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Short positions in Citigroup rose to 482 million shares in April's second half from 416 million in the previous two weeks.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
Citigroup short interest rose to 482 million shares from 416 million during the previous two-week period. Citigroup is perennially the most actively shorted ticker on the New York Stock Exchange. That's not surprising since the bank is nearly always the most actively traded name on the long side as well.
Citigroup short interest had risen for several successive reporting periods spanning at least four months until that string was broken in the second half of March. Citigroup short interest had continued to fall since that time.
Congressional debate about financial reform and drilling rules is causing stocks to waver and creating buying opportunities.
Congress is killing us. Mark Twain was right: "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while Congress is in session." (Thanks to my colleague, Matt Horween, for remembering that quote.)
Every swoon I saw yesterday seemed to start in Congress, or revolved around rumors in Congress of action against drillers, against oil companies, against banks. These are big parts of the S&P 500 Index ($INX) and they reversed several times today off of Congressional musings.
One of the reasons I am so adamant that the financials are a buy is that they struggle mightily when Congress is in session, but once we get reform, even it if isn't perfect, I believe these stocks will roar off of what is a well-defined base.
The king of retail will sell games, hardware and even used DVDs at 5 test locations.
Wal-Mart (WMT) is looking to jump back into the used PlayStation, Wii and Xbox business.
Specifically, Wal-Mart has entered into a lease agreement with a small retailer called Game Trade to test used-video-game sales, buybacks and trade-ins in five stores.
This isn’t the retail king’s first foray into the used video-game business -- but there are a few reasons to think this venture may succeed where others failed.
The company is facing threats on all sides, from Mother Nature to deep-pocketed rivals.
Shares have fallen from $78 in February to current levels of about $58. On Tuesday, the stock was down another 3%. Barron's suggests investors think about selling their shares.
Monsanto is getting hit from everywhere, it seems. After decades of unparalleled success with its Roundup weed-killer, nature is striking back with a vengeance.
Value investors can find a lot of diamonds in the rough if they crunch the right numbers
If you’re a value investor, the low P/E ratios on Wall Street are the stuff of fantasies right now. That means now is the time to go bargain hunting if you have some extra cash.
To be clear, we're not talking about Europe stocks to buy after the Greece debt debacle. The jury is still out on whether the euro zone has stopped the bleeding across the pond. And we're not talking about fuzzy math using trailing profits or revenues to juice the numbers. We all know that year-over-year comparisons for the first quarter earnings made everyone look good.
These bargain companies are the real deal. Let me give three examples in blue chips across three very different sectors:
One study says Americans are paying the lowest taxes since Harry Truman was president.
We hear lots of talk about high taxes, but the truth is that Americans are paying their lowest level of taxes since 1950, USA Today reports.
About 9.2% of Americans' personal income went to federal, state and local taxes in 2009, the newspaper reports. Historically, we've paid about 12%.
Why are taxes so low? Several reasons. First, there were the tax cuts that were part of the $862 billion stimulus package last year, USA Today reports. A third of that stimulus went straight to tax cuts.
Gold is approaching the end of its rally, and emerging-market stocks are looking better.
Gold is near its all-time high of $1,227.50 an ounce, set on Dec. 3, 2009, and you don't have to look far to find the reasons -- the European debt crisis and inflation fears in China come to mind.
I do think gold could run higher from here, though. The debt crisis isn't over, considering that the credit-rating companies that haven't rated Greek government bonds as junk are threatening to do so. And I think we'll see at least one more spasm of fear from China.
Five things we still don't know about the Dow's 1,000 point plunge.
By Heidi N. Moore, The Big Money
On Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing to find out what exactly happened on Thursday, May 6, to send the Dow Jones Industrial Average diving 1,000 points in a matter of minutes.
This is perhaps the first time that a congressional hearing will actually be useful in financial fact-finding. The truth of what happened is buried among records of billions of Thursday trades. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, unable to publicly explain the cause, chose a “kill them all and let God sort them out” approach, cancelling thousands of trades.
Gold prices were nearing all-time highs amid concerns about plans to protect the euro from the European debt crisis.
By Alix Steel, TheStreet
Gold prices hit a five-month high, reaching $1,225.20, as investors questioned whether Europe's financial aid plan will be enough to save the euro.
