Categories: Stocks

U.S. Domestic Common Stock Holders Got A 4.1% Pay Hike in Q2; 11.1% YTD

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 06

It's been a good first half for U.S. dividend investors. U.S. listed common stocks increased their dividend payment $11.2 Billion in the second quarter of 2011, compared to the $19.0...

Buybacks Increase Just 4% - Can the Buyback Bonanza Return?

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 29

S&P 500 Q1,'11 stock buybacks increased 62.6% to $89.84B from the $55.26B in Q1,'10, but are up just 4.0% from Q4,'10 $86.36B. The 4.0% increase in buybacks from last quarter...

Back To Paying More Taxes Abroad Than To Uncle Sam; Someone Say Jobs, Repatriation, Fair Trade

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 03

Back in 2002 S&P Indices deleted the foreign issues from the S&P 500, in effect making the S&P 500 a pure U.S. play, which fit well with S&Ps other country...

For Baby Boomers - The Hour It Is Getting Late

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 26

For over seventy years, the relationship between employee and employer not only encompassed the exchange of services for compensation, but extended to obligations in the form of pensions and Other...

Everything Is Beautiful - But What Price Beauty?

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 19

For 18 consecutive quarters, from Q2,'02 through Q3,'06, S&P 500 operating earnings increased at least 10% each quarter. Initially the gains were a rebound from the earnings declines of the...

YTD DIVIDEND INCREASES SURPASSES FULL 2010

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 27

The net S&P 500 Indicated Dividend Rate (increases less decreases) year-to-date of $20.985 Billion has just surpassed (today's XOM put it over) the total increase in 2010 of $20.650 billion....

Cash Flow Sets Annual Record

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 12

S&P 500 issues posted a record high annual cash-flow value for 2010, at $1,145 Billion dollars, outpacing the prior record of $1,117 Billion set in 2006 (2.51% on a dollar...

No New Jobs Until Sales Pick-up, And Sales Are Starting To Inch-Up

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 08

Earnings have recovered to their pre-recessionary postings with margins near record levels. While higher productively, work them 'longer and harder' and low-to-stable labor costs have all helped, the key to...

Waiting to Spend Like a Sailor on Leave

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 28

Recently, Warren Buffett stated that his "trigger finger is itchy" to make acquisitions, then he pulled the trigger with a US$ 9 billion cash offer for S&P MidCap 400 specialty...

Amazing Progress for Slow-Moving Dividends, But It's Only the First Inning

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 23

Dividends are back in the game, but it's going to be a long game. The Fed action allowing most banks (BAC not) to increase their dividends is a start, but...

2010 Buybacks Set % and $ Record - But Will Investors Bite Again?

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 23

The headline news is that S&P 500 companies spent $299 billion on stock buybacks in 2010, up $161 billion or 117% from the $138 billion they spent in the 2009...

Two Year Run Leaves Investors up 95% - And Here Comes Oil

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 04

Next week will mark the two-year anniversary of the bear market low on March 9, 2009. The quick 17-month 56.78% steep decline from the market high on October 9, 2007...

Is Breaking Up So Hard To Do, or 5 Will Get You 11

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 23

Over the last month, five S&P 500 issues have declared their intention to break off part of their ongoing business operating and distribute the shares to existing holders, leaving them...

A Few Preliminary Q4 Stats, And Observations

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 12

Q4 OVERVIEW:(facts first, commentary at end) I've completed my preliminary Q4 2010 review based on the current S.E.C. filings (finals in March) and the statistics that emerged show an improving...

Dividends Move Into Full Swing; A Return To The Normal

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 09

As of the close of yesterday (2/8/2011), the indicated dividend rate on the S&P 500 has increased more than the full 2 month Feb,'10 turnaround period January got off to...

MidCap400 Sets An All Time High

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 14

The MidCap400 set an all time high today, closing at 931.07, surpassing the previous high close of 926.23, set on July 13, 2007. The S&P SmallCap600 is 3.16% off its...

Bring On The Sales

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 12

The market set another 28 month high today, closing at 1285.96, last seen on August 28, 2008, which is also the last time it closed above 1300, 1300.68 (there's a...

US Dividends Holders Hit The Trifecta

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 07

The good news is that 2010 was a very good year for dividends, as both payments and attitudes turned around. More issues increases, dramatically fewer decreased, and the 2-year tax...

Dividends Up 8.8%, 2011 Estimated To Be Up 9%, But You're Still Down 18.5% from 2008

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 21

The best way to think of dividend income is as your salary. The good news is that you received an 8.8% pay increase this year and next year looks like...

I'm Expecting An Old Friend May Drop by for Q4 - Higher EPS Due To Share Count Reduction

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 20

I have noted an increasing number of companies which have completed share buybacks in excess of their internal use for employee options and M&A over the first three quarters of...

Estimate That 2-Year Dividend Tax Extension Will Save Investors $74.5 Billion

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 08

The proposed two-year extension for qualified dividends to be taxed at 15% would add an additional US$ 74.5 billion into the hands of individual investors, and bring the ten year...

Q3 Balance Sheets Show Healthy Issues

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 26

I have completed a preliminary Q3 2010 review based on the current S.E.C. filings (finals in mid-December) and the statistics that have emerged are ones of healthier balance sheets with...

S&P 500 Total Return Now At Y2K Level, Stocks Remain 17% Off

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 04

Don't tell holders of Automatic Data Processing, Campbell Soup, Leggett & Platt, or United Parcel Service that dividends don't count - from 2000, their stocks are down, but with dividends...

Emerging Markets Fund Strategies: A Key Choice for Investors

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 25

For U.S. investors looking to exploit growth in emerging markets, one question is how much of their portfolios to allocate toward these fast-growing regions of the world. It's a question...

If You Lead A Horse To Water Will It Drink?

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on October 22

The new discussion on cash repatriation is very political. The 5.25% tax rate from the repatriation (American Jobs Creation Act of 2004) in 2004/5 still doesn't sit well with many,...

The Road To Recovery: Dividend Payouts Increase $18.5 Billion YTD

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on October 05

The bleeding has stopped, but the dividend recovery is going to be a long, slow trip. The top line dividend news is good, and we can sure use it. After...

A Few Q2 Stats, or Where We're At

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on August 09

Note that while 86% of the earnings are in (9.28% operating margin), many of the stats require the 10Qs, so reporting varies. Buybacks - With 60% of the numbers reported,...

Foreign Sales - Love 'em Or Leave 'em

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on August 05

Back in 2002 S&P deleted the foreign issues from the S&P 500, in effect making the 500 a pure U.S. play, which fit well with S&Ps other country indices. But...

No Sales Means No Jobs Means No Recovery

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 21

Last week U.K. scientists determined which came first: the chicken or the egg? They claim it was the chicken. But the Wall Street version is which comes first Sales or...

Stocks: From "Worry Season" to "Earnings Season"

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 12

Alcoa (AA) kicks off second quarter earnings season today, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) chief U.S. equity strategist David Bianco says we're moving from "worry season" to "earnings...

Uncertainty Is The Greatest Single Weapon Working Against The U.S.

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 09

Q2 Reporting Starts Monday: Look at Q/Q and Sales Earnings season starts Monday, and the S&P 500 Q2 2010 earnings are expected to increase 42% over Q2 2009 - great....

Retirement: Live Long and Work

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 06

If you are planning to retire soon, think again. Retirement, it appears, is only for the few, the rich or the benefit endowed. The stats of both Corporate Pensions and...

Dividends Post A $62 Billion Turnaround

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 01

The rebirth of dividends in the U.S. domestic market which started in the first quarter of this year has continued in the second quarter, with more issues increasing their cash...

Two Years Ago Gas Was $4.15 a Gallon ...

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 28

Two years ago gasoline beat out milk for the race to $4 a gallon. Gas now sells for $2.80 a gallon (milk is still over $4), and the point-to-point decline...

Companies Are Back In The Share Buyback Mode

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 24

I just released the first quarter S&P 500 buyback numbers and at first look the numbers are impressive. Q1 increased 80% over last year's Q1 expenditures and 16% over the...

Still Sticking With Dividends, But BP, BAC, C, GE Cost Dividend Investors $38 Billions

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 17

The speed of the Financial sector dividend decline, from 30% of the S&P 500 in 2007 to 9% now, appears slow compared to BP. The BP suspension (the largest decrease...

Where Have All The Stock Splits Gone, Long Time Passing

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 07

Today, June 7th, the holders of Express Scripts will get something no other S&P 500 issue has gotten since the holders of AmerisourceBergen Corp got it on June 16, 2009;...

A Lack Of Information On European Sales, But This Is What We Have

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 04

I do an annual foreign report based on the S&P 500. Reporting requirements are poor, and companies are big on pictures and bad on tabular tables. The result is that...

June Dividend Watch List

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 25

I found five major issues which have a history of increasing in June. They are Bard (C.R.), Darden Restaurants, General Mills, Medtronic, and Target. YTD dividends are hot, with 123...

Another Fun Week Produces An Offical Market Correction

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 21

The market opened the week with little action and sectors trading on their own merits. Tuesday, however, is when the turmoil began, and grew as the week progressed. The accumulating...

The Stronger Dollar Worries Stock Investors

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 12

Since Nov. 25, the euro has lost 16.3% of its value against the U.S. dollar. Since just Apr. 14, the euro has dropped 7.2%. While talking to strategists and portfolio...

Just When Dividends Start Up - The Tax Man Cometh

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 04

Depending on the events in Washington, there is a possibility of a large tax gap in qualified dividends paid in 2010 vs. 2011. Without a congressional dividend tax law change...

The First Day of the Month Trade - Why Am I Still Working

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 04

I continue to get significant inquires into the First Trade of the Month portfolio. The calculation is basic - you are in the S&P 500 for the first trading day...

Stocks: Sell in May?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 27

Some stock traders live by the maxim, "Sell in May and go away." As the calendar ticks toward May Day, should we be getting ready to sell? Historically, the worst...

Future Stats, For Our Brave New World

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 27

Global Sales - Initial numbers show foreign sales are running 46.97% of full sales, slightly down from the 47.94% of 2008. Foreign income taxes paid are again ahead of U.S....

It’s Dividend Time

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 27

IBM just became the third major issue of the four we were watching to increase this month (JNJ and PG already increased this month), which still leaves XOM open. MTD...

Small Caps, Big Performance

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 05

Why are smaller companies so thoroughly beating big companies in the stock market? With a median market capitalization of $466 million, the small-cap Russell 2000 index is up 11% so...

The Rebirth Of Dividends – It’s Going To Be A Long Way Back

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 05

What a difference a year makes. A year ago the headlines on Q1 2009 dividends were ‘Q1 Worst Quarter for Dividends Since 1955’, today’s Q1 2010 headline is ‘Dividends See...

Bank Earnings: A Weak Link in the Recovery

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 01

The financial crisis may be easing, but don't be fooled that it's ending. Yes, there is good news: Financial markets have healed somewhat, and most big banks have paid back...

Buybacks Are Back In Style, But Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 29

It’s difficult not to have noticed, buybacks are back in style. Companies are rushing to show how solvent they are, and prove to the world that they have weathered the...

Luxury Retailers Regain Cachet

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 24

Ignore for a moment the depressed real estate market, $3-per-gallon gas prices and long lines at the unemployment office. Despite all the gloom, this could be a good year for...

An Unforgiving Market Finds a Prize IPO

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 16

Lately the IPO market has been very difficult to impress. Apparently a Nobel Prize helps do the trick. For months, investors in the initial public offering market have complained about...

Praised Be The Payout Gods

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 12

A year ago dividends were dying, now they are being reborn – HALLELUJAH AND PRAISED BE THE PAYOUT GODS. The first quarter of last year was the worst period in...

One Year Later the Easy Part is Over, Now the Fun Begins

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 05

On 3/23/2009, I sent out a memo about the S&P 500 being back over 800. In retrospect, it was up 22.6% over the 10 trading days since the 3/9/09 low;...

A Very Good Month For Dividends

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 25

Dividend data (as of now) for the month of February (all reporting issues not just the 500) are showing that dividend increases are up 29% from Feb,’09 (still 42% off...

The Good News Is Washington Is Working On It, The Bad News Is Washington Is Working On It

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 19

The 8.1% market decline from the Jan 19th Bull market high through the Feb 8th pullback low appears to have stabilized, at least for now, with the market gaining back...

Wal-Mart and the paycheck-to-paycheck consumer

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 18

Wal-Mart (WMT) has a problem: Its typical shopper appears to be tapped out. On Feb. 18, the world's largest retailer reported $112.8 billion in worldwide revenue last quarter, up 4.6%...

Ouch, Berkshire Hathaway Negates 3 Months of Dividend Gains

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 12

You need to think about this first before you calculate it. After the close of business tonight BNI with an index value of $26 billion and which pays a dividend...

