stock market returns


QI’ve been contributing to my 401(k), and my employer matches a portion of my contributions. Does the $18,000 maximum for contributions include the employer match, or does it apply only to my individual contributions? Is it too late to increase my contributions to get the full employer match by the end of the year?

AThe $18,000 maximum (or $24,000, if you’re age 50 or older) applies only to your contributions. The overall maximum for 2017, which includes the employer match, is $54,000 ($60,000 if you’re 50 or older), even though it would be very unusual for your employer to add that much money to your account.


SEE ALSO: 8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Match calculations vary by 401(k) plan. But the average match in plans administered by Fidelity Investments is 4.5% of a worker’s pay. This is a great time of year to review your 401(k) contributions and make sure you’re getting as much money as possible from your employer. About 20% of people don’t contribute enough to get the full match, says Fidelity’s Meghan Murphy.

stock market returns: Star Bulk Carriers Corp.(SBLK)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    StarBulk Carriers (SBLK) and Safe Bulkers (SB) have more than tripled during the past 12 months, while Golden Ocean Group (GOGL) has more than doubled. So it must be time for an upgrade right?

    That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley did last night, when they upgraded StarBulk Carriers, Safe Bulkers, and Golden Ocean Group to Overweight from Equal Weight, while lifting arguing that the “recovery is still not priced in.” They explain:


    These companies have young fleets, mostly larger vessels, low cost structures, high operational and financial leverage to repricing in the dry bulk segment, and ability to start paying dividends in YE2018. Dry bulk stocks have nearly doubled YoY, but are still cheap in historical terms, in our view. The group trades at the historical 100-110% EV/Fleet Value, discounting no further increases in vessel values that are still ~50% below the long-term historical averages, significantly lagging the recent move in charter rates. We still see significant upside as charter rates increase, vessel values normalize, and capital returns to the industry as the group’s overall market cap increases.


    Shares of StarBulk Carriers have climbed 16% to $11.72 at 3:50 p.m. today, while Safe Bulkers has jumped 13% to $2.13, and Golden Ocean Group has gained 9.6% to $8.13.

    Too bad I recommended buying Golar LNG (GLNG) and avoiding the dry-bulk shippers back in November.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    When most investors think of potential competitive threats to drybulk shippers like Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK) or Euroseas Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESEA), Double Crown Resources Inc (OTCMKTS:DDCC) doesn’t come to mind. Indeed, DDCC doesn’t come to mind for many investors at all, as for all intents and purposes the company it is today didn’t exist until a few months ago. Age, however, has nothing to do with how disruptive it could prove to be for the likes of Euroseas or Star Bulk Carriers. Its underlying idea is brilliant, and it’s only a matter of time before it catches on within the commodity-transportation community.


    What if there was a way to remove all the risks and hassle of shipping things like pellets or beans or salt – normally delivered in drybulk vessels – but still utilize all the flexibility of intermodal containers (the big 20-foot boxes that fit on a truck and a train and on top of the deck of a boat)? There is. It’s called Translock2 (Translock Squared). It was designed by Double Crown Resources, and it’s going to revolutionize the way many material companies deliver their goods.

    The nearby image is a Translock2 container. It should look familiar – it’s essentially an intermodal container in terms of size and shape, but mechanically is a delivery and dispensing platform for drybulk goods. The design allows commodities like sand or livestock feed to be moved with all the flexibility of intermodal transportation, but without any of the headache of aggregating and splitting up those goods to get them properly shipped to their final destination. With Translock2, drybulk purchases are packaged up by the seller at the supply source, and then delivered — just as ordered — all the way to the buyer’s site in the container. No material is lost en route, and no distributor or middleman needs to bother splitting up one large order into smaller ones.


    Its development is worth noting, as it explicitly circumvents the need for drybulk ves

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) provides worldwide transportation of drybulk commodities through its vessel-owning subsidiaries for a range of customers and minor bulk cargoes including iron ore, coal, grain, cement and fertilizer. This stock closed up 7.9% at $10.58 in Monday’s trading session.

    Monday’s Volume: 243,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 64,367


    Volume % Change: 228%

    From a technical perspective, SBLK jumped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $9.47 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $5.37 to its recent high of $11.53. During that move, shares of SBLK have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of SBLK within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SBLK manages to take out its 52-week high at $11.53 and then once it clears some past resistance at $11.98 with high volume.


