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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Much of the $34 billion awarded to jobless Americans will find its way to merchants' bottom lines.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Looks like 2.5 million people just got $34 billion more than they had to go spend money at Macy's (M) or Home Depot (HD) and go buy VF Corp. (VFC) jeans and Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) hammers. That's how you have to view this unemployment legislation, as a gift to the retailers.
It comes at an interesting time. My contacts in retail indicate that June, unlike April or May, was a decent month and that it got better as it went along. The possibility of better numbers from outfits like Macy's or Williams-Sonoma (WSM) or Kohl's (KSS) should not be overlooked.
Of course, we have to consider the idea of just going with Wal-Mart (WMT) and Dollar General (DG) and to a lesser extent Family Dollar (FDO) as ways to play it. I always shudder at Wal-Mart because I know the president and labor organizer in chief wants it unionized through easy Card Check recruiting. But the idea of doing a high/low Williams-Sonoma/Dollar General trade may be the single best way to play the benefits bonanza and the better consumer feel (Williams-Sonoma will not get a dime of the unemployment benefits, believe me).
Equities just can't seem to find direction. The problem is risk aversion.
The past three days epitomize the churning, volatile environment of the past three months. Tuesday, of course, featured a dramatic outside day reversal to the upside. Wednesday featured an opening trade gap higher before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony scattered the bulls. And Thursday, positive economic news out of Europe and solid earnings reports sent stocks skyward. Down, then up; up, then down. It's enough to make you dizzy.
As soon as a trend appears to be getting established, momentum is wiped out and stocks reverse direction. While it's been great for the most nimble day traders sweating over five-minute bars, it's frustrating for everyone else. Stepping back from the daily cut and thrust, one realizes that stocks haven't actually gone anywhere since last September.
Merchants, specifically those in the teen market, continue to cut prices ahead of the back-to-school rush.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Retail is becoming one big, perpetual sale -- good news for back-to-school shoppers, but worrisome for investors.
Indeed, banking on the return of the consumer, many retailers began restocking depleted inventory months ago. But the rebound in consumer spending has been brief, and as shoppers re-tighten their wallets, retailers have marked down goods to make sales.
As a result, teen retailers saw a 4.4% decline in average retail prices to $25.21, according to a study conducted by Brean Murray -- which represents a 24% drop since prices peaked in November 2009 at $33.14.
Mutual fund manager Matt Fahey advises investors to stop running from retail and to embrace an oil driller for the second half of 2010.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
Medium-sized companies such as Mattel (MAT), Noble Corp. (NE), Western Union (WU) and Limited Brands (IDTI) will be second-half stars if the economy continues to grow, says Matt Fahey, manager of the Marshall Mid-Cap Value Fund (MVEAX).
The $236 million mutual fund is little changed this year and has risen 23% over the past 12 months.
Fahey joins TheStreet's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views on the market in a five-question format.
NFLX will offer streaming in Canada this fall, and Bloomberg reports digital plans are afoot at Redbox.
Soon Netflix (NFLX) will take its booming business to Canada. And if the move is successful, the DVD rental company's stock price could head farther north as well.
But Netflix is not alone in its quest to dominate the home video market. According to Bloomberg, privately held Redbox -- the company with $1 video rental vending machines -- is likely to get in on the digital movie action with its own Web-based service.
Stocks are surging today after high-frequency traders exacerbated yesterday's selloff on Bernanke's statements.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Oh, goody, we can have a do-over. Looks like we are right back to where we were before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke started talking. In fact, we are better!
The macro, it appears, isn't taking its cue from the macro!
Doesn't it seem like that? Think about it. The market has turned up this morning because commodity prices are stronger. But they are supposed to be weaker if Bernanke was on target, right?
A rise in the red metal shows Wall Street is becoming more optimistic about the economy.
As stocks have traced out a pattern of lower highs and lower lows over the past three months, copper has bucked the broad trend and moved higher. Since bottoming on June 7, the iPath Copper (JJC) fund -- which closely tracks copper futures -- has gained more than 12.2%. In comparison, the Russell 2000 small-cap stock index has lost 0.6% over the same period.
In a column that appeared in late May, I discussed why copper was preparing to move higher. I discussed looming supply shortages and explored the myth that China is awash in copper. I also recommended shares of Southern Copper (SCCO) -- which have gained 12.6% since then.
The red metal is nicknamed Dr. Copper for its ability to peer around the corner and act as a leading indicator for the global economy. And right now, the commodity with a PhD in economics seems to be saying the future looks bright. Is the trend set to continue?
Blue chips in this sector can be poison pills for your portfolio right now, so a dose of caution is needed.
