The rocky start to 2014 on Wall Street, where U.S. stocks posted their first loss in January since 2010, could be a bad omen for the rest of the year.
How stocks fare in January often sets the tone for the full year. Historically, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has finished the year in positive territory after January declines only about 50% of the time, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. In contrast, stocks finish the year up 73% of the time following January gains, data from S&P Dow Jones Indices show. After Friday’s 0.7% drop, the S&P 500 ended the month down 3.6%.
“Negative (returns) in January are more a toss of a coin” when trying to predict what’s next for stocks, says Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management.
Perhaps more worrisome, even though some years ended higher after a opening month dip, “every down January since 1950 was followed by a new or continuing bear market, a 10% correction or a flat market,” the 2014 Almanac says. Big January losses in 2000 and 2008 set in motion the two most recent bear markets, or drops of 20% or more.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.
- [By Riddhi Kharkia]
It is beyond doubt that the last decade has seen frequent reversals in positions in the tech sector with a few of the big names like Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco (CSCO) and IBM (IBM) facing rough times and going down as legacy leaders of the domain. In recent days, IBM shareholders were disappointed and concerned after the Chinese government issued a call to Chinese corporations, especially major banks, to replace American hardware with locally manufactured servers and other components due to spying allegations.
- [By Rex Crum]
Other gains came from IBM Corp. (IBM) , Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) , Intel Corp. (INTC) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) .
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Visa Inc.(V)
Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Getty Images Recent events like the data breach that affected Target (TGT) customers across the nation have made consumers think twice before using credit and debit cards. In particular, prepaid cards — onto which customers load a certain amount of money, and which can be used anywhere that accepts debit cards — have created a great deal of confusion, as many people aren’t clear about whether they offer the same fraud protections as credit cards or debit cards. Moreover, with wide variations in fees, it can be hard to figure out which prepaid card is best for you. To make it easier for consumers to choose among prepaid cards, Visa (V) came out on June 3 with a new set of standards. Although issuers won’t be required to follow those standards, those cards that meet the requirements will receive Visa’s designation, which it hopes will spur customers to demand those positive characteristics. But do Visa’s moves go far enough? Let’s look. What Visa Did Some of the most important standards are for fees. Visa wants to see banks set flat monthly fees that include everything that cardholders would generally want to do with a prepaid card. Specifically, Visa wants prepaid card issuers not to charge separate fees for declined transactions, in-network ATM transactions, PIN or signature purchase transactions, getting cash back at the point of sale or general customer service. In addition, Visa wants cards not to charge overdraft fees or provide overdraft coverage, which makes sense given that the entire point of the prepaid card is to limit users to the amount loaded on the card. Moreover, Visa wants prepaid card issuers to communicate their fee structures clearly, using some of the same methods that they are now required to use with credit cards, such as fee boxes and simple disclosures. In addition, a quick-use guide for consumers will help them minimize the costs of using particular cards. Protecting the Consumer Visa is including several important provisions fo
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Alamy NEW YORK — Visa wants to make it easier for people to spot a cheaper prepaid card. The payment processor said it will put labels on packages of cards that meet a new set of standards it unveiled Tuesday. Those standards include a flat monthly fee and no hidden charges. Companies that issue Visa prepaid cards will have to apply for the new label, and the program is voluntary. It could take up to a year before the seal of approval starts showing up on packaging. Prepaid cards are mainly aimed at people without checking accounts. The cards allow people to pay bills, receive direct deposits and swipe it like a debit card in stores. But critics have said some cards aren’t clear about what they charge, even attracting attention from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The federal agency is currently testing fee disclosures that it may propose on prepaid card packaging. Visa (V) hopes its new label will push card issuers to be more transparent and lower fees. To receive the label, the card must have no fees for declined transactions, calling customer service, paying at a cash register, using in-network ATMs or for getting cash back at a register. The cards also must be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the National Credit Union Administration. They will also have Visa’s fraud protection. The new standards were developed with the Center for Financial Services Innovation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Visa hasn’t come up with a new name for the label yet, said Cecilia Frew, who oversees its prepaid card business. Since card issuers need to apply to receive the label, it could be nine to 12 months before Visa starts awarding them. The new label is only for U.S. cards. Visa has 25,000 prepaid card partners around the world.