Stocks and the Snowstorm

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 12

The snow that buried much of the eastern United States in the past week has stretched government budgets and slowed home-buying. The wave of blizzards could also hurt financial markets...

A Few Initial Numbers: Future Stats

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 10

With 80% of the Q4 EPS reported, 10Ks are starting to come in, although the off-fiscals (non-Nov/Dec/Jan, which account for 21.4% of the market value) still out number them. Based...

Four Weeks Down, But Limited Damage

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 05

The index posted its fourth week of market losses, an event not seen since March 2009. However, this week’s damage was a minor -0.72% (Monday was up 1.43%, with Tuesday...

Stocks: Looking for a Super Bowl Effect

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 05

What does the Super Bowl have to do with the stock market? Well, not much. Yes, occasionally companies can get a lift from effective advertisements. In 2008, for example, E*Trade...

So Goes January SO Goes The Year – Hope not

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 29

Of the 82 Januarys in the history of S&P 500 from 1929 (through 2009), 52 have been positive and 29 have been negative. Of the 52 gains, 42 were positive...

The Man Who Refuses To Pay A Dividend

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 15

The day I started at Standard & Poor’s in May 1977 the S&P 500 was at 100 (99.77), as was another stock – Berkshire Hathaway, which had a $98 bid...

Five In A Row - Going For The Silver

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 11

see file for additional details Download file S&P 500 up first 5 days of 2010 – 1 of only 4 times from 1928 Up first 5 trading days: 01/08/2010, 01/09/2006,...

Worst Decade For Stocks, But Not All Stocks

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 31

The S&P 500 posted its first negative total return decade in history. Of course, if you were in energy you didn’t notice it, and you should pick up the tab...

A Modest Rebound in Stock Buybacks

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 16

Analyst Note: Buybacks rebound 44%; Financial dilution increase 25% S&P 500 buybacks rebounded 44% ($34.85B) from their record Q2 low ($24.20B; data series starts in Q1,’98) Information Technology increases 121.5%...

A Sell Sign from the S&P 500?

Posted by: Tara Kalwarski on December 15

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed above 1,114 yesterday, and Evergreen Investments chief market analyst John K. Lynch is waiting for the benchmark his 1,120. What's so special about...

Estimate 2010 S&P 500 dividend to increase 6.1% - A Reason To Believe

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 07

In early March 2009 I published my S&P 500 dividend payment estimate for 2009 at $21.97, down 22.6% from the actual $28.39 in 2008. Year-to-date, there have been 225 dividend...

A Rocky Recovery for Home Depot

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 17

Wall Street is hoping for a strong economic recovery, but again and again investors are disappointed by signs that American consumers remain cautious and careful about opening their wallets. The...

Cash Just Kept On Piling Up, But It Looks Like The Spending Has Started

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 16

Cash and equivalent, an item that is always near and dear to my heart, for the S&P old Industrials, which is the S&P 500 less Financials, Utilities, and Transportation issues,...

Are Viacom Investors Too Focused on MTV?

Posted by: Lauren Young on November 13

Sure, Lady Gaga, Chris Brown and Jay Z make headlines, but are Viacom (VIA) investors too focused on MTV? The folks at Ariel Investments think so. MTV accounts for just...

Can the Low-Quality Stock Rally Continue?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 10

Stock strategist these days seem obsessed with the concept of quality. As I wrote as early as June, the March-to-October rally was driven largely by "junk stocks." Leading the way...

Tradition, a Feeling of Accomplishment

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 06

This was my ninth New York Yankees World Series parade and my sons first. There are no more $5 hats ($35 for the ‘official’ ones and $10 for the ‘others’),...

Whole Foods' Warning About 2010

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 05

Shares of Whole Foods Market (WFMI) took a nosedive on Nov. 5, dropping 15.5% to 27.10. What scared Whole Foods shareholders should concern all investors, especially those in consumer-focused stocks:...

Technical Analysis: Are Stocks Headed For a Fall?

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on November 05

When the S&P 500 opened at 1047.30 on Nov. 5 and quickly rallied 1.65% to 1063, investors could be pardoned for feeling a sense of déjà. Just yesterday, the S&P...

Stocks are Overpriced!

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on November 03

Equities are expensive, says High Frequency Economics chief economist Carl B. Weinberg. But before you start dumping all the stocks in your portfolio, pay heed – it’s Europe, Japan and...

Earnings and Sales Continue Ahead of Expectation – Everything is Beautiful

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on October 23

With over half of the S&P 500 earnings reported(report)the numbers are coming in ahead of expectation, which considering two thirds of the issues historically beat their estimates, doesn’t say that...

Pfizer Loses Its Triple-A Credit Rating

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 16

The Triple-A credit rating is disappearing before our eyes. On Oct. 16, Standard & Poor's yanked drug maker Pfizer's (PFE) AAA-rating, the best rating the agency can give out to...

Dow 10K: Why One Pro Thinks It’s Important

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on October 14

The Dow Jones Industrial average closed above 10,000 today for the first time since October 2008. After having watched the blue-chip benchmark cross the magical five-digit figure numerous times in...

Costco: Early Sign -- or Exception?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 07

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) posted impressive results this morning. My question is what sales and profits at the warehouse retailer say about retail more broadly. Costco posted earnings of 85...

Apple iPhone: Can it Leap from Consumer to Corporate?

Posted by: Lauren Young on October 02

Will Corporate America take the next big bite into Apple's (AAPL) iPhone? Maynard Um, a UBS tech analyst, upgraded Apple from neutral to buy on Oct. 2. Um's new price...

GE Said to Entertain Offers for NBC

Posted by: Dan Beucke on October 01

Ron Grover posts the following over on BW’s On Media blog: After months of denying it’s for sale, General Electric seems to be entertaining offers for its NBC Universal unit....

Will The Players Please Take The Field For The Next Round Of M&A

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 25

A long long time ago, in May of 2007 when the S&P was 46% higher, there were $461 billion in deals sitting on the 500’s table, including 13 private offers...

Retail: A Flat Holiday Season?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 21

For retail companies and their investors, attention is turning to the prospects for the U.S. holiday season. Last year's holiday season arrived just months after an economic meltdown. Consumers panicked...

Corporate M&A war chest: cash & treasury shares

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 21

S&P Industrials (old) Cash Increases in short-term investments drove the Cash & Equivalent accounts (cash, short term investments, and securities -> all in the current asset account) to a record...

Cramer Boosts Apple Shares

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 16

Jim Cramer went on CNBC last night, talked for several minutes in front of two apple-filled wheelbarrows, and created $5 billion in wealth for Apple (AAPL) shareholders. Apple shares were...

Buybacks Down 86% As Companies Hold Tight To Their Security Blanket - Cash

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 15

I have just released the S&P 500 second quarter buyback numbers and, shock and dismay, fewer companies did buybacks and those that did spent a lot less. Basically, not many...

Has Monsanto Hit Bottom?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 10

Monsanto (MON) warned today that it expects to earn just $3.10 to $3.30 per share in fiscal 2010, well below the $4.10 that Wall Street analysts were expecting. The culprit...

Big Discounts Work for Retailer Jos. A. Bank

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 02

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) is the poster child for a retailing strategy that really seems to work these days: Sales, discounts and more sales. Visit a Jos. A. Bank...

Reader Mail: Does Citigroup's Reverse Stock Split Signal Sell?

Posted by: Lauren Young on August 28

Here's one from the reader mailbag. What's your advice for this reader on Citigroup's (C) reverse stock split? I need some advice. My husband and I are a young newly...

Stock Market Climbs to 10-Month High

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on August 21

On Aug. 21, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed at a 10-month high of 1,026.13. The move purged Monday's 2% drop from the collective consciousness and put the S&P...

Stock Market Climbs to 10-Month High

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on August 21

On Aug. 21, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed at a 10-month high of 1,026.13. The move purged Monday's 2% drop from the collective consciousness and put the S&P...

Why Stocks Could Push Higher

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on August 20

Can the Standard & Poor’s 500 go higher? The Aug. 17 selloff, which saw the S&P 500 drop 2%, prompted hand-wringing about an imminent market collapse. And even S&P 500...

Market Decline: Shake Down or Shake Out?

Posted by: Tara Kalwarski on August 18

Yesterday’s market rout begs a number of questions, according to Richard Ross, Head of Global Technical Strategy for Auerbach Grayson, a NY-based brokerage firm: Is the sudden global decline a...

You Need to Increase the Top Line to Sustain the Bottom Line

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on August 13

S&P 500 Q2 sales are off 24.82% Y/Y or $597B; 1-year is off 13.24% or $1.27T Industrials posted their worst 12-month percentage drop since our record started in 1964, -9.03%...

Why Did Homebuilding Stocks Surge?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 11

When you buy stock in a corporation, you theoretically are buying rights to a slice of that company's future profits. So how do you value a stock when those profits...

Is it a Good Time to Buy Ford?

Posted by: Lauren Young on August 10

A reader sent me an email today asking if it is a good time to buy Ford (F) stock. In turn, I asked my sources in the investment world what...

Grantham: Are Stocks Fairly Priced?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 31

Better-than-expected economic data bolster the case that the recent stock market rally was based on solid fundamentals. According to the U.S. GDP report, the economy contracted 6.4% in the first...

Dividends - more bad news and a starting list of new ones

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 30

The actual July 2009 S&P 500 payments are 32% off the July 2008 payment, and the worst July since 2002 Year-to-date S&P 500 holders have been paid $29.5 billion less...

Rare Optimism from Caterpillar's CEO

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 21

The recession has been tough on companies like Caterpillar (CAT). The heavy equipment maker has slashed production and cut thousands of jobs. Investors have seen Caterpillar shares lose half their...

Global Sales Report – It's Not Just Jobs

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 14

For the full report click here I just released my annual S&P 500 Global sales report, and as has become the custom, the annual reports are full of nice glossy...

Family Dollar: The Recession's Best Stock

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 08

Of the 500 stocks in the S&P 500, (according to data from Capital IQ) fewer than 20 have actually risen in value in the economic downturn of the past 18...

Health Care Stocks: In For a Long Year?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 02

Health care stocks are among the riskiest games investors can play these days. The reason, of course, is the health care reform effort, spearheaded by President Barack Obama and winding...

Stocks: Is "Buy and Hold" Still Best?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 02

PNC, in its July 2009 Investment Outlook, asks whether the "buy and hold" investing philosophy no longer works. PNC's investment strategist, E. William Stone, does a good job of clarifying...

And the Winner for Corporate Expenditure Cuts Goes to...

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 19

Last year’s race was between commodities to see which would hit $4 a gallon first – milk or gas. Milk won, and is still over $4 a gallon, but while...

PENSIONS: Work Till You Drop – If You Have A Job

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 04

The full S&P 500 Pension and OPEB report, including a full listing of issues and data is available at our web site. I’ll start with the bottom line – pensions...

The Market Rally: How High Can Stocks Go?

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on June 02

On the heels of yesterday's 3% gain, stocks are taking a well-deserved breather. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed had finally busted though 930 -- a significant point of resistance....

Don't rush to buy Cisco and Travelers on Dow Average Inclusion

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 01

Conventional wisdom says there's money to be made buying stocks added to a major trading index. This morning comes news that Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Travelers (TRV) will be added...

Consumers' Irrational Exuberance?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 26

Stocks rallied on May 26, and a surprising jump in consumer confidence is getting the credit. The May consumer confidence reading hit 54.9, quite a jump from 40.8 in April....

No Virginia There Are No Safe Dividends

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 18

I received a letter that said I am 78 years old. My financial advisers say dividends are safe. Please tell me the truth, are dividends safe? Signed Virginia Virginia, your...

A Flurry of New Equity in May

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 15

Billions of new shares have flooded the market this month. Data from Thomson Reuters today shows almost as much equity has been issued in the last two weeks as in...

A Slow, Painful Recovery Could Help Stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 14

According to many economists, investors and even policymakers like Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, the U.S. economy is in for a long, slow, painful recovery. A WSJ survey of economists...

Are the Financials a Leading Indicator?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 14

I've been asking investing pros which industries serve as "economic weather vanes," i.e. which parts of the stock market could be expected to rebound first in an economic recovery. Many...

The Stock Market's Earnings Problem

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 12

Stock investors are sitting on hefty gains from the past two months, when the S&P 500 index has regained 33% of its value. But there are troubling signs the rally...

Are Equity Offerings a Sign the Rally Is Ending?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 12

Why should the banks have all the fun? Financial institutions from Wells Fargo (WFC) to Capital One (CFC) are issuing millions of new shares and raising billions in new capital....

Stressing over the "Stress Tests"

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 04

As bank investors await the results of the U.S. Treasury's "stress tests" of the nation's largest banks, this May 4 advice from Stifel Nicolaus (SF) analyst Christopher Mutascio seems valuable:...

