Stock Futures Flat Ahead Of Durable-goods Data

GLOBAL MARKETS-Equities buoyed by Nikkei high, dollar edges up

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected overall durable-goods orders to rise 2%. Todays stock-market coverage continues in Market Snapshot /conga/story/misc/indy_snap.html 284838 In other economic data, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday that U.S. house prices rose 0.5% in October on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous go month. Data on November new-home sales are due at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-futures-point-to-more-gains-durable-goods-ahead-2013-12-24?dist=markets

U.S. stock markets open higher on Christmas Eve; Dow up 0.2%

The simple strategy of buying U.S. stocks, selling bonds and staying out of international markets isn’t going to work as well as it has, they say. Some of Wall Street’s biggest money managers have come up with a few resolutions to help your retirement portfolio have a good year: Curb your expectations Few investors expected 2013 to be as big as it was. The S&P 500 index is up 28 percent for the year, its best year since 1997. Including dividends, it’s up 30 percent.
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/stock-market-resolutions-2014-21313476

Stock Market Today: Apple Goes to China and Tiffany Books a Huge Loss

That followed a rise in Asian stock markets, where Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 0.1 percent to reach its highest closing level in six years. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 countries, was steady at 402.82 points, while the MSCI Emerging Markets equity index rose 0.3 percent. The MSCI global equity index has risen nearly 19 percent since the start of 2013, helped by injections of liquidity from the Japanese and U.S central banks and by signs the global economy is recovering from the 2008 credit crisis. Those central bank programmes have dented returns on bonds and cash, driving many investors over to the better returns available from equities. SteppenWolf Capital chief investment officer Phoebus Theologites felt equities would remain the favoured asset class for 2014.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/24/markets-global-idUSL6N0JV32P20131224?feedType=RSS

Stock Market Resolutions for 2014

Inside North Wests Chic Christmas

24 (Bloomberg) John Stoltzfus, chief market strategist at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, says stock market gains will continue in 2014. Stoltzfus talks with Bloomberg’s Michael McKee and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Radio ‘s ” Bloomberg Surveillance .” (Source: Bloomberg)
Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-24/stoltzfus-says-stock-market-gains-to-continue-in-2014-audio-.html

Stoltzfus Says Stock Market Gains to Continue in 2014 (Audio)

The Commerce Department said earlier that total durable goods orders increased by 3.5% in November, easily surpassing expectations for a 2% gain. Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, climbed by a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in November, above forecasts for a 0.6% increase. Orders for core capital goods, a key barometer of private-sector business investment, surged 4.5% last month, blowing past expectations for a 0.7% gain. Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to calculate quarterly economic growth, advanced 2.8% in November, significantly higher than expectations for a 1% gain.
Source: http://www.jpost.com/Business/Investing/US-stock-markets-open-higher-on-Christmas-Eve-Dow-up-02-percent-336003

Kingsford Capital Management Puts ‘Stock Market Bad Behavior’ on Holiday Quilt

Bernanke showered the stock market with presents over his term. First, it was QE1, followed by QE2, and then the third installment through QE3. It has been a wonderful upward ride in 2013. Imagine if I had told you back in January that the NASDAQ and S&P 500 would rise by more than 30% this year The majority of you would have thought I was on something, and really, we were: the Federal Reserve pumped so much money into the economy this year that the market developed a dependence on the cheap money as if it were cocaine.
Source: http://www.business2community.com/finance/feds-move-taper-right-choice-stock-market-2014-0724380

The stock is down 3% in premarket trading. Finally, Darden Restaurants has another activist investor on its hands. Starboard Value recently bought a 5.6% stake in the struggling restaurant operator, according The Wall Street Journal. The fund plans to push for a bigger breakup of the company than just the spinoff or sale of the Red Lobster business that Darden announced last week.
Source: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/12/23/stock-market-today-apple-wins-china-and-tiffany-bo.aspx

Fed’s Move to Taper the Right Choice for the Stock Market in 2014?

