Businessman blowing bubbles (© GSO Images/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
Take bubble talk with a grain of salt

Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?


The US has not been receptive to previous buyout attempts.

By InvestorPlace Sep 21, 2010 11:08AM

By Paul Ausick

As General Motors prepares for an IPO, the company's majority owner, the U.S. government, is trying to figure out the best way to recover the $43 billion still outstanding from its loan to GM. The roster of potential investors includes everyone and everything, from individual investors to pension funds.

Well, maybe not quite everyone. GM's partner in its Chinese joint ventures, SAIC Motor Corp., may be interested in buying a stake in the U.S. automaker. GM is not commenting on the possibility, and the U.S. government's official statement on access to investors is "We expect that potential investors will be sought across multiple geographies with a focus on North American investors, in line with what is typical in similar transactions."


Economist Nouriel Roubini, famous for his pessimistic outlook, has hope for the US economy after all. That's why you should get your 'buy' list ready.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 21, 2010 10:54AM

business news and investment advice from the street

By Gary Gordon, TheStreet


Is it just me, or has the permanently glum Nouriel Roubini become a softy? The good professor has received more accolades than any other analyst or economist for predicting the demise of market-based securities in 2008, never mind the horrific calls he made the following year:

  • In April 2009, near Dow 7,950, Roubini predicted the markets would retest the March lows of Dow 6,500. They never did.
  • In July 2009, near Dow 8,100, he described the market's run as nothing more than a bear rally. Yet the Dow rose 38% over the next nine months.
  • In October, near Dow 9,700, Roubini called for a bearish 10% to 20% pullback. Not only was he six months early, but the market's sell-off went to 9,700 from 11,200. The current cyclical low is essentially at the same spot where Roubini made his bearish call . . . six months earlier. You can't be much more off than that.

In light of this startling September rally, analysts who forecasted doom should own up to their mistakes.

By Jim Cramer Sep 21, 2010 8:47AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


Death cross. Wrong. Hindenburg omen. Wrong. What's wrong next? What keeps you out next? What makes you feel like a dope because it freaked you out of the market next?


I am reminded of these technical travails as I prepare my "Chart Week" segments for this week and go over the points made by RealMoney contributor Dan Fitzpatrick on my show last night. He was talking about how reliable patterns are clues, not gospel, and how even the most obvious of them -- the dreaded head-and-shoulders pattern -- didn't play out this time around after Monday's breakout.


We were meticulous on the set beforehand, going over every single detail about levels that were hit, including the notion that we may have been repelled at a key Dow level Monday and that some people would regard the late-day action as a "reversal."


The index finally cracks 1,140 -- a key number.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 20, 2010 5:31PM

Jim JubakFinally!

After toying with investors last week, the Standard & Poor's 500 closed above 1,140 -- at 1,142.71 -- Monday.

That takes the index above the top of the trading range for the last four months. Stocks have now set a higher low in August and a higher high in September.

That's important -- and not because it's a signal that in the short term, stocks are going to rally like it's March 2009.


The low-cost airline hopes to raise $300 million by going public. Its debt load is considerable.

By Kim Peterson Sep 20, 2010 1:55PM
Air travel © Christie & Cole/Corbis Spirit Airlines has filed plans with the government to go public, hoping to sell some $300 million in shares later this year (the filing is here).

This marks a milestone of sorts. We haven't seen an airline go public in the U.S. since 2007, when Gulfstream International (GIA) hit the market, Bloomberg reports. By the way, GIA shares are now a whopping 68 cents.

Spirit gained notoriety this year when it started charging fees for carry-on bags. Yep, you read that right. A Spirit passenger will pay $45 per bag at the boarding gate, or $30 per bag when paying in advance (bags that can fit under a seat, however, get on for free). 

Despite the financial crisis, plan managers run on past expecations. Is a time bomb ticking?

By Kim Peterson Sep 20, 2010 1:34PM
Retirement planning © CorbisThe most optimistic people on Earth are not kindergartners or beauty-pageant contestants. They are pension fund managers, who still -- after all that's happened -- stubbornly predict 8% returns.

More than 100 U.S. public pension plans still have an 8% median expected return on their investments, The Wall Street Journal reports. That's unchanged from 2001.

Hmmm. Let's bring in this little thing called reality: The median annualized return of public pension plans was a meager 3.9% over the past decade. The 10-year Treasury note is at 2.75%. Inflation is at 1%, and deflation is a very real threat. 

A growing group of people age 55 and beyond are desperately looking for work.

By Kim Peterson Sep 20, 2010 12:59PM
working in retirement © Andersen Ross/Getty ImagesThe New York Times profiles one group that has suffered greatly in the economic meltdown: older unemployed workers.

They are a growing group, this category of people in their 50s and 60s who need some income to get through their last decade or so before retirement. They "are starting to worry that they may be discarded from the work force -- forever," Motoko Rich writes.

The unemployment rate for people age 55 or older is 7.3% -- twice what it was before the latest recession started, Rich writes. About 2.2 million people in this age group don't have a job. 

The 7-inch touch-screen tablet with a front-facing camera is targeted to arrive in March.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 20, 2010 12:02PM

By Scott Moritz, TheStreet


Apple (AAPL) is gearing up for production of a smaller second-generation iPad, perhaps to be launched in early 2011.


