Some companies hit all-time records last month, while others missed forecasts.
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Why can't we simply have a system where deposits equal expenditures?
I retired last September when I turned 62 and decided to take my reduced benefits. My kids had both graduated from college and were employed, my debt was low and I'd saved for retirement since I graduated from college. My Social Security statement showed I'd been paying in to the SSI fund since 1962 while I was still in high school and had contributions every year since then.
Yesterday an article by David Lightman called "A push to delay Social Security benefits until 70" caught my eye. The article, like most articles on Social Security tells of all the problems but offers few solutions except for pushing out your retirement date further and further. Well I've got some ideas.
Priced at $1 to $3, these small-cap picks have the explosive potential of penny stocks -- without the huge risk.
By Louis Navellier, Editor of Blue Chip Growth
Penny stock investing doesn’t have to involve super-risky stocks that can erase your retirement money. Penny stock recommendations also can encapsulate low-priced stocks that are more stable, trading at bargain prices and low valuations.
These bargain investments trade for between $1 and $3 -- very cheap compared with traditional equities. Though they are not trading for a few cents like some penny stock recommendations, these stocks are worth the extra share price because they have added stability.
Here are three pricey penny stock recommendations from this week for investors looking for low-priced picks with the ability to surge but with more stable companies that won’t collapse overnight.
With an increasingly coveted fleet, an improving balance sheet and plenty of cash, Ford has the momentum of an oncoming F-150.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
What does Ford (F) have to do to get some respect around this joint?
Two weeks ago the company announced a $4 billion payoff of its union and preferred debt obligations. Ford didn't have to do it. It could have made the union payment with stock. It could have kept deferring the preferred payments forever.
But the company had so much cash and the sales are so strong, they said let's just pay 'em off. That means that when Ford reports, it is going to get some serious credit upgrades and will be able to offer the most generous financing without getting killed in the process.
Investors are anxious about the country's GDP numbers, which are due out Thursday.
All eyes will be on China's second-quarter gross domestic product numbers when they're announced Thursday.
Will China's economy show something like the 11.9% growth of the first quarter (danger, Will Robinson), or a big drop to 8% (worryingly too slow) or come in just right? (See the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund on the rest of the global economy in my post "Economic growth will be higher than projected, the IMF says, unless, of course, it's not.")
The numbers announced in the run-up to the GDP report haven't given much away.
The company is counting on frappes, smoothies and lattes to bring in $1 billion this year.
Pop quiz: What's expected to add $125,000 to the sales of each McDonald's restaurant in America this year?
The answer is beverages. And that's why McDonald's (MCD) has pounced on frappes, smoothies and other drinks as the economy struggles to improve.
McDonald's beverage line is also estimated to contribute $1 billion to the company's bottom line this year, Advertising Age reports. The company officially begins advertising the beverages this week.
Fans just aren't buying concert tickets this season, causing tours to be cut short or canceled.
It's not the best summer for touring rock stars.
The 2010 summer concert season is one of the worst in a decade. People aren't buying tickets, stadiums are going unfilled, and shows are being canceled.
Artists who would normally draw fans, including Christina Aguilera, the Eagles, John Mayer and Rihanna, have canceled shows or entire tours, Billboard reports. And that spells trouble for companies like concert promoter Live Nation (LYV), which merged with Ticketmaster in January.
There are several reasons for the drought:
Many of the S&P 500's worst laggards are closely watched companies like Alcoa and Monster Worldwide.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The S&P 500 Index ($INX), despite last week's stock-market rally, has fallen 4% this year after posting a monumental rebound in 2009. Individual members of the benchmark index have suffered more pronounced downturns. And many of the laggards are closely watched companies.
Here are five of the worst-performing S&P 500 stocks so far this year. They are ordered by return, from bad to worse.
5. Monster Worldwide (MWW), a global online job site, has tumbled 32% this year. Monster's first-quarter loss more than doubled to $24 million, or 20 cents a share, as revenue declined 15%.
The administration has finally acknowledged that some of its policies have hurt companies.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
What happens if the administration means it -- if there is a truce in the war against business?
I hesitate to say what could happen; it would be so bullish, because the administration's endless push for an agenda that scares businesses from hiring has caused much of the unemployment stagnation in this country.
First, I don't know if there is a truce. We have some positives in the papers -- something that the administration would never allow, as it has tight control over the media (the tightest I have ever seen) -- including "Revisiting the Regulations Affecting Business," an article in Monday's Wall Street Journal. We had Larry Kudlow's incredibly important interview with Tim Geithner, which made it sound as though part of the war, the collateral damage of the equity owners, might be coming to an end.
