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A split of the European Union could bring about good buying opportunities in German equities.

By MoneyShow.com Sep 20, 2011 2:04PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Global markets seem to be factoring in a default by Greece, and many analysts are looking for a breakup of the European Union. Several analysts think we will end up with both a northern and southern Eurozone.


The overnight downgrade of Italy’s debt may add further pressure on the European Union, as Italy’s debt costs initially increased. Though I personally do not believe we will see a breakup of the European Union in the financial markets, anything is possible. Germany’s economy is in the best position to take advantage of a breakup and a new German deutschemark should have considerable investor appeal.


For those who are pessimistic about the fate of the European Union, an investment in a German company, ETF, or closed-end fund should make you well positioned.

 

The automaker likes to remind us that it didn't take a government bailout like its Detroit rivals, but does the story resonate with car buyers?

By TheStreet Staff Sep 20, 2011 11:31AM

By Ted Reed, TheStreetTheStreet

 

If Obama haters also hate GM (GM), does that mean they love Ford (F)?

 

The Ford story has always been a tale of a company that eschewed a government bailout and pulled itself up by its bootstraps. And Ford has never been shy about telling it. Ford executives, from CEO Alan Mulally on down, have said regularly that the story has helped Ford sales.

 

A recent TV ad lets a Ford F150 buyer tell the story in his own words: "I wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," says the buyer, identified only as Chris. "I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: win, lose, or draw.

 

Funds tracking agricultural, natural gas and other futures are taking steps to protect themselves.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 20, 2011 11:21AM

Image: Farmhouse (© Mark Karrass/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Over the weekend, The Economist noted that the Commodities Futures Trading Committee is taking aim at speculators by proposing to implement position limits on contracts for 28 separate commodities.

 

The report says the CFTC's goal is to bar any individual from controlling more than a quarter of the total U.S. supply of any of these commodities.

 

In recent years, investors have learned firsthand that heightened regulation can affect the inner workings of a futures-tracking ETF. Perhaps the most glaring example is the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG).

 

With the size and scope of the USPS, more than just delivery-dependent providers would feel the pain.

By InvestorPlace Sep 20, 2011 9:40AM
Image: Mailbox (© Tetra Images /Corbis)By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

The United States Postal Service is in dire straits. It is projecting a $6.4 billion loss and could run out of money by the end of the month without a congressional bailout to meet pension requirements.


The driving forces behind the agency's financial woes are many, including a precipitous drop in mail volume because of the digital age, skyrocketing labor costs and an inefficient network populated with infrequently used rural post offices and routes that just don't make sense financially.


But more than just mail routes and government payrolls would be affected. For-profit businesses have a lot of skin in the game, too. Here are five businesses that could suffer from a USPS overhaul.

 

Don't be dissuaded by Monday's sell-off. It's just another opportunity to add the metal to your portfolio.

By Jim Cramer Sep 20, 2011 9:17AM

the streetImage: Gold (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)The papers are filled with doom and gloom. Let's count 'em: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner didn't seem to get much done in Europe, so we had another terrible day for the euro. Worries about higher consumer prices without higher growth have people buzzing about stagflation. And there's no let-up in residential housing prices in China. This is all within the past 72 hours.


Pretty grim, right?

 

Unless, that is, you think about the prospects of what it might mean for gold, which, bizarrely, sold off Monday, giving you another chance to get into the precious metal.

 

Why was it down? Oddly, I think it's because Europe isn't collapsing and the reports of it getting out of control are greatly exaggerated. I reiterate the faith I feel in what Geithner said last week -- that there will be no more Lehmans. If that's the case -- and the market seems to be saying it with gold not soaring -- we have more ways to win than just gold.

 

The manufacturer cuts revenue and profit guidance for the year. What does this say for the company and the sector?

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 19, 2011 5:43PM
Quite a change from Aixtron’s last guidance back on July 28.

At that time, Aixtron (AIXG), a leading maker of equipment to manufacture LEDs, said that although it believed that the choppy waters of the second quarter were likely to continue in the third quarter, the company remained optimistic about achieving its original targets for the full year.

On Sept. 15, however -- just two weeks before that choppy third quarter closes -- the company cut its revenue and earnings guidance significantly for 2011.
 

The company hopes its smaller, cheaper packages will appeal to consumers on tight budgets.

By Kim Peterson Sep 19, 2011 2:56PM
Americans have been drinking less soda for years, mostly for health reasons. But as this economic crisis lingers, people are also cutting back on soda to save money.

That's causing problems for Coca-Cola (KO), Pepsi (PEP) and other soft-drink makers. Soda volumes in the U.S. are down for six years straight.

So now, Coke is downsizing. The company will debut 12.5-ounce bottles for 89 cents each, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move continues a trend toward smaller bottles for the company. Last year, it began selling a 16-ounce bottle for 99 cents -- slimmed down from the 20-ounce bottles in convenience stores. 

Microsoft tests the limits of conventional operating systems with its new vision.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 19, 2011 2:44PM

By Evan Niu

 

Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 is here.

 

At least it is if you're a developer. The official public release won't be until late next year, and the operating system is far from complete. We got a sneak peek at AllThingsD's D9 conference earlier in the year, but now we're getting a better idea of what Redmond's next big release will be like.

