Press Esc to close

Welcome to Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.

Close

The Cybersecurity Play That Doubled Once – Will Double Again

Not long ago, a relative of mine was the victim of identity theft. And I have to tell you that I really felt for the entire family.

The thief ran up nearly $20,000 in charges, opened new accounts and tried to open others.

And I can tell you that the frustrations over the losses (most of which ended up being covered) were dwarfed by the helplessness that came whenever new charges showed up – and the worry that was spawned by never finding out how the whole mess started.

As we watch the headlines about data breaches and cybercrime – and watch as the violations move closer and closer to home – those worries only escalate.

  • What's Spooking Investors in the Stock Market Today

    The stock market today is down more than 200 points as China fears trigger a global sell off.

    In mid-morning trading, the Dow dived 205.75, 1.39%, to 14,593.65. The S&P 500 slumped 25.78, 1.62%, to 1,566.65. The Nasdaq slid 50.78, 1.51%, to 3,306.47. The Dow and S&P are now off some 5% and 6% respectively from their all-time highs reached earlier this year.

    Asian markets were clobbered Monday and European markets melted on increasing fears of a liquidity crunch in China. Major Euro indexes, off roughly 10% from their April highs, are officially in bear territory.

    Today's moves continue the rollercoaster ride U.S. equities were on last week, with the Dow shedding 560 points, or 3.66%, over Wednesday and Thursday.

    The blue-chip benchmark finished at 14,799.40, down 1.8% for the week, its worst week since April 19. The S&P 500 fared worse, slumping 2.1% last week to end at 1,592.43. The Nasdaq ended at 3,357.25, for a weekly loss of 1.9%.

    The VIX, or the CBOE Volatility Index, soared 10.2% last week, ending at 19. Wall Street's "fear gauge" has risen four of the past five weeks, ever since Fed Chief Ben Bernanke's first mumblings about a probable winding down of stimulus.

    Monday morning, the VIX jumped 2.14, or 11.23%, to 21.04, its highest level of the year.

    Markets were goosed Friday after The Wall Street Journal's Fed watcher Jon Hilsenrath wrote that investors may be misreading optimistic messages sent by the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as hawkish.

    Also, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) analysts said their top recommendation for 2013 is still to buy stocks and sell bonds.

    "We continue to expect the index [S&P] will close the year at 1,750, a rise of approximately 10% from today's top level. However, median historical drawdown episodes suggest at some point during the next six-months that the S&P may decline to mid-1,500s before resounding to our year-end target," Goldman's analysts wrote.

    Further giving stocks a lift was a bullish statement to CNBC from renowned hedge fund manager David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management: "All the concerns in the markets is because the Fed sees the economy stronger in the future. In fact, their forecast shows that they will wait until a lower unemployment rate (closer to 6% than 6.5) to raise interest rates. So they are a bit easier on the front...I obviously thought they should start to taper. [But] the bottom line when the dust settles [is that the] only one place to be [is] stocks."

    To continue reading, please click here…

    Read More...
  • Is Apple's "Next Big Thing" Vaporware? Mind-control technology, vision-enabled devices, robotic cars and motion-controlled gadgets. These are where some of the tech titans have set their sights.
    So where is Apple in all of this buzz?...
    Its big promises beyond Apple TV and a new iPhone are beginning to sound a lot like vaporware.
    Here's who is starting to eat Apple's lunch and maybe its future...
    Read More...
  • The Apple Sell-Off is Just Beginning I've made the case several times that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was over-cooked, most recently last fall when the company was flirting with $700 a share.
    Each time I did I was taken to the woodshed by the legions of Apple fans who couldn't reconcile their passion with their profits.
    iHere we go again...
    Following earnings that "beat" and revenue that fell short, the company dropped $48 billion, or roughly 10%, in afterhours trading on Wednesday. And still more on Thursday in early trading.
    I think this is just the beginning of a protracted sell-off. Two very simple reasons... Read More...
  • Apple iPhone 5 Demand Alone Will Push Stock Price Past $800 If the Apple iPhone 5 turns out to be the blockbuster product that nearly everyone expects, it should easily carry the company's stock to $800 and beyond.

    The long-anticipated next-generation iPhone is expected to debut at an Apple Media Event Sept. 12 and go on sale Sept. 21.

    Rumored improvements such as a bigger 4-inch screen and 4G LTE network compatibility have heightened consumer anticipation, even slowing sales of the current iPhone 4S.

    A recent survey of more than 4,000 American consumers by ChangeWave Research indicated that many can't wait to give their money to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).

    "Advance demand for the iPhone 5 is strikingly higher than we've seen for any previous iPhone model," Paul Carton, ChangeWave's vice president of research, told Computerworld.

