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    Burger King stock

    The S&P 500 recently hit a new high as it drove through the 2,000 mark for the first time in history on the day that Burger King announced that it would purchase iconic Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons.

    Thus far in 2014 there have been $2.3 trillion of announced mergers & acquisitions (M&A) transactions around the world - $1.16 trillion in the United States alone - and undoubtedly there are more on the horizon.

    Indeed, M&A activity is a major catalyst for the booming stock market and is good for investors.

    Unless it's really a sign of a dying bull... If that's the case, we're in some big trouble.

    Here's what's got me concerned, and why we need to exercise caution right now...

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Bull Market

Stocks That Pay Dividends: 17 New Increases and Special Payouts

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On the hunt for income, investors continue to pile on to top stocks that pay dividends, helping to drive the price of those stocks higher.

But it's not just steady income that's making dividend-paying stocks so attractive right now. Apprehension over the future direction of U.S. markets amid a five-plus-year bull run is another key reason.

Following are the 17 companies raising payouts during the week ending July 11, 2014.

These Signs of Market Trouble Are Looming

Editor's Note: By now you're familiar with Michael E. Lewitt of The Credit Strategist. We love his work. Today, he has a special report on current, troubling conditions at this late stage - and a dire warning for investors who may be unprepared. Here's Michael...

"Markets are priced to perfection...

Signs of late cycle behavior and thinking are abundant...

The latest example came from BMO's strategist Brian Belski, who published a report arguing that the bull market in stocks will continue for another ten years with annual gains of 10.5%.

This is the type of report that appears at market peaks. Despite the fact that it was dressed up in statistics and produced by a respectable brokerage house, this isn't a serious piece of research; it is nonsense and anyone who takes it seriously and invests based on its conclusions deserves the losses that will follow."

The above is excerpted from a recent report I produced for my Credit Strategist readers. I wanted to share with you some of my thinking on rapidly coalescing signs that point to growing cracks in the façade of a healthy market... Full Story

This Is the Bull Market Your Kids Will Be Talking About

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With U.S. stocks at all-time highs in 2014, folks are wondering where prices can go from here. Granted, there will be periodic corrections and temporary market downturns.

But I believe the conditions now in place could foster a bull market that could last 18 to 20 years, with much of it fueled by tech investing.

And the investors who take advantage of it now will have a shot at life-changing wealth...

How to Invest in an Aging Bull Market

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both routinely making record highs, figuring out how to invest in this aging bull market has gotten increasingly challenging.

But not impossible.

"There's still plenty of upside if you know where to look," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "The game has become more one of choosing the right stocks than it is worrying about what the broader index is doing."

Fitz-Gerald says investors need to focus on three specific things...

An Old Institution Dies… and a New Bull Market Is Born

bull market

After 117 years, the current London Silver Fix is shutting down.

In fact, we know it's going to happen on August 14th for certain.

Free marketeers are excited; for years many have maintained that silver prices are being manipulated.

Ted Butler, for one, publishes commentary with a special focus on the silver market. Ted's likely the most outspoken observer of daily silver futures price machinations anywhere. I did an extensive interview with him on this very topic in 2012.

Now comes confirmation that the London Silver Fix is finally closing shop.

That in itself isn't proof of manipulation, but the circumstances certainly raise some intriguing questions.

There are clues from its history worth studying - and profits to be made from its demise…

Full Story

Black Monday Stock Market Crash Returns to Haunt 2014

Stock Market crash 2014

Chart watchers have noticed an eerie pattern - the bull market of 1982, which ended in the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987, looks way too much like the current bull market.

And while no one can predict the markets for certain, the chart lines for the two bull markets have given many market analysts pause, including Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald.

Even if we don't get a full-blown crash, a correction is long overdue.

Here's what investors need to do now.

What Today's Housing Market Numbers Really Mean

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Today's mixed numbers from the Case-Shiller price index have some prognosticators wondering if the housing market has plateaued.

U.S. home prices posted their largest annual gain since 2005 and increased 11.3% in Q4 compared to the previous year. However, growth slowed toward the end of the year, particularly in December.

To continue reading, please click here...

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Frank Holmes: Trying to Stop a Bull Market Has Risks

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U.S. stocks have been on a tear. The S&P 500 Index has climbed a surprising 23% so far this year, as a global synchronized recovery takes shape and funds flow back to equities.

As I often say, investors take risks when they try to stop a bull run, and plenty of data suggest you might regret taking that action this year.

Consider the optimistic views from Joshua Brown, i.e. The Reformed Broker, as we have "all the rocket fuel we need for an explosion." There's no election, no war in Syria, and no taper talk. Banks are highly capitalized, stocks around the world are cheap and hedge funds' short positions are the highest since January, says Brown.

To continue reading, please click here...

Why this Ivy League Professor Sees Dow Hitting 18,000

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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.  

To continue reading, please click here...

