Profits are up as banks are avoiding shaky loans.
Excess supplies are helping to hold down prices, so natural gas is becoming more attractive for many users.
The S&P 500 stock index has returned 10.2% annually during the past three years and the Barclays Capital Aggregate bond index only returned 5.7%.
Investors have been pouring into stocks that produce dividend payments. Reliable performers reward shareholders with quarterly dividend checks year after year.
Many dividend companies are mature businesses with a rich cash flow.
A growing number of flexible mutual funds advocate a different strategy—selling stocks and shifting to cash when conditions warrant.
For years, many financial advisors gave clients standard advice: Buy a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds and hold it through up and down markets.
Instead of a buy-and-hold approach, a growing number of flexible mutual funds sell stocks and shift to cash when conditions look hazardous.
By weighing stocks on basic financial measures, fundamental funds are beating traditional benchmarks.
In recent months, investors have been eagerly pursuing shares of Facebook, Groupon, and other hot technology companies.
The fund you should pick depends on your tolerance for volatility. Either aggressive or cautious funds can work. Pick one that suits your temperament.
Make no mistake: Consumer stocks do not lead the markets every year. During bull markets, investors often ignore consumer goods, which may seem dull compared to technology or finance. But over the long haul, consumer stocks tend to deliver competitive results.
Hotel occupancy is improving, and office rents are climbing in strong markets such as New York and Washington, D.C.
After the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, markets sank throughout Asia. Investors worried that the devastation would disrupt power producers and hurt a wide range of manufacturers. But some money managers argue that the pessimism is excessive.
Investors worried about inflation should consider owning commodity stocks, including gold, oil, and coal.
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