The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.
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With a new device at a shockingly low price, Amazon has just narrowed the field to 2 players.
After all, this is a 7-inch touch-screen tablet that can play movies and music -- for only $199. The cheapest iPad starts at $499.
Amazon's stock lit up after the announcement Wednesday, trading up 3% at midday to $231. Apple shares were unchanged.
The Kindle Fire could make a big difference for the company.
By Eric Bleeker
If you take one thing away from the unveiling of Amazon.com's (AMZN) new tablet, it should be this: When Jeff Bezos unveiled the price at Wednesday's press conference, the person sitting next to me gasped.
Only $199 for that sharp-looking of a tablet?
If you've been holding out on buying an iPad in hopes of a more viable competitor, your time has come. Amazon has unveiled its new Kindle Fire. I was at the press conference and offer more analysis below, but first the details:
As Europe nears a solution to its debt crisis, investors buy up some of the most economically sensitive stocks.
Stocks have pushed higher this week as European policymakers move closer to mending the festering wound that is their debt crisis, which has gone on so long without adequate treatment that it's now beginning to infect the continent's banking system as well.
The catalyst for the surge of good feelings has been reports that the eurozone is poised to enact a creative solution to maximize the firepower of its existing €440 billion bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility.
Details are unimportant. What matters is that the plan would give the Europeans €3.2 trillion with which to support Greece and build a firewall around the too-big-to-fail nations of Italy and Spain.
These funds offer diversity along with exposure to a few heavyweights.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Instant diversification is one of the biggest benefits that come with exchange-traded funds.
It's still possible to use these products to gain ample exposure to stock market darlings. Below, I've highlighted funds that allow investors to tap into three popular tech names.
Apple. Setting aside 15% of its portfolio to Apple (AAPL), the PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is one of the strongest options fans can turn to in order to gain access to this company. QQQ is not just a popular choice for Apple followers, however. On the contrary, when paired with other broad index ETFs, the fund can also make for an attractive core component in a well-diversified portfolio.
Think low prices are here to stay? Think again.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
After hitting a high of about $115 a barrel just a few months ago, crude oil is trading near one-year lows. Oil is down around $80 a barrel as a weakened global economy has put a damper on demand. (The 2010 low for crude was around $77 a barrel.)
As a result, energy stocks have been held back this year. The broad-based iShares Dow Jones US Energy Sector ETF (IYE) is off more than 12% year to date, more than twice as bad as the Dow Jones Industrial Average's nearly 6% decline. While major oil stock Exxon Mobil (XOM) has outperformed its peers, XOM is still in the red since January.
Despite these headwinds, investors with an eye for the long term should seriously consider jumping into the oil sector now. Macroeconomic trends across the next few years really favor oil stocks as a long-term buy.
Here are five reasons to drill for profits in oil and energy stocks:
Best Buy just announced it will hire about half as many workers this holiday season, and that's part of a broader retail trend.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
If you're looking for a seasonal job this holiday shopping season, you might get a lump of coal in your stocking. The demand for temporary retail work in November and December appears tepid at best.
The latest sign of concern: Word from Best Buy (BBY), the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, that the company will hire about half the seasonal workers as last year -- a mere 15,000, compared with 29,000 in 2010.
This is a broader trend that should be disturbing to anyone looking for a temporary job in the next few months.
Don't be surprised to see some last-minute wrangling before Europe's version of TARP passes.
Remember when that first vote failed and the markets took that breathtaking dip?
We have to figure we could be on the road to that form of perdition right now, before the obstinate leaders in Europe come around to the impossibility of their position and the certain destruction of multiple banking institutions if they don't take action.
That's what this moment is all about. Just as it seemed Hank Paulson had the votes to get TARP approved and didn't -- the first time -- we have to be thinking that when a German finance minister calls part of the bailout "silly" and when there are 17 disparate parties arguing, nothing's a shoo-in.
Limits on certain mortgages will make it harder for some people to buy higher-end homes.
The limits are set to kick in Saturday, and it's unclear what the changes will do for the housing market and the economy. At issue are the 90% of new home loans guaranteed by the government. What is the maximum mortgage the government will support?