 

This week at the company's BUILD Windows developer conference in Anaheim, Calif., additional details emerged surrounding Microsoft's ambitious new operating system. The OS represents more than a concerted assault on the tablet market, but rather embodies an entirely re-envisioned and unified approach to computing that includes mobile computing.

 

With the national fiscal situation in tatters, President Obama pushes for long-term budget austerity, including a 'Buffett tax' on the rich.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Sep 19, 2011 12:58PM

President Barack Obama has sure been busy lately. Two weeks ago he unveiled his American Jobs Act in front of a joint session of Congress -- a $450 billion stimulus plan composed mainly of tax cuts along with spending on infrastructure and unemployment benefits. The idea is that it would boost the economy in the near term and stave off the risk of another recession driven by premature budget tightening.

 

But that doesn't remove the need for a long-term plan on cutting the deficit and reducing the national debt -- the lack of which was responsible for America losing its AAA credit rating last month. It's a delicate balance: The government needs to listen to the bond market and borrow now at ultra-low interest rates to support the economy before pulling the plug later as the recovery becomes self-sustaining.

 

Monday, Obama unveiled his plans for the second half of this strategy --a $4 trillion cut to the budget over 10 years featuring, most prominently, a $1.5 trillion increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans to ensure they don't pay lower tax rates than the middle class.


But would the so-called "Buffett tax" -- proposed by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) CEO Warren Buffett and pushed by Obama -- sink the economy by soaking the rich?

 

Don't want to throw your own money into the market? A new contest gives you fictional cash, but the winner will take home a real $1 million.

By Kim Peterson Sep 19, 2011 12:38PM
A new contest starting Monday at CNBC gives you $1 million in pretend money to trade with -- and the winner gets a million real dollars.

It's a typical stock-picking contest, with winners determined by who has the highest portfolio gain. The second-place finisher gets a new Maserati, and weekly winners get exotic vacations to places such as Dubai and South Africa. 

These picks offer safe, steady returns as well as solid growth potential, making any of them worthy buys on any pullback.

By MoneyShow.com Sep 19, 2011 12:08PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Stocks finished out last week surprisingly strong, and many of the strongest stocks were some that offer attractive yields. 

My weekend scan of the stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that the ten most overbought stocks all have attractive yields. That is not surprising given the current uncertain investment environment and the high degree of pessimism about the stock market.

I have listed the ten stocks whose weekly close was the nearest to their weekly Starc+ bands. For example, The Coca Cola Co. (KO) closed last week at $71.23, which was just 2.6% below the weekly Starc+ band at $73.07.

 

David Marcus, the manager of the Evermore Global Value Fund, says he's seeing the biggest bargains in 20 years in Europe.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 12:00PM

Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)By Robert Holmes, TheStreetTheStreet

 

David Marcus, the manager of the Evermore Global Value Fund (EVGBX), says alarming news stories about Europe's debt debacle -- including a possible default in Greece -- are creating the biggest bargains in two decades.

 

As a global value-fund manager, Marcus has put his focus squarely on European stocks, as many stock indexes from Germany to France to Italy are mired in bear markets after plunging on sovereign bankruptcy fears plaguing the continent.

 

"We're in a world of headline readers, and they see it's pretty bad out there," Marcus says. "What our investors are paying us to do is sift through the headlines and dig deep. There are a lot of problems in Europe. We're finding that while some things are worse than the headlines, there are more opportunities there than I've seen in 20 years."

 

Mining shares have largely missed out on the metal's recent rally, but some analysts think that's about to change. With video analysis.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 11:29AM

By Alix Steel, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Gold stocks may have missed the rally in gold prices, but they're poised to hop on the bandwagon.

 

The changing environment for gold stocks has been a prominent topic at the Denver Gold Forum this year. It was only a year ago that the thought of $2,000 gold was reserved for the more enthusiastic gold bugs. Today that price target is becoming the norm.

 

"We have about a 40% probability that gold will be over $2,200 next year," says Martin Murenbeeld, the chief economist at DundeeWealth. "We have about a 50% probability that gold will average between $1,950-$2,000 an ounce."

 

Qwikster, the company's new DVD-by-mail branch, will offer video game rentals. Is this yet another mistake?

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 10:19AM

the streetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Netflix (NFLX) is entering the video game rental market, a risky bet for a company attempting to find value in its DVD-by-mail service.

 

The company announced Sunday that it is dividing itself into two companies -- one for its DVD-by-mail program, called Qwikster, and another for its streaming service, which will continue to operate under the Netflix banner. As part of Qwikster, subscribers will be able to rent video games for Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

 

Chief executive Reed Hastings said on Netflix's blog that this will be a video upgrade, which implies subscribers will need to pay more for the service. But Hastings didn't reveal how much more it will cost. Rival GameFly offers the service starting at $15.95 a month, while Blockbuster includes video game rentals in all of its packages, which start at $9.99 a month.

 

Funds that track transportation, housing and software will be in the spotlight.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 10:06AM

Image: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT)

 

Transportation companty FedEx (FDX) is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings on Thursday. While FedEx's numbers will generate interest from transports fans, the firm's report and outlook will also provide ample clues on the state of the global markets.

 

FDX is IYT's second largest holding, representing close to 10% of the fund's total portfolio.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


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