Surge brought back from the dead
Surge is back from the dead

Coca-Cola launched the soda brand in the 1990s to compete with Mountain Dew. Sales didn't exactly take off.


Funds tracking the Japanese economy, corn prices and the euro will be in the spotlight for the next few days.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 5, 2011 10:26AM

Image: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreet


Here are five exchange-traded funds to keep an eye on this week.


1. iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)


The Japan-tracking EWJ spent much of the month of June treading water, subdued below its 50-day moving average. At the close of the month, however, the fund caught a break. Thanks to a three-day ascent during the middle of last week, shares of EWJ managed to recapture levels seen at the start of May.


In the coming days, as we take our first steps into the second half of 2011, it will be interesting to see if EWJ can capitalize on last week's strength. The Japanese markets still have ample ground to cover before the fund regains the highs witnessed before the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Along the road to recovery, expect headwinds to persist.


An impressive rally last week may just be the start of something bigger.

By Jamie Dlugosch Jul 5, 2011 10:12AM

The Fourth of July holiday came early for the stock market last week as stocks exploded to their best weekly gain in many moons.


Powered by solid economic numbers and optimism for the forthcoming second-quarter earnings season, bulls pushed the S&P 500 to a gain of more than 5% for the week.


It is amazing watching the wall of worry crumble. The bear argument for a double dip or stock market armageddon never did hold much water. The three-month pause in the market was just that, a pause.


Despite the big gains, many stocks trade for relatively low valuations. As long as profits come in as forecast, we can expect more gains in July. It will be a tremendous summer rally if corporate earnings beat analyst estimates.


I’m staying long and strong with my ETFs to buy this week. Keep an eye on the iShares S&P North America Technology and Multimedia Fund (IGN).

Tags: etf

Their solid chart patterns point to relative safety for investors.

By Jul 5, 2011 10:07AM
By Tom Aspray,

Better-than-expected economic data, especially on the manufacturing side, added fuel to the impressive stock market rally last week. Short term, the major averages are clearly overbought, as most are at or above the daily Starc+ bands. 

On the plus side, the advance/decline lines on the broad NYSE Composite, S&P 500 and Dow industrials have all moved above their previous highs. This does favor new highs for the major averages, and the Dow transports surpassed the 2011 closing highs Friday.

This week, the focus will be on the unemployment situation, but there are still quite a few analysts favoring the double-dip scenario, as they are skeptical about last week's positive economic data. From a contrarian standpoint, the continued skepticism should be another positive for the market.

For nervous investors, stocks with high levels of cash often seem attractive. Many companies have instituted new buyback programs recently, and while most income investing experts prefer dividend increases, several companies have quite interesting charts.

Fortunes changed nearly overnight last week, and a rally took firm hold. So firm, in fact, that a coming correction could be a time to buy.

By Jul 1, 2011 11:27PM
By Tom Aspray,

Just a week ago, the financial news was pretty dire, as stocks closed near their lows and everyone was piling into three-month T-Bills that had almost no yield.

Stocks started off last week on a positive note, but it took until Wednesday or so before most paid any attention. The fireworks came at the end of the week, when those short the market were forced to cover their positions.

Stocks put in their best weekly percentage performance in a year, and rates rose sharply, with the yield on the ten-year note rising from last week’s close at 2.87% to 3.20% on Friday. That is an 11.4% increase in a week.

The weekly yield chart shows that momentum has turned up from the most oversold levels since 2009.

The company is trying to sell a huge estate it foreclosed on. But the business magnate's cagey moves present a problem.

By Kim Peterson Jul 1, 2011 2:49PM
Credit: (© Richard Drew/AP)

Caption: Donald TrumpThis is one foreclosure that won't go Bank of America's (BAC) way.

Donald Trump is putting a huge squeeze on the bank as it tries to foreclose on a 24,000-square-foot estate in Virginia. Bank of America owns the house and is trying to sell it for $16 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Maybe the bank could sell a normal estate for that much, but not in this case. You see, Trump owns the backyard, the front yard and most of the driveway. He doesn't own the house itself, but he's willing to take it off the bank's hands for, oh, $3.6 million.