When you can't tell the difference between light at the end of the tunnel and a train coming your way, then it's time to pay attention.
Let's look at my three yardsticks for evaluating the market. I use three because no single yardstick tells the whole picture. Barchart is the source of all my data.
Value Line Index -- contains 1700 stocks so I think it's more representative of the market than the narrower S&P 500 or the very narrow Dow 30 -- Index closed up for the week but still no long term trend
- Index gained 5.43% last week
- Index gained 2.05% last month
- Index was up for 3 of the last 5 weeks
- Still rated as a Barchart 40% technical sell
- Friday closed at 2253.61 and approaching its 20 day moving ave age of 2324.87
Are investors falling prey to post-traumatic armageddon hypochondria?
While the economic data that has rolled in over the past couple weeks hasn't been as good as it was a few months back, it's by no means been terrible -- despite what many investors and pundits seem to think.
The manufacturing sector, for example, continues to improve, expanding for the 11th straight month in June (and at a faster rate than it did in any month of 2009), according to the Institute for Supply Management.
Corporate America, meanwhile, is lean and flexible, with nonfinancial firms boasting record cash levels on their balance sheets. And the big banks are in far better shape than they were two years ago.
Wall Street is going into this earnings season with its heart in its mouth.
Today is the calm before the earnings storm.
And then we're off to the races, with Intel (INTC) reporting on Tuesday, Google (GOOG) on Thursday, and three big banks -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), and Citigroup (C) -- reporting before the market opens on either Thursday or Friday.
This is one of those quarters when Wall Street will not look so much at what numbers companies deliver
Homeowners with million-dollar loans are falling delinquent at a surprising rate.
Here's something the banks didn't expect: Wealthy people are really bad at paying their mortgages.
In fact, of homeowners with loans of more than $1 million, one in seven is seriously delinquent, according to The New York Times. For everyone else (those with loans under $1 million), only one in 12 is delinquent.
"Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population," writes David Streitfeld.
Stocks jumped more than 3% on Wednesday. That's a rare event that suggests more gains are ahead.
Stocks have had a good week after posting a big 3.1% rebound on Wednesday. The action was impressive. And it's uncommon.
Big 3%+ up days on the S&P 500 don't happen very often. In fact, aside from the recent volatility, the last time stocks posted one-day gains of this magnitude was during the climb out of the March 2009 bear market low. Of course, this is exactly the type of thing that screams out for a historical analysis.
For your benefit, I went back and looked at the S&P 500 going back to 1938, when situations were similar to now. The takeaway: History suggests stocks are headed higher over the next 6 to 12 months. Now, it's important to remember that historical relationships can always change. And this is just one data point among many. But it is definitely good news.
The company designs equipment that lets you see in the dark -- maybe a good thing in this market.
Flir makes thermal-imaging and broadcast camera systems for commercial and government use. The thermal-imaging systems detect infrared radiation, or heat, enabling the operator to measure small temperature differences and see objects in daylight or total darkness and through smoke, haze and most types of fog. These technologies sort of let you see in the dark and could be used by soldiers, hunters, or even law enforcement to find marijuana grow houses.
Some analysts say that since the U.S. forces in the Middle East are one of the largest customers, the stock's glory days are over.
The pizza-delivery pioneer goes back to the drawing board and emerges a winner.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
A last-place finish in national taste tests last year persuaded Domino's Pizza (DPZ) to remake its recipe. Customers like the new Domino's, and investors should too.
The chain was founded in Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1960 by brothers Tom and James Monaghan. Tom quickly bought his brother's half of the business and began a two-decade expansion of franchise and company-owned stores outside Michigan and into Canada. Private-equity firm Bain Capital bought 93% of the company in 1998 and got out in 2004 when Domino's went public.
The NYSE offering forced executives to cater to a new ownership's demands, chief among them a focus on quality. The menu was expanded to include appetizers and desserts, but patrons' lingering dissatisfaction with pizza quality nagged. Then came that taste test.
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Struggling BlackBerry still has a supporter in the president, who says he must use the device instead of Apple's.
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[BRIEFING.COM] After some early volatility, the market appears to be settling down some with the S&P 500 having been confined to a two-point trading range the last hour. The Treasury market, in turn, has steadied itself near its lows for the day, which aren't all that low. The 10-yr note is down six ticks while its yield has pushed up two basis points to 2.86%.
Precious metals prices, which were noticeably weaker earlier, have pared some of their losses in a rebound ... More
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