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U.S. Stock Market Report Period October 3-7, 2011

The last three months have been quite a ride where the international stock market is concerned. Interestingly, the first week of October ended on an optimistic note with stocks trending upwards. This increasing confidence by investors was no doubt caused by strong belief that European banks will be recapitalized.
Stock Market Activities – First Week of October
Most tech stocks showed an increase in the past week with the exception of Apple. The 0.023 percent decline saw Apple’s share closing at $377.37 after losing 88 cents in response to the death of founder, Steve Jobs. Gains of between 1.74 percent and 4.99 percent were recorded by top tech companies during the period. These included Google – 1.98 percent; Microsoft – 1.74 percent; Oracle – 1.90 percent and Nvidia Corporation – 3.97 percent and Hewlett-Packard (HP) – 4.99 percent.
The three main indicators, Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P all showed gains as follows:
1. Dow Jones Industrial Averages moved to 11,123.33 after gaining 183.38 points
2. Nasdaq moved to 2,506.82 points after gaining 46.31 points, and
3. Standard & Poor (S&P) moved up to 1,164.97 after a gain of 20.94

Job Reports for US Companies for October 1-7, 2011
All eyes continue to be on figures dealing with the unemployment rates. The number of new job created is a strong indicator of economic activity and potential growth. Projections for new jobs in September were 75, 000 but initial reports at the end of the month showed a decent increase in non-farm payroll workers of 103,000. Included in this number, however, are 45,000 telecommunication workers from Verizon who were on strike for two weeks. Despite this addition of jobs by US-based companies, the number of unemployed making claims increased by 6000 between the last week of September and the first week of October. The new jobless claim figure now stands at 401,000 which is still slightly below the projected figures of 410,000. The unemployment rate for the past three months remains at 9.1 percent.
European Debt Crisis Containment
The debt crisis in Europe is causing more than simple ripples in the stock and commodities markets. The European Central Bank is depending on two main strategies to keep the region from buckling under the current debt crisis. One is keeping interest rates at the current level despite the fact that this move may cause a slowdown in economic activity. On Thursday the European Central bank also opened an emergency loan facility for banks to help tide them over during the existing crisis. These loans will run from 12 to 13 months and will be unlimited to help banks avoid the issue of limited liquidity.
In an effort to bolster the UK economy, the Bank of England has already put a substantial US$423 billion (£275 billion) into the economy. Japan is also planning to pump lots of money into their economy if the European debt crisis explodes and starts derailing the global economy.
Commodities Market Responds Positively to European Banking News
With hopes high after the European Commission asked European banks to recapitalize and the expectation that they will do so, the commodities market is showing growth. One commodity in which this growth is evident is coffee beans. Reports online indicate that consumers may have to pay more for that caffeine buzz as prices start to show a positive upward trend after a period of negative growth. Oil prices have also responded positively to the US job report and the news out of Europe. West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude is showing an increase for November from $80.65 to $82.82 based on information from the New York Mercantile Exchange.
When the market opens next week no one knows what will happen, but all eyes will once again be on activities in Europe. A worsening debt crisis there will negatively impact the financial sector in the USA and across the globe.

© 2011 Beating The Stock Market

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Commodities: A Gift To My Children

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m expecting to see the stock market take another plunge. So where are we to invest? Commodities, that’s where. Commodities like gold, silver other precious metals, oil, natural gas corn and sugar can not be printed in a few minutes or hours. It can not be manipulated as easily as any government currency. The Federal Reserve is printing money like they’re Kinko’s or something.

I’ve been building up a nest egg of commodities for sometime. It’s not something I’m doing because of the current situation of the U.S. economy (actually I’m am buying more than I’ve done in the past), I’m doing it for my children. My daughters are teenagers and soon enough they’ll be on their own looking to make it in this world. who knows what the world currency is going to look like in just a few short years. If the United States doesn’t do something now to solidify their financial sovereignty, who knows how things will be. Right now oil is traded in U.S. dollars and China and the United Emirates are discussing reducing their holdings in U.S. dollars and not using the dollar has a the way to trade oil.

