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Be wary of dire market forecasts

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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Who needs the Midas touch when you have the Oprah effect?

By Jamie Dlugosch May 19, 2010 3:59PM

You know how it works. The billionaire talk-show queen invites an aspiring businessperson, author, designer, etc., to be a guest on her show, and suddenly that person's project goes through the roof.

 

Well, The Wall Street Journal reports she's just hired a top money manager to run her personal fortune, and he's no doubt both hoping the Oprah effect works for him, too.

A personal, dedicated money professional is, of course, one of the privileges of wealth. Most of have to work with mutual funds, busy brokers and planners, or simply try to pick stocks all by ourselves.

 

The wireless chief at AT&T says customers will stay even if Verizon gets an iPhone.

By Kim Peterson May 19, 2010 2:26PM

A Verizon iPhone? Pfft. Bring it on. AT&T will survive, says Ralph de la Vega, the head of wireless at AT&T (T).

AT&T has exclusively offered the iPhone in the U.S. for years. But the rumors are growing that Verizon (VZ) may soon also get approval to sell Apple's (AAPL) popular phone.


AT&T isn't worried about a mass defection to Apple, de la Vega says. That's because 70% of its wireless customers are on family plans, and it can be a pain -- and expensive -- to switch out all family members at once, Electronista reports.

 

The Treasury Department to sell its last remnant of ownership in Wells Fargo this week.

By TheStreet Staff May 19, 2010 2:19PM

TheStreetBy Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet

 

The Treasury Department will auction its last remnant of ownership in Wells Fargo (WFC) this week, by selling warrants to purchase 110.3 million shares of common stock.

 

The warrants are related to the government's initial $25 billion TARP investment in Wells Fargo in October 2008. With a minimum bid price of $6.50, the offering will reel in at least $716.7 million in proceeds for taxpayers.

 

The bidding will take place on Thursday, May 20, beginning at 8 a.m., Eastern time in a modified Dutch auction overseen by book-running manager Deutsche Bank (DB).

 

Shares of the hipster retailer drop after it widens its first-quarter loss and receives a delisting warning.

By TheStreet Staff May 19, 2010 1:47PM

TheStreetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

American Apparel (APP) shares sank to a 52-week low Wednesday after the retailer known for its controversial ads said it received a delisting warning and widened its first-quarter loss.

 

The Los Angeles-based company also said it might not be in compliance with a covenant under its credit agreement. Non-compliance may impact the company's ability to carry out its operating plan for 2010, American Apparel said in a statement. The company is working with its second-lien lender to amend a covenant regarding total-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA by June 30.

 

The New York Stock Exchange also told American Apparel that it must submit a plan to return to compliance by June 1. The company must be compliant by Aug. 16 or face a delisting of its stock.

 

It's easy to be a naysayer when it comes to bank stocks, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

By Jim Cramer May 19, 2010 10:36AM

TheStreet's Jim CramerWhen you say something positive and it doesn't work out immediately, you get an "I told you so."

 

I have been advocating that when the smoke clears, the pain for the major banks -- Well Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) -- will not only be bearable but will create buying. I exclude Goldman Sachs (GS) because it’s clear that both the Senate and President Obama are not going to rest until this firm is stripped of much of its greatness.

 

So what happens? At every turn of every potential pitfall, I get emails from people saying, "I told you so."

 

 

Chico's, or how finding new investments can be as easy as keeping your eyes open at the mall

By Jim Van Meerten May 19, 2010 9:34AM

Years ago I remember reading an interview with famed investor Peter Lynch in which he was asked how he kept coming up with new and original investing ideas. He mentioned how when he went shopping in the mall with his wife, he'd sit outside a new store he never heard of and watch not only how many people went in and out but how many of them were carrying bags of new purchases. He would then go back to his office and research that company.

 

I recently had one of those Peter Lynch moments.

I was visiting my Mom in Fort Lauderdale, and since my daughter was going to get married soon on the beach at Isle of Palms near Charleston I thought it might be nice to buy my Mom a new outfit for the wedding

 

Resist the urge to buy in China's bear market; the better bet is to use caution.

By Kim Peterson May 18, 2010 5:07PM
Michael BrushBy Michael Brush

It's official. China is now in a bear market.

Technically defined as a 20% decline following a rally of at least 20%, the bear surfaced in Chinese stocks last week when the Shanghai Composite index posted losses that took it 21% below November 2009 highs. 

While it may be tempting to buy Chinese stocks on such a large retreat for stocks of companies working in an economy with robust 11.9% annual growth, it's wiser to remain cautious with this bear. 

