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We'll Tell You When It's Time to Tap Tesla

A week ago today, in a strategy story aimed at helping you survive and thrive in today’s whipsaw markets, Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald told us to put Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) on our “watch lists” for a likely future purchase.

“BP, Tesla is a definite ‘shopping list’ stock,” Keith told me back then. “We’ve been nibbling at it here, and have played it successfully several times. But it’s not yet at the point where I’m ready to jump all the way in. I think my rationale behind Tesla remains upbeat. I mean, you’ve got a real winning combination here – a disruptive sales model, a CEO who’s the most innovative guy on the planet, all the capital in the world that can be brought to bear. I don’t give a rat’s [tail] that New Jersey won’t let the company sell its cars there. There are much bigger opportunities. Wait ’til you see what the company does with China.”

Sometimes I think Keith has a “crystal ball” in his hip pocket…

  • Featured Story

    Monday's STOCK Act Vote Could End a Major Congressional Perk

    Members of Congress could be one step closer this week to losing one of their most profitable perks, thanks to the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act).

    The Senate will hold a procedural vote today (Monday) on a bill that prohibits Congress members from using nonpublic information to make stock transactions - known as "insider trading" when conducted by corporate insiders. Today's vote could put a time limit on passing the bill, which the Senate will continue debating this week.

    Congress has faced increasing backlash lately for its growing list of financial advantages over the Americans it represents. A CBS News' "60 Minutes" program in November 2011 exposed Congress insider trading - elected representatives trading stocks related to hot topics being debated in Congress before information had been disclosed to the public.

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  • U.S. job employment

  • Seven Potential Employment – And Profit – Opportunities With the U.S. unemployment rate steady at 9.1% and President Obama's jobs plan creating more conflict than opportunity, it's hard to believe there are U.S. companies that are hiring.

    But there are.

    Even taking into account the gloomy economic outlook, these companies project growth into next year that will increase revenue and require more employees.

    That's good news for job seekers, but it benefits investors as well, since they will have the opportunity to profit from the higher share prices that come as a result.

    So here are the sectors the most hiring right now, as well as seven companies that could parlay employment opportunities into higher profits.

    Real Job Growth vs. Temp Hires

    Some of the biggest hiring increases are coming from the U.S. auto industry.

    Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recently announced plans to hire as many as 7,000 new workers by the end of 2012. Many of the new positions will help develop new battery-powered cars, but they also reflect the company's improved earnings. After losing $30.1 billion in the period from 2006 through 2008 and borrowing $23.4 billion to survive, Ford earned $9.28 billion over the past two years.

    Ford's improvement spilled into the rest of the auto sector, with both General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Chrysler Group LLC (which is now partnered with Italy's Fiat SpA) ramping up hiring over the past year.

    Healthcare, medical, and drug companies also have picked up hiring in a trend that is expected to continue into 2012. According to human resources publication Benefits Pro, healthcare jobs now account for 10.8% of the total U.S. workforce, including 30,000 new positions created in August when overall U.S. job growth was flat.

    Healthcare stocks have responded to the sector's growth. MSN Money on Oct. 4 posted the top performing stocks so far this year, which included five companies in the medical/healthcare sector boasting gains of 30% or more.

    Still, you must be aware of potential traps when searching for the job-adding sectors. Some companies are only hiring seasonal or temporary workers, and their short-term payroll increases won't translate into stock-price gains.

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