February 25, 2012 |
Here is a primer on the mechanics of dividend-focused investing, and answers to some common questions investors may have. Are stock dividend yields near historical highs? No. The average dividend yield of the Standard & Poor's 500 index stocks now is 2%. That's up from the record low of 1.1% in early 2000, but well below the average yield of about 5% in the late 1970s. Compared with short-term interest rates near zero and high-quality bond yields in low single digits, however, the yields of 2.5% to 4% on some of the most popular dividend-paying shares look relatively attractive — with the caveat that stocks always carry the risk of principal loss.
January 11, 2012
Lure of the rails Re "Keep the bullet train on track," Editorial, Jan. 7 Should California continue its high-speed rail project? Yes. But should we get locked into the current plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority? No. Most people favor, in principle, building a bullet train system, even many who object to the cost and poor design. So the real question is why we're locked into such an unrealistic plan. It is apparent the current plan to start in the Central Valley is a political compromise, not a doable business plan able to attract private investment.
January 8, 2012 |
In unveiling a new strategic review Thursday, President Obama warned that "we can't afford to repeat the mistakes that have been made in the past — after World War II, after Vietnam — when our military was left ill-prepared for the future. " "As commander in chief," he vowed, "I will not let that happen again. Not on my watch. " Actually, it is already happening again on his watch. Last summer, defense spending was slashed by $487 billion over 10 years. Then, right before Thanksgiving, a special committee of Congress failed to agree on $1.2 trillion in alternative cuts, which opened the way to another $500 billion or so in defense cuts.
December 6, 2011 |
Ford Motor Co. has reinstated its quarterly dividend after cutting the payment more than five years ago as it prepared to navigate a turbulent economy. Ford will pay 5 cents a share to holders of Class B and common stock as of Jan. 31, 2012. The payment will be made March 1. "We have made tremendous progress in reducing debt and generating consistent positive earnings and cash flow," said Executive Chairman Bill Ford. "The board believes it is important to share the benefits of our improved financial performance with our shareholders.
November 20, 2011 |
Question: I'd like to know whether I should keep my shares in Vanguard Capital Opportunity Fund. Answer: It is understandable that some longtime owners of this popular fund would become concerned. Underperforming stocks of Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, and chip maker Cree Inc. have lately held back overall results, a natural consequence of a contrarian growth approach that often includes volatile technology. The Vanguard Capital Opportunity Fund was up less than 2% in a recent 12-month period to rank in the lower one-fifth of large growth funds.
November 5, 2011 |
Bill Spawr's last little trick Saturday with his Breeders' Cup Sprint entry Amazombie was to tie the gelding's tongue to the bottom of its mouth with a white bow. Veteran trainer Spawr, a horseman since his teens who arrives at his barn at 3:15 a.m. daily, found tying the tongue keeps the horse easier to handle at critical moments when it might tend to lose control. With that, Spawr, 72, handed over the star horse of his lifetime to decorated jockey Mike Smith , who guided the 5-year-old from a runner-up spot at the top of the stretch to a dramatic victory by a neck over Force Freeze.
October 21, 2011 |
"Margin Call" takes ripped-from-the-headlines events and dramatizes them for all they're worth. Which turns out to be quite a lot. Starring a top cast including Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and Paul Bettany, "Margin Call" returns us to where previous films, including the Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job" and the HBO drama "Too Big to Fail," have gone before: the opening days of 2008's global financial crisis. But this time, it's different. It's different because this confident, crisply made piece of work does an expert job of bringing us inside the inner sanctum of a top Wall Street investment bank in extremis, giving us a convincing and coolly dramatic portrait of what it must have been like when titans trembled.
August 20, 2011
Galaxy tonight VS. SAN JOSE When: 7:30. Where: Home Depot Center. On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 1330 (Spanish). Records: Galaxy 13-3-9; San Jose 5-9-10. Record vs. San Jose: 0-0-1. Update: It's been a bit of a crazy week in Carson. In a matter of five business days, the Galaxy inquired about Irish forward Robbie Keane, signed him, traded designated player Juan Pablo Angel, helped expedite Keane's visa, flew him in and had the striker training by Friday.
August 1, 2011 |
A rare alliance of healthcare rivals — a giant insurance company, a major hospital chain and a large doctors group — has managed to reduce healthcare costs through a radical new strategy: working together. The collaboration among Blue Shield of California, Catholic Healthcare West and Hill Physicians Medical Group shaved more than $20 million in costs last year and prevented an insurance rate hike for public sector workers in Northern California. The three partners cite evidence that the quality of care also improved: Hospital stays were shorter, readmissions dropped and doctors and nurses kept closer tabs on patients.
June 28, 2011 |
For Mark Trumbo , it was an in-game adjustment in Florida on June 22, one that turned an awful start at the plate into a satisfying night in which he got two key hits in a 10-inning victory for the Angels. For Peter Bourjos , it was a pregame adjustment in Seattle on June 14, one that sparked an 11-game stretch in which he was 13 for 32 (.406), including four hits Monday night, to raise his average from .243 to .264. The common denominator: Mickey Hatcher , the batting instructor who seems to get most of the blame when the Angels aren't hitting and little of the credit when they are. Bourjos hit .176 (18 for 102)