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How to Rent a Fortune

With a 37% gain in The Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) since late July, we’ve done really well with our targeted investment in real estate.

And with very quick gains of 9% in Brazilian-food processor BRF SA (NYSE ADR: BRFS), 5.2% in South American agricultural play Adecoagro SA (NYSE: AGRO) and 1.6% in high-tech agribusiness player  Neogen Corp. (NasdaqGS: NEOG), we’re doing well with our plays on (pockets of) accelerating U.S. inflation.

Today we’re going to combine the two concepts and employ a very simple formula we believe will add to your profits…

  • U.S. Stocks

  • Buy, Sell or Hold: Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) is a High-Powered Engine Maker That's Revving Up Its Revenue Nestled in the heartland of America, Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) is an icon of American manufacturing done right. And now that it's being powered by new technology, emerging markets growth and new regulatory standards, the company is ready to book serious profits.

    Founded almost 100 years ago and publicly traded since 1957, Cummins dominates the diesel truck engine market in the United States and is strongly increasing its international presence.

    The high quality, efficiency and durability of the engines Cummins designs and builds are the foundation of the company's leadership. And its strong and disciplined cost controls, inventory, and receivable management are vastly superior to that of its competition.

    Read More...
  • Bull Market Update: U.S. Stocks Are Hanging By a Thread – But It's a Tough Thread If you ask me, the current bull market in U.S. stocks is hanging by a thread.

    In fact, a decline that takes the Standard & Poor's 500 Index down below the 1,040 level - roughly 7% below where it closed yesterday (Wednesday) - would probably murder the bull-market case for stocks.

    But until that decline actually occurs, don't rule the bulls out for the count.

    That "thread" may be tougher than you think.

    To see what's in store for U.S. stocks, please read on... Read More...
  • Moribund Sentiment Is Jeopardizing the U.S. Stock Market The U.S. stock market is really at a critical juncture right now.

    I'm all for being optimistic at the prospect of a super-oversold condition amid rampant pessimism. But bulls need to take charge of the controls of this sputtering plane. But now that they failed to yank the stick higher before the February lows, the bottom is really in danger of falling out.

    Most corrosive for the major indexes' value at present are large-cap energy and bank stocks, which have fallen 7% as a group amid a hex from the BP PLC (NYSE ADR: BP) blowout and financial regulation clampdown.

    You would think that a cut in oil supply from the Gulf of Mexico would provide a strong undertow for energy, at least, but investors have been acting like industrial demand will grind to a halt in coming months.

    June historically has been the second worst month of the year, after September. But after suffering through the worst May since 1940, and bearish sentiment on overdrive, it's fair to expect opportunistic investors to dive in now and take advantage of bargains.

    Read More...
  • Is the Plunge in Commodities a Bear Market Signal for Stocks? The biggest slump in commodity prices since 2008 is undermining confidence on Wall Street and fueling speculation that a new bear market has been born.

    Despite forecasts for accelerating economic growth and higher prices, commodities, with the notable exception of gold, are taking a big hit.

    The Journal of Commerce (JOC) Commodity Index that tracks the growth rate of steel, cattle hides, tallow and burlap plunged 57% in May, the most since October 2008 - something that gave analysts a sense of dj vu.

    Read More...
  • Why U.S. Stocks Will Rise Above Weak Growth in Global Markets After another lousy week, it's official: Global markets have suffered the worst late-spring setback since 1940 -- a May-June period when the Germans invaded the Netherlands, then marched into Paris, and Italy declared war on France and Great Britain. Just like that, seven decades ago, World War II was on, and markets went into freefall.

    If stocks are as good at anticipating global calamity this time as they were in that horrible spring 70 years ago, we may be in for a terrible second half.

    It's a bitter irony that so many of those old enmities are flaring up again on the Continent at this critical time. The European Union was created two decades ago at behest of the former Allies to prevent the Continent from sliding into armed conflict again, and the euro currency was later launched to cement the new political relationship.

    But many centuries of deep-seated distrust are hard to negate with diplomacy and idealistic optimism, and now we see Europeans back at each others' throats in a flurry of recriminations over who is to blame for outrageous deficits, debts and defaults in the Eurozone -- and more importantly, who should pay for them.

    To read about how Europe's turmoil could affect the U.S. economy, click here. Read More...
  • Two Big Reasons to Believe the U.S. Stock Market Will Bounce Back There's been a lot of cheerless news coming out of Europe lately, and that's taken a toll on the U.S. stock market. But I want to take this opportunity to offer up some positive points and remind investors that it's still too early to declare the bull-market dead, and even more premature to fret over a new bear market beginning.

    There are two key considerations that support a continued rise in U.S. stocks:

    To find out why it's too early to give up on stocks, read on... Read More...
  • Question of the Week: Readers Respond to Money Morning's Market Volatility Query The Dow Jones Industrial Average last week dipped below 10,000 for the first time since February as a month of market volatility and price declines continued. Analysts predicted volatility to continue into June as government exit strategies begin and liquidity dwindles.

    The zooming rebound in U.S. stock prices from their March 9, 2009 bottom - the strongest rebound since the Great Depression - has been stymied by concerns over the Eurozone debt contagion, financial reform, the market flash crash and new political sparks in Korea. Figures show that the bulls are still hanging around - on the sidelines - but the bears have been calling the shots during a month that has seen stock prices fall more than 8%.

