There’s a certain awkwardness to the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate.
Unlike most other major central banks, the Fed doesn’t use a simple, single rate but rather sets its target as a range. And so when policy makers raise borrowing costs — as they did in March — it can read like a jumble of numbers. In last month’s case, the rate went from a minimum of 1.25 percent and a maximum of 1.5 percent to a minimum of 1.5 percent and maximum of 1.75 percent.
The current system was created during the depths of the financial crisis a decade ago. Its adoption allowed the Fed to avoid cutting the benchmark rate all the way to zero, which officials saw as potentially dangerous. (They initially settled on a range of zero to 0.25 percent.) And then, when they began lifting borrowing costs years later, it made sense to stick with the range because there were new and unknown variables at work and they weren’t sure how precisely they could control the rate.
Top Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Fortive Corporation (FTV)
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Fortive Corp. (NYSE: FTV) was started as Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.
Herman Miller Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Last year at this time, we said we can only hope for a bit more growth, and at least bottoming for many of those stubborn energy/commodity/industrial end markets, less FX headwind, pricing support and cost reduction plus smart capital deployment, be it M&A, Capex, and/or buybacks/dividends that might actually lead to stock outperformance. In fact, we did get a bit more growth and many of the stubborn end markets appear to have bottomed, while most of those other items also did play out. The stocks under our coverage outperformed the S&P (which was up >10% itself) by more than 14% on average, led byIngersoll-Rand (+37%),Rockwell Automation (+31%),Eaton (+30%) and Fortive (FTV) (+26%) with Allegion (ALLE) (-2%) andGeneral Electric (+2%) the worst performing.
Top Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Agrium Inc.(AGU)
- [By Chad Fraser]
The agriculture ETF is heavily weighted toward the U.S., with 45.8% of its assets there, but it is geographically diverse, with exposure to countries such as Canada (9.9%), Switzerland (8.5%), Japan (6.7%) and Singapore (5.1%).
Potash Cartel Breakup Has Weighed on This Agriculture ETF
The ETF’s unit price declined in the first half of 2013, partly because of the breakup of the Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), through which Russia’s Uralkali, the world’s No. 1 potash producer, and Belaruskali of Belarus distribute their potash. The market is dominated by BPC and Canpotex, owned by Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (NYSE: POT), Mosaic and Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU).
Together, the two cartels control 70% of global potash exports, so the breakup of BPC will result in a more fractured market, which seems likely to push potash prices lower. Shares of major potash producers fell sharply on the news, as did Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF due to its potash stock holdings, which include Agrium, Potash Corp. and Mosaic.
- [By Shanthi Rexaline]
Agri-Input Companies — Seeds/ Fertilizers/Pesticides Manufacturers
Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON): +68.82 percent since 2011. Syngenta AG (ADR) (NYSE: SYT): +56.26 percent since 2011. Mosaic Co (NYSE: MOS): -63.1 percent since 2011. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE: POT): -67.8 percent since 2011. CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF): +5.04 percent since 2011. Agrium Inc. (USA) (NYSE: AGU): +1.10 percent since 2011.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Gains are being seen elsewhere as well, except in shares of The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS). AgriumInc. (NYSE: AGU) was up almost 3% at $91.95 in late Monday trading, although this one held up much better in the destructive news phase when the alarming news roiled these stocks. The big winner is Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE: IPI), with a gain of 7% to $16.20 in late-Monday trading.
Top Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Brown(n)
- [By Arie Goren]
On November 5, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL)confirmed that it has finally completed the acquisition of Netsuite (NYSE:N) for $9.3 billion in cash, or $109 per share that the company had initially offered. In my previous article about Oracle, I had suggested that the acquisition of NetSuite, the cloud business application software company, is a smart move by Oracle. What’s more, it is not paying an excessive price for the deal. In fact, Oracle insisted that it will not pay more than what it had first offered despite the resistance from T Rowe Price (NSDQ:TROW)which demanded $133 per share.