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It's about time that sophisticated investors like Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban spoke up about dangerous financial instruments.

By Jim Cramer Nov 15, 2011 9:02AM

the streetWhenever you criticize arcane instruments like credit default swaps, with which you bet against countries and companies, or high-frequency trading and double- and triple-leveraged ETFs, you immediately hear from their creators that you don't know what you are talking about.

 

That's how they argue. They basically say: "You are stupid, we are not. We know more than you."

 

That's why I felt Monday's interviews with Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks who has made a fortune in stocks, two of the smartest billionaires in this country, were so eye-opening.

 

The retailer finally stops a slide in US revenue and is positioning itself for a strong holiday.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2011 9:01AM
Wal-Mart (WMT) can breathe a sigh of relief.

The retailing giant has finally ended nine straight quarters of falling U.S. sales. For the third quarter, same-store sales rose 1.3% -- more than analysts expected.

Even during the quarter, it was unclear whether Wal-Mart would be able to stop that slide. 
Tags: WMT

The discount chain's quarterly results fall short of expectations, while the home improvement retailer beats estimates.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2011 8:48AM

the streetBy Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet

 

Updated at 9:38 a.m. ET

 

Wal-Mart (WMT), the world's biggest retailer, posted a profit of $3.34 billion, or 97 cents a share, excluding certain items, for the quarter that ended in October. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the company to earn 98 cents.

 

Home Depot (HD) said its third-quarter net income rose 12% to $934 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $834 million, or 51 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Sales climbed 4.4 percent to $17.3 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $17.1 billion. The company also raised its dividend by 16 cents to 29 cents a share.

 

The home improvement chain also raises its full-year outlook for the third time in 6 months and increases its dividend.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2011 8:14AM
Home Depot (HD) zoomed past analyst expectations on profit and revenue in its third quarter, continuing to outperform even in a painfully slow economic recovery.

The home improvement retailer benefited in the quarter as residents along the East Coast bought generators and other supplies for ahead of Hurricane Irene in late August. 
Tags: HDLOW

The Federal Reserve says America’s largest financial institutions will have to endure another round of testing in upcoming weeks to prove their financial strength to confront another recession.

By Zacks.com Nov 14, 2011 7:03PM

By: Kalyan Nandy - Zacks Equity Research

 

America’s largest banks will have to endure another round of stress tests in upcoming weeks to prove their financial strength to confront another recession, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen said Friday at a banking conference.


This will mark the fourth round of bank stress tests since 2009. The tests monitor the 19 banks regulated by the Federal Reserve.

 

The aluminum-products manufacturer has made a lighter electric bus that one automaker plans to mass produce.

By Zacks.com Nov 14, 2011 6:55PM

By: Zacks Equity Research

 

Alcoa (AA) has created a new all-aluminum bus design and space frame for Chinese automaker BYD, reducing the body weight of BYD's new electric bus by around 1 ton, or 40%, compared to steel components.


The aluminum-products manufacturer also cut the overall weight of the bus by 1.2 tons with its "Huck-Spin" fasteners and forged wheels. The reduction in overall weight will increase the electric bus’ overall range by at least 10% to roughly 300 kilometers on a full charge.

 
Tags: AA

It's no iPad, say those who have used the device. But even with its limited functions, the Kindle's price is the star feature.

By Kim Peterson Nov 14, 2011 5:06PM
Amazon (AMZN) is finally giving some reviewers a look at its highly-anticipated Kindle Fire, the low-priced tablet all but guaranteed to be a hot holiday seller.

The reviews are perhaps not as glowing as Amazon would like. Critics hit hard on some hardware choices, like no button for controlling volume, but praised the Fire's display and navigation. The device goes on sale this week for $199. 
Tags: AAPLAMZN

A timely juice bar acquisition is worse -- and better -- than you probably think.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 14, 2011 4:01PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

 

Starbucks (SBUX) turned heads with last week's deal for Evolution Fresh.

 

Paying $30 million for a natural juice company may not seem to move the needle at a company with a market cap more than 100 times greater, but it is worth exploring if Starbucks lives up to its plans to introduce Evolution into its java havens, expand retail distribution, and eventually roll out juice bars.

