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?


Sysco's dividend yield drops, leading Jim to look elsewhere as the economic recovery continues.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 7, 2010 4:15PM

Jim JubakI'm selling food wholesaler Sysco (SYY) out of my Dividend Income Portfolio with this post. 

The stock made a new 52-week high Tuesday. That brings the dividend yield down to 3.38%. 

That was attractive when the economic recovery still seemed iffy and I was willing to trade some yield for safety. But now that the recovery is more certain -- if not the speed or momentum of the recovery (for more on those issues, see this recent post) -- I'm willing to stretch a little more for yield. To do that, I need to clear a slot in this 10-stock portfolio, and that means selling Sysco.


The actor who played Gordon Gekko said he got burned badly in the 2008 market crash.

By Kim Peterson Apr 7, 2010 2:59PM
Michael Douglas (© AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Even Gordon Gekko can't make it in this market.

Michael Douglas, who played the ruthless trader in the film "Wall Street," said he sold his stocks at the end of last year, according to The Sun.

The actor said he lost 35% to 40% of his net worth in the 2008 crash. "At the end of last year, I took a whole bunch out," he said, according to The Sun. 

After an incredible run, hedge fund legend James Simons calls it quits. Check out what he was targeting.

By John Reese Apr 7, 2010 2:28PM

One of the key parts of my investment approach is finding and learning from strategists who have proven long-term track records, something that can be hard to do in an investment world filled with unproven pundits and talking heads. And, when it comes to a long-term track record, few can match the one compiled by James Simons.


Simons, a quantitative trading pioneer who recently stepped down as chief executive of Renaissance Technologies, the firm he founded nearly 30 years ago, has managed one of the most successful hedge funds in history -- the Medallion fund.

The numbers are the stuff of which legends are made: Medallion has averaged returns of about 45% a year (after fees) since its inception in 1988,


Can you find interesting stocks by looking into the best performing ETFs?

By Jim Van Meerten Apr 7, 2010 12:35PM
All investors search for the "Holy Grail" of investing: an investment strategy that just can't miss. I know, I've been looking for it for over 40 years and haven't found it yet. I've had to change my strategy several times. I had a new idea recently and decided to try it out. I'd like to share it with you and see what you think.

Here's my idea: Find the sector ETF that is currently having the highest relative strength and try to hand pick the best stocks from that portfolio. It's the Willie Sutton Theory. Willie was a famous bank robber and was asked:"Why do you rob banks?" His reply: "Because that's where the money is!"

If as a group, these are the stocks performing the best then why not search for the gems in the mother lode? 

The company became a target for criticism during the healthcare debate, causing concerns about executive safety.

By Kim Peterson Apr 7, 2010 11:41AM
Health insurance © Don Carstens/JupiterimagesWellpoint (WLP) handed President Barack Obama a nice gift in the middle of the healthcare debate. Its Anthem Blue Cross unit decided to raise insurance premiums as much as 39% -- giving much-needed ammunition to Congressional Democrats advocating for changes to the system.

The ill-timed premium increase turned WellPoint into a hot topic, and its president, Angela Braly, justified the move and became the target of criticism from all sides.

Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that Braly was so concerned for her personal safety that Wellpoint spent $151,000 on her security, according to the Footnoted blog. The money went toward bodyguards, a security-enhanced vehicle and an in-home alarm system. 

Retail sales, which will be released Thursday, are expected to show the biggest growth since 1994.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 7, 2010 11:15AM

TheStreetSave on shopping  © Photodisc / Getty ImagesBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Warm weather, strong pre-Easter spending and low year-earlier numbers probably contributed to a jump in retail sales for March.


The S&P Retail Index hit a 52-week high on Tuesday as expectations for the sector rose ahead of comparable-store sales results, which will be released on Thursday.


The International Council of Shopping Centers expects stores to report the best sales since 1994. The trade group said on Tuesday it expects sales to increase 8% to 10% for the month, boosting its previous forecast of 3% to 3.5%. If the ICSC's forecast is correct, March would mark the third consecutive month of stronger-than-expected comparable sales growth.


An end would give a psychological boost to shares of companies that compete with Chinese exporters.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 7, 2010 8:37AM

Jim JubakIt looks like the fix is in.

The governments in Beijing and Washington look like they're figured out a formula that will lead, sooner rather than later, to an end to the renminbi/dollar peg and the appreciation of China's currency versus the dollar.

Sooner, I'd say, is this summer. Maybe as early as June. The twelve-month, non-deliverable forward market in Hong Kong is pricing in a climb in the renminbi to 6.6346 to the dollar from the current peg at 6.8258.


You can create negatives if you try hard enough, but I'll stick to what's in front of me.

By Jim Cramer Apr 7, 2010 8:06AM
Jim Cramer

By Jim Cramer, TheStreet


When you've done five years' worth of shows, you tend to think that nothing you could say will have any sort of impact beyond wearing a funny hat or singing a silly tune like, "You just can't slay the bull" to appropriate the end of "Hotel California."


But when you mention, "Don't worry, be happy," let's just say that the long knives are out, and last night for me was the night of the long knives.