    "I think it's a question of pick your poison," Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital, told MarketWatch. "The market was poised for a very severe correction and whether it's southern Mediterranean countries or worries about German banks, you can pick your catalyst." Read More...
  • Sell in May – But Don't Go Away From the U.S. Stock Market If you embrace the old Wall Street adage "Sell in May and Go Away" as an investing strategy, you could end up with a bad case of the U.S. stock market summer blues, a new research study has found.

    That concept is based on the notion that the May-to-November span provides a weak environment for U.S. stock market investors. According to Jon Markman, a best-selling author and contributing writer to Money Morning, that viewpoint started gaining traction in late April. And why not? The major U.S. indexes were already up a lot more than anyone expected, making that a seemingly convenient point to take profits.

    Those who didn't follow that strategy probably now wish that they had.

    Read More...
  • We Want to Hear From You: How Are You Responding to Market Volatility? The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped below 10,000 Tuesday for the first time since February as a month of market volatility and price declines continued.

    The zooming rebound in U.S. stock prices from their March 9, 2009 bottom - the strongest rebound since the Great Depression - has been stymied by concerns over the Eurozone debt contagion, financial reform, the market flash crash and new political sparks in Korea. Data shows that the bulls are still hanging around - on the sidelines - but the bears have been calling the shots during a month that has seen stock prices fall more than 8%.

    "I think it's a question of pick your poison," Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital, told MarketWatch. "The market was poised for a very severe correction and whether it's southern Mediterranean countries or worries about German banks, you can pick your catalyst."

    Read More...
  • The Real Story Behind Last Week's Stock-Market Panic Thursday's U.S. stock market trading session qualified as a genuine stock-market "panic." They're rare, fortunately, so they're memorable.

    You can say you were there.

    According to the volume analysts at Lowry Research Corp., this stock market panic was on par with the mini crash of October 1989, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 6.9% in a single day. But it wasn't on par with the famed session of October 1987, when the Dow plunged 22.6% in a day.

    For an in-depth analysis of last week's U.S. stock market panic, please read on...

    Read More...
  • European Debt Contagion Puts U.S. Stock Market on Rollercoaster Ride Panic over European debt contagion sent the U.S. stock market on a wild ride today (Thursday), at one point sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly below 10,000 for the first time since November 2009 before the market turned again.

    The Dow was down nearly 1,000 points at 9,869.62 at about 2:40 p.m. EDT when it suddenly rebounded. The Dow ended up closing at 10,517 down 350.97 points or 3.2 % on the day. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 2319 down 82.65 points or 3.4%, and the Standard & Poors 500 Index closed at 1127 down 37.85 points or 3.2%.

    The trading left the Dow down 6.1% from its yearly high of 11,205, set less than two weeks ago on April 26.

    Read More...
  • The Bull Market Will Pick Up Pace When Retail Investors Finally Climb Aboard Data shows that retail investors have not yet bought into the bull market. But when they eventually do regain their confidence, the market will soar to new heights.

    Consider this: Trim Tabs Investment Research, a boutique data analysis firm in the San Francisco Bay area that's popular with hedge fund managers, last week declared that it had turned fully bullish from cautiously bullish on U.S. stocks. The firm thus boosted its recommended equity exposure to 100% long from 50% long.

    The reason for Trim Tabs' change of posture: Its unique blend of macroeconomic data shows the U.S. economy making a gradual recovery, corporate buybacks are picking up during earnings season, and demand indicators are increasingly bullish.

    Let's spend some time understanding their point of view, as the firm is influential among large institutions.

    Read More...
  • European Debt Crisis Raises Caution Flags But U.S. Economy Won't Be Derailed Stocks somersaulted into the red early last week in the wake of European debt downgrades, rising revulsion over the prospect of a bailout of Athens and a broad re-pricing of risk. Breadth was negative, the number of new highs shrank and number of new lows swelled. Financials tumbled and retailers stumbled. Caution flags are rising.

    Click Here to Read More on how European Debt Will Affect the Markets

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  • The Only U.S. Automaker on Track, Ford Posts $2.1 Billion First-Quarter Earnings Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) beat Wall Street estimates by posting first-quarter earnings of $2.1 billion and said it will deliver a "solid profit" for all of 2010, a year earlier than Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally had projected previously.

    Reaping the benefits from a recovering auto market and higher prices for cars and trucks, Ford chalked up its fourth consecutive quarter of net income, the longest streak since 2005.

    Ford's U.S. deliveries surged by 37%, more than twice the industry wide average through March, boosting domestic market share at the fastest pace in 33 years. Ford was the only U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy in 2009.

    First-quarter revenue rose 15% to $28.1 billion, and net income after one-time charges was 50 cents a share, handily beating the projected adjusted earnings of 31 cents a share compiled by Bloomberg . The Dearborn, Michigan based company posted a net loss of $1.43 billion, or 60 cents, a year earlier.

    Read More...
  • Here's Why U.S. Stocks May be Headed Higher U.S. stocks were back up to their old tricks last week, as volatility waned and financial, industrial and retail stocks waxed. It was a week in which risk was in fashion - until Friday, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hammered Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) with fraud charges related to the subprime-mortgage crisis. With that, playing defense was considered offensive.

    Leading the way forward were companies that are the ultimate in beta and hopefulness - such as beaten-down bond insurer Ambac Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: ABK), which rose 60%, beaten-down car parts maker American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AXL), up 10%, beaten-up retailer Tuesday Morning Corp. (Nasdaq: TUES), up 24%; and beaten shoemaker Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX), up 20%. We're not talking, here, about investors who last year bought the shares of companies that were left for dead; these stocks might actually be worth something in an economic turnaround.

    Read More...