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.


Would create 'two' internets, one public and one that would charge extra for higher-priority services, which could include better-quality movie downloads

By TheWrap Aug 9, 2010 5:32PM

Google and Verizon on Monday formally announced a joint agreement on handling internet content that would severely impact net neutrality.

As reported on TheWrap last week, the agreement could lead to movie studios being charged extra if they want to deliver high-quality downloads of films over the web.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made the announcement in a call with the media. They suggested the plan would ensure freedom of choice for consumers but also let internet service providers attract the investment needed to expand and improve the speed of internet connections.

Tags: Internet

With attendance and TV ratings down, Nascar looks for ways to bring back fans.

By Kim Peterson Aug 9, 2010 4:40PM
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (© Rusty Burroughs/AP)As the recession starts to fade away (we hope), Nascar is trying to bring fans back to the racetrack. If the fans return, then the corporate sponsors will too.

While attendance is down at most sporting events, Nascar has suffered more than other sports leagues, The New York Times reports. Even its television ratings are down, which has also killed lucrative sponsorships.

The Times asks a question the entire sport is likely grappling with: Will Nascar ever return to its cash-fueled glory days, when it could paper entire racetracks with $100 bills? 

Luxury retailer Coach plans to open 30 new locations in China in the next year.

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 9, 2010 3:20PM

Jim JubakFor a while, the slowdown in North American sales in the U.S. recession obscured exactly how good a job Coach (COH) was doing at cutting costs and expanding in China. 

No more. 

Growth in North America is back, the company announced in a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report released before the New York Stock Exchange opened Tuesday.


The companies push for Net neutrality. Unless, of course, they happen to own the network.

By Kim Peterson Aug 9, 2010 3:05PM
Crystal ball © Thinkstock/JupiterimagesAfter all the excitement last week about Google (GOOG) and Verizon (VZ) supposedly corrupting the Internet with a nefarious money-making plan, the two companies have issued a statement that doesn't say much.

Together, they have come up with a legislative framework proposal for lawmakers to consider. And it's all very open, saying that Internet providers shouldn't discriminate and must let users access whatever they want online, so long as it's legal.

But there's a big exception laid out for wireless companies. Not that surprising, considering Verizon is the biggest wireless player in the country. 

AT&T and Bank of America round out the top three charitable donators of 2009.

By InvestorPlace Aug 9, 2010 2:48PM

Wal-Mart logo © WalmartIf your charity is looking for a large lump of cash, think about asking companies like Wal-Mart (WMT), AT&T (T) or Bank of America (BAC). In its yearly report, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported the most generous companies of 2009, and those three headline the list.


Wal-Mart took the top spot, having donated more than $288 million in cash last year.  AT&T and Bank of America were not far behind with $240 million and $209 million donated, respectively.  Wells Fargo (WFC) and ExxonMobil (XOM) rounded out the top five.

While these companies certainly dished out the dough, it is worth noting that most of these giants donated much less than they had in previous years.


One of the greatest brands on the Internet is ready to sell its shares as a stand-alone company.

By InvestorPlace Aug 9, 2010 12:27PM

Skype, the Internet calling and video chat outfit once wholly owned by eBay (EBAY), filed plans for a public offering this morning.

The interesting part of the Skype IPO is that the amount listed was only up to $100 million and no ticker was pre-designated by Nasdaq. That is, of course, just for filing purposes and is likely to change before the formal IPO. 

In November, eBay sold off roughly a 70% stake in the company in a private equity deal. At that time, Skype was valued at roughly $2.75 billion. EBay received roughly $1.9 billion in cash in the sale, but it also retained roughly that 30% stake. It also received a $125 million note from the buyers, and it also purchased $50 million in senior debt securities.

The $100 million is still just a tiny amount of capital for a $2.75 billion valuation from November.


