The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
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Dow companies with cash stockpiles offer safety amid political uncertainty and Fed manipulation.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
Stricter regulations in response to the subprime-mortgage crisis and the ensuing recession have painted Democratic leaders as anti-business. Further, ObamaCare and the threat of looming tax increases have aided a Republican resurgence. The GOP needs 39 seats to reclaim the House and oust Nancy Pelosi as speaker. Some analysts predict a 60-seat swing in Republicans' favor.
Jobs and the federal deficit are voters' top concerns, polls show. And fear of harsher regulations has made businesses hesitant to hire. Moody's (MCO) data indicate that S&P 500 ($INX) companies are sitting on $1 trillion in cash.
Restructuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may become nearly impossible if Republicans split or even win the legislative branch.
By Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet
Since Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) were seized by the federal government in September 2008, lawmakers, with a few exceptions, have remained surprisingly mum about what will become of them. The Obama administration has promised to deliver a plan for the future of housing finance a few times but ultimately put it off until next year.
Restructuring Fannie and Freddie in any meaningful way would be difficult enough with one party dominating Capitol Hill. Now, with polls predicting that Republicans will at least split the legislative branch -- if not take it over -- it may be completely impossible to restructure the government-sponsored entities.
Apple's iPad won't be the only tablet under the tree this year. HP's Slate, Amazon's Kindle and Samsung's Galaxy Tab are poised to pose a challenge.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
There are, however a few challengers that may also end up under the tree, helping to keep Apple from collecting all the proceeds from the tablet giving season.
One would think that the market was teeming with tablets, given all the hype lately. But so far, the list of available tablets is short, though not unimpressive: Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) Slate, Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and the Apple iPad.
The automaker's public offering could be the feel-good, make-money story of the year.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
We're lost in the miasma of the election, the Fed and the coming labor report, and no one can blame us. But right around the corner is an IPO that could ignite as much interest in the market as we have seen in years: that of General Motors.
The GM public offering is kind of like the U.S. Olympic team in 1980, the Miracle on Ice: a feel-good story, except that you get to make money from it. That's right, I believe the deal is going to be a smashing success. The key questions are who is going to get it and how can you get in.
It is not just pricing that matters, although I believe the government is going to throw it to the good guys, meaning the buyers. There's also actually a strong investment case out of China.
The season will be huge for the tech giant, a fund manager says.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
Just because everybody around is using a cell phone does not mean the mobile Internet wave is over. And the same goes for the bullish move in technology stocks, says Channing Smith, fund manager for the Capitol Advisors Growth Fund (CIAOX).
The $22 million fund, which garners three stars from Morningstar (MORN), is up 8.5% over the past year, putting it in Morningstar's 44th percentile versus its peers. Over the past five years, the fund has returned more than 3% annually, better than 70% of its rivals.
Welcome to TheStreet.com's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views on the market in a five-question format.
Smart phones running on Google's operating system continue to gain momentum in the US market.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
Sales of Android-based smart phones accounted for almost 44% of U.S. sales during the third quarter, according to research firm Canalys, up from 34% in the prior quarter. With new Android phones, such as Motorola's (MOT) Droid Pro and the Verizon (VZ) Fascinate swarming onto the market, Google's mobile OS is going from strength to strength.
Apple also enjoyed a strong quarter. The tech giant overtook Research In Motion (RIMM) as the top individual vendor. The iPhone maker accounted for 26.2% of the U.S. market, up from 21.7% in the prior quarter. RIM's share dropped from 32.1% in the second quarter to 24.2% in the third quarter despite the recent launch of the BlackBerry Torch.
It's time to end the media's fascination with the Oracle of Omaha, who, despite claims to the contrary, does love publicity.
By Gary Weiss, TheStreet
It is the only season that lasts 12 months a year. You can't swing a cat around a financial news organization nowadays without snaring somebody writing about Warren Buffett's portfolio. Usually it's along the lines of "What is Warren buying?" But lately there is a hush, and a sad pang can be heard reverberating across the prairie. Warren Buffett is considering a successor!
So with reverence more appropriate for the papal succession than a glorified hedge fund, there is one article after another about the Apparent Chosen Successor, a Florida hedgie named Todd Combs.
Not all technology funds are the same. Some hold small caps, while others buy abroad.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ), the biggest technology exchange-traded fund, has risen 20% since the end of August, almost twice as much as the broader S&P 500 Index ($INX), powered by an increase in the shares of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG).
But investors in tech ETFs could have gotten bigger gains elsewhere. PowerShares QQQ Trust's underlying index is the Nasdaq-100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial securities listed on the namesake exchange. Rival ETFs, for instance, load up on Internet stocks and Chinese shares. Some tech ETFs trailed the PowerShares QQQ Trust, which has more than $20 billion in assets.
