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GE has given investors nothing since chief executive Immelt took charge, one columnist writes.

By Kim Peterson Mar 10, 2010 1:44PM
Investors haven't made any money since Jeffrey Immelt took over General Electric's (GE) nine years ago, writes Brett Arends of WSJ.com. He calls the company a "disaster" under Immelt.

GE shares were about $40 when Immelt took over, Arends writes. Now they're at $16.45.

Certainly, not all of that decline can be blamed on Immelt, who is GE's chairman and chief executive. But what's got Arends in a knot is that during his time in charge, Immelt has received $90 million in salary, cash and pension benefits. 

Collective wisdom suggests that highflying UnitedHealth will remain aloft.

By Caps Editor Mar 10, 2010 1:43PM

This post comes from The Motley Fool's Rich Smith.

 

It's the nightmare of every investor: buying a rocket stock just before it takes a nose dive.

 

While stocks often rise for a reason, sometimes the rise becomes the reason. Despite being cautioned against it, investors often buy hot stocks, trusting momentum to keep 'em moving higher.

 

Problem is, if the price goes up too much, even a great company can be a lousy investment.

Below I list a few stocks that have soared over the past year but might be ripe to fall back to Earth.

 
Tags: CAPS

The company reports earnings tomorrow after the close. Have sales peaked?

By Jamie Dlugosch Mar 10, 2010 1:42PM

Gun sales have been strong as owners stock up for fear new controls are on the way. But gun stocks haven't climbed as much as you'd expect.

 

Smith's earnings report could give them a boost.

 

So far, investors betting on stocks of gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm Ruger (RGR) to move higher because of fear President Obama will tread on gun rights have to be a little disappointed.

 

Yes, shares have gained 60% and 80% respectively since the Obama administration took office, amid strong sales and many reports of gun owners stocking up. But during a rally in which many stocks have posted similar or better results, the numbers aren't entirely spectacular.

 

Perhaps Thursday’s earnings announcement from Smith & Wesson will set shares on a path higher?

 

A brief list of reasons to like American Lorain Corp

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Mar 10, 2010 11:18AM
Written by Douglas Estadt
American Lorain Corp (ALN) is an international processed and convenience foods company based in China whose stock we just bought.  Why we bought:
 
-Trusted brand name for 15 years, with executive who was powerful politician 
-Number of stores with ALR - brand products reached 3578 in Jan '10, up from 2000 in mid '09
-Goal to reach presence in 5000 stores by the end of 2010
-Low p/e
-Big name partners(i.e. Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, KFC)
-Great comparative metrics when compared to peers' stocks (CMFO, HOGS, etc...) we've already traded profitably
 
To learn more of our thoughts on ALN watch the video below
 

Bank of America's $35 charge didn't target its best customers. But they might have to chip in to make up for the lost revenue.

By InvestorPlace Mar 10, 2010 10:22AM

bankingBank of America (BAC) just announced it will stop charging overdraft fees of $35 for most of its debit card customers. You may think that if you pay your bills on time and don't suffer overdraft fees that the changes  don’t apply to you. Well, think again.

 

"Serial overdrafters" who constantly spend more than they have are big business for banks -- overdraft charges and related fees generate $1.77 billion a year.  Without that revenue stream, these financial companies are going to have to find another way to make their cash. That could mean higher expenses for even responsible customers.

 

More than 50 companies are selling business applications at Google's new store.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 10, 2010 10:12AM

TheStreetBy Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet

 

Google (GOOG) has opened a new online store for integrated business applications.

 

The Google Apps Marketplace allows customers "to easily discover, deploy and manage cloud applications that integrate with Google Apps," the company said in a blog post.

 

Google said more than 50 companies are now selling apps at its store, including Intuit (INTU) and Concur Technologies (CNQR).

 

This small-cap gem with a monster dividend focuses on 'humanization' of antibodies and releated patents

By InvestorPlace Mar 10, 2010 8:28AM

dividend stock secretFocusing on dividends sometimes attracts the scorn of active traders who think this is a slow and boring way to make money on Wall Street. But not all dividend payers are stuffy blue chips that track the major indexes.


In fact, there are some really great small-cap stocks out there that provide mammoth dividend yields on top of upside potential in shares.

Some common places to find small-cap stocks with monster yields are in the REIT industry or with publicly traded hedge funds ... but one little biotech stock with a monster yield of 14.2% proves big dividends can come in unlikely places.

 

Money could be made by stepping aside when things are expensive and returning when things get cheaper.

By Jim Cramer Mar 10, 2010 8:20AM
Jim Cramer

By Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

The most trenchant moment of the whole day Tuesday may have been some interview I heard with still one more fund manager who came on TV and was asked why the public isn't involved with this market.

 

I always listen with one ear, but the answer I heard was something like, "Why should you expect them to be? They have had two 50% declines in 10 years, and they won't be fooled again."

 

Yep, the public is unwilling to be "fooled again." The public has been destroyed by the stock market repeatedly, and you have made no money at all if you have stuck with the passive strategies advocated by both the professors and the professionals.

