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Mar 8, 2010

MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily, March,8th, 2010

Personal Finance Daily
MARCH 08, 2010

Monday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

If there ever was a week for investors to reflect on their current investing strategy, this would be it. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the stock market's climb up from its March 9 low last year, and Wednesday is the 10-year anniversary of the beginning of the dot-com bust. Read our two special reports today for a series of stories on where we've been -- and where it might be safe for investors to go now.

-- Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

How to make money in the bull market's second year

Happy birthday, baby bull. So far you're one for the storybooks. What can investors expect in Year Two? If history is a guide, the second verse will echo the first.
See Special Report: One-year anniversary of the bear-market bottom.

Commentary: Don't be fooled by funds' short-term gains

You may not be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the stock-market bottom this Tuesday, but mutual-fund executives are, because their worst 12-month period in recent history is closer to becoming a bad memory.
See Special Report: One-year anniversary of the bear-market bottom.

Commentary: Bull's first year holds lessons for investors

What a difference a year makes. I last wrote those words on Oct. 8, 2008, one year after the U.S. stock market peaked.
See Special Report: One-year anniversary of the bear-market bottom.

Best and worst stocks since market hit bottom

The U.S. stock market has gained 68% since the 17-month bear market hit its bottom just under a year ago, making winners out of a group of onetime basement-dwelling stocks and losers out of others.
See Special Report: One-year anniversary of the bear-market bottom.

Internet stocks still well below their Internet-era highs

A certain class of investors might be forgiven for still feeling burned by the dot-com bubble, even after a decade has passed.
See Special Report: 10 years after the dot-com bust.

Former Internet-fund stars, 10 years after the bust

They were masters of a parallel universe, the soul mates of a new technology. Then the real world intruded on mutual-fund managers who'd been Poseidons astride the Internet-stock wave.
See Special Report: 10 years after the dot-com bust.

Commentary: Weirdest memories of the bubble

Cirque du Soleil performers turned somersaults and teetered on stilts while crowds lined up outside a gallery space, somewhere in the South of Market district of San Francisco. But God help me, I cannot tell you who hosted the party.
See Special Report: 10 years after the dot-com bust.

Monopoly's dot-com edition

MarketWatch's Rex Crum and Shawn Langlois play the dot-com edition of Monopoly and, like the day-traders of the dot-com boom, end up bankrupt.
 Watch Video Report.

The Internet's champion stocks

MarketWatch's Rex Crum outlines the tech stocks that have staying power over the next 10 years with Stacey Delo, Mike Santoli and Eric Savitz on Digits.
 Watch Digits.

Five reasons to invest in European Union stocks

As Europe's governments scramble to control budget deficits and spending, investors may be overlooking companies made attractive by a weak euro, aggressive cost-cutting and cheap valuations, among other factors.
See Global Investor.

Funds tracking housing and REITs double from lows, but recession risks loom

Exchange-traded funds tracking real-estate stocks have been among the market's best performers since the March 2009 market low, but the potential for more upside is on shaky ground.
See ETF Investing.

A J.P. Morgan fund may scare some investors

J.P. Morgan Income Builder Fund isn't your grandfather's retirement fund. In addition to the stock-and-bond mix usually seen in mutual funds geared to investors nearing retirement, Income Builder Fund invests in collateralized mortgage obligations.
See story on a fund that may scare investors.


Home-saving loans afoot

Pressure is growing on U.S. banks to ease terms for distressed homeowners on home-equity loans and other second-lien mortgages.
See story about new efforts to stem foreclosures.


What newlyweds need to know when they first file taxes together

Getting married is one of those life-changing events that affect many aspects of a person's life -- right down to his or her tax returns. After tying the knot, your single filing status goes the way of the little black book.
See TaxWatch.


Workers fight back on high fees in 401(k) plans

Jeff Powelson knows how tough it is to fight for lower fees in a 401(k) retirement plan. He tried to get his employer to add lower-cost investment options to its plan in late 2008. He failed. But when he switched jobs last year, the 27-year-old took one look at his new, pricey 401(k) plan and decided to try again.
See story on 401(k) plan fees.

For some, a last chance to change Medicare drug plans

It might seem a bit cruel and cold-hearted, but the government is once again asking older Americans to make some hard choices. For many Medicare beneficiaries, there's one last chance to change their Medicare health plan before they are locked into that plan for the rest of 2010.
See Robert Powell's Retirement Blog.

Tips for those frustrated by 401(k) contribution limits

J.J. Montanaro, financial planner at the USAA, discusses options for investors who've maxed out their 401(k) contributions. Veronica Dagher reports.
 Watch Video Report.

