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Get your defensive plan ready

Indexes might not be in correction territory, but they're getting closer. Now's the time to consider what moves to make.

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If you think the market's due for a long drift downward, here's the investment for you.

By StreetAuthority 18 hours ago
Caption: Analyzing stock market from computer screen
Credit: © MicroWorks/Getty ImagesBy David Goodboy

"The times, they are a-changing."

Watching the stock market closely over the last week brought Bob Dylan's words to mind. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) plunged over 600 points in six trading sessions, and the high-flying Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) sustained its largest drop in over two years.

What's more, five of the 14 IPOs slated for the past two weeks postponed their launches due to the sell-off. The majority of this selling was by hedge funds slashing their risk exposure, according to The Wall Street Journal, sending shivers of fear into even the most hardened of stock market players.

This selling is different than what we witnessed in January. The January selling was triggered by the fear of a change in Federal Reserve policy and simple profit-taking. Last year's bull market prompted many investors to simply wait until January to cash in so they could delay paying taxes on their fat gains for another year.  

Could a pilot program with the London Police Department move the needle for the company?

By Motley Fool Investor Beat 18 hours ago
Taser International (TASR) stock was up nearly 3 percent Tuesday after the company announced a deal with the London Police Department to roll out a trial number of its AXON wearable cameras to officers throughout the London area.

Some 500 officers would each be equipped with a camera, which would upload a constant feed to cloud storage, ideally in the hope that it could reduce complaints, increase accountability, and reduce legal costs for the department. 

With an outrageous price tag for 'Digital Paper,' the company botches another promising product.

By MSN Money Partner 18 hours ago
Credit: Courtesy of Sony

Caption: Sony’s Digital PaperBy Brett Arends, MarketWatch

Sony Corp. (SNE) has done it again!

Once again, the Japanese electronics giant has come up with a terrific piece of new technology -- a breakthrough product that lots of people might want.


And then it has done its level best to strangle the product in its infancy.


A short while ago I sat down in Boston with Giovanni Mancini, director of product development at E Ink, and got an early peek at Sony’s new "Digital Paper" product (pictured). This is basically the closest anyone has yet come to a digital piece of paper.


It uses E Ink's new "Mobius" display and proprietary Sony technology. It is the size of a letter-sized piece of paper -- which makes its screen more than four times the size of a regular e-reader.

 

The company has made at least 4 acquisitions in the space, and few people have paid any attention.

By MSN Money Partner 20 hours ago
Caption: The Twitter logo is displayed on a banner outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 7, 2013 in New York
Credit: © Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesBy Jim Edwards, Business Insider

Twitter (TWTR) Tuesday acquired Gnip, a company that had access to Twitter's "firehose" of data and packaged it for resale to other companies that want to slice and dice it.

It's at least the fourth acquisition that Twitter has made in the data space, and few people have paid any attention to it. Everyone knows that Twitter is an advertising business, and ads make up nearly 90 percent of the company's revenue.


Twitter has actively played down the other side of its business, data licensing, warning investors in its SEC disclosures that it expects data payments to be a declining percentage of its overall revenue.

 
Tags: FBTWTR

The auto-parts retailer sees shares plunge 15% after reporting a bleak quarter.

By InvestorPlace 21 hours ago

Credit: © Paul Sakuma/AP
Caption: File photo of a customer leaving a Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack auto parts store in Hayward, Calif.By Christopher Freeburn


Investors hammered Pep Boys (PBY) stock on Tuesday after the auto-parts retailer reported disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter results.


Shares sank after the retailer announced it suffered a loss of 6 cents per share, which was worse than the 5-cent loss analysts expected. Revenue also was down, off 6.6 percent from a year earlier at $495.7 million, which was well below Street expectations of $535 million.


CEO Mike Odell said in a statement that while pricing for tires has stabilized, they're "still below last year's level, which has and is expected to continue to negatively impact top line sales results through the second quarter of 2014."

 
Tags: PBY

Until these overpriced stocks come down enough to attract acquirers, they could cause real problems.