 

A stealthy withdrawal of liquidity could weigh on equities.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Mar 9, 2010 8:35PM

MirhaydariThe stock rally over the last month comes despite a drying up of liquidity -- a fancy name for extra cash in the financial system. Central bankers around the world plan the emergency programs put in place after the 2008 credit meltdown. Those plans are expected to lift the interest rates that governments, companies, and consumers pay.

 

Investors don't seem concerned. The broad market continues to be led by smaller and riskier stocks, as the Russell 2000 small index has seriously outperformed the large caps in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500. Over the last 22 days, the Russell has gained a whopping 14% -- by far its best run since July.

 

But change is coming. The Federal Reserve plans to stop directly buying bonds. Since last March, the Fed has purchased more than $1.7 trillion in mortgage debt, U.S. Treasury debt and government agency debt. It would be naive to believe this withdrawal won't cause interest rates to increase. Intuitional investors like hedge funds won't react favorably to an increase in their cost of capital. That's not all.

 

Without a PIN, daughter isn't allowed to cancel account. Verizon blames a customer service snafu.

By Jamie Dlugosch Mar 9, 2010 4:24PM

Would you buy a stock in a company that bills the deceased?

 

Apparently that is what communication giant Verizon (VZ) did in the case of a West Virginia man who passed away in June 2009, but was billed until February of this year.

 

The man's daughter tried to cancel the account, but because she didn't have her father's personal identification number, a Verizon customer-service representative wouldn't comply. The issue was resolved only after the woman, who lives in Florida, contacted a consumer advocate.

 

I know times are tough with the recession and all, but are companies that desperate?

 

Drilling failure rates continue to climb, making it more expensive to find new oil.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 9, 2010 2:33PM

Jim JubakIt's not a factor now in the climbing price of oil, but the big increase in drilling failures certainly doesn't portend cheaper oil down the road -- or a rosy future for the Western oil giants.


In 2009 Chevron's (CVX) drilling failure rate climbed to 35%. More than one-third of exploratory wells came up dry. That compares to a 10% failure rate in 2008.


And it's not alone: ConocoPhillips (COP) saw its failure rate climb to 43% in 2009 from 32% in 2008.


Higher failure rates mean that it gets more and more expensive

 

Some countries are not allowing Wall Street firms to participate in upcoming bond issuances.

By Kim Peterson Mar 9, 2010 1:59PM
Europe  © Corbis European countries need money, like, yesterday, and they're planning to raise an estimated half a trillion dollars this year to cover debt, bank bailouts and unemployment, the Guardian reports.

Normally, Wall Street firms would be racking up the frequent flyer miles getting these big-money deals in place. But not this time, because some European countries are banning Wall Street from participating.

"For the first time in five years, no big U.S. investment bank appears among the top nine sovereign bond bookrunners in Europe," writes the Guardian's Elena Moya.

Goldman Sachs (GS) is gone. So is JP Morgan (JPM)

Investors pulling money out of US stocks in favor of bonds, emerging markets.

By Kim Peterson Mar 9, 2010 1:34PM
Find hot stocks © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesInvestors hate U.S. stocks.

That's the finding of The Wall Street Journal, which says that investors around the globe have pulled $15.3 billion out of U.S. stock funds so far this year. Instead, they're putting money into emerging markets and U.S. bond funds.

"This is a far different pattern than in the wake of other recent bear markets, where investors had viewed market declines as a chance to buy cheap stocks that would inevitably rise," writes Tom Lauricella. 

A weekly survey of retailers shows that March is shaping up to be a great month for sales

By InvestorPlace Mar 9, 2010 1:06PM

Shopping © imagewerks/Getty ImagesThere’s no doubt that consumers are watching their money carefully. Just today, a report from Investors Business Daily said that U.S. consumer confidence fell in March to its lowest level in a year, as high unemployment and economic uncertainty continues to take a toll. And when we get retail sales figures in a few days, the bar is set pretty low with a -0.2% growth rate forecast.

 

Businesses are still on the defensive as a result of these conditions. For instance, Target (TGT) just launched a plan that allows consumers to swipe digital coupons sent to their smartphones. The move is designed to help tight-fisted spenders feel better about a trip to their local big box retailer. (Find out how you can sign up for the plan here!)

 

But is all this gloom around the retail sector really warranted? Preliminary estimates indicate that even though attitudes might be gloomy, it appears that consumers are still spending considerably more cash than last year.

 

An 18% tax on these unhealthy foods could impact on Americans' average weight.

By Kim Peterson Mar 9, 2010 12:43PM
Pizza slice. Credit: (© Foodcollection/Getty Images)Medical researchers say an 18% tax on soda and pizza could lower Americans' average weight by five pounds a year. Not the best news for Coca-Cola (KO) and Yum Brands (YUM).

Would a tax like this ever fly? Probably not, although the lingering economic downturn has lawmakers looking closely at new tax ideas. The researchers say this tax could even help cut rates of diabetes.

The U.S. spends an estimated $147 billion a year in health costs to combat obesity, Reuters reports. About two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. 

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