Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.
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The network is taking a Brett Favre-like beating for its handling of ad sales for the Super Bowl. With video updates.
On the heels of its controversial decision to accept an apparent pro-life ad featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, CBS is taking heat for its decision to not accept an ad from male dating Web site ManCrunch.com.
The 30-second spot – which ManCrunch says it submitted to CBS on Jan. 18 -- shows two men groping each other. A representative for the site said CBS had informed them that "all the Super Bowl spots were sold out."
The dating site had requested the ad be reviewed "in case another advertiser drops out."
On Friday, CBS officially rejected the ad, saying the "creative is not within the network's broadcast standards for Super Bowl Sunday."
Government involvement in the financial sector is needed to preserve capitalism, the only thing that should be too big to fail.
I am a Capitalist Pig, and proud of it, thus you would not expect me to support government interference and more strenuous regulation of financial institutions – after all, capitalism (free markets) and tight regulation don't mix well.
Well, at the risk of been kicked out of the Capitalistic Pig Party, I am in support of tighter regulation of too-big-to-fail (TBTF) institutions – the likes of Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank America, and (God forbid; after all, they are doing “God’s work” – their CEO’s words, not mine) Goldman Sachs.
Lack of tight regulation in the TBTF space leads to the worst economic system of all: asymmetric socialism. The enormous gains are reaped by employees and shareholders, but losses are socialized and paid by taxpayers. That is simply immoral.
There's plenty of room for optimism with today's new signs of growth.
Investors were pleasantly surprised Friday morning by news that the U.S. economy expanded by a whopping 5.7% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 -- the most since 2003. This was well ahead of the 4.5% consensus estimate and solidly beats the 2.2% growth managed in Q3. The turnaround is the largest in almost three decades.
The main driver of the performance was a slowdown in the rate at which businesses were drawing down their inventories. This area alone contributed 3.4% to overall growth in the quarter. Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics in London believes that inventory rebuilding will continue to boost GDP growth for two or three more quarters.
But what happens after that, especially as the stimulus spending out of Washington winds down later this year? The big question is: Can this rate of growth continue?
Reintroducing provisions of Glass-Steagall will hurt big financial companies, but these well-run regional banks will be big winners.
When President Obama announced plans to ban commercial banks from investment activities and prevent further big financial mergers, Wall Street was not pleased. Stocks sagged dramatically, with the Dow dropping more than 550 points in three sessions.
But let's not panic. While some traders are already declaring that the bull market is over or that Obama is starting an anti-business crusade, a closer look at the facts shows that this isn't the end of the world. In fact, if approved (and that's a big "if"), the president's plan may actually create a very big opportunity for investors.
Nobel laureate Stiglitz says curbing the banking industry is a good idea.
The "too big to fail" banks have a reason to gamble, he writes in the Los Angeles Times. If they make money, they keep the profits. If they lose, the government picks up the tab.
As a result, big banks took billions in bailout money while small banks closed. Now the banking system is even more concentrated, he writes.
So what to do?
The company used sophisticated technology and in-house trades to get the best prices for its clients, analysts say.
Goldman was able to get the average price of a trade closest to the stock level when the order was received, Bloomberg reported. JPMorgan fell to No. 4.
And during the time of Goldman's rise, stock volatility quadrupled from its average. More than 10 billion shares were traded on U.S. exchanges every day. And high-speed trading rose to account for 61% of U.S. stock market activity, according to Bloomberg.
Donor gifts are down, and endowments are still recovering from the economic downturn.
And if that wasn't bad enough, schools are seeing a decline in gifts and having to spend more endowment money just to get through hard times. They are spending more than they're earning.
Schools with the largest endowments (of more than $1 billion) withdrew 4.6% of their assets in the year. That's higher than average.
The obstacles to a market turnaround could be breaking down.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Challenge your thesis. Challenge your positive view. Challenge your negative view. That's what I always do. That's what plays out in this blog.
Right now my view is that things are going wrong and it's because the earnings have to pass through the Scylla of a pro-labor president and the Charybdis of the Chinese government-mandated slowdown.
That means everything from Apple (AAPL) to Amazon (AMZN) from Bank of America (BAC) to Caterpillar (CAT) must go through that gantlet. But what happens if one of the two obstacles loses its power, loses its ability to crush us? What happens if one of the obstacles gets discounted in the numbers because the stock that is passing through the strait has already gone down enough to be considered a comeback name?
A look at market history suggests trouble if stocks can't mount a quick rebound.
Stocks are sitting smack in the middle of a very oversold condition based on technical and market breadth measures. A failure by the bulls to take advantage of the situation would be a clear warning that the balance of power has shifted and we should prepare for further declines. No matter what time of the year or what the price level of the major indices, this relationship holds true.