Ah, you gotta love the Donald. Here's how this nightmare for Bank of America came about: 

Gerdau exports more than a third of its Brazilian production, but an appreciating real has made exports more expensive.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 1, 2011 1:13PM
Jim JubakBrazilian-U.S. steelmaker Gerdau (GGB) is up nearly 3% in midday trading, and up 8% since Wednesday.

The spike follows calls from Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank for a possible third-quarter surprise in demand for steel, and for rising prices, with current levels forming a floor. (Gerdau is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.)

Shares of other steelmakers were up as well. Nucor (NUE), for example, gained 4% earlier this week.

I think it’s the positive change in sentiment toward emerging stock markets that has led to the relative outperformance by Gerdau as compared with the steel group.

Brazil’s major market index, the Bovespa, was up 1.6% from June 24 through 3 p.m. Thursday. That’s quite a contrast to the 4.1% loss recorded by the index from June 9 through June 16.

The ETFs that track fast-growing Indonesia and Malaysia look poised to outperform, and with a pullback in the week ahead, favorable buy set-ups may be presented for both.

By Jul 1, 2011 12:29PM
By Tom Aspray,

Most of the emerging markets have rallied alongside developed markets this week and have bounced sharply from their lows. Still, it is a very split picture, as the outlook for the emerging markets as a group looks less attractive than that of the US market.

Clearly, the move out of higher-risk assets that began with silver’s plunge in early May has hurt many of the emerging market ETFs. Many of those funds had already peaked in April and were declining.

While the BRIC markets are still well below the prior highs, there are two country ETFs that are breaking out to the upside and in my view have the best potential for the rest of the year. I do expect a slight pullback in these ETFs over the next week, which should be a buying opportunity.

Use these tools to trade stocks of companies set to report quarterly results.

By Jamie Dlugosch Jul 1, 2011 12:05PM

With the second quarter now finished, I'm gearing up for earnings season. While some folks shy away from trading stocks of companies set to release operating results, I use the opportunity to attack the market at its weakest and most inefficient point.


When a company reports results, the news will be greeted by overzealous buying or fearful selling almost immediately. The mad rush of buyers or sellers results in a stock that can move 5% to 10% higher or lower, depending on the company's success or failure at meeting Wall Street's expectations.


The beat-the-numbers game is alive and well. If you trade wisely, big profits can be had in a short period. The trick, of course, is to understand what is coming and position yourself accordingly.


I use several very effective tools to help guide my way to trading earnings successfully. On Monday, I gave a preview on 5 companies reporting earnings this week using these keys.


Romney and Cain are just the latest to spend their pizza money to get a bigger piece of the political pie.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 1, 2011 9:58AM

the streetBy Jason Notte, TheStreet


With pizza industry alumni using their dining and delivery experience to think outside the box, pizza has a rising political profile.


Two candidates in the field pursuing the Republican party's 2012 presidential nomination have long, stringy ties to the pizza industry and are just the latest pizza alumni to make their presence felt in American politics.

The pizza industry brought in $36 billion in 2009, the last full year for which complete statistics are available, and provides a nice resume item for candidates pushing for economic growth. But don't take the link too far. The industry declined 1% from 2008 to 2009 and has seen its share of struggles in the year and a half since, making relying on pizza for popularity at the polls look as dumb as calling it "'za."


Credit Suisse's CEO misses a massive divorce payment. Bill Miller's faith in film delivers him a huge loss. The Myspace fire sale and reports of a Zynga IPO add up to a big week in social media.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 1, 2011 8:15AM

the streetBy Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet 


Here are some of the dumbest actions in business this week.


5. Dougan's Dumbness


You wouldn't think someone as fiscally savvy as Credit Suisse (CS) CEO Brady Dougan would lose three-quarters of a million dollars because of a 12-day late divorce payment.


The Connecticut Supreme Court, the state's highest, ruled Monday that Dougan owes his ex-wife more than $750,000 in interest for being 12 days tardy with a $7.5 million divorce-related disbursement. Dougan argued he should owe interest only for the dozen days the payment was late and even threw in an extra $25,000, representing 12 days' worth of interest.  