Defaulted loans may haunt seniors

A little-noticed law could soon result in smaller Social Security checks for hundreds of thousands of the elderly and disabled who owe the U.S. money from defaulted loans and other debts more than a decade old.
See story on defaulted loans and Social Security.


Oscars get biggest audience since 2005

Sunday night's Academy Awards broadcast captured the biggest audience for Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network in five years, the company reported Monday.
See story about Oscars.

Oscar speeches: This year's hits and misses

Media specialist T. J. Walker recaps the highlights of the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, and tells Kelsey Hubbard which acceptance speeches were winners and which were duds.
 Watch Video Report.

Sidibe's audition for 'Precious'

Watch Gabourey Sidibe in her audition for her Oscar-nominated title role in the film "Precious."
 Watch Video Report.


Obama pushes health-care overhaul, slams insurers

President Barack Obama hit out at insurance companies on Monday as he took his pitch for health-care reform on the road, part of a full-court press to sell his overhaul to the public and get it through Congress soon.
See Health Care.


Federal Reserve may retain power in banking reform

Financial institutions that have more than $100 billion in assets would continue to be overseen by the Federal Reserve, based on a legislative proposal under consideration in the Senate, according to people familiar with negotiations on broad bank-reform legislation.
See story about Federal Reserve and bank reform.

New short-sale push may speed up bank-loan losses

A new government push to clean up bad home loans could dent bank earnings because the industry may have to take losses on the assets sooner than some investors expect.
See story on new short-sale push may speed up bank-loan losses.

Euro zone weighs IMF-style institution

As worries about Greece appeared to ease, euro-zone leaders have indicated support for a new institution modeled on the International Monetary Fund that would keep a close eye on national budgets and ultimately serve as a backstop in the event of a future sovereign debt crisis.
See story on Euro zone creating IMF-style institution.

'Lost decade' possible for global economy

The economic recovery could be doomed to being slow, fragile and prone to reversal if there isn't a strong commitment to restructuring the global economy, according to Jurgen Stark, a member of the board of the European Central Bank.
See story about a possible 'lost decade' for the global economy.


From food and limo services to Disney tickets, airlines want to sell it

Fliers are finding more products and services for sale aboard their flights today then at any other time in commercial-aviation history, as a small group of point-of-sale providers lead airlines into a brand-new world of retail strategy.
See Travel.


Consumers' priorities are shifting

The recession has led to a fundamental change in consumer-shopping behavior. For the first time in at least 10 years, consumers are choosing products and price over service in their purchasing decisions, Alix Partners' managing director Matthew Katz tells MarketWatch's Andria Cheng.
 Watch Video Report.

Consumers crazy for coupons

The redemption of coupons spiked 27% from 2008 to 2009. WSJ's Timothy Martin has more insight on the craze, which appears to be about more than just saving money.
 Watch Video Report.

Coupon-clipping is newest extreme sport

Under a futon in her Charleston, S.C., apartment, Stacy Smith has stashed boxes of soy bars, bags of potato chips, bottles of vitamin water, canned vegetables, soup, barbecue sauce and antibacterial wipes.
See story on coupon-clipping.


The perils of off-the-book jobs

Even last week's modestly upbeat jobs report hasn't altered the harsh truth facing millions of Americans: It's still ugly out there.
See story on perils of off-the-book jobs.


Do you need a partner?

Steve Nielsen, an information-technology professional from Minneapolis, thought he had a promising idea for a radio-frequency identification product that would help companies track and manage inventory. But even though Nielsen had customers lined up, he couldn't get the business off the ground.
See Small Business Report.

RTTNEWS: Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap Mon Mar 8 17:01 2010

