standard and poors

US Stocks Surge After Fed Announces More Help

The Federal Reserve announced a package of aggressive measures to help the economy. And it was just what investors wanted to hear. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 230 points at 13,563. That's a four-year high.

Will U.S. Downgrade Bring On a Bear Market?

Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. debt rating for the first time on Friday. Coming on top of concerns of a second recession, the move has investors worried that we're headed into a bear market for stocks. Here's what a bear market would mean.

10 Smart Places to Invest In Case the U.S. Defaults

The odds that the U.S. will default on its debt increase each day, and even if a short-term deal is reached, the ratings agencies may downgrade U.S. debt anyway. If that happens, turmoil could roil the markets. So where can the smart money flee for safety? 24/7 Wall St. offers 10 safe options.

The Financial Landscape: An Economic Spilt Personality

Is the American recovery fast or slow? Depends on who you ask. The Wall Street Journal sees corporate America merrily rolling along while Main Street suffers. The New York Times warns that Wall Street is about to feel the pinch too. But nobody is all that optimistic about Greece today.

Could the S&P 500 Fall Another 20% in 2011?

After the losses of the past week, it seems hard to imagine that the S&P 500 has much further to decline. But the index took a fall to near 1,000 as recently as last July, and the issues that punished the markets then are looming over the economy again -- or perhaps, still.

This 'Fear Trade' Could Bring You 87% Gains

Fear is in the air on Wall Street. Unemployment is high, housing sales are sluggish and the dollar is weak. Now, to add insult to injury, Standard & Poor's has lowered its U.S. debt outlook to negative, putting the nation's AAA credit rating at risk. Fortunately, smart traders can benefit from these worries.

Will Apple Earnings Feel Aftershock of Japan's Quake?

Apple is gearing up to report its quarterly results after the markets close Wednesday, and both investors and consumers are wondering if it'll take a hit from Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami, which have already rocked the earnings results of some other tech titans.

Can Motley Fool's Stock Picker Tap Wisdom of Crowds?

Popular investing site The Motley Fool has patented a system it believes can predict stock performance. Called Motley Fool CAPS, it taps the collective brainpower of more than 170,000 investors. Based on its performance over the past five years, it appears to work. But can it really?

How High (or Low) Could the Stock Market Go?

The U.S. stock market has piled on way-above-average returns in the last five months. But what can investors expect over the next few years? The charts show some clear patterns, and they hint that returns could revert to a longer-term, lower average -- but what might that be?

As Companies Beat Estimates in 2011, Expect Stocks to Soar

Will Stocks Rise asLast year, stocks rose as cost-cutting helped businesses set record profits. But its not too late to buy in, says venture capitalist Peter Cohan: With the corporate world's focus shifting to sales growth, and profits likely to beat expectations, stocks still look undervalued. Companies Beat Revenue Estimates?

S&P Downgrades Ireland's Debt to A-

Standard & Poor's downgraded Ireland's debt rating by one notch on Wednesday due to concerns over possible increased capital requirements by the country's banks.

Technology Companies Lead Stock Market Higher

Tech stocks rose after Intel increased its dividend and said it would buy back more of its stock. And materials companies jumped after a report showed that economists are more positive about growth and the job market than at any time since the start of the Great Recession.

Moody's, S&P May Downgrade U.S. Debt Rating

Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's are both considering downgrading their ratings on U.S. debt because of rising interest-to-revenue ratios, the nation's jobless recovery, and rising Social Security and health care costs, among other factors, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Best and Worst Global Stock Markets of 2010

The big national stock market winners of 2010 scored returns far above those of U.S. markets by piggybacking on China's ferocious growth. But rebounding American equities look mighty impressive next to the year's real losers: the victims of the eurozone debt crisis.

France's AAA Credit Rating Could Be at Risk

France could lose its top AAA credit rating as Europe%u2019s debt crisis spreads, Bloomberg News reported. "If problems in the euro zone aren%u2019t solved quickly, then the conditions of refinancing will be expensive for these countries and the ratings agencies will do more downgrades," Ralf Ahrens, who helps manage about $20 billion as head of fixed income at Frankfurt Trust, told Bloomberg News. "We already see these dynamics in the market. I see France as a risk."

Standard & Poor's Announces Changes to S&P 500 Index

Standard & Poor's will make changes to several U.S. indexes next week, including the S&P MidCap 400, the S&P SmallCap 600, and the widely used S&P 500. The changes, which reflect the effects of acquisitions and market cap changes, will occur after the close of trading on Dec. 17.

S&P May Downgrade Portugal's Credit Rating

Portugal's credit rating may be on its way down. Standard & Poor's warned Tuesday that a downgrade may be coming based on the government's failure to create policies that will boost productivity and cut the country's deficit.

The Downside of Buybacks Plus Higher Dividends

Over the last three years, companies that boosted dividends or initiated stock buybacks -- both methods intended to raise price per share -- lost an average of more than 10% in stock price. But cash-hoarding companies that did both lost an average of more than 21%.

29 Hot Mutual Funds to Replace Your Losers

If your end-of-year portfolio rebalancing has you looking for some better mutual funds to reallocate assets into, Standard and Poor's Equity Research wants to help: It has released its first-ever list of Mutual Fund Excellence Award winners -- consistent performers across a range of categories.

Daily Blogwatch: This Week's Best iPhone Apps

Some of the best reads for investors from around the Web, including posts about the top iPhone apps (at least this week), the Standard & Poor's 500 index's climb, the argument for going short and why stocks may be in a bubble.

Home Prices Up in June: Is the Market Stabilizing?

Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities rose a better-than-expected 1% in June from May, according to the Case-Shiller index. But the home buyer tax credit probably helped lift June's data, while home sales in July have tumbled.