Dendreon's Mysterious Trade

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on April 29

Biotech stocks are supposed to be volatile, but yesterday’s move in Dendreon (DNDN) was a bit much. In a matter of minutes, the biotech stock fell 70%, from 25 to...

Stocks for 'Flationary Times?

Posted by: Lauren Young on April 28

Which 'flation camp are you in? Most of the 50 advisers and analysts I interviewed for a story about 'flation in the most recent issue of BusinessWeek think the U.S....

The Ever-Shrinking Bank Dividend

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 21

Bank of New York Mellon (BK) slashed its dividend 63% on Apr. 21. It's a story financial sector investors have heard before. By now, nearly every major bank has cut...

Does Coke do everything Pepsi does?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 20

Interesting move by PepsiCo (PEP) to buy the outstanding shares it didn't already own of its two major bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) and PepsiAmericas (PAS). While the pundits debate...

The Future of Retail

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 15

By Kyle Shen The slowdown in consumer spending cut many retail stocks in half in 2008, but retailers have seen a surprising rally recently. Many of the worst-performing stocks of...

Movie boom keeps booming, lifting cinema stocks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 14

I must admit that when my kids turn the dial to the popular Disney Channel show "Hannah Montana," I make my excuses and hurriedly leave the room. But the show...

Reasons to be skeptical of the Pulte Homes-Centex merger

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 08

Well, say what you want about Pulte Homes (PHM) CEO Richard Dugas but don’t accuse him of buying high. Sure, offering $10.50 a share (in all-stock deal) for home building...

Mike Mayo and the Busted Banks

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on April 06

The banking sector has been banging its head against its recent highs and those with a bearish disposition need to look no further than Mike Mayo’s latest report, “The Seven...

Individual Investors: Late to the Party?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 06

Stocks are up more than 20% since early March, but many remain skeptical. Among those not jumping on the equity bandwagon are individual investors, at least according to one measure....

More Concerns for Airline Stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 26

By Kyle Shen In 2007, Warren Buffett lamented that “if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting...

Gambling on Geithner

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on March 22

In the age of TARP, TALF and other acronyms, government action is the market wild card. For this week’s government intervention, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to announce details...

Citi Mulls Reverse Stock Split: Anger and Applause

Posted by: Lauren Young on March 20

The blogosphere is filled with opinions from folks who are either angry or applauding news that Citigroup (C) is considering a reverse stock split to boost its share price. Citigroup...

Peek behind GE's curtain did more damage than good for investors

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 20

Tired of getting relentlessly pummeled in the press, Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE (Symbol: GE), decided to fight back with a little transparency this week. Top execs spent six hours...

The Real Reason Stocks Are Falling

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 09

Monday was another down day for the market, with the S&P 500 index falling 1% to another 12-and-a-half-year low of 676.53. There's been a lot of talk lately about the...

Restaurant Stocks: Are Consumers Warming Up?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 03

Was there a subtle shift in consumers' mood last month? Or was it just the sunny weather? Restaurants are a pricier, expendable item in my family budgets. But, in February,...

Restaurant Stocks: Are Consumers Warming Up?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 03

Was there a subtle shift in consumers' mood last month? Or was it just the sunny weather? Restaurants are a pricier, expendable item in my family budgets. But, in February,...

CUTTING S&P 2009 DIVIDEND RATE

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 27

CHANGING 2009 S&P 500 ESTIMATED DIVIDEND PAYMENT TO $21.97; 2008 was $28.39; INDICATED RATE AT $22.90 22.6% decline worse since -36.3% in 1938; Potentially more downside from issues 'preserving cash'...

Citi, BofA Get a Reprieve

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on February 20

With the Dow Jones industrial average off nearly 300 points over fears of bank nationalization, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, like his counterparts in the FDIC, rushed in on a Friday...

With no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 20

Dividend reductions within the S&P 500 last quarter (Q4,'08) set a record at $15.9 Billion. Now, 50 days into the quarter, the record has already been broken, with 26 issues...

Stocks: Waking the Slumbering Bull

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on February 13

Despite some attention getting jumps and slumps – like a 300 point drop following Treasury Secretary Geithner’s disclosure of the bank rescue plan on Feb. 10 -- the stock market...

Emerging Markets or "Submerging" Markets?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 13

Finance ministers from G7 countries, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, meet today in an effort to steer the world economy toward stability and recovery. But data from around the globe...

More Markdowns for Retail Stocks?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 12

Ask a portfolio manager what stocks you should buy and there's a very good chance he or she will warn you away from retail stocks. The consumer is scared and...

GOOD DIVIDEND, BAD DIVIDEND

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 11

Dividends are expected to have their worst year since 1942, with the S&P 500 payment declining 13.3%, and that’s my optimistic estimate clich here. And while companies that can’t afford...

A Bad Day for Death

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 09

From the stock market to the political world, this past year has demonstrated the folly of plenty of old maxims. Still, credit crisis or not, there's nothing more reliable than...

Traders Hope Jobs Report Hurries Stimulus

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 06

This stock market demonstrates, over and over again, the degree to which bureaucrats and legislators in Washington are influencing trading lately as much (and maybe more than) earnings figures and...

Good News and Bad News

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 04

Pieces of good news do come along every once in a while to lift investors' spirits. But these items are often shadowed by bad news. Consider the following from the...

Retail Stocks: A Question of Survival

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 27

Three news items from the last 24 hours should heighten worries about any company that relies on consumer spending: 1. The consumer confidence index hit a record low of 37.7...

The Troubling Stock Market

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 21

The performance of the stock market so far in January has been disturbing. The S&P 500 is down about 9% so far this year. In 2008, the S&P 500 tumbled...

WE NEED HEROES

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 17

We are in recession, unemployment is growing and expected to get much worse, the Financial institutions are struggling and unable to help themselves, much less in any recovery, municipalities are...

Is It Finally Time to Buy Financial Stocks?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 06

"Should I be buying financial stocks?" For more than a year, that question has kept investors up at night. To some value-oriented investors, financials have looked like a steal. Again...

Investors' Wish List

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 24

What, in a perfect world, would investors like to see under the tree? 1. A promise that stocks will move higher in January. The Stock Trader's Almanac argues for the...

Funds: An Awful Year for Active Managers

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 19

In the past year, fund managers have flopped. I'm not just talking about the likes of Bernard Madoff. Your honest, everyday mutual fund stock picker has also done a lousy...

IF YOU THOUGHT 157 CHANGED THINGS, TAKE LOOK AT 140

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 19

A year and a half ago the Financial Accounting Standard Board, FASB, announced a new regulation, FAS 157, requiring companies to use more stringent mark-to-market appraisals for their portfolios. That...

Some Upside Surprises in 2009?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 18

As 2008 lingers a little longer, the mood on Wall Street and among investors could not be more foul. The Madoff scandal renews the betrayal many investors feel. Their anger...

Never Mind Wall Street, Watch D.C.

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 12

These are terrible times for traditional equity research. Research budgets are being cut for many reasons, especially the financial trouble at investment banks, hedge funds and institutional investors. Also, fewer...

A FEW STATS, SADLY

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on December 12

GM was the largest U.S. company in 1928, with $3.55 billion in market value, up from $2.40B in 1927, when it was also #1 Their current (trade) market value is...

Investors and the 2009 Economic Outlook

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 11

Bullish investors are focused on the middle of 2009, with many strategists and economists thinking the economy will start bouncing back by then. If that's the scenario you're betting on,...

Pros Tap Molson Coors

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 10

Thirsty for an investment that could actually perform well in a recession? UBS (UBS) analyst Kaumil S. Gajrawala serves up one possibility. Beer maker Molson Coors' (TAP) main brands include...

Thain: A First Test of the 2008 Bonus Climate

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 08

The 2008 bonus battles have already begun. The Wall Street Journal reports Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain would like a 2008 bonus of up to $10 million. Merrill's board,...

The Flaws of Fundamental Analysis

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 05

Fellow Investing Insights blogger Ben Levisohn, a former stock trader, has a great article out on technical analysis. Ben explains how technicians interpret the market, and defends technical analysis against...

Stocks: How About Some Pleasant Surprises for a Change?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 05

Once again, news arrives that is even worse than our very low expectations. Friday's jobs report has economists revising estimates, predicting big declines in economic activity this quarter. Action Economics...

Health Care Stocks Await a Diagnosis

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 02

During recessions, health care stocks are traditionally seen as a refuge for investors. Even if the economy turns sour, people still need medical attention. Just as they need consumer staples,...

C dividend, or not

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 24

News is still breaking regarding C, with some reports of a restricted dividend rate. Currently C has a $0.64 annual rate ($0.16 quarterly). Its last dividend went Ex-div on 10/30...

Peter Schiff vs. the World, 2006 to 2007

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 14

This video is fascinating for two reasons: 1. Watch as Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital -- in 2006 and 2007 -- describes with amazing precision the very crisis that...

Crocs: When a Growth Firm Starts Shrinking

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 13

If you're an investor in Crocs (CROX), the faddish shoemaker, you're used to disappointment. But even by Crocs' low standards, today was a doozy. Crocs shares fell almost 45% to...

Sign of a Bear Market: Morningstar Picks Five Stocks Going to Zero

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 13

It seems more than a little quaint given the current state of the stock market that analyst "sell" ratings were once the center of so much controversy. Wall Street firms...

YOU CAN CHANGE THE RULES BUT THE CHECK BETTER CLEAR THE BANK

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 12

A lobbying group has sent the U.S. Congress a letter (signed by 300 companies: public, private, business groups) asking that the funding requirements for Defined Pensions under the Pension Protection...

6 day 18.3% rally; but will we keep it

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on November 04

The market has rallied 18.3% since the October 27th close, including the 10.8% October 28 gain. The fact that we have been able to hold on to it is...

Explaining the Late-Day Market Trading Surges (and Declines)

Posted by: Lauren Young on October 28

I was at an ETF media event hosted by NASDAQ OMX Global Financial Products and the Journal of Indexes today. One topic of discussion was the recent bout of late-day...

Obama, McCain and the Stock Market

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 24

People love to argue politics. And one way of making those arguments is to claim that the stock market agrees with you. Here are a few examples from the past...

Stocks Didn't Crash Friday, But That's Nothing to Celebrate

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 24

Despite all signs to the contrary early this morning, the stock market didn't crash today. Maybe Monday? Overnight, Asian stocks plunged, then European stocks followed suit. U.S. stock futures fell...

Caterpillar Plunges on Fears of Global Infrastructure Bust

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 22

Stocks like Caterpillar (CAT) are one reason (though just one of the many reasons) the stock market is having such a terrible week. Caterpillar shares are trading at a four-year...

Q4 DIVIDENDS PAYMENTS EXPECTED TO DECLINE 10% - WORST SINCE 1958

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on October 21

I expect the Q4,’08 S&P 500 dividend payment to decline 10% over Q4,’07, making it the worst decline since 1958. Outside of the index (NYSE, ASE, NASD common) things are...

The "Dead Cat Bounce"

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 20

A "dead cat bounce" is the Wall Street's evocative phrase for a brief rally that follows a deep stock slide. I guess it comes from the notion that, when dropped...

Warren Buffett's Buying Stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 17

Warren Buffett is buying U.S. stocks. As he wrote in the New York Times today: I haven’t the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a...

The Worst Dow Drop Since 1987

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 15

Apparently the financial crisis was just taking a 'power nap.' Today the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 7.87%, or 733.08 points, to 8,577.91. That's the largest percentage drop in the...

Stocks: An Unhappy Anniversary

Posted by: Ben Steverman on October 08

Thursday marks a rather depressing anniversary. On Oct. 9, 2007, major U.S. stock indexes closed at an all-time high. The broad S&P 500 index closed at 1,565.15. Today -- on...

QUICK BUYBACK NOTE

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on October 08

The current price vs the employee option strike price is critical to the base buyback purchases. With prices falling so quickly, options in the money are dwindling, so buybacks may...

Why I’m buying

Posted by: Amy Feldman on October 06

The market is in free fall. Friends are calling and emailing in a panic. My response: I’m buying. Investors today seem as fearful as they’ve been since, perhaps, the Great...

What Happens When the Dow Dips Below 10,000?

Posted by: Lauren Young on October 06

Back in July, John Carter, president of Trade the Markets, predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would dip below 10,000 by year end. Another unscientific Industry Standard poll finds...

SEPTEMBER WAS THE WORST MONTH FOR DIVIDENDS, BUT JANUARY MAY BRING INSULT TO INJURY

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on October 03

Blue-chip dividend investors aren't happy campers these days. Their favorite financial stocks have declined significantly, and cut or omitted their dividends. The insult to injury however may come next January,...

Free fallin' -- only four out of 500 in S&P 500 holding gains

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 29

It's an across-the-board massacre in the stock market after the House of Representatives voted down the Paulsen bailout plan. I just took a spin through all 500 components of the...

