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The president's plan for dividends and capital gains is better than even the Gipper's most investor-friendly levels
By Richard Band, editor of Profitable Investing
There’s a lot of fuss being made about Democrats’ plan to “raise taxes” -- or more appropriately let the Bush-era tax cuts expire. And while I’m not happy about Washington taking a bigger piece of the pie, the fact of the matter is that President Obama and his party aren’t getting greedy as many investors and economists feared.
For instance, while the top tax on ordinary income (that is, wages and interest) will jump to 39.6% from 35%, the economy survived just fine under Bill Clinton when that rate was in force.
Of greater consequence for growth (both for the economy and for your retirement fund), the president decided to raise the capital gains tax at a modest level that even Ronald Reagan would be proud of. Though this burns some people up when they hear it, take a look at the numbers and judge for yourself:
President Obama won't stop until Wal-Mart is broken as a non-union shop.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why isn't Wal-Mart (WMT) going up? It's an important question given that we have seen some unbelievable retail numbers. Extraordinary ones. But this stock just won't rally.
When you search for the reasons, you don't get much from the research. The vast majority of the analysts love the stock. They reiterate their recommendations every single time the stock goes down a bit or does nothing. It remains the favorite play in retail.
To me, there's another reason and I thought about it this weekend because of reports that the Obama administration is thinking of throwing contracts to businesses that have the characteristics of those that are unionized. Who knows if this plan will happen; it will really hurt the small-business people that President Obama says he supports.
My weekly market barometer to cut through all the chatter and evaluate what happened and formulate next weeks plan
Value Line Index -- I use this because it contains 1700 stocks making it broader than the S&P 500 or the even narrower Dow 30 - Down .4% for the week but still up 4.65% for the month.
- The Index closed on Friday above all 3 daily moving averages -- 20, 50 & 100 DMA
- Barchart's 13 technical indicators had 8 buys, 3 holds and 2 sells for a 48% overall buy rating
Does the Fed's recent Discount Rate increase mean other rate hikes are soon to come? Several of the market gurus I follow don't think so.
Over the past week, the investment gurus I keep an eye on have expressed some varying opinions on the attractiveness of the stock market. But one thing many seem to agree on is that the Federal Reserve's recent Discount Rate increase isn't the first salvo in soon-to-follow broader rate hike that will stall stocks.
One of those gurus was James O'Shaughnessy, whose writings form the basis of two of my Guru Strategy computer models. "I think that basically it's not a big deal," O'Shaughnessy told CNBC when asked about the Fed's move, adding that investors shouldn't have been surprised by the Discount Rate increase. "I really think that what this shows us is the Fed thinks the economy is strong enough for this move right now," he said.
O'Shaughnessy is very bullish on stocks over the longer term. He said he thinks factors are in place that will make stocks the “asset class of choice” over the next three to five years.
Thompson Creek Metals stands to benefit from recovering demand for molybdenum.
Revenue for the quarter came to $106 million. Both beat Wall Street projections for eight cents a share in earnings and $94 million in revenue.
Those numbers represent a 42% decline in revenue from the fourth quarter of 2008 and an 86% drop from earnings per share of 56 cents in that same quarter.
These numbers are Thompson Creek's first financial report under U.S. accounting rules
One analyst goes through some scenarios about Apple's iPhone and iPad business, and imagines how the stock would fare.
Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley is bullish on Apple after taking account two big launches this year: the iPad tablet in March and new iPhones expected in June. The Apple 2.0 blog has the details.
Huberty goes through three scenarios that could take Apple shares to anywhere from $325 to $435.
Four major contracts expire in May and June next year: Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA, Writers Guild and Directors Guild
It could be a perfect storm.
Less than a year after the Screen Actors Guild finalized its contract with the studios -- ending one of the most tumultuous rounds of labor negotiations in Hollywood history -- the drama is already starting to build toward spring 2011.
That's when four major guild contracts will expire. All at once.
The current primetime TV contracts for both SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists end on June 30, 2011 -- the same day the Directors Guild of America’s film and TV agreement times out. A month earlier, the Writers Guild of America’s much-contested deal with the studios expires, too.
With the labor bodies beginning to assemble their respective negotiating committees, a broad swath of industry denizens, adversely affected by the last round of labor unrest, nervously waits and watches.
