A Fool Looks Back

Let's take a look back at the news that made waves.

May 31, 2014 at 7:30AM

It was a good week for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and not just because the acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music was well received by a market that initially didn't like the idea. At least three analysts pushed their price targets higher.

Barclays, Bernstein Research, and Goldman Sachs boosted their price targets to $655, $700, and $720, respectively. They didn't have to update their ratings to justify the loftier goals. Apple shares have been on fire lately, hitting a new 52-week high on the week.

The Beats deal helps, giving Apple some serious skin in premium headphones and a foot in the door for the on-demand streaming service that it wasn't able to launch on its own. The deal also gives Apple, a company that's been short on charismatic leadership since Steve Jobs passed, some serious street cred in the music industry with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre on board. 

We'll see how it all plays out. Apple expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. Critics argue that Apple paid too much or that it's a sign of desperation, but that's better than stagnating, which is what Apple's growing cash balance is doing on its balance sheet. Buybacks and dividends are great uses for Apple's gobs of greenbacks, but there's also something to be said about making its own luck by acquiring companies that it can help grow with its global reach.

Apple's stock shed $2 billion in market cap the day the deal was first reported several weeks ago, but seeing Apple trade at its highest point since late 2012 validates the move. Apple's acquiring hardware, digital assets, and brain power to help it become a bigger force in digital music. There's nothing wrong with that.

Briefly in the news
And now let's look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Qihoo 360 (NYSE:QIHU) posted another blowout quarter in China. You know you're doing things right when revenue soars 141%, and earnings grow even faster. Investing in China's Internet revolution is risky, but it's hard to ignore the productivity its key players are achieving. 
  • Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) was another winner after posting better-than-expected earnings. Sales were generally flat, but the closeouts retailer managed to chime in with improving margins to serve up a healthy bottom-line beat. 
  • MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) moved north after JPMorgan Chase upgraded the South American marketplace operator to "overweight." The stock's price target is being cut from $114 to $104, but that's a symptom of a brutal correction that has seen the stock shed more than 40% of its value since peaking in October. 

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Goldman Sachs, and MercadoLibre and owns shares of Apple, JPMorgan Chase, and MercadoLibre. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers