Energy boom makes oil a safe haven
Oil becomes a surprising safe haven

The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.


Sales are suspended for repricing as gold soars.

By Kim Peterson Aug 11, 2011 2:41PM
The price of gold (-GC) has soared so high that the U.S. Mint took the unprecedented step this week of halting the online sale of gold collector coins. The coins were back within a day at a higher price.

These are the gold numismatic coins sold to collectors, not the gold bullion coins sold to investors, the Mint told Reuters.

The problem was that the market price for gold bullion was fast approaching the price of gold collector coins. The U.S. Mint has the right to stop collector sales when that happens, but that apparently has never happened, at least as far as anyone can remember. 
Tags: gold

As stocks flirt with losses of 20% or more, many observers are calling for the end of the March 2009 uptrend. Here's why they're wrong.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Aug 11, 2011 1:07PM

It's been a brutal few weeks. Stocks at home and abroad have been pummeled by the combination of fresh recession fears and financial panic. Instead of focusing on solid second-quarter earnings or a slowly improving jobs picture, all eyes were on sovereign debt concerns and the rising potential of two disaster scenarios: a default by the U.S. Treasury and a breakup of the eurozone.


As a result, a number of major stock averages have fallen more than the 20% technical guideline used to define new bear phases. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index is down more than 22% from its high. The iShares Transportation (IYT) is down nearly 21%. Markets in Brazil, France, Germany, China and India have also crossed the 20% threshold.


Yet mindless terror is now giving way to a more reasoned analysis as stocks whipsaw near their lows. The surge of buying in U.S. Treasury bonds proves America still issues the reserve asset of choice and retains its haven status. And a big drop in Spanish and Italian bond yields shows that European policymakers are serious about ring-fencing their problems.


This is the bottoming process I've been waiting for. And it's a sign that the time to start buying up stocks at deeply discounted prices is nearly here. Here's why.


One enterprising designer is turning the convicted fraudster's old pants into pricey tablet covers.

By Kim Peterson Aug 11, 2011 12:48PM
Credit: (©
Caption: iPad cover made from a pair of pants once owned by Bernie MadoffAfter Bernard Madoff was jailed for perpetrating one of the biggest investment frauds in history, the U.S. Marshals Service auctioned his belongings to raise money for the victims.

And now what once covered Madoff's rear end can protect your iPad.

Introducing the Bernie Madoff collection at Frederick James, a designer that makes iPad covers from "rescued" and vintage fabrics. Frederick James won 16 pairs of Madoff's pants at an auction in 2010 and turned them into iPad covers selling for between $250 and $500 each.

For $350, you can get the Ralph Lauren Polo blue khaki pants cover

Even after sharp recent declines, the chart patterns show that four of the most prominent global bank stocks still have more downside potential.

By Aug 11, 2011 11:58AM
By Tom Aspray,

As if the US debt-ceiling debacle and credit downgrade wasn’t enough, now the market has shifted its attention to rumors swirling in Europe about the solvency of several large banks and even an entire country.

France has come under the gun, as it has invested heavily to help prop up Italy and Spain, putting its own credit rating at risk in the process. Though the French banks received most of the attention, it is important to look at some of the other major global banks.

By applying basic chart projection techniques, we can get a better idea of whether this is the beginning or the end of the slide.

It's a good time to buy stocks at current depressed levels. Here's a start.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 11, 2011 11:47AM

By Jamie Dlugosch, Stockpickr


In September 2008, I wrote that it was not too late to sell stocks. With the market in the middle of a sell-off, that article went against the grain of popular opinion. I was proud of the result. The S&P 500 ($INX) ultimately lost 39% between September 2008 and March 9, 2009, when the market hit its low.


I bring this to your attention as we attempt to deal with the current market environment. Should investors sell? Should investors buy? Should investors buy gold? These are legitimate questions, to which many people are desperately seeking answers.


Despite recent volatility, the Oracle has maintained his faith in the US economy and a long-term investment approach.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 11, 2011 11:39AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


The past week's gut-wrenchingly volatile market action has stoked fears into the hearts of even the most confident investors. One individual who appears solidly set in his bullish ways, however, is Warren Buffett.


On a number of occasions, I have commented on the Oracle of Omaha's unwavering optimistic view of the ongoing global economic recovery. Using a variety of mediums including New York Times op-eds, shareholder letters, and sit-down interviews, the billionaire investor has attempted to ease investor fears, arguing that the world's largest economy still holds promise over the long run.


As investors have clamored and panicked following Standard & Poor's' credit downgrade and renewed concerns over the European debt crisis, Buffett has once again taken to the stage in an effort to quell fears.


Orders miraculously pick up, giving the company and investors a sense that the worst of the tech spending slump might be over.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 11, 2011 10:46AM

the streetBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet


Cisco's (CSCO) surprisingly strong earnings and solid outlook sent its stock soaring and pulled other tech names up with it.


In a possible signal that there is light at the end of the dismal spending tunnel, the network equipment giant boasted that order growth had returned for the first time in a year.


The unexpected optimism sent Cisco shares up 15% in early trading Thursday, helping to lift the Nasdaq ($COMPX) almost 3% and boosting peers like Juniper (JNPR) and tech giants like Microsoft (MSFT), which were surging 7% and 3%, respectively. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)


"The key takeaway is that things have likely stopped getting worse, even if the company is still facing competitive threats," Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum wrote in a note Thursday, upgrading Cisco to a buy.


A portfolio of master limited partnerships that yields roughly 6% is there for the asking.

By Jim Cramer Aug 11, 2011 9:07AM

jim cramerthe streetSomeone listened to the Federal Reserve chief, who gutted any opportunity to make money in Treasurys, and went and got some yield.