Stock Buybacks Retreat 44% in Second Quarter; Cash holdings goes up

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 23

As uncertainty grew and commitment to significant cash outflows for purchases declined, buybacks pulled back from their record highs. S&P 500 stock buyback activity slowed considerably during Q2,’08, posting its...

BACK IN THE USA

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 17

While U.S. markets are down, they are doing significantly better than the other 51 global markets, with the U.S. posting the best return (lowest loss) for the MTD and QTD....

Don’t Read If You’re Under 50 or Have Less Than 30 Years in the Business

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 12

I have a picture of my son and daughter, when they were 8 and 10, in front of Delmonico’s in downtown NY. It goes along with the picture of me,...

S&P 500: -$378B today, +$223B Monday, -$333B Thursday,... $3.1T off Oct,'07 high

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on September 09

The index declined 3.41% (preliminary), losing $378B in market value, and suffering its worst day since Feb 27, 2007, when it declined 3.47% (-3.52% on 3/24/03, -4.15% on 9/2/02). The...

Stocks Plummet, But Don't Get Rattled

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 04

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just closed down almost 350 points, and the Dow and S&P 500 both lost 3% today. Panicking? There are plenty of reasons to worry, surely....

Take a Load Off Fannie (Mae)

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 03

On July 14, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson sought authority to pump unlimited amounts of capital into Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) in an emergency. Since then, Fannie Mae's...

Looking for IPOs in a quiet market

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 03

As noted the other day, the IPO market has gotten as quiet as its been since the 2001 to 2003 post-bubble drought years. But that doesn't mean it's time for...

Worries Mounting Over Corporate Debt

Posted by: Ben Steverman on September 02

By Emily Thornton The pain from Corporate America's debt binge over the last several years appears to be far from over, judging from a report put out today by Diane...

IPOs Drop 75%

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 29

There have been 74.9% fewer US IPOs this year than last year, according to numbers out today from Renaissance Capital. Last year, 273 IPOs raised $59.7 billion. But only 43...

Financial Stocks to Hit Bottom in October?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 29

By Emily Thornton Could the worst news for financial stocks be over by October? That's what veteran financial services analyst Guy Moszkowski at Merrill Lynch (MER) predicts. Below are excerpts...

One Approach to Value Investing

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 26

This idea, "The 8 Stock Portfolio," has some promise. The web site's author pointed out earlier this month that while major indexes are off about 20%, "many individual stocks have...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but Q4 EPS setting an all time high, let’s get real

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on August 21

Financial earnings have been negative for three consecutive quarters, which ties IT's Q1-3,'01 earnings record, but their 44% stock decline from the October highs is still better than IT’s 18...

Heelys: A Chance to Get Off the Fad Rollercoaster

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 14

What happens to a fad stock when the fad fizzles? Maybe they just fade away. Or maybe they get acquired at an 85% discount. Skechers (SKX) is offering to buy...

Technical Analysis: Useless?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 13

This study is the latest suggesting that technical analysis provides little value to traders and investors. For those who don't know, technical analysts give advice on buying and selling by...

Calling a Stock Market Bottom

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 12

When people make predictions about this stock market, I don't know whether to congratulate them for their boldness or question their sanity. Still, Jeremy Siegel -- the famous Wharton School...

Plenty More Gloom and Doom Ahead

Posted by: Ben Steverman on August 04

Wall Street keeps wishing that problems in the economy and financial system would at least stabilize. Stocks rally every so often on hopes that an end is in sight and...

FOREIGN SALES GROW, AS DO THEIR TAX PAYMENTS

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 30

Five years ago U.S. equity markets were 57.6% of world markets, today they are 40.5%. Five years ago, the U.S. GDP comprised 29.6% of the world GWP, today it is...

Decreasing Expected 2008 S&P 500 Dividend Growth To 4%

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 24

Due to the unprecedented dividend decreases in the Financial sector, amounting to $14.5 billion, I are reducing my 2008 dividend payment to $28.85 from $30.30. The 2008 rate represents a...

Bank Profits: Will the Good News Fade?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 22

So far this earnings season, bank profits have appeared strong, or at least above the very low expectations of just a week ago. Some of this strength might be deceptive....

Financial Reporting Follies? Not in this case...

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 18

Sometimes it's hard to know why the stock market rose or fell in a given day. Yesterday, it wasn't. The main reasons for Thursday's rally were a drop in oil...

UTX: Few Signs of a Global Slowdown

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 17

United Technologies (UTX) shares jumped 5.9% Thursday after a solid earnings report. For weeks, many investors have been worried that a slowdown in overseas economies could hurt big U.S. exporters....

Off Balance Sheet Items - FASB is amending the disclosure, another new 'must know' vocabulary list

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 16

Overview: It looks like there is going to be another new vocabulary list come November, and its impact, for better and for worse, may rank up there with FAS 157....

How Much Time Does Amateur Investing Require?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 16

If you invest or trade in individual stocks, how much time do you spend on research before you buy? Yesterday I was talking to Ron Sweet, the vice president of...

Thoughts on a Volatile Day

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 14

So many things happening in the financial markets today! Not that you could tell by looking at the closing prices of major stock indexes, which after a volatile session ended...

Male vs. Female Stocks: Who's Winning?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 11

In May I blogged about BW colleague Peter Coy's fascinating look at how the U.S. economic slowdown is hurting men much more than women. He pointed out that adult women...

Investing Lessons from John Templeton (1912-2008)

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 08

John Templeton, the philanthropist and legendary investor, died today. It’s difficult to take a comprehensive look at a man who squeezed a lot of life into 95 years, so I'll...

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bear?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 08

Stocks are just barely in an official bear market, a condition described as a 20% decline from the recent high. As I type this -- on the morning of July...

Surprising Optimism on Fifth Third (FITB)

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 03

A week ago the financial industry was getting very worried about its own prospects. Bank after bank seemed to be running short of cash as their stock prices plunged, making...

Beware of Stocks Under $10

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 02

A story today from BW colleague Karyn McCormack makes an interesting observation: There are a lot of brand name stocks trading below $10 these days. If your share price is...

Waiting for Profit Warnings

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 02

So far, it's been a relatively quiet week on Wall Street. But the calm is deceptive because the market is going through a crucial quarterly waiting period, right after the...

Lampert's Bet on CIT Group and Housing

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 01

An update to my post on CIT Group below: Thanks to the Bespoke Investment Group blog, I learn that Edward Lampert -- who some have hoped would be his generation's...

CIT Gets the Subprime Monkey Off Its Back

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 01

For some firms that dabbled in real-estate lending, the stock market’s advice seems to be: "Run away at any cost." As CIT Group (CIT) and H&R Block (HRB) demonstrate, investors...

Standout Stocks in the First Half

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 01

Now that the year is halfway through, I went hunting through the S&P 500 index, looking for stocks that somehow did well despite headwinds for their sectors and industries. The...

Lehman Brothers to be a “take under’’ candidate?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 30

By Matthew Goldstein Shares of the battered investment bank took another beating on Monday on widespread speculation that a rival firm was going to make a bid for Lehman Brothers...

When Analysts Matter

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 27

Wall Street has a love-hate relationship with its research analysts. On the one hand, equity analysts have a decidedly mixed record of accurately predicting the future. If you bought when...

SPACs as a hiding place in bear markets

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 26

I've never been a big fan of special purpose acquisition corporations, or SPACs. Those are the publicly-traded pools of money raised to give some financier or other a source of...

Living in the Stock Market Moment

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 24

Are the stomach-churning ups-and-downs of the financial markets not quite thrilling enough for you? Do you crave instantaneous, immediate connection to the stock market? You're in luck. Today the New...

Banks: Merrill Brings the Gloom

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 20

This earnings season could be brutal for U.S. banks, the continuation of a banking crisis that could last for years. That's the implication of a new report from Merrill Lynch...

Bear Stearns Fund Managers Indicted

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 19

By Matthew Goldstein and David Henry Ex-Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin are now the first Wall Street executives to face criminal charges arising from the...

Ready for a 300-point Drop in the S&P 500?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 18

A Royal Bank of Scotland credit strategist, Bob Janjuah, rattled investors around the world today with predictions that the S&P 500, now trading near 1340, could plunge to 1050 by...

Stock Buybacks Retreat in Q1 But Remain Strong

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on June 18

Q1 2007 S&P 500 buybacks at $113.9B vs. $117.7B Q1 2007; First Q-over-Q decline (-3.23%) since Q3 2003 Pullback by Financials that started just prior to the credit crunch continues;...

La-Z-Boy Tries to Sit Up

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 17

The reference is a little dated, but you could call La-Z-Boy (LZB) a "Rodney Dangerfield" stock. From the perspective of long-term investors, the furniture company seems to be doing a...

Could Floods Affect Investors?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 16

Wall Street might begin to feel the impact of the devastating and tragic flooding in the Midwest. And I'm not just talking about indirect effects, like damage to Midwestern states'...

Another Argument for Optimism

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 16

Manny Weintraub of Integre Advisors put out a note last week with the optimistic thesis that "it really isn't as terrible as it could be." He mostly focused on the...

Links for Friday the 13th

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 13

To start the weekend, here are some intriguing blog posts on the stock market and investing: 1. Bespoke Investment Group notes that, on average, the stock market performs no more...

The "Last Man Standing" Strategy

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 13

Difficult times can create opportunities for investors willing to take some risks. For example, the financial crisis has wounded so many firms that it might make sense to employ a...

InBev's Bud Bid: A Bullish Sign for Stocks?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 12

InBev made it official, launching a unsolicited $46 billion bid for Anheuser-Busch (BUD). When the possibility of a deal was first reported last month, I wrote: This $46 billion deal,...

No Panic for Most Financials

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 11

Earlier this week, I wrote about "nontoxic" financial stocks, focusing on banks, brokers and other financial institutions that prospered despite tough times. (The accompanying slideshow by Ricky McRoskey is here,...

The Days After the Big Days

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 09

In my 'in box' this morning appeared more evidence that the stock market's movements from day to day are almost entirely random. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 400...

A Case for Buying Stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 05

Stocks rallied today. One portfolio manager said it was mostly just a "relief rally," a bouncing back after bearish news earlier in the week. But to put you in a...

M&A premiums up despite slowdown

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 05

Buyers are paying more than ever to shareholders to acquire companies, even as the M&A market remains slow. This is the intriguing contradiction in new May 2008 data from Thomson...

A Drop in U.S. IPOs

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 03

Market observers like to keep an eye on initial public offerings because the pace and size of IPOs is a good gauge of the mood of the market. Willingness to...

Bear Markets, Then and Now

Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 02

How does this recession, and the stock market reaction to it, compare with previous slowdowns? From Citigroup (C), by way of Schroder Investment Management, the results of a study of...

Two Views of the Market

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 29

Where is the stock market going? Tough question of course. After a difficult October-through-March, stocks rallied in April. In May – with one day left – stocks have held on...

Two Views of the Market

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 29

Where is the stock market going? Tough question of course. After a difficult October-through-March, stocks rallied in April. In May – with one day left – stocks have held on...

What The $600 Stimulus Package Gets You

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 29

The stimulus bill was signed February 13, 2008, 106 days ago, when gas was $2.960 a gallon (EIA, regular). The intent was to jump start the economy with additional spending....

Private Equity Shaking off the Dust?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 28

Before Memorial Day, I wondered if the long weekend would produce any big new M&A deals. Maybe, I thought, the stock market would begin to see the fruit of some...

A Merger Tuesday?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 23

Big merger-and-acquisition deals are often announced on Mondays because the closed markets on Saturday and Sunday provide a quiet period to wrap up complex deals. The U.S. stock market is...

A Merger Tuesday?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 23

Big merger-and-acquisition deals are often announced on Mondays because the closed markets on Saturday and Sunday provide a quiet period to wrap up complex deals. The U.S. stock market is...

BUD: Is a Takeover Brewing?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 23

Could an American icon be gulped down like an ice-cold lager on a warm summer day? The news Friday is that InBev (INTB), the huge Belgian beer company, may be...

The oil surge ate my tax rebate

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 21

Americans might want to save those tax rebate checks, because they'll probably need the extra cash this summer. With the price of oil surging close to $134 per barrel, driving...

IT Again Largest Sector – But This Time They Didn’t Earn It

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 21

Information Technology yesterday closed representing 16.26% of the S&P 500 market value, overtaking the Financials, which are at 16.19%, an event last seen in early 2002. Energy, at 14.89%, is...

Meredith Whitney Scares Us All -- Again

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 20

The credit crisis made Oppenheimer (OPY) analyst Meredith Whitney a star. Today demonstrated she's still a force to be reckoned with. Last fall, as credit markets froze up and big...

A "UFO Recession"?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 19

Stocks hit a four-and-a-half month high today. The S&P 500 is now less than than 9% off its all-time high. As many market commentators have pointed out, this is not...