    In addition, extraordinarily positive guidance from several iPhone component suppliers hints that Apple has ramped up production like never before. Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) forecast a 70% sales increase for the current quarter. Omnivision (Nasdaq: OVTI) said it expected revenue to jump 38%-50%.

    [ppopup id="70925"]Six ways you can make money as the masses flock to Apple for the iPhone 5. [/ppopup]

    And with Apple's huge patent case victory over Samsung two weeks ago casting a cloud over the iPhone's Android-based competitors, conditions are ideal for a huge iPhone 5 launch.

    In a note last month, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, predicted the Apple iPhone 5 would be "the largest consumer electronics product upgrade in history." He forecast the iPhone 5 will sell 6-10 million units within its first 10 days.

    Another analyst, Horace Dediu of Asymco, has projected iPhone 5 sales of about 170 million units over the next year, which would beat first-year sales of the iPhone 4S by about 70%.

    Given that the iPhone contributes more than half of Apple's profits, any large increase in iPhone sales will deliver a mammoth boost to the bottom line. And those rapidly rising profits will keep pushing AAPL higher.

    To continue reading, please click here...

    Read More...
  • Apple TV: What We Know, What We Don't and Why You'll Stand in Line to Get It Apple TV is going to change everything - sooner or later.

    For the moment Apple TV is just a $99 set-top box that lets you access content from the Internet or your home Mac or PC.

    It's a nice product, but it's not revolutionary.

    But for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to get anywhere close to that level, Apple TV will need features that radically improve, if not completely change, how people watch television.

    One thing we know for certain is that late CEO Steve Jobs thought the television industry is "broken" and that he... Read More...
  • 5 Reasons Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Stock Hit a New All-Time High Just when it looked like the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) success story had taken a detour, Apple stock suddenly hits a new all-time high.

    AAPL shot past its previous intraday high record of $644 by reaching $648.19 during Friday's session. The close of $648.11 easily broke the $636.23 record closing price set on April 9.

    Today (Monday) Apple stock is up more than 1% in early trading, reaching an intraday high of $656.35.

    That's hardly what many investors expected after Apple reported on July 24 that it missed on its June quarter earnings and offered weak guidance for the current quarter.

    After that Apple stock dipped into the $570 range several times before quietly starting its climb back to its previous high.

    Since those lows of late July, AAPL has soared 12% -- more than twice the rise of the Standard & Poor's 500 index and almost triple the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

    How can this be? Why are investors so high on a company that hasn't really done anything spectacular lately?

    Read More...
  • How the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad Mini Will Crush Tablet Rivals If Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) does unveil an iPad Mini this fall - and fresh reports from both Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal indicate it will - the new device could help Apple lock up the tablet market for years.

    The iPad Mini, as tech pundits are calling it, could debut as early as October. It's thought to have a 7.85-inch screen, significantly smaller than the 9.7-inch display of the three iPad models released so far.

    Such a product would compete directly with Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle Fire as well as the just-announced Nexus 7 from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG). Both sport 7-inch screens and a $199 price tag aimed at buyers unwilling to pay $499 or more for a new iPad (or $399 for an older iPad 2).

    "It would be the competitors' worst nightmare," Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., told Bloomberg. "The ball is in Apple's court."

    There was no word on what the iPad Mini might cost, but in a note yesterday (Thursday) Topeka Capital analyst Brian White estimated a range of $250-$300.

    "That would lure certain consumers away from these competitors with an overall better experience that includes a much more robust ecosystem," White said.

    Apple's desire for generous profit margins will keep it from pricing an iPad Mini at $199. Both the Amazon Kindle and Nexus 7 lose money at $199.

    With its impressive ecosystem, Apple can get away with charging more for a similar product. That ecosystem, built upon the iOS platform that runs all of the Cupertino, CA company's mobile devices, includes the iCloud remote storage service as well as 225,000 apps designed just for the iPad.

    "This isn't like the old days, when it cost thousands of dollars more to buy an Apple product," Wu said. "Fifty or a hundred bucks wouldn't be enough to make someone switch."

    To continue reading, please click here...

    Read More...
  • Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) Siri Would be Nothing Without this Company As impressive as the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone's Siri can be, without noise filtering technology from Audience Inc. (Nasdaq: ADNC), it would hardly work at all.

    That's why Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) only uses hardware for Siri that has Audience's latest "earSmart" technology.

    The short list currently includes just the iPhone 4s, although the third-generation iPad will be added when iOS 6 arrives later... Read More...
  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL): Winners and Losers from WWDC When Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announces new products or updates to existing products, it sends shock waves out into the tech world.

    Apple's ability to alter the fate of other tech companies was on full display at the June 11 WWDC 2012 keynote.

