WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16% from 4.10% last week, which was the lowest level in four months. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27% from 3.20%.
30-YEAR OR 15?: 5 questions to help you choose
Rates have been falling since September when the Federal Reserve surprised investors by continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds. The purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low.
Slower hiring in recent months has many analysts predicting that the Fed will maintain the current pace of the bond purchases into early next year, which should keep mortgage rates low for the time being.
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: Aercap Holdings N.V. (AER)
AerCap Holdings N.V., through its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated aviation company worldwide. It engages in leasing and trading aircraft and engines; and selling parts. The company also provides aircraft management services, as well as aircraft and limited engine MRO services, and aircraft disassembly services through its repair stations. In addition, it offers aircraft services, including remarketing aircraft; collecting rental and maintenance payments, monitoring aircraft maintenance, monitoring and enforcing contract compliance, and accepting delivery and redelivery of aircraft; conducting ongoing lessee financial performance reviews; inspecting the leased aircraft; coordinating technical modifications to aircraft to meet new lessee requirements; conducting restructurings negotiations in connection with lease defaults; repossessing aircraft; arranging and monitoring insurance coverage; registering and de-registering aircraft; arranging for aircraft and aircraft engine valuations; and providing market research. The company?s management services include leasing and remarketing, cash management and treasury, technical advisory, and accounting and administrative services. As of March 31, 2011, it owned 272 aircraft and 95 engines, which it leased under operating leases to 118 lessees in 53 countries. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Schiphol, the Netherlands.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Finally. Finally American International Group (AIG) has disposed of its ILFC unit by selling it to AerCap Holdings (AER).
The Wall Street Journal has the details on the deal:
- [By Tess Stynes]
AIG confirmed it will sell its stake in International Lease Finance Corp to aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings N.V(AER). for $5.4 billion in cash and stock.
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: TotalFinaElf S.A.(TOT)
TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. It also involves in the transportation, trade, and marketing of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as in LNG re-gasification and natural gas storage operations. In addition, this segment engages in the shipping and trade of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); power generation from gas-fired power plants, nuclear, or renewable energies; production, trade, and marketing of coal, as well as in solar power systems and technology operations. As of December 31, 2010, it had combined proved reserves of 10,695 Mboe of oil and gas. The Downstream segment involves in refining, marketing, trading, and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. It also produces a range of specialty products, s uch as lubricants, LPG, jet fuel, special fluids, bitumen, marine fuels, and petrochemical feedstock. This segment holds interests in 24 refineries located in Europe, the United States, the French West Indies, Africa, and China, as well as operates a network of 17,490 service stations. The Chemicals segment produces base chemicals, including petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as engages in rubber processing, resins, adhesives, and electroplating activities. TOTAL S.A. was founded in 1924 and is based in Paris, France.
- [By Aaron Levitt]
Yet in this suffering, investors can find some pretty tasty long-term bargains. In this case we’re referring to French major Total (TOT).
Like rivals BP and E, Total didn’t have a great 2013. However, there are plenty of catalysts that should help propel TOT stock into the future. For investors looking for beat-up bargain, TOT stock could be the key to a great total return in the energy sector.
- [By Jayson Derrick]
Total (NYSE: TOT) announced that its European refining margin fell to $6.60 per metric ton in the first quarter from $26.90 per metric ton in the same quarter last year. Shares gained 0.09 percent, closing at $67.79.
- [By Dan Burrows]
At the same time, RAI is forecast to have strong earnings growth this year and beyond. Wall Street expects earnings per share (EPS) to expand 6% in the current fiscal year, and by more than 8% in 2015. That should be more than enough growth and income to drive more total return outperformance this year and beyond.
Dividend Yield: 5.1%
1-Year Total Return: 41%
- [By Charles Sizemore]
European Dividend Stocks to Buy: Total SA (TOT)
Dividend Yield: 5.1%
Next on the list is French oil major Total SA (TOT). Total raised some eyebrows last month as discussions progressed to develop Russia’s massive shale fields in partnership with Lukoil (LUKOY). It appears that, despite the ongoing threat of sanctions from the United States, business is going on as usual in the real world.
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: STMicroelectronics N.V.(STM)
STMicroelectronics N.V., an independent semiconductor company, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices. Its products include discrete and standard commodity components, application-specific integrated circuits, custom devices and semi-custom devices, and application-specific standard products for analog, digital, and mixed-signal applications. The company also offers subsystems and modules for the telecommunications, automotive, and industrial markets comprising mobile phone accessories, battery chargers, ISDN power supplies, and in-vehicle equipment for electronic toll payment, as well as provides Smartcard products. Its products are used in various microelectronic applications consisting of automotive products, computer peripherals, telecommunications systems, consumer products, industrial automation, and control systems. The company sells its products through distributors and ret ailers. STMicroelectronics N.V. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- [By Dan Burrows]
Additionally, Wendy’s can use some of the cash freed up by the franchise model to invest in advertising and marketing, and that should boost customer traffic.
