8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.

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A new paper says that while the targeted stimulus program increased sales, those purchases would have occurred anyway.

By Kim Peterson Sep 16, 2010 3:03PM

Car insurance © Dynamic Graphics/JupiterimagesIt had a clever name and sold a believable idea, but in the end, Cash for Clunkers may have been a dud.

Remember that program? Get a nice chunk of cash -- as much as $4,500 in some cases -- for trading in an old car with poor gas mileage for a fuel-efficient model. It ended up costing the government nearly $3 billion.

Did it deliver on its promises of rallying the economy? Did it help car dealerships just as sales were plunging? A new paper by two economists suggests that Cash for Clunkers didn't help as much as the government hoped.

 

Analysts continue to fret over China's economic growth, setting this mining-equipment company up for a huge 2011.

By Jim Cramer Sep 16, 2010 8:39AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Don't tell Bucyrus International (BUCY) that things are slowing. Don't bother to inform Tim Sullivan, the always-solid chief executive officer, that he should worry about the Baltic Freight Index or the Chinese export numbers or the multiple hikes in interest rates to slow the Indian economy.

 

He has bigger things to worry about, like fulfilling orders around the globe for the 66% of his business that is coal-mining equipment.

 

Bucyrus sells to the big miners, such as Xstrata, Vale (VALE) and BHP Billiton (BHP), and you can't get coal out of the ground without machines from either Bucyrus or Joy Global (JOYG). You can't transfer to the stuff to where it has to go without Caterpillar (CAT) or Bucyrus trucks, the latter a new part of the product line purchased, in a steal, from Terex (TEX).


Bucyrus is making the picks and shovels of the coal rush, something that is happening around the world even as this country tries desperately to wean its utilities off coal to cheaper, cleaner natural gas.

 

The cell phone giant gets a new CEO. Can he change Nokia's fortunes?

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 15, 2010 8:54PM

Jim JubakIt's a first step, but only a first step.


On Sept. 10, Nokia (NOK) named Stephen Elop to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as president and chief executive.


In Kallasvuo's four years at the top of the company, Nokia lost market share to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and other smart phones, as the company seemed unable to bring a competitive smart phone to the consumer market.


He pushed the company to develop services, such as music downloads and GPS navigation, but couldn't gain much traction against Apple and Google (GOOG) in the services segment.

 

With equities moving to the upper end of a 5-month trading range, a short pullback is likely.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Sep 15, 2010 5:03PM

MirhaydariFor the past five months, the stock market has gone nowhere fast. In fact, if you look at the NYSE Composite Index (NYA.X), shares are trading at the same levels that were first reached way back in October. That's right. Equities have been stuck in one giant trading range for a year.

 

No wonder that for many investors this doesn't feel like a bull market. Nor does it feel like an economic recovery. It just feels like we're all stuck in purgatory -- a churning, slow-growth environment somewhere between recession and full-throttle rebound.

 

So with stocks nudging up to significant overhead resistance levels -- which foiled previous rally attempts in June and August -- the question is: Can stocks move out of the summer doldrums and push to new highs?

 

If you're looking to eat your veggies but not chow down on a mammoth pile of greens, smaller and cheaper portions are for you.

By InvestorPlace Sep 15, 2010 2:05PM

In a move that doubles as a healthful menu addition and a gain for thrifty consumers, Wendy's (WEN) is adding half-size versions of its new premium salads, luring customers looking to spend less in a tough economy.

 

By the end of the month, the new half salads will be available in  premium select versions such as Apple Pecan Chicken and BLT Cobb, priced at $3.99. For $1 more, customers can choose two additional items, including a baked potato, a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken wraps or drinks. All normally cost between $1 and $1.49.

 

Boeing plans commercial passenger trips to the International Space Station.

By InvestorPlace Sep 15, 2010 1:53PM

Boeing (BA) wants you to take flight -- only instead of offering you an uncomfortable, bad-smelling seat on some airline's aging 747, the aerospace company is shooting for the stars.


Boeing has launched plans to connect commercial space flights to the International Space Station in its new CST-100 commercial passenger spacecraft. 


The only question is whether you have to take off your moon boots to get through the TSA screening line.

 

The metal may continue to rise, but 'it's not going to last forever,' the billionaire investor says.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 15, 2010 12:29PM

thestreetBy Glenn Hall, TheStreet

 

Record gold prices may soon reverse and disappoint bullish investors, said George Soros, the billionaire investor and legendary currency speculator.

 

"Gold is the ultimate bubble," Soros said at an event in New York sponsored by Reuters. "It is certainly not safe."

 

Soros expects a repeat of the historical pattern of bull runs in assets like gold ultimately hitting records and then suddenly reversing. Gold is currently the only bull market, Soros said, adding that it may continue to rise but "it's not going to last forever." He said it will be interesting to see if gold declines in the coming weeks.

 

Agnico-Eagle is a high-quality stock that's well off its high -- unlike the metal it mines -- with plenty of gold in stable regions of the world.

By Jim Cramer Sep 15, 2010 8:23AM

jim cramer of thestreet.comBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Gold did exactly what it is supposed to Tuesday. In fact, it should have done it Monday. As soon as we saw the numbers out of China showing a more robust economy, it was a natural that gold would spike. The locus of the gold demand remains China, and as long as the consumer is healthy there -- something confirmed, by the way, in the great Best Buy (BBY) conference call -- gold has to be held.

