Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?
Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?

Some investment advisers are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow.


A light news day combined with heavy technicals weighed on the market.

By InvestorPlace 6 hours ago

Credit: © John Moore/Getty Images
Caption: Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 30, 2014By Anthony Mirhaydari

It was another nasty day for the market, with the major averages slammed into the closing bell to finish on the lows as the correction entered the third day.

Small caps led the way down, with the Russell 2000 down 7.5 percent from its July highs and down 3 percent for the year-to-date.

The Russell 2000 also recently suffered the indignity of a "death cross" -- when its 50-day moving average dropped below its 200-day average for the first time since 2011. While not a great market timing signal, it's indicative of just how serious the selling pressure has become.

That's news to most investors, given that the percentage of bearish respondents to sentiment surveys had recently dropped to levels not seen since 1987 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have both been flirting with record highs.


Bill Stiritz owns more than 5% of the company, and has experienced an estimated $145 million in paper losses on his investment.

By MSN Money Partner 11 hours ago
Credit: © Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Caption: William Stiritz is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 7, 2012. By Julia La Roche, Business Insider

Herbalife's (HLF) largest individual shareholder is in the red.

On Monday, shares of Herbalife tanked into Monday's close

The stock fell 10.31 percent to end the day at $40.21 per share on a false rumor that Carl Icahn was unwinding his position. The stock was last up about 7 percent on Tuesday.

Herbalife is a multilevel marketing firm that sells nutrition products like weight-loss shakes and vitamins. The company has been at the center of a huge hedge fund war for nearly 20 months.


The Obama administration's sweeping crackdown on tax benefits 'puts quite a bit of cold water over those deals,' says one researcher.

By MSN Money Partner 11 hours ago
Credit: © Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Caption: The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on a medication packageBy Hester Plumridge, Shayndi Raice and Alex MacDonald, The Wall Street Journal

A handful of companies that investors once viewed as ripe for takeover by U.S. rivals isn't looking so attractive early Tuesday, after the White House unveiled a sweeping effort at cracking down on the tax benefits of cross-Atlantic mergers.

The Obama administration moved Monday to rein in so-called inversions, a structure in which American companies have been buying mostly European rivals, but moving their headquarters overseas to benefit from lower taxes. 

U.K. and Irish companies have been particularly attractive targets because of their generally lower corporate tax regimes.

In recent months, several European drug makers have been approached -- like AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) -- or have agreed to deals -- for instance, Shire PLC.


Some investment advisers are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow.

By MSN Money Partner 12 hours ago
Credit: © Hong Wu/Getty Images
Caption: A general view of the Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou, ChinaBy Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch

Wouldn't it be ironic if this great bull market ended last Friday, on the occasion of Alibaba's (BABA) record-setting IPO, the largest in history?

More than a few of the investment advisers I monitor are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow and the Nasdaq's decline of more than 1 percent. Alibaba dropped over 4 percent on its second day of trading.

Those advisers point out that history's most significant market tops have often been accompanied by high-profile events that prompt the average investor to overcome any residue of skepticism they may be harboring.

Alibaba's coming to market was certainly high profile, as its incredibly successful IPO last Friday was page-one news all weekend, featuring pictures of hundreds of cheering Chinese investors who became instant millionaires.


The company debuts an adorably tiny video gadget and targets the lifestyle consumer.

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago
Credit: © Frank Augstein/AP

Caption: A model shows the new Polaroid Cube camerasBy Belinda Lanks, Businessweek

What better way to conjure the 1980s, Taylor Swift probably thought, than by using a Polaroid picture of herself as an album cover. Inside the album are 13 more vintage-esque photos. 

You could say that Polaroid is having its moment. Again.

This time around the brand is resonating with a generation whose parents experienced the first boom in analog instant photography. And now the company is trying to sustain that interest with the Cube (pictured), an adorably tiny HD action-video camera priced at $99 for kids who can’t afford a GoPro (GPRO), which can cost two to four times as much.


They have brought the market down and will continue to do so.

By Jim Cramer 13 hours ago

Oil gas flareThey are clobbering the darned thing, and we don't even know why. Oh sure, we can round up the usual suspects, but I think we have a big hangover from the Alibaba (BABA) party. The market is simply ripe for a pullback, due to the endless gains we have seen.

The phrase ''more sellers than buyers'' comes to mind on days like today, when there seems to be no buyers for most merchandise. We have almost no earnings to speak of, and the ones we do are not big enough to matter. But let's at least go over some of the proximate causes of the weakness, so we can get our arms around them and brace for more selling, after a real halcyon run.

