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Today, traders will huddle around televisions to await a statement from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen about the central bank's two-day monetary policy meeting.
Will a Fed interest-rate hike come in September? In December? Or both?
Yellen has hinted how the central bank is leaning on a possible September decision.
And she said her merry band of central bankers aren't likely to take events happening around the world right now into consideration. That is why some are so nervous right now...
It was an up and down week for the S&P 500 technology index.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) surged more than 16% after the search giant reported huge earnings.
But Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) stock had its worst day in years on Wednesday after the company reported iPhone sales numbers that didn't meet Wall Street expectations.
Now, keep in mind that the company reported earth-shattering profits and therefore beat profit expectations. Even with billions in cash, and figures that make it the most profitable company on the face of the Earth, Wall Street's totally irrational and completely inscrutable expectations led to its downturn this week.
And that insanity is yet another reason to ignore the "analysts," and check out why our Shah Gilani believes that Apple is, now more than ever, a must-own.
Meanwhile, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) jumped to record highs, while Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) reported its worst quarterly loss as it undergoes a shift under CEO Satya Nadella.
Gold prices hit a five-year low (the lowest since March 2010) on Sunday after news that mutual fund managers were dumping their positions thanks to developments in - where else - China.
China reported the amount of gold they have in storage for the first time in six years. Many traders and investors anticipated that the nation had built a massive stockpile in the wake of increased global debt, geopolitical uncertainty, and concerns about inflation - though deflation has been the bigger threat in recent years.
Stocks around the world were in the green Monday as Greece agrees to the latest bailout - its third - and the threat of an immediate default and immediate Eurozone exit is removed. Or so goes the thinking.
The reality is that Greece will be back... and so will its problems.
We'll talk about those in a moment, but first I want to call your attention to the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSEArca:HACK). It's returned 20.19% versus the S&P 500 which has logged only 3.45% over the same time frame.
We'll get to Greece in a minute... but first I want to make sure you've captured profits in China.
Yep, the Red Dragon.
I know the official story is that things are falling apart there and that the Chinese stock bubble has popped. The numbers certainly make it seem that way, given that the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges have fallen by 30% over the past month. In actual money, that's more than the value of Spain's entire stock market, according to Quartz.
But don't believe everything you hear.
We've done just fine with China over the years, and will continue to do so for years to come no matter what happens in the markets. Obviously, there will be some fits and starts but that's entirely normal for a growing country... any growing country.
Like many companies lately, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) has experienced some rocky trading. The stock is down 7.1% from a high of $145.80 set on March 23, 2015.
Yet I'm not concerned, and I encourage you not to be either.
TM has returned 25.86% since March 21, 2014, when I recommended the Japanese automaker as a means of playing that country's stimulus program AND capitalizing on this country's central banking madness. The S&P 500, by contrast, has returned only 9.48% over the same time frame.
It's a nearly textbook-perfect example of why we concentrate on only the best companies in industries driven by globally unstoppable trends, and how you can profitably play the world's central bankers like a proverbial fiddle at the same time.
The third week of June is shaping up to be quite eventful as all eyes turn to government leaders around the world. Here's what's on tap for the week of June 15.
The Fed Open Market Committee kicks off its fourth annual meeting on Tuesday where the central bank's policymakers will debate the merits of hiking benchmark U.S. interest rates in 2015 or to heed the warnings of the International Monetary Fund to hold off until next year.
This week, the IMF slashed its global growth target and suggested that the Federal Reserve not increase its interest rate until 2016. The markets have priced in a rate hike for the fall, and another in 2016, but investors are still reacting when the slightest peep suggests the hike might come sooner than later.
As we've said in the past, there are stocks that will perform regardless of what the Federal Reserve decides to do next week. You simply have to understand the different between owning companies with "want to own" products versus companies that manufacture "need to own." Our Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald will get you started with a few of these companies.