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In light of the recent TurboTax fraud alert, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald appeared on FOX Business' "Cavuto" late last week to discuss what taxpayers should do to protect their online data…
Dow: 18,029.85, -17.73, -0.10%
S&P 500: 2,099.68, -0.66, -0.03%
Nasdaq: 4,906.36, +7.10, +0.14%
What Moved the Markets Today: Concerns over Ukraine and Greece took a backseat to the release of the January FOMC meeting minutes. The verdict: The central bank is unlikely to raise interest rates in the near future. "Many participants observed that a premature increase in rates might damp the apparent solid recovery in real activity and labor market conditions," the minutes said. Gold prices ticked up from a seven-week low after the release of the minutes.
Brent crude oil prices slumped nearly 4%, while WTI fell 3.5% as oversupply concerns again spooked energy investors.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Greek Tragedy: The European Central Bank approved a two-week extension for Greek banks this afternoon by providing additional liquidity. Meanwhile, the nation's leftist government announced plans to submit a request to extend its loan agreement for another six months. The news raises hopes for a last-minute deal to keep the country's finances in order. Yesterday, we explained what the Greek debt debacle means for investors and how you should prepare for any outcome in the next two weeks.
- Droning On: Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) slipped more than 2% this afternoon on falling crude prices and news that an explosion and fire rocked the company's refinery in Torrance, Calif. Local news stations report that firefighters and emergency workers responded after a large explosion and what felt like an earthquake rattled the surrounding area. Local officials have said that air quality is okay in the area and firefighters are working on containing the fire. Four people sustained injuries.
- Going Green: In a boost to social investing, banking giant Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) announced plans to set aside $100 billion to fund environmental projects over the next 10 years. This figure doubles the amount the company planned for such projects back in 2007. The company will look to invest in projects like urban planning, sustainable transportation, wind and solar energy, and technologies that can reduce greenhouse emissions.
- Lawyer Up: Shares of Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) gained 1.2% intraday on news the company is lawyering up for a possible battle against the Federal Trade Commission. The company met five FTC commissioners this week to discuss its planned takeover of rival food distributor US Foods Inc. Some in Washington want to challenge the merger given that it would combine the two largest U.S. companies that distribute food to cafeterias, restaurants, and other food-service institutions.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) added 0.7% on the day, falling just short of its 52-week high. The company announced that investors can expect another small dividend increase to its current payout levels. The stock is pennies away from cracking through its recent all-time high. Even at these record stock levels, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald believes Apple stock is a "Strong Buy" right now. Watch his appearance Monday afternoon on FOX Business' "Varney & Co" here.
Money Morning Tip of the Day: Don't "chase" the initial share-price gains of hot initial public offerings (IPOs) – if you buy on the first trading day, you could get burned. Instead, you can side-step Wall Street and play the IPO boom this way…
Today's tip comes from Money Morning Tech Expert Michael A. Robinson:
Successful IPOs can be a great source of wealth.
Take biotech firm Spark Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ONCE). The stock began trading Jan. 30 and is up roughly 100% from its offering price of $23.
But here's a little secret Wall Street doesn't like to talk about: Most retail investors can't get anywhere near hot IPOs like Spark's.
That's because most initial shares are reserved for mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, and high-net-worth individuals. Retail investors like you have to pay a premium for the stock after it's already begun trading, seriously cutting into your profits.
But this doesn't mean you're shut out of IPO market profits…
Not if you buy shares in the First Trust IPOX-100 Index Fund (NYSE Arca: FPX). FPX tracks the market for IPOs and has long been one of my favorite exchange-traded funds.
FPX holds 100 stocks and offers access to the tech, finance, auto, retail, and energy sectors, to name a few.
I think every investor should consider holding FPX for the long haul. By doing so, you can grab the upside and excitement that IPOs offer without all the volatility inherent in new issues.