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Morningstar

Morningstar
Morningstar - Find fresh, independent perspectives on top investing stories and comprehensive information on stocks, mutual funds and ETFs. Morningstar provides data on approximately 350,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 4 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. The company has operations in 20 countries and minority ownership positions in companies based in two other countries. www.Morningstar.com

Recent blog posts

  • Are Emerging Markets Looking Cheap?
    As one well regarded fund manager declares emerging markets ripe for picking, Morningstar analysts weigh up the sector
  • Market Pessimism Creates a Juicy Buying Opportunity
    Long-term investor and columnist Rodney Hobson had felt it was difficult to find opportunities in the UK stock market, but the recent reaction to economic news has allayed his concerns
  • Chancellor Cuts Pension Tax Relief
    Chancellor George Osborne reveals a cut to the annual tax-free allowance for pensions but raises the ISA contribution limit
  • The Slow-Growth World
    The IMF is forecasting slower growth in the years ahead, which means investors should not be expecting anything stellar anytime soon
  • A Crop of Exchange-traded funds for Growing Appetites
    The global demand for food is rising and companies that help farmers improve crop yields could continue to see strong growth
  • The UK Recession is Officially Over
    The latest data shows the Olympics and Paralympics helped boost the UK out of its double-dip recession
  • Spain's Dangerous Waiting Game
    EU Sovereign crisis: Spain's delay in requesting a bailout doesn't look like a prudent bet
  • 10 Scary Market Numbers from the Third Quarter
    The third quarter of 2012 might have been less scary than in years past, but there was still plenty of bad news in the marketplace.
  • Is The Chinese Growth Story Over?
    China's growth rate has fallen below 8%, but there are still reasons to remain bullish on the overall Chinese growth story
  • New Bond Issue Market Remains Unusually Active
    New issue supply was easily swept up as investors continue to pour money into corporate bond funds
  • ECB Inaction, BP Blues and Turbulence at Ryanair
    The European Central Bank is working on the crisis. No use rushing - after all, the crisis has been with us for the past four years and the causes go back much further.
  • Spain Bailout Fears, Weak US Data Drag on FTSE
    UK shares slipped into the red on Tuesday as banks and natural resources weighed amid concern over the eurozone and global growth
  • Saving the Euro
    The management of the eurozone debt crisis is dysfunctional. In our assessment, to save the Euro currency, policy makers must focus on competitiveness, common sense and communication. If policy makers strived to achieve just one of these principles, the Euro might outshine the US dollar.
  • Stay Away From Facebook and Retail
    There are lessons to be learnt from the flotation of Facebook (FB), which I was never tempted to join (the flotation, that is, not Facebook itself). The Millennium boom and bust is still too raw in my memory.So what can we learn this time round?
  • A Good Time for Healthcare Stocks
    The European healthcare equity sector performed remarkably well last week, giving a big boost to various exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking European healthcare indices. Investors have recently been pouring money into more defensive equity exposures, like healthcare, which tends to be less reliant on the movements of the broad economy.
  • April Economic Overview
    Despite some weaker data points in the EU and China, the past few months have delivered a pleasant growth surprise with global gross domestic product (GDP) appearing to have recovered towards a trend-like pace. A pick up in manufacturing output, specifically in the US and Asia (excluding China), has led the way although part of the rebound is attributable to temporary factors such as mild winter weather in the US and recovery from the Thai floods in Asia. Some loss of economic momentum can be expected in Q2, therefore, but most commentators believe the global economy bottomed in Q4 last year and a gradual acceleration is expected as the year progresses. This is true for both the developed economies and Asia although any improvement in China may take longer to appear.
  • Japan: A Surge in Optimism
    The vast majority of Japanese fund managers expect Japan’s economy to strengthen. Professional investors are becoming increasingly optimistic about prospects for Japan and Japanese companies, with a net 91% of Japanese fund managers saying that Japan’s economy will strengthen, according to results from the latest BofA Merrill Lynch survey of fund managers.
  • Beat the Market with Dividends
    I've had quite enough of the buy-low, sell-high circus. There are better ways of making money from stocks - strategies that don't rely on analyst upgrades, quarterly earnings estimates, celebrity CEOs, or patterns on charts.
  • Funds for Navigating China's Choppy Waters