But there is more at stake at the moment, based on seasonality and price levels, which makes a big rebound more important than usual.
During last week's stock sell-off, the Dow industrials moved below theirDecember closing low of 10,285 (from Dec. 8), triggering what Jeff and Yale Hirsch -- the father-and-son team behind the Stock Trader's Almanac -- dub the "December Low Indicator." According to their analysis, since 1950 when the December Low Indicator was triggered, the Dow went on to lose another 10.9% on average. It happened in each of the last two years, with the Dow losing another 42% in 2008 and 17.6% in 2009.
Is 2010 fated to repeat these dismal performances?
The market seems to be moving away from risk and into safer sectors, like healthcare and consumer staples.
About a week ago, I wrote a post saying that so far, what we were seeing in the market was just a correction.
I noted that the rally that began in March had been dotted with 5% corrections, but that we hadn't had a good, hard 10% correction while it ran. This time, I wrote, the odds were that this correction was going to be of the 10% variety.
I think that's even more certain today.
We started the week with two relatively weak up days
Long in the works, the shuttering of the arthouse division is official today
It’s been a slow death, but Miramax dies today.
The New York and Los Angeles offices of the 31-year-old arthouse movie studio that wrought such landmark films as "My Left Foot," "Reservoir Dogs," "The Piano," "Pulp Fiction," "Clerks," "Sex, Lies and Videotape," "Shakespeare in Love," "Swingers," "Good Will Hunting" and "The English Patient" will be shuttered Jan. 28 by corporate owner Disney.
"Miramax wasn't just a bad-boy clubhouse, it was a 20th-century Olympus," filmmaker Kevin Smith wrote in a blog for TheWrap. "Throw a can of Diet Coke and you hit a modern-day deity. And for one brief, shining moment, it was an age of magic and wonders."
Academy rules say nominees can't be in commercials during the show, but probable nominee Jeff Bridges voices ads for Hyundai, the show's automotive sponsor.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which presents the Oscars, has some odd rules about advertising during the Oscar broadcast. And it looks like Hyundai is bumping up against those rules.
Hyundai's commercials use uncredited voiceovers from all-but-certain Best Actor nominee Jeff Bridges.
A day after the new tablet's debut, analysts have high hopes for sales, revenue and stock price.
Will it "pad" the company's bottom line? How will EPS change? And how will the share price be affected? Apple shares were down about 4% by midday Thursday to just under $200.
As it turns out, most analysts were bullish and pleasantly surprised by the iPad's price. The cheapest model, with 16 gigabytes of storage, costs $499, though more storage and other add-ons can take the price above $800.
The negative surprises, according to analysts at Credit Suisse, included no new operating system capable of multitasking and no carrier partnerships beyond AT&T (T).
The thirst for profits has Schwab focused on increasing deposits at its bank.
There's nothing worse than watching good businesses go bad. One lapse in judgment can destroy shareholder value and years of brand equity.
The market can be quite ruthless.
For example, one pioneer in the online brokerage business, E-Trade Financial (ETFC), aggressively grew its banking business during the real-estate boom at the start of the millennium that nearly crippled the company. Yet it looks like Charles Schwab is contemplating the same move.
Take a lesson here, Chuck.
Shares of E-Trade are a mere shell of their former selves -- under $2, from a peak above $26 -- as a result of loan losses and bad assets on its bank balance sheet. This despite the fact that its brokerage business is firing on all cylinders. (Here are 10 Top Stocks for do-it-yourself investors.)
Small banks are repaying the government and boosting earnings, making them better investments than those too-big-to-fail banks.
By Philip van Doorn, TheStreet
Investors have reset their sights on big banks such as Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) after they redeemed themselves by paying back the government's bailout money. But three of their smaller rivals are more attractive as investments. A fourth bank, rebounding from a loss, warrants waiting.
Shares of Citigroup and Bank of America (BAC) have fallen in the past month, even though a brace of large banks fully repaid the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program. Wells Fargo has risen marginally. Investors are expecting big rebounds from the country's largest banks, with Thomas Villalta, manager of the Jones Villalta Opportunity Fund (JVOFX), saying Bank of America's stock could double this year.
The following four banks are worthy of investors' watch lists.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market maintained a narrow trading range on Thursday before ending the session essentially where it began. The S&P 500 added less than a point, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.2%) underperformed.
Equity indices displayed early strength thanks in part to an overnight boost from better than expected economic data in China and Europe. Specifically, China's HSBC Manufacturing PMI surged to an 18-month high (52.0 from 50.7), while Eurozone Manufacturing PMI ... More
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