Apple's plans call for an iPad 2, which will be a 7-inch touch-screen tablet with a front-facing VGA camera and a 1-megapixel rear camera targeted for arrival in March, says Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who has talked to Apple's supply and manufacturing partners.


The details of the iPad 2 help confirm recent rumors that Apple is shrinking the popular iPad to defend its position against a wave of smaller new tablets like the Dell (DELL) Streak (a 5-inch device) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab (7 inches). But contrary to earlier reports of a new iPad in time for the holidays, the new information puts the arrival closer to spring.


The retail giant is looking to urban locations in a push to supplement its supercenter model.

By InvestorPlace Sep 20, 2010 10:34AM

Wal-Mart logo © WalmartRealizing severe limitations in large cities and urban markets, Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to move into small convenience stores near you.

It's a  move meant to battle back against its newly minted "dollar store" competition and revitalize weak domestic sales.

The company announced it will discuss detailed business plans for the new venture later this year, though the structure would similarly resemble convenience-store operations like those currently run in Latin America.

So where are these test convenience stores in the States going to pop up?


Changes to the index focus on Wall Street fads that flame out soon after companies join the 30 components.

By InvestorPlace Sep 20, 2010 9:46AM
Arrow © Photodisc/SuperstockBy Jeff Reeves,

You might think companies would fall all over themselves to join the Dow Jones and shareholders would find stability in the index's ranks. But the truth is that joining the list of 30 components is a stomp on the neck rather than a stamp of approval.

The reason appears to be that Wall Street "experts" in charge of the index focus on the latest fad investments, stocks that are peaking rather than corporations that are truly representative of the U.S. economy.

Take a look at this list of the 12 most recent additions to the Dow and how they have performed since joining the index:


Companies that make the Internet faster, abet Apple in its global domination or allow data to be stored remotely are the current winners. Forget about everything else.

By Jim Cramer Sep 20, 2010 9:07AM

jim cramer of thestreetBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


Cloud and Internet, yes. Everything else in tech, no. That's pretty much what the charts said in my weekly perusal of the pictographs courtesy of the hand-delivered S&P chart book I have been getting for 25 years.


The charts never get old, and they always show the key trends in what is loved and what is hated. Anything that touches cloud computing, making data more accessible, more storable and more secure wins. Anything having to do with anything else, except perhaps Apple (AAPL) and its mobile applications or video, is getting no love -- and no multiple -- at all.


Take Sourcefire (FIRE), a company that most people have never heard of. This networking security company is the quintessential play of the moment, one that has vaulted from $18 to $29 in a month's time. The propulsion is due to both takeover -- does it look like Radware (RDWR), ArcSight (ARST), 3Par (PAR) or McAfee (MFE)? -- and earnings. The ramp here is reminiscent of the (CRM) takeoff.


It's showing signs of getting stronger. Think about getting back in.

By Jim Van Meerten Sep 17, 2010 5:56PM
Market action last week was stronger and gave me some hope for the future. We will use our three yardsticks because no single one tells it all. All the data come from Barchart. Let's see where we stand.

Value Line Index -- Contains 1,700 stocks so it's broader than the S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- Nice week mostly up
  • Trend Spotter: Buy
  • Barchart: 40% short-term buy signal
  • Closed Friday above its 20, 50 and 100 daily moving averages
  • Up 2.07% for the week
  • Up 3.76% for the month
  • 14-day Relative Strength Index of 95.26%

Barchart Market Momentum -- Contains approximately 6,000 stocks -- Percentage of stocks closing above their Daily Moving Averages for various time frames -- Above 50% always good.


Don't fret the potential loss of Howard Stern. Sirius will be just fine, thank you.

By Jamie Dlugosch Sep 17, 2010 3:27PM

Credit: (© Evan Agostini/AP)
Caption: Howard SternWake up Howard Stern, the world has changed.


Dreams of being the media king that is paid gobs of cash from overzealous media companies are a thing of the past.


Today, I would suggest taking what you can get.

Should you decide to leave Sirius XM (SIRI), don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


Its shares are down on soft PC sales, but don't ignore the stock's potential.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 17, 2010 3:10PM

Jim JubakShares of Intel (INTC) have been hammered on news showing that PC sales to consumers have been soft in the current back-to-school quarter.

The shares changed hands just below $19 late Friday, about 7% above their 52-week low.

I think that sell-off ignores the company's strengths in other markets, such as servers, which show no signs of slowing growth, and it ignores the huge replacement cycle coming for PCs as businesses and consumers all make the purchases they put off during the recession.


Laptop sales in the U.S. are getting crushed this year, and many people blame the iPad.

By Kim Peterson Sep 17, 2010 2:44PM

Credit: (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Caption: Apple iPadIt was expected to happen sooner or later, and in August, it did: Notebook sales in the U.S. went into negative territory.

Sales had been growing at a brisk 30% pace in 2009 but started to tank almost exactly when Apple (AAPL) announced it would come out with a tablet computer: the iPad.

This year, growth slowed to 11% in April, then 5% in June, then 2% in July and finally down to negative 4% in August. It's safe to say that the iPad is at least partly to blame.



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