Archive for August, 2011

AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Stopped

By digitalart

AT&T’s plan for Global Domination has been stopped by the Justice Department earlier today. Global Domination may be over exaggerating but the merger with T-Mobile would make AT&T the largest cell phone service provider in the United States. AT&T is currently the number 2 provider while T-Mobile stands in at Number 4. The deal has been discussed for some time now and it has had a lot of opposition from rival companies to individuals who wouldn’t want to see another oligopoly set up because it would spike up prices for all of our wireless bills.

I am glad the Justice Department blocked the merger. It would have meant far less competition and it could have turned out to be a huge burden on the consumers. T-Mobile was looking forward to the merger because they have struggled at the number 4 position, behind Sprint at Number 3 and Verizon at Number 1. However, AT&T promised T-Mobile $3 billion in case the deal fell through. Hopefully AT&T keeps their word and pays T-Mobile so that T-Mobile can keep competing with the big names.

AT&T may also challenge the actions of the Justice Department in court in hopes that a Judge would reverse the decision and allow them to go forward with the merger. I hope that they don’t proceed with the case and even if they do, I hope whatever Judge they get deny their request. Giving AT&T more power is a bad idea. They have tried to set up a monopoly years ago but it was stopped and this deal needs to be thrown out.

After the news came in of the merger blog, AT&T (T) stocks fell 4.5% to $28.30 a share. Sprint (S) stocks on the other hand, increased 8% to $3.84 per share. And Clearwire Corporation (CLWR) also grew 7% and is now at $3.08. AT&T Stocks will most likely stay in the red for the rest of the day because of the bad news. But just like Apple (AAPL), AT&T is a big enough company to bounce back just as quickly. I will follow the news of AT&T and T-Mobile as they come in over the next few days, let’s hope it’s good news. If anything, some of the big companies need to be split up into smaller companies to increase competition. It would be great for the consumers if they have more than a few choices for their wireless plans because it would drive prices down greatly.

But it’s unlikely that these companies will be split up every more. We’ll have to look at the rest of the stock market world for hopes to making and saving money.

So what’s going on with the stock market besides the blockage of AT&T and T-Mobile?

As predicted over the past few days, the momentum of the stock market has kept up. So far today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased another 92 points and is currently standing at 11,652. The NASDAQ Composite so far grew more than 13 points and is at 2,589. The S&P 500 grew more than 11 points and the NYSE grew more than 96 points so far.

The day isn’t over yet, anything can happen. But I believe the stock market will stay in the green mainly because consumers and investors are hoping for a new Federal Stimulus in the near future. Even though the economy is slowly growing, it’s still weak. Many investors are hoping for the stimulus from the Federal Reserve even though Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t signal or indicate that there will be another stimulus coming our way.

Either way, the stock markets seem to be benefiting for now. I don’t know if the Stimulus will actually help the economy in the long run. The government has to get the money somewhere and just printing money without backing by resources would just lower the value and end up having a negative effect and could cause inflation to rise faster. I know some are saying that the government already has the money and that it will most definitely help, but I guess I will be convinced when I see it.

Until more news comes out, I believe it will keep going up and the Dow Jones will get closer to the magic 12,000 mark that we haven’t seen for a while. The market will most likely stay in the green for the rest of the day and hopefully the rest of the week.

Stock Market Going Up and Down Today

by jscreationzs

Earlier today, it seemed as if the momentum of the stock market has stopped for a bit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was as low as 11,429 today, more than a 100 points below its previous closing price of 11,539. Even with the big swings today, the Stock market finished at a positive with the Dow Jones gaining just 20 points, finishing at 11,559.

The NASDAQ Composite gained just 14 points, finishing off at 2,576. The S&P 500 gained less than 3 points finishing at 1,212. And the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) finished at $7,462 with a gain of 13.7 points.

It was a fairly slow day in terms of gains for the overall stock market. Most of the banks in the banking sector went down in value including Citigroup (C), Huntington Bancshares Inc (HBAN), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), and Goldman Sachs Group (GS). They’ve all dropped, but not that much. The drop in the banking sector contributed to the very slow and small gains of the stock market today. The Volume of trades were also low throughout the stock market today. But it could be just the world slowing down for today. I believe that the next three days of trading will be better, well at least I hope it will be better.