That's the only explanation that I can come up with for the incredible resurgence in master limited partnerships Wednesday. On a day when the Dow ($INDU) tanked more than 500 points, almost all were up, as witnessed by the moves in Enterprise Products Partners (EPD), Markwest Energy (MWE) and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP).


I don't care that I sound like a broken record about yield, but a portfolio of master limited partnerships that yields roughly 6% is there for the asking. These MLPs are amazing in their comebacks, as anyone who bought Linn Energy Limited Liability (LINE) the other day, catching a monster move, knows.


You just caught a four-point move from the $32 level simply focusing on yield, or focusing on insider buying, which is aggressive in LINE.


Buffett and other top investment experts believe in America over the long term -- and you should, too.

By InvestorPlace Aug 11, 2011 6:51AM

By Jeff Reeves, Editor,


Warren Buffett isn't too worried about the recent market mayhem or the big, bad S&P downgrade. And as you watch your own portfolio gyrate wildly, it's worth remembering seven simple words from the Oracle of Omaha: "It's never paid to bet against America."


Yet if you turn on the TV, you will find plenty of fund managers in $5,000 suits who argue the opposite. Buy gold, short Treasury bonds or the dollar, prepare for the worst! So who is right?


The answer lies in your point of view. Many Wall Streeters view the market day to day, minute to minute. And there's a very good chance we will see things stay rocky for a while. But the good news is that things will turn around -- and may do so faster than you think, based on the words of Buffett and other investment experts.


The tech giant ends the trading day as No. 1, beating Exxon Mobil in terms of market value.

By Kim Peterson Aug 10, 2011 5:37PM
Apple (AAPL) made its official debut as the world's most valuable company Wednesday, booting Exxon Mobil (XOM) from the top spot at the market close.

Apple was headed for the top spot Tuesday, only to be foiled by Exxon in the afternoon. That changed Wednesday, when Apple finished out the day with a stock price that fell 2.8% to $363.69 -- giving it a market value of $337 billion. Exxon shares tumbled 4.4% to close at $68.03, making its market cap $331 billion. 

The opportunity of panic.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Aug 10, 2011 4:17PM

By Morgan Housel


After Standard & Poor's downgraded America's credit rating Friday and the stock market lost itself entirely Monday, everyone's emotions are running high. Mine have gone like this. When news of the downgrade hit, I thought, "Eh, no big deal." In April, S&P gave 50-50 odds of a downgrade if last week's debt-ceiling deal didn't cut $4 trillion from future deficits. The deal didn't. So who was surprised? After I read why S&P made the downgrade, I became annoyed. After Monday's 600-point bloodbath, I'm now angry. You should be, too.


Who am I angry with? Washington. By S&P's account, they are the sole reason the nation's credit was downgraded. Few sensible people think the U.S. lacks the economic means to pay its bills. Push comes to shove, and taxes can be raised or money can be printed. These create a litany of other problems, but they invariably solve a debt problem. America can pay its debts.


The real roadblock is the political acid that gets in the way of our debt management.


The company's recent quarter wasn't that bad, but the overall market drop is adding to the stock's woes Wednesday.

By Kim Peterson Aug 10, 2011 3:31PM

Updated: 7:27 p.m. ET


Investors punished Disney (DIS) Wednesday, sending shares down 9.1% on concerns about the economy. The stock ended afternoon trading at $31.54, and was only slightly higher after hours.

Disney was the biggest loser in the S&P 500 today, and that's saying something. The problem for the company was that it reported quarterly earnings Tuesday that didn't seem that bad on the surface. But get a little deeper into the numbers and there were problems galore.


The central bank's promise of further action is only enabling investors.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 10, 2011 2:51PM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreet


The Federal Reserve has turned into the ultimate pusher, and quantitative easing is the drug that investors want badly. The question now is whether any good would come of allowing the central bank to continue to enable the markets.


Witness Tuesday's dramatic sell-off following the latest statement on interest rates, which was followed by a dramatic surge into the closing bell and an equally dramatic plunge at the open Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which rocketed higher by more than 250 points in the last half hour of trading Tuesday, gave back that gain and more.


The agency is under the microscope after downgrading the US credit rating. After its spotty track record, should its opinions matter?

By Kim Peterson Aug 10, 2011 2:48PM
It's been nearly a week since Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating, and the agency is still receiving plenty of criticism.

Is it warranted? Should we trust S&P, which, along with other ratings agencies, maintained Enron's top AAA credit rating even as the company spiraled toward bankruptcy? By S&P's standards, Enron was more likely to pay its debts than the U.S. This is the same S&P that slapped a perfect rating on those mortgage securities backed by high-risk loans that helped plunge the U.S. into financial crisis.

Politicians and regulators have jumped all over S&P for its actions, saying the agency's track record clearly shows it's out of its league when it comes to understanding debt.  

Hundreds of new locations are planned worldwide. Even amid global economic woes, the strategy makes sense for this reinvented company.

By Kim Peterson Aug 10, 2011 2:16PM
There used to be some intersections in this country where you could stand and see two, or even three, Starbucks (SBUX) locations nearby.

That was before Starbucks saw its real-estate bubble crash when the U.S. economy turned. The company closed 900 stores, effectively tossing its ambitious expansion plans in the garbage.

But old habits die hard. Starbucks is revving up again and will open 300 new locations this year and next, MSNBC reports. But wait, aren't we on the verge of another recession? Oh, stop worrying and go get a Caramel Macchiato. 


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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -0.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: flat. U.S. equity futures continue to drift near their flat lines, which has been the case for the duration of pre-market action. The S&P 500 futures have spent the past two hours in a two-point range and have not made a move larger than five points at any point during the night.

The lack of overnight movement reflects the lack of market-moving developments overseas. Domestically, the early action ... More


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