People I regularly hear from and people I never hear from blasted me back to oblivion, questioning my every assumption, from the idea that the U.S. government will be pleasantly surprised with a reduced deficit -- and I am not even talking about pulling out of Afghanistan, something that I think is on the horizon because Karzai's not worth supporting -- to the notion of an exciting turn in California housing.


Favorable year-over-year reports will encourage the bulls . . . but after first-quarter earnings reports, reality will set in.

By Louis Navellier Apr 7, 2010 6:55AM
earnings stock picksOn Friday, we learned that the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March -- the most in three years.

Investors everywhere are waiting for the Dow to cross the 11,000 mark and hoping that the 6% added to the major indexes in March will be seen once again in April as we enter earnings season.

 I’ll admit I’m pretty fired up about earnings myself. As a growth guy, fundamentals are everything to me, and I live for the four times a year when sales and profits are in focus and the noise of Wall Street fades into the background. (Here are my five favorite large-cap picks for this earnings season.)


AutoChina International takes leasing vehicles to a new level

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Apr 6, 2010 6:46PM

Written by Douglas Estadt:

AutoChina International Ltd (AUTC) is involved in leasing commercial vehicles and providing after-sales support, road-side assistance, and value-added services. Check out some other reasons why we bought this stock:


  • Great opportunity to sell the "picks, axes and blue jeans" to Chinese entrepreneurs.


  • They lease the trucks that build the foundation for Chinese businesses and allow them to function properly (i.e. picks and axes).


  • Have low P/E ratio and recently completed secondary offering of 2 million shares at $35.


  • High insider ownership- it was announced that there was a $500,000 recent share purchase made by CFO Jason Wang


To hear more about AUTC, view the video below.


Warren Buffett's investment company takes No. 1 in Harris Interactive's annual ranking of companies with the best reputations.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 6, 2010 12:10PM

TheStreetBy Eric Rosenbaum, TheStreet


Americans hated companies a little less in 2009 than they did in 2008, but the country loved Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) a bit more.


In Harris Interactive's annual ranking of the companies with the best reputations, 81% of survey respondents said they considered the business world's reputation "not good" or "terrible," down from 88% the previous year.


Berkshire Hathaway beat second-place Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for the top spot among the 60 companies in the ranking. Google (GOOG), 3M (MMM) and SC Johnson rounded out the top five. Privately held SC Johnson was the first company to debut in the top five in the ranking since Google in 2005.



Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, joins the tablet race as it prepares a touch-screen device for the fall.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 6, 2010 11:01AM

TheStreetBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet


Nokia (NOK) is out to prove again that it can be late, wrong and yet still willing to stick its neck out in areas where growth could be.


The Finnish phone giant is gearing up to enter the tablet race, taking on the Apple (AAPL) iPad and other tech giants.


Nokia is working with suppliers and designers on a touch-screen tablet that would hit the market as early as fall, according to Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who is close to Nokia's technology partners. Nokia declined to comment. 


Alcoa shares could gain as the strengthening economy boosts aluminum demand.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 6, 2010 10:22AM

By David MacDougall,


Alcoa (AA) will be the first Dow component to report first-quarter earnings next week. The aluminum producer is expected to earn 15 cents a share after losing 59 cents a year earlier. The Pittsburgh-based company said yesterday it would have a $180 million charge for closing plants and an $80 million charge for health care expenses.


Still, analysts expect the company to increase revenue 18% this year. Much of the improvement in performance came from the rebound in aluminum prices, which have gained 70% during the past year. Alcoa has become an attractive opportunity as inflation fears grow and the metal regains the value it lost in the crash.


Aluminum prices and Alcoa are tightly correlated. In fact, changes in the spot price of aluminum during the past five years account for about 60% of the stock's movement. If aluminum continues to gain in the coming months, so will Alcoa shares.


Media companies, including comic book makers, love Apple's I-Pad. But can it really help superhero companies?

By Jamie Dlugosch Apr 6, 2010 9:41AM

There's always a bit of hype when Apple releases a new product, so how's this:


When Spider-Man and Iron Man need help, they call on Steve Jobs.


BusinessWeek reports today that comic powerhouse Marvel and a few smaller names are either out with or soon to release iPad applications that will make it easy to buy and read comics on the hot new device. DC Comics, home of Superman and Batman, is officially just looking for the moment.



The hope is that the big, bright screen on the iPad will make colorful panels more fun to look at, and might even reverse a long decline in comic sales.


The market is full of fretters -- how have they performed over the last year?

By Jim Cramer Apr 6, 2010 8:13AM
Jim Cramer

By Jim Cramer, TheStreet


We fret too much. We fret about whether Apple's (AAPL) iPad is going to sell. We fret about every Treasury auction. We fret about Fed statements and discount rate moves. We fret about commercial real estate. We fret about housing. We fret about the weakness of the consumer. We fret about the impact of health care. We fret about the Chinese bubble. And we fret about earnings and earnings and earnings. We fret about unemployment.


Hey, it's good to fret. I used to fret all the time at my hedge fund. You aren't being critical and rigorous enough if you aren't fretting. It is a little ridiculous to believe that everything is going to work out just right.


However, action taken based on fretting has been, since the bottom, just plain wrong. Look at those insurers yesterday. They were all supposed to be dead meat.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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