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Beijing Capital International Airport Co.'s third terminal, bigger than all five terminals at London's Heathrow, opens today, helping the city expand its air-passenger capacity as it prepares for the summer Olympics.

The terminal, designed to evoke Chinese icons such as the flying dragon and the imperial capital's Forbidden City, is the world's biggest building, housing 1.3 million square meters (14 million square feet) of floor space, according to a release from the designer, London-based architecture firm Foster & Partners.

The Chinese government has hired architects from Europe and Australia to design marquee projects to present an international image in the lead-up to this summer's Games. The terminal, like most of the Olympic venues, was completed ahead of schedule.

``Remarkably, it was commissioned and completed in a little over four years, less than the time it took to organize and conduct the public inquiry for Terminal 5 at Heathrow,'' Norman Foster, one of the architects, said in a statement.

The terminal cost 27 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) to complete, more than double what the city spent to build and refurbish sporting venues for the games.

Beijing is investing more than $67 billion on infrastructure projects including roads, subways, sports stadiums and the new terminal ahead of the country's first Olympics. The games will be held Aug. 8 to 24.

City Image

Its 360,000 square meters of gold roof are intended to echo the imperial color used to top the buildings of Beijing's 600- year-old Forbidden City complex. Inside, skylights set into the ceiling allow natural light to illuminate and heat the interior.

Measuring 2.95 kilometers (1.83 miles) from end to end, the terminal will double aircraft stands and will enable the entire airport to handle 76 million passengers a year by 2015, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The facility will host 26 airlines, according to Beijing Capital International. The first six including Sichuan Airlines and Qantas Airways Ltd. will start using it immediately, while the rest begin on March 26.

The first passengers of the day, from a Shandong Airlines flight from Ji'nan, 200 miles south of Beijing, disembarked at 8:50 a.m., the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

``The new terminal will help change people's view on Beijing airport, known for congestion and flight delays,'' said Roslyn Ji, an analyst at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International Ltd. in Hong Kong. ``The capital's airport really needs more space.''

Extra Visitors

Beijing is expected to host an additional 1.5 million visitors during the Olympic Games. A third runway opened in October 2007.

The third terminal and runway will triple the annual landings and takeoffs to 600,000 aircraft, according to the airport operator. A metro line connecting the airport with downtown Beijing will open before the Olympics, the General Administration of Civil Aviation said in a statement today.

Construction took three years and nine months and used 50,000 workers, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. Nine villages and 10,000 people were displaced in the process, it also said.

The terminal will adopt an automated people mover system which connects buildings for the first time in mainland China, according to General Administration of Civil Aviation. With four- kilometer-long rails, the system is able to transport 8,200 passengers per hour.


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China's $70 billion national pension fund will boost equity stakes in domestic companies and invest in the infrastructure industry, its chairman said.

``Many global pension funds are moving aggressively into alternative investments, but I'm bullish on real-economy investments and plan to boost our equity stakes in Chinese companies,'' Dai Xianglong said today in an interview in Suzhou, a city near Shanghai.

China's government is exploring the transfer of listed- company equity stakes to the National Council for Social Security Fund, or NSSF, as another source of funds for the pension agency, Dai said, without providing further details.

The fund earned more than 110 billion yuan ($15 billion) on its investments last year, giving returns of more than 30 percent, as stocks soared, Dai said. China's benchmark CSI 300 Index was the world's best performer in 2007 with a local- currency gain of 162 percent.

Improved returns will help the Beijing-based agency extend coverage to more of the country's 1.3 billion people, as their average age rises.

The fund invests in four asset classes: fixed-income, stocks, currencies and equity stakes, said Dai. The agency takes a ``cautious'' approach to stock investing and has no plans to lift its ceiling on buying equities, he said. He didn't give allocation breakdowns of the asset classes.

Low-Risk Investments

The pension agency said in September 2006 that it put more than 1 billion yuan into the 20 billion yuan Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. , the nation's first government- backed private-equity fund.

``China's infrastructure industry offers a lot of good, long-term, lower-risk opportunities,'' Dai said. ``Our main focus will be domestic since there's so much potential here.''