So what should you be buying? Gold and silver are the best things at this moment that average investors could and should be investing in. Gold is trading this morning at $1,518 an ounce and silver is trading at $34.74 an ounce. I know you’ve heard the advertisments, seen the ads and listened to the stock news programs stating that we should be buying gold and silver. So have you been buying gold and silver? If you haven’t, remove your head from your butt and do so. Yes gold was trading at less than $1200 on ounce last year and silver was going for about $12 an ounce, but they’re going to be much higher next year so don’t waste time.

There’s a new book out from a man who retired at the age of 37 after making his money the old fashion way…he earned it. Jim Rogers worked as a young kid and a teenager, to investing his money in the markets. His new book, ‘A Gift to My Children A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing’ helps us prepare our children for the trouble times that are coming in the near and the distant future. Jim discusses the troubled times ahead for the U.S. dollar, he actually believes it’s “doomed”. The book is a great source for teaching our children about investing and other life lessons they’ll need to survive in this world.

Click the book to view or purchase.





I’ve been showing my girls how to trade stocks, look into real estate investments and investing in precious metals. This book helps to bring the message home about how important it is for parents to teach their children how to prepare for the future. I feel that too many of the younger generation is not aware of how to be financially savvy. Especially since the public school system doesn’t have time to teach the students how to balance a checkbook, nevermind invest in themselves.

So pick up Jim Rogers’ book ‘A Gift to My Children A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing’ at Amazon or any bookstore. You won’t be disappointed.

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So Where’s The Recovery?

Wall Street took a beating this week and from what I can see, it will only continue when the stock market opens on Monday. So where’s the recovery?

Let’s look how well the employment numbers looked for the month of May. According to the report, only 54,000 jobs were added to the private sector during the same period. The bad part about that is that for the employment rate to hold steady, it must add 150,000 jobs each month just to keep up with the population growth in the U.S. So obviously, there’s no recovery in the job market.

How about the housing market? Well from what I’ve seen coming out over this past week, it also doesn’t look good at all. In some areas of the United States, home prices have fallen to the levels of 2002. In other areas like Las Vagas, the home prices have fallen to the levels of 1999. Many feel that the average home price will continue to drop for the remainder of this year. So I guess we can rule out that industry for showing signs of recovery.

So why is it that the stock market has been climbing since it’s bottom back in March of 2009. We’ll I feel that there was some companies that had solid fundementals and balanced sheet to continue to grow in the trouble economy. Remember that the indicies really only show the strength of the markets, not necessarily the strength of the economy. Of course many investors and traders were not completely wiped out financially and were willing to keep buying and selling.

How long can this keep up? In my opinion, not for long. Congress isn’t doing what they need to do and the present Administration is spending like a drunken sailor (I know that’s not fair to say about drunken sailors since drunken sailors spend their own money). It was reported this week that if a decision isn’t made to raise the debt ceiling, Moody’s has stated that they will decide on how they are going to re-evaluate America’s credit rating. Figuring that both the democrats and the republicans can not agree on anything, we’re going to lose our current rating and that will send this country into an inflation tailspin.

So if you’re thinking of trading in the stock market, tread carefully and be aware of the day by day issues going on in Washington as well as on Wall Street.

Happy trading.

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The DOW Closes Above 12,000

With the DOW climbing 148 points today and closing at 12,040, many are wondering if it can sustain this level. The DOW hasn’t closed above the 12,00 level since June 2008. It’s been a long two and a half years to get back to this level, but are we out of the woods yet?

I’m no expert, but I will say that any average Joe can see that the economy has not recovered no matter what the “reports” say. I travel a lot and where ever I go, I see many establishments that closed in 2008 and to this day most of them are still vacant. I know in the county I live in, the unemployment rate is nearly 14% and the state’s level is “projected” at 10.1%. I say “projected” because who are they trying to fool with that report? How many people are no longer collecting benefits and are still unemployed? They’re no longer being counted which according to realistic estimates, puts the national rate some around 18%-19.5%.

What about the housing market? The average home prices are starting to stabilize, but no one is ready to get out there and start buying property again. A report was released this week showing that over 11% of the homes in America unoccupied and more people are looking to rent than to own.