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Diane Bondareff/Invision for Subway/AP There were plenty of winners and losers this week on Wall Street, with one restaurant chain improving its coffee and and another one suffering a data breach. Here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders. Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) — Winner If you’re craving a really fresh cup of coffee with your next $5 footlong, Subway has an answer. It’s teaming up with Keurig Green Mountain to outfit all of its nearly 30,000 sandwich shops in the U.S. and Canada with Keurig brewers to serve coffee in single-serve doses. Roughly half of Subway eateries already use Keurig brewers to make coffee to order, instead of brewing entire pots that may go unused. That Subway is adopting it chain-wide is a win for both companies, but Keurig Green Mountain will benefit more from the spike in coffee makers and K-Cup sales. P.F. Chang’s — Loser P.F. Chang’s is under the heat lamp after thousands of stolen credit and debit cards appeared on an underground marketplace for swiped plastic. Reports indicate that the one thing tying the cards together is that they had all been used at the casual Chinese chain between early March through mid-May. A new company webpage offers updates. Whether or not P.F. Chang’s is vindicated, the headlines are likely to keep some customers away from the growing restaurant chain that offers American tweaks to Chinese cuisine. I guess those diners wound up with a misfortune cookie at the end of their meals. Too soon? Then adding an Orange “You Glad You Didn’t Eat Here This Spring” Chicken entree to the menu is probably also out of the question. Amazon (AMZN) — Winner Amazon Prime — the popular loyalty shopping program with more than 20 million customers paying $99 a year — has added another free perk. Amazon is adding a digital catalog of 1.2 million music tracks for streaming. Prime Music has its limitations. Not all of the major labels aren’t on board, and those that are participating ar
- [By Dividends4Life]
Over the few years, I have reduced my bond allocation and purchased quality blue-chip dividend stocks that are yielding in excess of my bond holdings. Consider these dividend growth stocks that have a current yield equal to or greater than the May 30, 2014, 3.12% yield on 20-year U.S. Treasuries.McDonald’s Corp (MCD) is the largest fast-food restaurant company in the world, with nearly 35,000 restaurants in 119 countries. Yield: 3.2%The Clorox Company (CLX) is a diversified producer of household cleaning, grocery and specialty food products is also a leading producer of natural personal care products. Yield: 3.3%Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) , the world’s largest military weapons manufacturer, is also a significant supplier to NASA and other non-defense government agencies. LMT receives about 93% of its revenues from global defense sales. 3.3%ConocoPhillips Co. (COP) is one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies in the world, C OP spun off its downstream assets in May 2012. Yield: 3.5%Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is the largest U.S. wireless carrier, Verizon also offers wireline and broadband services primarily in the northeastern U.S. Yield: 4.2%AT&T Inc. (T) provides telephone and broadband service and holds full ownership of AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless). Yield: 5.2% I am not predicting an imminent collapse of bond prices. As an investor (not a trader), I am not in the prediction business. However, I believe we have reached a point where there is much more to lose than gain by holding bonds. Interest rates will eventually rise and those holding bonds, especially long-term bonds, will suffer painful consequences.Full Disclosure: Long MCD, LMT, COP, T in my Dividend Growth Portfolio and long T in my High-Yield portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings hereRelated Articles – 6 Stocks With a Sustainable Dividend – 5 Dividend Stocks Building A Growing Cash Stream – 9 Dividend Stoc
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Gene J. Puskar/AP OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald’s says a key sales metric slipped again in the U.S. as it faced “ongoing broad-based challenges” in May. The world’s largest hamburger chain said U.S. sales declined 1 percent at locations open at least 14 months. The fast-food chain has been struggling to boost sales amid heightened competition and changing eating habits. Many of its core customers are also struggling financially, which has forced McDonald’s to intensify its focus on value. Executives at McDonald’s (MCD) have also conceded that the chain introduced too many items too quickly last year, which led to slower service and inaccurate orders. CEO Don Thompson has said the company is working with franchisees to address those problems, in part by ensuring restaurants have appropriate staffing. The decline in the U.S. comes after a 1.7 percent drop for the first three months of the year. And last year, sales at established U.S. locations slipped 0.2 percent. Overseas, a rebound in China after last year’s worries about avian flu helped lift sales by 2.5 percent in its Asia, Middle East and Africa division. That in turn lifted global sales 0.9 percent for May. In Europe, McDonald’s largest market, the sales figure rose 0.4 percent, boosted by improvements in the United Kingdom and France. An expanded beverage business was among the factors behind the improvements. McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, has more than 35,000 locations around the world. Its shares were down 42 cents to $101.54 in afternoon trading Monday. The stock is up more than 5 percent so far this year.