First, the market was down big before it even opened, and the reasons are something we have to get used to. Let's tick them down. While the averages have been going up for some time, a difficult rotation has given us these positives. Investors have been fleeing certain sectors for some time, and we saw that exacerbated heavily today.

TheStreet.com logoMonday morning, when I woke at 4:30 a.m. EDT -- I slept in to celebrate the Eagles victory -- I was astounded to see comments from the Chinese government about how it was content with the slowing economy and may not feel the need to do more to stimulate the economy. Last week, the Chinese cut the equivalent of their Fed funds rate and injected huge reserves, both of which were very positive for their economy. However, no one seemed to have noticed. All we have heard is that the Chinese are done with stimulating for now.


A new study finds members of this global elite are stashing an average $600 million each -- 10 times more than a year ago.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 4:16 PM

Image: CEO © Mike Kemp, RubberBall, SuperStockBy Robert Frank for CNBC


Billionaires are holding mountains of cash, offering the latest sign that the ultra-wealthy are nervous about putting more money into today's markets.


According to the new Billionaire CensusCNBC on MSN Money from Wealth-X and UBS, the world's billionaires are holding an average of $600 million in cash each -- greater than the gross domestic profit of Dominica. That marks a jump of $60 million from a year ago and translates into billionaires' holding an average of 19 percent of their net worth in cash.


"This increased liquidity signals that many billionaires are keeping their money on the sidelines and waiting for the optimal moment to make further investments," the study said.


An improving economy has limited the demand for a traditional safe haven that hasn't looked safe for a while.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 3:42 PM

Image: Small Stack of gold ingots © Anthony Bradshaw/PhotographerBy Jeff Reeves for MarketWatch


Gold shined brightly at the beginning of 2014, with bullion prices jumping by about 13% from New Year’s Day until mid-March.


But since spring, and particularly sinceMarketWatch on MSN Money July, gold prices have been on the decline. Last week, the precious metal settled near lows not seen since Christmas 2013.


So should investors consider this sell-off as an opportunity to buy precious metals on the cheap? Or is gold really tarnished for some time to come? Sadly for gold bugs, it’s the latter.


There’s always a big argument for gold as the only alternative amid overpriced stocks, a weak U.S. recovery and a fragile dollar that will collapse at any time. If you want to make those arguments in the face of the facts, feel free to scroll down to the comments section and make fun of my receding hairline.


But for those interested in reality, it’s important to note how much those arguments have missed the mark over the past few years and how they ignore recent data to the contrary.


Chrysler, Honda and Toyota all count the family shuttles among their top-selling vehicles, while Kia is giving its new model a big push.

By TheStreet.com Staff Mon 11:08 AM

Honday Odyssey (c) Toru Hanai/Newscom/ReutersBy Jason Notte, TheStreet

The minivan not only isn't dead, but it's driving some big back-to-school sales for Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC) and Chrysler.

Often considered a boxy relic from the 1980s and the antithesis of "cool" by more discriminating drivers, the minivan was dropped altogether by automakers including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM). Those automakers who stuck with the family shuttle reaped the benefits as recently as last month.

TheStreet.com logoSales of the Toyota Sienna minivan jumped 4.5 percent in August to nearly 12,400 vehicles. In the entire Toyota stable, the Sienna is outsold only by the mid-size Camry, small Corolla, Tacoma pickup and Rav4 small crossover SUV. During the first eight months of 2014, the Sienna ran neck-and-neck with Highlander full-size SUV. In August, the Sienna outsold the Highlander as families headed back to school.


The company and its genuine CEO just may not be too good to be true.

By Jim Cramer Mon 10:14 AM

Alibaba headquarters at nightCall me humbled. That was my immediate reaction Friday morning when I met Jack Ma, the man who built Alibaba (BABA), the company that went public last week, into what may be the most lucrative fast-growing company (not just e-commerce company) on Earth at this very moment.

I didn't want to be humbled -- or awed, for that matter. I wanted to be skeptical, cynical even, as I figured this company's stock would be red-hot, perhaps too hot. And that's exactly what happened with its $92.70 opening -- a huge gap up from it $68 pricing.

I knew that such an opening would smack of the ridiculous premiums we have seen from the openings of the worst deals, not the best ones, meaning deals such as Facebook (FB), which so disheartened a whole new generation of potential investors and made them as sour toward the stock market as their parents have become. Or the dreaded "dot-bombs" from 1999 and 2000 that ended with such heartbreak as well as the losses amounting to trillions of dollars of hard-earned money.

