Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?
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The resolution of the budget debate doesn't mean its hangover will go away soon.
By Joe Mont, TheStreet
It isn't over yet.
What does it all mean for average consumers abd investors, and what moves should they make, or avoid, given continued uncertainty?
People looking to take advantage of the drop in housing prices may do best to ride out the debt crisis for a bit longer.
Even with a resolution, the nation's debt crisis could lead to a downgrade in its creditworthiness that could make getting a loan more expensive in the weeks ahead.
Investors are starting to notice S&P 600 stocks that are projected to have double-digit increases in sales and earnings.
A stock that has received recent notice on Wall Street is Zoll Medical (Zoll) which designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of proprietary, noninvasive cardiac resuscitation devices, external pacemaker/defibrillators, disposable electrodes, mobile ECG Systems and EMS data management solutions. The recent price momentum has been a result of upgrades in the projections for sales and earnings.
Barchart technical indicators of recent price momentum:
- 100% Barchart technical buy signals
- Trend Spotter buy signals
- Above it's 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages
- 4 new highs and up 20.06% in the last month
- Relative Strength Index is 74.72% and rising
- Trades around 69.00 which is above its 50 day moving average of 57.45
- Barchart calculates a 61.99 support level
Time Warner Cable sees a drop in video-on-demand revenue, with adult films seeing the biggest decline.
That's a question Time Warner Cable (TWC) and other on-demand video providers are struggling with. The cable provider said recently that its video-on-demand segment, which includes its adult film collection, saw a revenue drop of 13.5%, or $14 million, in the second quarter.
"The biggest piece of the year-over-year decline was, in fact, in the adult category," TWC president Robert Marcus said on a conference call with analysts, according to The New York Post.
The company didn't explain why the business has gone soft, but there's a pretty obvious candidate: the Internet and its plethora of free adult videos.
As Americans focus on budget negotiations in Congress, the US may be headed toward another recession.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
While Americans focus on debt and budget negotiations in Congress, the nation's already fragile economy may be heading toward another recession.
As an example of how bad things are, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity dropped to a reading of 50.9 in July from 55.3 in June. Economists had expected the gauge to remain unchanged.
The Commerce Department also said last week that gross domestic product (GDP) growth -- a measure of all goods and services produced in the U.S. -- rose at a meager 1.3% annual rate in the second quarter, well below economists' projected 1.8% growth. A year ago, the economy expanded by 3.8%.
While the S&P 500 struggles amid fear and uncertainty in the US, these Asian funds show strong chart patterns and good fundamentals.
The technical action at June's lows looked quite promising, but the rally ended much sooner than expected when the market finally gave up on lawmakers' ability to solve anything. Now that it seems a deficit-reduction plan is in place, stock futures are sharply higher in early trading and the oversold readings suggest we could still go higher.
Since the June 24 closing low in the Spyder Trust (SPY), the fund is now up just 2%. The three consecutive lower monthly closes have clearly dampened investor enthusiasm as we enter the most difficult of the summer months.
Still, there are three global ETFs that have more than doubled the performance of SPY, which show positive relative performance versus the MSCI World Average. These global ETFs could be start performers when we enter the much stronger fourth quarter for stocks.
Funds tracking media, solar energy and real estate will be in the spotlight as major holdings report earnings.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.
Top media companies -- including CBS, Discovery Communications (DISCA), Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA.B), DirecTV (DTV) and Comcast (CMCSA) -- will report earnings this week, providing investors with insight into the state of the media industry.
PBS appears well-suited to defend against the possibility of future shakeups at Rupert Murdoch's media empire, however. Although it can be found among the fund's 10 largest holdings, shares of NWSA account for less than 5% of its index.
Like other subsector products, PBS is best suited for aggressive investors. Any exposure to this fund should be kept small and focused.
Last week was a debacle, but corporate earnings are strong. Look for a recovery rally.
Stocks are poised to rally this week as a resolution to the debt debate lifts investors' spirits.
While the attention was intensely focused on Washington, D.C., companies were busy reporting earnings. With 75% of those businesses reporting results beating Wall Street expectations, stocks are extremely undervalued.
It might pay to go against the crowd with respect to stocks this week.
Every once in a while, you get those weeks of trading that just need to be erased from memory. Last week was one. With the Dow down 4% and many more stocks down even further, the action made little sense.
Like many sell-offs, this one shall pass. In most cases, stocks will rebound quickly, replacing losses with gains. The ETF to own for strength is iShares S&P North America Technology and Multimedia Fund (IGN).
The financial sector has seen lots of job cuts, and Wall Street should brace for more -- perhaps 80,000 by year's end.
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
In July, as financial-sector layoffs mounted, a top executive search firm estimated as many as 80,000 jobs might go in this coming round of financial layoffs.
