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Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

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Over the past 5 years, these funds have returned 3% annually as the S&P 500 has dipped into the red.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 12, 2011 1:59PM

Image: Global (©Maciej Frolow/Brand X/Getty Images)By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Struggling to protect their assets, investors have been turning to world allocation funds. The funds have the flexibility to dodge trouble spots and invest in promising stocks and bonds around the world.

 

During the past year, investors have poured $24 billion into world allocation funds, according to Morningstar. That was a striking showing at a time when many stock funds suffered big outflows. Steady performance has been attracting the inflows. During the past five years, world allocation funds returned 3% annually, while the S&P 500 ($INX) dipped into the red.

         

Some of the most popular world allocation funds make sudden tactical moves, emphasizing emerging markets one year and U.S. bonds the next. But many funds in the category shift only slowly. The aim is to deliver steady results and not necessarily call every market move.

 

Ted Weschler favors consumer-discretionary, financial and telecom companies that generate lots of cash.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 12, 2011 1:08PM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) has a new fund manager to help oversee its $50 billion investment portfolio. Some of his favorite stock picks are DirecTV (DTV) and W.R. Grace (GRA).

 

Berkshire Hathaway said Monday that Ted Weschler will join the company early in 2012 after he winds down his Peninsula Capital Advisors hedge fund. Weschler and Todd Combs, who was added to Berkshire last year, will each manage a portion of the equity portfolios of Berkshire's insurance subsidiaries.

 

"With Todd and Ted on board, Berkshire is well-positioned for successor investment management at the time Mr. Buffett is no longer CEO," Berkshire said in a statement Monday.

 

Risk is elevated on 4 Nasdaq leaders, but all are strong outperformers that could lead the market's next rally.

By MoneyShow.com Sep 12, 2011 1:01PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Last week's ugly close sets the stage for the completion of the flag formations that I discussed last week. In very early trading on Monday, the E-mini S&P 500 futures were trading down over 17 points and had broken the support of the flag formation. A close below this support will set the stage for further selling this week.


The technology sector, as represented by the Nasdaq 100 and the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ), is acting much better than the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Tech stocks have rebounded further from the August lows and may be able to hold those August lows while the other major averages break to new lows.

 

A fund manager who successfully bid for a pair of private dinners with the Oracle will now work at Berkshire Hathaway.

By Kim Peterson Sep 12, 2011 12:45PM
Want to get a job with Warren Buffett? Buy him dinner a couple of times -- and spend $5.25 million in the process.

That's what happened to Ted Weschler, 50, who was the managing partner at the Peninsula Capital Advisors hedge fund.

For two years in a row, Weschler has been the anonymous bidder who won a private dinner with Buffett. 

Here are some exchange-traded funds that offer opportunities, and a few that have been struggling.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 12, 2011 11:04AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (EZA)

 

This South Africa ETF has staged an impressive comeback after struggling in August, and it's once again trading around pre-sell-off levels. The fund's multi-week ascension bodes well for its momentum positioning. EZA has witnessed a climb across both our short- and long-term rankings.

 

Sweeping macro concerns facing the developed world could prove to be a hurdle for emerging nations like South Africa. Nevertheless, EZA may be exciting to watch in the days ahead.

 

The biggest wealth builders in the months ahead will be solid brands that deliver big revenues to shareholders.

By InvestorPlace Sep 12, 2011 10:56AM

By Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com


August was agonizing, to say the least. The volatility-laden indexes have scared the heck out of investors, and now everyone is asking the same question: What am I supposed to buy now?


Well, one option is to follow Warren Buffett into banking stocks. Buffett -- via Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) -- just plunked down $5 billion for a stake in Bank of America (BAC), which immediately prompted investors to start looking at the industry.


I have respect for Buffett, but you shouldn't follow in his exact footsteps on this one. Buffett got a special preferred-stock deal on Bank of America that other investors can’t get, boasting a great 6% dividend. You're better off picking other stocks than B of A -- but keeping the Oracle of Omaha's focus on plump dividend yields. 

Prices slide as ugly headlines drag world markets lower, prompting investors to sell the metal to cover losses elsewhere.

By Jim Cramer Sep 12, 2011 10:31AM

Gold © Comstock Images/Jupiterimagesthe streetBy Alix Steel, TheStreet

 

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

 

Gold prices fell Monday as global markets sank on fears of a Greek default, prompting investors to sell gold to cover losses in stocks.

 

Gold (-GC) for December delivery dropped $46.20 to settle at $1,813.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold traded as high as $1,865.20 before dipping as low as $1,811.10, while the spot gold price was shedding $48.30, according to Kitco's gold index.

 

Silver (-SI) prices shed $1.40 to close at $40.21 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was rallying 0.4% at $77.52.