Fed’s Move to Taper the Right Choice for the Stock Market in 2014? image Any Money to Be Made in the Stock Market in 2014

Mr. Zell’s music boxes have become a status symbol in some corner offices, but some gifts are even more outlandish. A quilt that arrived in some investment offices earlier this month was hardly the handiwork of somebody’s aunt. Enlarge Image Among the 18 panels was one depicting a man appearing on TV dressed in a cartoonish black-and-white striped prison uniform and another panel showing a man smoking a bong. In the middle was the biblical phrase “Be Not Deceived.” It was wedged between images of a reindeer and a Christmas tree.
Source: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303290904579276251552485132

Standard

Stocks Pause On Wall Street A Day After A Surge

stock indexes ended up pretty much where they started on Thursday, a day after a powerful surge. Stocks gained the most in more than two months Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. Investors saw the decision as a vote of confidence in the economy. “It’s good for the economy, and it’s good for the market, to start standing on its own two feet,” said Natalie Trunow, chief investment officer for stocks at Calvert Investments. Financial markets were still digesting the Fed’s move on Thursday. While stocks were holding close to record levels, Treasury yields check this out climbed, the dollar rose and gold slumped to its lowest in more than three years. Major U.S.
Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/stocks-pause-wall-street-day-surge-220438737–finance.html

Standard

Schwab Etfs(tm) Report Zero Capital Gains Distributions In 2013

Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. *Schwab is a registered trademark of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Fundamental Index is a registered trademark of Research Affiliates LLC. The Laudus Group(R) of Funds includes the Laudus Mondrian Funds and Laudus U.S. Large Cap Growth Fund, which are part of the Laudus Trust and Laudus Institutional Trust and distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc., and the Laudus MarketMasters Funds(R), which are part of the Schwab Capital Trust and distributed by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ALPS Distributors, Inc.
Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20131216-904535.html

BDC Income ETF — Insider Buying Index Registering 37.0%

The ETF holds a total of $936,134 worth of GBDC, making it the #12 largest holding. The table below details the recent insider buying activity observed at GBDC: GBDC last to learn more trade: $17.73 Recent Insider Buys: Purchased $16.95 $169,500.00 Special Offer: Add income and energy exposure to your portfolio with a 30 day free trial to Frank Bifulcos Oil & Gas Income Portfolio And New Mountain Finance Corp ( NYSE: NMFC ), the #14 largest holding among components of the BDC Income ETF ( AMEX: BIZD ), shows 6 directors and officers as recently filing Form 4s indicating purchases. The ETF holds $754,163 worth of NMFC, which represents approximately 3.01% of the ETFs total assets at last check. The recent insider buying activity observed at NMFC is detailed in the table below: NMFC last trade: $14.63 Recent Insider Buys: Purchased
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/etfchannel/2013/12/16/bdc-income-etf-insider-buying-index-registering-37-0/

Emerging ETF Rises as Gazprom Leads Energy Shares Higher

Federal Reserve policy makers start a two-day meeting tomorrow and economists see an increased chance policy makers will begin reducing stimulus. Crude oil jumped after Libyan rebels refused to hand over control of three oil ports to the government. Its good news out of Europe and the follow through in the U.S. thats pulling emerging-market stocks up, Paul Zemsky, the head of multi-asset strategies at ING U.S. Investment Management, which oversees $190 billion, said by phone from New York .
Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/emerging-stocks-fall-to-one-month-low-on-china-factory-data.html

ETF Issuer Solutions Announces Partnership with Recon Capital

Investors do not have to commit to market-lagging returns with telecom ETFs, a fact confirmed by the SPDR S&P S&P International Telecommunications Sector ETF ( IST ) . With just $34 million in assets under management, IST is another example of a small ETF offering big returns. Actually, IST has performed well enough this year to rank among the short list of international ETFs that have outpaced the S&P 500. [Some International ETFs Have Beaten SPY in 2013] IST truly lives up to its international billing as the U.S.
Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/telecom-etf-didn-t-disappoint-191202994.html

