Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.
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Remember, even when oil plunged by $100, very few long-term service contracts were canceled.
That's how it would be if oil were down $5 over five days. It would be wrong to take such strong-headed action. But it would be especially wrong after the bogus trading we saw in the last half-hour of the oil pits Monday.
We know stocks are trading thinly, and despite endless protestations that somehow high-frequency trading enhances liquidity-something -- which even the worst perpetrators would admit it doesn't -- we know manipulation simply can't be helped. High-frequency trading exacerbates all natural directions because there is no counterweight and because there are fewer and fewer players in stocks.
Starboard's stake in the big-box retailer is useful only to traders, not long-term value investors.
By Dan Burrows
So that's why beleaguered Office Depot's (ODP) stock is up 40% in the past week and about 73% in just September alone. Activist fund Starboard Value on Monday disclosed that it has built a 13.3% stake in the struggling retailer and intends to hold management's feet to the fire.
You might remember Starboard from some recent high-profile activism in AOL (AOL). The fund ultimately lost that proxy contest, but it's pretty clear that the pressure it brought to bear helped spur AOL to sell a billion-dollar patent portfolio to Microsoft (MSFT).
If Xi Jinping makes a few more appearances, China's financial markets can focus on reacting to moves by central banks and the direction of the global economy with one less distraction.
Shares are on fire since the retailer posted solid quarterly results.
By Zacks Equity Research
Shares of Dillard's (DDS) have hit new 52-week highs since the company posted solid second-quarter results on Aug. 8 that included a 29% earnings surprise.
Since its quarterly report, shares of this Zacks No. 1 Rank ("strong buy") company have escalated 12.5% to hit another 52-week high on Sept. 14. Moreover, with a robust stock growth (year-to-date return of 79.6%), strong results and a history of beating quarterly earnings estimates, this stock offers an attractive investment opportunity.
The rank driver
Better-than-expected quarterly earnings, healthy comparable-store sales, effective cost management and shareholder-friendly moves are the primary rank drivers for this stock.
The annual sandwich, which has a loyal fan base, usually appears on the chain's menus in October. This time, however, the company may delay the debut to juice holiday business.
McDonald's (MCD) is delaying the debut of the meaty treat this year to bump up its December sales numbers, according to a memo obtained by Advertising Age. Normally, McDonald's starts selling the sandwich in a short window from October to early November.
The company was originally scheduled to fire up the McRib marketing from Oct. 22 through Nov. 11, according to a memo to a national advertising fund for McDonald's operators, Ad Age reports.
The company's listing status might not mean much, as new additions do not always see great success.
Health insurance provider UnitedHealth (UNH) will become its sector's first representative in the prestigious Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU). The change takes effect on Sept. 24 when the venerable index parts ways with Kraft (KFT), the largest U.S. food company.
Being in the Dow is a nice feather in a company's cap and it can lead to a near-term bounce in the shares as fund managers indexed to the Dow are forced to acquire the new stock while selling the departing name.
As for how a new Dow addition performs over the long haul, that is a different story. The track record of the index's recent departures, particularly those not forced out because of the financial crisis, is mixed.
Don't be afraid of derivatives as some wooly concept. Use them to your advantage.
By Martin Tillier
I would wager that, before 2007, most mainstream investors had not even heard the word "derivative" other than as a dismissive description of a song or movie. During the financial crisis, however, the word was everywhere, usually with scare quotes.
There were articles, seemingly every day, claiming that derivatives were the problem. They were bad things, designed to take investors' money away and further enrich the fat cats on Wall Street. They were inherently flawed and always had been doomed. They should be banned. But market insiders put on their wry smiles and muttered to themselves, "This too shall pass." Overreaction usually looks ridiculous with hindsight.
Now that the hysteria has died down, it may be a good time to address a few basic questions.
The country is sitting on huge untapped shale gas reserves, and Shell senses opportunity.
One of the world's biggest energy companies, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) is planning to invest $1 billion per year in China's massive shale gas reserves. This natural gas, which has long been considered uneconomical to produce, has in the last decade captured investor attention due to a combination of cost effective modern drilling and extraction methods, such as fracking.
Earlier this year, China's resource ministry revealed that it had discovered 25.1 trillion cubic meters of untapped shale gas reserves, which could fuel the country’s current natural gas needs for 200 years. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has also confirmed that China has at least 50% more shale gas in its reserves than the U.S. does, officially.
Apple seems set to enter the fiercely competitive world of compact budget tablets, and would go toe-to-toe with Amazon and Google.
The iPhone 5 pre-sold a record 2 million units in its first 24 hours last week -- despite being labeled by some a disappointment. And now that Apple's (AAPL) latest mega-hyped smartphone has been unveiled, the technorati can focus on Apple's next big launch: A long-rumored, budget tablet which the tech press has nicknamed the iPad Mini.
Many customers simply can't afford Apple's pricey iPad (starting price: $500), and a smaller, portable, less-expensive tablet, which will reportedly launch in early October, would allow Apple to go toe-to-toe with cheaper rivals like Google's (GOOG) Nexus 7 and Amazon's (AMZN) newly revealed 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.
What would it take for an iPad Mini to be a hit? Here, five key factors:
The company sells a record 2 million-plus units in the first 24 hours of preordering.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) were pennies from the $700 mark all day Monday -- and finally surpassed it in after-hours trading -- as the company announced that it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s in the first 24 hours of preordering. That's twice the rate at which the company sold the iPhone 4S.
Apple's stock price reached a high Monday of $699.80 and closed the trading day at a record $699.78. In late trading, however, the stock climbed as high as $700.44. Investors were encouraged by news that the iPhone 5 is a smash hit, even though it was hammered by critics as being more of an evolution than a revolution.
This is great news for Microsoft and should be a golden opportunity to gain exposure and popularity among users.
Is it time to double up or to take some of those gains off the table?
Housing stocks have been on a tear -- at least in relative terms -- for months now, with the S&P index of homebuilders dramatically outpacing the broad S&P 500 benchmark.
A lot of those who take the bullish perspective on the group base their thinking on the numbers -- both current and historical. For instance, it's clear that the housing market is in its early stages of recovery -- and if historical comparisons are valid, the odds are strong that it will continue and strengthen. The inventory of single-family homes is at its lowest level in decades; the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University calculated back in June that it would take only six months to sell off all those homes at the then-current rate of sales.
Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart have transformed shopping in the past half-century.
Seeing big-box discount retailers lining the roads has become common. Fifty years ago, it was just a novel idea -- although still a popular one.
In fact, this year marks half a century since three of the biggest names in the business -- Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Sears Holdings' (SHLD) Kmart -- opened their doors.
The rest, as they say, is history. As USA Today reports, discount stores were responsible for only 42% of retail sales back in 1967. By 2010, that share had more than doubled to 87%.
They may explain why this market may stall out after its remarkable advance.
Deckers (DECK), which has been languishing seemingly forever after a bunch of misses, has now stabilized and is gapping up nothing, a sign that the perennial short may be worrying the bears.
The home-improvement chain didn't find enough customer interest in a country where it's more common to call in professionals to have work done.
In many countries, particularly densely populated ones, people don't have or want the huge garages and work benches filled with tools. When they want something fixed, they call a professional to have it done.
Such is life in China, and Home Depot now finds itself in the unpleasant position of closing all seven of its big-box stores there and cutting 850 jobs.
"China is a do-it-for-me market, not a do-it-yourself market, so we have to adjust," Home Depot spokeswoman Paula Drake told Reuters.
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Tighter regulations and the end of a lengthy bull market in bonds have changed the landscape forever.
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