Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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In our global economy, the quake devastation will affect us all in big and small ways.
When the world's third-biggest economy goes off-line for what may be weeks, the ripple effect hits everyone. Japan's exports are at a standstill. Manufacturing has taken a huge hit. The auto industry is in upheaval. Panic selling on Tokyo's stock exchange is hammering markets worldwide.
For better or worse, the global economy has tied us all together in ways our grandparents could hardly imagine. And that's fine in good times -- the U.S. and particularly China have seen gangbuster growth as a result -- but in bad times we all get sucked in.
Here are some major ways that Japan's crisis could affect the world:
The automaker said it has suspended overtime at its American plants, which get about 20% of their components from suppliers in Japan.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Fears of parts shortages are impacting Japanese auto assembly plants in the U.S.
Automotive News reported Tuesday that while Japanese-owned assembly plants in North America are maintaining normal production schedules, assessment teams are evaluating the damage to global supply lines.
"Suspecting that parts shortages will soon become a reality, some automakers immediately trimmed overtime production to conserve parts," the publication said. In particular, Toyota (TM) has suspended overtime production at its North American plants, which get about 20% of their components from suppliers in Japan.
World traders react to a fourth day of turmoil in Japan.
Jim Jelter, MarketWatch
Japan's Nikkei fell nearly 11%, Germany's DAX was off 4%, and at one point during early trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 300 points.
All of these declines were worse than what we saw Monday, and Monday was pretty bad.
Why the delayed reaction? It sounds trite given the circumstances, but it's nevertheless true: Markets hate uncertainty. And right now, uncertainty defines the situation facing Japan, the world's third largest economy.
Shares of General Electric extend their losses, while alternative-energy stocks rally.
By Andrea Tse, TheStreet
General Electric (GE) shares were falling for a second day despite the company's efforts to defend the nuclear reactor it designed for Tokyo Electric Power Co. that has suffered several explosions since last week's earthquake and tsunami.
GE created the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi power plant. Japan has been trying to cool the reactors to prevent a meltdown after three explosions in recent days that have released radiation.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Spokesman Michael Tetuan told the Wall Street Journal that the reactor had delivered safe service for more than 40 years. He called the reactor the "industry's workhorse" and said there had never been a breach of the reactor's containment system.
Shares of GE were falling 2.5% to $19.42, while its nuclear venture partner Hitachi (HIT) was losing 5.8% to $47.06.
Getting behind the wheel of a beaten-down, big moat company.
Bryan Hinmon first wrote about Landstar in September. The stock is up nicely since then, but he still sees it as undervalued. Climb aboard!
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor
Landstar System (LSTR) is a trucker's best friend, providing the platform to make sure small-time truck drivers have access to cargo to keep their big rigs filled. The stock is still being held down by uncertainty surrounding new trucking regulations -- unfairly so in my opinion -- so I'm getting behind the wheel and putting 5% of the Un Portfolio's capital into gear.
Going shopping for cargo
Even though Landstar is a transportation company, it doesn't own any trucks. Instead, it operates an online market where its sales agents can upload information on loads of cargo that need to be delivered. Truckers looking for work can log on and find a load that suits their eye, route, and capacity.
When markets are gripped by crisis and inflation is on the horizon, it's your only choice.
Look around the world right now. First, we have a nascent cold war with Iran. The Iranians are playing the exact same role the Soviets did in another era. They are exporting terror and unrest with an eye toward overthrowing or converting our allies while trying to build a nuclear bomb. We have not even realized yet that we have to contain them, but we will.
Second, the U.S. could get cut off from Middle Eastern energy at any moment. And that would be highly inflationary -- reason three to own gold.
Reason four: We know that there is nothing we can do about this deficit of ours. No one has the political will to take it on. That means the dollar printing press will be operating for a long time.
Studies show that retailers favored by lower-income households will get squeezed more by high gas prices and continued unemployment.
And which retailers aren't as vulnerable to changes at the pump? Costco (COST), Macy's (M) and BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ).
The reason is because poorer families in America are hurt more by gas price hikes and high unemployment levels, Bloomberg reports. And poorer families prefer to shop at Wal-Mart, one analyst says.
The analyst, Richard Hastings of Global Hunter Securities, studied the income levels of shoppers and found that 82% of Wal-Mart shoppers make less than $75,000 a year. That compares with 63% of BJ's shoppers and 55% of Costco members that make less than $75,000 a year.
Nuclear power is under scrutiny as Japanese reactors overheat, leading some investors to take a new look at solar stocks.
