Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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Production is down worldwide after crops suffer weather damage. Now prices are climbing as supplies drop.
The world's supply of sugar is taking a hit, in part because of unusual weather in key growing areas. In Brazil, the world's largest sugarcane region, quality has suffered and output has dropped because of rain throughout the growing season and harvest, the Journal reports.
In India, the second-largest producer, a weird monsoon season deprived plants of water. And remember the cold weather that threatened some Florida orange crops? That affected sugarcane in the state, too, leading to lower production there.
A look at the bullish case for energy prices over the next few years.
An exceptionally cold January has helped support energy prices over the past few weeks. This combined with regular end-of-year inventory management at refineries has pushed gasoline prices higher -- a development you've no doubt noticed as you top off your car's tank. Unfortunately, relief from high energy prices isn't likely.
Let's talk about the fundamental outlook for crude oil with the help of some new research from Morgan Stanley's commodities analysts. The team, led by Hussein Allidina, on Monday introduced a 2010 year-end price target of $95 and increased their 2011 estimate to $100. Here's why.
There are three main drivers for a bullish crude outlook: Expectations of robust economic growth driving demand domestically and overseas; a reduction in spare oil production capacity, and rising inflation expectations. Let's look at each in turn.
With its shares at a 52-week high, is now the time to shift gears?
The National Retail Federation released its 2010 economic forecast yesterday, predicting that retail sales will increase by 2.5% for the year.
Retail stocks zoomed higher, and Target (TGT) traded at a new 52-week high.
That rosy prediction is all well and good, but solid growth in 2010 will not change consumer behavior. Belts are tight and will remain so for a while.
That makes it a huge risk for any retailer that's weathering the recession well to change its game. Yet that's exactly what Target seems ready to do.
Obama's anti-business agenda will be clear after the State of the Union address.
Everyone's trying to game the president's speech, trying to figure out what he will tell the nation tonight. Some people think he will tack centric and talk about the need for compromise. Others think he will talk, at last, about how he should focus on job growth, put that before other issues.
I think these people are out of their minds. I expect the all-out war against Goldman Sachs (GS) will be taken from daytime to prime time. I just want to know if he will mention any bankers by name or have effigies burning behind him. I am sure he has polling data saying this stuff is working, so why in the world should he say something else? You go with a winner. You press your bet.
I think he believes that tapping into that anger is the best thing he can do, and it makes him even more wildly popular than he thinks he is. He'll poke a little fun, make some grins and then launch a broadside right into the heart of Wall Street. Higher taxes on this industry. Every penny must be paid back. And more. New rules that make them all community banks in the end. No more concentration of power in a few banks. He's not going to let mankind be crucified on a cross of Goldman Sachs.
It will play well.
Rules proposed by the former Fed chief seek to limit proprietary trading and private equity investments at banks, but these activities didn't cause the financial crisis.
Nobody had more to do with breaking the back of inflation in this country than former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. Thirty years ago, he stopped it in its tracks with higher interest rates. He was on top of his game in a way that many people argue ultimately produced the great bull market that ended in 2000.
However, just as there are instances in which other finance seers (as opposed to financiers) subsequently lost their way, especially Bob Rubin, a once revered Treasury secretary, now known as presiding over a bank one-third owned by the federal government because of actions he approved, the question to ask is whether Volcker, an icon 30 years ago, still has a keen understanding of what went wrong in this banking crisis.
I cannot recall a single instance where proprietary trading, internal hedge funds, or private equity played a role in creating the banking mess that President Obama has decided to focus on with his much-ballyhooed "Volcker Rule."
Du Pont beats Wall Street projections for its fourth quarter and raises its guidance for 2010.
Revenue climbed 10.3% year-to-year to $6.42 billion. Wall Street had been expecting $6.16 billion.
Sales volumes for all regions of the world were up 10% and sales in the Asia/Pacific region climbed 34% by volume from the fourth quarter of 2008 on strong demand from China, Japan, Korea, and India. Asia/Pacific sales now exceed pre-recession volumes. For more on why this point in the economic cycle is so good for industrial stocks, see this post).
Federal budget headed for a $1.3 trillion deficit. And that's the good news.
Tuesday morning, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released new projections showing that -- if current laws and policies remained unchanged -- the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2010.
That's what passes for good budget news these days. The new estimate is down $80 billion from the CBO'S previous estimate.
Of course, as a percentage of the economy (as measured by GDP) the deficit would be the second largest since World War II.
And in the big debt picture, an $80 billion swing is barely a drop in the bucket.