Exchange-traded funds in the agricultural and networking sectors are poised to make gains this week.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 9, 2010 10:39AM

thestreet.comBy Don Dion, TheStreet


Look for the networking and agriculture sectors to move higher this week – and to take a few exchange-traded funds along with them. Gold and retail, on the other hand, may see losses. Here are five ETFs investors should keep an eye on this week.


1. iShares S&P GSTI Networking Index Fund (IGN)


This fund has nearly 9% of assets in Cisco (CSCO), which reports this week. Analyst expectations are consistent, with high and low estimates at 43 cents and 40 cents a share, respectively. Additionally, Cisco beat earnings by at least 2 cents in each of the previous four quarters.


In the past month, IGN has seen strength from networking holdings such as Juniper (JNPR), as well as companies involved in the smartphone industry.


Instead of judging Hewlett-Packard's stock by the value of its outgoing CEO, look at the strength of the company itself.

By Jim Cramer Aug 9, 2010 9:53AM

Jim CramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


How much is Mark Hurd worth? I know that's the question people will use to determine what they will pay for HPQ.


I think that's the wrong question. The right question is how much is HPQ worth, and for that it's pretty simple: It's worth more than one times its growth rate, where it stands if Friday's closing price were to hold.


I can't say Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), the stock, has been on a roll. It's been afflicted with the same atrocious action that almost all techs, with the exception of NetApp (NTAP), F5 Networks (FFIV), VMware (VMW) and Salesforce.com (CRM), have been victimized by. I can't even include Apple (AAPL) right now in the "up" stock quotient, because it's been stalled, although I think it's about to break out.


The market is up but having a hard time gaining against the poor news about job losses and a weak economy

By Jim Van Meerten Aug 7, 2010 10:29AM
As I do every weekend I like to take a step back from the trading and hype and look objectively where the market stands. I use Barchart to find my data and I use 3 yardsticks because although each one measures the trend of the market, each set of data has some inherent errors and each measures momentum in a slightly different way. Well where do we stand this week?

Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so I think it is more representative of the market than the narrow S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- Trending up but not very strong
  • Index up .99% for the week but up 10.95% for the last 20 sessions
  • 20% Barchart short term buy signal
  • 8% Barchart overall buy signal with 5 of 13 indicators a buy including the Trend Spotter (tm)
  • 14 day Relative Strength Index -- 56.00% -- above 50% is good

Barchart Market Momentum -- Contains approximately 6000 stocks -- Percentage of stocks that closed above their Daily Moving Averages for various time frames -- Strong but last week was stronger


My Martin Zweig-inspired strategy has found growth when growth has been scarce. Here's how it works.

By John Reese Aug 6, 2010 4:16PM

Over the past two years, the stock market has been driven largely by macroeconomic factors. That's not surprising, given just how powerful the economic winds have been. In late 2008 and early 2009, we experienced one of the worst financial crises in the country's history as the credit and housing bubbles burst. Then, the U.S. and other governments around the world sent an unprecedented wave of stimulus around the globe, helping to stabilize and jumpstart the stalled economy. Given the extreme emotions such major economic events cause, it's easy to see why hordes of investors have moved in near-lock-step in and out of the market.

Today, there are still big macroeconomic factors in play -- the skyrocketing levels of debt at the federal and state levels is a good example. But as we move further from the epicenter of the crisis, it seems likely that we'll start to see less correlation among stocks. As is usually the case in the markets, earnings results will separate the winners from the losers. And, with many fearing a period of slower-than-usual growth, firms producing strong earnings growth figure to be particularly prized by investors.


If you're looking for companies likely to generate strong growth, you'd be wise to consider the writings of Martin Zweig. Zweig's stock recommendation newsletter was ranked number one based on risk-adjusted returns by Hulbert Financial Digest during the 15 years Hulbert monitored it, and the growth-rich strategy Zweig laid out in his Winning on Wall Street forms the basis for one of my more successful "Guru Strategy" computer models. In the seven-plus years I've been tracking it, a 10-stock portfolio picked with this strategy has gained 55.0%, or 6.4% per year. Over the same period, the S&P 500 has gained just 12.5%, or 1.7% per year.


