Finance professor Jeremy Siegel still expects the Dow to hit 18,000. But he's concerned about the labor force and commodity prices.
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The tech giant ends the trading day as No. 1, beating Exxon Mobil in terms of market value.
Apple was headed for the top spot Tuesday, only to be foiled by Exxon in the afternoon. That changed Wednesday, when Apple finished out the day with a stock price that fell 2.8% to $363.69 -- giving it a market value of $337 billion. Exxon shares tumbled 4.4% to close at $68.03, making its market cap $331 billion.
The opportunity of panic.
By Morgan Housel
After Standard & Poor's downgraded America's credit rating Friday and the stock market lost itself entirely Monday, everyone's emotions are running high. Mine have gone like this. When news of the downgrade hit, I thought, "Eh, no big deal." In April, S&P gave 50-50 odds of a downgrade if last week's debt-ceiling deal didn't cut $4 trillion from future deficits. The deal didn't. So who was surprised? After I read why S&P made the downgrade, I became annoyed. After Monday's 600-point bloodbath, I'm now angry. You should be, too.
Who am I angry with? Washington. By S&P's account, they are the sole reason the nation's credit was downgraded. Few sensible people think the U.S. lacks the economic means to pay its bills. Push comes to shove, and taxes can be raised or money can be printed. These create a litany of other problems, but they invariably solve a debt problem. America can pay its debts.
The real roadblock is the political acid that gets in the way of our debt management.
The company's recent quarter wasn't that bad, but the overall market drop is adding to the stock's woes Wednesday.
Updated: 7:27 p.m. ET
Investors punished Disney (DIS) Wednesday, sending shares down 9.1% on concerns about the economy. The stock ended afternoon trading at $31.54, and was only slightly higher after hours.
Disney was the biggest loser in the S&P 500 today, and that's saying something. The problem for the company was that it reported quarterly earnings Tuesday that didn't seem that bad on the surface. But get a little deeper into the numbers and there were problems galore.
The central bank's promise of further action is only enabling investors.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
The Federal Reserve has turned into the ultimate pusher, and quantitative easing is the drug that investors want badly. The question now is whether any good would come of allowing the central bank to continue to enable the markets.
Witness Tuesday's dramatic sell-off following the latest statement on interest rates, which was followed by a dramatic surge into the closing bell and an equally dramatic plunge at the open Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which rocketed higher by more than 250 points in the last half hour of trading Tuesday, gave back that gain and more.
The agency is under the microscope after downgrading the US credit rating. After its spotty track record, should its opinions matter?
Is it warranted? Should we trust S&P, which, along with other ratings agencies, maintained Enron's top AAA credit rating even as the company spiraled toward bankruptcy? By S&P's standards, Enron was more likely to pay its debts than the U.S. This is the same S&P that slapped a perfect rating on those mortgage securities backed by high-risk loans that helped plunge the U.S. into financial crisis.
Politicians and regulators have jumped all over S&P for its actions, saying the agency's track record clearly shows it's out of its league when it comes to understanding debt.
Hundreds of new locations are planned worldwide. Even amid global economic woes, the strategy makes sense for this reinvented company.
That was before Starbucks saw its real-estate bubble crash when the U.S. economy turned. The company closed 900 stores, effectively tossing its ambitious expansion plans in the garbage.
But old habits die hard. Starbucks is revving up again and will open 300 new locations this year and next, MSNBC reports. But wait, aren't we on the verge of another recession? Oh, stop worrying and go get a Caramel Macchiato.
Despite the market turmoil, these global utility stocks are still trending higher and paying sizable dividends.
The US is in really bad shape, though we know the extent of it. Europe is not as bad as people think.
Those two albatrosses could reverse any rally, stop any bull in its tracks. We are all trying to figure out how much impact these have had and could have. Does an ineffectual president and a fractious congress equal a 1% decline in GDP from levels that were low already? If Italy goes bust, does that mean we go into a second recession?
You have to visualize these crimes against the economy on a calm day, because on a down day they both seem unfathomable and on an up day they can seem trivial.
I think the dysfunction in the U.S. was a huge wake-up call to the world that, right now, we are politically bankrupt. The Standard & Poor's downgrade crystallized what most people are unwilling to say, which is that until our president loses in the election, which I don't think he will, or the Tea Party obstructionist anarchists fall by the wayside, we can't really have an economic recovery of any sort in this country.
