The Federal Reserve and Congressional politics threaten to rain on the market party.
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The PC market continues to contract, leading some analysts to wonder about the company's long-term prospects.
Despite a plan to axe another 16,000 jobs, analysts aren't all convinced sales of desktops and cost cuts will be enough to carry PC maker Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) forward over the long term.
In a note to clients Thursday morning, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald said they believe the "long-term trajectory for HP remains in question" despite the massive restructuring.
The brokerage raised its price target on the veteran tech company to $34.50 from $30 previously, but maintained its "hold" rating and expressed concern over the "low-margin profile" of the PC market.
In a conference call on Wednesday, HP CEO Meg Whitman said the PC market continues to contract, even as the company reported 12 percent year-over-year PC revenue growth.
The former head of Wells Fargo says the bank's massive settlement is 'definitely politics' and has nothing to do with justice.
The $16.65 billion settlement by Bank of America (BAC) over financial crisis-era mortgage securities highlights a pattern of the government extorting the banks, said Dick Kovacevich, former Wells Fargo (WFC) chairman and CEO.
"It's definitely politics. It has nothing to do with justice or restitution to the innocent victims. In fact, more of the money is going to the coffers of the states and various departments than the victims," Kovacevich said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
The BofA payout -- the largest in a series of soaring penalties against banks for a range of misconduct -- was announced Thursday.
But the fact that the guilty bankers are still free and not even on the run is the real outrage here, a travesty that should never be forgotten.
How in heck can a company write a $17 billion check to the government and still have its stock go higher?
That's a legitimate question, given that Bank of America's (BAC) stock is up now that it has paid the Department of Justice its bounty, of which more than $9 billion is cash on the barrelhead -- enough to pretty much wipe out a quarter's worth of earnings along with any reserves.
The answer is simple: We are now able to estimate what Bank of America can earn. We are now able to put a number out there that can be reached. We are in the realm of "normalized earnings power."
What does that mean? As long as this litigation hung over the head of this bank, it was impossible to figure out what it could earn. There were so many lawsuits by so many government entities, so many charges, and so many billions in legal fees, all on top of the $60 billion that had been shelled out, that we were simply guessing about what the company could earn.
Google might know where you go on the Web, but Facebook knows who you are and gives advertisers a demographic added context to utilize.
Facebook (FB) is a seasoned company by Silicon Valley standards, so its growth in advertising market share over its relatively short life is easily taken for granted. The little Harvard side-project is not only competing with tech titan Google (GOOGL) for online advertising dollars, it's gaining ground.
Facebook's secret weapon is mobile advertising, a market that is expected to grow 75 percent globally to nearly $32 billion this year, according to eMarketer estimates. With an influx of cash flooding online advertising, Facebook is managing to snap up the growth at a far greater pace than Google.
While Google still receives the majority of global mobile ad revenue at around half the total, its supremacy is slipping. By the end of 2014, eMarketer expects its mobile market share to fall to 46.8 percent from 52.6 percent two years earlier. Over the same period of time, Facebook is expected to accelerate its mobile ad revenue share to 21.7 percent from 5.4 percent, with its growth primarily at the expense of Google with very little change in share seen from other players such as Twitter (TWTR) and Pandora (P).
Do it once a year. This allows the best-performing asset classes to take off and run.
The yearly rebalancing of your investments is a dull chore that's tempting to postpone.
Investors who put it off too long, however, can live to bitterly regret their procrastination.
Here are six things you need to know about rebalancing:
The main reason to rebalance isn't to make more money; it's to control your exposure to risk.
The most fundamental relationship that needs to remain properly balanced in a portfolio is the ratio of stock funds to bond funds. Imagine that your target allocation is 60 percent stocks (for growth) and 40 percent bonds (for income and stability).
Trucks will soon have electronic devices that make it harder to fudge the numbers on hours driven.
The current shortage is estimated to be at 30,000, and a new regulation will help drive that higher.
A mandate requiring commercial vehicles to have an electronic logging device is likely go into effect in early 2015. This will make it harder for drivers to fudge the numbers and work more than the legally mandated limit on hours.
Right now 75 percent of the industry does not have these logging devices. Analysts expect 100 percent compliance within a year or two of the rule going into effect.
The vehicles travel around with students throughout the day, giving the company inroads into one of its last uncharted territories: University campuses.
College campuses might be among the few remaining places to escape the shadow of Starbucks (SBUX).
There are roughly 11,500 Starbucks outlets in the U.S., but only about 300 of them are on U.S. campuses. That means most students of the country's 4,700 colleges are buying their coffee somewhere else.
That is about to change at three schools. The ubiquitous chain will peddle caffeine from food trucks at Arizona State University (which has also partnered with Starbucks to offer employees scholarships for its online program), James Madison University in Virginia, and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.
Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.
Everything you need to know about the future of the global auto industry is printed on the business cards of Carlos Lozano de la Torre, governor of Aguascalientes, Mexico, a central province named for its abundance of hot springs.