By Jim Cramer 22 hours ago

Google (GOOG) has to buy TripAdvisor (TRIP). Facebook (FB) has to purchase Yelp (YELP). Amber Road (AMBR) needs to merge with Border Free (BRDR). Salesforce.com (CRM) has to acquire Workday (WDAY). Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) needs to buy Q2 Holdings (QTWO). Yahoo! (YHOO) needs to buy OpenTable (OPEN). Priceline (PCLN) has to buy AirBNB and HomeAway (AWAY). Zillow (Z) and Trulia (TRLA) need to merge. Veeva (VEEV) should have bought Castlight Health (CSLT). Amazon (AMZN) should have snared GrubHub (GRUB). McDonald's (MCD) should have nabbed Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES).


And none of these things are going to happen.


TheStreet.com logoAs I focus on all of these newly public companies and their recently debuted brethren, I don't think people recognize that so many of these names that hit the market shouldn't ever have hit the market if their businesses had been that good. They should have been purchased before going public.

 

The banking giant continues to report a tax asset that has some analysts concerned about potential future losses.

By TheStreet.com Staff 23 hours ago

A Citibank branch in Miami, Fla. © Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Dan Freed, TheStreet


Citigroup (C) continues to face scrutiny from analysts over a roughly $50 billion tax asset it has claimed ever since the crisis.


Known as a deferred tax asset (DTA), it represents tax credits Citigroup can use resulting from past losses. But in order to claim it as an asset, Citigroup needs to earn enough money to be able to use it over a 20 year period. If it can't, it has to take a loss. So if Citigroup can't use $20 billion of the DTA, that would mean losses of $20 billion--about what Citigroup earned in 2012 and 2013 combined. The Street on MSN Money


Citigroup drew criticism in 2009 for claiming such a large DTA, most notably from accountant Bob Willens of Robert Willens LLC and analyst Mike Mayo, now at CLSA. At the time, the figure stood at $46.1 billion. Today, even though Citigroup has earned $33 billion over the past four years through the end of 2013, the DTA has only grown. At the end of 2013, it was $52.8 billion.

 

Stock indexes might not be in correction territory just yet, but they're getting closer. Now's the time to consider what moves to make.

By Benzinga 23 hours ago

File photo of trader Anthony Carannante working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange © Richard Drew/APBy Charley Blaine


The stock market is getting whacked. The question now for many investors is what to do about it.


The first thing to do is to understand what's going on -- in part because simply saying the stock market is getting whacked doesn't tell the whole picture. Benzinga on MSN Money


So let's sketch that in and then decide whether to sell, sell a little, do nothing or buy.


First, the Dow Jones industrials fell 143 points on Friday to 16,027. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 17 points to 1,816 --and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 54 points to just under 4,000.

 

If you take a step back and look at the big picture, it's obvious that this 'hated' energy source still has loads of potential for investors.

By StreetAuthority Mon 4:57 PM
Image: Elevated view of freight cars with coal © Joseph Sohm-Visions of America/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy David Goodboy

In investing, it's easy to get carried away with chasing the latest trends and the newest companies. I've found another (and often more lucrative) way to go about finding the next big stock investment.

I call this method "the view from 50,000 feet." In it, I mentally take a huge step backward and look at the economy as though I've never seen it before.

This exercise enables me to see the big picture from the top down. My primary question: What themes have been consistent for more than a century? After the obvious -- food, water, shelter -- what other overriding theme has been at the forefront of economic growth? 
Tags: BTUKOL

The company could become a powerful force in online payments, rivaling Western Union and Moneygram.

By InvestorPlace Mon 2:54 PM

Caption: The 'Facebook' logo is seen on a tablet screen
Credit: © LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Tom Taulli


Within a few weeks, Facebook (FB) will likely get government approval in Ireland to establish an e-money institution (according to a report from the The Financial Times). It would allow the company's users to send money to other people, similar to what Western Union (WU) and Moneygram International (MGI) do.


And Wall Street seems encouraged by the news. In Monday's trading, FB stock was up nearly 3 percent in the morning but flattened out by midday.


Keep in mind that the company already has a payments business. But the focus is primarily for in-app purchases of virtual items and goods in games. To do this, Facebook allows acceptance of debit and credit cards, as well as eBay's (EBAY) PayPal.

 

The online portal reports earnings Tuesday, and analysts are looking for flat growth.

By Benzinga Mon 2:38 PM

Caption: Yahoo! Headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Credit: © SiliconValleyStock/AlamyBy Nelson Hem


Yahoo (YHOO), which announced that its most popular sites were promptly updated after the 'Heartbleed' bug was revealed last week, is scheduled to share its first-quarter 2014 results Tuesday after the closing bell.


