Friday, December 30, 2005

5 Reasons That Point To A Selloff

Interesting observations. US markets are being very cautious moving forward.
Also another point to note is that
Gold, Oil, Dollar, Markets never have gone up @ the same time in history.

http://biz.yahoo.com/tm/051229/13715.html

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Take Stock of your Stocks

Another cool article from WSJ. Posting it in its entireity here as I dont know who all still have the subscription info.

It's Time to Take Stock of Your Stocks

By KAREN TALLEY and MOHAMMED HADI
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
December 13, 2005; Page D2

For many investors, the end of the year is a good time to clean up their portfolios, re-evaluating stocks that haven't done well -- and deciding whether to pare back on winners that have outperformed the market and grown to more than 5% of holdings.

While the overall stock market hasn't moved much, there's been plenty going on among individual stocks.

Take Apple Computer Inc., up 133% as of yesterday's close. Or Google Inc., ahead 114%. Conversely, General Motors Corp. has lost 42% and Verizon Communications Inc. is off 24%.

Whether a stock has been a big gainer or a loser, Joseph Giordano, a financial adviser in Annapolis, Md., says investors should ask themselves a simple question: "Does the reason you originally bought the stock still exist?" If that reason is still there, and there are no big negative factors now affecting the company, "the stock should be held," he says. "If the answer is no ... the investment should be re-evaluated and probably sold."

Robert Zagunis, co-manager of Jensen Portfolio mutual fund in Portland, Ore., sold all of his Merck & Co. stock the very day last year that its blockbuster painkiller Vioxx was pulled off the market. He says the Vioxx problems threatened some of Jensen's fundamental assumptions about Merck.

Daniel Morgan, portfolio manager at Synovus Investment Advisors in St. Petersburg, Fla., sold 2005 laggard GM in January, when the stock was in the mid-$30s. He lost money but decided that selling was better than hanging on. The stock closed yesterday at $23.05. Mr. Morgan says his cue to sell came from factors that included shrinking market share and decelerating earnings at the auto maker.

The decision of whether to sell can be just as hard when a stock has soared as when one has tumbled. You don't want to sell a stock when it still has great prospects, but you have to be wary of keeping a stock just because of its past results.

Mr. Morgan is holding on to Apple even after its big advance. "They've had a great run based on the iPod," he says, "and recently announced a new product category, a video approach." He also is keeping WellPoint Inc., a health-care company whose stock is up 37% this year, even as it trades near its all-time high, where some investors typically take profits. WellPoint trades on the demand from corporate employers for benefits packages, he explains, and "if the economy is doing well, you have demand, like there is now."

Investors may want to trim, but not sell, some big winners. People "should look at the individual stocks that now exceed 5% of their portfolio and then pare back to a more suitable 2% to 3%," suggests Jim Oxley, a financial adviser at Raymond James & Associates in Indianapolis.

Another consideration for investors evaluating their 2005 winners and losers is taxes. If investors act by year end to sell stocks that have declined in value since being purchased, the losses can offset other taxable income and trim the taxes due in April on 2005 returns.

Mr. Oxley of Raymond James recommends "taking winners and using that stock for charitable giving, in place of cash." When you donate shares that have gone up in value since purchase, you avoid capital-gains tax on the increased value, and you can deduct the full value of the gift (as long as you itemize deductions).

Remember that selling a winning stock before you've held it for a year can be costly from a tax perspective. You pay tax at ordinary-income rates, which run as high as 35%, instead of the long-term capital-gains rate, which is a maximum of 15%.

Write to Karen Talley at karen.talley@dowjones.com and Mohammed Hadi at mohammed.hadi@dowjones.com

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More wisdom - this time from Ben Stein

When investing, profit from serenity

A Zen like guide to investing.

Gold still an opportunity for investors - Barron's

In addition to owning the metal itself, investors have a variety of ways to enter the market with varying degrees of risk.

Morningstar equity analyst Parvathy Krishnan favors Barrick, Royal Gold Inc. (RGL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) .