"This is kind of like the beginning of a tsunami," said Richard Stein of Caldwell Partners. "You don't get it in one go -- it comes in sort of short shock waves."
Well, those shock waves have kept coming, with Monday's brutal announcement from HSBC (HBC) in London that by 2013 it will cut an additional 25,000 jobs on top of 5,000 posts already being eliminated. But if recent news is any indication, the layoffs are far from over.
Sell your debt-resolution plays and focus on stocks that won't be derailed by a US default.
Back to individual stock picking -- for now. That's how I view this debt ceiling deal, which I believe will pass simply because every single reporter says it will, and I have to trust the consensus like everyone else or be run out of town on a bull.
To me, if you bought "exposure," meaning deep-in-the-money calls or some higher-beta stocks on Friday, as I suggested here, you sell them into strength, take the profit. You didn't get to build the position, but you did get to make the money.
Then I would just wait. I would wait for the people who have to come out and say:
1. Didn't matter, too small, we will eventually be downgraded.
2. Nothing's changed. We are still dysfunctional.
3. Things are even worse because now there will be less spending to prop up the economy.
4. It's too late, as the second half has been killed by this wrangling.
5. The deal does not clarify taxes enough to make companies feel good enough about spending.
6. China is still slowing, although not as fast as we would like, because the tightening goes on.
10. Country to be named later
It’s all about the debt-ceiling debate right now, and mounting fears have caused damage. Use any short-lived rally as a chance for selective selling.
Congress could take a page from these companies' debt-slashing efforts
The U.S. debt ceiling talks are sputtering along, with the deadline for addressing the country's dwindling amount of available credit fast approaching and legislators bickering over how to address the problem.
By all accounts, the process has been painfully slow, with both sides proving to be better at political posturing than at legitimate compromise.
Perhaps they could learn something from Corporate America. While a myriad of companies went into the financial crisis of 2008 leveraged to the hilt, many have used the last three years to chip away at -- or, in some cases, altogether eliminate -- their high piles of debt. To be sure, they didn't have to deal with the same sort of political machinations that U.S. policymakers have to deal with. But they can nonetheless provide a bit of much-needed "get-it-done" inspiration -- not to mention good opportunities for investors.
The Spanish bank is in a rough spot, no doubt. But if it can get through this, there's potential for shares to rise.
Tells you something about how beaten up Spanish bank stocks are when Banco Santander (STD) delivers news of a horrible first half and the stock only falls 5.6%. And that on a day too -- July 27 -- when stock market indexes such as the Standard & Poor's 500 were themselves down 2%.
The next day, July 28, shares of Banco Santander were up 0.89%, and they've inched ahead another eight cents per share today. The shares pay an 8.42% dividend, and at today's price of $10.28, they are very close to their 52-week low at $9.43.
If they can get back just to their depressed 52-week high at $13.75, you're looking at a gain of 35%, plus dividends. (Banco Santander is a member of my Dividend Income Portfolio.)
How bad was the July 27 report?
The ratio of sold shares to bought shares from corporate insiders has hit a record.
Company insiders are dumping shares faster than at any time in the last four decades, one study shows. If those insiders know more than the rest of us about what's going on, watch out.
One research firm keeps a weekly update of the ratio of the insider shares sold versus the insider shares purchased, MarketWatch reports. As of last week, that sell-to-buy ratio was 6.43 to 1 -- higher than 95% of the weeks in the last decade.
When you are wrong trading earnings, close your position immediately
The debate in Washington with respect to the debt ceiling has resulted in a market that is very difficult to navigate. Stocks this week drifted lower and are poised to finish the week with a loss of 4%. Within that overall negative environment companies reporting earnings traded mostly in relation to specific news instead of outside noise.
There are many ways to trade the debt debate, but the best way to go in this environment is to trade earnings. The beauty of trading earnings then is that you can get a fairly predictable response to earnings reports without having to worry about outside interference. The trick of course is being adept at predicting results.
Of course there are some rules that need to be followed diligently in order to maximize my approach. For example, when a trade goes awry, exiting the trade quickly can preserve capital and minimize losses. Utilizing the extended trading is well worth the expense in order to exit a position.
Earnings are typically released before the market opens or after the market closes. Those trading earnings can then compare actual results to expectations. If you are wrong with your analysis, selling immediately is the best thing to do even if the regular market is closed.
A good example of how this works came in to play this week with Delta Airlines (DAL).
Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid player in the world. Now he's also a loan guarantee.
The Bankia group of savings banks needs money desperately and has asked the European Central Bank for a loan. Well, the ECB doesn't hand off cash to just anyone, so it asked for some guarantees, Presseurop reports. Bankia offered up Ronaldo and the Brazilian player Kaká, otherwise known as Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite.
Where does Bankia get the right to do this? Back when Real Madrid was recruiting the Portuguese Ronaldo, it turned to Bankia to finance the acquisition.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.
The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More
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