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How the Stock Market Today Digested Cyprus News

Country Cyprus

Worries over the plan to force bank depositors in Cyprus to help fund a $13 billion international bailout rattled global equities and sent the U.S. stock market today (Monday) lower. 

Right after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Nasdaq were all sharply lower.

By mid-afternoon, all three indexes remained in negative territory with the Dow down 4.76, or .03% at 14,509.03; the S&P down 2.97, or 0.17%, at 1,557. 73, and the Nasdaq down 2.11, or 0.11%, at 3,247.

Sending global markets lower Monday was the unprecedented agreement reached this weekend over Cyprus' bailout plan.

The proposed plan - by representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and Eurozone's finance ministers - includes taxing deposits over 100,000 euros ($128,950) at 9.9%, while those with less than that amount would be subject to a 6.75% levy.

The aim is to raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.52 billion) that would go toward the $13 billion international bailout of the country.

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Why this Ivy League Professor Sees Dow Hitting 18,000

Chart up exponential

The bears predicting a stock market crash have it all wrong.

So says Jeremy Siegel, finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and author of "Stocks for the Long Run." He predicts the Dow - which closed yesterday (Wednesday) at a new record high 14,455.28 - will continue the bull market run, ending this year in the 16,000 to 17,000 range.

For 2014, he says, the "best bet goal" is the Dow will climb to 18,000.

And the well-known bull has nearly 150 years of data to back up his bold prediction.

Here's why Siegel is so bullish.  

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The FBI and the SEC Are Cracking Down on People Just Like You

Police light

If you happen to do something that you probably do, and have been doing - only, you didn't know it was "abusive manipulation" of the markets - they're already after you.

Dow Hits Record High – What Does That Say About the U.S. Economy?

Equity market cheerleaders got very excited about the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a new record high yesterday (Tuesday).

The Dow closed at 14,253.77, topping its previous record close of 14,164.53 on Oct. 9, 2007.

While it is nice to see a sign that equities are improving following the devastating shock of the financial crisis of 2008, today's Dow Jones Industrial Average is not the same index as it was in 2007.

In fact, if we look back at when the Dow Jones Industrial Average last exceeded 14,000, we'll see that the Dow seems to have less of a connection now to what is really happening in the economy than it did in 2007.

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What Bankrupt Athletes Wish They Knew About Financial Windfalls

Game football

Few among us haven't dreamed of sudden riches - the financial windfall of a big legal settlement, an unexpected inheritance, a winning lottery ticket, or, for the young and athletically gifted, a lucrative contract with a major professional sports franchise.

But it turns out that few are prepared for a financial windfall when it comes their way.

Nowhere is this more obvious than with big sports stars.

Despite the proliferation of multimillion-dollar contracts, an astonishing number of professional athletes are forced to declare bankruptcy within a few years of hanging up their jerseys.

In the National Football League, for example, where the average salary is $1.9 million, 78% of former players are in bankruptcy within five years of retirement. That figure is 60% for former National Basketball Association players, who earn an average of $5.5 million a year as players.

How can people so generously compensated go broke so quickly?

Part of it has to do with youth, but many of the mistakes athletes make with the financial windfall of a professional sports salary also are made by regular people who suddenly come into large sums of money.

There's a lot we all can learn from their mistakes. When it comes to financial windfalls, it's best to know what to expect ahead of time so you can put the money to work for you instead of squandering it.

"Every single day, people come into large sums of money, whether it's a thousand dollars or a million, and without proper planning, funds quickly disappear," writes Jim Wang in U.S. News and World Report. "Just look at the horrible stories you often hear of lottery winners, and you'll have enough evidence that everyone needs a little preparation, even if you don't expect to get a windfall."

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Stock Market Today: With Dow at Record High, Will the Climb Last?

Chart up exponential

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at a record high after nearly six years, as the stock market today (Tuesday) rallied enough to push the index up nearly 70 points at the open.

Just minutes after the opening bell, the Dow sailed passed its all-time high of 14,165 hit on Oct. 9, 2007. Less than a half-hour into the trading session the Dow roared higher by triple digits propelling benchmark to yet another record.

By 1 p.m. the Dow was up 146.99, or 1.04%, at 14,274.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 17.32 or 1.14%, to 1,542.52, leaving it in striking distance if its record close of 1,565 hit in 2007. The Nasdaq climbed 43.39 or 1.37% to 3,225.42.

Money has poured into stocks over the last several months as individuals have begun to feel more comfortable about the health of the economy - but can it last?

"The question is, can the Dow maintain these levels? The market is interested in risk-that's why the Dow is higher, why the riskier currencies are higher," Matthew Lifson, currency trader at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Princeton told Reuters.

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Does the Heinz Deal Mean Warren Buffett Has Become a Doomsday Prepper?

At $28 billion, the famed ketchup maker is valued at a rich 23x earnings. And Buffett won't even control management. Given Warren's long and storied history of value investing and a hands-on style, this purchase is bizarre. Unless...

As Volatility Hits New Lows, It Could Be Time to Sell

Since January 1st, the average daily price volatility of stocks has fallen more than 60%. It's the biggest straight-line drop in 82 years.
A lot of investors are rejoicing. After all, stocks have risen an average of 17% a year when volatility is this low, Bloomberg reports.