Tiger Woods' absence leaves the sport struggling to find TV viewers and corporate sponsors.
Though other tournaments have already taken place, Torrey Pines always got the attention because Tiger Woods generally began his year there. But this year, Woods is on indefinite leave after a sex scandal shattered his private and professional life, and pro golf is reeling.
Woods' star power attracted bountiful corporate sponsorships that the entire profession enjoyed. But now, with no Woods and the virtual guarantee of a smaller television audience, corporate money is drying up.
Ticket sales are down at Torrey Pines and fewer hospitality tents have been sold,
Come Thursday, we'll see what effect the president's State of the Union address has on the market.
I've learned in the past few years how I can be lulled into a trance because I see market and economic signs that are either positive or negative, so I place my bet on that direction.
Then someone opens his mouth on TV or at a press conference, and I have months of gains wiped out in an instant. Long trades tank or short positions need to be covered because of a short-term, media-generated blip.
James Cameron's film is the highest-grossing of all time worldwide -- discounting inflation and fatter ticket prices for 3-D.
"Avatar" entered Monday needing a mere $2 million to eclipse the $1.842 billion mark set by "Titanic" in 1998. James Cameron directed both films.
Averaging nearly $4 million a day in weekday performances of late just in North America, the 3-D film broke the record before midday Monday on the U.S. East Coast.
On Sunday, Fox announced that "Avatar" had reached $1.29 billion in foreign receipts, making it the top international grosser ever.
Managers of the best-performing dividend mutual funds yield high income and superior stock performance.
By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreet
By some measures, the credit crisis led to the worst period ever for stock dividends.
In 2008 and last year, a record number of companies cut or eliminated dividends, according to Standard & Poor's. As a result, investors dumped shares of longtime dividend payers such as General Electric (GE) and Pfizer (PFE).
Despite the upheaval, some dividend funds have excelled. Investing exclusively in dividend stocks, the Frost Dividend Value Fund (FADVX) returned 7.2% annually during the past five years, surpassing 99% of its large-value peers and outpacing the S&P 500 by 6 percentage points, according to Morningstar. Other funds that finished in the top 10% of the category include the BlackRock Equity Dividend (MDDVX), Columbia Dividend Income (LBSAX) and RiverSource Dividend Opportunity (INUTX) funds.
Will all the rumors of a new tablet prove true? And what will that do to the company's stock?
Tech types have talked about nothing else for months. Apple is making an announcement Wednesday morning, and although the company hasn't confirmed anything, all bets are on the unveiling of a new tablet computer.
Some have joked that tablets haven't received this much attention since the Ten Commandments. We've seen fake pictures, lists of what the tablet will have or won't have and a list of victims the tablet will annihilate (Amazon's Kindle being at the top.)
Investors are anxiously watching to see how Apple's stock handles the news, and I have a prediction.
Value investors seek companies with superior returns over the long haul, like McDermott International.
By Matt Koppenheffer, The Motley Fool.
Investments that have been successful over the long term almost assuredly share at least one trait: growth. Few companies produce good returns for shareholders without reliably increasing their earnings.
Think about it this way: Dividends aside, investors reap their gains when a company's stock price goes up. The stock price is typically driven by two levers: earnings and the multiple that investors are willing to pay for those earnings.
Since earnings multiples tend to fluctuate within a certain range, long-term investors should have a keen focus on the company's ability to increase earnings.
Does that seem too simple? Maybe keeping it simple is sometimes a good plan.
Even if you hate the guy, you want Bernanke to keep his job -- the bull market just might be hinging on his reconfirmation.
By Jim Woods, InvestorPlace.com
It's become quite a clichéd phrase that "Wall Street hates uncertainty," but this oft-cited proclamation can indeed be true in many cases.
One such case is the kerfuffle surrounding the confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term. The Fed chief's current term officially ends on Sunday, and this week the Senate votes thumbs up or thumbs down on his future as the head of the nation's central bank.
But the president seems hellbent on rendering good earnings meaningless.
The earnings are pretty darned solid. Now if we can only get through the State of the Union speech without an assault on capital that includes Card Check -- to allow the unions to organize the banks and Wal-Mart (WMT) -- and cap-and-trade that demands a windmill or a solar panel in place of natural gas and nuclear, we may be in the clear.
The problem is that I don't know if we can get that given that we have a president who wants to be a great one-term rather than a mediocre two-term president -- and what defines "great" may mean a triumph of labor over capital.
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The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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