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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With growth, credibility and compromise all gelling at last, this run is not done. I want to be in, not out.
You need three things to keep the rally going: confidence, as in confidence in the world's central bankers; growth, and I mean growth in all countries including the United States; and compromise, as in the certainty of a deal on unemployment benefits and taxes. By the way, the certainty of the compromise is, in a way, more important than the terms of the compromise.
Growth is the most important one because growth eliminates the notion of the Pyrrhic victory. If there is growth, then the central banks are not only not throwing good money after bad, they are abetting private-sector hiring that will lead to higher tax receipts at a time of government austerity.
Confidence? Last night I went to hear the great Stanley Fischer speak at a YIVO charity dinner where he was honored. Fischer, the incredible governor of Israel's central bank, is widely hailed as the man from the IMF who saved Asia in the 1990s.
Has investor sentiment changed regarding the dollar, precious metals and fear?
Important shift in the market yesterday. Maybe.
And it looks like the market is following through today.
Yesterday, as on most days recently, the dollar was up and the euro down on fears that the euro debt crisis is escalating. In recent days that's been a recipe for a decline in gold and silver, too, as the negative of the strength of the dollar outweighed the allure of these commodities as safe havens in the crisis.
Netflix users love to watch streaming videos, and all their usage comes at a price. Who will pay it?
Comcast (CMCSA) really has a problem with Netflix (NFLX). It's so irritated by the video company, in fact, that it's hitting Netflix where it hurts: in the wallet.
Before we get to the messy battle between these two companies, let's establish that Netflix is a huge bandwidth hog. Or, I should say, Netflix subscribers are, tying up Internet lines every night watching streaming videos online.
Netflix users suck up about 20% of downstream traffic between 8 and 10 p.m., reports say. And Netflix is just getting started; it only recently unveiled a streaming-only service for $8 a month.
At some point, quantitative easing will be followed by quantitative uneasing.
A bill in Congress would finally stop television ads from blaring at ear-splitting volumes.
Is it that hard to make advertisers turn down the volume? Apparently so, because even after decades of consumer complaints, the ads continue to one-up each other in a competition for your attention.
That's about to change, however, thanks to a bill in Congress that forbids TV ads from being louder than the programs that accompany them. The CALM Act (whose name stands for Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation) has been approved by the Senate and heads to the House for a vote this week, The Wall Street Journal reports.
As a deal with Kraft crumbles, Starbucks could purchase a company to sell its packaged coffee, ice cream and more.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
Starbucks (SBUX) is well-known for its model of ubiquity, with stores sometimes across the street from each other. But if the coffee king has its way, the Starbucks brand will be not only on every street corner but also in every grocery store aisle.
Recently that has meant an extensive line of new products -- including bottled drinks and Starbucks ice cream -- and a focus on its lower-priced Seattle's Best brand. But the biggest move is yet to come.
According to the CEO of Starbucks, the company is ready to make some pricey acquisitions to buy out other food companies and boost sales of bagged coffee and other consumer products outside its cafes and in grocery stores.
The iconic men's magazine releases its archive in digital form, with every issue from 1953 to 2010.
By Theresa McCabe, TheStreet
The digital archive has more than 100,000 pages of photos from 650 issues of the iconic publication over the past 57 years.
"Why would you let more than 650 of your favorite Playmates celebrate the holidays in a damp garage, stashed under your bed or crowded together in the basement when you can bring them all together beneath the mistletoe this year?" Playboy said in a statement.
Google Editions will be the storefront for the company's digitial publishing business, the latest in its wide variety of offerings.
Google (GOOG) wants it all. From Google TV to its recent rumored Groupon acquisition plan and even to alternative energy, there is no corner of the modern world that the technology company isn't looking to get its fingers into.
Pebblebrook has the means and expertise to snap up valuable properties.
Hotels have been a painful roach trap the last few years (investors check in, but they don't check out!). Alex Pape says all that pain has led to a great investment opportunity in cash-rich bargain hunter Pebblebrook. Enjoy your stay!