Corporate News

Mar 8, 2010 Boeing Gets Firm Order Worth $1.6 Bln. From Turkish Air Aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co. (BA) Monday stated that Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines has finalized an order for 20 Next-Generation 737 airplanes. The order is valued at $1.6 billion at current list prices. Turkish Airlines currently operates a fleet of 66 Boeing airplanes, including 58 Next-Generation 737s. The order, which was posted previously to Boeing's Orders & Deliveries Web site as an unidentified customer, includes 10 737-800s and 10 737-900ER, or Extended Range, airplanes. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 McDonald's Feb Sales Rise On Strong Asian GrowthMcDonald's Corp. (MCD) announced Monday that global comparable sales for the month of February grew 4.8%, driven by the European and Asian markets. Additionally, U.S. comparable sales edged up 0.6%. Meanwhile, the company's system-wide sales for February rose 11.2%, and in constant currencies, sales grew only 6.4%. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 AIG To Sell ALICO Unit To MetLife For About $15.5 Bln In Cash And StockInsurer American International Group, Inc., or AIG, (AIG) said Monday that it agreed to sell its non-U.S. insurance unit American Life Insurance Co., or ALICO, to MetLife, Inc. (MET) for approximately $15.5 billion, including $6.8 billion in cash, and about $8.7 billion in MetLife equity securities, subject to closing adjustments. In a concerted effort to repay the huge public debt, AIG has recently agreed to sell Asian Life Insurance Unit to Prudential plc (PUK) for $35.5 billion. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Applied Materials Gets Board Approval For 17% Hike In Quarterly Dividend, $2 Bln Share BuybackSemiconductor equipments maker Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) on Monday announced that its board has approved a 17% increase in its quarterly cash dividend and has authorized a new share repurchase program to buy back up to $2 billion shares over next three years. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Dow Chemical Names William Weideman CFODiversified chemical firm Dow Chemical Co. (DOW), Monday announced the appointment of William Weideman as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Weideman has been serving as Vice President and interim Chief Financial Officer of the company since November 3, 2009. He will continue to report to Dow's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 RF Micro Devices Expects Non-GAAP Earnings In Q4RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD), a manufacturer of high-performance radio frequency components, Monday said it expects to report a non-GAAP profit for the fourth quarter, helped by strong revenues on particular strength from China and Korea. Issuing an updated financial outlook for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter ending April 3, Greensboro, North Carolina-based RFMD said it expects to achieve non-GAAP quarterly earnings per share of $0.11-$0.12. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Quadra Mining Posts Profit In Q4; To Form Joint Venture With Chinese UtilityCanada-based Quadra Mining Ltd. (QUA.TO) on Monday reported a profit for the fourth quarter compared to a loss in the year-ago period, boosted by higher copper prices and higher metal sales volumes. The company also said it will form a joint venture with a subsidiary of Chinese utility company State Grid Corp. of China to develop and operate Quadra's Sierra Gorda copper project and Franke Mine in Chile. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Tullett Prebon Posts Higher Pre-tax Profit In FY09British inter-dealer broker Tullett Prebon Plc (TLPR.L), Monday, in its preliminary results, reported a rise in pre-tax profit for the full-year 2009, helped by slightly higher revenues and "active" management of front office costs together with the benefit of cost reduction actions taken at the end of 2008. Tullett shares are currently trading down more than 5% on the LSE. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Intertek Group Posts Higher FY09 ProfitIntertek Group Plc (ITRK.L), a UK-based provider of quality and safety services, reported Monday higher profit in its fiscal 2009, boosted by double-digit revenue growth in most of its segments. Further, the company said its Board proposed a final dividend, and that it expects to continue growing organically in 2010 at similar levels, with the second half showing improvement from the first. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Stagecoach Says Profitability Since Nov. 2009 In Line With Management ViewUK-based public transport operator Stagecoach Group plc (SGC.L), Monday, issued an interim management statement, saying the overall profitability of the group since November 1, 2009 has remained in line with management's expectations. The company also believes that the prospects for the group remain positive despite challenging global economy. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Petrofac FY09 Profit Increases - UpdateOil and gas facilities service provider Petrofac Limited (PFC.L) Monday reported a higher profit for 2009, owing to improved performance in Engineering & Construction and Energy Developments divisions. Further, the company increased its final dividend 40%. For the year ended December 31, 2009, the company's profit attributable to Petrofac Limited shareholders improved to $353.60 million. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Arrow Energy Gets Joint Bid From Royal Dutch Shell, PetroChinaAustralia-based coal seam gas producer Arrow Energy Limited (AOE.AX) said Sunday evening that it has received a conditional takeover offer from a company jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS-A, RDS-B, RDSA.L, RDSB.L) and PetroChina Co Ltd.(PTR). Shares of Arrow are up 48% in trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday following the announcement of the offer. Full Article

Forex Top Story

Mar 8, 2010 Dollar Mixed As Sovereign Debt Fears Ease The dollar drifted toward parity versus its Canadian counterpart but was steady against other majors in the absence of any first-tier economic news from the US. Even with Europe apparently throwing its support behind debt-ridden Greece, the dollar sustained much of its recent gains against the beleaguered euro. Full Article