Cheap Dividend Stocks #2: STMicroelectronics (STM)
Share Price as of 4/4: $9.14
YTD Stock Performance: 14%
Dividend Yield: 4.4%
- [By Vanina Egea]
Reed Elsevier NV (ENL) is a diversified publisher and information provider. It works on a wide range of market segments that include scientific, technical and medical (STM); legal; risks solutions and business information and exhibitions. The key of the company’s growth, however, lies almost exclusively in two brands: Elsevier and LexisNexis.
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: Fresenius Medical Care Corporation (FMS)
Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, a dialysis company, provides products and services for patients with chronic kidney diseases. As of May 12, 2011, it provided dialysis care services to 216,942 patients through its network of 2,769 dialysis clinics primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa. The company also develops and manufactures various dialysis products, including hemodialysis machines, dialyzers, hemofilters, dialysis fluid filters, tubing systems, fistula needles, dialysis related equipment, acute hemodialysis machines, plasma filters, acute tubing systems and cassettes, catheters, and related disposable products for chronic hemodialysis, acute therapy, home therapy, and therapeutic apheresis, as well as dialysis drugs. In addition, it provides laboratory services. Fresenius Medical sells its products through distributors. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Bad Homburg, Germany.
- [By Louie Grint]
First, Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS ) is the No. 1 global provider of dialysis equipment. It enjoys leading market share of almost 33% in its home country.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap dialysis stock Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ: RMTI) looks set to decline when the market opens after Brean Capital initiated coverage with a sell rating and a price target of $4.00, meaning it might be time to take a closer look at what is going on with the stock along with the performance of large cap dialysis stocks DaVita Healthcare Partners (NYSE: DVA) and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) along with small cap dialysis stocks NxStage Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: NXTM).
- [By Johanna Bennett]
Dialysis provider DaVita Healthcare Partners (DVA) soared almost 8.9% to close at $61.55 after the market learned that Medicare funding cuts would come in lower than expected. Rival Fresenius Medical Care (FMS) rose 7.2% on the same news.
- [By Johanna Bennett]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid decided today to cut government payment to dialysis clinics. So why did share prices for DaVita HealthCare Partners (DVA) and rival Fresenius Medical Care (FMS) rise so steeply today?
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: BP p.l.c.(BP)
BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services, and petrochemicals products. Its Exploration and Production segment engages in the oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production; midstream transportation, and storage and processing; and marketing and trading of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), and power and natural gas liquids (NGL). This segment has exploration and production activities in Angola, Azerbaijan, Canada, Egypt, Norway, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as in Asia, Australasia, South America, North Africa, and the Middle East. This segment also owns and manages crude oil and natural gas pipelines; processing facilities and export terminals; and LNG processing and transportation, as well as NGL extraction facilities. BP p.l.c. has interests in the Trans-Alaska pipeline system, the Forties pipeline system, the Central Area transmission sys tem pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline, and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, as well as in LNG plants located in Trinidad, Indonesia, and Australia. The company?s Refining and Marketing segment involves in the supply and trading, refining, manufacturing, marketing, and transportation of crude oil, petroleum, and petrochemicals products and related services to wholesale and retail customers primarily under the BP, Castrol, ARCO, and Aral brands. Its Other Businesses and Corporate segment produces and markets rolled aluminum products, as well as generates energy through wind, solar, biofuels, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage sources; and engages in shipping activities. The company was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Performance data quoted represents past performance and is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than original cost. As stated in the current prospectus, the Fund’s Investor Class Share’s annual operating expense ratio (gross) is 1.28%. The Fund’s adviser has contractually agreed to waive a portion of its fee and/or reimburse Fund expenses to limit total annual operating expenses at 1.25%, which is in effect until October 31, 2015. Other share classes may vary. The Fund charges a 2.0% redemption fee on shares redeemed within six months of purchase. For the most recent month-end performance, please call (877)328-9437 or visit the Advisor’s website at www.auxierasset.com. The recent growth rate in the stock market has helped to produce short-term returns that are not typical and may not continue in the future.Spring 2014 Market CommentaryAuxier Focus Fund’s Investor Class returned a modest 0.25% for the quarter ended March 31, while Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P) rose 1.81%. The Fund ended the quarter with 70% in U.S. stocks, 16% foreign stocks, 1.7 % bonds and 12.3% cash. Since inception in 1999, the Fund’s equity exposure has averaged 72%. Our stockholdings in the healthcare industry generally gained for the quarter. But many of our multinational and foreign stocks were hurt by the threat of currency repercussions from geopolitical events in Russia and Ukraine. The foreign portion of the Fund is easily the most undervalued. Longer term, we see a very favorable risk/reward potential with our UK and European holdings. Some emerging market companies we follow are the cheapest in over twenty years. In allocating capital, we much prefer the gloom of down to flat markets and the corrective process that tempers exuberance. We re member that one of th
- [By Robert Rapier]
Since the beginning of 2000, Chevron has returned a total of 297.5 percent to shareholders (including dividends). By comparison, ExxonMobil returned 209.2 percent, BP (NYSE: BP) returned 54.9 percent, and the S&P 500 returned 107.3 percent. (BP demonstrates a different sort of risk, which I plan to discuss in a future column.)