GE's confusing signal on earnings season

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 16

More than a month ago, things were looking grim. I wrote in early April about General Electric's (GE) shockingly weak earnings report. Along with bad first quarter news from Wachovia...

Q1 earnings deserves a fitting burial, and maybe even a few words of praise

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 16

Before we start to focus on Q2, Q1 earnings deserves a fitting burial, and maybe even a few words of praise. Briefly the bad news that grabbed the headlines resulted...

Those tax rebate checks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 15

Reporting on consumer stocks in the last couple days (for this), I encountered a surprising amount of optimism about consumer spending. That was especially surprising given the recent run-up in...

More Kindle Fodder: Citi Predicts $750 Million by 2010

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 15

Kicked off quite a heated debate back in November when I called out Amazon's (Symbol: AMZN) ebook reader, the Kindle, as an important future revenue source. Now I'm getting some...

Oil and stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 13

Rising energy prices are stressing out U.S. commuters and businesses, and that can't help but concern Wall Street, too. But as I wrote here, the relationship between the price of...

Tough times for newspaper stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 12

Ouch. Of all the insults newspaper stocks have had to put up with in the past year or two, this might be the most cutting. The Sun-Times Media Group (SVN)...

Stocks that doubled

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 12

In my new story and slideshow today, BusinessWeek asked fund managers and other stock market gurus to recommend stocks they think could double in the next couple years. As I...

Will Financials see red again; the race is nearing an end

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 09

While there is no insurance on any charged or slimed down bets, there is a chance that the Financials could post negative earnings this quarter, which would be their second...

Crocs: Where were the analysts?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 08

Crocs (CROX), the maker of ugly, comfortable and wildly popular shoes, saw its share price jump 14.5% Thursday after reporting earnings. However, Crocs shares are still 84% off its Oct....

Are there male and female stocks?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 08

BusinessWeek colleague Peter Coy has a great story out today noting that the economic slowdown is hitting men harder than women. He points to a surprising statistic: Adult women have...

Clearwire shares falling further after Citi downgrade

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 08

Clearwire (Symbol: CLWR) shareholders may have been disappointed yesterday after the mega-reorganization announcement failed to get the stock moving. But today they've got to be downright peeved. Citigroup analyst Michael...

Trucks, Trains and the Economy

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 07

Transportation stocks have done well this year -- the Dow Jones Transportation index is up almost 14% from the beginning of the year. Transport stocks are often seen as a...

Clearwire merger: IPO buyers lose, insiders win

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 07

Money-losing wireless broadband provider Clearwire (Symbol: CLWR) announced a convoluted deal to merge with a similar unit of Sprint Nextel (S) this morning. Although the press release (PDF)and numerous media...

NYSE, exchanges prosper despite threats

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 06

The amount of trading going on at stock and derivatives exchanges continues to skyrocket, thanks generally to the move toward rapid electronic trading. If I was an investor in an...

Does the S&P 500 above 1,400 make sense?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on May 06

Stocks rallied in April and traders are wondering whether this is a short-term suckers’ rally or a permanent recovery from the market's January-to-March blues. I'm not sure either. But I...

Happy IDG story no salve for dying media companies

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 05

(Updated 5/7) There's a happy-dappy profile of tech publishing and conference giant International Data Group in today's New York Times. The story notes how IDG's publishing arm got 86% of...

Fed's expected pause not convincing the market

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 30

The Federal Reserve pretty much did as expected today, cutting the benchmark fed funds rates to 2% and signaling a lessening desire to cut rates much more. Right? At least...

Q1 EARNINGS REALITY CHECK

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 28

Q1 2008 S&P 500 operating earnings as of the close of 4/25/2008 263 issues reported (52.6%), representing 61.07% of the market value 43.5% beat their estimate and 53.1% did not...

Don't say you weren't warned: newspapers crushed again in Q1

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 25

What a horrendous earnings season it's been in the dying newspaper business. It's worth taking a closer look as some people still don't seem to get it. This piece by...

Why We Need Perma-Bears

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 24

Whenever the stock market looks shaky, the "perma-bears" come out of hiding. These are the permanently, professionally skeptical investors or market strategists who can always be relied upon for a...

Loneliness as the bottom approaches for Starbucks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 24

Lots of moaning today about Starbucks (Symbol: SBUX) and how the company's business model is broken or forever condemned to stink or whatever. So much pessimism, so little time. Pop...

How much surprise in Starbucks' surprise warning today?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 23

Starbucks (Symbol: SBUX) came out with its fiscal second quarter results a bit earlier than expected today and it wasn't because folks were flocking to the six Clover s1 locations....

When Dividends Get Right-Sized

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 14

About the only thing financial stocks have going for them is their dividends. Banks' stock prices have fallen so far over the past few months that their dividend payout percentages...

HAVE BUTTON WILL TRAVEL

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 10

While there is a vocal debate on how realistic the 2008 earnings estimates are, you ain't seen nutin’ honey til you look at 2009. The current bottom-up 2009 estimates are...

$1 Trillion in Losses?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on April 09

Experienced investors know that the market hates uncertainty. The market can handle bad news as long as it can understand and digest the gloomy information quickly, adjust stock prices to...

Corporate Dividend Growth Deteriorates as Decreases Surge

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on April 04

Dividend growth deteriorated as decreases surged during the first quarter, but large-cap issues with strong dividend history continued unabated. (press release) Based on U.S. domestic, common, listed (NY, ASE, NGM,...

Starbucks on the comeback trail with Clover

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 27

“Wow,” I said. “Yeah, wow,” said the guy behind the counter. “That is so cool. Can I take a picture?” “Well, it’s not allowed but go ahead – quick.” And...

Say it ain't so

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 26

Historically, if the New York Yankees loose their opening game (March 31) the S&P 500 is 5% more likely to close up for the year, and the return, on average,...

S&P 500 Actual Volatility Hits 70 Year High, Over Half the Trading Days Move At Least 1%

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on March 19

S&P 500 volatility as measured by daily changes of at least 1% have soared since last summer's credit issues emerged as a critical issue, and now stands at a 70...

The Bipolar Stock Market

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 18

Stocks are celebrating another Federal Reserve rate cut, but don't expect the celebration to last. As my editor noted this morning, sometimes the stock market is a little like your...

Advice on Dividend Stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 12

My article, "Dividends: The Sweet Spot," was published on Businessweek.com today. In it, I explore opportunities to buy stocks that also offer healthy dividend yields. Some advice for the dividend-hunting...

Legg Mason's big Citi deal keeps the hurt on

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 07

Mark Fetting has been president and CEO of Baltimore-based money manager Legg Mason (Symbol: LM) for less than six weeks but what exciting weeks they've been! Today, the firm announced...

IBM and buybacks

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 26

IBM announced it expects to spend $12 billion on buybacks this year. While that is one of the largest announcements, it is an authorization to buy, not a buy. That...

Good news, Q4 EPS is almost over; bad news, Q1 starts soon

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 22

American International Group (AIG) announced that they will release their 10K, which will include their Q4 EPS, after the close of business Thursday, February 28th and then have their earnings...

Housing and Cherry Blossoms

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 15

Two quick notes to end the week: 1. Deutsche Bank (DB) has an interesting note out on home prices in the U.S. After an exhaustive analysis of 100 metropolitan areas...

Have We Had Enough Chipotle?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 15

On Friday, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) reported earnings. Though they barely missed analysts' estimates, investors were clearly displeased, especially at first. At one point on Feb. 15, Chipotle's stock had...

Some rebound in Emerging Markets

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 15

There has been some rebound in the Emerging Markets with 21 of the 26 showing a February-to-date gain. Data is based on S&P/Citigroup Global Equity Indices Click for details and...

Valentines Day note

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 13

Historically, as defined by the S&P 500, 51.9% of the trading days are up and 46.2% are down. For Valentine's days it is different. On February 14th the market has...

Volatility

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 12

It only feels volatile if you're not an octogenarian: YTD 7 trading days have been up at least 1% and 10 down at least 1%. That ranks third (7+10 /...

Buffett bond insurer plan leaves the gun, takes the cannolis

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 12

Warren Buffett's offer to take over insurance coverage of $800 billion of muni bonds from the troubled "big three" insurers is no rescue plan for them -- it's a death...

Lots Of Money

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 08

Lots of money being spent. The stimulus program will be in excess of $160 billion, the proposed 2009 Federal budget is $3.1 trillion, which is $410 billion more than it...

How MicroHoo can avoid the fate of AOL-Time Warner

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 08

One thing was certain on almost every story I covered in the late 1990s as the Internet policy reporter for Reuters in Washington D.C. No matter what the controversy, the...

Cheer Up, Economy!

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 04

Feeling depressed about the economy? Let's latch onto some reasons to be optimistic, courtesy of Marc Chandler of Brown Brothers Harriman: "There is no doubt that the U.S. economy has...

Bank Stock Euphoria?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on February 04

Stifel Nicolaus SF analyst Christopher Mutascio warns that bank stocks may be getting ahead of themselves. The analyst of regional banks said Feb. 4 that the banking industry has seen...

Kodak's picture not so rosy beneath the headlines

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 30

Eastman Kodak (Symbol: EK) was once the grand dame of the photo biz but in recent years it's more famously known as the anchor around Legg Mason Value Trust (LMVTX)...

Financial Profits Wipe Out

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 28

Wow, corporate profits are really looking terrible this earnings season. A week ago, Reuters Estimates, calculating from a mix of actual results and analyst projections, was estimating earnings for the...

There’s Value Out There

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 28

Fourth quarter earnings have been marked by mega-billion dollar charges, negative earnings for the entire Financial sector, an almost unimaginable decline (at least from the viewpoint six-months ago) of a...

Don't worry so much about rebalancing

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 23

Whew, the market has whipsawed all over the past few days. There's a heckuva a lot of commentary this week suggesting it's time to go bottom fishing for stocks, or...

Anybody missing $7.9 trillion; can't be good for China

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 23

While world markets react to a potential U.S. recession by declining $7.9 trillion year-to-date, it is not only investors that are losing money. Unlike the United States, many countries own...

Can We Blame the Media?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 22

Don Hodges, of Hodges Capital Management in Dallas, has been managing investments for 47 years. He's fundamentally optimistic, despite the recent market turmoil. Sure, a slowdown or even a recession...

Thoughts on a Wild Market

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 22

A few observations as the stock market gets crazier and crazier: (I know some of these are obvious, but maybe they'll help.) 1. What you should do in a market...

Ignoring the 800 Pound Gorilla

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 18

In a sharp reversal to its 2007 performance where Emerging markets rose 42% and Developed markets gained 9.4%, both are now significantly down for 2008 with Emerging down 8.4% and...

Let call the whole thing off

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 17

Personally, I am giving this market until the close of February 6th, Ronald Reagan's birthday, to trickle up or I'm declaring the year over, and you are all invited to...

The New Year Puts Economists in a Bad Mood

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 15

I just finished a story where I spent two days talking to economist after economist, and I'm a bit surprised at what I heard: Unanimous gloom. Some of them thought...

Citigroup (C) cuts dividend 41%, but I still expect overall growth

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 15

The potential for a large dividend cut by C, the third largest payer in the S&P 500 at $10.8B, has been known and discussed for months. Today's 40.7% dividend...

And this was the easy week

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 11

With today's S&P 500 preliminary decline of 1.36%, the year-to-date loss is 4.59%, or the fourth worst start to any year in S&P 500 history. Volatility, uncertainty and events...

The 2008 Election and Stocks

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 10

The outcome of this presidential election is very important for the nation and the world, but how much does it really matter for investors?

Shrinking Middle Ground for Stocks and the Economy

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 09

As I wrote a few weeks ago, this is an especially confusing time on Wall Street. And the stock market's performance so far this year does nothing to clear up...

An Early Warning of Trouble?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 08

My Stock Trader's Almanac 2008 says the first five days of the year are an "early warning system." If you believe that, start worrying. The S&P 500 dropped 5.3% in...

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on January 08

Dividend increases in the general market were down 5.7% in 2007 http://www2.standardandpoors.com/spf/pdf/index/010307_DividendGrowth.pdf; however, dividends in the S&P 500 were up, with 78% of S&P 500 companies paying a dividend and...

Starbucks' Schultz finally shaking things up

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 07

"Well, we have read that McDonald's is going into a premium cup of coffee, to serve a premium cup of coffee, and we are in that business. We are in...

Insights from the political calendar

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 07

There are many quantitative approaches for slicing and dicing stock returns to search for profitable patterns. Here on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, the good folks at CXO...

New year, same themes for farming stocks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 03

It's easy to obsess about the change in year but the stock market rolls on with the same themes and trends as 2007. Today's earnings report from Monsanto (Symbol: MON),...

