The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
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Lower volatility and stronger economic data set the stage for additional gains. But there are likely to be bumps along the way.
The crazy crisis environment of the past few weeks has calmed somewhat. A sense of normalcy is returning. Stocks are up more than 8% off their lows. Volatility continues to be drawn out of the system like snake venom from a wound. Emotions like fear and panic are fading, giving way to a more reasoned approach.
Even the economic data are beginning to surprise investors to the upside again. Industrial production in July jumped 0.9% vs. the consensus estimate of 0.5%. June's result was also revised upward. Manufacturing is coming on strong, thanks to a rebound in auto production. Other positive data points include a drop in jobless claims, a rise in labor income and an increase in loan growth as credit standards are eased.
Nerves are still raw, however. Witness Tuesday's market drop, driven by renewed concerns over the eurozone. For investors, the question is: Now what?
Saying that politicians from both parties have failed to lead, Howard Schultz urges a boycott where it counts.
Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks (SBUX), says top bosses across the country should stop donating to political campaigns. Taking away that money might pressure lawmakers to fix the growing budget deficit.
"I am asking that all of us (forgo) political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people," he wrote in an email Monday night to business leaders.
The presidential candidate says the Federal Reserve would be playing politics if it printed more money before the election.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning for president this week, said the Federal Reserve's printing more money between now and November 2012 would be like an act of treason.
"If this guy (Bernanke) prints more money between now and the election," Perry said, "I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we -- we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous -- or treasonous in my opinion."
Greenlight Capital, in trying to reverse losses, short-circuits its strategy by buying dud stocks.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
It's hard to tell who's having a tougher year, Einhorn or the New York Mets, the baseball team in which he's seeking to buy a $200 million stake. Einhorn's hedge fund fell 5% through the second quarter, prompting him to shake up his investments. The Mets are 20 games back in the standings in the National League East division.
Unfortunately, Greenlight Capital's four new positions have likely been unprofitable for Einhorn, who was brutalized by Yahoo (YHOO). In a letter to shareholders last month, Einhorn disclosed that Greenlight Capital sold out of its stake in Yahoo at a loss after the Internet search giant's dispute over the ownership transfer of Alibaba's online-payments business Alipay.
Only 4 sectors are higher for the year, but analysis indicates that a few are likely to outperform in the months ahead.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett starts a stake in Dollar General, while hedge fund manager William Ackman boosts his company's position in Family Dollar.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Hedge fund managers are getting bullish on dollar stores. Should you?
William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital increased its stake in Family Dollar Stores (FDO) as of June 30, according to a regulatory filing.
Ackman now holds about 11.1 million shares of Family Dollar, valued at $6.4 billion, from about 10.9 billion shares prior to June.
In May, Ackman became the largest shareholder of the dollar store, saying the company was poised for gains due to the potential of a buyout.
The famed investor turned his portfolio inside out in the second quarter, with big buys and even bigger sells.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
A few of the largest acquisitions for Soros Fund Management were Golar LNG Partners (GLNG), which operates a fleet of liquid-natural-gas carriers; computer giant International Business Machines (IBM); Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH), an exchange-traded fund that invests in semiconductor makers; VMware (VMW), a provider of virtualization software for cloud-computing systems; and SandRidge Energy (SD), an oil and natural-gas company.
The fund closed out of its positions in Internet search engine Google (GOOG), at $68 million; luxury-goods maker Coach (COH), a $46 million position; gold miner Novagold Resources (NG), which was a $45 million stake; Power-One (PWER), a maker of power-conversion and power-management products, in what had been a $25 million stake; and a $25 million position in Tenet Healthcare (THC), an owner and operator of health care facilities. Those are just a few of the largest sell-offs.
It hurts even at the top, with some bosses taking a 50% pay cut. But don't cry for the guys still making eight figures.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com editor
As prices of gas and food have crept up while wages have remained largely stagnant, many Americans are feeling the squeeze. Even if you haven't been laid off, you may face a furlough. Even if you don't face days off without pay, you may still be suffering under a wage freeze. And even if you get a 1% or 2% raise, that may not keep pace with inflation, the way things are going.
Throw in the stock market antics messing with your 401k or IRA, and it can be depressing to look at your bank account.
Since misery loves company, perhaps it's worth pointing out big-name companies where CEO compensation has also been falling, with some executives taking as much as a 50% cut. You may find it comforting to know that even the guys at the top are feeling the squeeze.
With Europe's biggest economy growing at just 0.1%, we must remain on recession watch.
Did anyone actually believe that all of these crises in government would be good for the economy?
Did anyone think Germany was in as good shape after the past month as it was before?
Yet when a weak German GDP number came out this morning -- 0.1% growth, down substantially from 1.3% growth in the previous quarter -- markets nosedived as if people had been thinking that the little engine that could runs no matter what it's fed, including the thin gruel of total lack of confidence, fiscal austerity, and worldwide tightening and indecision.
I've been on recession watch ever since we started the horrendous budget process that led to a nearly disastrous deal, and I have been waiting for data like this to shock people into realizing how much damage was really done. The answer is: a whole lot of damage.
Did the August sell-off in the Tokyo stock market take prices down too far?
A diversified portfolio is a must, right? Not for most people, says investor Mark Cuban.
Investor Mark Cuban, who also owns the Dallas Mavericks, says it's impossible for most people to diversify because it's simply too hard to learn about all the different categories.
You're supposed to invest in what you know, right? Well, how can you invest in what you know but then spread your investments into emerging markets, real-estate investment trusts, small-cap stocks, dividend-paying stocks and bonds?
Your brain meets your money.
By Morgan Housel
After being burned by one of the worst investment bubbles in history, Isaac Newton reflected. "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men."
That's just as true today. It doesn't matter how smart you are. You'll be broke before long if you don't have the right mind-set. As markets continue to bleed investors dry, all of us would do well to stop, take a deep breath, and spend a few minutes thinking about some of the innate biases that lead investors astray.
Here are three.
Economist Nouriel Roubini says 5 factors helped turn the nation's economic surplus into a deficit during Bush's presidency.
Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor nicknamed "Dr. Doom" for his dour views on the economy, says in this video that when President Obama came to power, he inherited a budget deficit of $1.2 trillion. When Bush came to power, the country had a surplus of $300 billion.
How did we get a $1.5 trillion change in our fiscal condition during Bush's time in office? Roubini lists five factors:
These exchange-traded funds allow investors to play this market for its strengths and weaknesses.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
The global markets' whipsaw action over the past week has injected a hearty dose of fear into investors around the world.
While it may be tempting to flee these markets, I encourage investors to avoid taking brash action. Defensive-minded asset classes like dividend-paying equities, gold and safe-haven currencies will allow investors to not only weather the current storms, but also prepare for the market's eventual turn around.
The Big Mac Index suggests a new long-term trend for the yuan while the US dollar tries to bottom. These ETFs could make good alternatives to stocks in this volatile market.
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The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the Tuesday session near their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) leading the slide. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% with nine sectors ending in the red.
Equities indices started the day with modest gains and spent the first two hours of action in the neighborhood of their flat lines. Although the early trade lacked clear sector leadership, that could have been overlooked due to the strength among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-0.3%), ... More
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