The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Professional money managers say almost every stock is worth considering now as the market gyrates with every new economic report and development.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Individual investors have been increasingly fearful as they grapple with wild swings in the stock market. Professional investors, on the other hand, say there are plenty of value stocks for folks who can stomach the risk.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) has swung wildly this month, but with many stocks trading at only 11 times earnings in a near-zero-interest-rate environment, professional investors are turning greedy while the masses have become fearful.
Brian Frank, the manager of the Frank Value Fund (FRNKX), says the valuation of his portfolio was the cheapest ever heading into second-quarter earnings, and that includes during 2008 and 2009, when share prices plummeted in the heart of the deep recession. "Guess what. Now it's even cheaper," he says. "The fundamentals are still getting stronger, even if there is economic weakness in the future."
High hopes for companies like Facebook, Zynga and Twtter have individual investors looking to get in ahead of their public trading debuts.
By Joe Mont, TheStreet
Are you upset you didn't get in on the LinkedIn (LNKD) and Pandora (P) IPOs? Not just because you passed on their public offerings but because you didn't have a horse in the race before they went public?
For the most part, private investing in pre-IPO companies has been an exclusive and expensive club, limited mostly to financial and venture capital firms or very wealthy individuals. Facebook, for example, announced earlier this year that it was offering up to $1.5 billion of securities to clients of Goldman Sachs (GS), provided they invested at least $2 million and pledged to hold the shares until 2013.
Increasingly, however, smaller investors are looking for ways to hop the fence and join the party, especially given the hot prospects of several well-known Web-based and social-media-focused companies.
Doing so is easier said than done.
The discount giant is losing its reputation as the low-price leader. If it doesn't stand for bargains, what is the company's strategy?
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
The discount giant, which prides itself on its motto of "Save Money, Live Better," appears to have lost its price perception among consumers. According to a survey conducted by WSL Strategic Retail, 86% of Wal-Mart shoppers no longer believe the retailer has the lowest prices.
"Every brick-and-mortar retailer lowered prices and shouted sales throughout the recession, while the Internet became the go-to place for shoppers in search of the lowest prices," the report said.
This raises a serious conundrum: If Wal-Mart no longer stands for everyday low prices in the eyes of consumers, what does it stand for?
As fear subsides, look for a recovery.
Wow, what a ride. Stocks go down 600 points one day, up 500 the next, only to give it all back the day after. Friday’s calm 125 point increase on the Dow was like a walk in the park.
Too bad it left us a bit short of break even for the week. Oh well, I suspect most investors will take the small loss as some sort of victory. They should be cheering all the way to the bank.
The intense volatility has created one of the best trading landscapes in recent years. Dare I say day trading is making a come back? Why not when you can make 10, 20 or even 30% on a stock trade in one day?
If you can remove the fog of nonsense from the discussion, you will find plenty of reasons to want to own stocks, even for the long term. The ETF I would own this week is the iShares S&P North America Technology and Multimedia Fund (IGN).
The deal could make Android smartphones the standard and knock Apple's iPhone from its perch.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
Google (GOOG) isn't afraid to go on shopping sprees. With more than 75 acquisitions since 2006 -- including the $3.1 billion buyout of DoubleClick to bolster its online advertising presence, and the $1.65 billion buyout of YouTube -- the cash-rich tech giant has made these deals a normal part of its growth plans.
But Google's plan to snatch up Motorola Mobility (MMI) for about $12.5 billion is by far the most dramatic in the history of the company. The partnership, announced Monday, could forever change the makeup of Google and the landscape of the smartphone business, and it might finally create a gadget that can give Apple (AAPL) and its iPhone a run for their money.
Just because everyone expects a downturn doesn't mean it's going to happen.
Is it grudging recognition that, despite the political gridlock, despite the European woes, maybe not all is lost?
Have we discounted not just a slowdown but also an actual recession, one that might not occur? Could this be a repeat of 1987, when the market's decline presaged nothing other than a momentary loss of consumer confidence?
It's hard not to think about that when in the past 36 hours of trading we've had decent employment claims and some really good numbers from retailers Ralph Lauren (RL), Macy's (M) and Nordstrom (JWN), not to mention aggregate retail sales numbers.
It's hard not to question the recession thesis when Caterpillar (CAT) comes on national television and says orders are looking good, knowing that CAT is about emerging markets, not the U.S. and not that much about Europe.
Traders can make still make money as this 13% winning trade in a down market demonstrates
When I trade stocks that are about to release earnings, I identify my picks over the weekend before the company in question is scheduled to report results. This past weekend was particularly challenging given the horrific state of affairs in the market.
Like the majority of those participating in the market a certain degree of fear clouded my vision. For a brief moment I considered cancelling trading this week given the volatility in the market. Given that all of my trading recommendations for my subscribers are long positions, downward velocity for 99% of the market did not bode well for my picks.