This Telecom ETF Didn’t Disappoint in 2013

(“ETFis”), a comprehensive fund services company with a focus on exchange traded funds, announces its partnership with Recon Capital Advisors, LLC (“Recon”) in supporting Recon’s entrance into the ETF marketplace. ETFis and its subsidiaries will serve as fund administrator and distributor to Recon’s ETFs. “We are proud to partner with Recon Capital, an emerging ETF sponsor with an innovative product suite,” said William Smalley, President of ETFis. “Recon is a great example of the type of asset managers with which ETFis strives to work a hedge fund seeking to introduce institutional-quality investments to investors of all sizes via ETFs.” Garrett Paolella, CEO of Recon Capital, said: “We are excited to be launching our first public funds with ETFis, ones that focus on our firm’s core principles diversification, liquidity, and downside risk management.” For more information, please contact Brinton Frith, Head of Business Development at ETFis, at 1-888-383-4184. About ETF Issuer Solutions ETF Issuer Solutions (“ETFis”) is a New York-based financial technology firm on a mission to change the way ETFs are launched, operated, and distributed. ETFis has developed the first comprehensive ETF services platform, designed specifically to support exchange traded funds, conceived by seasoned ETF product managers. About Recon Capital Recon Capital Advisors, LLC is a registered investment adviser headquartered in New York. Recon strives to distinguish itself from other investment managers by enhancing portfolio diversification and returns while limiting correlation to the equity and fixed income markets.
Source: http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=PR&Date=20131213&ID=17191428

New iShares Euro Stoxx ETF ditches banks

Its total expense ratio is 20 basis points. Usually ETFs listed on several European exchanges settle in hte national central securities depository of the exchange where a trade was executed. Euroclear Bank global head of international markets Stephan Pouyat says the new international ETF class simplifies issuance and standardises settlement across Europe making it easier for investors to trade ETF shares. The realisation of this new international ETF asset class marks another step in the development and maturation of the European ETF market. This will ultimately improve liquidity in the market, which should have a positive effect on processing costs for the end investor, he explains.
Source: http://www.fundweb.co.uk/news-and-analysis/new-launches/new-ishares-euro-stoxx-etf-ditches-banks/2004406.article

Standard

Which Students Have The Highest Student Loan Debt?

“This middle-income squeeze, or the difference between middle income kids and everyone else, was highest at private, high cost institutions,” Houle said. Many of the most selective private colleges, those with the largest endowments, have been trying to woo high achieving low-income students with lavish aid packages, many of them free of loans. But those colleges represent only a tiny portion of all private colleges, and many others lack the resources to extend that level of financial assistance. As for what would make the system more fair, Houle is discreet. “When we look at these findings, and the fact that parents’ backgrounds tend to be strongest at high cost universities, that suggests to me that reducing costs would make sense,” he said. Put more simply, Houle’s observation is simple: Colleges need to bring down the cost of attendance.
Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/which-students-have-highest-student-loan-debt-2D11723568

Apply for the Income-Based Repayment Plan. Just about everyone should consider applying for the Income-Based Repayment Plan , Mayotte says. The program adjusts students’ monthly loan payments to be no more than 15% of their “discretionary” income (the amount of money they make that falls above the federal poverty level). Take, for example, a recent grad who makes $20,000. Because the federal income level within the contiguous United States is $11,490, that means he only makes $8,510 in discretionary income.
Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/09/06/student-loan-forgiveness-options/2776545/

Student Loans… But Only for Some

Bank-based loan servicers such as Wells Fargo or Discover are already overseen by the CFPB. But student-loan companies such as Sallie Mae and Nelnet so-called nonbank servicers have long fallen into a regulatory grey area. The Education Department had authority over their contracts to service federal student loans. And both the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission had the authority to investigate specific violations of consumer protection laws. But no agency was consistently monitoring for violations. That will change as of March, when the CFPB will begin providing regular supervision to student-loan servicers with more than one million customer accounts, regardless of whether the loans they service are federal or private.
Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/12/05/finally_real_oversight_for_student_loan_servicers_partner/

