Markets «

    Can anything derail this runaway market train?

    As each week goes by, more and more bears turn to bulls. More of those that have been calling for a correction have now joined the upside on the runaway train we call the stock market, or, as some lovingly call it, the “stock casino.” Even in our trading room, it has almost become comical that everyone simply believes you can just buy any dip, and the market will simply reward you. Too many have posted that this is a “no-brainer,” and it is just “easy money.” I have even seen some posts that say that “it does not get easier than this.” It has become so en vogue to be bullish that those who have a bearish view actually apologize for the bearish perspective in their post. So, it is official; almost all the bears are dead. And those who are not are apologizing...


    Bond links: Bonds get a stay of execution

    Financial Times: Does the strengthening dollar spell doom for all U.S. dollar-denominated bonds issued by emerging market corporates? LearnBonds: Are long-term bond funds right for you ? InvestorPlace: Is it time to shift some assets into bond ETFs . InvestmentWeek: The 10 best and worst bond funds of the past eight months. BusinessDay: The decline of emerging markets has been greatly exaggerated . WSJ: Investors still clamor for corporate bonds even as yield premiums deteriorate . Income Investing: Muni fund outflows slow to a trickle .


    The market in a minute: Big earnings week

    Volatility returned to equities during the first full week of trading of 2014, nonetheless, the S&P gained about 0.5%, as markets continued to benefit from improving economic data and, not withstanding Alcoa’s miss, a decent start to earnings season. Several key financial and industrial companies will be reporting this week, likely providing investors enough data to discern short-term market direction. The trade Hold steady, and let the data guide you. Fourth-quarter earnings expectations are highest for health-care stocks, financials and consumer-discretionary names, as well as Industrial companies. Should earnings in these sectors fall short of expectations, expect a market correction. This week’s key reports •Monday: The Treasury budget is released •Tuesday: JP Morgan /quotes/zigman/272085/delayed/quotes/nls/jpm...


    Abercrombie: Buy signal or short squeeze?

    It is probably a little of both. Price popped up after Abercrombie /quotes/zigman/167627/delayed/quotes/nls/anf ANF -2.82% announced a positive revision in its forecast. There is a large short position , so the jump in price may be partly due to short-covering. But portfolio managers were hoping to see a bottom in this fundamentally strong company with a nice dividend. Price had dropped from $54 in June to a recent low of $31. If the train is leaving the station for a trip back up to $54, many portfolio managers will be running to catch that train and its implied 42% return from a $38 starting point. But not so fast. Is the bottom really in place at $31, or will there be a retest? Could this first move up be a false start fueled by panic short-covering? Will price fall back to fill the gap once the...


    Needing a correction, or just wanting one?

    Stocks have been somewhat volatile as markets kick of 2014 trying to figure out what happens next to the economy and Federal Reserve policy, which raises the question of whether or not that volatility is a sign of a potential correction in the making, or the fact that some market participants would prefer one, regardless of conditions. Emerging markets — represented here by the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF /quotes/zigman/322623/delayed/quotes/nls/eem EEM -1.19% — looked like they were in the midst of another severe drop until Friday’s gain reversed five straight days of weakness. U.S. small-cap stocks, as seen through the iShares Russell 2000 ETF /quotes/zigman/260873/delayed/quotes/nls/iwm IWM +0.13% , despite being extended, are now positive year-to-date while multinational large-caps...


    Hong Kong stocks fall, with property weak

    HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks started lower Tuesday, tracking overnight weakness in U.S. equities, with property and financial shares posting broad declines. The Hang Seng Index /quotes/zigman/2622475/realtime HK:HSI -0.43% lost 0.8%, as Shimao Property Holdings Ltd /quotes/zigman/36732/realtime HK:813 -1.66% fell 2.4%, China Resources Land Ltd /quotes/zigman/14892/realtime HK:1109 +1.54% /quotes/zigman/14893/delayed/quotes/nls/crbjf CRBJF -3.25% lost 2%, and Poly Property Group Co. Ltd /quotes/zigman/7040/realtime HK:119 -0.98% dropped 1.2%. Chinese banks were weak, as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China /quotes/zigman/37346/realtime HK:1398 -0.40% /quotes/zigman/37349/delayed/quotes/nls/idcbf IDCBF -1.52% declined 1.2%, and Bank of China Ltd /quotes/zigman/35803/realtime HK:3988...


    Japan stocks stumble; Suntory perks up on deal

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks slid in early trading Tuesday, hurt after Wall Street sold off on concerns about further reduction in stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The Nikkei Stock Average /quotes/zigman/5986735/realtime JP:NIK -3.08% skidded 2.7% lower to 15,501.50, and the broader Topix slumped 2.3%, with stocks also hit as the U.S. dollar fell to around the 103-level against the yen, weaker than its level compared with the end of last week. Stock trading was closed Monday for a holiday. Bucking broader market losses Tuesday, shares of Suntory Holdings Ltd. /quotes/zigman/17381318/realtime JP:2587 +0.31% rose 1.1% following the company’s plan to buy spirits maker Beam Inc. /quotes/zigman/6577531/delayed/quotes/nls/beam BEAM -0.08% in a deal worth $16 billion. Beam’s...


    Australia stocks follow U.S. peers downward

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks started solidly lower Tuesday, weighed by large losses on Wall Street, with the S&P/ASX 200 /quotes/zigman/1653884/realtime AU:XJO -1.51% retreating 0.8% to 5,248.90. Globally sensitive stocks were among the leading decliners after a 1.3% pullback for the S&P 500 /quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime SPX -1.26% in the U.S., with financial major Macquarie Group Ltd. /quotes/zigman/482521/realtime AU:MQG -2.85% /quotes/zigman/482522/delayed/quotes/nls/mcqef MCQEF -1.05% falling 2.2%, News Corp. /quotes/zigman/17601546/realtime AU:NWS -1.98% /quotes/zigman/18008448/delayed/quotes/nls/nws NWS -1.50% — the parent of MarketWatch, publisher of this report — off 1.4%, and construction-material firm James Hardie Industries SE /quotes/zigman/291856/realtime...


    U.S. stocks fall the most this year; Dow drops 179

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks sold off sharply Monday, resulting in the worst losses for benchmark indexes in several months, on concerns about the weak December jobs report and comments from a Federal Reserve official about a further reduction in stimulus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/zigman/627449/realtime DJIA -1.09% suffered the worst one-day drop since Sep 20, shedding 179.11 points, or 1.1% to 16,257.94 by the close, falling for the fourth-straight session. The S&P 500 index /quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime SPX -1.26% closed down 23.17 points, or 1.3% to 1,819.20, snapping its two-day winning streak. The Nasdaq Composite /quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime COMP -1.47% finished 61.36, or 1.5%, lower at 4,113.30. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw their worst one-day point...


    Google rises on acquisition of Nest Labs

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Shares of Google Inc. rose in the extended session Monday after the search giant said it was buying home automation company Nest Labs Inc. for $3.2 billion. Google /quotes/zigman/93888/delayed/quotes/nls/goog GOOG +0.62% shares rose 0.5% to $1,129 in light volume following the announcement. Nest was co-founded by former Apple Inc. /quotes/zigman/68270/delayed/quotes/nls/aapl AAPL +0.11% engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010. Starting with a smart thermostat for home use, the company has since branched out into smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. At Apple, Fadell led the team that designed the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. The move is seen by analysts as a deeper push into the emerging “Internet of Everything”...