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U.S. Economy

The Only Way to Fix the Broken U.S. Free Market Economy

U.S. free market economy

There's a reason America is floundering economically. There's a reason for the ever-widening divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots" in the United States.

Our country is no longer a free market, capitalist republic.

America has devolved into a socialist plutocracy as a result of the "financialization" of the economy.

Wealthy financial alchemists with the backing of paid-for White House administrations and Congressional lap-dogs engineer and manage the U.S. economy.

They also manage the public's access to money and credit for their speculative benefit when they win, and to taxpayers' detriment when they lose.

There's only one way out of this downward spiral...

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You Can Make Money in Stocks (Especially These Three) No Matter What Rates Do

stocks

It's commonly held wisdom that stock markets go to heck in a hand basket when interest rates rise. So, the thinking goes, you'd be better off selling ahead of time before that happens.

No doubt it's tempting to head for the hills with rates at historical lows, but it pays to do your research before you hit the "sell" button.

The three companies I'm going to show you today, for example, can actually benefit from rising rates.

First, let's take an "Econ 101" look at the impact interest rates can have on stocks, especially when rates start rising...

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What Markets Are Doing After Today's FOMC Meeting Minutes Release

8 20 14 fomc meeting

The three major indexes all dropped in unison shortly after the release of the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's July Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, reflecting Fed sentiment that accommodative monetary policy could end sooner than expected if improvements continue in the labor market.

While the Fed made no remarks on an explicit timetable for interest rate hikes, which is what the markets are observing attentively, the minutes did indicate that the situation in the labor market was looking healthier and improving quicker than expected.

Here's what the Fed's agenda will be for the rest of the year...

The New Way the Government Is Poisoning the American Dream

FHA

Private equity shops and institutional players are buying and packaging nonperforming mortgages from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and selling those mortgages to mutual funds and themselves.

On the surface, the HUD wants to minimize the cost to taxpayers. That's really nice of HUD and the FHA, thinking about us taxpayers.

But something else is behind this recent action, and it's poisoning the American Dream...

How Today's Stock Market Valuations Compare to 2000 – and What to Do About It

dividend stocks

Opinions on stock market valuations flow easily around Wall Street, too often without backing.

Looking at the typical measurement used to determine stock valuations, I'm increasingly cautious.

Indeed, some of the numbers are downright scary just now, both in nominal value and in terms of red-light factors blinking on the horizon.

When you put it all together, here are some of my concerns about our hard-earned gains, and what we can do to profit...Full Story

Startup Companies Are Changing the World (Infographic)

startup companies

Established companies get most of the attention, but startup companies are where the world gets its best ideas, and are the source of most of America's economic strength.

Startup companies are the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit that built America. Such innovators made the nation an industrial giant in the late nineteenth century with the rise of railroads and oil, and lives on today in the tech innovations of Silicon Valley.

This infographic explains why startups are so vital to the economy...

July Retail Sales Data Lowest in Six Months, Suggesting a Weak Q3

July retail sales data

July retail sales data was flat, only up 0.1% from June.

The dismal July read was the weakest since January.

Here’s how that fits in to the overall U.S. economic recovery – or lack of…

Short Selling Unpopular GameStop Stock (NYSE: GME) Hasn't Paid Off – Yet

Gamestop

GameStop stock (NYSE: GME) is a short selling favorite, and for good reason.

It's trying to navigate an online-centric marketplace as a physical retailer, and the short bets are playing off this knowledge to mount a strong position against the company.

But trying to profit off GME's downfall has proven harder than anticipated. Here's why...

Worst CEOs in America: The 7 Chief Executives Most Likely to Get Fired

worst-ceos-in-america

We all know what makes a good CEO - a leader that keeps shareholders happy with steady growth, fattening profits, and, for good measure, rising dividends.

The worst CEOs lose their grip on their companies and lose the faith of shareholders, customers, and, in the end, their board of trustees.

That's when they also tend to lose their jobs.

Here are seven struggling CEOs who still have their jobs - but probably won't for much longer.

Today's Stock Market News Abuzz from Brewing Lawsuit Over PFE's Lipitor

today's stock market news

Today's stock market news, August 8, 2014: U.S. stocks fell sharply in the final hour of trading Thursday despite declining jobless claims in the U.S. economy.

On Thursday, Moscow banned most food imports from Western nations in response to heightened economic sanctions. The deal isolates Russians from global trade to a level that hasn't been seen since the end of the Cold War, with specific imports from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union, and Norway banned.

Here are the top stories in stock market news today...

GOOGL, FOXA, PCLN, and CTRP Headline Stock Market News Today

stock market news today

Stock market news today, August 7, 2014: The U.S. stock market was sluggish yesterday (Wednesday), with benchmarks eking out modest gains.

Concerns about geopolitical pressures in Ukraine temporarily abated, but investors are taking notice of brewing economic problems in Europe. A slew of bad data suggests a choppy road ahead for the European Union, which has a combined GDP that is roughly $600 billion larger than the U.S. economy.

Here are the top stories in stock market news today (Thursday)…

July Jobs Report: Growth Slows, Slack Lingers in U.S. Labor Market

job-queue

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July, resulting in an unexpected rise in the unemployment rate, according to the July jobs report just released today (Friday) by the U.S. Department of Labor.

After surging (a revised) 298,000 in June, nonfarm payrolls increased by 209,000 last month. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2% from 6.1%.

Here are 12 key takeaways from the closely watched July jobs report…

Stock Market News Today: Another Fine for BAC; Dow Sheds 31 Points After Fed Meeting

stock market news_BAC

Stock market news, July 30, 2014: U.S. markets failed to rally this morning despite news that the economy grew by 4% in the second quarter and ADP reported that private-sector employers added 218,000 jobs in July.

The markets remained mixed until the afternoon, awaiting announcement from the conclusion of the two-day FOMC meeting. The Dow Jones lost more than 40 points after the Fed said it would cut bond purchases again, but offered little insight into future rate hikes.

Now, here are the top stock market news stories from today...

S&P 500 Dings New Record High; Fast Food Stocks, GM, and PBYI in Focus

S&P 500

Stock market close, July 23, 2014: The S&P 500 today (Thursday) gained 0.18% to set a new record high. The Nasdaq also gained, but the Dow Jones Industrial Index slipped. The International Monetary Fund slashed the 2014 growth forecast for the U.S. economy, cutting the expected growth rate from 2.0% to 1.7% for the year. It cited a slowdown in the first half of the year due to winter weather and decreased spending. The agency predicts the U.S. economy will grow by more than 3% for the balance of 2014.

Here’s the scorecard from today’s trading session, and the top stories that affected the stock market today...

How the Growing Bitcoin Market Will Cause a $3.4 Trillion Disruption

Bitcoin market

A tsunami of disruption - courtesy of Bitcoin - is headed directly for several sectors of the financial services industry.

Some of these companies may adapt to a world in which the digital currency plays a major role, but most are likely to become Bitcoin market victims - companies that will struggle and possibly disappear altogether.

This could have a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy, as 20% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) derives from the financial sector - an eye-popping $3.4 trillion.

These companies can’t afford to wait much longer…

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