Student loan forgiveness: What you don’t know (but should)

Of the $2,200 he pulls in per month from his job in investment operations in Philadelphia, Mr. Weatherford plans to put about $538 toward paying off the loans, on which he pays 5% interest. He estimates that about $700 of his monthly earnings go toward rent and utilities, leaving him about $1,000 for everything else, he says. To minimize expenses, Mr. Weatherford says he prioritizes essentials like gas and furniture over social outings. Rather than dining out, he frequently opts to eat the food in the fridge. Torie Olson, 23 Marquette University, 13; Master of Science in Accounting Total Student Debt: $43,000 in federal loans Debt-Free Target Date: 10 years Ms.
Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/12/11/tips-for-repaying-student-loans/

4 Ways to Cut Student Loan Debt While You’re Still in School

James Runcie, Office of Federal Student Aid chief operating officer, described the various findings as compliance issues in the letter. He told Warren, who had asked whether the department would terminate its Sallie Mae contract or fine the company as punishment for wrongdoing, that the issues had not risen to the level where these penalties were considered appropriate, and they were resolved through the implementation of corrective action plans. The Education Department doesnt know how many borrowers were harmed by the destructive practices, it conceded in its letter to Warren. Borrower advocates, such as Deanne Loonin, director of the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project, have claimed that borrowers with federal student debt are routinely treated poorly, with distressed borrowers often receiving treatment that appears to violate at least the spirit of Education Department rules. These are all serious issues that make a huge difference for borrowers, Loonin said, after reviewing the Education Departments description of its findings. Im not surprised because Ive seen a lot of this. For example, the income errors associated with borrowers in the governments Income-Based Repayment plan, which caps monthly payments relative to income, could mean the difference between borrowers staying current on their loans versus being hammered by debt collectors, Loonin said.
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/education-sallie-mae_n_4428048.html

Student loan deal passes Senate

But as unsettling as that continues to be, its the direction in which the industry appears to be headed thats just as troubling. Rather than addressing the damage thats been doneby implementing a comprehensive solution to the existing debt problem, or by formulating an action plan for reducing the unsustainably high cost of higher education thats led to thatlenders, private equity firms and venture capitalists are turning their attention to other potentially lucrative ways of financing an upward cost spiral that wont be reversed any time soon. Im referring to loans that are being offered to a select few on the basis of the schools they attend, their areas of study and the income they can be expected to earn as a result, especially for financing arrangements that call for a share of that future payday in exchange for the upfront dollars. As a lender, I have no quarrel with credit underwriting methodologies that take into account, among other things, a given borrowers long-term repayment ability. But in this case, its also important to think as a taxpayer with a social conscience. In particular, I worry about adverse selection: how academically average students attending middle-of-the-road private and public institutions will have little choice but to finance their equally expensive educations with government-guaranteed loansthe same loans that may very well burden taxpayers when the borrowers are unable to find jobs that pay enough .
Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/student-loans-only-123053293.html

Average student loan debt: $29,400

Morningstar: 2013 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM 2013 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association.
Source: http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/04/pf/college/student-loan-debt/index.html

Finally, real oversight for student loan servicers

Every $1,000 earned in a scholarship is $1,000 less you have to borrow moved here and pay back over 10 or more years after you graduate. She says to find and apply to as many scholarships for higher grades, athletics, personal or career interests and ethnicity offered by local associations, private companies or offered from your college to put toward your costs. In addition to checking your schools Financial Aid office, scan the scholarship listings from The College Board. Cruze advises checking every semester and applying for any newly eligible scholarships. Use apps and online services to organize bills According to a new report from the CFPB, some student loan servicers may be charging borrowers several kinds of unwarranted fees. Good record-keeping about any early payments you make during school, any repayment plans and all payment dates is important in challenging unwarranted fees that may cause your student loan balances to grow instead of shrink. Another way to stay ahead of fees is to never miss a student loan payment or pay late.
Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/4-ways-cut-student-loan-140023243.html