Long-term Worry vs. Short-term Reality

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 17

If you needed more evidence of the stock market's obsession with the short-term, the past week has provided it. Stocks fell last week: Investors threw a fit when the Federal...

Analysts Turn Negative

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 17

Here's a troubling sign for U.S. stocks: Equity analysts, the people who should know these companies best, are rapidly lowering their expectations for profits this quarter. Analysts now expect fourth-quarter...

When the Founder Sticks Around

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 10

Today (Dec. 10) Jones Soda's (JSDA) stock is up another 7.5%. The upstart soft drink maker saw its founder and CEO, Peter van Stolk, decide to step down Dec. 5....

A Cautionary Tale

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 05

In March of 2005, Wellman (WLM) might have looked like a good investment. The maker of PET resins and polyester staple fibers saw its stock price hit $15 that month,...

Tech stocks could suffer from excessive expectations in '08

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on December 05

Seems like it was only yesterday when the technology sector was beckoning as a refuge from the subprime mortgage hurricane. Well, September, anyway. How times have changed. After Cisco Systems...

Nuggets from Goldman

Posted by: Ben Steverman on December 04

Judged by any measure -- especially money, power and brains -- Goldman Sachs (GS) leads Wall Street. Goldman's top analysts, including Michael Moran and Abby Joseph Cohen, have a couple...

Who wants some subprime debt for 73% off?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 30

The worst part of the current credit crisis is the uncertainty: No one wants to buy up risky mortgage debt instruments, so no one knows how much the toxic debt...

A stock strategy follows Fed rate moves

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 27

With two weeks to go before the Federal Reserve's December 11 Open Market Committee meeting, speculation continues to ramp up about just what the central bank will do next. The...

The Fuss Over CEO-Succession Plans

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 26

With the recent departures of top execs at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, the topic of CEO-succession plans has gotten a lot of press. Journalists and experts are bemoaning the fact that those firms, and many others, fail to have a plan for managing sucession after the top dog walks out the door. I don't understand all the hand-wringing.

An ETF for the apocalyptic set in banking

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 26

In today's ugly market, it was the financial sector again leading the charge down. Investment adviser Ryan Freund has a pretty grim view of what's still to come in the...

GPS Breaking Through?

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 26

Investors in growth companies often find themselves waiting for that moment when a company's product goes from just another cool gadget to a "must-have" item. For example, when will American...

Trading Before the Weekend

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 21

There's nothing like the moments before a four-day break to show Wall Street's true mood. The markets are closed on Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving and will re-open on Friday, Nov....

Ruffles in the Feathered Nest

Posted by: Lauren Young on November 20

I have a story in the most recent issue about the generous exit packages for CEOs at the top financial services firms. In no way are we making a judgment...

Blame It On Earnings

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 19

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average again below 13,000, pundits are trotting out a lot of excuses for the stock markets' poor performance recently. Certainly fears over subprime losses are...

Garmin Wins by Losing

Posted by: Ben Steverman on November 19

Garmin may have lost its bid for Tele Atlas, but the maker of global positioning system (GPS) devices is looking pretty savvy right now. Until recently, Garmin was backed into...

Buy Amazon - Kindle is the iPod of books

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 19

A simple message today: Amazon's (Symbol: AMZN) new electronic book reader, dubbed the Kindle, looks like a hit that will bring in several new revenue streams. But the digerati...

Starbucks, are you listening to yourself?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 16

Premium coffee purveyor Starbucks (Symbol: SBUX) reported its fiscal fourth quarter results last night -- that's the calendar third quarter to you and me -- and it wasn't pretty. As...

Real estate woes spreading to commercial property

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 14

The interconnected housing price and mortgage lending bubbles that have now popped with such devastating consequences haven't exactly crushed the commercial real estate world -- at least not yet. Today,...

Is Leap Wireless another subprime-y victim?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 12

Along with everything else that's been getting absolutely killed over the past four trading sessions, wireless carriers catering to lower-income consumers are getting obliterated. MetroPCS (Symbol: PCS) is down 27%,...

Internet domain names head for big IPOs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 07

Back in June, I explored the exploding value of Internet businesses built on easily remembered domain names like chocolate.com. Since then, things have only heated up more with Business.com selling...

Newspaper stocks face ugly, wide chasm

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 06

Bad news about the newspaper industry comes out in dribs and drabs usually. Two months ago, we were considering the summer's advertising declines. This week, there's news that circulation and...

Spooky stocks to avoid for Halloween and beyond

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 31

Trader, investor and blogger extraordinaire Charles Kirk of The Kirk Report blog is out with his second annual list of "spooky stocks" just in time for perusing before you head...

Queasy deja vu from Lumber Liquidators IPO

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 29

A few years ago, I found myself regularly debating housing market bulls and investors who owned homebuilding stocks. Housing prices couldn't go down, home ownership rates were headed higher, people...

American Funds a Microsoft winner

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 26

Despite my less-than-accurate musings and references about Microsoft (Symbol: MSFT) last month, there are a number of big winners in today's stock action. After a surprisingly great quarter, Microsoft shares...

A tale of 2 high flyers, Apple and Schlumberger

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 22

The stock market looks ever forward. As Legg Mason fund manager Bill Miller sometimes explains, your accuracy of projecting a company's profits over the next year won't help predict the...

State Street does right by investors

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 17

Back at the end of August, the financial world seemed like it might be ending and everyone working on Wall Street or at a hedge fund would soon be out...

Goldman Sachs risk disclosures did what they were supposed to

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 11

Sometimes, the short tenure of finance reporters or bloggers creates confusion, such as the coverage of risk disclosures by Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs (Symbol: GS) over the past...

Email marketer's IPO hypes skyward

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 03

Constant Contact (Symbol: CTCT) recorded one of the best initial public offerings of the year after underwriters priced the company's shares at $16 last night. The money-losing email marketing specialist...

Don't hang up on Virgin Mobile IPO

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 02

Virgin Mobile USA, the prepaid wireless venture owned by Sprint Nextel (Symbol: S) and Richard Branson, is aiming to raise almost $500 million in an initial public offering next week....

Soon time to get contrarian on ethanol

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 01

We tried to tell you last year, we really did. Ethanol plants may or may not be an important piece of our future energy policy but they're a rotten investment....

Credit crunch shouldn't be a reporter's crutch

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 28

There's some intellectual laziness floating through the world of finance lately. Everyone knows that the subprime mortgage mess has reduced demand from investors and lenders for riskier stuff. And everyone...

Defense stocks provided haven in market's swoon

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 27

The war in Iraq grinds on and now President Bush is looking for a big increase in defense spending. There's an obvious beneficiary in the land of exchange-traded funds, as...

Plenty of good ways to ride the tech wave

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 25

Amidst the rough and tumble of this year's stock market machinations, it's rapidly turning into the fall of technology, or should I say the autumn of technology. Today, for example,...

No investing signals hidden in dividend cuts

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 24

With behavioral or psychological stock market analysis in vogue, many researchers have concluded that investors systematically under-react to news events like a jump in corporate profits or a dividend cut....

Concrete signs the Fed's move is working, a little

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 21

Northern Trust economist Asha Bangalore has a useful chart out today (PDF file) on the impact of the Federal Reserve's rate cuts on Tuesday. Bangalore looked at three spreads that...

Fear of risk should boost Riskmetrics IPO

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 20

Talk about timely - with all the world worried about excessive risk taking, one of the premier risk management firms just filed to go public. Riskmetrics Group, which started as...

Sharp takes on Fed's big cuts

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 19

Okay, as promised, here's some annotated linkage from around the web analyzing yesterday's surprisingly large rate cuts by the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee. For context, the stock market appeared...

Deeper look at VMWare's results spooks investors

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 18

When software hotshot and EMC (Symbol: EMC) spin-off VMWare (VMW) went public last month at $29, demand from investors was feverish and the shares shot up 76% on their first...

Gotta go to Kohl's

Posted by: Lauren Young on September 06

I am not a motivated shopper by nature, but I plan to get up early on Sunday morning to be there when the doors of my local Kohl's open. That's...

Credit crunch still threatens, Mr. Bernanke

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 06

"There is a girl in New York City, Who calls herself the human trampoline, And sometimes when I'm falling flying Or tumbling in turmoil I say Whoa so this is...

Finding bank "babies" thrown out with the bathwater

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 05

The financial sector has been at the epicenter of the current market turmoil. With big trouble in real estate lending, obviously a lot of lending institutions are also in hot...

Microsoft shares tread water even if they stay afloat

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 04

Ever since April, when computer tech guru Paul Graham declared that "Microsoft is dead," the debate has raged on. Meanwhile, the software giant's shares (Symbol: MSFT) had a nice little...

Betting on a newspaper wipe-out

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 30

My most esteemed colleague and BW media columnist Jon Fine recently compared the performance of the newspaper industry this year to the depths of the Great Depression. Fine speculated that...

Be wary of all those stocks over Labor Day stories

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 29

As investors' attention drifts and the end of summer draws near in the last week of August, analysts turn to that evergreen topic of analysis, calendar trading. What usually happens...

Follow the paper, commercial paper, to assess the damage

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 27

If you're not holding securities backed by subprime mortgages, that is if you're 98% of all investors, this summer has been a wacky ride for your portfolio but hardly a...

A little good news lightens the market's gloom

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 22

After weeks of gloom and doom pessimism, investors finally got some good news on Wednesday. A couple of mergers got off the ground, including the perpetually recycled rumor of E*Trade...

Still hot and in demand? IPOs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 20

There's plenty of room to debate the merits of investing in initial public offerings but these debut stocks aren't typically in the conversation during periods of market turmoil. Maybe they...

Black swans are everywhere suddenly

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 16

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author most recently of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable and subject of one of Malcolm Gladwell's best-ever pieces in the New Yorker, is...

Tech IPOs are not bubbling over

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 15

Blame VMWare's super-hot initial public offering -- or don't -- but there's growing chatter that the quality of technology companies lining up to sell shares for the first time is...

Fake news shouldn't deter prudent investors

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 14

There's a dangerously misleading story in today's Wall Street Journal, under the headline "Small Investors, Too, Get Nailed by Arcane Trades," wherein we learn that some poor schlubs have lost...

What's floating on market's rough waters

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 13

With stocks gyrating over the past month, it's a good opportunity to review what's working -- or not -- in different pockets of the market. The iShares Russell 3000 Index...

Is MSCI's IPO hot or not?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 03

Initial public offerings, exchange-traded funds and spin-off spotting – three of my favorite topics to blog about. Today you get a three-for-one deal. Morgan Stanley filed this week to spin-off...

Absolute return mutual funds are not "risky"

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 02

We the media probably aren’t the first place you should turn for investment advice. We often rely on rules of thumb or over-simplifications. Two things bugging me today are the...

Now if the Dow lost three THOUSAND points...

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 27

I've been graced by good fortune this week it seems, at least blogwise, if not in my 401(k). Yesterday's entry, written before the market opened, took a quick look at...

Ghosts of Black Monday come a calling

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 26

(UPDATE: In case it's not obvious, I wrote this post Thursday morning over my first cup of coffee, well before the market opened, and posted it just as prices...

Looking for restaurant values amid tough times

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 25

It’s always darkest right before it goes pitch black, they like to say on Wall Street. With gas prices up, sugar, corn and chicken prices up and the minimum wage...

lululemon's IPO looks like an easy pose

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 24

Initial public offerings of specialty retailers have been hot for a while now, perhaps starting with Crocs (Symbol: CROX). The not-plastic (as I used to think) shoe maker went public...

Starbucks is under attack from the french fry king

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 16

I like Douglas McIntyre's 24/7 Wall Street blog a lot but today, over on bloggingstocks.com, he's questioning the McDonalds-Starbucks competition that's so obvious I wonder what he's missing. First the...

Viewsonic IPO looks like a dim bulb

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 12

Sometimes a company files to go public and when you read their recent business track record you can't help but wonder what the heck are they thinking. Vonage is the...

Tyco and Morgan Stanley spinoffs spotted

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 10

Back in April, I had a story on spotting undervalued spin-offs and a related blog post. Now some of those deals have popped onto the market and it's time to...

IPOs chugging along despite skeptics

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 02

Amidst all the excitement over the $2 billion Och-Ziff Capital Management IPO filing, the good folks over at Renaissance Capital's IPOhome.com, who track initial public offerings while managing the IPO...

Missed the Blackstone IPO? Too late now

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 21

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single pension fund in possession of a good fortune (of hot IPO shares) must be in want of a sucker, err, buyer....

Yahoo's continued mess burns Wall Street analysts

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 19

The latest travails at Yahoo (Symbol:YHOO) provide another great learning opportunity on the value added by most Wall Street analysts. Short answer: not much. After the market closed yesterday, Yahoo...

Steve Jobs, Tony Soprano and Investor Expectations

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 11

Sopranos creator David Chase had a little lesson for America's average Joe stock market investors embeddded in last night's controversial ending to his eight-year Mafia epic. Millions of Americans,...