 

I feel compelled to recommend Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM), because the stock is still well off its high --$67 vs. $74 -- even as it has invested fortunes in readying new mines to take advantage of gold's price increase.

 

Agnico's Sean Boyd is the most bullish CEO I know in the gold group. He is using $2,000 as a reasonable target for gold over the next couple of years, and I think he is right.

 

Can Spain come up with a budget plan that assures investors as well as the euro zone?

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 14, 2010 7:32PM

Jim JubakThere are more worries for the euro -- this time, from Spanish politics. 


Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has set a Sept. 30 deadline for announcing his government's budget plan. Investors want to see a combination of taxes and spending that reduces Spain's budget deficit, the euro zone's third largest.


But they're skeptical that Zapatero can deliver: Since July 27, the spread between the benchmark 10-year German bund and the Spanish 10-year bond has widened by 0.3 percentage points to 1.79 percentage points. The spread's historic high since the introduction of the euro came on June 16 at 2.21 percentage points.

 

Under fire for its menu change, the coffee giant decides to restore the option for drivers.

By Kim Peterson Sep 14, 2010 2:59PM

Credit: (© Michael Conroy/AP)
Caption: Customer in a Starbucks storeStarbucks (SBUX) has drawn fire this month for deciding to remove the 12-ounce "tall" size from its drive-through menus. Sure, you could still order a "tall" (just as you can order a "short"), but the company wasn't going to advertise that fact to drivers.

But that's going to change. Starbucks appears to have reversed that decision, giving "tall" a reprieve.

"It never left, but based on feedback, we're updating our new drive-thru menus to remind you that the Tall size is always available," the company said on its corporate Twitter account.

 

After getting burned by an extreme drop in oil prices, airlines are returning warily to hedging.

By Kim Peterson Sep 14, 2010 2:21PM
Air travel © Christie & Cole/Corbis Fuel hedging was a lifesaver for many airlines as prices went sky-high in 2008. Smart hedging added $1 billion to Southwest Airlines' (LUV) bottom line that year.

But airlines were burned badly when oil prices collapsed, having locked in fuel purchases at what turned out to be high levels. Southwest lost some $400 million. US Airways (LCC) was in the hole for nearly that much.

Many airlines stopped hedging and are only now starting to return. US Airways hasn't hedged in two years and isn't going to start anytime soon, an executive said at a recent industry forum. 

They think the market is unfair, survey finds, and they're moving into bonds.

By Kim Peterson Sep 14, 2010 1:49PM
Find hot stocks © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesTrading individual stocks has been a fool's errand this year. The roller-coaster market is so tough that even professional traders admit defeat.

So it's no surprise that mainstream investors have ditched stocks as well. A recent investor poll by The Associated Press and CNBC found that 61% are less confident about buying and selling stocks. And 55% said the market is unfair.

"The survey confirms that average investors have been growing more concerned about the stock market as a safe place to invest for retirement," the AP writes. Investors have responded by putting more money into bonds

Google remains the 800-pound gorilla, but a recent Microsoft partnership could change that.

By InvestorPlace Sep 14, 2010 1:05PM

If you were one of the naysayers who thought Microsoft (MSFT) was nuts with its 2009 launch of Bing, prepare to eat crow. The latest numbers show that Bing is now the No. 2 search engine in the U.S., knocking Yahoo (YHOO) from its perch.


The steady march upward for the Microsoft model shows that Google (GOOG) may not be quite as invulnerable as previously thought. A profitable partnership Bing recently forged could help the Microsoft engine really go head to head with the biggest name in search. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

 

Despised like the banks were a few weeks ago, tarnished tech has been sold off and downgraded relentlessly. But it may finally be too late to sell.

By Jim Cramer Sep 14, 2010 8:49AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Does the seemingly endless sell-off in tech stocks make sense, the selling that I believe will resurface again after Monday's Nasdaq ($COMPX) snap-back? Is the liquidation rational given that worldwide growth seems to be coming back, according to China, India, Brazil and now the EU?

 

I want to differentiate two things here. First, yes, it made sense earlier this summer. I know I was too bullish on the group. I didn't see the zero-sum possibilities of Apple (AAPL), believing that other stocks would be able to rally even if Apple went higher. I thought that the mobile Internet tsunami and cloud computing could lift more boats than it did, particularly semiconductor boats, but it turned out that almost all were leaky. I was less concerned with seasonality than I should have been. The group performed much more horribly this summer than I anticipated, in part because I think it was far more over-owned than I thought.

 

The retailer is rolling out the Family Mobile service next week at stores nationwide.

By Kim Peterson Sep 13, 2010 3:26PM

Woman on cell phone  © CorbisUnlimited calls and texting for $45 a month? That's the cell phone plan Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to roll out next week.

The store is unveiling the first cell phone plan under its own name, according to The Associated Press. And it's a pretty good deal, too -- one that could drop prices at other carriers.

Wal-Mart is calling it the Wal-Mart Family Mobile service. It will run on T-Mobile USA's network. T-Mobile is a division of Deutsche Telekom(DT).

Here are the details of the plan:

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on an upbeat note with small caps pacing the rally. The Russell 2000 advanced 0.8%, while the S&P 500 added 0.5% with eight sectors ending in the green.

Although geopolitical concerns factored into the modest retreat on Monday, the worries were cast aside today after separatist forces in eastern Ukraine handed over black boxes from MH17 to Malaysian authorities and Secretary of State John Kerry began working on brokering a ... More


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