It's not allowed to, according to a secret sanction by the government, says one report.

By Kim Peterson Aug 6, 2010 3:11PM
Penny © CorbisBank of America (BAC) paid a dividend of 64 cents a share just a couple of years ago. But one financial crisis later, that dividend has been slashed to just a penny.

Shareholders would love to see the dividend returned to some level of normal, but that's not going to happen anytime soon, thanks to the tight government leash on the bank.

A "secret U.S. sanction" imposed on the bank by regulators has banned any increase of the dividend, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bank of America is trying to get that sanction lifted, and is negotiating with the Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. 

Despite a weak jobs report, evidence suggests the recovery will continue.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Aug 6, 2010 2:46PM

MirhaydariStocks are lower today in reaction to the disappointing July employment report. Payrolls fell 131,000 for the month, building on June's loss of 221,000 jobs. Much of the recent weakness has been due to the government cutting Census workers.


But Philippa Dunne of the Liscio Report notes that there were still a few positive signs. Mainly, private employment gained 71,000, with half of that coming from manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing has added jobs every month so far this year -- a seventh-month streak that hasn't been seen since 1998.

And that's not the only good news. The team at the ISI Group in New York compiled the following list of positive data points we've seen over the past week.


The bank will soon start to generate significant free cash flow. What to do with it?

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 6, 2010 1:13PM

Jim JubakWait! A bank with too much capital?

Hard to believe, but analysts at UBS calculate that's exactly the "problem" that HSBC (HBC) is likely to face over the next four years.

UBS forecast that the bank's Tier One capital ratio hit 10% by the middle of 2010 after it successfully used a rights offering to raise capital. That ratio could well hit 13% by 2013.

That certainly removes any need to raise capital.

Tags: HSBC

Between New York's drilling ban and the Senate's all but giving up on an energy bill, it's been a bad week for drillers and shares.

By Jim Cramer Aug 6, 2010 8:30AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


For natural gas, this is the year of living sadly. In the past couple of days, we saw a drilling ban in New York, where the out-of-work, underfed Southern Tier has a ton of the stuff; a terrible article in The New York Times about why we can't switch to all-natural-gas electricity in the U.S. because it is too expensive; and hope for an energy bill fade as Harry Reid all but gave up on the issue in the Senate. 


In the meantime, we have seen natural-gas futures get stuck below $5 -- convincingly so -- during the greatest heat wave in years.


None of this is good. I can't sugar-coat it. Sure, the premise of the Times article was fanciful -- nobody is advocating a total dismantling of the huge coal-based utility infrastructure, just a shutdown/phase-out of the oldest, worst coal plants, which can be replaced with natural gas. That's what Canada is doing. If we had a president who cared about something other than clean coal -- talk about fanciful -- it would be happening right now.


The coffee chain is testing reaction to a new line of 'Refreshers' drinks.

By Kim Peterson Aug 5, 2010 5:39PM

Coffee shops © CorbisStarbucks (SBUX) has figured out a way to sneak coffee into fruity summer drinks, and will soon begin testing them in its San Diego stores.

The drinks, which are being called "Refreshers," will be made of fruit. But their secret ingredient is a powdered extract made from unroasted green coffee beans.

The beans won't taste like coffee. The company is calling them "flavor neutral," in fact. They are designed to give the drinks a little bit of a caffeine jolt -- less than you'd find in regular coffee.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Wednesday session on a mixed note. The tech-heavy Nasdaq displayed relative strength, climbing 0.4%, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% with five sectors settling in the green. For its part, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) spent the entire session below its flat line.

Equities started the midweek affair on a rather unassuming note in the absence of market-moving news or economic releases. With those pieces missing from the equation, ... More


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