"I want to know who these guys are who are going to drive us off a cliff this time," quipped one high-level talent-agency operative to TheWrap.
Some unemployment benefits, set to expire this weekend, fail to get extended as lawmakers argue.
The U.S. Senate: bickering until the very end.
Squabbling senators were unable to extend unemployment benefits for laid-off workers, many of which are set to expire over the weekend, the Associated Press reports.
Problem is that no one could agree on how to pay for the added expense.
The House was able to make a decision, passing a bill that extends the benefits for one month while they sort things out, according to the AP. But senators were not so united.
Though trading volume is frothy now, CROX is a good buy as it returns to profitability
But shares are up seven-fold since their 52-week low, and many investors are wondering what's next for the funky shoe fabricator. The earnings outlook for CROX looks good, but the recent resignation of the company’s CEO has some traders betting the stock is due for a steady tumble on top of today's declines.
So what's the story? Well, though the news is mixed, I have to admit that right now I’m coming down in favor of continued success for this stock in the weeks ahead after the current spike in trading volume subsides.
The smart phone battle is not going Palm's way. What should investors do now?
Stating the customer adoption of its products was happening slower than expected the company now expects third quarter 2010 revenue of $300 to $320 million. The prior estimate was for revenue of $430 million for the same period.
The Detroit auto giant also has a winter weather angle that may surprise you
After being swamped with snow just a few weeks ago, the Northeast is still in the middle of a winter wonderland with forecasts for snow this evening and Friday. That has a lot of investors wondering about which company is the best bad weather stock. Is it home improvement retailers like Home Depot (HD) or Lowes (LOW), which both posted strong earnings results recently? Is it a company with a foothold in natural gas like Chesapeake Energy (CHK) or a utility like Exelon (EXC)?
Actually, it’s none of these. My favorite stock for cold weather is Detroit automaker Ford (F). Surprised? Don't be! Ford actually has a very lucrative branch of sales that is doing brisk business due to the horrible winter weather of February.
Just two months ago, pundits wrote this sector off for dead.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Deckers (DECK) and Gap (GPS) complete a week that makes you dazed that anyone in retail is cautious. We don't get these kinds of numbers we've been seeing and allow ourselves to be cautious. But other than TJX (TJX) this week, I didn't hear any company in the retail business say anything but they weren't sure where the next dollar was going to come from.
Deckers is, frankly, unbelievable. In a world where stocks like this ultimately peak and then become great shorts, its Uggs franchise is relentlessly growing, just doing all of the right things and putting on numbers that flabbergast. A 94-cent beat! Teva sandals, the original Deckers brand, is also on fire, and they are talking about the flexibility to add another brand. Truly remarkable.
Ormat, the preeminent geothermal company, stands to profit when the world gets serious about climate change.
In the company's first business segment, electricity generation from its geothermal power plants, Ormat reported an increase in revenue of just 2.9%.
Electricity generation went up 14.2% in the quarter, but the average price per megawatt hour fell by 12%. That's exactly what you'd expect in this slow economy.
Company talks about its cash balance at shareholders meeting, but there is no word about a split.
Apple shares have gone a little nutso in the last few hours as rumors of a possible stock split arose -- and later were squashed. Apparently, CNBC may have been guilty of adding to speculation about a 4-for-1 split.
Apple did have its annual shareholders meeting Thursday, where one of the topics was the company's huge cash hoard. Apple has about $40 billion in cash, and shareholders had but one word on their minds: It starts with "D" and rhymes with "ividend."
Coca-Cola's latest bright idea: Buy back bottlers it once spun off, just like Pepsico did
In 1986, Coca-Cola (KO) split off its North American bottling division into a separate company, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE). Then PepsiCo (PEP) followed suit, as both soft-drink makers moved to add some flexibility to their balance sheets.
Now, Coke is following Pepsi in a transaction that reverses the spinoffs of yesteryear. Coke is acquiring the North American operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises in what the company calls a "cashless" deal that is worth about $13 billion. Last year, Pepsi coughed up about $8 billion to buy back two of its bottling partners, The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) and PepsiAmericas (PAS). The Pepsi deals has been approved by shareholders and the merger should close by the end of this month.
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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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