After my report yesterday, Gold price was at a steady $1,786 an ounce. Today, it saw a bit of juice as the stock market was going up and down all day long. Currently, Gold is standing at $1,838 an ounce. It gained just over $52 an ounce since yesterday. Slow gains in the stock market usually means a decent gain in Gold. I’m sure gold would have been higher today if the stock market stayed in the red all day. And I am still sticking to what I said yesterday, I still believe the overall average price of Gold will continue to decrease over the next few months. The economy is still recovering and there has been talks of more economic stimuli to come our way which will most definitely help the economy grow a little faster.

Even with the volatile stock market today, we saw small gains. I am thankful that we saw gains. We need to keep the green streak going and keep the momentum up. A positive attitude about the growth of the economy and what we can do to stimulate it can go a long way. Today was a slow day, hopefully the rest of the week sees some more action and sees more green!

Stock Market Bull Market

By jscreationzs

We received news of a huge Hurricane heading to the east coast last week. It had 55 million people in its path. They name it, Irene.

The media told all of us that it could be a big one and could cause a lot of death and destruction. Although it caused a lot of destruction, it was far less than expected. I am here in Queens, New York and I can honestly say that I didn’t even see the storm as a hurricane. I know a lot of people would disagree, but my placement in New York was perfect because the Hurricane barely did damage.

Since Hurricane Irene didn’t cause much damage, the Stock Markets rallied. The damage was far less than previous expected and today investors felt good about the market. This good news came just a few days after FED Chairman Bernanke gave good news about the growth in the US Economy and said that we were going on the right path. With these two factors, the stock market rallied in every sector today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 254 points today finishing at 11,539 points. We are closing in on the 12,000 mark with the Dow Jones and I hope that the momentum continues throughout the rest of the week so that we can hit that 12,000 mark that we haven’t seen for weeks.

The NASDAQ Composite jumped more than 3.3% today with a gain of 82 points, finishing off at 2,562. The NASDAQ is getting close to its 52 week high of almost 2,900 and hopefully it does. It will signal a great time for the economy because it will truly point towards the fact that it is growing.

The S&P 500 saw a gain of 33 points finishing off at 1,210. And the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) saw a gain of more than 204 points finishing off at 2,450.

The stock market saw gains everywhere.  Even the price of gold grew from when I reported it’s price Friday evening. I reported that the price of gold was about $1,781 an ounce in my article titled “Stocks Rally After Positive Outlook by FED Chairman Bernanke” on Friday. At this moment, Gold is at a steady $1,786 an ounce. As I mentioned last week, it seems that the price of gold is stabilizing. It has been around this price for days now. It has fluctuated greatly over the weekend, mostly because of Hurricane Irene, but it always goes down to the high $1,700 mark. And since Friday evening, Gold has only gained $5. It could mean that investors are putting their money in stocks and not Gold because they believe the price of gold will not go back up.

I believe that the price of gold will continue to fluctuate over the rest of the week. The price of gold is still very volatile and it can go up and down in huge amounts in short periods of time and without warning. I also believe that the overall average price of gold will continue to drop as the year passes. Lately, we’ve been around the $1,780 mark, and the average price should keep going down as investors see that the price of gold capped out at just over $1,900 less than 2 weeks ago and that the US Economy is on the right track to recovery.

Since I’ve been keeping my eye on Universal Display Corporation (PANL), I’ll give you an update. Today, it was one of the few stocks to actually go down. It only went down $0.49 a share. However in after hours trading, PANL saw another rise of $4.68 per share, or just over 9%. Earlier this evening, PANL has announced that they have made an agreement to work with Panasonic Idemitsu OLED Lighting Co. Ltd. Cooperation between companies is usually a positive thing and this time it was. Investors saw the opportunity  Universal Display Corporation (PANL) has given them because they just opened up to more revenue as the year passes. And now it’s that much closer to it’s 52 week High and I believe it will hit it and maybe surpass it this week if its momentum keeps up.

Overall, Today was a great day for the stock market. Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the week because the US Economy definitely needs a break after what it went through the last half of the summer. We almost went the other way with Hurricane Irene and we probably would have if the damage was any higher. I’m glad that Irene didn’t cause as much damage as previously thought and I hope that all of you and your families are safe!