One thing we can see from over the last two and a half years is which companies were strong enough to weather-out the storm. I’ve been able to see some small cap companies grow in value at a steady pace with expected pull-back from the profit takers, only to continue the climb up. There are others that I’ve recently discovered that look to be contenders in a couple of years.

For the last few months I’ve been sitting on the sidelines watching the market. I’m not confident with the markets, the economy or the government at this time. Yes I have missed some good gains in stocks that I was invested in, but I sleep better just sitting it out right now. I love the stock markets and will always be involved with it, so for now I’ve been looking at some short/long term (2-4years) small caps that I will be investing in soon enough. I’m just waiting for a healthy pull-back (6%-9%) at then I’ll make my trades.

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Investments

I’ve been looking at the different industries and investment vehicles that are out there for the average investors. Depending on which types of investments out there, it may or may not be the time to invest. How can one know if an investment is right? Taking your time and doing the research to find out if it will be a profitable one or not. The housing market, the stock market or any other investment you have to choose from can be profitable, but unless you look at the real numbers and study everything there is to know about the investment prior to putting your money into it, you can lose most (if not all) of your capitol.

Yes housing prices are way down from their peak in 2006-2007, but that doesn’t mean that all housing prices are right for the picking. You need to look at the condition as well as the area the house is in. In some part of the country, housing prices may never reach the prices of just a few years ago.

What about the stock market? I don’t trust the stock market at this time since there is no reason for the DOW to be at where it is at the moment. Every month poor reports are being released (consumer confidence, unemployment and retail sales) and the stock market seem to either gains or holds it’s ground. We are in a terrible economic time and to think that the stock market will continue to hold is risky. The economic current events look pretty scary. If you’re looking to invest in the stock market, make sure you do your research into the company before you buy any shares. It’s the only way to know what stocks to buy now.

In my opinion, gold is the answer right now. I don’t mean stocks that trade off of stocks, I’m referring to actual gold. Gold as always retained it’s value or has gone up during trouble times like these. So when you invest, invest wisely.

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Dividend Stocks

The stock market has been a very bumpy ride for most investors, so much so that many of them are sitting on the sidelines. it’s a shame that they are doing it since there are other ways to making money than buying low and selling high. Dividend stocks are just another way to make money even when the stock market isn’t doing anything.

There are hundreds of companies that are traded on Wall Street that offer high dividend paying stocks for investors to take advantage of. What are dividends? Dividends are a way for a company to share the profit of the company with it’s shareholders. Many times a company has grown so much that they don’t need to put so much into research and development, so they will pass a portion of it to it’s shareholders on a quarterly basis (four times a year).

in doing so, an investor can make money even if the company’s stock price doesn’t change. Let’s say you buy shares in company XYZ for $100 per share and the company offers a 10% dividend. Which means that the company will give it shareholders $10 a year for each share you own. So four times a year you will receive $2.50 every three months for each share. After one year of owning the shares, your actual price per share is $90. If the price hasn’t moved over the same period, you are still up 10% on your investment. How could you go wrong with that? So where can you find stocks that pay dividends? When you do your research on a particular company, you will find the information in their chart overview.

There are also many different ETF’s that are built around this concept, but why pay a fee for something you can do yourself. Typically you can also do better than the ETF’s since you are able to get in and out easier than the big boys.

Be aware though that Washington and the present Administration is looking to raise capitol gains taxes which will include dividend payouts. Of course if it’s your IRA retirement account, it won’t affect you. Look into it for yourself to see if dividend stocks are right for you. it’s just another way to increase your profits. Espaecially when the stability of the markets are highly in question.

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Stock Market Volatility

Stock market volatility fluctuates all the time, some days more than others. Volatility in the markets grow as the gains increase along with those times when uncertainty rises.

Since the markets have risen as high as they did and the condition of the economy is still on shaky ground, I’m not surprised to see that the VIX (volatility index) jumped 20% in just one day. What does surprise me is the fact that it took so long for it to happen.

