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oil

Crude Oil Price Drop to $44.78 Brings Us Near Decade Lows

The crude oil price drop today (Tuesday) fell to its lowest in five years. Both WTI and Brent oil are down 59% since June 2014.

If this trend continues, oil will be the lowest in a decade.

Here's where prices are headed now...

Income Investing

Dividend-Paying Stocks Kick Off 2015 with 23 New Increases

FY2014 saw a total of $54.8 billion in dividend increases, and 3,308 dividend-paying stocks hiked payouts last year. That's a 14.3% increase over the number of payouts in 2013.

2015 could set another record for dividend payments. But investors do need to be aware of the effect of plunging oil prices.

There are no signs of a yield slowdown just yet – dividend boosts were robust last week.

Following are the 23 dividend stocks that raised payouts during the week ending Jan. 9.

Deals

Today's Top Financial News: Healthcare Deals

Healthcare deals dominated the top financial news headlines Monday.

Healthcare was the most targeted sector in deal making last year. It reached its highest annual volume on record as early as Dec. 1 with $437.1 billion in deals.

And 2015 has started with a flurry of activity. Indeed, three of the four healthcare deals announced Monday were for $1 billion or more.

Here's a look at the sector's deal making that topped today's financial news headlines...

Stocks to Buy

This Week's "Unloved" Stock to Buy: Volkswagen AG (VLKAY)

Money Morning's "unloved" stock to buy this week is German automaker Volkswagen AG (OTC ADR: VLKAY).

An unloved investment is one that's been beaten down – but is actually a great value. Investors then get an amazing entry point into a good long-term investment.

While Volkswagen stock had a tough 2014, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald prefers VLKAY to trendy Tesla Motors Inc.

Investors don't like Volkswagen's zeal for acquisitions and worry about falling U.S. sales.

But Wall Street needs to take a longer view on Volkswagen stock...

oil

Current Price of Oil Per Barrel: $45.90

The current price of oil per barrel today (Monday) showed no sign of breaking its downward spiral. The long-suffering energy sector caused widespread losses in the U.S. equity market.

Late Monday morning, both WTI oil and Brent oil hit new six-year lows.

Here's where prices are headed now...

Gold

How to Track Gold Price Trends with the Kitco Gold Index

While gold price trends mostly stem from changes in supply and demand, that's not the full story. Sometimes the value of the U.S. dollar changes the gold price – and this can cause a misleading view of the true value of gold…

Determining how much a change in the gold price is caused by U.S. dollar fluctuations helps to measure the true value of gold. And there's a tool that does just that.

Here's how it works...

Stocks to Buy

Stocks to Invest in for 2015: Six Companies Up More than 10%

The major indexes may have fallen this year, but many of Money Morning's stocks to invest in for 2015 are already seeing big gains.

One of our top stock picks is up almost 30%, and Money Morning Defense and Tech Specialist Michael Robinson still sees a lot of room to grow.

Here's a look at ten of our best 2015 stock picks and how they've done against the broader markets...

Tech Investing

Jeff Bezos Turns 51 Today! And 5 Other Facts About the AMZN Billionaire

As of Jan. 9, Jeff Bezos' net worth was $27.8 billion according to Forbes. His company Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) – the largest Internet retailer in the U.S. – had a market capitalization of $137.98 billion.

The man Wall Street has come to know is a visionary who doesn't conform to typical big business management. That's evidenced every quarter in the last three years. Amazon continues to post impressive sales numbers, coupled with earnings per share (EPS) losses. The company hasn't turned a profit since 2012. Despite pressure to improve Amazon's bottom line, Bezos steadfastly reinvests the company's massive sales. He hasn't faltered from his strategy of diversification and growth.

Investors are left wondering where the company is headed next and more importantly, when it will turn a profit.

That's why we put together a list of five facts you didn't know about Jeff Bezos. Perhaps the best way to determine where Amazon is headed is a greater of understanding of the man behind its wheel.

The billionaire - who just celebrated his 51st birthday Jan. 12 - is a true original...

Tech Investing

23 Facts About Elon Musk from His Reddit AMA and Beyond

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk took time out Jan. 5 for an interactive "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session on Reddit.

Musk, also CEO and founder of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA), and cofounder of PayPal Inc., was peppered with questions from Reddit users. The online Q&A session attracted more than 8,000 comments over a few hours. Questions ran the gamut from personal to technical to trivial.

Why did so many hop on to Musk's AMA? Musk is a visionary. He was at the forefront of the digital payments revolution with PayPal. He shook up the traditional auto market with Tesla's luxury electric car line. He has transformed space travel with SpaceX. Indeed, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.6 billion contract in September 2014 to transport U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Here are 23 facts about Musk, including gems from last week's AMA, to give you a good idea of who this entrepreneur really is...

Week in Review

A Measured View of a Difficult Week and the Markets

France's 9-11 should remind investors that the world sits atop a precarious geopolitical perch. Madmen with guns have the ability to wreak enormous damage on the fabric of society, which in turn places the stability of markets at risk.

Last week's tragic events in Paris are likely to impose significantly greater security costs on Western societies while leading them to question the open borders that feed immigration and trade, two keys to the future economic growth that will be necessary to dig out of the deepening debt hole they have dug themselves.

Depending on the response, jihadists could win a bigger victory than they imagine if Western governments surrender to their worst fears...