Stock-market investors weather Turkey storm, but should watch the dollar As if global trade spats weren’t exciting enough, August has defied its sleepy reputation to bring investors a taste of an old-fashioned currency crisis in Turkey.
The underlying worry is that other countries that, like Turkey, heavily rely on external financing in currencies other than their own are vulnerable to a continued rise in the U.S. dollar could begin to face trouble, causing problems for financial institutions that hold that foreign-denominated debt.
“I think we’re far from that right now, but I think it weighs on investors’ minds,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, in a phone interview.
Indeed, Wall Street analysts and economists don’t seem overly afraid that Turkey’s woes will morph into a global crisis that will threaten U.S. economic growth or corporate earnings — the Dow on Friday posted its highest close since February — but that doesn’t mean geopo..Read More →

Opinion: If turmoil spreads in Europe, expect heavy flows into U.S. stocks There’s been no shortage of crises. Trade wars and the collapse of the Turkish lira. One market’s crisis is another’s opportunity, and Europe’s shaky currency union could send U.S. stocks soaring … eventually.
In a world of contagion, how could European currency turmoil possibly send U.S. stocks higher?
And when might this happen?
Safe haven Imagine living in Europe right now. The Turkish lira just lost about 25% in a matter of days, Brexit continues to loom, but the biggest problem might be Italy. And, yes, your bank may or may not be invested in Turkey.
Would you rather own euros or the dollar? Would you rather own European stocks denominated in euros, or dollar-based blue-chips?
The smart European money is probably leaving the region, and it’s got to be going somewhere.
U.S. stocks are probably overpriced, but when forced to pick a poison, the U.S. looks much less dangerous and is therefore more appeal..Read More →

Opinion: Ignore Trump and Musk — here’s how to find companies whose CEOs think long term Whether you’re a fan of Tesla CEO Elon Musk or you think he’s just a nutjob, you owe him some gratitude as an investor.
That’s because he’s spotlighting an issue that regularly costs long-term investors a lot money: the tyranny of quarterly earnings reports.
The problem here is that quarterly reports enable investors and traders who like to impose their short-term thinking on CEOs to earn a quick buck — by pressuring CEOs to maximize near-term profits. This can hurt investors who are in it for the long haul.
Read: SEC studying frequency of corporate reporting after Trump tweet
Heaven forbid a CEO sacrifices near-term earnings to fund some cockamamie “visionary” plan that just might change an entire sector. The truth is, though, long-term thinking can be an investor’s best friend, as Warren Buffett loves to point out. The obsession with quarterly earnings reports gets in the way.
“They are..Read More →

Why real-estate investors should still steer clear of Turkey even as the lira rebounds The devaluation of the Turkish lira USDTRY, +3.2826% may make real estate in cities like Istanbul and Ankara seem like a bargain for foreign investors, but scooping up property in Turkey could still be a fool’s errand even as the currency stabilizes.
Concerns about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership and the country’s worsening relationship with the U.S. and the European Union sent the Turkish lira EURTRY, +3.8916% reeling to historically low values at the start of the week.
Amid these dramatic fluctuations, some pointed to Turkish real estate as a major buying opportunity. Foreign investment in Turkish real estate has surged in recent years.
Developers sought to capitalize on renewed interest in Istanbul and the improved tourism industry in the country, particularly along the Black Sea. The number of tourists visiting Turkey increased 31% year-over-year during the first five month..Read More →

Opinion: Why gold has performed so poorly even though stock markets are volatile What’s it going to take for gold market timers to become so pessimistic that a contrarian buy signal is finally triggered?
The answer remains just as elusive today as it was a month ago, the last time I asked this question. All we know for sure is that gold’s GCZ8, +0.66% plunge over the last couple of weeks is not enough. That’s because the gold timing community remains less bearish today than on the occasion of previous major lows — despite a plunging gold price.
Consider the average recommended gold market exposure level among a subset of short-term gold market timers (as measured by the Hulbert Gold Newsletter Sentiment Index, or HGNSI). This average currently stands at minus 18.2%. As I have indicated in past columns, previous lows have been accompanied by HGNSI readings at least as low as minus 30%.
To be sure, an HGNSI reading of minus 18.2% is lower than the 0% reading that prevailed a month ago..Read More →

Do we need BailCoin? FBI refuses to take cryptocurrency in videogame hacking case After being arrested by federal agents for allegedly hacking videogame giant Electronic Arts Inc.’s systems, Martin Marsich tried to post a $750,000 bond with cryptocurrency.
That’s when Masich, federal authorities and the court ran into problems that show how difficult it can be to use digital currency in the real world, even as it becomes more prevalent online. In this case making its way through federal court in San Francisco, there were concerns that selling a large stash of small and lightly traded coins could have caused severe fluctuations in their prices.
Last known to reside in Italy, Marsich, 25, has been accused by the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation of infiltrating EA EA, -1.31% systems related to its “FIFA” soccer franchise and stealing roughly $324,000 worth of digital goods, according to court documents. Arrested at San Francisco International Airport amid a sight..Read More →

Tesla short sellers are up $1.2 billion since Elon Musk’s ‘going-private’ tweet Investors betting that Tesla Inc. stock will fall appear to be having the last laugh, at least for now.
Tesla TSLA, -8.93% short sellers are up $1.2 billion in paper gains since the day Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted he was “considering” taking the company private at $420 and funding was “secured,” S3 Partners LLC, which tracks real-time short interest data, said in a note Friday.
Musk shocked markets with that tweet on Aug. 7, the first of many that day and which was followed by an email to employees explaining his reasons for wanting to take Tesla private. That day the shorts got walloped.
The tweet has sparked a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe and doubts have grown around the funding to cinch a going-private deal.
Tesla shares are off 20% since the $379.57 close on Aug. 7, including a 9% loss Friday on the heels of an interview on the New York Times in which Musk describes his “ex..Read More →

Alibaba earnings: Spending for a future beyond e-commerce Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. dominates online shopping in China, but the company has bigger plans in mind.
The Chinese e-commerce giant is investing aggressively as it tries to profit from more aspects of the retail experience, including food delivery and physical stores. These are part of Alibaba’s BABA, +0.46% “new retail” initiatives, which are meant to merge online and offline commerce.
“We think Alibaba is years ahead of any competitor in driving digital commerce forward,” MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson, who rates the stock a buy with a $280 target price, wrote earlier this summer. “Of greater consequence is Alibaba’s foray into digitizing offline commerce (new retail), which we think is even further ahead and has potential to multiply Alibaba’s addressable market.”
Don’t miss: Alibaba battling Amazon, in Southeast Asia
Alibaba’s investments have weighed on recent results, and the question is whether invest..Read More →