Tech fell so far at the start of the new millennium, it was difficult to imagine that the index could ever make up what it lost.
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It's certainly profitable, but unresolved spill liabilities still keep it risky.
By Aaron Levitt
What a difference just a year and half makes. It's been roughly 19 months since BP's (BP) Deepwater Horizon rig disaster. The resulting explosion killed 11 workers and created one of the worst oil spills in recent history. Since then, it's been a long, hard climb for the integrated oil major.
However, BP's Tuesday earnings report points to improved results and a potential turnaround. But with legal liabilities from the Gulf of Mexico spill still hanging over it, the question remains: Is BP a buy?
Investors can find safety not just in gold and Treasury bonds, but also in some of the market's large cap stocks.
Over the past few years, a number of macroeconomic events -- ranging from the 2008 financial crisis to the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East to Europe's debt problems -- have led investors to load up on assets that offer (or at least are perceived to offer) safety. Since the start of 2009, gold prices have just about doubled, and since mid-2009, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds have been just about cut in half.
But what's interesting is that many of the stocks that should be considered safest -- big, high-quality blue chips -- haven't been getting much love from investors. Over the past three years, the Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Index ETF (MGC) is up 59%; the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) meanwhile is up 68%, and the Vanguard Small Cap ETF (VB) is up more than 100%.
Experts say why they like stocks in the mattress, information database and gaming sectors.
Mattresses, information databases and gaming? The Zacks panel of experts takes them on, offering stock picks in each sector in the following video post.
A technical breakout bodes well for this cloud-computing play.
Rackspace Hosting (RAX), which provides Internet hosting and cloud-computing services, is our latest featured breakout stock.
Rackspace serves some 130,000 business customers and manages more than 66,000 servers, 2.1 million email accounts, and 417,000 cloud-hosting domains. It offers its products under the Fanatical Support brand and sells services to businesses in more than 120 countries. Rackspace has annual revenue of $957 million.
Apple's upcoming new tablet will be a potent weapon that can slow Amazon's newest Kindle.
Although Amazon's Kindle Fire fell short of the iPad in customer satisfaction in a recent market survey by ChangeWave Research, it scored higher than other non-Apple tablets, such as Research In Motion's (RIMM) PlayBook. Surveyed users said the most attractive feature was its low price of $199 -- less than half that of an entry-level iPad 2.
This screen for free cash flow to equity isolates stocks with both high yields and secure dividends.
The best tool I have found to determine what a company really has left after expenses for shareholder dividends is a little known metric called free cash flow to equity (FCFE).
FCFE strips out all capital expenditures and adds back net borrowings that can be used to pay dividends. Using FCFE in the denominator of the payout ratio instead of more traditional earnings measures can help separate the safer dividend plays from the more aggressive ones.
Rising wages hurt Chinese restaurant margins, but customers have more money to spend as well.
The market isn't rigged, but sometimes it's easy to see how Wall Street gets a bad name.
I don't think so. You can buy plenty of terrific companies doing fabulous things, whether it be Apple (AAPL) with its amazing products or Kinder Morgan Energy (KMP) with its bountiful dividends or Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) with its dazzling growth. They aren't mug's games.
These stocks have posted big gains this year, but all are trading at levels where chasing them is especially risky.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
Even the renewed concerns over Greece's debt negotiations were shrugged off by the stock market on Monday, as the major averages closed well off the day's lows. Nevertheless, I still think this is no time to be buying aggressively or to be complacent.
A poor entry price, in my estimation, is the key ingredient in most losing trades. Therefore, the three steps in my stock selection process are: 1) determining an entry level, 2) finding a proper stop level, and 3) figuring the approximate percentage risk if my stop were to be hit.
It's all about rarity of shares.
By Dan Caplinger
I never thought that one of my guilty pleasures would give me investing insight. But something I learned watching a home shopping channel showed me why buying into initial public offerings makes less sense than ever right now.
I'll share that insight later in this article. But first, I want to give some perspective on where the IPO market stands right now.
The S&P 500 Index is up 7% so far in 2012. Can this rally last?
Yeah, yeah, we're just weeks into the new year. And experts far and wide have predicted dire things for the market. But so far, things are looking good.
Bespoke Investment Group, which loves to crunch all kinds of market numbers, has been watching the number of days in which the market closed down at least 1%. That hasn't happened yet this year.
The telecom powerhouse and movie rental kiosk giant are teaming up to offer a streaming and DVD subscription service. Sound familiar?
"Isn't there some company that already does both of those things?" says Brad Tuttle at TIME. "Ah yes, Netflix!" After Netflix's (NFLX) disastrous 2011, Verizon and Redbox are just the latest businesses "trying to kick the company -- and steal away customers -- while it's down."
Amid a narrow, low-volume, liquidity-driven uptrend, traders hop from sector to sector.
Stocks have been flat-lining this week on a cavalcade of headlines out of Greece as leaders there try desperately to find a solution to an increasingly implacable problem. Leaders need to make even deeper budget cuts to satisfy their taskmasters in Germany and Brussels and at the International Monetary Fund. All is being done to unlock needed rescue funding before the country runs out of money in March.
But the coalition government in Athens is also pressured by domestic politics, with a major protest demonstration scheduled for Tuesday -- setting the stage for a dramatic climax to months of deliberations.
The 'littlest' big bank is on a tear in 2012.
Is Wells Fargo (WFC) the Rodney Dangerfield of the nation's biggest banks? It sure seems like the firm gets no respect.
After all, Wells Fargo is the country's fourth-biggest bank by assets, after JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C). Heck, it's larger than high-profile Wall Street titans Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS). And yet too often Wells Fargo seems to fall through the cracks when it comes to consideration of financial sector stocks.
Rumor has it that the premier online retailer is taking a page from Apple and opening a retail 'boutique' in Seattle. Does this compute? The critics weigh in.
Citing "Amazon sources close to the situation," Kozlowski says the company is planning to take the "small boutique route," opening a high-end, Apple-like shop in Seattle that focuses on Amazon Exclusives books, Kindle e-readers and tablets, and other accessories. If the store is a hit, Amazon would expand nationwide. This is clearly still just a rumor, but even if Amazon isn't truly thinking of getting physical, should it be?
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The grocery giant expanded its Simple Truth line nationwide 2 years ago and has seen consistent growth.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices extended this week's losses with a broad-based retreat. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% to end the week lower by 1.1%, while the Russell 2000 (-1.1%) finished with a 0.9% decline since last Friday.
Staying true to the theme observed throughout the week, the energy sector (-1.5%) tumbled out of the gate, thus dragging the broader market down with it. Once again, dollar strength and crude oil weakness contributed to sector's underperformance, but the ... More
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