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Major Indexes End Win Streak; Super Micro Surges

Stocks reversed lower Wednesday, ending a four-day run for the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
The Nasdaq fell 0.8%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.7%. They were up as much as 0.4% each at Wednesday’s highs. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.9%. Joh…

Tiny Retirement Savings: Many Have Tiny Nest Eggs

Are you frustrated by how little you’ve saved for retirement? You’re not alone.

Thirty-four percent of middle-class Americans are not contributing anything to a 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings account, according to a new survey by Wells Fargo.

The retirement savings gap gets worse for middle-class Americans close to retirement, with 41% between the ages of 50 and 59 confessing that they are saving nothing.

People realize they are not doing enough to be successful investors. Nearly a third of all the people polled, 31%, told Wells Fargo they will not have enough money to “survive” on in retirement.

Among people in their fifties, nearly half — 48% — said they don’t expect to have enough cash to survive.

For all Americans, the median size nest egg is a scant $20,000. That’s down from $25,000 in 2013.

Middle-class Americans told Wells Fargo they expect to need a median amount of $250,000 for retirement.

People surveyed who are in their fifties reported a median monthly retirement savings amount of $78.

The survey defined people as middle class if they are aged 25 to 29 and had 2013 household income of $25,000 to $99,000, plus investable assets of $99,999 or less.

People aged 30 to 75 fit the profile if their household income was $50,000 to $99,999 or had investable assets of $25,000 to $99,999.

Wells Fargo urged people to boost their retirement savings prospects by:

•Starting to save now if they’re not already.

•Saving up to the amount that gets a full matching contribution from your employer in a 401(k) plan, if your employer offers a match.

•Boosting your rate of savings on a regular basis, such as annually.

•Avoid tapping your nest egg for nonretirement expenses.

Stocks Erase Modest Gains; Apple Flirts With Breakout

Stocks gave back modest gains Wednesday, one day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq scored solid percentage gains in higher volume.
With a little more than one hour remaining in the session, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.7%; the Nasdaq fell …

Stocks Turn Negative; Ilumina, Manhattan Break Out

Stocks turned negative at midday Wednesday, giving up small early gains.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3%, the Nasdaq 0.2% and the S&P 500 0.1%. Volume was tracking lower from yesterday’s levels on both the Nasdaq and NYSE.
Despite mar…

What’s Next for the Indian Rupee?

On September 30, 2014, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi met with President Obama during his first official visit to the U.S. since he was sworn in as prime minister four months ago. For Modi, this meeting marks the end of an ambitious foreign polic…

Stocks Up at Midday; Super Micro Retakes Buy Point

Stocks remained slightly higher at midday Wednesday following benign inflation data and positive earnings reports.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both edged up 0.2%, while the Dow Jones industrial average held on to a 0.1% gain. Volume was running l…

Stock Futures Upshift On Data; Yahoo, Broadcom, Boeing Climb

Stock futures stepped up to moderate gains Wednesday after data showed U.S. inflation remained mild in September.

Dow futures jumped 20.2 points above fair market value. Nasdaq 100 futures doubled their early gains and were up 10 points. S&P 500 futures were ahead 2.9 points.

The stock market today opens with a little more optimism under its belt, after buyers sent the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to healthy gap-up gains Tuesday .

The moves put the indexes decisively above their 200-day moving averages. The gains also left both indexes within shooting distance of their next hurdle: the 50-day moving average. Both indexes failed in their most recent effort to retake that line, on Oct. 6.

The day’s top economic news item was inflation data from the Labor Department showing consumer prices rose a tame 0.1% in September. The number was up from a 0.2% slip in August and slightly above projections for a flat reading. Core prices, minus energy and food, were also up 0.1% — in line with expectations.

A big morning for the aerospace and defense sector saw early reports from Boeing (NYSE:BA), B/E Aerospace (NASDAQ:BEAV), General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC). A welter of blue chip stocks were in motion after delivering quarterly results: Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) climbed 3%. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) rose 2%. Xerox (NYSE:XRX) added 1%.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) popped 4% after reporting late Tuesday its third-quarter earnings rose 53%, well above analyst expectations. Revenue rose a better-than-forecast 1%. Mobile revenue topped the $200 million mark, with the company guiding the important growth segment to revenue of $1.2 billion for the year.

