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Is Your Vehicle on the "Most Hackable" List?

My first car was a bone-stock 1929 Ford Model A coupe that has been in the family since it was new.

My late grandfather – a machinist on the Lehigh Valley Railroad – drove the car as his everyday vehicle until the late 1940s. My Dad restored the car in his mid-teens and drove it through his high-school years.

And I did the same…

  • U.S. Stocks

  • With "Risk Off" Trades Waning, U.S. Stocks Could Be Ready to Reverse Course There are new signs that institutional traders are preparing for a change in direction of the U.S. dollar and European euro that may have big implications for U.S. stocks.

    For months, the winning trade was to short stocks, the euro, and commodities, while buying gold, bonds and the dollar. Commentators labeled this the "risk off" trade since gold and bonds were seen as safe-haven assets. But when crowd mentality is at work, and sentiment - not fundamentals - is driving the bids, there really isn't such a thing as a "safe" trade. It's all speculation.

    Take yesterday (Tuesday), for example: After surging 131 points, or 1.4%, out of the gate, the Dow Jones Industrial Average relinquished most of its advance to close just 16 points higher at 9,702.98. Meanwhile the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which had climbed 1.5% to 1,038 in early trading, ended the day just 0.18% higher.

    Read More...
  • History Shows Stock Market Plunge May Just Be Par for the Course Although the stock market plunge last week was certainly unsettling, history and a slew of positive leading indicators show that this may just be part of a normal pattern with better news ahead.

    Stocks were hammered on Tuesday as a negative revision to an economic report out of China and fears over European bank funding set off a global firestorm of selling. A very weak consumer confidence report didn't help matters.

    The major U.S. stock indices fell through critical support levels, with the S&P 500 returning to levels first reached last August. That's almost an entire year of stock market appreciation out the window.

    In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.7%, the S&P 500 lost 3.1%, the NASDAQ lost 3.9%, and the Russell 2000 lost 4%. Large-cap stocks outside the United States fell 3.5%, while emerging market stocks fell 4%. Some of the European exchanges fell the most, including iShares MCSI Spain Index ETF (NYSE: EWP), down 5%, and iShares MCSI Switzerland Index Fund ETF (NYSE: EWL), down 6%.

    Click here to see how the stock market plunge fits a historical pattern... Read More...
  • High-Yield Hangover: Cash Pouring Into Junk-Bond Funds May Signal Stormy Seas For Stocks Investors are plowing money into junk-bond funds, which leveraged borrowers at private equity funds are using to pay dividends to themselves and to buy out more public companies.

    The huge-and-growing overhang of debt-laden portfolio companies that private-equity shops want to take public - when combined with additional leveraged deals in the pipeline - will keep a lid on U.S. stock prices and could even spark a sell-off for stocks in both the United States and Europe.

    Let me explain...

    To understand how this push into junk bonds is magnifying stock-market risk, please read on... Read More...
  • The Sovereign Debt Crisis: Bad For Europe, Good For U.S. Stocks For several months now, we've been talking about the post-financial-crisis "new world order" that's emerged from the speculative excesses, recessionary realities and regulatory breakdowns of recent years. This new world order has created a world of lucrative new profit opportunities - that are governed by a new set of profit rules.

    In terms of that whole new rules/new profit opportunities paradigm, here's one that may surprise you: The ongoing European crisis could end up as a net positive for U.S. stocks.

    Let me explain...

    To see how Europe's travails can aid U.S. stocks, please read on... Read More...
  • Don't Give Up on U.S. Stocks Just Yet There's no denying that bearish investors have made their case in recent weeks. They are legitimately afraid that the economies of the United States and Europe will fade so much in the next few months that they will sink back into recessions punctuated by credit blowups and a resumption of a bear market for U.S. stocks.

    Still, the simple fact that there are a few economic boogey-men lurking behind each suspect piece of data doesn't mean that investors should run screaming away from stocks.

    In fact, if you take the time to listen to the opposite point of view before you make up your mind about the direction the economy is headed, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    Read More...
  • Four Factors to Consider Before Determining Your Long-Term View on U.S. Stocks Stocks rose worldwide over the past week -- ranging from +2% in U.S. big caps to +6% ingold -- as investors swelled with sudden courage in response to positive reports on Chinese economy and glimmers of hope that European governments can get their financial houses in order.

    The week's results erased four weeks of losses, including the despairing session that ensued on June 7 after a disappointing report on U.S. employment. Meanwhile, the result of the past 35 trading days, or seven calendar weeks, are still largely negative, ranging from a loss of 5.5% for U.S. stocks and -8.5% for Europe. Only gold stocks have eluded the smoke monster, rising 7% in the span.

    The variation in one-week and one-month results illustrate perfectly how investors are showing that they arehopeful but unconvincedthat recent strength in gross domestic product (GDP) growth and corporate income advances are sustainable, and therefore won't buy stocks heavily until prices are so cheap that they discount worst-case scenarios. In other words, they want a high risk premium before buying -- sort of like demanding a 72-month warranty before buying an expensive car.

    To read about the four factors you should consider before investing click here.


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  • 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...