    Apple's enormous revenue - about $160 billion annually and rising - means generous and steady profits for its partners and suppliers. A new deal with Apple often gives a tech company's stock a nice pop.

    But it also explains why tech companies dread losing a relationship with Apple.

    Investors that may not want to buy Apple often use the Cupertino, CA company's partners as proxies. It can be a profitable strategy, but a risky one - Apple often drops partners with little or no warning.

    Apple's announcements at WWDC created a fresh set of winners and losers. Let's have a look at what happened:

    To continue reading, please click here... Read More...
  • Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) Patent Wars: This Little-Known Swedish Company is the Key In a single stroke, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) could gain the upper hand in its seemingly endless patent wars with Samsung Electronics (PINK: SSNLF) and others.

    Or the tech giant could blow its chance and wind up paying billions of dollars in licensing fees.

    The outcome hinges on how Apple deals with a little-known company based in Sweden.

    This micro-cap just happened to file a patent for the "swipe-to-unlock" touchscreen gesture in 2002 - three years before Apple filed its patent.

    The company, Neonode (Nasdaq: NEON), received its U.S. patent in January.

    Neonode holds a number of touchscreen-related patents that could become decisive in several of Apple's mobile computing patent cases.

    Already the "swipe-to-unlock" patent helped Samsung defeat Apple in a recent patent case in the Netherlands. Samsung said the patent, as well as a phone Neonode released in 2005, represented "prior art."

    "Apple just shot itself in the foot and all the blood is going to go to NEON," Jim Altucher, managing director of Formula Capital and well-known investor, wrote in a blog post Tuesday evening.

    Insiders told The Wall Street Journal in April that Samsung plans to use the Neonode patent in a similar but much more crucial case in San Jose, CA, scheduled for a July trial.

    And Altucher added a scarier prospect for Apple.

    If Neonode does indeed hold the patent trump card for "swipe-to-unlock," it could gun for a cut of Apple's profits by filing its own patent case.

    Should Apple be forced to fork over licensing fees to Neonode, it could cost the Cupertino, CA, company billions of dollars a year.

    So far all this sounds like a big mess for AAPL and a big opportunity for its patent war rivals. Not just Samsung, but also for such titans as Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).

    Yet if Apple acts boldly, it could gain a crucial advantage on its mobile computing competitors.

    To continue reading, please click here... Read More...
  • Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Patent War with Samsung A Fight No One Wins Like two mighty monsters in a 1950s sci-fi B-movie, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (PINK: SSNLF) have locked horns for over a year in an epic patent war neither can win.

    Over the past year, the two tech titans have filed dozens of patent infringement lawsuits against each other in 10 countries. Most seek to block the sale of one or more of the other's smartphone and tablet products.

    The biggest case, filed in San Jose, CA, is scheduled for a July trial, which U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is desperate to avoid. (She called the case "cruel and unusual punishment" for the jury.)

    Earlier this week Koh ordered the CEOs of both Apple and Samsung to meet in mediation sessions, but nothing came of the meetings.

    The mutual stubbornness makes sense when you realize what's at stake.

    Click here to continue reading...

    Read More...
  • Tech Stocks Soar on "Off the Charts" Demand for Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) Products If you're invested in technology stocks, you've had a great ride lately.

    With demand for Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) products soaring, tech stocks will continue to do well.

    Tech stocks have posted a whopping 16% return in 2012, the top performing sector in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. By comparison, the broader market has notched just a 9% gain year-to-date (YTD).

    "Large-cap technology stocks have exceeded our expectations with better revenues, earnings, margins and cash flows," Michael Sansoterra, a sub-adviser for the Ridgeworth Large Cap Growth Fund, told The Wall Street Journal. "You just can't find that elsewhere in the large-cap growth space."

    Tech Stocks Offer Bargains

    Even as they march higher, prices for tech stocks are a relative bargain.

    To continue reading, please click here... Read More...
  • Tech Stocks to Watch: Pandora Media (NYSE: P), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO)
    This week's news moving tech stocks includes today's (Tuesday's) Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) earnings report, tomorrow's (Wednesday's) Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad debut, and Yahoo Inc.'s (Nasdaq: YHOO) rumored layoffs.

    Pandora Media (NYSE: P) Earnings: Internet radio site Pandora, which went public June 15 last year, released fourth-quarter earnings after the bell today.

    Pandora lost $8.18 million, or five cents a share, due to higher costs for advertising, marketing and content acquisition. Fourth-quarter revenue rose to $81.3 million from $47.6 million, a 71% year-over-year increase. Advertising revenue was $72.1 million, up 74% from the year before, and subscription and other revenue was up 51% to $9.2 million.

    To continue reading, please click here... Read More...