 

Wild headlines have had investors buying gold as a safety hedge but also selling the metal to cover losses elsewhere as global markets tanked. And there were a plethora of bad headlines Monday.

 

Let's get this over with soon so we can see what things look like when the smoke clears.

By Jim Cramer Sep 12, 2011 9:05AM

jim cramerthe streetAt least it is no longer complicated. We know a European Lehman is upon us. Or, more like it, a European Lehman-Bear-Merrill-Washington Mutual-Wachovia-Citigroup.

 

That's the first proposition.

 

Second, we know that "they" have no plan to deal with it.

 

Third, we don't even know who "they" are anymore. Is it the Germans? The French? The IMF? The European Central Bank? Trichet?

 

Fourth, it is now too late for the banks to raise capital. As you recall, when the ratings agencies strike, it very quickly leads to Lehman. The banks can't get short-term funding, and they collapse.

 

More falling would not be surprising next week, but we're unlikely to see a repeat of August's panic selling.

By MoneyShow.com Sep 9, 2011 9:22PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


After a seesaw week, stocks were punished on again Friday. The action was even worse than what we saw before Labor Day weekend.


This time the financial media reported that stocks were lower because of Obama’s job plan, the surprise resignation of Germany’s top representative on the ECB’s executive board, and worries over a default by Greece.


From a technical standpoint, last week’s action just completed the rebound from the August lows. The sharp drop after the Labor Day weekend caused further deterioration in the technical outlook.


The mid-week rebound—in reaction to a sharp rally in the German Dax index—created another good selling opportunity. The German market was boosted when their constitutional court rejected lawsuits filed to block Germany’s participation in the Eurozone rescue funds. Thursday’s lower close set the stage for Friday’s drop.


If the key support levels are violated early this coming week, it is likely to trigger another wave of selling—but I doubt it will have the panic qualities of what occurred in August.

 

The country's official inflation rate may have peaked, but the markets may need more time to be convinced.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 9, 2011 6:06PM
Jim JubakChina’s official inflation rate fell to 6.2% in August from 6.5% in July, according to data released Friday.

It’s too soon to say that July’s 6.5% marked the peak in inflation for this cycle, but nonetheless the drop to 6.2% is good news for those investors waiting for an end to the People’s Bank of China’s war on inflation. That war has led to five increases in China’s benchmark interest rate in the past year, and persistent fears that the bank’s monetary policies would crash economic growth.

China’s economic growth rate is projected to slow to just below 9% this year, and then drop to 8.3% in 2012.

China’s central bank last raised interest rates in July, and the bank increased reserve requirements most recently on Aug. 27. The one-year lending rate stands at 6.56%, and the interest rate paid on bank deposits at 3.5%. The
country’s largest banks are required to keep 21.5% reserves after the latest move.
 

Be cautious owning Best Buy in advance of its earnings report on Tuesday

By Jamie Dlugosch Sep 9, 2011 5:40PM

There is a tremendous amount of noise in the market that can influence stock price. Ultimately, the value of a stock is based on the present value of future profits.

 

When a company reports earnings results, market participants receive a key piece of information that can be used to determine the price of a stock. For a brief moment in time after a company releases its operating performance, the market will adjust pricing based on how the numbers match up against current expectations.

 

In many cases stocks of companies reporting results will move significantly higher or lower.

 

Understanding how investors use earnings against Wall Street estimates creates a profitable trading opportunity. Using a few key variables combined with understanding how the market will react to new information can guide you how to trade a stock in advance of the news being reported.

 

Use the Earnings Predictor to help you identify winning trades. On Tuesday Best Buy (BBY) reports earnings for the quarter ending August 31, 2011.

 

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, here are five stocks that play a critical role in our national security.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 9, 2011 3:56PM

stockpickrBy Jamie Duglosch, Stockpickr

 

In a few days, we will commemorate 10 years since the tragic events of 9/11. Having been in New York then, I will certainly never forget. That day changed the world forever.

 

In the aftermath, an entire category of stocks dedicated to homeland security emerged from within the defense industry. Investors now can select specific stocks of companies that play a critical role in our national security. Osama bin Laden may be dead, but the threat still exists. As long as it does, there is money to be made from the efforts to keep us safe.

 

It's a good thing, too. With a national debt that is out of control and an economy teetering on the brink of a double-dip recession, stock-picking is exceedingly difficult. Where can investors go and know that growth and profits are likely to follow?

 

Consider homeland security stocks. In the greater story of military and defense stocks, investors need to brace for cuts. That is less the case with homeland security. Nobody wants to be accused of cutting spending there if and when another terror event occurs.

 

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? 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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