The US isn't strong enough not to care about them now. But one day it will be, Jim Cramer says.
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The precious metal may be building a base for the next rally, although folks who don't already own it may be best served by waiting a little longer.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The $54 decline in the February Comex Gold contract Thursday took the futures to two-week lows, while SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) lost 2.5%. The rather steep decline did not seem to drive headlines like it would have a few months ago.
Most analysts seem to be pointing to the drop in crude oil prices and the firmer U.S. dollar for gold’s decline. Another factor may be the missing $600 million in MF Global customer funds, which has jarred the confidence of futures traders around the world.
The investor surprised many with his IBM purchase. But a number of tech stocks actually have very Buffett-like characteristics.
Warren Buffett caught the investment world's eye this week, revealing that Berkshire Hathaway(BRK.A) has been building at least a $10 billion position in tech giant IBM (IBM) over the past few quarters as well as a smaller stake in Intel(INTC).
The moves were a surprise to many, since Buffett has long resisted tech investments, preferring instead to target firms with simpler, easy-to-understand businesses. In Berkshire's 1999 letter to shareholders, he explained his tech-sector reticence this way:
While investing heavily on projects to stimulate domestic natural gas demand, the producer has also been moving to increase higher-margin liquids production
With gas prices forecast to remain in the doldrums for the short- to medium-term, Chesapeake has launched a two-pronged strategy to tackle the low margin environment.
A flat or smaller US defense budget would hurt these contractors.
By Lindsey Bell, TheStreet
Defense-industry stocks such as General Dynamics (GD) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) may suffer a double whammy if Congress fails to pass a budget for the Department of Defense and the so-called supercommittee trims costs.
FBR analyst Patrick McCarthy said there's a chance the Department of Defense may operate under a "continuing resolution" next year, meaning funding would remain little changed or fall. That's never happened before.
Forgoing bonds for high-yield stocks amid the current volatility isn't as safe as you might think.
By Jeff Brown, MainStreet
With interest-bearing accounts paying practically nothing and bonds paying little more, many income-oriented investors are turning to dividend-paying stocks. But a fresh look at the numbers shows investors tread this path at their peril.
"More than $18 billion has poured into the Lipper Equity Income category . . . through September 2011, the largest amount of cash flow of any Lipper equity fund category year to date," the Vanguard Group reported earlier this week. "This seems to suggest investors may be looking beyond bonds in search of income."
That's about 10% above current market prices.
Dunkin Brands Group (DNKN) is a franchisor of quick service restaurants and operates globally through both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brand names.
Currently, Dunkin' Donuts' U.S. segment contributes the most to the company's revenues, with approximately 70% share of gross revenues. Going forward, we believe its contribution will decline slightly and Baskin-Robbins International will emerge as the key driver for growth.
The ketchup king will be able to compete better with private-label brands.
In an effort to cement its position on the grocery lists of cash-strapped consumers, H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) will introduce a lineup of products priced between 99 cents and $1.99 in the current quarter.
According to a press release from the Pittsburgh company, the line includes a 10-ounce variety of Heinz ketchup in "innovative stand-up pouch packaging with a spout" (suggested retail price of 99 cents); a 9-ounce version of the Heinz Yellow Mustard found in restaurants (99 cents); new sizes of Heinz Worcestershire sauce and Heinz 57 sauce (around $1); Heinz Home Style Beans in varieties (priced above $1) and a 1-pound version of Ore-Idea French fries ($1.99).
With a steady climb in dividends, sales and earnings, these picks should do well in good times or bad.
In good times or bad, dividend increases make a difference. A history of dividend increases suggests a company possesses ﬁnancial fortitude and a commitment to sharing the wealth with stockholders.
We've found four standouts that have shown steady dividend increases, with three-year annualized growth rates of at least 9%: Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Dover (DOV), IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT).
The Germans appear resigned to an eurozone collapse, and they'd rather let the market dictate the destruction than risk hyperinflation.
There was always an assumption that the Europeans would do what is necessary to preserve the banks, the union and the countries that are a part of it.
The assumption seems to be unraveling before our eyes.
Citigroup analysts believe the retailer is developing a smartphone.
Amazon (AMZN) is gearing up for an absolutely Goliath holiday season. The National Retail Federation predicts online retail sales this holiday will grow 15% over the same period in 2010, when online holiday sales came to a whopping $36.4 billion. Considering that Amazon accounts for 20% of all online retail visits, the company should have a very green Christmas indeed.
The mobile chipset maker has an encouraging growth outlook, buoyed by unprecedented growth of 3G wireless networks, among other reasons.
By: Zacks Equity Research
Qualcomm (QCOM), the largest chipset manufacturer for mobile handsets, reaffirmed its long-term financial target of achieving 10% annual growth for its top line and bottom line until 2015.
Management cited several reasons for this encouraging outlook, including:
Europe's patience with Germany is wearing thin. How will this drama play out in the stock market?
The stock is still recovering from its first earnings miss in years. Apple needs to prove it can perform without Steve Jobs.
Lawmakers have millions of dollars invested in these big names.
Maybe this explains the silence: GE is the No. 1 stock investment for members of Congress, with 75 of them holding shares, according to CNBC.
The top GE investors were Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who was in for at least $1 million, and Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who was holding anywhere from $600,000 to $1.3 million in stock.
The stock is taking a beating on word that contract talks with a key pilots union have stalled.
The company's stock has fallen nearly 80% this year, mostly on concerns that labor costs and other contracts are becoming unmanageable. Shares were down some 6% Thursday on news that bankruptcy could become a very real possibility.
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Like many companies this winter, the fast-food giant blamed a drop in same-store sales on the weather. But could its problems be bigger than a snowbank?
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages began the new trading week on a slightly lower note with small caps leading the weakness. The Russell 2000 shed 0.3% while the S&P 500 slipped less than a point with six sectors ending in the red.
Equity indices began the day in negative territory with only the Nasdaq (-0.04%) making a very brief appearance in the green. After sliding through the first hour of action, the major averages reversed and spent the remainder of the session climbing off ... More
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