The Dow has run up to -- and been turned away from -- 16,000 twice before.
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For an annual cost of less than 1%, you can get the market's best vehicle for physical gold.
Gold is a controversial topic, and it's certainly not for everyone. If you do want some exposure to it, however, Fool analyst Andrew Sullivan explains an easy way to get it.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
In my last article, I told you that I'm shifting my Rising Star Portfolio cash hoard into gold to protect my purchasing power because I believe gold still offers a much better risk-reward ratio than cash. Cash loses purchasing power dramatically over time, and with a global currency war and sovereign debt crisis just beginning, this threat is heightened. Thus my reasons for moving into gold, and here's how I'm going to do it.
With US-listed Chinese companies under the SEC's microscope, investors should venture into China-focused funds carefully.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week:
TheStreet and other financial media outlets have been buzzing recently about the SEC's probe into U.S.-listed Chinese companies. It's unclear how far the investigation will reach, but for now investors should use a sharp eye when venturing into some China-focused ETFs.
PGJ is more worrisome than other large-cap China ETFs, such as the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI). Whereas FXI tracks a basket of companies traded on China and Hong Kong exchanges, PGJ tracks a collection of U.S.-listed Chinese ADRs. These companies, which have a dual listing on U.S. stock exchanges, are more likely to fall under the SEC's scrutiny.
Whatever the company has planned for its enormous new data center could be enough to break the stock out of its current range.
I think it's going to be for Mac applications. It could be huge, and like everything else with Apple, it might usher in a new era in computing.
Or maybe it is a place where Apple can offer applications in a cloud-like way. Maybe it will be a place for a developer to get virtual shelf space for new Mac applications. They don't have that today.
Lindsay's first-quarter miss was due to one part of its business. But the other part is performing well.
A drug in development reduces the feelings of pleasure that come from alcohol.
The pill, called nalmefene, is made by H. Lundbeck A/S (HLUKY), a drugmaker that pulls in most of its revenue from the anti-anxiety drug Cipralex. Nalmefene blocks brain signals that make drinking and sex feel good, Bloomberg reports.
Some people are interested in this as a treatment for alcoholics, many of whom simply don't want to stop drinking. People can still drink with nalmefene, but they won't feel any pleasure from doing so.
Intrade is taking bets on whether embattled Brian Moynihan will be out by June.
Intrade, the market prediction site, has now opened up that possibility for betting. You can buy and sell "shares" in the chance that Moynihan will depart by June 11. The contract is here. So far, it doesn't look like anyone has made a trade on this.
The founder of WikiLeaks said last month he has enough insider dirt to take down one or two major banks. He didn't say which ones, but Wall Street gossip quickly focused on Bank of America -- and the bank's shares dropped 3% in one day.
Although technology remains absent from the investor's list of sure things, investors shouldn't write the industry off.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
A large part of Warren Buffett's success as an investor has hinged on his ability to pick out companies he considers to be sure things. To the famous investor, sure-thing investments are typically companies in boring industries, are easy to understand and hold promise for long-term growth.
Utilizing these criteria, the famous investor has been able to identify, purchase and profit from companies such as Coca-Cola (KO), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. However, it has also caused the Oracle of Omaha to overlook other attractive regions of the market.
In the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) portfolio, consumer goods, energy, industrials and the financial industry can all be pointed to as regions of the market Buffett understands and likes.
The stocks leading this run are like an army division on the move, assaulting new highs in rhythm and showing no signs of giving up.
Here's a new indictment of this terrific market: "It looks tired. Exhausted." To which I say: What are we supposed to do? Tell it to take a nap? Give it some Lunesta? Have it lie down in a nice warm bed and give it 40 winks?
I mean, come on, give me a break. Tired? You call Jabil Circuits (JBL) tired after it shoots the lights out and then gains the most in the S&P 500 ($INX)? Doesn't seem all that tired to me. Does Carnival (CCL) need a good night's sleep? How about rosy-by-association Royal Caribbean (RCL)? Does that stock seem exhausted, sleep-deprived? To me, Carnival is on Red Bull, and Royal is on that energy drink in that little bottle that says beware of heart palpitation.
Rising commodity costs are squeezing margins, and the menu's price limit leaves the company no place to go.
An article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week chronicled the rock-and-a-hard-place challenge of restaurant companies right now. On one hand, weak consumer spending and high unemployment have prompted most casual-dining and fast-food chains to slash prices to keep customers at the table. On the other, inflating agricultural commodity prices mean produce, grains and beef are getting more expensive by the day.
That means the big question for 2011 is not whether restaurants will pass those prices on to consumers but when and how much. And the lowest-priced items on the menu are natural targets, since margins are already razor thin in most cases.
The Chinese search engine might have seen market share growth peak, but the ad revenue keeps flowing.
The metal's price has skyrocketed 28% this year, and one trader owns a huge chunk of it.
One trader owns 80% to 90% of the copper sitting in London Metal Exchange warehouses, The Wall Street Journal reports. That's about half of all the exchange-registered copper in the world, and it's worth about $3 billion.
Not a bad position to be in, considering that copper prices have reached record highs this week. On Tuesday, copper hit $4.2705 a pound -- an increase of 28% this year.
Bloomberg says Amazon could sell more than 8 million e-readers this year.
Investors want a better sense of how the Kindle affects Amazon's bottom line, and Bloomberg finally gives a glimpse. Amazon will likely sell more than 8 million Kindles this year, Bloomberg reports, citing two people who know about the company's sales projections.
That 8 million, by the way, far exceeds the 5 million that most analysts have predicted for Kindle's 2010 sales. One of Bloomberg's sources says that last year Amazon sold 2.4 million Kindles.
One observer gives his reasons for not wanting one yet.
One analyst predicts Apple (AAPL) will sell 6 million this quarter -- about half of them in the U.S. "It's driving the company toward what will probably be yet another blowout Christmas period," Arends writes.
But he says he doesn't want one because it will be cheaper next year. A new one is expected in April, and it's going to be better.
The Chevy Volt is where the IBM PC was 1981: an overpriced, bulky first step toward a new world.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Estimates for 2011 light-vehicle sales include 13 million by Morningstar analyst David Whiston and 15 million by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy. Ford sales analyst George Pipas says 2011 sales "will be above 12 million and perhaps closer to 13 million," according to The Detroit News, an increase from current year sales of about 11.5 to 11.6 million. Incidentally, Whiston puts 2012 sales at 18.5 million.
Whatever the exact numbers, the trend is obvious, given 2009 sales of 10.4 million, the lowest total since 1970. Automakers may not be at the center of the U.S. economy, as they were a few decades ago, but it is clear that few economic indicators are more important than consumer decisions to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle.
The markets want to know how the economy is growing, and experts are confident of an upward revision.
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The company is planning a 10-for-1 split, which will cut its share price dramatically.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Recent action saw a continuation of the steady selling that has persisted since the opening bell. The decline has unfolded in an orderly fashion with eight of ten sectors sliding in unison.
Only two groups have been able to avoid some the selling as consumer staples (+0.4%) and utilities (-0.4%) sit near their best levels of the day.
With the major averages pinned to their lows, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 15.04, +1.13) is higher by 8.1%, signaling ... More
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