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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Firming economic data and a recovery in the credit markets are helping stocks push off of their worst oversold condition since the late 1990s.
Well, isn't that better?
Stocks, commodities and other risky assets blasted higher Tuesday, thanks to a batch of good economic data. Inflationary pressure -- one of the main reasons for the market sell-off over last the past two months -- is beginning to abate because of lower energy prices. Retail sales were better than expected. And inventories remain very tight, setting the stage for a production rebound in the second half of the year while businesses restock their shelves as the economy re-accelerates.
This is a welcome change after the S&P 500 lost 7.7% from its May 1 high and settled into one of the worst oversold situation in decades. Breadth is blowing out, and by all indications, the rebound is the real deal and should continue. Here's why:
The lawn and garden company eyes medical marijuana as a potential business opportunity.
Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) is definitely interested in medical marijuana. And why not? The company's premium topsoil, plant food and weed killers could find new customers among marijuana growers.
It's an opportunity that chief executive Jim Hagedorn can't pass up. "I want to target the pot market," he told The Wall Street Journal. "There's no good reason we haven't."
Check out the following video interview for more about Hagedorn's comments.
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A strong lineup of brands will help the company claim more than 40% of the at-home coffee-drinking market, one analyst says.
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Already the clear leader in the single-serve coffee market through the success of its Keurig brewing system, Van Winkle said he raised his market share expectations for Keurig from 15% to 25% and then to 30%, but sees the one-cup brewer garnering upwards of 40% market penetration "given the strong line-up of brands available and further innovation lying ahead."
He specifically mentioned the Dunkin' Donuts brand of K-Cups -- single-serve pods used to brew a cup of coffee with the Keurig machines -- as a way Green Mountain is making gains towards deeper market share.
The cable giant will allow customers to use video calling through their television sets.
By Joe Deaux, TheStreet
Comcast said its customers would get an adapter box, a high-quality video camera and a special remote that could channel surf and send Skype texts.
"Exact pricing is still being worked on, but we plan to offer the equipment and service at a low monthly rate," said Peter Dobrow, a Comcast spokesman, in an email.
"TV has evolved into a social experience, and Comcast and Skype will be delivering a product that personalizes the TV experience even more, and brings friends and family together through the biggest screen in their homes," said Neil Smit, Comcast Cable president.
US carriers collected $3.4 billion in baggage charges and $2.3 billion for reservation changes last year.
The biggest fee hog was Delta Air Lines (DAL), which led the industry in fees for both categories, Reuters reports. In fact, Delta collected more than 20% of the entire industry's total. American Airlines, owned by AMR Corp. (AMR), came in second. You can see the full list here.
Check out the following video report about the fees.
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Investors who buy the metals in the current environment take a big risk, as the charts predict further declines.
Buffett's company is approaching book value.
By Morgan Housel, The Motley Fool
You can't go back in time. If you could, investing in any number of cherry-picked companies would solve most people's present-day financial problems. Ah, if only.
The next-best thing? Buying good companies at valuations even investors with a time machine couldn't.
That's where Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) shares sit today.
How Berkshire should be valued is a regular matter of debate. It isn't a normal company, so some normal valuation metrics lack relevance. Many of Berkshire's investments generate no net income yet still reward shareholders handsomely.
These managed funds offer a more nuanced approach to navigating an uncertain sector.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Until recently, commodities stood out as a popular destination for many investors as sweeping global market strength helped propel the prices of metals, agricultural products and energy sources along seemingly uninterrupted upward paths.
Over the past few weeks, however, commodities have stopped moving in unison, calling into question this full-steam-ahead mentality. While some resources such as corn are powering toward record highs, others, such as nickel, are facing substantial headwinds.
This shift has not gone unnoticed and, as the Financial Times pointed out last week, many commodities investors are adjusting their investing approaches to better deal with this type of environment. Rather than diving headfirst into commodities, many are opting for a more tactical approach. Such a strategy better ensures that they are able to zig and zag along with the fluid commodities landscape.
Everything is falling into place for the abundant domestic fuel -- except Washington.
These days, Chesapeake is typically in the news only when the story is about the CEO pay of Aubrey McClendon. I think it should appear in the news for being the biggest driller in this country. That's right. The biggest. It's the second-largest holder of natural gas in the country, and it is one of the top petroleum producers. It is at the forefront of every single shale, and it is trimming its debt and doing all the right things, including this first dividend boost since 2008.
The confidence this dividend boost shows is terrific, because if Chesapeake were too stretched in its campaign to lower debt and drill more oil wells, it wouldn't take this action.
Bank lending and the money supply have slowed. Will industrial production follow suit?
The social-networking site could see its valuation rocket to more than $100 billion in the first quarter.
We could see the IPO sometime in the first quarter, managed by Goldman Sachs (GS), and the deal could value Facebook at more than $100 billion. That's more than Amazon's (AMZN) $84 billion value and three times that of Target (TGT).
Facebook has tried to ignore all the IPO chatter for years, with its executives playing cool anytime they were asked about it. But we saw a hint that the IPO gears were turning last month, when the company's chief operating officer said such an event was inevitable.
CNBC has more information on the possible IPO in the following report.
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401k and IRA investors can protect themselves and find profits despite recent market turmoil.
Over the past few months, mutual fund investors have been painfully aware that the U.S. economy has been running out of steam. A sure sign of this was disappointing jobs data for May, and the recent losing streak for stocks has driven the point home further.
Unfortunately for 401k investors, the slowdown may persist for some time. After all, there will continue to be budget tightening on Capitol Hill as well as many cash-strapped states. Low real estate prices will hurt confidence and consumer spending. Oh, and the American consumer is still weighed down by large debts.
So how can investors deal with such things? Well, there are certain types of funds that should actually do well during tough times. So let’s take a look:
Three former investing superstars made the wrong bets in the bank and automaking sectors. With video.
The funds run by investing hotshots Bruce Berkowitz, Kenneth Heebner and Bill Miller have hit rock bottom. They're the three worst performers among large diversified U.S. mutual funds, Bloomberg reports.
The funds have lost 11% to 12% through June 9, crushed by the 3.4% gain that the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) showed. It wasn't hard for some stocks to beat these guys this year. Kellogg (K) rose 11%. Starbucks (SBUX) gained 8%, as did Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). IBM (IBM) rose 13%. Even Wal-Mart (WMT), which is slumping under mismanagement and the economy, is break-even year to date.
The following video analyzes these stock pickers and their failures.
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The charts show that several of tech’s big names have more room to fall before reaching technically oversold levels. Two in particular may begin to lag the S&P 500.
There are many reasons to be skeptical about the recovery, but my recent White House visit showed some signs of hope.
Last week, I was part of a group of 25 financial journalists who took part in the White House's first Personal Finance Online Summit. We asked dozens of questions to top-ranking economic officials and had the privilege of a brief Q&A with President Barack Obama.
There are many reasons to be skeptical of the Obama administration. I've pieced together the most compelling reasons to worry in my recent article about ways Obama is inspiring panic, not confidence. But the truth is, the White House is making great strides in some areas that may surprise you:
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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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