Gold for June delivery was rising $21, or 1.6%, to $1,221.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The US dollar index was also rising 0.1 to $84.25, while the euro was little changed at $1.27 against the dollar. The spot gold price today was up $16.50, according to Kitco's gold index.
Gold prices could top their record of $1,227 an ounce as investors remain wary of the recently announced bailout initiative for eurozone countries.
Cisco offers investors growth and stability, an ideal investment amid worries over the global economy.
By David MacDougall, TheStreet
The US stock market is ricocheting, jumping 4.4% yesterday after declining 6.4% last week. With a bailout of southern Europe's sovereign debt, a fragile American economy and an overheating China, expect more of the same.
Business spending is a smaller part of the American economy than consumer spending is, but it's highly variable, making it more influential. Because of that, stocks such as Cisco are a bellwether for their industry and the economy as a whole. What's good for Cisco is good for America. We'll see how good that is tomorrow, when the world's biggest maker of computer-networking equipment reports earnings for the three months through May 1, giving investors a glimpse of the beginning of most companies' second-quarter results.
The focus now is less on Europe and more on China -- and we don't like what we see.
The debate rages: Do we need the euro to advance, for Europe's economies to get strong and for Greece and Spain to come roaring back? Or do we just not need them to collapse?
I think the latter is the issue. We just need not to be so Europe-focused. Of course, no sooner do we become less Europe-focused than we become China-focused -- and we don't like what we see.
China's bad. It has been bad. It has not yet bent to the will of the government, so the tightening will continue. I think that the market deserves to sell off on China after the run we have just had. But I continue to believe that the European situation has stabilized and I would rather have to deal with Chinese braking than euro breaking.
The growth in the wireless industry is creating strong demand for American Tower's products.
I almost bought American Tower Corp. (AMT) for Jubak's Picks on Friday, but the stock was hovering just below its 200-day average and I was afraid that a continuation of the European debt crisis would push the stock below that support level.
Instead of more crisis, however, Monday has brought a huge relief rally based on a $1 trillion rescue plan worked out by European Union leaders over the weekend.
So I missed what I believe is the local bottom on Friday, but on Monday, with Friday's risk reduced, the stock is still a great buy, in my opinion.
The agency approves a request from the MPAA to allow shutting off secondary outputs on TV, cable or satellite boxes.
Up to now, it's been nearly impossible to watch a movie at home that is still in its first run at theaters. Legally, at least.
But that could change in the future. Hollywood studios won a key regulatory ruling Friday allowing them to control the inputs of consumer home entertainment devices, and thus digitally pipe movies into the home while they're still in theaters.
- Video: Who controls the Web?
Approving a request by the Motion Picture Association of America, the Federal Communications Commission gave Hollywood studios a waiver on laws governing "selectable output technology."
Could AT&T be keeping Apple's iPhone from reaching its true sales potential?
Apple's iPhone has been kicked to third place in the smartphone wars. A new report says that phones powered by Google's (GOOG) Android system are now outselling iPhones.
Android phones rocketed to the No. 2 position for smartphones sold in the U.S. last quarter, the NPD Group reports. Android phones nabbed 28% of the market compared with 21% for the iPhone.
Investors are cheering the European Union's bold bailout plan, and rightly so. But the debt problems behind it will linger.
By Michael Brush
Investors cheered Europe's "shock and awe" proposal to fix the Greek debt problems this morning, and rightly so. Near term, at least, the risk that defaults on government debt will wound European banks has been reduced.
But Europe isn't really out of the Black Forest just yet -- as Europe's "shock and awe" plan still leaves plenty of ammo for the bears.
So despite today's rally, there's still a good chance that the European debt issues come back and nag the U.S. stock markets -- if bears manage to spread more fear by harping on any of the following three themes:
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have made another run at fresh session highs. The Dow has returned into positive territory while the Nasdaq trades with a loss of 0.1%. In addition, the S&P 500 is off by 0.3% as the weakness in financials continues to pressure the benchmark average.
Elsewhere, the health care sector has been able to shake off its early weakness as biotechnology displays some strength. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 181.47, +0.49) trades ... More
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