    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SBLK as long as it’s trending above near-term support at $9.47 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 64,367 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SBLK will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $14 to $15.

stock market returns: Halyard Health, Inc.(HYH)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    Medical products maker Halyard Health Inc (NYSE: HYH) stumbled after its spinoff from paper products giant Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE: KMB), according to “Halyard Health Shares Look Poised to Double” by David Englander. See why Barron’s thinks its shares could double as this Georgia-based company pursues acquisitions and expands its product lineup.

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    See what Barron’s feels are the prospects for Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE: IR) despite the woes in energy, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE: KORS) with its new products and international expansion, the Valvoline spinoff from Ashland Inc (NYSE: ASH), as well as Halyard Health Inc (NYSE: HYH) as it pursues acquisitions and expands its product lineup.

stock market returns: J.M. Smucker Company (The)(SJM)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    The Pillsbury Doughboy is the mascot of the Pillsbury Company, which is owned by General Mills (NYSE: GIS) and J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM). The Doughboy was created by Pillsburys advertising agency almost 50 years ago. Pikachu are characters owned by The Pokemon Company International and appear in card games, video games, TV shows, movies and comic books. Founded in 1998, the Japanese company has achieved total games sales of almost 280 million. SpongeBob SquarePants was created for Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA). The show premiered in 1999 and has spawned movies, video games and theme park rides. Ronald McDonald is a c

  • [By Teresa Rivas]

    J.M. Smucker(SJM) is falling Monday, after Morgan Stanley’sMatthew Grainger and his team cut their rating on the stock, citing pricing pressures from Wal-Mart (WMT) and growing competition from private-labels.

    Getty Images

    Grainger slash Smucker to Underweight from Equal Weight, and shaved $6 off his price target, to $126. He also cites what he calls “sustained” challenges in both its coffee and pet food business, as well as“below-average strategic optionality.”


    At the same time, he also upgraded Pinnacle Foods (PF) to Overweight from Equal Weight, and raised his price target to $63 from $58, on its double-digit earnings growth and what he sees as superior execution.

    Nonetheless, he sees many of the packaged food companies in his coverage, from Smucker to Pinnacle, as subject to pressure from Wal-Mart and off-brand rivals. From the note:

    Walmart comprises ~22% of sales across our coverage, a figure that has increased in recent years even as the retailers total grocery sales have grown at an even faster 4% CAGR. With Food margins expected to expand meaningfully, we believe this only enhances Walmart’s negotiating leverage going forward. SJM, Dean Foods (DF), and General Mills (GIS) are most at risk in the current environment, in our view.


    Recent scanner data points to a positive inflection in private label trends (share up ~30 bps L12W) across a range of center-store categories, a dynamic we believe could intensify in an increasingly competitive retail grocery landscape. Our analysis of recent trends points to the most meaningful underperformance vs. private label at GIS, SJM, ConAgra (CAG), and Campbell Soup (CPB), while only PF has outperformed in recent weeks.

    Smucker is down 1.1% to $127.95 this morning, while Pinnacle is up 0.8% to %48.47.

stock market returns: Critical Elements Corporation (CRECF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By SEEKINGALPHA.COM]

    ILC reminds me of Critical Elements [TSXV:CRE] (OTCQX:CRECF) having five projects (CRE has 11), and also of Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) (OTCPK:GALXF) by being diversified across brine and spodumene and across three continents. Also some similarity with Neo Lithium’s (OTC:NTTHF) [TSXV:NLC] early stage Argentinean brine project which I recently wrote about here. However, ILC trades at a much smaller market cap of US$8m to that of Critical Elements (US$85m) or Galaxy Resources (US$724m). This is partly due to ILC giving away significant percentages of their projects, and because they are still in the early stages of development.

stock market returns: ONEOK Partners L.P.(OKS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Citi maintains Buy ratings on Targa Resources (NYSE: TRGP), ONEOK (NYSE: OKE) and Oneok Partners (NYSE: OKS) citing the companies stories around natural gas liquids (NGLs).

  • [By Matthew DiLallo]

    Energy infrastructure companies ONEOK (NYSE:OKE) and TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) are both emerging from the energy market downturn as stronger entities. Each made smart acquisitions, with TransCanada buying U.S. gas pipeline company Columbia Pipeline Group, while ONEOK is in the process of gobbling up its MLP,ONEOK Partners (NYSE:OKS). While these deals enhanced the growth profiles of both companies, TransCanada still stands out as the better buy for long-term income investors. Here’s why.

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