Looking to beat the market? Consider the second-tier names.

By Jamie Dlugosch May 18, 2010 4:41PM

Investors in the market like to focus on the big corporate battles. Take two giants in an industry and watch them go toe-to-toe in a battle royal.

 

To the winner go the profits, but how do investors do following the leaders? From my experience investing in giants is similar to owning an index fund. The returns are simply mediocre.

 

Below the radar in any industry are interesting sub-plots and possible investment opportunities that can outperform the market.

 

Pay close attention to this biotech play

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money May 18, 2010 4:22PM

Written by Douglas Estadt


We like Delcath's management team and the cutting edge life-extending technology of their PHP System. Today we sold DCTH May 15 puts at $.55 and $.60, so when the stock closes Friday, and the options expire, one of two things we view as favorable will happen:

  • if it closes above 15, we’re going to pick up $550 to $600 for every 10 contracts we sold

OR

  • if the stock pulls back quite a bit before then, we will get the stock "put" to us,
 

Investors will need cash for some great buying opportunities coming up. But what to sell?

By Jim J. Jubak May 18, 2010 4:15PM

Jim JubakInvestors raise cash for all kinds of reasons.


In anticipation of some big personal expenditure. To protect a portfolio against risk in a volatile market. To have the firepower to take advantage of a future buying opportunity.


That last reason is why I've decided to raise some cash over the next few weeks and perhaps longer.

 

Consumer spending appears to be on the way up -- and retail stocks are soaring

By InvestorPlace May 18, 2010 2:29PM

Save on shopping  © Photodisc / Getty ImagesRetail is heating up. A look at 11 hot retail ETFs to buy now shows that the sector is dramatically outperforming the market so far in 2010 -- up to four times over!


That means if you were holding some of the elite retail components in these funds, you would be doing even better.

Take online retailer Overstock.com (OSTK), up almost 65% in the same period! Any investor who has blacklisted the entire retail sector is missing out on big moneymakers like this company.

 

The Apple chief executive traded in some options that are now worth billions.

By Kim Peterson May 18, 2010 2:11PM

Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)Bono, once described as the worst investor in America, was vindicated after his venture group made out in the Palm(PALM) sale.

Maybe Steve Jobs should get that title instead. The Apple (AAPL) chief executive made a dumb trade years ago -- one that cost him billions, writes Brett Arends on MarketWatch.

Rewind all the way back to early 2000, when Apple shares fell to about $7. OK, you can stop now and kick yourself for not having bought any then.

Back to the story:

 

Let's not relinguish our leadership in space

By Jim Van Meerten May 18, 2010 1:25PM
The announcement that the Obama administration is winding down the U.S. space program for budgetary reasons is one of the saddest announcements that any boomer can hear.

When I was a child, my heroes were Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and of course Chuck Yeager, Alan Shepard and John Glenn. They all were so real yet unreal to me.

One of my most proudest possessions was a model of the X-15 I built with my own hands. It was a simple time when TV was not 24 hours a day and signed off every night with videos of Air Force jets flying high in the clouds and the words of High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr: 

Best Buy plans to launch its video download platform this month, allowing it to enter the movie rental fray.

By TheStreet Staff May 18, 2010 12:34PM

Television © image100/CorbisBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Best Buy's (BBY) launch of a video download service has dragged down stocks of video rental companies Netflix (NFLX) and Blockbuster (BBI).

 

The electronics retailer announced plans Monday to roll out its CinemaNow digital entertainment platform later this month. The service will allow customers to buy or rent newly released movies and television shows instantly.

 

No subscription will be required. The service will work on a pay-as-you-go basis,  blending aspects of Neftlix's streaming service and Apple's (AAPL) iTunes. Rentals are expected to cost about $4 each -- about the same as Blockbuster -- and about $15 to own.

 

Select locations are rolling out flavors like wild berry, mango and strawberry to capture bigger beverage sales

By InvestorPlace May 18, 2010 11:35AM
mcdonald's mcd big macIt used to be that McDonald’s (MCD) was known for its Happy Meals, Egg McMuffins and Big Macs. But increasingly, the burger giant has been looking to brand itself as a beverage leader.


Its latest move: The addition of smoothies and iced frappes to its already impressive suite of McCafe gourmet coffees. Smoothie flavors include wild berry, strawberry banana, mango and strawberry at select locations.

Mickey D’s has come a long way with its beverage line recently, but ever since the Shamrock Shake debuted in 1970 the company has been looking for innovative ways to drink up sales.

 

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