The Looming Bear Market: What You Can do That Washington Can't and Wall Street Won't

I just finished a battery of media appearances on Fox Business, Bloomberg, BNN and CNBC Asia, and without exception I was asked about two things: President Barack Obama's jobs bill and the U.S. Federal Reserve's "QE3."

The first thing investors and analysts alike want to know is whether or not the president's jobs bill will work. The answer to that question is "no" - not as it stands, anyway.

The second question is whether or not Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will further extend the central bank to help the economy. Well, I do think the Fed will intervene, but I don't believe for a second that the central bank's intervention will help the U.S. economy.

As a result, we're likely to see stocks enter into a bear market and retest their March 2009 lows.

I know that's a terrifying thought. But to be perfectly honest, there's nothing President Obama or Bernanke can do at this point. If companies don't want to spend the $2 trillion worth of cash they're hoarding, there's very little the government can do to encourage them to loosen their purse-strings.

That said, I want to give you five specific steps to take to protect yourself from the looming bear market, preserve your sanity - and even profit.

But before I get to that, you need to understand the dangers that are fast approaching.

A Roadblock to Recovery

President Obama and Chairman Bernanke can toss all the money they want at the economy. But no amount of spending can change the fact that we need the following three things to get our market moving again. They are:

  1. Sustained demand.
  2. A solution to the European sovereign debt crisis.
  3. And a bottom in housing prices.
As it currently stands, the U.S. economy will be lucky to log 1% growth this year, which is even lower than the anemic 1.5% I predicted in my annual forecast in January.

That's pathetic for a nation that spent more than $1.4 trillion of borrowed money on "stimulus." This lackluster growth is also evidence that the Obama administration's $800 billion stimulus plan - and the Fed's two rounds of quantitative easing - did absolutely nothing to salvage our economy.

Citizens are scared silly. Businesses are uncertain. They're uncertain of regulatory changes, uncertain of taxes, and uncertain about their overall economic environment. So they're doing what rational people do when confronted with the unknown: They're hunkering down.

And with good reason.

The typical U.S. family got poorer during the past 10 years due to a decade-long income decline. Median household income fell to $49,995 last year, and is now 7% below where it was in 2000. The number of people living in poverty has risen to 15.1%, the highest level since the U.S. Census began tracking this information in 1959.

It should also be noted that a large portion of that decline is directly attributable to inflation, which the Fed continues to assert is "transitory."

Out of the Fire...

You may be holding out hope that the president's jobs plan will help turn things around - but it won't.



To continue reading, please click here...

It Pays to Prepare for a Stock-Market Reversal – Even With New Bull-Market Highs

In a stunning display of determination (or simple greed), U.S. stock prices are once again at new highs - despite problems in the Middle East, out-of-control government deficits throughout the world, an increasingly inflated China and the looming end to the U.S. Federal Reserve's free-money boondoggle, otherwise known as "QE2."

Should you be worried about a stock-market reversal?

I know that I am.

But here's the thing: While there's no question that a stock-market breakdown could derail the best of investing intentions, it doesn't have to derail your financial future. More to the point, if you understand when stock-market "turning points" are likely to occur, you can establish positions or trades ahead of time that will yield profits when those expected transitions actually come to pass.

Read More…

The U.S. Bull Market: At Two Years and Counting, Here's How to Invest

The current bull market in U.S. stocks celebrated its second birthday on March 9.

With human beings, a 2-year-old is a lusty toddler with a lot more growing to do. For a bull-market-run in stocks, however - particularly a bull market as vigorous as this one has been - the two-year mark is a good time to start searching for some serious signs of aging.

Don't get me wrong: The U.S. bull market could continue - indeed, it probably will continue for some time to come.

But we are almost certainly much closer to its end than we are to its March 9, 2009 day of birth.

And that reality means that we need to invest in a certain way.

To see Hutchinson's full strategy, please read on…

Read More…

Can the Bull Market in Stocks Get Running as Uncertainty Recedes?

Stocks rose briskly in the second half of last week as investors cheered the return of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) shares to the Street and the return of Irish budget officials to the debt negotiating table. It's amazing how quickly people forget what a horrible company GM was and what a mess Dublin has made of governance. In a twinkling of an eye, all was forgiven. Must be a bull market.

To find out whether or not the bull market still has legs, read on...

What to Expect on Wall Street as Nervous Investors Navigate a Slowing Economic Recovery

Wall Street was hit hard last week with gloomy data that has kept buying interest stalled and investors spooked over a slow economic recovery.

Stocks slipped over the past week after investors learned from government reports that jobs are getting scarcer than straw hats in a wind tunnel, and it isn't always sunny in Philadelphia. 

The big-cap indexes lost around 1%, while safe haven assets like gold and the U.S. dollar were buoyant. The best investment around for the week was the U.S. long bond, up 2%.

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To read what’s in store after last week’s gloomy data, click here

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