8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.

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The metal is a necessary cornerstone of any portfolio in these uncertain times. Buy more if you own some, and start a position today if you don't.

By Jim Cramer Nov 16, 2010 9:32AM

jim cramerFour hands went up. Four out of about 200. Last night at a terrific dinner to benefit the Madison Square Park Conservancy, a great charity for all of us old enough to remember how scary that place was in Manhattan, I asked for a show of hands to see who owns gold.

 

Sophisticated audience. High net worth. Four hands went up.

 

Not only that, but as I proceeded to describe why gold is a necessary cornerstone of a portfolio in these uncertain times -- the currency, not the commodity, part of your portfolio -- I could tell that I was being viewed as a bit of a nut. Not because I was speaking when gold had already run to $1,400 -- $1,300 and change now -- but because it was as if I was speaking about Armageddon and revealing my own inner paranoia.

 

After whiffing the second quarter, solar-cell producer SunPower regains momentum with its third-quarter results.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 15, 2010 5:20PM

Jim JubakI'd say the actual dimensions of the positive surprise -- 13 cents a share -- were less important than the gain in credibility that came when SunPower (SPWRA) made its third-quarter numbers after the market close on Thursday.


Back in the second quarter, the company missed estimates of a penny-a-share loss by a very large 5 cents a share, and the stakes have only gotten higher as shares in the solar-cell producer climbed 40% from their August low. It didn't help that SunPower's guidance set an extraordinarily large range for earnings of between 8 and 15 cents a share on revenue of $450 million to $490 million.


Investors know that the company doesn't bear total responsibility for that high degree of uncertainty. Orders and margins in the solar-cell market have become extremely unpredictable as customers have struggled with uncertain financing and fast-changing national subsidy schemes.

 

The company says its new 'modern messaging system' will be fast and easy. Can it top Gmail?

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2010 3:04PM
Credit: © Paul Sakuma/AP
Caption: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the new email service at an announcement in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010Facebook has officially unveiled its new e-mail system -- just don't call it e-mail.

The kids don't like e-mail. They view it as old-fashioned and formal compared with texting or sending an IM. So Facebook is calling its new product a "modern messaging system," TechCrunch reports.

According to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, communication needs to be immediate and easy. To that end, Facebook made three components of its system, according to TechCrunch: seamless messaging, conversation history and a social inbox. 

The season's tea leaves show good shopping lies ahead.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2010 1:34PM
Holiday buying © CorbisAll signs point to a good holiday for retailers, perhaps the best one they've seen in years.

People are spending again, though largely on their own terms, and retailers like Amazon (AMZN), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) are preparing for a solid shopping season. That's despite an unemployment rate hovering at 9.6%.

We're not talking about a home run here. Forecasts predict only a 2% sales increase this holiday, but even that's welcome news to stores that limped along miserably in the recession. Let's take a look at some of the indicators and what they mean. 

Part 3 of this year's list of recommended books focuses on how to think critically.

By RPrichard Nov 15, 2010 11:34AM

Money books © gulfimages / Getty ImagesBy Vitaliy N. Katsenelson

I originally wrote a list in 2008 and again last year. I intend to keep adding to and revising it every year. It contains seven sections: Selling, Think Like an Investor, Behavioral Investing, Economics, Stock Market History, Risk and Books for the Soul. Today's segment is Part 3. Read Part 2 here, and expect Part 4 tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The right temperament is crucial in investing. Being a critical thinker and knowing how to value stocks are important, but it is all a waste if your emotions get the better of you. The following books will help you to recognize the shortcomings of your hard wiring and help you to devise strategies to deal with it.

 

"Psychology of Investing," by John R. Nofsinger, is short and to the point. You'll become an expert on behavioral investing in about an hour. Well, not quite, but close.

 

Pay close attention to funds tracking sugar, home construction and natural gas.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2010 10:46AM

Tools for your stock portfolio © CorbisBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Here are five exchange-traded funds you should watch this week.

 

1. SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT)

 

The most concentrated portion of the current earnings season will wrap up this week when Wal-Mart (WMT) reports Tuesday. Other companies reporting include Urban Outfitters (URBN), TJX (TJX), Gap (GPS) and Nordstrom (JWN).

 

The coming holiday shopping season should benefit discounters, luxury destinations and teen retailers. However, picking individual winners can be difficult, as certain aspects of the retail industry usually outperform others.

 

Gold, semiconductors, small caps and short S&P funds all make the list.

By InvestorPlace Nov 15, 2010 9:58AM

Jamie Dlugosch, InvestorPlace.com

 

Exchange-traded funds are just like stocks -- they can track the market, lag the market or outperform. It all depends on what you buy. The stock market as measured by the S&P 500 was down nearly 2% last week. My 5 ETF picks were down about 1%.


Now that more folks are saying the market is ready to capitulate again, it's time to change things up a bit by focusing on a short-side ETF that actually profits when the market goes down -- the ProShares Short S&P 500 (SH) -- in addition to funds focusing on areas of opportunity.

Here are my top five ETF buys for this week.

 

Even after last week's ugly losses, the stock charts show impressive resilience.

By Jim Cramer Nov 15, 2010 9:58AM

jim cramer of thestreetAfter all of the carnage last week, after all of what looked to be commodity-related and interest rate-related stumbling, the stock charts show a level of resilience that makes me think that after we get the Chinese tightening and if we get some certainty out of Washington, we're not over yet. We're not over.