TheStreet explored technology ETF alternatives with the help of experts Tom Lydon, editor of ETF Trends, and Christian Magoon, CEO of Magoon Capital.
Earnings and Tuesday's midterm elections will affect a number of exchange-traded funds.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchange-traded funds investors should watch this week.
It's sweeps week for the media ETF as a number of firms hailing from the fund's index gear up to announce their quarterly earnings performance. Companies include Sirius XM (SIRI), Time Warner (TWX), News Corp (NWSA), and DIRECTV (DTV).
Technological developments such as the Apple (AAPL) iPad have helped various facets of the media universe expand their reach around the world as consumers increasingly seek out ways to receive constant exposure to both the printed word and visual media.
Time for a walk on the long side with gold and semiconductor funds.
By Jamie Dlugosch, InvestorPlace.com
Exchange-traded funds are the place to be.
This week is shaping up to be a very big week for investors. The election will set the tone, but probably more important will be news from the Federal Reserve.
The second round of quantitative easing is set to begin. Perhaps stocks have rallied in advance of the news, setting the table for a sell-the-news event. Then again, the infusion of new capital in the debt markets could push investors to take more risks in stocks.
Given positive earnings momentum and an easy-money central bank policy, the bias for stocks is upward, even if in the short run stocks may be a bit pricey. Add in a swing to the right politically, and the state is set for more gains.
The semiconductor sector is proving naysayers wrong, taking off on product cycles and worldwide economic strength.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Going into this quarter, one thing was pretty certain for the tech analysts: Semiconductor companies would disappoint. They would either fall prey to "the end of the restocking" angle or the "last good quarter" angle. They would disappoint, and numbers would have to go down.
Now, with the bulk of earnings behind us, we can see that, without a doubt, this most hated group has truly broken out. And in a way I haven't seen in many, many years. Not just quarters but years.
The move is taking everyone by surprise. In fact, it is doing more than that. It is upending a theme, one that has been with us for many years now: that the group is a cyclical nightmare, with a cycle that's never as strong as you can get from a Caterpillar (CAT) or a Freeport-McMoran (FCX) and therefore undeserving of any multiple. It's just a hated group.
Economic growth is weak, to be sure, but consumer spending is enough to keep the Fed cautious about quantitative easing.
The first estimate for third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth came in right on projections at 2%. That was up from the 1.7% growth rate in the second quarter, but below the 3% or so growth rate needed to cut significantly into unemployment.
Housing was the big drag on the economy. (Big surprise, right?)
Residential investment -- home buying to most of us -- fell 29% in the quarter. That more than offset a 9.7% gain in nonresidential investment. Nonresidential structures -- commercial real estate -- grew by 3.9% in the quarter, up from a drop of 0.5% in the second quarter. That's good news for the still beleaguered commercial real estate market (and the banks with big loan portfolios in the sector).
Yet another news publication says it has confirmation of a Verizon iPhone out early next year.
Fortune doesn't say exactly how it got confirmation -- though, ahem, it did interview chief executive Ivan Seidenberg in the same article. "People familiar with its development say it is a fait accompli," writes Sarah Ellison.
Since its launch, Apple's (AAPL) iPhone has been the exclusive domain of carrier AT&T (T) in the U.S. And users have howled, bashing AT&T's network as slow and buggy, dropping calls and fouling data speeds.
VXX shareholders will receive 1 share for every 4 held
Exchange traded funds and exchange traded notes seem to be in the news everyday, and today is no different.
The reverse split means shareholders as of the Nov. 8 record date will receive one share of every four existing shares in the exchange-traded notes.
The studio accuses the billionaire investor of playing a 'doubles game' on support for a potential merger with MGM.
This post comes from partner site TheWrap.
Lionsgate is suing Carl Icahn, accusing the billionaire investor of playing a "double game" in which he alternately claimed to support and oppose a potential merger between the studio and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The latest legal wrangling could influence a vote today by MGM debt holders over whether to accept a prepackaged bankruptcy plan that would see Spyglass take over the studio's management.
In a suit filed Thursday in New York federal court, Lionsgate claims Icahn was "secretly plotting" to use the merger as a way to amass a larger slice of MGM's debt and a bigger stake in the studio -- at a discount.
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The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the Tuesday session near their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) leading the slide. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% with nine sectors ending in the red.
Equities indices started the day with modest gains and spent the first two hours of action in the neighborhood of their flat lines. Although the early trade lacked clear sector leadership, that could have been overlooked due to the strength among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-0.3%), ... More
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