Old media catch-up day on utilities and music CDs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 29

Back in March, I posted my own analysis of what was ailing the music industry and it had little to do with online piracy, DRMs or the absence of Michael...

Research favors stocks hitting new highs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 23

Hot on the heels of the sale of Wallstrip, a video blog that focuses on stocks hitting all-time highs, comes a strong academic endorsement of just such a strategy. Thanks...

Wallstrip goes big time

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 22

Sometimes it's hard to keep your big mouth shut when you're a journalist. Such was the case with CBS Interactive's rumored purchase of financial video blog Wallstrip. Now it's...

Is something fishy happening around share buybacks?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 16

There's a fascinating new academic paper mentioned over on hedge fund manager Victor Niederhoffer's blog about possible monkey business in stock buybacks. Companies that buy back their own shares have...

Orbitz IPO sees heavy blogosphere shelling

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 11

Well, online travel site Orbitz's registration statement for an initial public offering has been filed for less than two days and it's already getting universally panned around the blogosphere. Private...

A new source of well-tailored and original investing insights

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 08

A great new resource for investors -- and a great example of the power of blogging -- cropped up the other day when Paul Hickey and Justin Walters, two research...

Starbucks' Schultz needs to get on the ball

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 04

It was a fascinating day for coffee yesterday after the market closed -- not so much for drinkers as for investors. Big Kahuna Stabucks (Symbol:SBUX) reported first quarter results...

T. Rowe's Take On DJ

Posted by: Lauren Young on May 03

If you read this week's cover story, you'll see that I interviewed John Linehan, manager of the T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Value and T. Rowe Price Value funds. Together with...

Go Rupert!

Posted by: Lauren Young on May 01

Go Rupert Murdoch. Believe it or not, just yesterday I was musing with Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup, about potential partners for Dow Jones. We agreed that...

Boring utilities keep lighting it up

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 01

Since the stock market hit bottom back in October 2002, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen nicely, posting an 82% gain through last Friday. Nothing to sneeze at, for...

VMware IPO reveals skyrocketing revenue and expenses

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 26

EMC (Symbol: EMC) filed a registration statement with the SEC this morning for spinning off a 10% stake in its VMware unit, which helps companies reduce the number of computer...

A few more worthy spin-offs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 23

I have a story in this week's magazine (still behind the subscription wall) about a highly-successful strategy for value investors -- spin-off spotting. For a variety of reasons, a pretty...

MetroPCS IPO draws closer

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 04

Finally an update on the upcoming IPO of cellular innovator MetroPCS (which will trade under the symbol PCS) and it still looks like a pretty hot deal. Recall from my...

Act Globally...But Don't Invest Locally?

Posted by: Lauren Young on March 28

Move over Peter Lynch. A new study from the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business shows that "investing in what you know" doesn't appear to hold true for...

Blackstone mints money - well, duh

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 22

So the amazing, stunning, shocking day has finally arrived. Private equity pioneer Blackstone Group filed a registration statement to go public and raise $4 billion. What did we learn from...

Music CD, I'm just not that into you

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 21

There's a fascinating if flawed story in the WSJ today about the decline in sales of music CDs. There's much to and fro about what's behind the drop. The industry...

M&A helps some stocks avoid the downdraft

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 13

Been paying attention to those lists of takeover candidates? Stocks that best escaped today's market swoon are those in play. Suffering homebuilder WCI Communities (Symbol: WCI) is up 15% to...

Credit crunch far from pre-recession levels

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 13

The debate has raged back and forth over the likelihood of a recession in the United States this year or, perhaps more importantly to the stock market in the short-run,...

Beware D.R. Horton CEO's over-the-top quip

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 08

Think stocks in the homebuilding sector are a beaten down value play? After all, the SPDRs S&P Homebuilding ETF fund (Symbol: XHB), which dropped 34% last summer, has since climbed...

Breath of fresh air on corporate perks from KMR

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 02

Via Michelle Leder (who may have a direct connection to the SEC's EDGAR database wired into her brain somehow), we read this morning of a refreshing break from the string...

Market Musings

Posted by: Lauren Young on March 01

I've received a bunch of emails with commentary on the market's dipsy doodleling. Here are some highlights. (These investors really have some great names, incidentally. Straight out of central casting!)...

Two out of 500 stocks up? Ouch

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 27

I just did a quick run through of all 500 stocks in the S&P 500 and only two are in the green: Radioshack (Symbol:RSH) and Questar (STR), a natural gas...

Coffee Wars IV - Schultz rallies Starbucks' baristas

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 23

The coffee wars continue unabated into 2007 and Starbucks (SBUX) still looks like target numero uno of every new and expanding player. Today, the web site Starbucksgossip.com ("Monitoring America's favorite...

Clearwire IPO gearing up but watch out for turbulence

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 15

Clearwire, the well-funded broadband wireless company, disclosed the expected valuation for its upcoming IPO in an amended SEC filing this week and the numbers are pretty heady. With a projected...

I'm a doctor, not a hedge fund manager Jim

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 08

Boy there's been an awful lot of confusion about Fortress Investment Group LLC's upcoming IPO. The company, which managed $9.4 billion of hedge funds and $17.5 billion of private equity...

Bye Bye Old Tools

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on January 25

First, the bad news. Last week, we had to take down a few of our nifty investing tools -- namely our Stock Screeners and Portfolio tracker -- because our contract...

Contrarian industry plays don't make the numbers

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 11

Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist over at sister company Standard & Poor's, has a valuable article up today that might stand as a warning to reflexive contrarians and bargain hunters....

Palm could be knocked out by Apple's iPhone

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 09

Perpetually troubled Palm Inc., Treo-maker extraordinaire, always seemed to have one foot in the grave. A Palm (Symbol: PALM) obituary seemed all but inevitable with Microsoft cast as the villain...

MetroPCS IPO looks hot

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 04

Over at IPOHome.com, they've noted the first company IPO filing for 2007 and it looks like a dandy. Cellular operator MetroPCS Communications wants to raise $1.1 billion to expand its...

A little more IPO outlook for 2007

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on December 15

Oh, the cutting we do to make things fit in a mashed up, dead tree pulp pub. Plenty of nuggets got cut from my 2007 IPO outlook story so I...

Popping the Pfizer Pill

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on December 14

I admit it. I like a good bargain, whether it's a new pair of shoes or a blue chip stock. That's why I find Pfizer so appealing these days....

Insider Selling Ratio Near a 20-Year High

Posted by: Roben Farzad on December 06

*** "Sell, I told you. Sell it all!" 1987 was a fine year: Ronald Reagan urged Mickey G to tear down a wall, Def Leppard released Hysteria and baby Jessica...

Google's Easy Come-Easy Go $8 Bil

Posted by: Roben Farzad on November 28

$8 billion gone in less than a week.

Eat Drink Outlooks

Posted by: Lauren Young on November 20

This is the time of year when every mutual fund company and investment bank holds its 2007 outlook sessions. The events typically take place over a meal at a swanky...

Forget China, derivatives are the hottest IPOs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 17

It's no secret that shares of derivatives exchanges like the Chicago Board of Trade (Symbol: BOT) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have been among the best performers of the year....

Hertz's ugly IPO gets priced tonight

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 15

As I've noted time and time again, the upcoming IPO for car rental giant Hertz seems to be trying to set some kind of high water mark for private equity...

I wonder how the head of CVS is feeling this morning?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on November 08

After watching a ton of election coverage last night all across the TV dial, I went to sleep around 1 a.m. I think I must have seen about 117 interviews...

Time Warner Reliving Its 20s

Posted by: Roben Farzad on October 31

Today, shares of Time Warner (TWX) finally closed above $20, a resistance level that has frustrated the media conglomerate for more than four years. Can this bubble-cursed stock (which once...

Chinese IPOs catching fire

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 30

Looking down a list of recent IPOs, one number jumped off the screen: 84%. That's the market return of Home Inns & Hotel Management (Symbol: HMIN) since it went public...

Hertz owners want more, more, more

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 27

It looks like the three leveraged buy-out firms that own Hertz are trying to make some kind of statement about just how much can be sucked out of a recent...

Legg Mason: Patience, Grasshopper.

Posted by: Lauren Young on October 26

Fund junkies know that Legg Mason’s star Bill Miller is underperforming the S&P 500, which may put an end to his amazing 14-year streak. At the same time, Legg Mason...

GateHouse success no path for big city papers

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 25

I felt a little frisson of anger this morning when I noticed the latest hot IPO from leveraged buyout world: GateHouse Media (Symbol: GHS). The company priced 13.8 million shares...

Netflix: Video-On-Demand Can Wait

Posted by: Roben Farzad on October 24

Like any good American, I've used this blog to rip Blockbuster Inc (BBI), the moribund, universally disliked video store chain. Conventional wisdom says that video-on-demand -- the cable industry's competitive...

Life at the Chocolate Bar

Posted by: Lauren Young on October 20

Folks who know me (or my byline) know I'm a chocaholic. I'm obsessed with chocolate--I love eating it, but I'm equally enthusiastic about covering the industry. So it's with great...

Google v Yahoo: The Chart Says It All

Posted by: Roben Farzad on October 20

These must be envious times at Yahoo!, which now sports only 1/5 rival Google's market capitalization: This chart was (ironically) brought to you by Yahoo! Finance...

When do Motorola's "move outs" move back in?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 18

The smart folks over at Birinyi Associates did some interesting analysis the other day showing that over the past four years, the S&P 500 has gained a total of 9.7%...

Investors fell for Legg Mason's past glory

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 11

Last night's pre-announced earnings miss by Baltimore-based asset manager Legg Mason (Symbol: LM) has knocked the stock down 17% today and almost 40% from its all-time peak of $140 just...

New Investing Podcast

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on October 09

We've started a weekly investing podcast called Hottest Hands. Each week, we'll talk to investing experts about how they run their funds, what stocks they like and dislike, and trends...

Coffee Wars, Part III - feeling too much buzz?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 05

We've seen in recent months McDonald’s (MCD) reporting early success with its high-end coffee play, while Wendy's-owned Canadian coffee and donut joint Tim Hortons (THI) did a successful IPO to...

Hell hath frozen over for Microsoft

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 28

There's been sporadic, ongoing debate about how cheap Microsoft (MSFT) would have to get to attract value investors. But I never thought I'd see the day when Third Avenue's Marty...

Olstein reveals why he tossed old media stocks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 21

Following up on a post from the spring, when I noticed that money managing legend Bob Olstein had lightened up on newspaper stocks, the guru of balance sheet scrutinizers has...

Youtube, the stock advice portal?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 20

Jason Coleman over at Investorgeeks.com has his eyes on a new trend of possible interest to investors. He's found some examples of financial analysts uploading stock reviews as video clips...

Apple won’t be the first casualty of Zune

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 14

“Zune says there is no choice; you get a Zune device, you hook it up to the Zune service, and it just works.” -J Allard There are a lot of...

Real estate slowdown could hack Plum Creek Timber

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 14

Homebuilding stocks have been crushed this year on the slowdown in the housing market. Whether they’re going down much further is an open question, with some well-known value investors arguing...

Coffee Wars, Part II – What’s wrong with Coke Blak

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 06

John Austin, an academic expert on management and organizational effectiveness, applies his knowledge to stock picking on his Monty’s Bluff blog (which, parenthetically has the best motto of any finance...

Cable infrastructure boom wouldn't hurt so much

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 01

Cable stocks had a tough couple of weeks in the press amidst fears that the industry may have to begin a costly third wave of building out infrastructure to compete...

More data points on the weakening homebuilding sector

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 31

A few interesting data points on the future of homebuilding stocks: a piece in USA Today today notes that homebuilders are shedding land and land options they own. Not only...

Apple altering $9.99 album pricing?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 29

Could be just a coincidence but maybe Apple (Symbol: AAPL) is finally feeling some competitive pressure on the downloadable music front. Checking out the iTunes Music Store this morning, there’s...

Investing lessons from the Boston (Red Sox) Massacre of '06

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 22

I was more than a little bleary-eyed yesterday at work after spending some six hours at Fenway Park on Sunday night and Monday morning watching game four of the...

Sandisk's moment in the MP3 sun won't last long

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 21

Hmm, Apple shares (AAPL) down 2% today, Sandisk shares (SNDK) up 1% amidst some headlines about the battle over portable music players. It must be the latest “iPod killer” (and...

Top value investors are farming in the DELL

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 18

Dell’s cratering again today, down 7%, after last night’s disappointing second quarter earnings report. But there’s less than meets the eye to the reaction – it looks like the growing...

Tankers, tobacco shine as market turns over

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 14

The market’s turn over the past three months or so has certainly shaken up some top performing themes of the past three years. Run a Morningstar screen of the top...

