Stock Market Today
Jim Rogers: Hold on to Your Gold and Silver Coins
Legendary investor Jim Rogers sees now as a great time to load up on gold and silver coins – and he's not alone.
A record 7.5 million ounces of silver coins were sold in January as investors hunted for a safe haven investment.
"You can't get [silver coins]. They sell out," Rogers, who owns a rare 2013 silver coin, said on Yahoo! Finance's "The Daily Ticker." "Several mints have run out of coins because everybody's worried about the future of the world."
And 150,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins were sold in January, the highest monthly total since July 2010.
"Gold has been up 12 years in a row which is extremely unusual for anything," added Rogers. "A lot of speculators are rushing into gold right now. I'm not rushing into gold, but I'm certainly not selling it. If it goes down, I'm buying more."
The Best Stocks to Buy, According to Top Strategist
It doesn't hurt to have help narrowing down the best stocks to buy – especially when the advice comes from one of the country's best stock analysts.
Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup Inc.'s (NYSE: C) chief equity strategist, has sent a note to clients consisting of 18 recommended stocks and their end-of-year price targets. We've sifted through the list to bring you the 10 stocks that have the highest projected returns based on Citi's targets.
Those returns range from 10.14% to 27.27%.
Here are the companies and their price targets, accompanied by a summary of Citi's analysis for each stock:
The Best Energy Stocks to Buy According to Industry Insiders
It is no secret to investors that energy stocks lagged the market in 2012 – but now in 2013 some are becoming the best stocks to buy as they head for huge gains.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE: XLE) has gained about 6.5% over the past year, below the 8% gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the 11.5% rise in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
But just looking at 2013, you'll see XLE has risen 8.7%, compared to the Dow's 6% gains and the S&P's 5.13%.
And money is pouring into this sector from a key group of investors: corporate insiders.
As far back as 1968 legendary speculator Victor Niederhoffer and his mentor Professor James Lorie discovered that cluster buying of stock by corporate insiders offered substantial excess returns over the market. When three or more officers and directors of a company break out their checkbooks to buy their own stock there is a good chance that the stock price is headed higher.
This anomaly had been confirmed many times by academics and investors over the year and still holds true today.
The other metric with tracking when it comes to corporate insiders is buying by those two executive officers who are in the best position to evaluate the company's conditions and prospects – the chief executive officer and chief financial officer. If they are buying more shares in the open market chances are high they think the shares are cheap and good things are about to happen.
Best Stocks to Buy Now: What Energy Insiders Like
We are starting to see a substantial amount of insider activity in a few oil production and energy services names, like the following:
Investing in 2013: Are Chinese Solar Stocks Worth All the Recent Hype?
Here's something you can safely say about China: They get things done.
That point was driven home to me a few years ago by a former Southern Company nuclear engineer who was consulting on building nuclear reactors in China.
"There are two things you can say about the Chinese way of doing things," he said admiringly, "one, once they decide to build a facility, it gets built and two, they bring it in on time."
He also noted that the builders took great pride in their work and if they say the cement was going to be laid by a certain date, the crew worked overtime and weekends to bring it in on time-all without overtime pay.
And the one thing a command economy like China has going for it is once they site a project, it gets built. There are no environmental impact studies, no legal issues, no historical impact hearings, and no worries about displaced families who may have lived on the land for centuries.
I bring it up because now it looks like the Chinese are back in the renewable energy business leading to a bull stampede into Chinese solar stocks.
China's Renewed Drive Into Green Energy
In early January, government officials announced at a national energy conference that they intend to add 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar power capacity this year, up from 7 GW at the end of last year.
The goal for 2013 will put China within easy reach of its stated target of 21 GW of installed solar power capacity by 2015.
That followed an announcement in December that China was going to provide $2 billion in subsidies for the country's solar industry.
And now the green energy community around the world is very excited that at least one major nation is willing to step up and stand behind its renewables industries and offer some incentives.
It is bit of a turnaround for an industry that had fallen on some hard times.
Over the past year in the United States, we saw what happened with some of the best intentioned government-driven green energy programs.
Can anyone say "Solyndra"? Or, "once bitten, twice shy"?
Then Germans pulled their solar and wind tax credits and subsidies. And now with the country's economy headed into recession, it's unlikely the Germans will be back on the renewables bandwagon anytime soon.
So will China's renewed push into renewables create a new boom for solar and wind stocks?
Here's what to expect.
Debt Ceiling Bill Intensifies Budget Pressure on Congress
The debt-ceiling showdown took center stage on Capitol Hill today (Wednesday) as a crucial vote on a Republican bill gave the Treasury the green light to borrow a fresh stash of cash until May 19.
The Republican-controlled House passed the bill by a 284-144 margin.
It now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass quickly without any changes.
Senate Democrats are expected to back the plan even though they have been hesitant to support any short-term debt ceiling fix, maintaining it creates additional uncertainty for businesses and families.
"I'm very glad that (House Republicans) are going to send us a clean debt-ceiling bill," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV.
The measure would go from the Senate to U.S. President Barack Obama, who has repeatedly said he will not wrangle over the debt ceiling and will sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
Pleased with the results, the White House added a "but," saying it would have liked a longer- term solution.
While the legislation looked extremely likely to make it to the Oval Office, there is still a chance it could get tangled up in Congress, given a controversial provision in the bill.
The legislation includes a divisive rider aimed at coercing Senate Democrats to ink a long-term budget deal. The "no budget- no pay" provision would withhold pay for members of Congress until a sustainable deal is agreed upon.
"It's not a slam dunk. But the main thing is that the Republicans will cave on the debt ceiling. So we're now just arguing over the details," Greg Valliere, chief political strategist for Potomac Research Group, told CNN Money ahead of the voting.
Silver Prices Getting Huge Boost from these Chinese Market Shifts
Twenty years ago China was a very minor factor when estimating the direction of silver prices.
Now, the country is a major force both on the demand and supply side of the silver market.
In fact, a recent report issued last month by Thomson Reuters GFMS for the Silver Institute outlined how China's supply and demand was a major developing factor guiding silver prices in 2013 – and the news is great for those investing in the white metal.
Let's take a look.