It seems that we live in a world of financial awareness. With the present condition of the US economy and the raising of the debt ceiling, there are an increasingly large number of people who are becoming financially aware as they’re worried about their distressed financial state. Though the US government saved itself from yet another national default, the consumers are still struggling to contain their personal debt ceiling so that they can live a life within their means. Debt has become a chronic problem in our lives and it has become the root cause of all the chaos in your lives. The debt reduction and debt consolidation companies are there to assist you in coming out of debt but it is always better to make sure that you take certain steps on your own so that you don’t need to resort to the professional companies.

As the effect of recession has touched almost every particular industry within the US, there has also been a positive side to it. The teenagers have become more financially aware and it has been researched that 67% of the 10,000 teenagers are improving their money management skills due to the economic crisis. Financial experts add that people will somewhat learn from financial crisis and more so because everyone is trying to learn something from people who have hurt their finances due to this recession. Have a look at some important points in which you can uplift your financial consciousness so that you can easily get back on the right financial track.

  • Know how much you spend in accordance with your income: Building wealth is only possible when you can spend in accordance with your present monthly income. Make a list of your gross monthly income so that you get to know how much wealth you have and how much you can spend on your necessities. Stay within your means so that you don’t need to run to professional institutions for financial help. The loans that you may have to take out for repaying your debt obligations all carry high interest rates and thus the more you avoid them, the better for you.
  • Cut short the usage of credit: You must cut short the usage of credit as credit cards carry outrageously high interest rate. Instead of carrying your credit cards, you can rather dump cash in your wallet so that you can get the things that you need with cash. Resorting to credit for something that you can’t afford with cash is not the way to go in the present economic situation.
  • Make your payments on time: You must make your high interest payments on time so that you don’t unnecessarily incur debt and require making high interest payments by causing strain on your wallet. Remember your due dates so that you do not fall back on the monthly payment and accumulate late fees and penalties for crossing due dates. There are credit card companies who charge hefty fees for a payment that is even late by 5 minutes.
  • Know the importance of your credit report: You must know the importance of your credit report so that it becomes easier to keep a track on it. It is very essential that you pull out your credit report from time to time so that you’re able to know what the credit bureaus are saying about you. All banks and financial institutions will check your credit score that implies your financial worthiness. Without a good credit score it is almost impossible for a person to take out a loan with a reasonable interest rate.

Always remember that it is very easy to mindlessly spend money on things that you don’t need. Being a bit more conscious would make you financially aware and thus you can get back on the right financial track. Don’t let the recession knock you down as you have lots of ways to control money than let money control you.

Jason Holmes is a regular writer with http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/ and is also a contributory writer with other financial sites. His expertise is woven around various aspects of the debt industry and with his e-books he tries to impart to people the different situations and simple solutions to get out of difficult situations. Some of his works include e-books like ‘Credit Score The Quintessential Therapy for a Happy Pocket’, Take Creditors and Collection Agencies to Small Claims Court’ and, My Story- From Depression To a Smile’.

What are Stock Dividends?

Dividend Desk

Business by worradmu

A company pays dividends to investors as an incentive for investing with their company. This also attracts new investors, both individuals and other companies looking for a return on their investments. So what is a stock dividend? Our Stocks Vocabulary section states that a Stock Dividend “is a portion of a company’s profit given back to investors in either cash or stock value. Dividends are given out monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.” These are the most common schedules. Companies may not have dividend schedules at all, they may give out dividends only when they feel they don’t have any other use for the profits. And generally, companies will announce their dividends months before they actually give them out. They will also announce an ex-dividend date, also known as just an ex-date, and tied to it is the record date.

The ex-date is the first day a stock’s dividend is actually due. This means that if you want to be paid the next dividend by a company, you must purchase the stock before this date. If you purchase the stock on or after the ex-dividend date, you are not entitled to the next dividend payout. Why is that?

When you purchase stocks, they take time to settle. They won’t be recorded immediately. Even though the internet makes it easy for us to invest and buy stocks, it still takes time for purchases and sales to settle, it can take several days in fact. This is where the record date comes into play. Generally, the Record Date is two days after the ex-date. The record date is used by companies to determine which of their stockholders are entitled to their next dividend payout. If your name is not listed in their database or on their list of stock holders during the record date, you will not receive the next Dividend payout, even if you purchased the stock on the ex-date (2 days prior to the record date) because enough time hasn’t passed for your purchase to settle.

