Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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Rough global markets led to $770 million in net outflows last month.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
The National Stock Exchange's new report on ETF flow data for May provides a wealth of information on investor preferences.
Overall, May was a trying month for investors. As the global marketplace ran into turmoil, investor interest in exchange-traded funds waned. For the first time in 2011, the industry saw net outflows. The $777 million in net outflows marked a dramatic shift from April, when there were $20 billion in inflows.
Industry leaders including State Street (STT), PowerShares, and BlackRock (BLK) witnessed the most staggering outflows, totaling $5.98 billion, $2.16 billion and $1.95 billion respectively. Smaller fund providers such as ETF Securities and Guggenheim ran into notable headwinds as well.
Some believe halcyon days will return after a few more deals.
By Tim Hanson
The past couple of years have been a fascinating and volatile time to be investing in Chinese stocks, but the past couple of weeks have shown definitively the challenges and opportunities in the sector. On the challenges side, there's the now well-known story of Longtop Financial (LFT), a Chinese financial software company that was once valued at more than $2 billion and owned by several high-profile investors. It said that its Big Four auditor, Deloitte, and its CFO were both resigning and that the Securities and Exchange Commission was beginning a probe into the company's accounting. This revelation comes after several short-sellers publicly called the company's numbers into question -- and were right.
Longtop is likely headed for delisting, a plight that has befallen several other Chinese companies that were revealed as alleged frauds thanks to sound short-side research.
It's not all bad
On the flip side, there was the announcement from China Fire & Security (CFSG) that it would be acquired by Bain Capital Partners, a reputable firm no doubt, for $9 per share -- a better than 20% premium to where the stock had been trading.
I hate being part of the consensus, but right now the view that the market will go flat before finding a bottom seems like the most realistic one.
Sometimes you have to own the fact that it's right to be grim about what is happening. I have long held that we need employment growth to sustain this remarkable rally that began in March of 2009. We aren't getting it.
I have long held that the government had levers to raise employment: easy policies by the Fed and stimulus by Congress. Those are over or about to end.
I thought leadership by the president could help create jobs, as we have seen with other presidents, notably Bill Clinton. That's been a definitive failure.
Four-dollar gasoline, the break point for 2008's economy, hasn't helped. The difference, of course, is that we are awash in oil, even before the OPEC meeting.
But the government seems unsophisticated, not seeing that oil has become like stocks, a necessary portfolio allocation, with the big difference that it's a small market prone to easy manipulation. We know that now from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's discovery that a couple of tiny hedge fund managers and a shipper were able to keep oil from coming to the market in 2008.
A Florida auction of some of the scammer's personal belongings raises about $400,000 for victims of his Ponzi scheme.
Hundreds of people showed up to check out items that authorities confiscated from Madoff's home in Palm Beach, the Miami Herald reported. For some, the auction was merely a chance to peek at the private lifestyle of the man whose massive Ponzi scheme took billions of dollars from investors worldwide.
Others wanted to buy what they considered a piece of history. And it seems that just about everything Madoff touched had some value to them, including a tin sculpture of a bull (appraised at $210, sold for $5,000) and a pair of leather chairs (appraised at $1,200, sold for $5,000).
ITunes Match will scan your computer for music and match the songs with its own versions in iCloud.
At its annual developers conference Monday, the company announced an upcoming service called iTunes Match that will search the songs on your iTunes and match them from its own library of 18 million songs.
So if you have a bunch of songs on your computer that you ripped from a CD or, ahem, obtained illegally, Apple will match them with the legitimate songs on its iTunes servers. And it will upgrade their quality, if needed, to 256Kbps and store them in the iCloud.
An increase could boost commodity stocks.
Microsoft will bring some version of live TV to its Xbox Live service, but the details are still to come.
With the announcement, it's clear that Microsoft is very serious about making its gaming system the entertainment center of the living room. The company also plans to bring YouTube to the console.
I'm not sure how earthshaking the news is. After all, the median age for broadcast audiences has climbed to 50.1 at NBC, 52.3 at ABC, 45.4 at Fox and 56 at CBS. The typical Xbox 360 player seems not to watch a whole lot of live network TV. But still, Microsoft is knocking down another content door for users. (MSN Money is a division of Microsoft.)
These stocks with rising analyst expectations have both short-term gain catalysts and longer-term growth potential.
By Jonas Elmerraji, Stockpickr
Market strength has been seriously lacking in the first week of June, as the biggest single-day drop of 2011 last Wednesday complemented a similar economic-data-induced dip on Friday. The abundant supply of shares doesn't bode well for investors right now -- especially as the S&P 500 ($INX) flirts with the 1,300 support level, which has been hotly watched by traders for the past few months.
