Dow Jones futures today, May 29, 2014: Dow Jones futures pointed to a 0.07% gain ahead of open today (Thursday). This morning, the U.S. federal government announced that first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) slipped by 1% - much more than the 0.4% expected contraction.
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Stock market today, May 28, 2014: The stock market today (Wednesday) ended its streak of four-straight session gains. U.S. Treasury prices surged, putting the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield at its lowest level this year on a closing basis.
Here's the scorecard from this session:
DOW: 16,634.40, -0.25%
S&P 500: 1,909.77, -0.11%
NASDAQ: 4,225.08, -0.28%
Dow Jones today, May 28, 2014: The Dow Jones Today (Wednesday) will likely continue to benefit from positive economic data released earlier in the week, including growing consumer confidence and expansion in the U.S. service sector.
Tuesday saw the Dow close up nearly 70 points, while the S&P 500 hit a new record.
Stock market news today, May 27, 2014: The big stock market news today (Tuesday) was the S&P 500's climb to an intraday record. Fueling U.S. stock markets' rise were positive economic data, including growing consumer confidence, and expansion in the U.S. service sector.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
DOW: 16,675.50, +0.42%
S&P 500: 1,911.91, +0.60%
NASDAQ: 4,237.07, +1.22%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped Friday after new home sales in the United States surged to a three-and-a-half-year high. The S&P 500 closed above 1,900 for the first time ever.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained Thursday on positive news in the housing market. Data from the National Association of Realtors indicated a 1.3% increase in home sales in April. This is the first increase of the year.
Also contributing to the Dow's rise were abating concerns about the Chinese manufacturing sector.
We're sharing this edition of Private Briefing with you because it contains some of Bill's best insight into what turns good companies into great ones - and how you can profit from them. Bill's readers profit from analysis like this all the time...
During the 30 years I've spent as a business journalist and financial columnist, I've developed a long list of personal axioms that have helped me identify "Best of Breed" investments.
These axioms touch on such topic areas as finance, marketing, intellectual property, and even competitive threats. But some of the most important of my personal investment aphorisms have to do with leadership and a company's management team.
And leadership starts with the CEO.
As one of my precepts holds, "A good CEO can create a very strong company. But a great CEO can create an empire."
Just like these... Full Story
Last year, when I shared my five secrets for uncovering wealth-building tech stocks, I also told you about a sixth "rule" you can use to find the big-time profit opportunities that are flying under Wall Street's radar screen.
I refer to these as "special-situation" investments because they tend to be companies that are grappling with unique challenges. Because of those challenges, analysts tend to ignore these stocks.
And that's good for us.
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 at the end of the day, its financial unit is holding GE back, and that isn't likely to change any time soon.
Let me explain.
ABB will integrate Ventyx into its power-systems division, allowing it to provide modern smart grid software to grid operators who want to run a more efficient distribution system. The deal represents electrical engineering companies' need to prepare energy management networks to handle an increasing supply of renewable sources, like wind and solar.
"The big advantage for energy companies, utilities and industrial customers is that they will now have a single supplier of enterprise-wide information technology platforms and power automation systems," said ABB Chief Executive Officer Joe Hogan. "The advantage for our shareholders is a cash-generating acquisition in an exciting growth market, with a strong management team, a highly complementary offering and geographic scope, and an attractive return on capital employed."
Both clean energy companies and a skilled workforce are heading overseas, where government policies are creating a more welcoming and promising market for clean energy products.
Take Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar, Inc (Nasdaq: ESLR). In 2008, it used $58 million in government aid to open a new Massachusetts factory to build silicon wafers and cells and assemble solar panels. But in November 2009, it announced the assembly of solar panels would be moved to Wuhan, China, where solar panel manufacturing will cost far less than in the United States.
Just two weeks ago, every one of the afore-mentioned stocks looked terrible, exhibiting intense apathy amid slow, grinding declines. Then the skies parted, and suddenly the sun is shining on these shares once again.
That's why U.S. stocks are off to a strong March start - already up 4.1% from the end of February. And don't forget, a year ago at about this time (March 9, 2009), the market reached its nadir: The Standard & Poor's 500 Index is up 69.98% since that time.
Here's why the shift seems so abrupt. The markets are now in a tug of war between two forces:
- On the plus side are good fourth-quarter earnings reports related to an improving economy.
- On the negative side - as a friend at a major macro hedge fund described it last week - are "frigid winds blowing across the credit icebergs."
The budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 reflects the administration's struggle to find a balance between containing the spiraling federal deficit with the need to boost the economy and create jobs - both of which figure to be political bombshells in the upcoming 2010 elections.
"We're trying to accomplish a soft landing in terms of our fiscal trajectory," Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said at a press briefing.
But the budget is certain to add fuel to the debate over the size and scope of government. As expected, Republicans railed against the administration's big spending programs and tax increases.