The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.


Early warning signs of weakening demand cast an ominous cloud over cellphone makers ahead of the holiday shopping season.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 9, 2011 3:08PM

By Scott Moritz, TheStreetTheStreet


An early chill has come to the mobile phone sector.


The biggest season for phone sales is just around the corner, and a heaping buffet of beefy Google (GOOG) Androids and an enticing Apple (AAPL) iPhone or two await. But the bountiful supply might not go with what appears to be a shrinking appetite among consumers.


Here are a few recent warning signs.


Alibaba Group should make a bid.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 9, 2011 2:36PM

By Tim Hanson


Four months ago, I said Yahoo (YHOO) was a buy below $17. The stock is since down 20%. But now underperforming CEO Carol Bartz is fired and the value of closely held Alibaba Group -- Yahoo's best asset -- is reportedly going up.


Combine those seeming improvements in the business with a falling stock, and this looks like a better buy than ever before. But is it? A few potential futures await Yahoo! shareholders, with some being better than others.


Possible future No. 1: The founder returns and soldiers on
Incredibly, Yahoo's board fired Bartz without any substantive succession plan in place and has yet to hire any counsel to aid in the search for a new chief executive officer. Meanwhile, CFO Tim Morse serves in interim purgatory. For a company already losing ground in U.S. search and online advertising, this is the worst possible scenario presuming the board intends for Yahoo! to remain an independent company.


Why did shares go up after the CEO resigned? Because investors got some much-needed certainty.

By Kim Peterson Sep 9, 2011 2:35PM
Steve Jobs resigned as Apple's (AAPL) chief executive on Aug. 24. Some observers expected the stock to plunge, but in fact the opposite happened.

Apple shares closed at $376.18 that day. Over the next week, shares would top $390 for three straight days.

Why? Jobs' absence will certainly be a huge blow to the company (though he's now serving as chairman of the board). How could investors be happy with his departure? 

The government has spent incredible amounts of money on homeland security over the past decade, essentially creating a new industry.

By Kim Peterson Sep 9, 2011 1:49PM
After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the government handed essentially a blank check to the military and other agencies fighting terrorism.

The spending that resulted was, predictably, out of control. Fighting terrorism became a huge money drain for the government and created a profitable industry for thousands of companies that sprang up around that effort.

Now there are federal 51 groups that track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks, according to the authors of the book "Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State." 

Stocks and crude oil have rebounded nicely from the early Tuesday lows, but the daily charts suggest that Friday’s action may be critical. Here are key levels to watch.

By Sep 9, 2011 12:55PM

By Tom Aspray,

Many of the major averages show similar formations, as the rebounds from the August lows have just reached strong areas of retracement resistance.

Though the stock-market averages and the ETFs that track them have not moved above last week’s high, crude oil did make new rally highs on Wednesday. As I discussed last week, crude oil and the Spyder Trust (SPY) often trace out similar chart formations.

Therefore, watching the key support and resistance levels on both, as well as some of the other key market averages, can often give you advance warning of a breakout in the other markets. If any of the key support levels are violated today it is likely to set the tone for next week’s action.


Just as soup kitchens drew the unemployed during the Great Depression, so cafes have become popular gathering and networking spots during the current downturn.

By InvestorPlace Sep 9, 2011 12:44PM
Image: Coffee (© HD Connelly/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Jaime Dlugosch,

The weight of last week's jobs report was simply crushing. We learned that exactly zero jobs were created in August, and fears of another recession are fast becoming a reality.

There are three stocks to buy in this environment: Starbucks (SBUX), Caribou Coffee (CBOU) and Peet's Coffee (PEET). The reasons for these buys might surprise you.

First, the big picture: The United States is experiencing a very traumatic economic event, characterized by persistently high unemployment and persistently high uncertainty. What began in 2008 with the collapse of the housing market and financial crisis has yet to reach its full course.

This is not the Great Depression, mind you. There are no shortages of food or Hoovervilles prompted by a homelessness epidemic. But the pain of losing jobs, homes and pay is very real in its own way.


The retail giant says its Vudu video service isn't looking to compete with the movie-rental company, but ultimately the two may go head to head.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 9, 2011 11:51AM

By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet TheStreet

Wal-Mart's (WMT) Vudu video service doesn't view Netflix (NFLX) as the competition. In fact, the retail behemoth believes it can work in tandem with the movie-rental giant.


Wal-Mart and Netflix are quintessential frenemies. In the past, they have seemingly worked side by side as long as neither encroached on the other's turf.


But with Vudu's clout growing at the same time as Netflix is making a few missteps, how much longer can they remain cozy?


The billionaire's emphasis on buying into solid companies with clear business models is a good long-term fund strategy.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 9, 2011 10:29AM

the streetImage: ETF investing (© moodboard/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreet


Although Warren Buffett has never sat down to pen an official autobiography, droves of the Nebraska native's fans and followers already know and take the investor's pearls of wisdom to heart in their own investing endeavors. Buffett's success has largely resulted from his skills as a stock investor, but ETF investors can still use his lessons to their advantage.


When it comes to planning an investing strategy, Buffett is famous for his interest in "boring" industries. Rather than diving into the latest fast-moving tech company or trying his luck with other risky companies and financial products, the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) chairman invests in those that boast easy-to-understand business plans.


This strategy proved particularly beneficial when, at the start of the new millennium, the investor was able to avoid getting caught up in a frenzy that ultimately led to the bursting of the dot-com bubble.


Honchos at these 3 companies have presided over tremendous growth. One stock would have turned your $1,000 into $20 million in less than 20 years.