Even though stocks are on shaky ground right now, there's still a way to seek out upside potential. The key is to look for sentiment strength. To do that, we're turning once again to a new set of Rocket Stocks to bet on Wall Street's favorite plays right now.
For the uninitiated, Rocket Stocks are companies we think have short-term gain catalysts and longer-term growth potential. To find them, I run a quantitative screen that seeks out stocks with a combination of analyst upgrades and positive earnings surprises.
Analysis: As the Fed's stimulus winds down, international and domestic risks will spell stormy seas for stocks.
By Peter Leeds, TheStreet
Even with $600 billion in stimulus money from round two of quantitative easing, job growth has been virtually stagnant (9.1% unemployed), consumer sentiment has fallen (61% in May from 72% in March), and now Reuters is predicting a double dip in home prices.
It is clear that QE2 kept the struggling economy on life support but did little to revive it. As it ends on June 30, don't expect smooth sailing for the markets, as myriad of international and domestic risks will conspire to weigh on stocks.
With the Federal Reserve's fiscal stimulus ending, an economic vacuum may be left in its wake. The 600-point drop in the Dow over the past month has shown us that we are already beginning to witness the fallout. In fact, QE2 may have done little besides dilute the purchasing power of the dollar and spark domestic inflation.
The correction is not yet complete, but some favorable buying opportunities may pop up soon in this high-risk, high-reward sector.
- Related reading: Gain an Edge with Volatility Analysis
These stocks are cheaper than ever. Here are some compelling reasons to buy.
By Sean Williams
It's not really a surprise that small-cap and mid-cap companies have generally outperformed large caps over the past decade, but that outperformance is rapidly increasing.
Over the past five years, the SPDR S&P 500 Trust, an ETF that tracks perhaps the broadest measure of large-cap performance, rose a mere 12%, while ETFs tracking the S&P Mid Cap 400 and Russell 2000 returned 31% and 18%, respectively. More interestingly, this divergence didn't become readily apparent until after the stock market lows of March 2009. Following one of the largest lessons of our time on regulating risk after the near-collapse of the U.S. banking system, are we to believe that investors once again have an insatiable appetite for risk? I'm not inclined to believe so and feel that we could be on the verge of a major shift away from small and mid caps and back toward large-cap outperformance.
Funds tracking the Internet, dividend payers and solar energy are worth a look in rough market conditions.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
More social-media companies are preparing to follow in the footsteps of LinkedIn (LNKD) and go public. Late last week the chatter centered on Groupon and Pandora after the two announced their IPO valuations.
Facebook and Zynga were also in the news last week after reports that Will Danoff, the manager of the Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX), had acquired a stake in the two companies.
As I've explained in the past, it's best to be on the sidelines with respect to these social-media companies. FDN, however, provides investors with exposure to well-established online entities and will likely benefit from the added attention these upstart companies have generated.
Staying cautious can keep you one step ahead of the market
Poor economic news, including a weak jobs report, pushed stocks over the brink last week. About the only silver lining for investors was low volume, at least at the start of the holiday-shortened weak.
Imagine where we might go with a full lineup of traders ready to pounce on the slightest bad news. Sentiment has clearly shifted to the negative. Not even strong corporate earnings have helped.
The focus is on the future, and the market does not like what it sees. What the market needs now is a dose of good news. The most likely timing of that news is when second-quarter earnings are released, but that does not happen until July.
Keep your powder dry until then. On the long side the ETF to buy this week is the dividend play PowerShares Dividend Achievers (PFM)
The company will likely provide details about its MacBook Air and iCloud service. Look for an appearance from CEO Steve Jobs, too.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
It's the first WWDC in four years that doesn't focus on the iPhone, which is likely to be upgraded this fall. Instead, Apple is expected to show off a few gems like new versions of its Mac OS and iPhone iOS 5 software, a possible update to its MacBook Air, an inspiring performance from co-founder Steve Jobs, and the long-awaited unveiling of iCloud, a service that could help transform Apple.
The keynote to these annual developer events is usually a consumer-focused showcase for Apple's latest innovations. It's the annual big show of the cards by the company that has far and away the hottest hand at the tech table.
Here's what's on tap:
It feels like we're waiting for something good to happen with this market -- but do we even know what's good and what isn't?
Fair characterization? I think so. It is almost as if we are sitting here waiting for stocks to go down every day until something good happens, but it seems nobody knows what's good and what isn't.
For example, do we want oil prices to go down? I would say yes, absolutely. But I think these days if oil goes down, that will send rates lower, which will then confirm the worst of the slowdown fears.
We certainly wanted the dollar to go lower for the longest time, and we were happy when it was going lower, because Europe got its act together. But then Europe's act fell apart, and then we fell apart, and now we don't even know if the CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) -- the best measure of the tension -- goes higher when it was really all we needed to know not that long ago.
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The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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