The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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These funds provide exposure to companies the Oracle has shown interest in.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Given his legendary knack for picking winners, it's no wonder market professionals and do-it-yourself retail investors tend to keep a close watch on Warren Buffett to see what new companies he has his eyes on.
Buffett's acquisition preferences have received particularly heavy focus throughout 2011 in light of his massive cash reserves as well as his words and actions.
In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) shareholders, Buffett used his recognizable folksy charm in an attempt to portray his desire to find acquisition targets. In the document, he said he and partner Charlie Munger have their elephant gun reloaded and are prepared and eager to pull the trigger when an attractive opportunity presents itself.
Proven technical measures show that it's a high-risk time to buy these market leaders.
Check out the tech sector's best cheap investments, which have aggressive upside potential.
By Louis Navellier, Editor, Blue Chip Growth
There is no better place to find explosive growth than with low-priced penny stocks. I'm not talking about pink-sheet stocks that are potentially nonexistent, or fraudulent names set to crash. I’m talking about real companies with real earnings -- companies listed for more than one year on a major exchange like the AMEX, NYSE or Nasdaq that have a market cap in the ballpark of $100 million.
The returns can be even more powerful when you combine the power of technology stocks and penny stocks. Specifically, the software space is seeing lots of action thanks to the mass acceptance of smart phones and personal computing devices.
These devices are quite powerful, but they still need programs to make them run. The best software companies are those that make users more productive. In this tough economy, those companies that help workers do more with less are poised to be the penny stocks that really move higher.
Like the trusted brands of Clorox or the natural resources of Petrohawk, there are assets in this country worth far more to bigger companies than they are in the stock market.
While Washington burns, the corporate world isn't fiddling -- it's taking action, with companies taking advantage of depressed pricing, unusual valuations and unique properties to do some buying.
This morning's ridiculously lowball bid for Clorox (CLX) by Carl Icahn is an example of what's about to happen in this country. I have little doubt that now that Clorox is in play, a company like Unilever (UN) will easily spend $12 billion or $13 billion to snap it up. You could see this one go to $100 a share once it is in play -- wildly overvalued on depressed earnings, but incredibly cheap as an asset play with great brands.
The stock's been lower than it should be because management overpaid for Burt's Bees and has undermanaged its core brands. It lacks scale. But it will be perfect for a Unilever counter to Procter & Gamble (PG), which once owned Clorox but was forced to divest it by an aggressive FTC in the 1960s.
The loan business at JPMorgan Chase wasn't great in the second quarter, but earnings still beat analyst estimates.
This earnings trade worked well. Here's why.
The market is in disarray. One week we go up, the next week we go down. Buy and hold investing has become beyond aggravating.
No wonder individual investors are sitting on the sidelines. The perception is that if they commit capital today it will most likely be gone tomorrow.
What if there was a way to make money irrespective of the daily fluctuations in stocks?
Over the last year I have taken lessons learned from 20 years in this business to develop a stock trading system predicated on exploiting market inefficiencies caused by companies releasing earnings reports.
I’ve had great success putting this system to work identifying big winners during the 8-10 weeks of earnings season. I kicked off 2nd quarter earnings with a trade last week: Helen of Troy (HELE)
Investors are nervously watching Congress for signs that the debt ceiling will be raised. But the budget problem won't be solved unless runaway health care costs are addressed.
All that seems to matter to the stock market these days is what's happening with the U.S. Treasury's debt ceiling. Will it be raised? Will America default on its debt? Can President Barack Obama and the Republicans actually come to an agreement?
So far, despite all the political posturing, a short-term solution still seems to be in the cards. Failure to act simply isn't an option. Obama knows that. The Republicans know that. The corporate lobbyists have done their job. And Wall Street has already sounded the alarm, with credit analysts at Moody's and Standard & Poor's casting doubt on the nation's creditworthiness.
For all the talk of spending cuts, tax hikes and short-term solutions versus big fixes, there is one fundamental truth that isn't getting a lot of play: Runaway health care costs are bankrupting the country. And while that's been great news for investors in the health care sector in recent months, with the Health Care SPDR (XLV) outperforming the broad market by more than 11% since February, it jeopardizes the debt ceiling debate, the fate of the economy and the very future of the country.
Who knew it could be so easy?
By Morgan Housel
No one in Washington can agree on how to narrow the budget deficit. Not even balance. Just narrow.