Tempted to buy companies like Broadcom and Intel before earnings? Wait a couple of months.

By Jim Cramer Jul 1, 2011 7:05AM

jim cramerthe streetPeople are trying to get ahead of the second half's annual rally in tech stocks, and I think they are way too early.


You shouldn't buy Broadcom (BRCM) or Intel (INTC) or any company in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index right now. You have to wait to see the whites of their eyes, not just their eyes, and that won't happen until we get to late August.


Sure, you might want to take advantage of their underperformance and pick up some shares. But the ones you should pick up are the ones that are undervalued because their stocks are punk, not their earnings. That would be big data-center stocks, like IBM (IBM), EMC (EMC) and NetApp (NTAP), and you are seeing a big percentage gain in the latter. Or it would be cloud stocks, VMWare (VMW), Citrix Systems (CTXS) and (CRM), although I would tell you that none of these are really down, per se.


Consumer Reports readers rank the chains. The results probably won't surprise you.

By Kim Peterson Jun 30, 2011 3:53PM
Image: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)The largest fast-food chains also have the worst food and service, according to a survey of Consumer Reports readers.

The magazine asked nearly 37,000 subscribers to rate 53 fast-food chains, and said the lowest marks went to McDonald's (MCD), Burger King, KFC and Taco Bell. All of those chains had uninspiring food and so-so service, Consumer Reports readers said.

"Chains like McDonald's and Taco Bell boast supersized values, but consumers don't necessarily think they offer much bang for the buck," an editor at Consumer Reports told Reuters.

Only 11% of subscribers said the food at those four chains was "excellent," but 15% to 19% described the food as fair, poor or very poor. McDonald's was last place in the hamburger category. 

Investors should focus on the gap between price and value, Intrepid Capital Funds' Mark Travis says.

By TheStreet Staff Jun 30, 2011 12:46PM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreet


With stocks in a slump -- the benchmark S&P 500 ($INX) has fallen 5% from a peak two months ago -- individual investors are trying to figure out which companies may rebound because they offer value and which may continue their slide.


In this topsy-turvy world -- even hot-gadget maker Apple (AAPL) and defensive stalwart Exxon Mobil (XOM) are down -- emulating private-equity investors' approach to evaluating companies may be the smartest move.


Stocks are barely up so far in 2011 after two years of strong gains as higher commodity prices crimp corporate profits, consumer spending is lackluster amid high unemployment and the Federal Reserve is ending its second stimulus program this month. By focusing on corporate balance sheets and private-market valuations, investors may be able to navigate volatility in these summer months.


Investors should look to emerging economies for gains in the second half of the year, Jim Jubak says.

By Jim J. Jubak Jun 30, 2011 12:14PM
The first half of 2011 was all about high performance from the U.S. and developed economies, MSN Money columnist Jim Jubak says. 

For the rest of the year, he says, investors should look to emerging economies, and his top five stock picks for the next six months reflect that.

Jubak explains his picks and answers some questions from viewers in the following video.

Post continues below:
Tags: gm

Here are four funds that have taken advantage of the recent decline in commodity prices.

By TheStreet Staff Jun 30, 2011 11:35AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


Once seemingly impervious to weakness, the commodities space has recently been cast under an unsettling shroud of uncertainty, leading many investors to question the long-term strength and attraction of hard assets.


Although in the near term, those looking for direct access to energy, minerals, and individual agricultural products may face an uphill climb, there are a number of ways ETF investors can actually benefit from the recent upheaval in commodities. Below are a handful of funds that look set to benefit as resource prices remain subdued.


SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT): Throughout the final months of 2010 and first quarter of 2011, cotton prices stuck to a steep upward path, as evidenced by the rise of the futures-tracking iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Subindex Total Return ETN (BAL).



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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -4.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -9.30. The stock market is on track for a lower start as futures on the S&P 500 trade four points below fair value.

Index futures have retreated from their overnight highs following another round of disappointing data from China. This time, it was the Foreign Direct Investment report, which revealed a 1.8% decline (previous -0.4%), leading to concerns about a potential hard landing.

The ... More


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