- [By Matt Egan]
Shares of BP (BP) nudged over 2% higher after the oil and gas firm hiked its dividend. But Coach (COH) dropped 9% after the luxury handbag company reported weaker sales, even as it beat on profits. One trader said that Coach continues to face pressure from rivals Michael Kors (KORS) and Kate Spade (KATE).
- [By Jonathan Yates]
If a downturn does ensue, income, value and growth investors should take that event as an opportunity to buy stocks in the natural resource sector; stocks such as BP PLC (NYSE: BP), BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) and others at a discount for long term gains.
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: British American Tobacco Industries p.l.c.(BTI)
British American Tobacco p.l.c., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. The company offers cigars, cigarettes, smokeless snus, roll-your-own, and pipe tobacco products under the Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Viceroy, Kool, Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Benson & Hedges, and State Express 555 brand names. It has operations in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, eastern and western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. British American Tobacco p.l.c. operates independently of Remgro Ltd. as of November 03, 2008.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Given the size of a potential acquisition of Lorillard would be quite large, we question how a bid from [Reynolds American] would be financed. Therefore, we think a more likely deal could be a merger between [Lorillard] and [Reynolds American] rather than an acquisition. Also, there has been speculation that British American Tobacco (BTI), which currently owns ~42% of [Reynolds American’s] stock, could take a majority stake in [Reynolds American] after the standstill ends in July 2014. While we believe the most likely scenario is that [British American Tobacco] and [Reynolds American] could reach a strategic partnership to market/sell e-cigs globally, we wouldn’t rule out [British American Tobacco] taking a majority stake in [Reynolds American]. Furthermore, if this occurs, [British American Tobacco] could help finance a potential acquisition of [Lorillard].
- [By Ben Levisohn]
How bad has performance of Phillip Morris been? Its shares have dropped 1.9% during the past 12 months, while American-focused Altria Group (MO) has gained 15%. British American Tobacco (BTI) has gained 3%, Reynolds American (RAI) has advanced 14%, and Lorillard (LO) has jumped 26%.
Best European Stocks To Buy For 2015: Aegon NV(AEG)
AEGON N.V. provides life insurance, pensions, and asset management products and services worldwide. The company?s life insurance products include traditional, term, universal, whole, and other life insurance products sold as part of defined benefit pension plans, endowment policies, post-retirement annuity products, and group risk products; supplemental health insurance products comprise accidental death, other injury, critical illness, hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, and student health; specialty lines consists of travel, membership, and creditor products; and long term care insurance products for policyholders who require care due to a chronic illness or cognitive impairment. It also offers a range of savings and retirement products and services, including mutual funds, and fixed and variable annuities, savings accounts and investment contracts, segregated funds, guaranteed investment accounts, and single premium immediate annuities, as well as investment advice to individuals. In addition, the company offers employer solutions and pensions, such as retirement plans, pension plans, and pension-related products and services; investment products, including onshore and offshore bonds, and trusts; reinsurance products and solutions to life insurance and financial services companies; general insurance products comprising house, car, and fire insurance; and asset management products and services, including general account assets, unit-linked funds, and third party activities. AEGON N.V. markets its products through independent and career agents, financial planners, registered representatives, independent marketing organizations, banks, broker-dealers, benefit consulting firms, wirehouses, affinity groups, institutional partners, independent managing general agencies, and specialized financial advisors, as well as through online, direct, and worksite marketing. The company was founded in 1900 and is headquartered in The Hague, the Netherl ands.
- [By Will Ashworth]
Assuming it delivers on its outlook for 2014, its current free cash flow yield is a very enticing 20%. This isn’t a growth stock, but its brands still possess hidden value. As cheap stocks go, it’s very attractive.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Aegon (AEG)
It’s not often that you can buy a $19 billion market cap for under 10 bucks. Aegon’s a Dutch insurance company that’s had a rough ride over the past few years, and its stock’s suffered as a result. In the late ’90s AEG stock traded around $60 — it hasn’t been anywhere close since. However, it’s got some good assets that should bear fruit in the years to come. Aegon has 12,000 employees in the Americas doing business primarily under the Transamerica brand, which has been a part of AEG since 1999.