Stocks have rallied 177%, and while calling a top is the easiest thing to do, it might not be the most accurate, Cramer says.
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The economic downturn is taking a toll on these mainstays.
It has been ugly on Wall Street lately. Investors are spooked, consumers have prepared for the worst and businesses remain defensive. The Greek debt debacle is stealing recent headlines, but don’t fool yourself — persistent problems of high joblessness, a battered housing market and huge losses at financial firms continue to take a toll on the entire global economy.
While the big picture still is unfolding, there are a few stories for particular players that are rapidly approaching an unfortunate end. Victims of both the general downturn and of specific troubles related to their businesses, these iconic American brands are about to disappear.
Unlike in years past, there are multiple product rumors and stories swirling around the cult tech stock. Here are the top 5 to watch.
The world is on the edge of its seat again as we approach yet another landmark Apple (AAPL) launch. It's a little later than the previous summer splashes reserved for the latest iPhone -- the iPhone 5 -- but has just as much fanfare.
And for several reasons, the unveiling could be the most important event in the history of the iPhone since the first big reveal in 2007. One easily could argue that Apple has a lot more riding on this launch.
Here's what's at stake:
Are we headed into recession? A few nuggets of positive news could signal stronger-than-expected growth.
AMR Corp. leads a wide sector slump on concerns about the economy and corporate travel budgets.
The panic button got a workout Monday. Shares of American's parent company, AMR Corp. (AMR), plunged 33% to close below $2. Investors are worried that the airline sector will suffer even more as the economy sputters and companies cut travel budgets.
Analysts at Citi cut ratings Monday for two other airline stocks: United Continental (UAL) and US Airways (LCC). Those stocks plummeted as well, by 12% and 16%, respectively. But it was AMR that took the most damage.
Bank of America customers experience 2 straight business days of website problems.
Updated: 5 p.m. ET
As if Bank of America (BAC) needed any more problems.
What first looked like a technological hiccup has turned into ongoing website issues for the bank. Some customers can't access their accounts, the bank is on the defensive and the stock price hit a new 52-week low Monday, closing down 9.6% to $5.53. The stock price has fallen below $6 for the first time since the financial crisis.
For two business days now, the bank's website has given users a short warning: "Some of our pages are temporarily unavailable. Thanks for your patience."
Fund investors seeking exposure to gold should consider holding a mix of bullion -- via an ETF -- and mutual funds that invest in gold miners.
By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreet
So far this year, gold prices have climbed 14% to $1,662, while precious metals funds have dropped 15.7%, according to Morningstar.
The performance is unusual because most often the funds rise along with bullion prices. Fund portfolio managers offer several theories about what has caused the poor returns.
Utilities funds were among the only gainers as the stock market rout gathered steam. Here are 5 utility stocks that led the sector.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
U.S. stock mutual funds that invest in a diverse array of companies turned in a shameful performance last quarter, as none -- that's right, none -- made money.
Among funds that buy mainly U.S. stocks and use no leverage or short positions, only three sector-specific funds eked out gains from the beginning of July to the end of September, according to research firm Morningstar: Icon Telecommunications & Utilities (ICTUX), up 1.9%; Franklin Utilities (FKUTX), up 1.7%; and Invesco Utilities Investor (FSTUX), up 0.3%.
The stock market rout gathered steam last month on concerns that the U.S. economy is slipping into another recession and Europe's debt burden will sink more banks and lead to a further decline in global corporate profits. In September, materials stocks fell the most, by 13%, followed by energy at 10% and financial services at 8.3%, according to Capital IQ. Utilities shares were the sole sector to rise, by 1%.
Investors should look for defensive trades in this shaky market. Funds tracking China and silver could be due for more wild swings.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.
In the second week of October, Alcoa (AA) will provide what many market watchers consider the bellwether earnings report of the season. However, in the days leading up to this event, there will a handful of companies representing the industrials and agricultural sector that will report ahead of the aluminum giant.
For instance, Monsanto (MON), an agricultural powerhouse, will report its quarterly earnings along with its outlook on Wednesday. ETF investors looking to target this firm should turn to the equity-backed MOO.