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor
If you like ugly, you're going to love my pick today.
There are plenty of suffering industries out there, but few more hideous than hotels. However, aesthetically beautiful but economically ugly hotels are Pebblebrook Hotel Trust's (PEB) bread and butter.
Analysis: International man of mystery Julian Assange appears to have a loaded publicity gun aimed at the bank.
In its latest perception battle, Bank of America (BAC) is up against an international man of mystery who appears to have a loaded publicity gun.
In just hours, he robbed shareholders of as much as $4 billion.
The man is Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and known for blockbuster data dumps that have humiliated top diplomats and allegedly put lives in danger.
The EU's fund to backstop financial markets sounded good, but it's ending up smaller than advertised.
The financial markets have started to do the math they should have done six months ago, and they don’t like what they’re seeing: The European Union’s much-vaunted financial backstop fund might not have enough money to rescue Spain, the numbers argue. That’s because the fund was never as big as advertised.
The realization that the attempt to paper over the euro crisis until 2012 or so isn’t very credible has savaged Portuguese and Spanish government debt today. As of noon the cost in the derivative market to insure Portugal’s government debt against default hit a record, and investors demanded the highest premium since the euro began to hold Spanish 10-year bonds instead of their German counterparts.
The euro itself dropped to a 10-week low Tuesday and was at $1.31 Wednesday.
The Apple tablet's sales have gained by almost exactly the rate that Kindle's have lost.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
A recent survey shows that the once-dominant Kindle e-reader from Amazon (AMZN) is rapidly losing market share to the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad tablet computer. Customers who own the iPad have a higher rate of satisfaction, and future buyers are more likely to pick up the Apple gadget than a Kindle -- signs that the Kindle is fighting a major uphill battle.
In November, ChangeWave Research asked more than 400 e-reader owners about their habits. The most telling finding was that the Amazon Kindle saw a sharp decline in current ownership that almost exactly equaled the gains by Apple and its iPad.
Forget B of A, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan until they can avoid negative news long enough to sustain a 2-day rally.
So much for the big-bank-stock rally.
As I wrote Tuesday, the headlines are too overwhelming. You can't get any uglier than Tuesday's smoking gun at Bank of America (BAC) -- except a smoking machine gun. The company's shares hit an 18-month low of $10.95 amid speculation that the bank may be the next target of WikiLeaks.
The press is not going to let up. It doesn't matter if the net interest margins are getting better or the fees are growing or credit is stronger. What matter are mortgage malfeasance and the inability to put that issue behind the big banks.
A narrowing of breath suggests buyers are finding fewer bargains, a sign that lower prices are needed.
While stock prices have made little progress over the last two months, a key measure of the market's internal strength is fading. Breadth, or the number of stock that are participating in the uptrend, has moved to the lowest levels seen since August. Yet despite this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) continues to trade at levels first seen in mid-October.
This is unsustainable -- like a house with a crumbling foundation. As investors become more skittish, with concerns over Chinese inflation, Korean artillery fire, and European bailouts, they increasingly focus on the best performing stocks. The laggards are ignored. But eventually, are an increasing percentage of issues halt their advance and turn lower, the broad market indices will follow unless buyers reengage.
Today, breadth measured moved to fresh lows. Of the 30 Dow components, just three stocks remain in uptrends as defined by their 9-day average being above their 18-day average. Here they are, along with a look at the recent losers:
News sites are reporting that Google is close to buying Groupon -- for a huge amount.
News sites are reporting that a deal is close in which Google (GOOG) would buy the hot discount deal site. The price tag is higher than what most expected, too, if reports are correct.
AllThingsD reports that Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, making Groupon its largest acquisition yet. "It will move the search giant instantly to the top spot in local commerce online and give it huge troves of data about consumer buying habits and merchant information across the globe," writes Kara Swisher.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.
The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.
Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More
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