Investing Basics

Amid the drumbeat of weak U.S. economic data and continuing European debt worries, global stock markets sold off in the week of Aug.1. Then came the U.S. credit downgrade from Standard & Poor’s. The U.S. stock market dropped between 4-5% on… Read More

In stressful times like these, it’s important to distinguish between investors’ appetite for stocks in general and the actual outlook of each company. The market plunge is related to top-down concerns about the U.S. economy, but a bottom-up approach is still warranted. This is because — despite the weak… Read More

If investing were always a walk in the park, we would all be Warren Buffett. Truth is, there are always tough times. And after more than two years of one of the strongest bull markets we’ve ever seen, the market is… Read More

As the calendar flipped from 2010 to 2011, stock strategists routinely included both Ford (NYSE: F) and GM (NYSE: GM) among their top picks for the coming year. After all, both car makers had staged a remarkably recovery and looked poised to boost sales and profits at a continued robust pace. Seven months later, the wheels have fallen off, and each stock trades near a 52-week low. Judging by the stock price movements for both of these companies, you would think consumers are about to stop buying cars and trucks, as was the case in 2008. Will… Read More

As the calendar flipped from 2010 to 2011, stock strategists routinely included both Ford (NYSE: F) and GM (NYSE: GM) among their top picks for the coming year. After all, both car makers had staged a remarkably recovery and looked poised to boost sales and profits at a continued robust pace. Seven months later, the wheels have fallen off, and each stock trades near a 52-week low. Judging by the stock price movements for both of these companies, you would think consumers are about to stop buying cars and trucks, as was the case in 2008. Will this really be the case? After all, the economy was imploding in 2008. Now, it’s merely flat. Another question: if investors are being overly bearish about these automakers, then which one has the better looking stock right now? First, let’s take a quick look at how business is faring so far this year. Thee figures in the table below compare the first six months of 2011 with the first six months of 2010. One item quickly jumps out. Even though Ford and GM have both posted similar sales gains in the first… Read More

This industry is never going away. And even when the economy struggles, such as is the case now, stocks in this industry rarely disappoint investors. They provide consistent dividend payments at growing rates and can be great defensive plays. I’m talking about waste management companies… Read More