- [By Riddhi Kharkia]
Oak Brook-based McDonald’s (MCD) is struggling to bolster business, seeing its sales stagnate while rivals match its low prices and fast-casual competitors siphon off more and more younger customers.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Chevron Corporation(CVX)
Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Howard Weil’s Blake Fernandez explains why he prefers ConocoPhillips to other oil companies like Total (TOT) and Chevron (CVX):
After years of portfolio rationalization, concerns re: dividend coverage, etc. the asset base is now poised to deliver 6- 10% cash flow CAGR through ’17 from a combination of 3-5% production growth and 3-5% margin expansion. Additionally, our confidence in the Company’s unconventional prowess is increasing based on the recent analyst day presentation, higher production targets and efficiency gains in the underlying assets…
- [By Robert Rapier]
Seadrill Partners is presently the only offshore drilling services company structured as a partnership, although international offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig (Nasdaq: ORIG) has plans to drop down assets into an MLP this year. The Seadrill Partners IPO involved a drop down of four drilling rigs from the parent — two semi-submersibles (the West Aquarius and the West Capricorn), one tender rig (the West Vencedor), and one ultra-deepwater drillship (the West Capella). These drilling rigs are under long-term contracts with major oil companies such as Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Total (NYSE:TOT), BP (NYSE: BP) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM).
- [By Aaron Levitt]
While most of the energy sector is dominated by large-cap oil stocks like behemoth Chevron (CVX) or small-fry wildcatters just getting started, the truth is that firms in the middle could be some of the sector’s best bets.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)
Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.
- [By tyokunbo]
Microsoft (MSFT) looks solid for the fiscal year 2014. The tech giant’s earnings have increased so far, and the company hopes to build products that people love to use. Microsoft hasn’t shown any weakness, even though investors are seen building their hopes around the stock backed by robust performances of rivals like Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL). The competition from rivals has made Microsoft position itself to benefit from mobile and cloud markets. And it wasn’t surprising when Microsoft turned in solid results in the recent quarterly report.A Concern
- [By Ashraf Eassa]
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) have done very nicely since the stock crashed from its $100 peak back in 2012. Indeed, closing at $91.28 in the June 13 session, the stock is only 8.72% down from those all-time highs. However, investors typically don’t buy individual equities for gains of a couple of percent — they’re looking to outperform the markets over the long haul. So a question worth asking is whether Apple’s stock has a shot of doubling, particularly in the months that follow the launch of the iPhone 6 — and, potentially, the iWatch.
- [By Daniel Sparks]
Since the first iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) has updated its flagship smartphone about every year. But it’s only about every other year that the company gives the phone an entirely new form factor. This year is suspected to be one of those years. Among other key changes in form-factor, the ever-active Apple rumor mill believes the tech giant is planning a big boost to the iPhone’s display size.
- [By Daniel Sparks]
While Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL ) Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month was void of any new hardware, Apple fans may get a slight “fix” next week. French site MacGeneration (via MacRumors) is reporting that Apple is planning to update its iMac line next week with faster processors and lower prices.