In the week prior, I made a handful of recommendations. My analysis of these picks was dead on. The companies traded reported strong results with positive guidance for the future. It should have been a big week to make money. While I did make money on two of the four trades, the other two picks were negative with one being down 10%.
The two winners did offset the losers making the total loss only a fraction, but the crushing losses of the last two picks combined with the negative environment had me worried. Was now the time to go bottom fishing and buy stocks?
Wall Street was given plenty of warning, and now the SEC may be looking into who knew what and when.
Unless it was all a huge coincidence, it's likely that someone in the know leaked the information. The questions are who and whether the leak led to early insider trading.
That's what the Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating. The SEC has asked Standard & Poor's to disclose who exactly knew about the downgrade before it was announced, the Financial Times reports. It's the start of a preliminary look into potential insider trading.
Apple and Amazon have held up well despite heavy market volatility. Favorable chart patterns make each a good buy on an upcoming pullback.
The yellow metal and companies that mine it remain in a bull market.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
Standard & Poor's is recommending gold and gold miners as top investment picks only days after downgrading U.S. Treasurys, which sparked a firestorm in financial markets worldwide that boosted the price of the precious metal.
S&P's Equity Research Services unit, which made the recommendation, is independent of the firm's Ratings Services division, which lowered its long-term credit rating on the U.S. to AA-plus from triple-A with a long-term negative outlook last week.
Gold futures tumbled Thursday after CME Group, the owner of the world's biggest futures market, increased margins on gold contracts by 22%. Gold had soared 8% in the previous three days, bringing a one-year gain to 49%, on U.S. and European debt concerns and a slowdown in global economic growth. Haven investments such as gold, Treasurys and the Swiss Franc have benefited the most.
"We believe that gold is in a bull market," S&P analyst Leo Larkin wrote in a research note, because demand will outstrip supply "for the foreseeable future."
Spooked by a severe market slump and the first downgrade of US credit, investors are on pace to redeem record amounts.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
The prediction, from analyst Kevin McDevitt at mutual fund tracker Morningstar, comes after July's $22.9 billion in outflows, the most since the peak of the credit crisis in October 2008, when investors pulled $28 billion from U.S. stock funds. "With August off to a very rocky start, this trend is sure to continue, with deeper outflows to come."
Investors have withdrawn a net $200 billion from U.S. stock mutual funds over the past five years. Total fund industry assets peaked at $4 trillion in late 2007, but the subsequent stock market crash a year later, the prolonged recession and last year's flash crash have contributed to skittish investor behavior that has resulted in outflows of about $500 billion since the peak, according to Morningstar.
Big upswings are good for 3 things: selling tech, selling banks and selling companies that receive most of their earnings from budget-strapped governments.
Principally because it made us forget how horrible Wednesday was. The last-hour buying that accompanies an up day (courtesy of the rebalancing of double and triple exchange-traded funds -- the machine buying) put whip cream on top of the bullish concoction.
And I hated it.
I hated it because it was a day when rumors didn't fly in Europe -- or at least they were temporarily muted by the shorting ban.
We need real resolutions to real problems.
First, we need to take off the table a possible recession, courtesy of governmental uncertainty here and in Europe and higher interest rates in emerging markets. Second, we have to see a substantive conclusion to the sovereign and bank debt problems in Europe.
Around the world, central banks are dragging out or canceling interest-rate increases. The effect, however, is unclear.
A few thoughts after a wild few days.
By Morgan Housel
After several days, a stock market plunge and a flurry of finger-pointing, we're still trying to figure out what Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. Treasurys really means. Here are four points to keep in mind.
1. It had no impact on Treasurys. The biggest risk of a Treasury downgrade was the possibility that interest rates would rise. That could add trillions to future federal borrowing costs and stifle economic growth.
But interest rates didn't rise at all after the downgrade. In fact, they've plunged. Monday turned out to be the eighth best day for 10-year Treasurys in modern history. The biggest irony of downgrading Treasurys is that it instantly increased global demand for . . . Treasurys. One blogger, mocking the stereotypical investor, quipped: "Treasurys were downgraded? Wow! Sell my entire stock portfolio and get me into Treasurys!"
Sales are suspended for repricing as gold soars.
These are the gold numismatic coins sold to collectors, not the gold bullion coins sold to investors, the Mint told Reuters.
The problem was that the market price for gold bullion was fast approaching the price of gold collector coins. The U.S. Mint has the right to stop collector sales when that happens, but that apparently has never happened, at least as far as anyone can remember.
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the Tuesday session near their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) leading the slide. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% with nine sectors ending in the red.
Equities indices started the day with modest gains and spent the first two hours of action in the neighborhood of their flat lines. Although the early trade lacked clear sector leadership, that could have been overlooked due to the strength among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-0.3%), ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|