The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.
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US employees could get the same chance that UK staffers have to share in the company's success.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
After a rough few years during the financial crisis and subsequent recession, Starbucks (SBUX) has been piping hot in 2010. Thanks to an innovative new line of Via instant coffee, a push into retail grocery sales and a number of successful promotions (including Starbucks' free holiday drink offer), the coffee giant is definitely on the upswing.
And it appears Starbucks is willing to share that success with workers in the new year via company stock. Not a bad Christmas present, considering SBUX is up 43% in 2010 -- about three times the broader stock market.
Funds tracking commercial real estate and retail are likely to be active.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
Retail has been an exciting region of the market to watch this holiday season. As we head into the final stretch, malls will likely be packed with shoppers seeking last-minute gifts.
The anticipation of the holidays will make XRT an interesting fund to watch. The fund could also see some earnings-related action. Throughout the middle of the week, index constituents including Carmax (KMX), Finish Line (FINL) and Walgreens (WAG) are scheduled to release their most recent quarterly earnings reports.
With the dollar deflated, major US brands are cheaper than ever -- and forward-thinking foreign companies realize it.
Why is this so important? Because Sara Lee is also Kimberly-Clark (KMB), which is also Clorox (CLX), which is also Heinz (HNZ), which is also Kellogg (K) -- big brands that need better homes than they have. And they can be bought because the dollar is weak and the people who don't think small want these brands as a way to move beyond their home markets.
Keep a neutral to slightly negative bias as we march toward 2011.
Right idea, horrible execution as the market began its annual winding down of the year with slower volume and disinterested trade.
The market closed up fractionally. Within that construct my ETF picks ended up dropping ¾ of a percent. What happened?
Sometimes no matter how right your predictions Mr. Market can manage to punish even if you are trying to be conservative as I was last week. The loss can be solely attributed to big losses in China last week.
That won’t happen again. We’ll jettison that pick in favor of the SPDR Regional Bank ETF (KRE) as I keep a market neutral portfolio heading toward the end of the year.
Broad measures of U.S. industrial production keep improving, but some stocks in the sector stand out above others
As the U.S.'s recovery from the "Great Recession" has progressed, one big driver of the turnaround has been the industrial and manufacturing arena. Industrial production rose in November by 0.4%, according to a new Federal Reserve report, marking the 15th time in 17 months that production has increased. And since bottoming in July 2009, the manufacturing sector has expanded for 16 straight months, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
As a result, industrial and manufacturing stocks -- which were hammered during the recession and bear market -- have outpaced the broader market since the March 2009 low. But, just as there's still slack in U.S. production, so too are there still bargains in the industrial and manufacturing areas. And, with government stimulus continuing to flow into the economy, consumers regaining some of their confidence, and companies having cut a lot of fat during the downturn, some of these stocks are in good position to continue rebounding.
Keep in mind, however, that as we get deeper into the recovery, the rising tide that may have lifted a lot of industrial/manufacturing-type stocks should lessen, and investors will likely become more discriminating about which of these stocks they buy. That means you better pay attention to fundamentals on a stock-by-stock basis. With that in mind, I recently used my Guru Strategies, each of which is based on the approach of a different investing great, to uncover some of the industrials and manufacturers that have the best fundamentals. Here's a sampling of what I found.
Potash of Saskatchewan thinks a 5% increase in grain production is needed in 2011 to keep up with consumption.
Profit from Moody's recent downgrade of Ireland.
Written by Douglas Estadt
Moody’s (MCO) downgraded Ireland Friday, which resulted in a mad rush to buy U.S. Treasuries. This reaction is startling due to the fact that the term PIIGS (describing doomed European countries) has been tossed around for some time.
PIIGS is an acronym describing the struggling economies of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.
One firm has been killed on its short position, but it's sticking to its guns.
Tilson, the founder of investment firm T2 Partnerships, even put out a "Why we're short Netflix" presentation Thursday. You can download it here.
Netflix shares are up about 1% Friday to $183; a year ago they were at $53. "We've lost a lot of money betting against Netflix, which is currently our largest bearish bet," the presentation notes. Here are the main reasons Tilson continues to short the stock:
Airlines turn to fees instead of service to boost profits. Gap slips up by selling 'Made in USA' bags made in China. Starbucks' tormented love-hate relationship with Kraft.
Here's our weekly roundup of the dumbest news in business.
5. High-flying airline fees
According to a report released Monday from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. airlines collected about $4.3 billion in fee revenue during the first three quarters of 2010. That's $4.3 billion in fees added to the coffers without airlines having to improve service. It's roughly equivalent to the industry's anticipated total profits for the year.
The investor has a considerable interest in the company, which expects growth in its core business next year.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
This week, GE CEO Jeff Immelt provided an optimistic forecast. In comments made to investors during the company's annual meeting, he explained that, though demanding, the steps taken after the global economic crisis have helped GE get back on track. He expects core businesses to grow in 2011.
Immelt pointed to China as a promising region for the company in the new year, saying the company expects to see high-double-digit growth.
After blowout reports from Oracle, RIM and Accenture, stock futures should be roaring today.
I don't like days when futures are up huge early and then we get a total slam-down, which seems to have happened nearly every time stock futures have risen abruptly in 2010.
Yet today they should be up. Having just read through the conference call and post-analyst notes on Oracle (ORCL), Research In Motion (RIMM) and Accenture (ACN), I am astounded at how these companies are doing.
"Everyone" knew that Oracle was doing well, but the growth the company is talking about is the kind you would expect from a much younger company. I am continually surprised when I read a call like that by how many companies don't already have Oracle or database management software. Or that so many are obviously not thinking of Salesforce.com (CRM).
While the big-box discounter is not a deeply discounted stock, it has goodness at its core.
Fool analyst Alyce Lomax believes it's perfectly possible to aim for above-average returns and social dividends when investing. If you agree, you might want to follow her socially responsible portfolio.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
A broad fund may be the best way to play a rocky period for the airline industry in 2011.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
After an early dip, however, FedEx shares bounced back, rising more than 2% to $94.36 in afternoon trading. The report came just days after FedEx announced that Dec. 13 was its busiest day ever in terms of deliveries, when it reportedly carried 16 million packages.
Any good news from FedEx bodes well for transportation heading into the new year. However, investing in the industry may prove tricky in 2011. Ultimately, the best way investors can take a long-term approach to this sector is through a broadly focused ETF such as the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT).
The mining-equipment maker beats expectations and raises guidance.
Everyone's ditching bonds and their pitiful yields. So what should you do with your portfolio?
But that's all changed. Now investors are fleeing bonds, shaking their heads at 2% returns. It's time to go for the big bucks, apparently. About $400 million flowed out of taxable bond funds (on a net basis) during the first week of December, MarketWatch reports.
Some of that might be year-end profit taking, but bonds are clearly falling out of favor. OK, so what does that mean for your portfolios? Don't follow the trend and ditch bonds -- they should still be a big part of your investing strategy.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
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