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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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.
McDonald's doesn't sell as many kids' meals anymore. Has the company moved on?
The Happy Meal accounts for less than 10% of the company's U.S. business, a spokeswoman told Ad Age. McDonald's won't say much else about its Happy Meal sales and won't give specific numbers.
San Francisco doesn't think much about the Happy Meal. Its board of supervisors has now officially banned the Happy Meal -- in its current form, at least -- starting Dec. 1, 2011. (By the way, a dietitian has created Happy Meal ideas that would be acceptable under the ban. Turkey burgers, baked fries and steamed broccoli sound good to me.)
How messed-up market expectations can work in your favor.
For our pick of the day we turn to Fool Jim Mueller, who employs the "expectations investing" strategy of Michael Mauboussin. Here, Jim shows us why Transocean's low expectations are providing us with a buy opportunity.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
I think Transocean (RIG) is a buy right now because of Mr. Market's messed-up expectations. Let me explain.
Retailers used promotions and free shipping to lure shoppers. Sales of luxury goods and jewelry drove the increase.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Online sales on Cyber Monday climbed 19.4% from a year earlier, helped by demand for jewelry and luxury goods.
The average order value grew 8.3% to $194.89 from $180.03, according to Coremetrics, a unit of IBM (IBM).
Shoppers have been increasingly turning to the Web for holiday gifts in recent years. Retailers, battling a sluggish economy for a third straight year, rolled out special online-only promotions and shipping deals to draw consumers.
The user experience keeps getting better in this rebellion against cable. No wonder people are buying the service -- and the stock.
Maybe it all comes down to whether or not you use Netflix (NFLX). Because if you do, you understand why it is so terrific and why it could rally 7 more points. If you don't, then you are in Nowheresville.
I have been cribbing off my kids' Netflix ID, since in a roundabout way, I pay for them. But I decided to open my own account this weekend because they don't want me messing with the queue anymore.
I am still in the mail-order game, getting the DVD I want to watch when I want it. I do that because even though I have FIOS and DirecTV (DTV) (hopeless football fan) and have had Comcast (CMCSA), I frequently find there's nothing on the dial I want to watch when I want it.
The January effect is coming sooner than you think. Capitalize on the upside with these ETFs.
I would not be deterred. Our Top ETF Buys for last week made money versus a loss for the overall market. I’m expecting the same this week.
My favorite top buy for the coming week is the ProShares Russell 2000 (IWM).
The January effect is coming earlier and earlier. I expect small cap stocks to do well in December.
Stores sold nearly nine iPads per hour.
This shoe-leather research is useful for Gene Munster, the main Apple analyst at Piper Jaffray. He has predicted that Apple will sell 5.5 million iPads this quarter, and he wanted to see how that was holding up.
He thinks the number is still correct. Here's what his team saw on Black Friday, according to Fortune:
The success of Amazon's Prime loyalty program has caught the attention of other retailers.
You've broken up with other stores. After all, you've paid $79 annually to join Amazon Prime, so you might as well get your money's worth, with two-day shipping to boot.
Newsweek says Amazon Prime "may be the most ingenious and effective customer loyalty program in all of e-commerce, if not retail in general." It's such a cult, in fact, that other stores are rushing to copy it.
Consider these exchange-traded funds if you don't expect a bear market but wish to skirt the European debt crisis.
By Gary Gordon, TheStreet
Notre Dame's Fighting Irish may have fans singing its football praises for pounding an Army squad 27-3. Yet the third weekend of November brought little cheer for Ireland itself as the country conceded its need for a financial bailout.
Meanwhile, the European Union and the world at large have been desperately trying to keep the dreaded debt scare from spreading. The problem is the sovereign debt crisis has been highly publicized for a full year.
Containment to Greece and Ireland hasn't been simple, as investors have been almost as unwilling to risk investing in the poor credit of Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Here are 3 great ones to watch, plus 3 companies you won't want to miss.
You're getting a lot for your money today, as our pick of the day had triplets. Roger Friedman has been chatting with some of the smartest analysts at The Motley Fool and has come up with three stocks to watch and three to buy.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
Which companies are tomorrow's big winners? In our ongoing series, I'm chatting with Fool analysts and advisers to find out the stocks on their watch lists and the catalysts that would induce them to buy.
By the end of today's article, you'll get three companies that the man in charge of training our analysts thinks you should be watching and three that he recently bought for his personal portfolio.
Jewelry could be this holiday season's biggest winner.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
It's poised to be a glitzy holiday for jewelry retailers.
According to the National Retail Federation, the number of shoppers who purchased jewelry over the Black Friday weekend rose substantially, from 11.7% in 2009 to 14.3% this year.
Both comScore and Coremetrics also indicated improved growth in the jewelry category, up in the 15% to 20% range.
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Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
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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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