By InvestorPlace Sep 9, 2011 9:25AM
Image: CEO holding money (©Image Source/Getty Images)By Jeff Reeves,

Bigwigs in corner offices have been on the move in recent weeks.

In the "tearful goodbye" category, Apple (AAPL) announced that iconic founder Steve Jobs is stepping down from his CEO role. In the "don't let the door hit you on the way out" category, Yahoo (YHOO) canned CEO Carol Bartz (via telephone, no less) with a year left on her contract. Even Regis Philbin said recently he will be retiring.

Where have all the great leaders gone? Allow me to offer these:


A promising CPI number in China is being tossed aside by bad data out of Greece.

By Jim Cramer Sep 9, 2011 8:58AM

the streetthe streetGood news: The most important consumer price index in the world, the Chinese CPI, went down, which makes it possible that the most important swing factor in world economics might be going from bearish to neutral.


Bad news: It doesn't matter, because it comes on a "world is ending" day in Europe, and the "world is ending" crowd has all the cards when it wants to play them.


We are not in an uncertain backdrop, despite what you hear. We are in a certain backdrop, as in "The euro will not hold, and some if not many European banks are going to fail."


It's odd to think about it, but the European chaos gets the better of us at all times, and it's a learning lesson that the important Chinese CPI number doesn't come near the importance of bad Greek data, because bad Greek data portend "the end of the world."


End of the world is the rock to the Chinese scissors.


The president's closely watched jobs plan represents a desperately needed push for growth.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Sep 8, 2011 8:24PM

The wait is over. After weeks of teasing and political bickering, President Obama finally delivered his speech to Congress proposing the kind of fiscal support the economy desperately needs to avoid falling back into recession.


Known as the American Jobs Act, and worth $450 billion, it's exactly the kind of economic support I discussed in a recent column urging Obama to spend more to keep the economy out of the ditch -- and to keep the deficit from getting even worse through flagging growth.


Highlights include an expansion of existing payroll tax cuts for middle class workers and the creation of tax cuts for businesses hiring new workers. Also included were plans to increase infrastructure spending on roads and schools. With the cost to be offset by reforms to the tax code and entitlement spending, Obama pushed hard for the plan -- which contains measures which have historically enjoyed bipartisan support -- to be quickly passed. 


Indeed, without the much maligned 2009 stimulus package the Congressional Budget Office believes the economy would already be contracting right now. With the economy stagnating near its stall speed, encumbered by negative pressures like the European debt crisis and the political circus that was the debt-ceiling fight, the stimulus plan is exactly the kind of thing we need to break the cycle of lowered confidence, reduced spending and investments, and ongoing job market weakness. Here's why, starting with a breakdown of the plan.


Strategic remarks by the European Central Bank's outgoing president give the bank room to maneuver.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 8, 2011 5:10PM
Jim JubakAs expected, the European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 1.5% Thursday.

But outgoing bank president Jean-Claude Trichet was unexpectedly vocal about weaknesses in the Eurozone economy, and the range of options open to the bank if the crisis worsened.

Trichet told a press conference in Frankfurt that the European economy faces "particularly high uncertainty and intensified downside risks." The central bank, he said, stands ready to add liquidity to the financial markets if necessary.

The bank cut its forecast for 2011 Eurozone economic growth to 1.6% (from 1.9%), and for 2012 to 1.3% (from 1.7%). The euro dropped below $1.40 on the news. The currency is now down 4% against the U.S. dollar for 2011.

Goldman Sachs first touts the donut maker, then slams it.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 8, 2011 4:36PM

By Dan Radovsky


Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) must be wondering what's going on when the company that underwrote its initial public offering a mere two months ago is yelling, "Get out!" at the top of its lungs.


Investors must be wondering, too. The share price, which had risen 42% since the IPO, started the day by falling almost 5% on the "sell" rating, before closing down 3%.


Goldman Sachs (GS), the fickle underwriter, opened the day with that downer rating, noting that Dunkin's core domestic business is "highly macro-sensitive against an uncertain economic backdrop." So what's changed? I don't remember the domestic macro-economic picture looking all that great two months ago, either, do you?


A change in copyright law may give musical artists the rights to recordings that are 35 years old.

By Kim Peterson Sep 8, 2011 4:28PM
Copyright law in the U.S. was changed in 1976 to give musical artists the rights to their work after 35 years. No one really thought much about it since then, but the issue is starting to heat up.

That's because the first group of albums affected by that change is hitting the 35-year mark. And soon, the rights to some pretty big recordings will go back to the artists who created them, Rolling Stone reports.

We're talking about classics like "Darkness on the Edge of Town" by Bruce Springsteen, "52nd Street" by Billy Joel and "The Long Run" by the Eagles. They were all created in 1978, and are eligible for termination rights from their record companies, writes David Browne. 

A firing gone awry, an outraged former CEO and an irate investor calling for heads. Yep, that's life at Yahoo.

By Kim Peterson Sep 8, 2011 2:11PM
Yahoo's (YHOO) recent actions have triggered a round of mud slinging and name calling unlike anything we've seen in recent history. Really, it doesn't get worse than this.

First, we have the underperforming chief executive, Carol Bartz. She was fired over the phone by the company's chairman. Over the phone. Ouch.

You just don't do that to feisty Bartz. 


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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +3.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.20. U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market highs amid upbeat action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover three points above fair value, which puts the benchmark index on track to challenge its all-time closing high of 1987.98 and the intraday high of 1991.39. Participants have received several quarterly reports since yesterday's close with results coming in somewhat mixed.

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