The debate over next year's budget alone has been ongoing for months. Progress is obnoxiously difficult. One person wants this, another calls it "sacred" and says "cut that," any number of thinktanks say both are wrong, and Paul Krugman thinks everyone's a moron.
Tough problems, these. But as Berkshire Hathaway quote machine Charlie Munger said recently, "It's amusing to see someone spend 1 million man-hours on something I can solve with my left hand."
With only partial seriousness, I'm going to do just that, balancing next year's $1.1 trillion budget deficit in three easy steps.
The retailer is expected to start selling a device that is cheaper and has fewer bells and whistles than the dominant iPad.
The tablet gets an unofficial coming-out party this week in The Wall Street Journal, which says Amazon will sell the device by October. It will have a 9-inch screen and no camera, unnamed sources tell the newspaper. Instead of developing its own software, Amazon will use the Android platform developed by Google (GOOG).
With its tablet, Amazon essentially wants to take its Kindle experience and kick that up a notch. The company has had great success with the Kindle e-reader, which has become its best-selling device. It sells more Kindle books than hardcover and paperback books combined.
But why stay in the realm of books?
CEO Jamie Dimon signaled Thursday that investors should expect more dividends and share buybacks from the nation's second-largest bank.
By Shanthi Bharatwaj, TheStreet
U.S. banks are going to have so much extra capital over the 12 months, they are not going to know what to do with it, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon said Thursday, signaling investors should expect more dividends and share buybacks from the nation's second-largest bank.
"We are going to have a lot of extra capital," Dimon said during the analyst conference call, adding that the bank will apply to the regulator to allow it to increase dividend "when appropriate".
While the CEO wasn't explicit about dividend plans, he emphasized that the board was in favor of returning excess capital to shareholders. "The board is still the primary driver of capital decisions,"said Dimon. "It is still America. Capitalism is still alive," he said.
Technical indicators suggest that the commodities correction may be over, and now is a good time to establish positions in broad-based or more specialized commodity ETFs.
These funds offer different ways to capitalize on the nation's rebound from its tragic earthquake and tsunami.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Although the devastating earthquake and tsunami that tore through Japan during the opening half of 2011 cast a thick fog of uncertainty over the nation's markets, some of the doubts circling this nation have been lifted in recent weeks.
As we move into the second half of the year, Japan is showing signs that it is gathering steam, and investors with a tolerance for risk may find this recovering corner of the globe to be an attractive option to keep on the radar.
Evidence of Japan's increasing strength can be seen in the recent performance of the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ) compared with that of broader global products such as the iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA) and the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT).
Four of the 10 worst carriers are some of the biggest in the world, signaling an urgent need for changes.
By Susan J. Aluise, InvestorPlace.com
Fuel price volatility and a sluggish economic recovery have dampened investors' hopes that the airline sector will recover the altitude lost during the Great Recession.
Now here's one more sign of turbulence: consumer satisfaction with airlines is sinking. In the most recent survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), airline passenger satisfaction dropped 1.5% to a mediocre score of 65.
As a group, airlines registered the lowest satisfaction score of any of the 47 industries included in the survey. That average score of 65 means airlines are tied with newspapers for the sector with which consumers are least satisfied -- even below the federal government (65.4).
Moody's threatens to lower the United States' credit rating as a deal on the debt ceiling remains elusive.
That's kind of how I feel about this potential downgrade of U.S. debt by Moody's, because this has been one of the most telegraphed potential downgrades around.
The agencies are just doing their jobs when they threaten to lower the U.S.’s credit rating. Think about it: You have a president who is talking about social security checks in jeopardy and a Federal Reserve chief talking about a huge financial calamity.
That said, if the real deal happened -- if there were no budget deal, and we did get an actual downgrade because the debt ceiling wasn’t raised -- then I could see the market losing its gains for the year.
HSBC wants to be a major US corporate bank, but a developing-economy financial may be a better investment.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the session on a lower note as the S&P 500 lost 0.4% while the Nasdaq shed 0.1%. The Russell 2000, which paced the retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday, added 0.2%, trimming its December loss to 3.5%.
After spending the first half of the session in a steady retreat, the S&P 500 found technical support in the 1772 area. Upon reaching that level, the index reversed sharply, and marched back to its flat line. There was no particular catalyst ... More
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