Health care stocks are seen as low-risk investments by many stock market investors. After all, folks will always get sick, right? While that may be the case, it’s an oversimplification to say that all health care stocks have a built-in customer base. In fact, the health care industry has seen a big shakeup in the wake of Obama’s health care reform bill, and not all stocks in this sector are adapting well.
To keep your portfolio in perfect health, here are 3 big-name health care blue chips to sell now.
Among other things, AutoChina has a smart, common-sense management team and 70% insider ownership.
Written by Douglas Estadt
AutoChina International Limited (Nasdaq: AUTC) is China’s largest network for commercial vehicle sales and leasing. AUTC offers after-sales support, road-side assistance, and value-added services. Its available value-added services, which include insurance, tires and diesel fuel through all networks, differentiate it from other vehicle leasing companies.
Today we go straight to the source in China to gain important information about this specific value story. Things gathered from an AutoChina center visit give us even more reason to believe that there is generational wealth to be made from this stock:
Why the next move for these shares will be higher.
By Jim Woods, InvestorPlace.com
When you mention cult stocks that trade for around a buck, one of the first names that pops to mind is Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI). The satellite radio purveyor is a classic case of a company with an exciting new technology with the potential to revolutionize an entire industry, in this case the so-called “terrestrial” radio space. To a large extent, that revolution has indeed taken place.
Yet since the July 2008 merger of XM Satellite Radio and Satellite CD Radio (Sirius), the Sirius XM stock has had a pretty tough slog. Although the shares now trade nearly nine times higher than their March 2009 nadir of a measly 6 cents, they are still light years from the $2.68 they traded at just two years ago. So, will traders still tune in to SIRI, or will they turn their portfolios off to satellite? Here are three reasons why the next move for Sirius will be higher.
Widespread corporate adoption of its products will lead to big growth for years to come.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Arrogant company. Backlash. Can't get away with it. Must be peaking. Bunch of braggadocios. This is the top.
Sell Apple (AAPL). And sell. Sell, sell, sell.
I read all of these comments all over the Web INSTANTLY after, and certainly before, Apple's earnings conference call, or from people who don't bother with the calls. I read some of them here.
I think these comments are ideological and polemical, not financial. When I read these comments, what I think about is people don't get it. They think that the issue is an antenna or cannibalization of product, or an unrepentant CEO Steve Jobs.
These shares can expose your portfolio to big risks.
By Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com
When it comes to penny stock investing and buying inexpensive stocks, sometimes investors think they can find bargains for just a few dollars a share. Sometimes they are right – but other times these penny stocks can expose your portfolio to big risk and lose you a bundle in a hurry.
But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for losers in your quest for big penny stocks that take off. Here are 5 penny stock losers to avoid:
Retailers gained ground as the Senate moved to extend unemployment benefits.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Retailers were rallying as the Senate made moves to extend unemployment benefits, which could provide a boost to dwindling consumer confidence.
The S&P Retail Index was rising 1.9% to 399.46, led up by safety stock Wal-Mart (WMT).
Elsewhere in the discount sector, BJ's Wholesale (BJ) climbed on renewed takeover chatter. Shares of the company closed 2.5% higher to $44.91.
While bearishness rules the day, there are many signs right now that say investors should be buying instead of selling.
By Michael Brush
While investors seem focused on the negative headlines this earning season, there's actually plenty of positive news for the economy -- and some facts that outright dispute the negative headlines.
My key takeaway in all this: As I recently told readers of my Brush Up on Stocks newsletter, investors are overlooking some pretty bullish news on the economy that suggest it's better to be buying rather than selling on the big down days.
My favorite example of hidden good news so far: Headlines across the board Monday claimed International Business Machines (IBM) missed revenue expectations. This is flat-out misleading.
A failed gamble on derivatives hurt the company in the second quarter.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
Goldman Sachs' (GS) second-quarter results provided a reminder that the bank doesn't exactly walk on water.
Goldman suggested the mediocre performance was driven by one-time items, including its $550 million settlement of fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a $600 million U.K. bank payroll tax. CFO David Viniar also referred repeatedly to low levels of customer activity on a conference call with the media today.
The poor fixed-income trading results were to be expected, as underwriters like Goldman have an unspoken obligation to buy back inventory from clients in the face of declining markets, says Bernstein Research analyst Brad Hintz.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hover just below their highs with one hour remaining in the final session of the week.
Tomorrow, most global markets, including the U.S., will be closed for Good Friday, while Japan's Nikkei and China's Shanghai Composite will remain open. On Monday, the New York Stock Exchange will open at its regular time, while markets across Europe and Hong Kong's Hang Seng will remain closed for Easter Monday. Nasdaq +17.71 at 4103.94... NYSE Adv/Dec ... More
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