how to play the stock market

Municipal Bond Yield Book, circa 1942

The municipal bond market is reaching a tipping point. E-trading is going to push it over.

When I started in this business back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, all you needed to trade bonds was a phone, the Pink Sheets and a Monroe-Trader bond calculator. For those of you already lost, the Pink Sheets were booklets, printed on pink paper (hence the term “pink” sheets) and stapled together, with the municipal bond offerings of Wall Street dealers and, roughly, at the offering price. To determine what you wanted to bid, you punched the various bond attributes like coupon, maturity, call and so forth into your Monroe-Trader. That was about as high tech as it got.

There were no ubiquitous Bloomberg terminals on every desk. You got on the phone and haggled out a price for a bond based on very limited information. No one knew what anyone else was bidding or asking—the phrase ‘price transparenc y’ hadn’t been invented. It was a truly an over-the-counter market.

how to play the stock market: Albemarle Corporation(ALB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Albemarle (ALB) soared to the top of the S&P 500 today after beating fourth-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts.

    S. MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images

    Albemarle gained 9.8% to $101.50, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.3% to 2,363.64.

    Baird’s Ben Kallo and team liked what they saw from Albemarle:

    Reiterate Outperform rating after results beat and guidance exceeded estimates. ALB continues to see strong Lithium demand and pricing, expects Refining Solutions to return to earnings growth in 2017 driven by stronger HPC demand, and bolstered its balance sheet with the sale of Surface Treatment. Additionally, although Bromine is expected to be flat y/y, the segment should generate strong FCF for Lithium investment. We expect shares to trade higher as ALB continues to separate itself from specialty chemical comps with leading market positions and strong revenue growth.

    Albemarle’s market capitalization rose to $11.4 billion today from $10.4 billion yesterday.

  • [By Beth McKenna]

    Most investors interested in gaining exposure to the lithium space should stick with investing in one or more of the large players listed on a major U.S. stock exchange:Albemarle Corporation(NYSE:ALB), FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC), andSociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile(NYSE:SQM), or SQM. Smaller players are speculative to varying degrees, and most are unprofitable.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $0.86 per share on revenue of $814.80 million.

    Markit Ltd (NASDAQ: MRKT) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $293.62 million.


    With an improving global economy, now is a great time to be a chemical company, Cramer told viewers, as he reiterated his favorites: Albemarle (ALB) and FMC Technology  (FMC) .

how to play the stock market: Microsoft Corporation(MSFT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vikram Nagarkar]

    When you think of tech companies which rejected buyout offers, quite a few not so great stories come to mind. Starting with Yahoo (NSDQ:YHOO), whichrejectedMicrosoft’s (NSDQ:MSFT)$44.6 billion offer, to Groupon (NSDQ:GRPN), which shunned Google’s $6 billion buyout offer, many similar decisions have proven to be bad ones in hindsight. Snapchat is one of those few exceptions that have lived to tell the tale. At least for now. However, Facebookseems rather determined to leave no stone unturned in its fight against Snapchat.

  • [By Yasin Ebrahim]

    The tech giant recently announced a $40 billion stock buyback as well as 2.7% dividend hike and having already captured LinkedIn earlier during the year, Microsoft could use its $100 billion cash pile to target further acquisitions in order drive further growth in its key growth markets, as economic growth and cheap credit are usually the perfect cocktail for M&A activity. (Also read: Can A Rejuvenated Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Take On Apple?)


    Bond prices were much lower early in the day, with yields up by nearly 10 basis points. But fixed income has rallied back (reducing the drop by half on the day). Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) , more weakness. Large pharma lower, led by Eli Lilly (LLY) . Old tech lags, with International Business Machines (IBM) , Intel (INTC) , Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) all lower. Media roughed up a bit (CBS (CBS) and Comcast (CMCSA) ). The Ugly
    Gold down another $23 to $1,188 (SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) down $2.25). Urban Outfitters (URBN) down $5. NOTE: There will be no “Takeaways” today!   Happy Thanksgiving. Position: Long GLD small, SDS large, JCP large; short SPY, CSCO, CAT small, IWM, TLT small.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    According to Forrester Research analystDave Bartoletti, Microsoft’s cloud offering Azure is now a strong number two in public cloud while Google, IBM, and others battle it out for the number three slot. And market leader AWS will not have it easy in 2017 due to heightened competition. Not only Cloud, Microsoft may have other unlikely catalysts in the form of its Surface series. November was the best month on recordfor consumer sales of Microsofts Surface devices. It is also eating into Apple’s market share. With Mac book Pro disappointing consumers, it is expected to give Apple a tough fight in 2017. (See Also:MSFT Stock: Is This Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) Next Big Play?

  • [By Casey Wilson]

    For example, Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) let 4,000 workers go last year. And Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) laid off 2,800.

    Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue into 2017, thanks to declining sales, poor foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores, and the increasing popularity of e-commerce.

  • [By Danny Vena]

    Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Cortana is available across its Windows 10-based devices including phones, tablets and PC’s. It has many competing features, but has exhibited difficulties responding to requests, reminiscent of Siri’s early days. Microsoft announced late last year that it would open Cortana to third party integration, so expect a number of hardware integrations on the horizon. It has yet to introduce an interactive speaker, but its first hardware partner is Harman Kardon and one is expected sometime this year. In a shrewd move, the kit used by developers is remarkably similar to that of Alexa, allowing them to piggyback off the work they have already done. This will accelerate the process of producing hardware that will integrate Cortana.

how to play the stock market: CytomX Therapeutics, Inc.(CTMX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    CytomX Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CTMX) shares were also up, gaining 24 percent to $18.89. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY) and CytomX Therapeutics disclosed that they have extended worldwide partnership to discover Probody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

how to play the stock market: SPDR Blmbg Barclays Intl Trs Bd ETF (BWX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    DWFI also holds the SPDR Barclays Emerging Markets Local Bond ETF (NYSE: EBND), SPDR Barclays International Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: BWX) and the SPDR Barclays Intermediate Term Corporate Bond ETF (NYSE: ITR).

how to play the stock market: Hibbett Sports Inc.(HIBB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mark Balson]

    Hibbett Sports (HIBB) financial results have come out with better than expected earnings for the fiscal 2017 first quarter.

    Revenue for the first quarter was $282.09 million which is 4.6% higher to year on year data. This is below expectations for analysts who were projected revenue to be at $285.15 million. Compare to 0.9% decline in net sales last year this year store sales increased 1.1%. 

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Hibbett Sports, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIBB) were down 12 percent to $39.75 after the company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its third quarter.

how to play the stock market: Navios Maritime Holdings Inc.(NM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NM) is expected to report a quarterly loss at $0.37 per share on revenue of $101.51 million.

    Pure Storage Inc (NYSE: PSTG) is estimated to post a quarterly loss at $0.23 per share on revenue of $138.13 million.

  • [By Nickey Friedman]

    Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE: NM  ) has two operating segments: shipping and logistics. Analysts have already begun to raise their profit estimates for 2014, currently at $0.11 EPS up from $0.01 a week ago. Expect that number to continue to rise dramatically. Navios pays a $0.06 per share quarterly dividend and trades around 40% below its book value. It used to trade as high as $17 back in 2007.

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