Dividends may seem complicated, but once you get used to the process, it’s actually quite simple. And from the above, you can deduct what will happen if you sell your stock on the ex-date. If you sell your stock on the ex-dividend date, you will receive the next dividend payout. Why? Well, as mentioned above, it takes time for orders to settle, and if you sell on the ex-date, your sale won’t be settled until after the record date. The company will still see your name on their list during the record date even though you may no longer own the stock and pay you the next dividend. Now if you sell the day before the ex-date, your order will most likely settle by the Record date and you will no longer be eligible to receive the next dividend.

Most company pay their dividends in quarterly schedules, or every 3 months for a total of four times a year. Some companies may have a semi-annual or even annual dividend schedule where they pay every 6 months or just once a year. A few companies also have monthly dividends that they pay at a certain time every month. Whatever the company’s schedule may be, the dividend announced is an annual dividend. For example, if a company announces a dividend of $1 per share, it means that they will pay out a total of $1 per share for the year. So if that company has a quarterly dividend schedule, you will get paid $0.25 per share every 4 months. If the company has a semi-annual schedule, then they will pay $0.50 per share every 6 months. The same goes for any other kind of schedule a company may have.

Companies that give out dividends will announce how much they will pay per share. And using that amount, you can figure out the total Yield of the dividend. The yield is just the  percentage of the dividend paid against the stock price. The value of the yield is far more dynamic than the value of the actual dividend.

For example, let’s say that you own 10 shares of Company Alpha with a worth of $10 per share. Let’s assume that Company A announced that they will pay $1 in dividends for each share per year. That’s a return of 10% and the 10% is the dividend yield.  So why is the yield dynamic? Let’s say 3 months from now, Company Alpha’s stock prices drop to $5 per share but they don’t change the amount they will pay in dividend. The dividend is still $1 per share, but now, the dividend yield is 20%. The amount of money you are getting back per share in dividends hasn’t changed, however the overall value of the stock has along with its dividend yield. The effect is the same if the stock value of Company Alpha rises to $20 per share, the yield at that point would be 5%.

As mentioned earlier in the article, dividends may also be paid out in stock value. Instead of getting cash, the company may give you extra shares of the stock depending on how much you own. Obviously, the more shares you own, the more shares you’ll earn during a dividend payout. This also results in some investors having decimal points in the number of shares they own. This isn’t better or worse than a cash payout. With a stock value payment, you won’t have to worry about paying taxes on your dividend, however, when you sell your stock, you will have to pay the taxes for the value of the share. There are advantages and disadvantages for each kind of payout so one isn’t better than the other.

Companies don’t have to give out dividends. Dividends are generally given out to encourage new investors. Companies that don’t have dividends aren’t necessarily bad, it could just mean that they are using their profits for the growth of their companies. Many companies use profits for Research and Development while others use the profits to invest in other companies to increase the value of their own company.

You shouldn’t only look at dividends when investing. You should also be careful about companies that give out too much dividends. You will come across companies that pay up to 50% of their stock value. It may not always have been a 50% yield, the price of the stock may have just dropped, but this stock is something people would call risky. The dividend would be extremely risky because there is a high chance the the company will either decrease their dividend payout greatly or cut it out altogether as some companies have had to do in the past to cut losses or stay in business. And if you purchased the stock because of its high dividend, you will be disappointed.

Stocks with 20-30% dividend yields are also somewhat risky. Although the risk is far less than a company paying out 50% in dividends, there is a big chance that the company will decrease their dividend amount in order to save the company money. Dividends should be a small factor in deciding what companies to invest with. You may get a bigger profit by investing a company that doesn’t give out any dividends but research shows that the company’s stocks will skyrocket because of a new product they are introducing or because the competition is doing poorly.

If you are looking at a dividend announcement by a company, be sure to really look at it for the essential information before assuming. You should look at how much dividend they are paying per share, what their schedule is, as well as the yield percentage because this can be a big indicator of how well a company may or may not be doing. Another thing to look at is the method of payment, whether it’s cash or sock value. Also be sure to pay attention to when the ex-dividend and record dates are so you don’t miss out on the next dividend payment.