Seated at an enormous round table inside the ornate 17th-century government palace where he has his office, he reaches into the side pocket of his dark gray suit and shuffles through a stack: Here's one version in German, another in Chinese, another in English.
"I have them in ten languages, but I only speak Spanish," he says with a chuckle as he hands over the English version.
It's been a rough road for the car-rental company. Analysts downgrade the stock after the news.
In other words, things are a mess at Hertz. The company's stock has been a favorite among prominent hedge fund managers like Glenview Capital Management's Larry Robbins, York Capital Management's James Dinan and Fir Tree Partners' Jeffrey Tannenbaum.
Shares of Hertz plunged by more than 11 percent in Wednesday morning trading to $27.95, but recovered to a 9.5 percent loss in the afternoon. The stock had previously risen in August to a 52-week high of $31.61.
The Nasdaq is booming, but some of the biggest names in technology haven't recovered.
While the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) has finally made it back to levels seen around the time the technology bubble popped more than 14 years ago, a number of tech-heavyweights that helped fuel the madness are still languishing at less than half their peak levels.
The tech-friendly Nasdaq Composite closed Tuesday at 4527.51, the highest level seen since March 31, 2000.
The Nasdaq has soared more than four-fold since bottoming out at 1114.11 on Oct. 9, 2002, but is still an 11 percent rally away from its all-time closing peak of 5046.86 reached on March 9, 2000.
A 4.8% yield is drawing attention to this bundle of dividend stocks from Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.
By Kyle Woodley
If you're a dividend investor, chances are you're holding many of the space's stalwarts -- big, blue-chip American companies with rock-solid financials and gobs of cash that you can ride through thick and thin.
That's good. Don't stop doing that.
But if you're truly looking to diversify your holdings, that also means protecting yourself against a slump in the U.S. And one of the best ways to do that is to target the same types of big, blue-chip dividend companies you like here in the States . . . but elsewhere on the map.
One of the best ways to hunker down internationally is the iShares International Select Dividend ETF (IDV), a bundle of high-yielding dividend stocks from Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.
Low interest rates are supposed to get money circulating, but instead investors are hoarding cash.
The conventional wisdom says the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates so low that it doesn't pay to play it safe and that it's encouraging investors to do all sorts of crazy things to earn a higher yield.
Supposedly, the central bank is prompting investors to pump up stocks, junk bonds, farm land and all the other bubbles you've been reading about.
It's a nice story, but the data show that U.S. investors are still conservative about where they put their money.
Just how conservative are they?
The heavy-machine maker is getting killed in Asia. Its performance may say a lot about the world economy.
The heavy-machine maker just released its latest three-month rolling retail sales stats, which showed that sales, particularly in its Asia/Pacific segment, keep falling.
Worldwide, total machine retail sales were down 12 percent in May, 10 percent in June and 9 percent in July when compared to the prior year period.
These declines compare to year-on-year declines of 8 percent, 12 percent and 13 percent in February, March and April.
In its Asia/Pacific segment, total machine sales were down 30 percent, 30 percent and 29 percent for the months of May, June, and July, respectively.
The dollar is down, the Gaza truce is off, the Fed's minutes come out today, and company news is all bad.
The Germans and Russians were potentially working things out in Ukraine. Home Depot (HD) and some other retailers put up terrific numbers, and housing starts got stronger even as gasoline and mortgage rates went lower. Gaza was peaceful. The dollar was stable, and we seemed not to have all that much to worry about regarding the Federal Reserve.
Keep those circumstances in mind, because those were the thoughts that framed Tuesday's closing bell.
Now consider today.
First, the dollar is soaring again, much harder than what we have seen of late. Why? Maybe because Ukraine wants more concessions and the Russians don't want to go quietly into the night? Second, at the Bank of England, the prior consensus to keep interest rates lower is unraveling as two members want higher rates. Third, the Gaza truce is off and the fighting is back on.
Do your research. There's a reason it's the No. 1 rule in the book.
Looking for how to make money in the stock market? A new paper reveals there's one easy way.
And it turns out it's one thing Warren Buffett (pictured) has admitted he does almost every day.
According to a recent paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, or NBER, entitled "Financial Knowledge and 401k Investment Performance," now, more than ever, the ability for an individual American to properly save and invest is critical.
The paper notes that as a result of the changes in how employers contribute to employee retirement accounts -- pension plans have become less common and things like 401k accounts, which require more decisions from individuals, have grown -- "the ability to invest wisely and earn better returns will therefore be increasingly critical for national retirement well-being in an aging world."
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The Federal Reserve and Congressional politics threaten to rain on the market party.
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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +3.00. The stock market is on track for a flat open with futures on the S&P 500 trading within two points of fair value.
Barring any unforeseen developments, today's session is setting up to be relatively quiet after the first two trading days of the week generated the two lowest volume totals of the year. Action overseas has also been subdued today with core European indices trading near their ... More
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