Designed to provide investors with exposure to the largest and most recognizable companies in the global agriculture industry, MOO sets aside ample exposure to companies like Mosaic (MOS), Deere (DE) and Potash of Saskatchewan (POT). Monsanto is the fund's largest position, accounting for 8% of its portfolio.
High volatility and downside risk mean caution is warranted in advance of potential buying opportunities.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
September was a rough month in the markets, and the wave of selling last Friday did not help. The S&P 500 was down 7.2% in September and 14.3% for the quarter. For the year, the Dow Transports are down almost 18%, which looks pretty good when compared to the KBW Bank Index, which has lost 32.3%.
Commodity traders were also hit, as a surprising crop report pushed corn and wheat limit down in Friday’s session. Even gold was not immune, as the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) lost 11% in September, though it is still up close to 14% for the year.
Electronics resellers are seeing a surge of activity in anticipation of Tuesday's launch.
By Olivia Oran, TheStreet
The student and part-time AT&T (T) employee from Sacramento, Calif., had traded in his iPhone 4 to an online reseller called Gazelle, which offered him $300. He plans to use the funds to purchase Apple's fifth generation smartphone after its launch on Oct. 4.
"I'm an Apple nerd," Zwolinski said. "I deal with phones all day every day and constantly see problems with other phones, but not the iPhone."
Companies like Caterpillar and Honeywell have yet to see a slowdown in demand, yet their stocks are like hot potatoes that no one wants to hold on to.
Here's a piece I don't want to write. Industrials seem determined to replay 2008. It doesn't matter that things are much better for them. It doesn't matter that there is ample credit around the world, something that crushed them the last time around.
It doesn't even matter that none, not one, of the industrial stocks I am close to -- Honeywell (HON), United Technologies (UTX), Cummins (CMI) or Caterpillar (CAT) -- have seen a slowdown. They all get whacked.
This endless decline is playing havoc with the performance of anyone who is trying to keep pace with the averages. Owning them has been anathema to making money.
In anticipation of the warehouse store's earnings, it's worth noting there's much more to its stock than low prices.
Costco (COST) is America's largest wholesaler by revenue and is watched closely by investors and consumers alike as a sign of how the economy is doing in general. If folks flock to Costco for deals in bulk, it's probably not good news for most family budgets. If Americans spend more on name-brand and upscale products instead of the no-frills items at Costco, it's a sign consumers have more money to burn.
Here are three reasons Costco is beating Wal-Mart:
A disturbing retail report and a jump in inflation in Europe led to renewed fears for investors Friday.
One major movie studio has said it will stop footing the bill for 3-D glasses next year. So who picks up the cost?
Sony Pictures Entertainment has said it will stop paying for 3-D glasses by next May, and other studios are likely considering the same thing, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It can cost a studio as much as $10 million to provide 3-D glasses for each blockbuster movie.
So who's going to pay for those glasses now? The burden shifts to theater owners, and they're not happy about it at all. Regal Entertainment (RGC), which saw its stock price drop more than 8% this week, warned studios this week that it may show fewer 3-D films as a result.
Here's why gold and silver prices are falling, and why there's reason to believe they will rise again.
By John Browne, TheStreet
Fall officially began on Sept. 23, but it's not just leaves that are cascading downward. In the few market days of the new season, precious metals prices have seen significant drops, some 11% for gold and 31% for silver. In its lurch downward, gold plowed through support levels at $1,750, $1,700 and $1,645 an ounce. I'm sure many readers are concerned.
After all, by the time gold put in its recent peak on Aug. 22, it had logged a stunning 44% appreciation in calendar year 2011. And even after its recent tumble, the metal is still 22% higher than it was on Jan. 27, the 2011 low. Therefore, some may conclude that gold has further to fall, and that the descent could be steep.
Given this anxiety, it might be helpful to summarize some factors we see impacting prices. Emotions loom large in the financial world, and it is easy to lose one's focus during periods of uncertainty. From as rational a perspective as I can gain during these irrational times, here is my view on why precious metals have recently pulled back so violently:
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 added just over a point, holding its weekly gain at 1.0% while the Nasdaq lost 0.4%.
The major averages began the day on an upbeat note, but relinquished their opening gains during the first 90 minutes of action. The early sentiment was boosted by a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K), but a closer look into the report suggested that ... More
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