Whether Jack Frost is nipping at your nose or the summer heat is holding on, we are officially in the holiday season. So what does it all mean for your portfolio? Check it out.
1. Forecasting the holiday profits
What happened? The stock market reacted negatively when Wal-Mart
What does this mean for your portfolio? While Wal-Mart is the nation's leading retailer, I don't like the way the market uses the store as an end-all, be-all proxy for spending this holiday season. Yes, the company's numbers may be down, but look at competitors such as Target
2. The air up there
What happened? On Thursday, failing Delta rejected a purchase offer from U.S. Airways
What does this mean for your portfolio? Depending on how motivated U.S. Airways actually is and how much it's willing to pay, the possibility for the takeover is still quite strong. But from an investing standpoint, I'm not sure this will present anyone with any kind of great value, and I sure don't find the deal appealing.
3. Ford pays off its workers
What happened? This past week, Ford
What does this mean for your portfolio? This move gives the company much more agility to enable a vast restructuring. If the company can properly adapt to future trends in the auto industry, Ford will bounce right back on track. And according to figures from the December 2006 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Spectrum magazine, Ford Motor is leading the world in R&D in terms of dollars spent. Investors can hope that this effort will produce something better than the Ford Fiesta in years to come.
4. Oil is back
What happened? The price of oil has climbed back above recent lows and is sitting well above $60 a barrel.
What does this mean for your portfolio? It really was only a matter of time before consumers began to feel the pinch again at the pump. For the time being, gas prices will probably stay constant throughout the winter -- as they typically do during the winter months -- while heating prices should see a steady climb. Watch for energy companies to be right back to where they were before the fall season. It'll be profit city.
5. Kerkorian Sells Out
What happened? Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian sold the remaining 14 million of his 28 million shares in General Motors
What does this mean for your portfolio? Kerkorian has left his meddlesome tendencies and more than $800 million for another company, unnamed as of today but probably not for long. Surprisingly, the sell-off left GM relatively unhurt despite an 18% drop since Nov. 16. I see this as a mild victory for GM, considering the manipulative habits of Kerkorian and his impending exit.
6. The dollar dives against the euro
What happened? The value of the U.S. dollar fell to 20-month lows this week on the news of a decline in American manufacturing and bearish outlooks on the American economy.
What does this mean for your portfolio? Because I have little experience with currency movements and their interpretation, the most I can speculate is that you'll pay more for the average croissant when you're traveling abroad. However, the average investor should tack this piece of data to whatever foreign stocks they may be holding. It might be a good time to diversify with a little international flair. I'd suggest looking into the Motley Fool Global Gains newsletter if you're interested in some foreign exposure.
7. Boeing and the tiger
What happened? Boeing
What does this mean for your portfolio? While the United States remains leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world in terms of defense spending, these emerging markets represent great growth potential for companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin
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