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Unheeded Signs of the Times

Old pocket barometer altimeter

There was news last week of two negative indicators we haven't seen since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008: the low level of the inventory-to-sales ratio - a key measure of future corporate profits - andretail sales falling, in February, for the third consecutive month.

We also learned the Atlanta Fed lowered its real-time 1Q GDP estimate to a moribund 0.6%, while jobless claims were back above 300,000.Lumber sales - animportant leading economic indicator - plunged, and technology bellwether Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) lowered its revenue estimate for the first quarter by $1 billion on plunging PC sales.

On Thursday, March 12, just as we learned this discouraging news, thestock market saw its largest rally in months, with the S&P 500 jumping by 1.24% (25.31 points)....

Why is this not surprising?

Apple Watch Could Be the iPad of 2015

apple watch

Monday's presentation by Apple boss Tim Cook revealed that the Apple Watch is a less useful, less compelling, and less user friendly version of the iPhone. But people also sniggered at the iPad back in 2010, when it wasn't clear why users would want a device that was less useful than a laptop and had less connectivity than a mobile phone.

Avid fans flocked to the iPad nonetheless, and they'll probably drive demand for the watch - meaning Apple's unusual dual stature as the biggest cap company on the planet and a doyenne of hipsters will remain intact.

Why an Apple Virtual Reality Device Is Good for Investors (AAPL)

Apple virtual reality

Evidence is piling up that an Apple virtual reality device is in the works.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has posted several job listings in recent months seeking engineers with knowledge of virtual reality. A patent that surfaced last month described a piece of virtual reality headgear.

But is it a good idea for Apple to pursue virtual reality?

In this video Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald delivers his verdict on Apple virtual reality and makes a surprising suggestion for Google Inc....

Dow Jones Today Falls on Weak Earnings from MSFT, CAT

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones today tumbled 291 points amid poor earnings reports and conflicting economic data ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcement on Wednesday.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) were two of the day's worst-performing stocks. Microsoft had its worst day since July 2013.

Here are the other top stories from the stock market today...

Tech's "Virtuous Cycle" Trend Will Give Us Profits for Years

technology

My wife Robin is a financial advisor and a CPA.

She also possesses one of the sharpest minds I've ever seen.

That's probably why she has such an affinity for jigsaw puzzles. Back in upstate New York, when we were both attending business school together at night, there was nothing she liked more to "decompress" during the lull between the semesters than to do a jigsaw puzzle.

And the greater the number of pieces - and the more complex the puzzle - the more she liked it.

Truth be told, I view the investing process in much the same way that my wife looks at jigsaw puzzles.

There's something really gratifying about taking hundreds of disparate "pieces" - in this case, the reams of financial, economic, and political data that's available at any given time - and shrewdly assembling them into a "picture" that makes sense or conveys beauty.

Or that points the way to untold wealth...

You'll Be the Winner of This Blue Chip Battle

Blue Chip Even in the fast-paced world of high tech, 10 weeks is a short amount of time. And yet, as recently as early September, many industry analysts were saying Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) had lost its innovative edge in the global smartphone war. That's when the Silicon Valley legend launched the iPhone 6 with two larger […]

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Amazon Local Register Faces New Competition in Mobile Payment Wars (Nasdaq: AMZN)

On Tuesday at its gala event, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) unveiled its mobile payment device, the "Apple Pay." It will compete with Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), which just launched its own swipe-to-pay device, the "Amazon Local Register," in August, and current market leader Square.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of how Local Register, Pay, and Square stack up...

Make (Big) Money in Any Market

So what if the market drops a little from time to time? That's inevitable, and in the long term, healthy.

The fact remains we're in a bull market. We have been since March 2009.

But now, especially with some early 2014 swings, investors may be wondering.

How long does this bull have to run and what should we do next?

I don't have a crystal ball... but I do have 30 years' experience - starting in 1982 on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, then running a big bank's hedge trading, then a Wall Street trading desk, and finally managing my own hedge funds.

I know many investors stick to a buy-and-hold strategy or more actively trade. There's a place for both to maximize this market.

But before you can start making money in the market, you need to know what's really happening...

Obama Brings the Stick to Apple-Samsung Patent War

Funny glasses

President Barack Obama added an unexpected twist to the patent wars when he took the extraordinarily rare step of vetoing the International Trade Commission's own trade sanctions against Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) last week.

The trade commission had ruled that Apple violated some of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd's patents, and the commission was set to ban outright several key Apple products, such as the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the iPad 2 and 3G models - all sold by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), among others.

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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...

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