Anti-terrorism portfolio rises on British plot news

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 10

The so-called 9/11 portfolio, stocks of companies that provide security and defense products, got a giant boost today with news of a new terror plot broken up in Britain. Don't...

Quant strategy ETFs, not just for breakfast anymore

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 08

There's been all too much hand wringing over the proliferation of exchange-traded funds. It's a Darwinian finance world and those that don't work aren't going to do much damage. It's...

Can Jobs presenting flair revive AAPL's shares

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 07

The Apple store has put up the "We'll be back soon" banner that's the final warning before master marketer slash CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage to unveil new products,...

Extreme in investor pessimism could signal a bottom

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 20

Thanks to Charles Kirk's blog this morning, I learned that the weekly sentiment poll by the American Association of Individual Investors has gotten to extremes. Only 23.85% of investors feel...

Making sense of Yahoo's plunge

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 19

You'd never know from some of the stories today why Yahoo's (Symbol: YHOO) earnings report last night caused the stock to open down 18% this morning. Earnings per share were...

Whose customers is McDonald's luring with coffee?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 18

Ever see the movie "You've Got Mail" starring Tom Hanks as the owner of a Barnes & Noble-like chain of super-size book stores and Meg Ryan as the owner of...

Phew, Hertz didn't pay a billion dollars for nothing

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 17

Just $999,200,000. Hertz and its leveraged buy out firm owners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc., The Carlyle Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, filed to take the rental car...

The trend is your friend for best and worst stocks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 12

Over at Laszlo Biryini's shop, they've posted the 20 best and worst performing stocks in the Russell 2000 small-cap index for the first half of 2006. Nothing jumps off the...

Does Under Armour Smell?

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on July 10

Marathon training season is upon me once again. For my poor friends, that means having to suffer through 18 weeks on non-stop chatter about the pain in my Achilles heel,...

Investors zip up J. Crew story

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 28

Score one for the good guys. J. Crew (JCG) priced last night at $20 a share, $3 above the high end of its filed ranged, and opened today up 25%...

Skiing to profits with Vail

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 23

Marty Whitman, who runs Third Avenue Capital, is a favorite manager of mine. His deep value approach often turns up great stock plays because he's delving into minutia that too...

Should investors root against Hexion's IPO?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 21

A day after cheering that J. Crew was reversing a leveraged buy-out with its LBO firm owner buying more shares in the IPO, comes news that convoluted chemical play Hexion...

J. Crew's tidy turnaround story

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 20

Preppie clothing fixture J. Crew is going public next week (symbol will be JCG) after a star CEO, Millard Drexler, came in and turned around a sinking leveraged buyout. Texas...

Score it IPO market 2, whiners and Vonage customers zero

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 26

Not a speck of light is showing So the danger must be growing Are the fires of Hell a-glowing Is the grisly reaper mowing Yes, the danger must be growing...

Oy vey Vonage

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 24

Back in April 2000, just as the bubble was popping, AT&T -- still a telecom goliath at the time -- did an IPO spin-off of its fast-growing but profit-starved wireless...

IPO market's big test coming now

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 16

The next two weeks ought to silence IPO market whiners, or at least that's my hope. Upcoming over the rest of this week and next, Wall Street has three challenging...

Top 10 signs of an inflating ethanol bubble

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 09

With tongue at least partly in cheek, I found it all too easy to come up with the top 10 reasons you know that an investment bubble is inflating around...

Exactly why the small cap run continues

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 08

The Wall Street Journal ran a story this morning that cracked me up. The run of small caps beating large caps has ended because large caps outperformed over the past...

Reaching fair value for that whopper of an IPO

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 02

Back in February, I was pretty skeptical of Burger King's planned IPO given the company's slipping performance (improvement slowed) and big payouts to LBO buyers resulting in extra debt on...

Is it loose-end Friday? Here's Vonage

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 28

I was pretty skeptical about Internet telephony provider Vonage's initial IPO filing back in February. Today they've updated with proposed terms of $16 to $18 dollars a share or a...

Dirty Jobs in the IPO market

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 18

Ever see the show Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel? Host Mike Rowe travels around the country filling in for a day on some of the worst, dirtiest jobs on...

Intriguing play on the IPO and spin-off field

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 17

I have to admit that I started off fairly skeptical about the new IPO exchange-traded fund. There might be reasons to invest in a passively-managed index of initial public offerings,...

Reversion to the mean is so truthy

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 11

The oldest adage in investing must be what goes up must come down. It’s appealing in a simplistic, gut-check sort of way but it’s totally wrong. Everything from the economy...

Bustered Out

Posted by: Roben Farzad on April 10

On Sunday I had the great misfortune of having to wait in line at my neighborhood Blockbuster (BBI). Citigroup added insult to my injury by upgrading the stock the next...

Is an ethanol bubble brewing?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 04

Andersons Inc. (Symbol: ANDE) of Maumee, Ohio, was for years a sleepy agribusiness that bought and sold grain and ran grain elevators. Five or six years ago, a typical year...

Wendy's may not be a great Tim Hortons value play

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 28

All the talk about Wendy’s International (WEN) and its semi-hot spin-out IPO of Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons (THI) had me thinking back to an earlier age. The current theory...

Cruising Along

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on March 27

My sister can't stand cruises--questions how anyone could think spending a week or so on a ship would be a vacation. Of course, her views are probably clouded by the...

Taking Stock of the Exchanges

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on March 20

I spent the past five days in Boca Raton (yes, it was 77 degrees and sunny). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend much time lounging by the pool (woe...

Crocs stox schlocks ignored as shares drop

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 20

Crocs, maker of popular and brightly colored plastic shoes, had a rip-roaring IPO last month run by underwriters Piper Jaffray and Thomas Weisel. Priced at $21, already 50% above the...

More ways to use the latest ETFs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 17

I have a story in the current issue of BW out today on using some of the newer and more targeted ETFs to fine tune a portfolio (still behind the...

You Mean Tim & Faith?

Posted by: Roben Farzad on March 16

Actually I'm talking about......

Forget the man of steel, what's up with steel?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 15

I must admit that I've paid more attention lately to Bryan Singer's upcoming entry in Hollywood's Man of Steel (aka Superman) oeuvre than to that old rust bucket industry that...

No good news for newspapers in KRI deal

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 14

Pull up the one-year stock price chart of almost any newspaper company – Gannett (GCI), Tribune (TRB), Washington Post (WPO), or Belo (BLC), for example. What you get is various...

A Krispy, Krafty Comeback?

Posted by: Roben Farzad on March 07

Krispy Kreme still retains quite a bit of goodwill, and I suspect that the virtuous cycle of analyst upgrades and institutional buying will set in the instant Brewster shows progress.

Another smart guy dumping newspaper stocks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 07

I was shocked last week when I read that an analyst at well-respected media tracking firm, Borrell Associates, was predicting the death of newspapers unless online advertising booms off the...

Buffett's Annual Blog

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on March 06

Few annual reports are as eagerly anticipated or as closely read as those of Berkshire Hathaway. Indeed, waiting for the latest word from the legendary investing wizard Warren Buffett is,...

Investing horizons and small cap stocks

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 03

Market guru Michael Panzner has a post up this week noting that we've just entered a six-week period of the year when small cap and technology stocks historically tend to...

A Third-Way Beverage Play

Posted by: Roben Farzad on March 02

Cadbury Schweppes (CSG): The name immediately brings to mind the Easter-favorite creme egg, which, according to those '80s TV spots, was pumped out by a delusional RabbitChicken. The 223-year old...

Looking for possible S&P 500 additions?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 02

When I used to cover Washington, D.C., it was sometimes said that when a member of the House of Representatives was elected to the Senate that the average IQ of...

The Devil Needs a Parka

Posted by: Roben Farzad on February 24

I just couldn't wait until March 10th, the sixth anniversary of the Nasdaq's crazy high, to comment on the hell-freezing irony of a surviving dot-com paying out a dividend....

Sell Kodak now, Bill Miller

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 23

The trouble with buying beaten down stocks, as value investors like Legg Mason's Bill Miller are apt to do, is that sometimes they don't come back up. I recall in...

Even teenagers think I'm wrong about Toll Brothers

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 23

Had to smile when I came in this morning and had this comment waiting to be approved on my recent Toll Brothers dissin entry: Hey, I'm 16 and even I...

It was sad when that great ship went down...

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 22

My children and I were treated to a stirring rendition of that old song about the sinking of the Titanic on President's Day during a visit to Boston's most excellent...

Toll: Favor the chocolate chips, not the stock

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 21

Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL) is having an awful year in the stock market as the designated punching bag for real estate bubble watchers. After tripling in price from late...

A New Corporate Governance Blog

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on February 21

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) will launch a corporate governance blog. ISS is the leader in advising pension funds, companies, and other big institutions on corporate governance...

Burger King, financially sounder but whopper sales lagging

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 17

As promised after Chipotle's stunning IPO debut last month, Burger King has dutifully filed a lengthy S-1 registration statement to sell $400 million of shares to the public and reverse...

See Dick Shoot...Then Invest

Posted by: Roben Farzad on February 16

True, Shooter Cheney's hunting accident is the stuff of White House PR nightmares and Daily Show dreams. But when you're finally done laughing and schadenfreuding it up, consider using the...

Apples to Apples

Posted by: Lauren Young on February 16

When you get a bunch of mutual fund managers in a room together, you are bound to get lots of different opinions about stocks and the direction of the markets....

Bernanke-speak, v 2.0

Posted by: Roben Farzad on February 15

Newly crowned Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke speaking to Congress: "Nevertheless the risk exists that, with aggregate demand exhibiting considerable momentum, output could overshoot its sustainable path, leading ultimately —...

Stock picker's market? Bah humbug

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 13

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard some talking head say that because stock market returns will be under 10% a year for the foreseeable future it’s...

AMEX Membership Rewards

Posted by: Roben Farzad on February 10

You almost never hear about the poor old American Stock Exchange -- the forgotten Arby's to the NYSE's McDonald's and Nasdaq's BK. So much for buying the name brands: On...

U.S. supermarkets getting yet another challenger

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 09

Apropos of Roben’s entry the other day on challenges facing supermarket chains, today comes news of yet more competition for the industry, already long under siege by Wal-Mart. European grocery...

Vonage IPO filing looks like one big red flag

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 08

Hot Internet telephony provider Vonage just filed for an initial public offering. No per-share price estimate in this first filing but lots of info about the company and its financials....

Overstock.com rally isn't the riddle it might seem

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 07

The currently ongoing fourth-quarter earnings report season has had its share of flukes, inconsistencies and overreactions. But what to make of today's action in shares of controversial Internet retailer Overstock.com?...

Birinyi's short-term signal says buy

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 07

I discovered recently that Laszlo Birinyi's firm has its own blog, called Ticker Sense. Makes sense, since Birinyi, a pioneer of using quantitative and statistical techniques to predict the stock...

Stocks doing the Bernanke bop

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on February 03

Withy today's jobs report, it appears that the economy is stronger than most investors thought. Happy coincidence with Business Week's cover story out today: Why the economy is a lot...

Heather Divests Richie!

Posted by: Roben Farzad on February 03

Business Week launches a celebrity blog!...

Mad About Mid-Caps

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on February 01

We've all seen and heard how small stocks have beat large ones for the last few years. Nestled between the two are mid-caps, which aren't too shabby either. In fact,...

Can Anyone Save The Grocery Biz?

Posted by: Roben Farzad on January 27

Surely you've already read the news that Supervalu, CVS and a private equity consortium have struck a nearly $10 billion deal to acquire and divide up Albertson's (ABS), the struggling...

Cautious on Stocks

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on January 26

A few things are bugging Jim Huguet about the stock market. He's president of Great Companies LLC and runs the TransAmerica IDEX Great Companies-America fund (IGAAX), and stopped by yesterday...

Applebee's roars - does Chipotle cheer?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 25

Just as a quick follow-on to yesterday's discussion of Chipotle's IPO, the stocks of the four comparable companies that I mentioned are off to the races today thanks to a...

Tasty Chipotle IPO upcoming

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on January 24

I spent part of the morning reading through the S-1 registration statement for the upcoming IPO of McDonald’s spin-off Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is going to trade under the symbol...

Knight Riddled

Posted by: Roben Farzad on January 24

Knight Ridder (KRI), the #2 newspaper chain, is reportedly readying its machete for another round of job and benefit cuts to sex itself up for prospective private equity buyers. It's...

The 25% Loss That Became A 50% Gain

Posted by: Roben Farzad on January 18

This just in: conspiring to place an orphaned finger in Wendy's chili to score a hush-hush settlement will get you 9 to 12 years in the slammer . Clearly, there...

Google: Losing the Love?

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on January 18

The overloved stock Google has lost two admirers in the last two days. On Jan. 17, Scott Kessler at Standard & Poor's Equity Research downgraded Google to sell from hold...

About

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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