TheStreet.com logoI wanted to express that you could argue that Alibaba's valuation is already too high, given the prospects of this company and the fact that it already has the market cap of Facebook even though it lacks the proprietary runway of that amazing company.


As geopolitical tensions threaten to spin out of control, investors are wondering how best to position their portfolios for the global turmoil.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 5:34 PM

Man reading newspaperBy Aaron Katsman, MarketWatch

I can't begin to tell you how many of my clients believe that we are approaching the end of the world. Well maybe not that extreme, but as the geopolitical situation the world-over spins out of control, investors are questioning how best to position their investment portfolio for the global turmoil.

MarketWatch on MSN MoneySyrian genocide, Iranian nuclear proliferation, radical Islamization of Iraq, ISIS and the strengthening of radical Islamist terror groups, Ukranian pro-Russian separatists shoot down a Malaysian airliner, massive but little reported human rights abuses in Venezuela, the sieve that has become the U.S. border and other issues — and let's not forget that the global economy hasn't rebounded from the financial crisis of five to six years ago nearly as strongly as anticipated.

Throw in daily headlines about how the U.S. stock market is so high a crash is imminent, and it's no wonder that investors are nervous. What should investors do?


The expected $3.36 billion offering from Citizens Financial Group won't come close to Alibaba's, but it will be an important one for the market.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 12:40 PM

A Citizens Financial Group Inc. bank branch in Boston. © Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Jeff Cox for CNBC


Investors will get a little time to catch their breath after Friday's record-breaking Alibaba trading debut, but not too long.


On the heels of what is the largest initial public offering on record, Wall StreetCNBC.com will be asked to digest what could be the largest bank or thrift IPO ever -- the expected $3.36 billion offering from Citizens Financial Group.


The Citizens IPO should price the week of Sept. 22, and while flying below the radar thanks to all the hype over e-commerce superstar Alibaba (BABA), it has substantial market implications.


Only one of these troubled companies is worth owning.

By Jim Cramer Fri 11:49 AM

In this Dec. 15, 2009 file photo, a customer enters a Rite Aid store in Detroit. (c) AP Photo/Paul SancyaHow could they have screwed up that badly? And is it terminal, or is a comeback possible?

Those are the questions I am asking about Sears (SHLD) and Rite Aid (RAD), which were both down badly Thursday. I have to tell you that while both deserve the punishment meted out, I think only one is worth owning.

First, Rite Aid screwed up again Friday morning. After having a terrific run off its bottom, Rite Aid has now made a series of miscues that are breathtaking.

Management totally got their pharmacy business wrong. Totally. They have now estimated incorrectly several times how much reimbursement they would get from the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) they work with. They also completely botched the schedule of drugs going generic to the point that they had to guide down immensely --10 percent -- from the previous guide down, which was not that long ago.

This calls into question how well they are running the pharmacy, and I think the answer is: quite poorly.


Lifting a page from its smaller rival's playbook, Facebook is adjusting its algorithms to prioritize posts about live TV, sports and other timely, trending topics.

By TheStreet.com Staff Fri 11:03 AM

Facebook mobileBy Jenn Van Grove, TheStreet

Facebook (FB) Thursday said it has updated its News Feed ranking algorithm to improve surfacing content that's relevant and timely for users.

The change is the latest salvo in Facebook's ongoing battle against Twitter (TWTR), as the social media behemoths swap strategies in an attempt to appeal to more advertisers, and give audiences both topical and timely content whenever they log on.

"We've heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show," Facebook engineers Erich Owens and David Vickrey wrote in an announcement on the change.


Traders might want to bite on BABA, but long-term investors have reasons to wait.

By InvestorPlace Thu 3:23 PM

Employees walk past a logo at the company's headquarters in China. (c) ReutersBy Tom Taulli, Editor, IPO Playbook

When the Alibaba IPO finally hits public markets on Friday, Wall Street will be privy to one of the largest offerings (if not the largest) in U.S. history. Shares in the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate, which will trade as BABA, are expected to raise more than $24 billion, which would represent more than half the proceeds for all offerings this year.

At this point, the Alibaba IPO is the darling of Wall Street. Everyone knows about it. Many investors are thinking about it. You might be, too. If so, the biggest question on your mind likely is, "Should I buy the Alibaba IPO?"

The answer? Well ... it depends.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on the defensive after spending the entire day in a steady retreat. The S&P 500 (-0.6%) posted its third consecutive decline, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.9%) slipped behind the broader market during afternoon action.

Equity indices were pressured from the start following some overnight developments that weighed on sentiment. The market tried to overcome the early weakness, but could not stage a sustained rebound, ... More


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