FBR Capital upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform, hoisting the price target to 50 from 40. Yahoo shares have been consolidating since a failed breakout attempt from an eight-month cup base in September.

Evolving chip heavyweight Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) jumped 6% before the open. The Irvine, Calif.-based company reported Q3 earnings and revenue above consensus forecasts, and management’s Q4 revenue and margin guidance was in line with analyst expectations.

Broadcom ended Tuesday up 4% so far this week, as it rebounded from a test of support at its 200-day moving average.

Overseas in China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bolted 1.4% higher as the Shanghai Composite posted a second day of modest losses. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 leapt 2.6%, giving it a 4.6% gain so far for the week.

European bourses were sticking close to their opening levels, with major indexes in London, Frankfurt and Paris all up less than 0.2%.

The dollar was trading tight against the euro, but gained on the yen. Commodities were mixed and little changed. The Energy Information Administration reports weekly oil stockpile data at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Midcap Stock Funds Feel Effects Of Pullback

Midcap stock mutual funds, like their small-cap cousins, have lagged large-cap funds and the S&P 500 this year, but midcaps remain close behind small caps’ stellar performance in the past 15 years.

Look what a $10,000 investment on Sept. 30, 1999, would do in each. Investors holding the average midcap stock fund would have $36,323 as of Oct. 20 this year, according to Morningstar data. That’s a bit behind small-cap funds, which would have $39,299.

Lagging far behind would be large-cap funds’ $17,746, trailing even the $19,726 from the S&P 500, a proxy for the broad U.S. stock market.

JPMorgan Mid Cap Value Fund has climbed 4% this year and an average annual 12.63% the past 15 years. The $14.8 billion fund has about 40% of its assets divided evenly between consumer cyclical and financial stocks. Its recent holdings include Ball (NYSE:BLL), a maker of metal packing for food and beverages.

Well Fargo Advantage Special Mid Cap Value Fund is up 3% this year and has generated an average annual total return of 12.19% the past 15 years. The $1.3 billion fund’s recent holdings include chip equipment firm Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX).

Indexes Mark Follow-Through, Confirming Uptrend

Stocks soared Tuesday, signaling that the market correction has ended. The Nasdaq surged 2.4% and the S&P 500 2%, their best gains so far this year. Coupled with a solid increase in volume, the two major indexes made a follow-through signal, which changed the market outlook from bearish to bullish. The magnitude of Tuesday’s move was compelling, if not surprising. Gains were far stronger than in …

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Advance Auto: Are Merger Synergies Set To Kick In?

When auto-parts retail stocks like Advanced Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) start to do well, their rise sometimes unfurls a red flag.

These stocks often excel when the economy is weak and consumers are under pressure. At such times, owners coddle their aging cars rather than spend to buy new vehicles. This tendency made parts-retail stocks particularly resilient during the 2007-08 market collapse.

But this year, Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) has outgrown that pigeonhole, rising 27% year-to-date. The stock is up 6% over the past three sessions, taking out a new high and clearing a 139.68 buy point in a third-stage flat base.

Parts retailers AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) and O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY) have traded all but flat since February, but Advance Auto looped higher through three consecutive bases. Because none of those stocks rose more than 20% above their prior bases’ high, they were all third-stage patterns.

Advance is scheduled to report third-quarter results Nov. 6. Analysts project a 32% gain in earnings and a 50% revenue surge. Fourth-quarter forecasts call for a 122% EPS leap and a 63% gain in sales.

By contrast, AutoZone — the industry’s largest chain measured by market capitalization — reported an 8% earnings gain. Sales slipped 1% and missed estimates.

O’Reilly reports after the close on Wednesday. Analysts call for a 16% gain in earnings and 7% revenue growth.

Advance Auto’s advantage fits projections that analysts made in the first half of the year, after the Roanoke, Va.-based company closed its $2.1 billion acquisition of General Parts International, owner of the Carquest chain.

In June, a company statement projected $190 million in synergies over the next three years. Only a small amount of the cost savings appeared in the first quarter, leading UBS analyst Michael Lasser to project accelerating cost benefits toward year’s end. Analysts say that revenue estimates reflect incoming contributions from the Carquest chain, a potential source of upside to consensus estimates.