Updated: 4:49 p.m. ET
Uranium stocks are getting killed today, and alternative energy is seeing renewed interest.
Look at the list of the biggest losers in the U.S. market. At the top is Uranium Resources (URRE), followed by Ur Energy (URG) and Uranium Energy (UEC). All three stocks are down more than 19%.
These stocks had great momentum heading into this month. Countries around the world had been planning new fleets of nuclear power stations, Dow Jones reports. But after several Japanese reactors overheated, with uranium rods likely melting at a third facility, investors fear the world may be rethinking those nuclear plans.
Other uranium stocks getting hit today include Cameco (CCJ), the largest publicly traded uranium miner, down 12.7%. Denison Mines (DNN) is down 22.5%, Uranium One(SXRZF) plunged 27.9%, and Bannerman Resources (BNNLF) was off 29.6%.
The tablet's strong debut drew long lines for short supplies, giving tech investors some encouragement.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
The rush came early Friday.
Online orders were brisk, and iPad 2 availability, starting at two to four days, quickly sold out in the afternoon, with delivery dates moving back to two to three weeks. Apple is now listing three to four weeks as the delivery time.
The Japanese carmakers have halted production for several days.
Updated: 4:52 p.m. ET
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
The country's automakers have shut down domestic production as the earthquake triggered supply chain interruptions and power outages and hindered the ability of employees to get to work.
Shares of Toyota closed at $81.73, down 4.6%. Shares of Honda fell 4% to $38.17.
The former bassist for Guns N' Roses spent 17 years learning about finance. Now he's starting a money management firm.
He found a file with six years' worth of the band's financials, and he started reading them, Fortune reports. It was like reading another language; he had no idea how much his band was making (or losing). And he wanted to know more.
Fast-forward 17 years. McKagan has learned so much about money that he's now starting his own wealth management firm with a focus on musicians. The goal, according to Fortune, is to "educate rockers about their finances instead of pandering or lying to them."
It's funny to think of a world-famous rocker taking a community college class, but that's exactly what McKagan did. He studied basic finance at Santa Monica Community College and enrolled in another community college in Seattle. He worked his way up to Seattle University's Albers School of Business, Fortune reports.
Coach and Tiffany are among the retail stocks affected by the devastation.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi attributes these declines to the premium at which both stocks are valued relative to the overall retail sector and equities markets.
"Consequently, any swift decline in sales, despite muddling growth in the country for each, raises the risk to future earnings," he wrote in a note. "Both companies in my view have been managing their Japanese businesses to profitability rather than new unit growth."
It's not cheap, but it's worth it.
A couple of months ago, I recommended Lululemon Athletica to all my readers. Fool analyst Ilan Moscovitz -- who is also managing a real-money portfolio for The Motley Fool -- envisions great upside for this retailer, as well.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor
The Dada portfolio has bought retail stocks in the past. We think there are some good opportunities in the consumer sector, but we're a bit worried about middle-tier consumer goods. Not only is the U.S. middle class in danger of being hollowed out by high unemployment and rising income inequality, but value-conscious consumers have also responded to the recession by saving on middle-tier goods and buying a small number of expensive items.
So when buying retailers, we like to focus on cheap stocks, strong operators, and/or high-end brands. Today's pick -- Lululemon Athletica (LULU) -- meets the latter two criteria in spades, though its stock is hardly cheap.
Japan's earthquake and tsunami and the crisis in the Middle East and North Africa will weigh heavily on several funds.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchanged-traded funds to keep an eye on in the days ahead.
Japan will be closely watched as the nation takes initial steps to rebuild after Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The Japanese marketplace had proven to be an attractive destination in recent months as internationally-minded investors opt for exposure to developed economies. According to the February flow report released by the National Stock Exchange, EWJ saw the second largest inflows among the entire ETF universe.
In the coming days, EWJ will be volatile. However, as political and economic tensions continue weighing on the emerging world, this fund may be one to keep on the radar.
Rebuilding will run down the stricken nation's financial wealth to replace lost physical assets.
By Peter Morici, TheStreet
GDP, which measures goods and services produced, will immediately dive in Japan and stay lower through the second and into the third quarters of 2011. Then it will surge as construction and spending on capital equipment to rebuild drive up growth.
Overall, however, Japan will be poorer for this disaster. Lost infrastructure, factories and the like will be replaced, but wealth is the sum of what citizens and governments own -- including physical assets like those just noted and financial wealth such as securities and cash. Rebuilding will run down Japan's financial wealth to replace lost physical assets.
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The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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