The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.
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Part 4 of this year's list of recommended books looks at economics.
I originally wrote a list in 2008 and again last year. I intend to keep adding to and revising it every year. It contains seven sections: Selling, Think Like an Investor, Behavioral Investing, Economics, Stock Market History, Risk and Books for the Soul. Today's segment is Part 4. Read part 3 here. and expect Part 5 tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it.
Politicians, God rest their souls, always try to appeal to the lowest common denominator. They try to “protect” us from evildoers by insisting on minimum-wage laws or rent controls, or by threatening windfall taxes on oil companies. They paint themselves as heroes fighting for the little guy against the evil-doers. All they are doing, however, is feeding on the economic illiteracy of the average Joe.
Given this reality, the following books should be required reading in high schools and colleges:
While retail investors and newsletter writers become increasingly optimistic, options traders are preparing for a stock market decline.
The stock market has had a rough ride lately. After blasting higher in the wake of the Federal Reserve's latest money-printing operation, risky assets have stumbled on concerns over the fate of Ireland and the other troubled eurozone nations.
Also, concerns over fast-rising inflation in China has many worried that policymakers there will be forced to take drastic action -- with big interest rate increases and lending restrictions. This could quickly reverse the speculative fever that has pushed up Chinese stocks and real-estate prices.
But now, with the excitement surrounding the IPO of General Motors (GM) as well as word that Ireland is on track to accept a big bailout package, shares are flying higher. Will it last?
Buy these stocks before they spring higher
By Chris Johnson and Jon Lewis, InvestorPlace.com
The number of hot stocks that pulled back to their 50-day moving average was on the rise early this week, attracting our attention as potential "technical bounce" candidates. While support from a key moving average is important, it can be improved upon by incorporating some options data into the approach. Our historical analysis has shown that stocks tend to find support when they trade in close proximity to large amounts of put open interest. This support is often attributed to the mechanics involved with the puts (hedging) and the sentiment that is conveyed by the put activity at that price.
The model that results from combining these approaches uncovers companies that are trading close to their respective 50-day moving averages while being in close range of large put open interest. The outcome is a list of stocks that are ready to bounce back and likely take the lead the next rally.
The once-elusive McRib sandwich is now a pop-culture phenomenon, creating enough buzz to make competitors drool.
But that doesn't matter to McDonald's (MCD). Because whether you like it or hate it, you know what it is. People love to talk about the McRib.
It's the subject of televised news reports. Of newspaper articles. Of blog posts (ahem). It's a conversation staple on Facebook, and it even has its own account on Twitter.
The actor and other investors sued the global banking company for unauthorized purchases, but the claim was denied.
Ferrell and his wife, along with a business manager and a trust for actor Larry David, filed an arbitration claim against JPMorgan in 2008, The New York Times reports. They were upset that the bank took $18 million and put it into "unauthorized and unsuitable purchases of preferred securities."
Arbitrators would have none of it. In fact, they turned around and went after Ferrell's group.
Apple partner China Unicom will start selling its own smart phone later this year.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
Bloomberg reports that China Unicom will launch the UPhone, underlining the challenges Apple faces in the increasingly competitive Chinese phone market.
Despite the iPhone's phenomenal success in the U.S. market, Apple is up against a host of heavyweights in China, including smart phones from Lenovo Group and China Mobile, as well as Taiwanese giant HTC.
Government privatizations have a track record of success, and this one is so good you can buy it in the aftermarket.
Psst, you want a good idea? Buy from the federal government whenever it has a privatization up its sleeve.
We're all abuzz about General Motors (GM), of course, as we should be when faced with one of the world's biggest underwritings. But let's consider the other merchandise the government's thrown our way. First, even though we've seen a pullback in Citigroup (C), the government has given you an almost 30% return on the big underwriting it did to kick off the privatization of that bank.
But let's look further back in history. In 1979 the government provided a loan guarantee to Chrysler in return for stock warrants to buy 11.4 million shares of the automaker at $13 a share. With that guarantee, Chrysler, which sold at $7.50 at that time, was able to get a private loan.
These exchange-traded funds offer plump dividends and diverse exposure
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
Exchange traded funds and high yield dividend funds have become increasingly popular in this volatile economy.