 

Investing in bonds of individual countries requires careful observations of each nation's strengths and weaknesses, but can prove rewarding.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 14, 2011 3:39PM

By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Many years ago I made the obvious observation on my blog that investors needed access to foreign bonds through ETFs and that at some point these types of funds would start to be offered. Shortly thereafter came another obvious observation that the first broad-based funds would be insufficient due to huge weightings in Japan and its low yields, and I indicated that what were really needed were individual country bond funds.

 

Pimco has seemingly embraced the idea wholeheartedly by recently launching the Pimco Australia Bond Index Fund (AUD), the Pimco Canada Bond Index Fund (CAD) and the Pimco Germany Bond Index Fund (BUND). All three funds will have an expense ratio of 0.45% but it is too early for any reliable yield information other than the funds intend to pay a monthly dividend. The funds will own a mix of corporate, sovereign and quasi-sovereign -- similar to U.S. municipal bonds -- debt.

 

The Oracle of Omaha explains how he decided to buy IBM and gives his opinion on the US deficit and the Republican presidential race.

By Kim Peterson Nov 14, 2011 3:12PM
How did Warren Buffett decide to buy 64 million shares of IBM (IBM)?

It all started with IBM's annual report, which Buffett read in March. Buffett has read the technology company's annual report every year for 50 years, he tells CNBC in the video below. But this year he got a different perspective when IBM laid out its road map for 2015.

After perusing the report, Buffett read "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?"by former IBM chief executive Lou Gerstner, Jr. Then he chatted up all the information-technology departments operating under Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) to figure out their relationships with IBM. 

The retail giant's technology push won't show up in Tuesday's third-quarter results, but could be a catalyst for the stock.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 14, 2011 3:10PM

the streetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Wal-Mart's (WMT) U.S. same-store sales will once again be front and center when the discount giant reports third-quarter results on Tuesday. But there's another key element that will be mostly invisible, at least for now, in the results: its investment in technology.

 

Currently, Wal-Mart's e-commerce is severely lacking, representing less than 1% of total sales, according to Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig. But the No. 1 retailer has been pouring money into its new @WalmartLabs division, which has assumed responsibility for the company's growth in e-commerce, mobile shopping and social media.

 

More than two-thirds of the S&P 500 has posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. But because so much of those strong numbers depends on overseas sales, the crisis in Europe could stymie further growth.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 14, 2011 1:22PM

European Union, EU By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

 

On the surface, earnings news for the third quarter has been rosy indeed. With all but a handful of companies in the S&P 500 left to report, more than two-thirds have posted a larger-than-expected increase in profits for the period, while only 10% or so have fallen short of estimates.

 

But there’s a cloud looming on the horizon. A lot of that growth, as companies like General Electric (GE) discussed when they reported, is coming from overseas markets, especially in emerging markets. GE, for instance, noted that growth in sales in Europe, North America, and Japan is in the low single digits; in emerging markets, it’s in the low double digits.

 

Speculators should consider this high-risk, high-yielding Israeli wireless-telecom operator.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 14, 2011 1:03PM
By Louis Basenese, Wall Street Daily

Despite political tension in the region, Israel is home to one of the most undervalued dividend stocks I know of: Cellcom Israel (CEL).

If your long-term investing goals include generating income and modest capital appreciation, I suggest you dial up some dividends in the Middle East and consider adding some shares to your portfolio. 

Investors should keep an eye on exchange-traded funds that own Home Depot, Lowe's and Wal-Mart.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 14, 2011 12:59PM

By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Hthe streetere are five ETFs to watch this week:

 

1. SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB)

 

Housing-related retail giants Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) are reporting their earnings and provide outlooks in the closing days of earnings season. The two are notable holdings within the XHB and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB).

 

Earnings-related news should impact the performance of this industry during the first half of the week. Meanwhile, economic events such as the housing starts report will drive action during the second half.

 

The country's power-grid giants could make life harder for automakers by pushing a costly and difficult requirement for electric vehicles.

By Trefis Nov 14, 2011 12:56PM
China, the largest automobile market in the world, will reportedly implement energy-saving and emission-reduction measures through 2015.

This will support growth of electric-vehicle (EV) sales and hybrid sales over the medium-term, spelling good news for automakers such as General Motors (GM), Ford (F), Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC) and Tesla Motors (TSLA), which have been investing heavily to develop fuel-efficient and electric vehicles.  
Tags: FgmTSLA

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 trades higher by 0.2% with one hour remaining in the session. Given its current standing, the benchmark index is on pace to improve its week-to-date gain to 0.7%, which would extend its year-to-date advance to 1.6%.

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