Tips for Repaying Student Loans

The basic principle is that it ties student loan rates to the bond markets. This fall, undergraduate students will pay an overall interest rate of 3.86% on their loans. It is comprised of the yield on the 10-year Treasury note on June 1, plus an additional 2.05%. Graduate students will have to pay 5.41% on loans this fall, or 3.6% over the 10-year Treasury, also on June 1. Related: Bill helps college students now, but future students to see rate hikes If rates on Treasury notes rise, so would student loan rates under the new deal. However, if interest rates were to spike, the bill makes provisions to cap the rates.
Source: http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/24/news/economy/senate-student-loans/index.html

Standard

Markets Subdued Ahead Of Shortened Us Trading Day

ET Iman Shumpert has sidestepped questions concerning recent trade talks. Getty Images It’s been an up-and-down few months for Knicks swingman Iman Shumpert to put it mildly. He went from a solid month of May, where he at times looked like the team’s second-best player during the postseason, to a forgettable November in which he’s been the subject of frequent trade talks and a scapegoat for a nationally televised overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers. Since that defeat, in which he committed a costly shooting foul in the closing seconds, Shumpert’s been nearly invisible in the team’s box scores.
Source: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304747004579228241119371928

But we also have more leverage to work with. This isnt just a good thing, because leverage can amplify gains AND losses; but this speaks to the flexibility that I mentioned at the beginning of this article. As a trader, when I want to turn up the leverage on a position, its my right to do so in the FX market. In stocks, that option isnt even available as maximum leverage is capped at four times account equity. But, because these price movements are, in general, smaller than what we might see in other markets; traders often place a higher importance on technical analysis in seeking out trades or positions. Technical Analysis is the art of using the chart, and past prices in an effort to find trade setups; so, technical analysis is really just a way of examining the past; and there are a lot of different ways of doing so.
Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/complete-trading-approach-200000913.html

So why the drop in percentages? The Cavaliers have to consider value as well. Right now, Irving’s trade value would still be sky high due to his talent, age and contract. He’s under his rookie deal for one more year and can sign an extension before the 2014-15 season begins. Trading him now would land another star player or, possibly, another high pick in the star-studded 2014 draft. (This pick would supplement the Cavs’ own potential lottery selection should they end this season with a poor enough record.) The Case to Keep Irving As established, Irving is the Cavaliers’ best player, but he also represents their best chance to recruit other star players to join him. Jesse D.
Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1870596-would-cleveland-cavaliers-consider-trading-kyrie-irving

That was the first fall since April 2011 and may signal that the recovery from recession may start to be helping the labor market, particularly in the larger economies of Germany and France. “One thing looks clear though, the upward momentum on the figure has almost grinded to a halt,” said Erlam. With trading volumes low due to the shortened session in the U.S. following Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, markets were lackluster. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.2 percent at 6,666 while Germany’s DAX was flat at 9,389. The CAC-40 was 0.1 percent higher at 4,307.
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japans-nikkei-standout-markets-yen-slips-21040328

We agree on the science. We agree on the targets. We agree on market mechanisms. We disagree, best etf portfolio absolutely, on what is the right market mechanism. The paper marks the most detailed account yet of how Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans to fulfill his promise to keep fighting global warming as he dismantles many of the programs the previous government had for pricing emissions. Abbotts Liberal-National coalition trounced Labor in September by disparaging its toxic tax on fossil fuel emissions. Abbotts first legislation would repeal the levy imposed on about 300 of Australias biggest emitters, forgoing about A$10 billion ($9.1 billion) in tax revenue next year.
Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-01/australia-s-pollution-plan-starts-to-look-like-trading.html

Standard