 

In fact, some groups look better than they did the week before. That Atlas Energy (ATLS)-Chevron (CVX) deal ignited a whole host of natural-gas plays, including Range Resources (RRC) and EQT (EQT) -- both Marcellus plays -- as well as Devon Energy (DVN). ExxonMobil (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Chevron look terrific.

 

All the drillers, led by National Oilwell Varco (NOV), were standouts, and you can see that the Iraqi settlement is helping the international drillers like Weatherford International (WFT) and Schlumberger (SLB).

 

Sugar prices had been on a 30-year high, and Brazil's Cosan seized the opportunity to sell stockpiled inventories.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 15, 2010 9:54AM

Jim JubakSugar prices, which had been at a 30-year high at the beginning of last week, went through their biggest sell-off in 30 years. That gives us a chance to pick up shares of Cosan (CZZ), Brazil's big sugar processor and ethanol producer, on the dip.


The company announced quarterly results Wednesday, and those numbers should give you confidence that Cosan can ride the ups and downs of this commodity.


Cosan announced that profit for the fiscal second quarter of 2011 (ended Sept. 30) climbed by 154% from the second quarter of fiscal 2010. Profit of 439 million reais (the plural for Brazil's real), or $257 million, beat analysts' projections of 221.3 million reais. Revenue climbed by 32%.

 

Dividend increases make these stocks attractive buys.

By InvestorPlace Nov 12, 2010 3:59PM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

Dividend information is some of the most sought after and high yield dividend stocks continue to be in favor with investors, as we brace for the pending inflation and shake-up in bonds that is sure to come from a weak dollar in the wake of the Fed’s newest round of “quantitative easing.” Income investors who are wise not only get the decent 3% or 4% payback from dividend picks, but also a nice bit of share appreciation.


Last week there were a boatload of dividend increases to note – and I covered a lot of ground in my roundup of 15 stocks raising dividends. The list this week is a bit shorter as we move out of the heart of earnings season and into the lazy days before the holidays, but there are some big names this week boosting dividends nonetheless – including tech powerhouse Intel (INTC) and German industrial stock Siemens (SI).

 

The coffee giant wants to open more than one store a day, and it's focused heavily on China.

By Kim Peterson Nov 12, 2010 3:10PM
Credit: (© Anthony Bolante/Reuters)
Caption: Starbucks baristaStarbucks (SBUX) headed for the sidelines in the worst of the economic downturn, shuttering stores and rethinking its real-estate strategy.

But now the company is back with a fury and plans to open more than one store a day, Bloomberg reports. Most will be outside the U.S.

"Our ability to navigate through the financial crisis and come out much stronger gives us reason to start growing the company again," chief executive Howard Schultz told Bloomberg. He wants to open 500 stores in the next year -- and only 100 of those will be in the U.S. 

One fund manager gets out of the stock in a big way. Does he sense impending disaster?

By Kim Peterson Nov 12, 2010 2:40PM
Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone 4Not everyone is bullish on Apple (AAPL). Ken Heebner, a well-known money manager, dropped a bunch of shares in the third quarter.

Heebner's Capital Growth Management fund held 1.15 million Apple shares at the end of June, Zero Hedge reports. But in a recent 13F filing, Heebner reveals that he sold all but 111,000 shares.

A move like that has prompted all kinds of speculation. Was Heebner simply taking in profits at a good time? Does he sense impending disaster? 

Many large retail brokerages are being shut out of next week's exclusive GM stock offering.

By InvestorPlace Nov 12, 2010 1:33PM

Credit: (© Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Caption: General Motors logoDespite what Average Joe taxpayer doled out in taxes for General Motors' major government bailout, he will be unable to purchase any GM stock after the automaker's initial public offering.

 

It was reported this morning that when General Motors hits the market, many major retail brokerages will be shut out of stock allocations. 


Charles Schwab (SCHW), TD Ameritrade(AMTD) and E-Trade (ETFC) all do not expect to receive stock allocation for General Motors. None of the companies will accept client orders for the automaker's stock, which is just two years removed from its major government bailout.

 

Cisco's disappointing guidance raises eyebrows at a time when smaller competitors are growing fast.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 12, 2010 1:24PM

Jim JubakCan Cisco Systems (CSCO) stage a comeback?


At first (and probably second and third glances, too) that seems a ludicrous question. We're talking Cisco here -- the gorilla so big that other gorillas make room in the bamboo.


But Cisco's results for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, announced Wednesday, have raised that question. Here's why -- and why the question isn't foolish.

 

If rumors are true, the social media icon is looking to launch a Web-based e-mail client.

By InvestorPlace Nov 12, 2010 12:27PM

e-mail © Digital Vision If you think you're already addicted to Facebook, be prepared to spend more time on your social media page.

 

TechCrunch.com reports that Facebook has sent out invitations to a special event Monday. Many people predict Facebook's previously secret Project Titan, a Web-based e-mail client run through Facebook, will be unveiled.


Within the company, the project has been referred to as the "Gmail killer."

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market capped the trading week with losses across the major averages. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to surrender its weekly gain, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.7%) and Russell 2000 (-0.9%) underperformed. The two indices posted respective losses of 0.8% and 0.6% for the week.

Equity indices were pressured from the get-go after several heavyweights disappointed the market with their earnings and/or guidance, which led to some broader profit-taking. After ... More


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