Frank Holmes, chief executive of U.S. Global Investors, is partial to Goldcorp and holds more than 10 percent of Northern Orion Resources Inc. (NNO.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , Barron's said.


Full Article
.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ten Tips for a Prosperous 2006 -- and Beyond: Money Matters - Yahoo! Finance

The 10 worst money predictions of 2005

All the predictions could have come true with the same probability... except for the No 1. prediction - of course.
Even Buffet bet against the dollar and he is losing hand over fist.
The 10 worst money predictions of 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

The bulls are pawing and snorting

Interesting article if you folks missed this one.

The bulls are pawing and snorting - BusinessWeek Online

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pfizer Wins Crucial Patent Case Over Its Best-Selling Lipitor

In today's WSJ - Stock up 11% after hours.

Pfizer Inc. won a critical patent-infringement case over Lipitor in federal court in Delaware, securing continued protection from generic competition for the world's biggest-selling drug.

The decision by Judge Joseph J. Farnan in U.S. District Court in Delaware rejected a challenge by generics maker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. on two key patents on Lipitor. The ruling lifts a cloud over Pfizer by protecting the drug giant's $12 billion in annual sales of Lipitor through 2011. Pfizer shares surged 11% to $25.16 in after-hours trading.

The opinion found that Ranbaxy's generic drug, which it wanted to sell in the U.S. market, infringed on two patents that Pfizer claimed protect the cholesterol-lowering drug until 2010 and 2011. One patent covered a precursor to the drug and the other the chemical that was eventually marketed as Lipitor.

The legal assault on the Lipitor patents has worried investors. Though most analysts expected the odds favored Pfizer, there was a chance the company could lose its best-selling drug overnight through an adverse ruling in the case. To mitigate the risk, some had argued that Pfizer should reach a settlement with Ranbaxy.

But Pfizer rejected that option and took its chances in court. "If somebody is threatening to steal four tires off your car, it's not a good strategy to compromise and give them two," said Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Henry McKinnell in an interview. "There's no question this has been a major overhang on the stock, and fortunately it's now removed."

In 2001, Eli Lilly & Co. lost patent protection on the antidepressant Prozac, its flagship product, after generic company Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. won a lengthy lawsuit allowing it to bring a copycat to market about 2½ years earlier than Lilly expected, and sales fell precipitously.

Pfizer is facing heavy pressure from generics. Drugs that account for a quarter of its U.S. sales are slipping away. Last month the U.S. patent for antibiotic Zithromax expired. Next year antidepressant Zoloft will go generic, and generic competition looms in 2007 for blood-pressure drug Norvasc and allergy drug Zyrtec.

Monday, December 12, 2005

ETF oriented to Indian stocks in the works

Indian ETF?

This would be nice as it will allow investors to buy without the high mutual fund fees and loads and achieve better diversity among indian stocks traded in american markets.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Natural Gas not so hot right now, but good long term - TheStreet.com

Very well written article on one analysts (and majority) view of the current condition of the nat. gas market. The author/interviewee makes several cases for not getting into natural gas until the end of winter, but the article lays out a good bullish picture for nat. gas stocks for the long term. Read more: Bulls remain cool on Nat Gas

Thursday, December 01, 2005

S &P ups its rating on Chesapeake

Chesapeake Energy (CHK ): S& P Ups to 5 STARS (strong buy) from 4 STARS (buy)
Analyst: Charles LaPorta


Our upgrade is based on valuation. We believe the stock's recent decline reflects declining natural gas prices and the implied dilution from the recent issue of equity-linked securities. However, we think Chesapeake Energy's shares provide value, despite the lower natural gas prices, because the company has hedged over 70% of its fourth quarter production and over 50% of its 2006 production at what we believe are attractive prices. We are lowering our 2006 earnings per share estimate by 15 cents to $2.60, on lower gas prices, but maintaining 2006's at $3.35. Our target price stays at $37, reflecting a price-to-earnings of 11 times our 2006 estimate.