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Market Week Wrap-up

– Leading global equity indices continued floating upwards this week while the inflation drumbeat just kept getting louder. In the US, the January y/y CPI figure hit +1.6%, its highest level since last spring, and some analysts were alarmed by higher food prices creeping into CPI data sooner than expected. China’s January CPI report was lower than expected at +4.9% y/y, but markets panned the figures as heavily massaged by basket revisions. In the UK, the BoE said CPI would likely continue growing at a 4-5% clip over the short term. The World Bank released a report indicating that food prices were up 15% since October 2010 and are now only 3% away from record highs hit in 2008. Commodities moves complicated the story somewhat. While silver has pushed out to 30-year highs, there were signs that inflated soft commodity prices were beginning to unwind, with cotton and grain prices both below recent highs. Crude and gold prices have been impacted by reports that Iran is sending warships through the Suez Canal and bloody protests in Bahrain (next door to Saudi Arabia), although WTI futures were well below recent highs seen in early February. The Obama Administration unveiled its $3.73T budget proposal for 2012, including an all-time high deficit of $1.65T, reflecting the tax-cut agreement reached with Republicans in December. For 2012, the administration sees the imbalance declining to $1.1T, giving the country a record four straight years of one trillion-plus deficits. Bond prices held steady after the details were released, and Congress sharpened its knives for a budget fight. The Feb Empire Manufacturing survey hit its highest level since last June, indicating that the US manufacturing expansion seen over the last several months is continuing. On Friday there was plenty of commentary out of the G20 conference, where leaders tried mightily to achieve some concrete steps in reforming the global monetary system. Fed Chairman Bernanke took a swipe at the Chinese in his policy address to the G20, warning that nations which keep currency values low create imbalances, while the PBoC’s Zhou continued to push for a higher profile for the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). For the week, the DJIA rose 1.0%, the Nasdaq gained 0.9% and the S&P500 was up 1.0%. – John Deere crushed earnings and revenue targets in its Q1 report and nearly doubled its guidance for FY11 equipment sales. The firm hiked its sales guidance for its key agriculture and construction units as well, and said its Q2 revenue would blow out consensus estimates. Later in the week Caterpillar released very favorable dealer metrics for the month of January, with North America machinery sales up a whopping 58% y/y in the month. – Iron ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources reported very strong Q4 profits on a big y/y gain in iron ore pricing. The company expects global steel production to continue to grow in 2011, although it warned that spot iron ore prices are unsustainably high. Reliance Steel also blew out earnings estimates, and said pricing would remain strong at least through the first quarter of 2011. – In tech, Dell’s profit was way ahead of the consensus in its Q4 report, thanks to a big improvement in margins. The company said it believes the corporate IT…

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Is Warren Buffett Heading for the Exits?

Is Warren Buffett Heading for the Exits?

Nobody ever rings a bell at the top. That’s why sometimes it is instructive to keep an eye on so-called “smart-money”—especially when they make a move towards the door. All of which, strikes me as curious since just a few months ago the grandfatherly Buffett said, “I am a huge bull on this country. We are not going to have a double-dip recession at all. I see our businesses coming back across the board.” Hmmmm…I wonder if he has changed his mind on this one. From Bloomberg by Andrew Frye entitled: Berkshire Exits BofA ‘a Loser’ on Three-Year Holding. “Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. sold its stake in Bank of America Corp., ending an investment that spanned three and a half years in which the lender’s stock lost more than two-thirds of its value Buffett’s firm had no shares in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank at the end of 2010, compared with 5 million shares three months earlier, Berkshire said late yesterday in a regulatory filing that lists the company’s U.S. stockholdings. Berkshire, where Buffett serves as chief executive officer and head of investments, entered the Bank of America stake with the purchase of 8.7 million shares in the second quarter of 2007. The lender’s CEO at the time, Kenneth Lewis, was expanding through acquisitions and telling investors that the U.S. housing slump would be over within months. “He’s closing out a loser,” said Jeff Matthews, author of “Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha,” whose Ram Partners LP invests in Berkshire and Bank of America. “We bought it during the crisis. But its earnings power coming out the crisis has been reduced.” Berkshire also eliminated its stakes in Nike Inc., Comcast Corp., Nalco Holding Co., Fiserv Inc., Lowe’s Cos. and Becton, Dickinson & Co. in the fourth quarter. In November, Berkshire disclosed that it had sold holdings of Home Depot Inc., trash hauler Republic Services Inc. and Iron Mounta”in Inc., a provider of records management. Buffett’s U.S. portfolio had 25 stocks and a value of about $52.6 billion at the end of December.” Maybe there is nothing to see here, but I don’t think so. You just can’t trust a guy that plays a ukulele. Related Articles: Warren Buffett’s Dividend Stock Strategy The Good Works of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Ben Graham’s Winning Investment Advice Warren Buffett: The Investor of the Year To learn more about Wealth Daily click here. Advertisement Samurai Super Alloy It was the secret ingredient that turned an ordinary sword into the legendary Samurai Katana— the deadliest weapon before the arrival of modern rifles. Today, it’s crucial to the $987billion/

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Comcast Upgraded to “Buy” at Collins Stewart (CMCSA)

Filed in Comcast, dividend, Gold Investing, Gold Investment, o, shares, target, upgrade by on January 19, 2011 0 Comments

Cable TV and Internet provider Comcast Corporation ( CMCSA ) on Wednesday caught a big upgrade from analysts at Collins Stewart. The firm said it upgraded CMCSA from “Hold” to “Buy” with a $32 price target. That target implies a potential upside of 40% to the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $22.78. A Collins Stewart analyst said the company should perform better following the approval from federal regulators on CMCSA’s acquisition of entertainment giant NBC Universal. Comcast shares rose 31 cents, or +1.4%, in premarket trading Wednesday. The Bottom Line Shares of Comcast ( CMCSA ) have a 1.66% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $22.78. The stock has technical support in the $20 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $24-$26 price levels. Comcast Corporation ( CMCSA ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Comcast (Nasdaq:CMCSA) Wins FCC Approval to Acquire NBC Universal (NYSE:GE)

Filed in Comcast, General Electric, Hulu Plus, Lear, NBCU, o, silver by on January 18, 2011 0 Comments

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA) announced today they’ve cleared one more hurdle in their quest to acquire majority interest in NBC Universal from General Electric (NYSE:GE). Two unidentified agency officials said the FCC voted 4-1 for the deal to be allowed to go forward. The deal still has to be cleared with the Justice Department in order to win final approval to go ahead. Along with the NBC

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