Stocks

Retail stocks are telling two stories right now... but giving one underlying message for investors. The big low-end retail stocks like Wal-Mart (NYSE/WMT) and Costco (NASDAQ/COST) are definitely holding their own. In fact, the stocks of both these huge American retailers are up 12% since the beginning of…

Over the past few years, since the opening of China's door to foreign capital, the country has steadily attracted significant capital in numerous areas, including industrial and high technology. The country has also seen the emergence of numerous mainstream U.S. retailers in China, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE/WMT), Kentucky…

The unbelievable has happened. A share of Google, Inc. has surpassed $700.00 U.S. To be exact, as of Friday's close, the price is $711.00. Also as of Friday's close, gold bullion has reached $808.00 U.S. per ounce. What is an investor to do? Buy Google stock at 70…

The retail environment looks better than expected as we head into the key shopping period of the year after Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE/WMT) announced positive retail numbers and this was followed on Friday by news that fast-food king McDonald's Corporation (NYSE/MCD) said its third quarter earnings would…

Consumer confidence for September fell back below 100 to 99.8 following a revised 105.6 reading in August. The September reading was well below the estimate of 104.5. The worry is that the weakening consumer confidence will translate into weak retail sales. We will see if this pans out…

Yesterday's stock market action delivered a clear indication that consumers are cutting back on spending in three distinct areas. The concern, of course, is that after years of having "loose" wallets, the tightening of those wallets by American consumers could lead to a homegrown recession. The largest U.S.…

Consumer confidence for August came in at 105.0, which was marginally above the estimate of 104.5 but below the 111.9 recorded in July. The positive is the number monthly reading continues to hold above 100 in spite of the economic concerns.  The retail sales numbers were just above…

I sometimes fantasize about making fantastic stock market selections comparable to winning the lottery. The best part of the fantasy is answering questions such as, "What would I do with, oh, I don't know, a few million dollars?" Or, in a different context, "What would I do if…

It has been almost one year since the Fed, during its June 29, 2006 FMOC meeting, increased its benchmark interest rate to the current 5.25%. The continued neutral monetary policy followed by the Fed over the last 12 months lends itself to two very different interpretations as far…

Over the past few years since the opening of China's door to foreign capital, the country has steadily attracted significant capital in numerous areas including industrial and high technology.  The country has also seen the emergence of numerous mainstream U.S. retailers in China, including Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated (NYSE/WMT),…

Retail sales in the U.S. fell 2.3% in April, the biggest single monthly drop since 1970. While analysts continue to preach that "it's not the because of the depressed housing market," I continue to believe the opposite is true. Wal-Mart may also be thinking that the poor housing…

Driven by strong commodity prices, Canada saw its currency on a nice upward trend after trading at US$0.62 in January 2002 to break above US$0.90, a level unseen in over a decade. But the CAD subsequently got caught in a downward slide that drove the price down to…

The Canadian dollar staged a strong upward climb to US$0.90 in October 2006 from US$0.62 in January 2002, as it was driven by strong commodity prices in oil and metals such as gold, silver, copper, nickel, and uranium. The commodity-based Canadian dollar has been faltering since it was…

Internet search engine Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG) has broken above $500 on numerous occasions since November 2006, touching a high of $513 on January 16, 2007. I still remember when Google first traded its IPO launch back on August 19, 2004 when the shares could have been bought for…

Energy bulls aren't enjoying the oil market at this time! Oil prices fell below $51 a barrel on January 16 for the first time since May 2005. The selling continued a downward trend that started after the recent rally above $60 failed to hold and was followed by…

Get ready for fourth-quarter earnings season to pick up steam in the upcoming weeks. After relatively strong third-quarter earnings, the market is anxiously waiting for the Q4 and the guidance going forward for 2007. Given the current rally, the outcome of the Q4 could go a long way…

Major public companies are lowering their 2007 earnings forecasts, but stock price valuations remain high. Oil prices have stopped falling and have stabilized. Hence, companies can no longer count on lower oil or gas prices to help earnings. The U.S. dollar is in a free fall as reflected…

Driven by strong commodity prices, Canada has seen its currency on a nice upward trend since trading at $0.62USD in January 2002. The spot Canadian dollar (CAD) broke above $0.90 U.S. dollars (USD) in May, but has since pulled back due to some weakness in commodity prices.  If…

The DOW slid 184.13 points or 1.63% on Tuesday, its fourth triple digit loss since May 11 and the third biggest one-day loss this year. Markets are continuing to trade with a negative bias and I expect this to continue in the near-term until we see some buying…

Years ago I wrote about deflation and how I felt the cheap imports consumers were bringing in from China (via stores like Wal-Mart) were actually bringing prices for goods down. It used to be that just small items such as knickknacks were made in Asia. Today, it's everything…