong line-up of brands available and further innovation lying ahead."
He specifically mentioned the Dunkin' Donuts brand of K-Cups -- single-serve pods used to brew a cup of coffee with the Keurig machines -- as a way Green Mountain is making gains towards deeper market share.
The cable giant will allow customers to use video calling through their television sets.
By Joe Deaux, TheStreet
Comcast said its customers would get an adapter box, a high-quality video camera and a special remote that could channel surf and send Skype texts.
"Exact pricing is still being worked on, but we plan to offer the equipment and service at a low monthly rate," said Peter Dobrow, a Comcast spokesman, in an email.
"TV has evolved into a social experience, and Comcast and Skype will be delivering a product that personalizes the TV experience even more, and brings friends and family together through the biggest screen in their homes," said Neil Smit, Comcast Cable president.
US carriers collected $3.4 billion in baggage charges and $2.3 billion for reservation changes last year.
The biggest fee hog was Delta Air Lines (DAL), which led the industry in fees for both categories, Reuters reports. In fact, Delta collected more than 20% of the entire industry's total. American Airlines, owned by AMR Corp. (AMR), came in second. You can see the full list here.
Check out the following video report about the fees.
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