[rwc_chart_single name="VIX"]

There is, however, a dark side. Periods of abnormally low volatility are a warning bell. Namely, they tend to precede powerful reversals that can wipe out investors, as was the case in 2000 and early 2008, and at other key turning points in the past 100 years.
So today let's talk about what low volatility means for you - both in terms of upside and how to protect yourself in a downslide.
If nothing else, <a href="http://moneymorning.com/2013/02/22/as-volatility-hits-new-lows-it-could-be-time-to-sell/"you've got to see this chart...

Will the Year of the Snake Bring Another Stock Market Crash?

False Water Cobra

The Chinese New Year officially began Feb. 10, starting what some investors consider a very bad zodiac year. Not only does the year of the snake havethe worst stock market returns, but some of the darkest moments in U.S. history. Take a look.

As Insiders Head For the Exits, Do They Know Something "We" Don't Know?

According to the latest Vickers Weekly Insider Report, in the past week, there have been nine insider sales for every one buyer among NYSE stocks.
The last time insiders sold this aggressively was in early 2012 - right before the S&P 500 took a 10% header.
Does that mean there’s a correction in the works?
There are all kinds of legitimate reasons insiders sell their shares. But what concerns me is that insiders, particularly when you're talking about senior management types, typically know a lot more than the average investor. Further, they tend to have a consistent view of very specific longer term market conditions and, more importantly, its earnings potential.
Here’s what insiders know that you probably don’t

Stock Market Today: Will the Dow Keep Going Above 14,000?

The stock market today (Friday) hit a high not seen in more than five years when the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 14,000 for the first time since October 2007.

Less than an hour into trading the Dow spiked 140 points, or 1%, to hit 14,000.97. In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow rallied further, tacking on 150 points. The move leaves the Dow around 200 points, or 2%, from its all-time high of 14,198.10.

Friday's strong showing came on the heels of the Dow's strongest January (up 5.8%) since 1994.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which logged its best January since 1997, added 15 points, or just shy of 1%. The Nasdaq advanced 40.

The robust rally followed a lackluster report on the job market which gave "strength to the argument that the Fed will continue its bond buying program and keep rates low, which is also a positive for the stock market," Tom Schrader, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus told CNN Money.

That sentiment also gave bonds and precious metals a boost. Gold prices moved up $7 to $1,670. Silver added 37 cents to $31.94

A bevy of reports helped buoy markets Friday.

A Census Bureau report showed construction rose 0.9% in December, well above forecasts. The Institute for Supply Management's monthly manufacturing index rose to 53.1 in January, ahead of the expected 50.5 read, and the University of Michigan's sentiment index climbed to 73.8 last month, better than the expected 71.4.

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Paul Krugman May Be the World's Last Flat Earth Economist

Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Dr. Paul Krugman is at it again. He claimed earlier this week that fixing the deficit is important, but added that "doing it now would be disastrous." He also observed that the 10-year U.S. debt situation isn't really all that bad.
I don’t know how he can make that argument with a straight face.
For five years now, Dr. Krugman has argued that increasing U.S. government spending is vital to our nation's recovery. And for five years he's been dead wrong.
Dr. Krugman claims that "we" just haven't spent enough money... yet.
Here's why that makes him very dangerous...

Is the Obama Stock Market Rally the Real Deal?

Chart up exponential

At first glance, there can be no doubt that U.S. President Barack Obama has been good for the stock market.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has rallied by nearly 700 points - just shy of 86% - since the president's first Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009.

This is the best stock market performance for a presidential first term since World War II, even beating the 79.2% rally during President Bill Clinton's first term in the White House, from January 1993 to January 1997.

In fact, the only time stocks rallied more during a presidential first term was during Franklin Roosevelt's first term from March 4, 1933, to Jan. 20, 1937, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 245% off of Depression-era lows.

In a very broad sense, the condition of the stock market at the start of President Obama's first term in 2009 can be compared to the stock market in 1933. In both cases, stock prices had collapsed and were trading at generational lows when both presidents took office. In both cases, share prices rallied substantially off of the bottom as economic conditions improved.

But all this really proves is that the first leg of any rally is usually the strongest and most profitable.

As the S&P 500 is at a five-year high and is zeroing in on the 1,500 level for the third time in its history, one has to wonder if the Obama Rally is sustainable or are we just reverting to the mean?

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Stock Market Today Battles the Apple Effect

The stock market today was proof that one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch.

The Dow was up 55 points by 3:15, the S&P 500 up 1 - but the Nasdaq did slump 20 points, dragged down by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).

Thursday's advance came on the heels of the Dow's 67-point rise Wednesday which was stoked by a vote in the House of Representatives to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling through May 19.

Also propelling gains Wednesday were strong results from tech heavyweights Google INc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), which beat estimates and spiked $38.63 points higher, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), which rallied 4.4% after posting better-than-expected numbers.

To date, some 75% of the 134 companies in the S&P 500 Index that have reported results have handily beat expectations.

"People are just trying to digest all the earnings reports from the various companies. As long as the economy seems to get better the stock market will do well," Giri Cherukuri, portfolio manager who helps manage $3 billion at Oakbrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois, told Bloomberg.

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Stock Market Today: How Earnings Are Shaping the Week

Following gains to multi-year highs last week, the stock market today took a breather, after being closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 37 points. The benchmark hit its highest close since December 2007 last week. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's […]

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