Thanksgiving's on the way, with winter close behind, but the market continues to heat up. Here's what's happening in the news behind your portfolio.
1. The market bulls through November
What happened? With the help of easing -- or at least normalizing -- global conflicts, a reduction in inflation metrics, and continued supplies of cheap energy, the Dow has continued to report record numbers throughout the second week of November.
What does this mean for your portfolio? The Dow has followed an interesting but regular pattern of negative territory in the early AM, followed with strong surges in the mid- to late afternoon over the past few days. According to investment guru Don Hays, this pattern indicates a bull market, which, if matched with a concept he popularized as the Smart Money Flow Indicator -- a pattern which can sometimes predict major movements in the market -- helps to explain these swings. Obviously, record numbers prove we're in a bull market, but the indicator can help explain whether it's emotionally charged or has some real weight behind it.
2. Blue Horseshoe likes Delta
What happened? Delta is in the middle of a desperate attempt to fend off a hostile acquisition from US Airways, in an attempt to create a savings mix between the nation's No. 3 and No. 7 airlines, respectively.
What does this mean for your portfolio? The $8 billion deal may or may not go through, but it is clear that the remaining airlines within the industry would probably profit from its success. Many routes are duplicated by the two major carriers, and an acquisition would allow all airlines in the group, including low-cost ones like Southwest
3. New home construction still under
What happened? At its lowest levels since July of 2000, new-home construction may be the anchor holding the rest of the economy back from stronger overall economic growth.
What does this mean for your portfolio? New-home construction provides boons to many types of industries, including raw-materials distributors like Lowe's
NYMEX crushes its IPO
What happened? On Nov. 17, NYMEX
What does this mean for your portfolio? Not since the days of Google and the Internet bubble have investors seen such an explosive IPO. The capitalization will make the NYMEX the fifth-largest exchange market in the world, and will likely carry investors to soaring heights. Participants have seen another exchange IPO -- the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
ring on the video game wars
What happened? Rival game makers Nintendo and Sony
What does this mean for your portfolio? The Wii and PS3 will likely take gamers to greater levels of game playing satisfaction. The question remains, however, which company will take the cake with greater sales. I think both companies will profit from Microsoft's absence this year. But in the end, I like Nintendo's cheaper, fully interactive system, with the brand recognition of games like Mario and Zelda to gain the final edge.
6. Cigarettes face heavy future with 'lights' case
What happened? Philip Morris, under its parent Altria
What does this mean for your portfolio? Much hinges on the ability of the plaintiff to make this a class action suit. In the short term, investors have rewarded the company with a 1.6% gain, owed largely to the judge's decision to grant an appeal. Tobacco companies may have won the battle, but it seems the war is far from over.
7. Here's to your health
What happened? This may not be the most earth-shattering news to Wall Street, but study after study (including one released today) has demonstrated the positive health benefits of drinking red wine in moderate amounts. Today's study revealed that resveratrol, a component in the skin of grapes, contributes to higher rates of metabolism, thereby lowering rates of obesity as well as decreased incidences of diabetes in mice. They say this phenomenon will likely be prevalent in humans as well.
What does this mean for your portfolio? Well, it's a stretch, but if the U.S. ever turns into a wine-consuming nation like France -- which might explain their lower rates of heart disease -- then companies like Constellation Brands might reward investors.
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