Political News

Mar 8, 2010 Obama Continues Final Health Reform Push With Pennsylvania RallyPresident Barack Obama continued his push for a final resolution of health reform legislation Monday with a rally in Pennsylvania. Speaking before a largely sympathetic crowd at Arcadia University, outside of Philadelphia, Obama channeled the can do, never quit spirit that he said embodies America to tell his audience why he was continuing to push for reform. Full Article
Mar 8, 2010 Poll: Republicans And Democrats Getting More Polarized On Abortion A new Gallup survey released Monday showed that Republicans and Democrats have extremely polarizing views on abortion. According to the survey, in 1975, 19% of Democrats and 18% of Republicans said they would support legalized abortions under any circumstances. By 2009, 31% of Democrats said they would support legalized abortions under any circumstances compared to just 12% of Republicans. Full Article

Forbes: Investment News, March8th, 2010

Forbes Investment
After Rejecting 1.7 Million Returns, IRS Offers Help
Ashlea Ebeling
New 800-number phone service available for seniors confused over whether they've received Economic Recovery Payments.

Cash In On Cash For Appliances
Fleur Bradley
Find out what you should consider before trading your old fridge or washing machine for a newer model. Long-Term Care Insurance: You Have Options
Janet Arrowood
The latest offerings provide more coverage and the ability to pick and choose what types of coverage you'll need.
U.S. Sales Tax Rates Hit Record High
William P. Barrett
Shopping blues: Top tax 12%. Chicago's 10.25% highest big-city rate. More Internet tax fights loom.
Hiring Protection From The IRS
Ashlea Ebeling
If you want a licensed and regulated tax pro, consider hiring an EA--someone who might even be an ex-IRS agent.

BBC : Listen and View Latest Videos, March 8th,2010

  Listen and View Latest Updated News, on  BBC

Icelandic flag Iceland will 'not accept unfair terms'

BBC: The US treasury department has eased sanctions on Iran, Cuba and Sudan

BBC Latest news on web Services Sanctions. Click below to cotinue reading full report

Reuters:Deals Today, March8th.2010

If you are having trouble viewing this email or would like to view it in your web browser, CLICK HERE

Good Morning Fernando, MON 08 Mar 2010 
MetLife is moving up in Japan, the world's second-largest life insurance market, with the $15.5 billion purchase of Alico from AIG. The unit accounted for 70 percent of Alico's pre-tax operating income in fiscal year. It also has operations in Europe and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Much like the $35.5 billion sale of AIG's Hong Kong-based AIA subsidiary the week before to Prudential of the U.K, a chunk of AIG is a transformative expansion for Metlife.

Both AIG and Metlife share rose on the news – one of those win-win deals, the market says. But if you want to be skeptical, just keep in mind that AIG is still only part of the way towards repaying the $182.3 billion it owes the U.S. government and Metlife has just exposed itself to an aging Japanese population with prospects in some ways even more worrying than in the U.S., given its lost decade and its near-routine bouts of deflation.

One thing Metlife will not have to worry about is having a government functionary on its board. Though the sale features a sizable equity component from AIG, we're told that the chance of Uncle Sam calling the shots at yet another major U.S. corporation is nil.

Chris Kaufman; DealZone Editor
Lyondell files restructuring, rejects Reliance
UK's Prudential aims to widen cash-call appeal
Daimler selling up to $429 million Tata Motors stake
A400M bailout reaction mixed on eve of EADS loss
Dai-ichi Life sets price range for $12 billion IPO
Farkas all set to buy Centerline Holding Co: report
Peabody to invest in Calera: report
Shell, PetroChina bid $3 billion for Australia's Arrow
Kraft under probe over Cadbury deal in UK: report

Lyondell files restructuring, rejects Reliance
March 08, 2010 09:49 AM ET
MUMBAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) - LyondellBasell filed a restructuring plan on Monday, rejecting a takeover bid from India's Reliance Industries that valued the bankrupt petrochemicals firm at $14.5 billion.

Full Article
UK's Prudential aims to widen cash-call appeal
March 08, 2010 10:47 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Insurer Prudential took steps on Monday to underpin its record-breaking rights issue by bringing forward plans for an Asian listing, while also starting to meet skeptical investors in Britain to explain the deal's merits.

Full Article
Daimler selling up to $429 million Tata Motors stake
March 08, 2010 07:49 AM ET
MUMBAI/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler was selling its entire stake in India's Tata Motors to raise up to $429 million worth of shares, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Full Article
A400M bailout reaction mixed on eve of EADS loss
March 08, 2010 05:27 AM ET
PARIS (Reuters) - Investor jitters over the health of underlying EADS earnings due out on Tuesday took the shine off a long-awaited international deal to refinance the delayed Airbus A400M military transport plane, analysts said.

Full Article