Pier 1 Imports slumps 30%; rivals also drop as holiday optimism disappears

Pier 1 Imports Inc’s stock lost nearly a third of its value on Thursday and its main competitors’ shares also fell after the furniture and home decorations retailer warned the holiday shopping season was not going well.

Shares in the seller of wicker chairs and scented candles slumped 30 per cent and was on track for its deepest one-day drop since 2009, while rival Williams-Sonoma Inc fell 3.25 per cent, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc dipped 2.7 per cent and At Home Group declined 1.3 per cent. read more

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Jeffrey Gundlach says investors Must add commodities in portfolios

DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach said on Wednesday that his very best investment idea for the new year is commodities, against the background of increasing global economic activity and the valuation beauty of commodities relative to U.S. stocks.

“I believe investors should add products for their portfolios,” said Gundlach on CNBC, pointing to the “remarkable” inverse relationship between the total return of their Samp;P 500 and the Samp;P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index.

“You go into these substantial cycles,” he said. “The repetition of this is almost eerie. And so if you look at that graph the value in commodities is, historically, exactly where you want it to be a purchase.” read more

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How to learn from failure, why lithium stocks are hot, and all about the bitcoin buzz

By any conceivable measure, Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater Associates LP, is a wild success. The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund with $160-billion (U.S.) in assets under management is one of the world’s 100 wealthiest people; the firm he built has been called the fifth most important private company in America; his new book Principles: Life and Work is a New York Times best seller.

Given all of these accomplishments, it is surprising to learn what Mr. Dalio attributes the secret of his success: Failure. read more

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Buffett’s about to get $3-billion back from Tim Hortons owner

Warren Buffett’s cash pile is very likely to have a little bigger this week.

Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. is scheduled to redeem $3-billion in preferred shares Tuesday from Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.. The money helped the fast-food chain fund its 2014 purchase of Tim Hortons.

The payoff will take away a profitable investment for Berkshire and add to Buffett’s arsenal for investments and takeovers. At the end of the next quarter, Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based holding company had a record $109-billion in money. The billionaire has fought some on the deal this season with two big, possible acquisitions slipping away. read more

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Microcap stocks: A simple strategy that has Generated 16 Decades of stunningly good returns

Architects can show stunning vistas and create stimulating environments when they place ceiling-to-floor windows in office buildings. It is something I experienced this week while pecking away at a Bloomberg terminal perched next to such a window.

Peering down at the city from 15 storeys up motivated more than a bit of vertigo. Some investors have problems with a similar kind of nausea when considering purchasing microcap stocks. It was fascination with this shunned segment of the marketplace which drew me into the edge of the abyss to perform a small back-testing. read more

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What billionaire bond manager Bill Gross Believes about bitcoin

The limited supply of bitcoin may drive up its value for the time being, but also makes it an unlikely substitute for gold or currencies in times of financial distress, according to Bill Gross, the billionaire bond manager with Janus Henderson Group Plc..

“It isn’t really a currency alternative right now,” Gross said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Purchasing a bag of groceries at the supermarket will be somewhat difficult.”

Just 21 million bitcoins can be minted under the terms of the digital money, which saw its price spike to nearly $20,000 on Thursday. The cryptocurrency’s high volatility can also be a deterrent to its wide use as a store of value, according to Gross, who runs the $2.2 billion Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund. read more

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Bitcoin Fans should Recall that bubbles always burst

Sam Sivarajan is senior vice-president of riches alternatives at Great-West Life.

In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It is déjà vu all over again.” Throughout human history, there have been bubbles in markets.

“Tulipmania” in the Netherlands in the 1600s saw, at its summit, one tulip bulb selling for 10 times the yearly wage of a skilled craftsman.

The South Sea bubble in England in the early 1700s was created after the British authorities gave out the rights to trade with South America to a single company. Frenzied trading of shares in the business, despite insignificant gains, resulted in a bubble that eventually burst and destroyed many. Even Sir Isaac Newton, arguably among the most brilliant minds the world has seen, lost cash in the bubble and ruefully commented, “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.” read more

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Five stock picks from a dividend Increase Supervisor

Where’s the Canadian dollar going? What about oil prices? And is the next leg in interest rates up or down?

Renato Anzovino is the first to admit he does not know. However, the director of the60-million Heward Canadian Dividend Growth Fund says his investment plan does not rely on making such forecasts. Instead, he attempts to identify companies that could thrive in almost any environment.

Among the first things he looks for is a steadily rising dividend. “That confirms to us that the underlying company is strong and the outlook going forward is positive,” Mr. Anzovino states. read more

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The next big short: Hedge funds Ready to Exchange against bitcoin

A bitcoin large short is building.

The planned launch of bitcoin futures contracts at CME Group Inc., Cboe Global Markets Inc. and Nasdaq Inc. will make it far easier to bet on a decline. Hedge funds, which have mostly remained on the sidelines, are awaiting the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s futures market to start to get a fresh chance to wager against the cryptocurrency, based on more than a half dozen people trading the resources.

“The stocks decrease the frictions of moving short more than they do of going long, so it is probably net metering,” said Craig Pirrong, a business professor at the University of Houston. “Having this instrument which makes it easier to brief might keep the bitcoin cost a bit closer to reality.” read more

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FANG’s $60-billion wipeout is in 1 day since Facebook IPO

Attempting to describe the Nasdaq 100’s Wednesday morning face-plant? Check out the a variety of tax rates American businesses actually wind up paying the national government.

While not normally a liability, 1 problem for tech stocks right now is they don’t cover that much. One of industries, the 18.5-per-cent effective tax rate appreciated by technology stocks is the third-lowest one of U.S. large caps, based on Samp;P Global data. That means less potential bounty should Republican legislation moves through Congress. read more

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