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U.S. Economy

Jobs

U.S. Labor Department Jobs Report: Big Gains in June, but Still Lagging Behind

Optimism surrounded Thursday's release of the June U.S. Labor Department Jobs Report, but although the numbers were better than expected, we still have plenty to worry about, and the economy is still in trouble.

Employers added 288,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate dipped to 6.1% from 6.3%, the lowest level since September 2008.

Despite some encouraging figures in the jobs report, it is still peppered with troubling data – like these dismal numbers…

Despite some encouraging figures in the jobs report, it is still peppered with troubling data - like these dismal numbers...

Dividend Stocks

What Are High-Yield Stocks?

With interest rates at an all-time low, high-yield stocks have replaced bonds as the best option to provide a stream of income in a portfolio. What's more, they deliver the added perk of equity ownership for potential growth.

Here we explain what high-yield stocks are and give readers a few examples to get them started today…

Here we explain what high-yield stocks are and give readers a few examples to get them started today...

Hot Stocks

U.S. Stock Market's Five Best and Worst Performers in 2014's First Half

As we close out the first half of 2014, its time to take a look back at the year-to-date U.S. stock market gainers and losers.

Stocks turned in a mix showing, with sizable gains and losses across several sectors. Following are the five best and five worst performers of 2014's first half.

Energy Investing

How to Make Money from America's Oil Boom

Energy investing update: The amount of oil produced in the U.S. has skyrocketed more than 50% over the last six years.

Now small towns all across America are filling with a new breed of millionaires who have learned how to make money from this boom. But it isn't the major oil companies leading the way. According to a new report, the fastest-growing oil companies in America are the smaller outfits.

And these oil stocks are rising as quickly as their reputations…

And these oil stocks are rising as quickly as their reputations...

Stock Market Today

Dow Jones Futures Up After Record Finish; Plus FB, AMZN, GM and These Top Stories

Stock market today, July 3, 2014: Dow Jones futures edged higher this morning (Thursday) by 0.1%, following a DJI record finish on Wednesday. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures also signaled gains, up 0.12% and 0.24% respectively.
This morning, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, as the economy added another 288,000 jobs, crushing street estimates of 215,000.
Here's what you should know is going on in the stock market today to make your Thursday profitable:

Here's what you should know is going on in the stock market today to make your Thursday profitable:

Hot Stocks

VRTX, ABT, AAPL Among Hot Stocks to Watch Today

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTX) tops Tuesday's hot stocks to watch list. Shares skyrocketed 50% intraday after the biotech company deemed its cystic fibrosis treatment a success.

Also landing on today's hot stocks list are a number of penny stocks moving on company developments, a semiconductor company rising on better-than-expected earnings, and several stocks moving up on analysts' action and M&A activity.

Check out 12 of Tuesday’s movers – including VRTX, AAPL, and ABT – and find out what’s behind their action…

U.S. Economy

This "Hidden" Inflation Could Wipe Out Small Returns

Official measures of inflation tell a very different story from the reality facing consumers as they shop for groceries, gasoline, insurance, healthcare, and other everyday goods.

In the real world away from government statistics, product prices continue to rise at an inexorable rate.

Asset prices also continue to rise, particularly the prices of financial assets such as stocks and bonds as well as high-end real estate and art.

While there remain pockets of weakness in the housing markets, the prices of homes have also resumed their upward trajectory after crashing during the financial crisis.

So the question remains: If the prices of just about everything are rising, why is the government telling us that inflation is so low?

Bitcoin

Our Most "Unconventional" Investment Is in an Incredible Rally Right Now

Investing in Bitcoin may go against the grain – as it is anything but a conventional investment – but sometimes that's what it takes to maximize your returns.

And lately, those who have been investing in Bitcoin despite a string of bad publicity for the digital currency have been rewarded to the tune of a 45% gain in less than a month.

In recent months, we've seen a number of negative Bitcoin stories in the mainstream media, suggesting it was a bubble in the making.

During that period, I have remained one of the few tech analysts to say the Bitcoin market remains not only healthy, but faces a very bright future indeed…

Full Story...

U.S. Economy

Low Rates Won't Hide This Looming Threat Forever

Financial markets are experiencing a significant divergence in 2014 between the direction of stocks and bonds.

While the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have traded to new record highs, the yields on benchmark Treasury bonds have dropped sharply.

Normally, one would not expect stock prices to rise and bond yields to drop simultaneously because these movements suggest contradictory readings of the economy.

Higher stock prices indicate bullishness about economic growth, while lower bond yields suggest just the opposite.

However, the inconsistent signals being sent by markets are not as surprising as they seem, given the context of the post-crisis environment in which Federal Reserve policies have distorted normal market pricing mechanisms.

This situation could blindside investors who don't see it coming…

Housing Market

Let's Make the Mortgage Due for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

You can call it a bailout, a rakeover – I mean, takeover – or socialism for cash.

But, whatever you call it, it's not going to last.

The $187.5 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2008 was absolutely necessary.

But here's why it's time for the government to get out of the mortgage business for good...