When looking for high dividend yields, many investors steer right for utility stocks. From telecom dividend plays like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) to conventional electric utilities like Duke Energy (DUK) and Exelon (EXC), there are a number of high-yield stocks out there that return 4% or 5% via dividends.
But what if you only have a small nest egg and stick largely to ETFs for diversification? These exchange-traded funds can leave you out of many sectors and investment opportunities, right?
The company has placed large orders for new planes, which will cut travel times but eat into cash flow.
FedEx is making a huge investment in its fleet with new Boeing 777s, which is taking a bite out of the company's bottom line in the short term. But down the road, these new planes will give the company a smart edge.
The company has eight 777s in service and 32 on the way. And that brings good and bad news for investors, according to analysts at UBS, which recently spent three days hosting representatives from the company.
The retailer unveils a new site for movie script submissions, hoping to turn some into feature films.
Time to dust off that movie script you wrote in college.
Amazon.com (AMZN) has launched a new website for people to submit movie scripts and will pay millions of dollars for the best ones, Reuters reports.
The company's studios division has partnered with Warner Bros. to receive the scripts and has set aside nearly $3 million for the best submissions received by December 2011. The winning scripts may get developed as feature films. (See more about the offer here.)
The streaming-video site is lowering the price of its subscription service, undercutting its competitor's cheapest subscription.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
The Internet video company, which is backed by General Electric (GE), NBC Universal, Walt Disney (DIS), News Corp. (NWSA) and private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners, is cutting prices on its Hulu Plus service to $7.99 from $9.99, making it $1 less than Netflix's cheapest subscription.
Users already subscribed to the service will receive a credit.
The Oracle goes against the grain and praises the government for guiding the economy through crisis.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) Warren Buffett toils in financial markets amid a sea of critics who bash the government from all sides, but going against the grain in the same way that has made him rich, he wrote a letter to Uncle Sam thanking the government for its work since the 2008 financial crisis.
When "businesses and people worldwide race to get liquid, you are the only party with the resources to take the other side of the transaction," Buffett said in an open letter to the U.S. government published today in The New York Times. "And when our citizens are losing trust by the hour in institutions they once revered, only you can restore calm."
Buffett singled out Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former and current Treasury secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair for praise, saying they "grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch."
The retailer posts a better-than-expected quarterly profit and expects a strong fourth quarter as well.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
The discount retailer earned $535 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $436 million, or 58 cents, a year ago. Analysts were calling for a profit of 68 cents a share.
Target's sales rose 3% to $15.2 billion, while its same-store sales increased 1.6%. Wall Street predicted sales of $5.61 billion.
The genealogy site, which has little competition, would be ideal for Google or another like-minded mass-information company.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
Many people have heard of Ancestry.com (ACOM) through e-mail and TV ads, but few investors appreciate the unique quality and tremendous growth prospects of its service. Ancestry.com is based in Provo, Utah, and is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world.
Ancestry.com has more than 5 billion records online. An easy-to-use platform and nearly zero competition have helped the company grow at a rapid pace. Ancestry's third-quarter revenue gained 39% to $57 million, boosted by 43% growth on its core Web site.
Outstanding marketing initiatives, including the airing of "Who Do You Think You Are" on NBC, deal-pending subsidiary of Comcast (CMCSA), have created buzz around Ancestry's network of sites. Subscribers increased 34% in the third quarter and 5% sequentially, but the churn rate rose to 4%.
Without a bailout, General Motors could still be sitting in bankruptcy court, withering away as creditors debated over who got what.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
What could have happened is that today, General Motors could be in the 15th month of its bankruptcy, with no end in sight and with consumers shying away from its products and tens of thousands of automobile industry workers either laid off or despairing for their futures.
Instead we have an IPO that is the talk of Wall Street, loans being repaid with stock sale proceeds, an auto company that makes money at the bottom of a cycle and new products that are widely applauded.
So it's a simple call. The Tea Party and its predecessors, who eschewed federal loans to GM, simply got it wrong, failing to perceive that a "bailout" can just as easily be called an "investment."
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Pipeline owners are making big profits on oil coming from North Dakota's Bakken fields. But a lot of natural gas continues to be flared due to low prices.
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