Investors and analysts will still be looking for updates on the Alibaba initial public offering. Yahoo owns a 24 percent stake in the China-based e-commerce company. Also in focus: Yahoo's television programming efforts. Investors also will have an eye on such metrics as display revenue, ads sold, paid clicks and price-per click.


Analysts on average predict that Yahoo will say its revenue for the quarter totaled $1.08 billion, which would be about the same as in the year-ago period. Earnings of 37 cents per share are also in the consensus forecast. That would be down year-over-year from to a reported profit of 38 cents per share.

 

The Internet's giants are adding technology to get more of the world's population online.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 2:23 PM
A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission at the Naval Air Station Nov. 8, 2011, in Corpus Christi, Texas (© Eric Gay/AP Photo)By Alistair Barr and Reed Albergotti, The Wall Street Journal

Google (GOOG) said Monday it agreed to buy Titan Aerospace, a startup maker of high-altitude drones, as the Internet search giant adds more aerial technology to collect images and get more of the world's population online.

Google didn't disclose a purchase price for Titan, of Moriarty, N.M., whose solar-powered drones are intended to fly for years.


Earlier this year, Facebook (FBhad been in talks to buy Titan. But Facebook later said it was buying Ascenta, a U.K.-based aerospace company that has also been working on solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles, for $20 million.

 

The company says the safety burden unfairly falls on retailers rather than on manufacturers.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 2:05 PM
Credit: © Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Caption: A Wal-Mart supermarket in Loudi, Hunan Province, China
By Laurie Burkitt and Shelly Banjo, The Wall Street Journal

Over the past three years, Chinese authorities have fined Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) $9.8 million, sanctioning the retailer for using misleading pricing, selling poor-quality products and even peddling donkey meat that turned out to be fox.


Wal-Mart has increased testing and inspections. Food testers at Wal-Mart distribution centers in China check more than 600 products daily to catch flaws before the food is sent out to stores. After Wal-Mart found the fox meat labeled as donkey in January, the company said it would start testing its products' DNA.


But Wal-Mart is also doing something rare for a Western company: Telling Chinese authorities they need to clean up their own act.

 
Tags: WMT

Tha bank wins Wall Street's earnings game this quarter, but is it strong enough to invest in yet?

By Motley Fool Investor Beat Mon 1:40 PM
Shares of Citigroup (C) were up nearly 5 percent Monday, beating analysts' expectations for both the top and bottom line. Non-adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.30 compared with consensus estimates of $1.14, and revenue for the quarter was $20.1 billion, compared to an estimated $19.7 billion.

While this is definitely good news for the bank, Citigroup hasn't had an easy time of things lately. In this year's round of banking stress tests conducted by the Federal Reserve, Citigroup passed in terms of its capital ratios, but the Fed came down hard on the bank for its approach to managing risk, and denied the bank's requests to return more capital to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks. 
Tags: C

In a match of Wall Street swagger vs. Midwestern sensibility, a clear winner is emerging.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 1:26 PM
Caption: The J.P. Morgan headquarter in Canary Wharf in London. Credit: © Piero Cruciatti/Demotix/Corbis
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage center in Pittsburgh
© Gene J. Puskar/APBy David Weidner, MarketWatch

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) had a great quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) had a lousy one.

There are fundamental financial reasons why two of the biggest U.S. banks turned in such equally opposite results Friday. Wells Fargo is enjoying improving credit in its mortgage portfolio. JPMorgan suffered from lower trading revenue in its fixed-income, currency and commodities arm.


But in this post-crisis environment, there is a deeper division between the institutions that’s driving the bottom line. Culturally, these institutions could hardly be further apart. JPMorgan and its brash, risk-taking Wall Street swagger, Wells Fargo and its West Coast cool with roots in Midwestern sensibility.

 
Tags: JPMWFC

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[BRIEFING.COM] As expected, the major averages began the day on an upbeat note. The Nasdaq trades higher by 0.8%, while the S&P 500 sports an early advance of 0.6% with all ten sectors showing gains.

The energy sector (+0.9%) is an early leader as the group carries yesterday's strength into today's session. Crude oil, meanwhile, is higher by 0.8% at $104.58/bbl. Outside of energy, consumer discretionary (+0.8%) and technology (+0.8%) are also among the early leaders, while telecom ... More


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