    The last year has been extremely difficult for all investors and Chinese equity managers have not been immune from this. Inflationary concerns in the Chinese economy and macroeconomic issues such as the lack of political leadership in the developed world, social unrest in Middle-Eastern countries and natural disasters were amongst some of the most significant drivers of volatility in global markets. Active managers have been considerably impacted by these events and 2011 saw two of the most recognized benchmarks in the region, the MSCI AC Golden Dragon and MSCI Zhong Hua indices, ranked 16th and 12th percentile within the IMA China/Greater China sector. To put this into perspective, in 2008--arguably an equally difficult year--the benchmarks ended up in the 33rd and 52nd percentile, respectively.
  • These Big Funds Had Happy Shareholders in 2011
    Stocks staged an impressive recovery in 2011's final quarter, but the year was still a disappointing one for many holders of equity funds. Many U.K. equity funds struggled to keep up with the FTSE 100, as the blue-chip dividend payers that dominate the index thumped most other types of stocks in a nervous market environment. Further afield, global equity funds had their own set of problems, ranging from the eurozone crisis to concerns about slowing growth in emerging markets.
  • The Numbers Don't Add Up, They Add Down
    This has been the week when the European Union had to take a stiff dose of reality. Likewise, the europhiles and euro skeptics in the House of Commons.
  • Don't Overthink the Eurozone Crisis
    It's hard to avoid the daily updates on the crisis in Europe. The financial troubles once concentrated in Greece and Ireland have broadened in scope, raising deeper questions and prompting gloomy predictions. Some wonder whether the euro can survive. Others think it will, but only at the cost of deep and lasting recessions in many European countries.
  • Euroland: An Intractable and Never-ending Crisis?
    A 12-year-old coffee mug has a permanent place on the right corner of my office desk. Given to me by an Allianz executive to commemorate PIMCO's marriage in 1999, it reads: "You can always tell a German but you can’t tell him much."
  • Some tough love for the eurozone leaders
    European sovereign debt solutions are on everybody's lips, with last week's papers filled with everything, including paparazzi reports about how Angela Merkel's breakfast choices could provide an insight into the next move of the world economy. Is an effective final deal not far away or will the whole thing fall apart like soggy Weetabix?
  • Pain at the pump: High gas prices might be here to stay, and the consequences for the recovery aren't pretty.
    The reason gas prices keep coming up in the national conversation is that the pain at the pump has profound economic consequences. I don't see gas prices falling anytime soon, and the consequences of these elevated prices is going to be a headwind to the recovery.
  • Why a potential Greek default matters to US investors
    A few weeks back, I argued that Standard & Poor's lower outlook on U.S. sovereign debt was nothing more than distraction from the real problems in Europe. We saw further proof of an escalating euro debt crisis this week from another S&P downgrade of Greece's debt and a warning that further cuts were possible.
  • We see gold going lower in the long term
    Current drivers of record gold prices may be unsustainable moving forward. After exhibiting few signs of life during much of the 1980s and 1990s, gold prices have revived during the last 10 years, climbing more than five-fold from the 2001 average price of less than $300 per ounce to more than $1,400 today.
  • Is the U.S. serious about cutting healthcare costs?
    We recently attended the National Congress on Health Insurance Reform in Washington, D.C. One of our favorite presentations was delivered by the always entertaining and informative Uwe Reinhardt, Professor of Political Economy at Princeton. Reinhardt explained how the U.S.'s inability to implement reforms to the healthcare system that would meaningfully slow cost growth boils down to a failure to understand basic math.
  • Will the foreclosure mess dog your bond fund?
    Sloppy mortgage record keeping and foreclosure delays have captured headlines lately, but the controversy won't likely have a major impact on bond funds that invest in mortgage-backed securities.
  • Alcoholic beverage firms have three shots for growth
    The Great Recession of last year took its toll on the alcoholic beverages industry. Traffic at bars and restaurants was down, shifting some consumption to the less profitable at-home channel, while weak consumer spending led to trading down in most categories.
  • Guest Blog: Shining a Light on Global Solar Growth
    2010 was a white-hot year for solar. Will the wattage keep pace in 2011? During 2009's fourth quarter, the solar industry was just recovering from the brutal declines in silicon and module average selling prices, or ASPs. Companies and analysts were predicting 2009 global installations would be flat at six gigawatts (GW).
  • Guest blog: Brave new world of financial legislation
    There is still much to be written about and finalized in the specifics of the new United States financial legislation. Since over 200 new rules are expected, which may take up to five years to implement, we think the ultimate implications remain uncertain and may vary widely from one institution to another.

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