When the economy was tanking in 2008, Congress raised those limits in order to boost the housing market, The Los Angeles Times reports. That helped people buy more-expensive homes, because lenders knew they could count on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration for backup.
Potential values from around the world.
By Tim Hanson
Like most investors, I keep a watchlist. And that watchlist has four columns. Column 1 is a list of stocks I would like to own. Column 2 is a list of the prices at which I would like to own said stocks. Column 3 is the current price of those same stocks. And Column 4 calculates the percentage difference between Column 2 and Column 3. The list is sorted by Column 4, with the stock at the top of the list being the one where the current price is the farthest below the price at which I would like to own it.
So … want to get a free sneak peek at my watch list?
Based on prices from midday yesterday, here are the three biggest bargains I'm watching now.
Can the activist investor save the struggling BlackBerry maker? Investors hope so.
Updated: 4:44 p.m. ET
What? Research In Motion (RIMM) shares were up 4.5% Tuesday? Quite a change for a stock that has slumped more than 50% in the past year.
The pickup is mainly due to rumors that activist investor Carl Icahn has bought a stake in the BlackBerry maker. Icahn and RIM aren't talking, so we can't confirm the whispers.
The investor leaves BBC anchors speechless after saying he goes to bed at night dreaming about a recession.
Not the kind of rhetoric you normally hear on the BBC. And that's why jaws dropped at the network when Alessio Rastani launched into doom-filled predictions in an on-camera interview.
Hedge funds and other institutional traders "know the market is toast," Rastani said. "They know the stock market is finished."
The market has been on the defensive since May, leaving a value hunter's paradise for these stumbled stocks.
By Robert Walberg, TheStreet
Buying stocks is as much about timing as it is about research. It's important to do your homework and find stocks that meet your investment criteria, but even then you might be in for tough times if you don't pay at least some attention to timing.
Psychology plays a critical role in determining a stock's price, and if you like to buy stocks at a good value, as I do, then you want to make sure to spend considerable energy on ascertaining a proper entry point.
Most of us have heard the phrase "Don't try to catch a falling knife." In other words, if you buy stocks that are falling, you might get cut and bleed out before the stock bottoms and starts to go back up again.
Despite the storm clouds still hanging over the global economy, analysts expect great things from this trio.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) and Oracle (ORCL) should offer investors some relief from the gathering economic gloom over the next few months, analysts say, pointing to the companies' downturn-busting credentials.
Weak consumer spending, a stateside debt crisis and European economic jitters have certainly taken their toll on tech stocks, pushing the Nasdaq ($COMPX) down more than 5% this year. Experts, however, expect great things from Amazon, Apple and Oracle during the final quarter of 2011.
A tight spending climate, for example, plays neatly to Amazon's strengths, while Apple will be basking in the warm glow from its latest, greatest iPhone, not to mention its rapidly growing presence in China.
In a volatile market like this one, you need to own a blend of cyclical, defensive and dividend stocks.
The past couple of days demonstrate the value of being diversified. You want to catch a rally, and with a eurozone fix evidently in place there is more room for this one to run. But you don't want to have too much risk on -- meaning you don't want to have only stocks that go up when the economy is strong. You also want companies that have good dividends and companies that do well in a slowdown.
Why do you want all three? Pretty simple: On down days you lose less money, and on up days you do just fine. In a market with a bias to the downside, you have to be worried about both.
So consider a portfolio that holds a good pastiche of all of them, one that has Procter & Gamble (PG) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on the soft side, Eaton (ETN) and DuPont (DD) on the cyclical side and AT&T (T) and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) on the utility side.
Even the company seems to be backing away from claims of a fourth-quarter iPad order cut.
Apple reportedly lowered its fourth-quarter iPad orders by 25%, according to analysts from JPMorgan's electronic manufacturing services team in Hong Kong.
But JPMorgan analysts in the United States were not convinced. In fact, the JPMorgan analyst covering Apple in the U.S. did not lower his estimate of 10.9 million to 12 million iPad shipments in the third and fourth quarters. And Apple isn't commenting.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.
The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.
Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More
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