In the last fourteen months, the Dow Industrial Average (DJIA) has increased by nearly 80% and over 10% in the last three months. I’ve been saying for quite some time now about the fact that the DOW sitting at over 10,000 points has no real reason to be there. Of course many investors are still riding the wave as long as they can. Unfortunately many of them won’t see it coming when the markets take the next plunge.

Unemployment is at 12% (officially), but it is estimated to be at 17% since most people who were receiving unemployment benefits last year are no longer eligible. Many companies are holding off on hiring until they get a good look at the new tax laws that the present Administration has passed. Add on the fact that the foreclosures in the United States are not shrinking, instead they are holding steady in most areas.

The VIX is one of the indicators that should be watched on a regular basis as part of your stock market strategies. As the uncertainty in the markets rises, the VIX will climb. Many average investors lose money in the stock market as this happens because the price per share of most companies will rise and fall with large swings. If you are a veteran in trading stocks, most likely you’ve learned to read the VIX and play it accordingly.

For those who are not familiar with VIX, there are a few stock market books that will help you understand much better. In many of Jim Cramer books, you will find information about the volatility in the stock market and how to play it.

What happened to the stock market today?

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Penny Stock Alerts

If you spend any time researching companies that you’re thinking of trading stock in, I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements, the pop-up windows and the e-mails informing you of different websites that will give you alerts on penny stocks they believe will make you some great gains.

The only problem that I see with that is you really don’t know the person who is running the website. Quite a few of them are actually fund managers that use you to help pump up the price of the stock to help them make more money. Of course I’m not saying that all of them are like that but you need to be aware of who you might be dealing with.

I myself subscribe to many different alerts from websites just to see what’s going on. In many cases I watch their picks to see if they’re going to be right or wrong. Unfortunately many of the picks don’t really go anywhere after the initial jump. How I see it, many of these website/traders position themselves in a company, start hyping it up and tell their readers/subscribers that it will do great for them. As the price goes up they start scaling out their position. Most of the stocks that I’ve been watching over the last two months from these alerts would have lost me thousands of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I would have made money on some of the picks, but not as much as I would have lost.

The latest stock that I’ve seen being pushed is Biocentric Energy Holdings (OTC:BEHL.PK). I saw this being pushed by several different websites. I figured that this too would be another pump-and-dump fiasco as I’ve seen before. I even saw some talk on a penny stock forum of how this is being pushed. The stock price was $0.023 per share when I first received the alert, after three positive days where it went to $0.07 I was waiting for the price to fall. To my surprise, it still hasn’t started to lose momentum. As of this morning, the price per share was to to $0.14, a gain of over 500% in just a week or so. If you were one of the many that jumped into this investment, you need to get out now. I’m telling you that this will not be in the category of “best penny stocks 2010”. The company doesn’t have anything really going on to sustain the gain in price.

I’ve talked about it before and said that buying penny stocks can be very rewarding, but at the same time you can lose a ton of money. Be careful when you trade penny stocks, even more so than you would with bigger cap companies.

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Stock Market Game

I’ve said it many times, and I stand by it; Stock Trading Is Not A Game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a trader or an investor, you must do your homework by researching every stock you plan to invest in or trade But what if you could play a game and practice investing without risk? You could have fun “playing”, while learning and understanding the stock market even more.
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I stumbled upon a free website where you can trade stocks on a virtual Wall Street. UpDown.com is a free fantasy investing site. People join UpDown to practice investing and can earn money for winning contests. Start with a $1,000,000 cash reserve and start trading stocks immediately after registering and creating a profile. With up-to-date news information along with an active forum for members to share ideas and investment strategies.
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The UpDown is a community for people interested in investing in the stock market. If you’re new to the stock market or have a few year under your belt, this site will give you the chance to try different strategies without any actual loss of money.
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UpDown.com provides a platform where investors can view, share, and rate high-quality stock analysis and investment ideas. They then filter, aggregate, rank, and present the community’s investment recommendations for the benefit of all UpDown members looking for valuable investment advice.
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Click the banner below, or the one in our sidebar to join. I just joined myself and it looks like a good place for me to test out new strategies that I normally wouldn’t, with my own money.



Free Stock Market Game

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