Stocks surge after the Fed soothes raw nerves with the promise of 2 more years of easy money. But be careful, as rapid turns mean danger.
What a difference a day makes. Monday, it was all doom and despair as traders reacted to the weekend news that America had lost its AAA credit rating and was docked to AA+. Fear and panic were at work.
Stocks melted in response, continuing one of the worst runs in history. By one measure, Monday's sell-off was the worst seen in more than 70 years. By another measure, the overall market had reached its most oversold level since the 1930s. In a blog post after the close, I wrote that we were nearing a turnaround point.
Tuesday, we got it. Equities launched higher, led by beleaguered bank stocks, after the Federal Reserve acknowledged recent economic weakness and vowed to keep the firehouse of easy money going until 2013. The question now is: Can the positive momentum continue?
Rising food prices pushed overall inflation up in July, but the country could soon see a peak.
Exxon has held that title since 2005, but Apple surged ahead for much of the day Tuesday.
Which is the world's most valuable company: Apple (AAPL) or Exxon Mobil (XOM)?
Until Tuesday, the answer had been Exxon. We're talking about a company that set a record in 2008 for the highest quarterly earnings of any company ever. But Apple shares have been on an unbelievable march since 2009, and Apple passed Exxon to become the most valuable company.
For much of the afternoon, anyway. But Exxon came back at the last minute.
Apple shares closed up nearly 6% Tuesday to $374.01, giving the company a market cap of $346.74 billion. Exxon shares rose a little more than 2% to close at $71.64, making its market cap $348.32 billion.
The world's biggest ETF could soon be SPDR Gold Shares, which took in $1.3 billion on Monday alone. Some analysts see the metal hitting $2,500 by year's end.
Gold (-GC) futures hit a record Tuesday at $1,778 as the chaos continued in global markets, and analysts said the precious metal may be headed even higher. But gold settled back to close at $1,740.50 as investors showed renewed interest in the stock market.
The new push for gold means that the world's biggest exchange-traded fund could soon be the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), which took in $1.3 billion in new assets in just one day Monday.
7 quick tips to keep you sane and solvent.
By Joe Magyer
Investing through recessions is nerve-wracking. Here are seven quick tips:
- Write down your strategy: Take 10 minutes to write down your investing strategy and why you hold each of your stocks, bonds, CD's and mutual funds. Use that document as your pillar of strength if markets go bonkers.
- Diversify: There's a reason financial advisers pound the table on diversification: It works. Lower your downside and sleep easier by investing across a range of asset classes, styles (value, growth, etc.), industries (consumer staples, energy, etc.) and countries (U.S., Freedonia, etc.). If you're new to stocks, here's a quick primer on how to get diversified.
Funds tracking gold, the Swiss franc and some of the world’s largest, most stable companies can offer shelter.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Individuals from the blogosphere and mainstream financial media spent last weekend obsessing over Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from AAA. Because the event was the first of its kind, it's understandable that fears are widespread as investors, market commentators and analysts scramble to find meaning and prepare for the road ahead.
While it may be tempting to flee the markets, taking brash actions is not a route I would suggest. On the contrary, long-term-minded ETF investors will need to be patient. Those looking to ease their nerves should keep their eyes on defensive asset classes. In the event of a prolonged shakeup, these corners of the market will provide a welcome buffer against upheaval.
If you're panicked, your portfolio might have been wrong to begin with. You need a plan for bad times as well as good. Here's what to do -- and when to worry.
By Seth Fiegerman, MainStreet
The U.S. had its credit rating downgraded from AAA to AA+ late Friday by Standard & Poor's for the first time in history, but despite the concern among consumers and investors, financial planners argue the downgrade isn't reason enough to make any drastic changes to one's portfolio.
"If the portfolio you own is properly diversified and if your long-term goals haven't changed, then you should not be making any changes because of this," says Ric Edelman, a prominent financial adviser and the founder of Edelman Financial Services. "Our concern is that a great many consumers don't have a diversified portfolio."
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 has returned to its flat line while the Russell 2000 (-0.2%) and Nasdaq (-0.5%) remain in the red. For its part, the Dow (+0.2%) continues to hold a slim gain.
Within the Dow, there are 18 names trading higher with Nike (NKE 79.42, +1.20) trading up 1.5%. Nike is the only stock showing an increase of more than 1.0% while the second best performer, ExxonMobil (XOM 94.53, +0.77), trades up 0.9%.
On the downside, Caterpillar (CAT 96.80, ... More
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