In terms of overseas investments, the fund will gradually expand abroad, Dai said. It had ``almost no subprime-related losses,'' he said.

In November 2006, the NSSF appointed UBS AG and nine other fund managers to help it invest overseas. NSSF had put $1.7 billion of its money abroad by the end of last year.

Global fund companies began competing to manage the money after the government dropped a restriction that limited the Beijing-based pension agency to domestic markets.

Dai, a former central bank governor, was named chairman of the country's social security fund last month.


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The age of technology has drastically changed how an ordinary Joe-on-the-street views stocks, stock trading, and investing in general. Your grandpa would have sworn by his stock broker's word. But no more. Why pay those outlandish fees, when we can get a quick on-line account, take a few on-line stock trading courses and trade on our own - online? And at 2 am in our jammies if we prefer!

That Was Then; This Is Now

It's only natural that the popularity of the low cost, fairly easy-to-purchase penny stocks would become enormously popular for those of us with normal-sized bank accounts. Consider these statistics:

In 1994, the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) traded a total of 3.02 billion shares. That was less than five percent of the total shares traded on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange.

Fast forward to 2003! Now the annual OTCBB volume had skyrocked to 267.4 billion shares. Folks, that equals an amazing 8900% increase. That's what happens when information gets into the hands of the common people!

The difference in penny stocks, however, lies in dollar amounts. The average price per share in daily dollar volume in 2003 for OTCBB comes to about $.0.15 per share. The average price per share in daily dollar volume for the NASDAQ for 2003 averages close to $27.50.

Now you know why they are called penny stocks. It's just a nickname for lower priced stocks that haven't grown up enough to get on the big boards. On the other hand, they could be a bigger company going bankrupt.

Define Penny Stocks For Me

There's no real official definition for Penny Stock, but we can look at a few criteria.

The Price Per Share. Obviously this is going to be small. The SEC considers all stocks that trade for less than $5.00 per share to be penny stock. Most savvy traders you talk to prefer to keep their definition at less than $2.00 per share.

Bottom line, what is and is not considered a penny stock may depend on who you ask. The most reliable definition is that penny stocks are high risk, high reward investments. They are very volatile and unpredictable. And therefore, should be treated as such. There is a lot of money to be made in this market. But always remember - it's just as easy to lose. Let education be your first step.

Where They Trade.

Few would dispute that those stock traded through the OTCBB (or the OTC), or the Pink Sheets or the CDNX (Canadian Venture Exchange), are treated as, or considered to be, penny stocks.

Market Capitalization.

Market cap is simply the total trading value of the entire company. The value of each share of a stock, multiplied by the total number of shares outstanding, equals the market cap. For example, 15,795,000 shares of XYZ at $0.27 each, gives XYZ a market cap of $4,264,650.00. (That is kind of like saying that the company's total value is 4.5 million dollars.) In some cases, companies beneath a certain market cap (for example, less than $10 million) might be ranked, or considered, as a penny stock.

What are Pink Sheets?

First of all, it has nothing to do with what's in your linen closet. Pink Sheets were named for the color of paper the quotes were printed on prior to the electronic systems that we have today - around 1904 actually. A company named Pink Sheets, LLC (it used to be the National Quotation Bureau) publishes these info sheets in both hard copy and electronic format. (This company is not listed with the SEC nor are they regulated by the SEC.) This is like control central for following penny stocks.

The operation is much different than the big boards. Pink Sheets are created by market makers who work with individual stocks. They specialize in these individual stocks and their purpose is to keep the market fluid. In fact, they buy and sell out of their own account depending on what individual investors want or need. Essentially they maintain an ask or bid price, keeping the liquidity of a security intact.

Gains and Losses

Because of the low cost of penny stocks, the possibility of doubling your investment can be pretty high. I highly doubt that investors with stocks in General Electric and Wal-Mart are looking to double their money. In fact, they would be extremely happy to make a 10% return yearly. Penny stocks, on the other hand make their gains by the hundreds of percentages, and thousands, not by the tens. (Sounds pretty exciting, right?)

Keep in mind that the visibility of information and even the accessibility of operational results, is usually pretty dismal for penny stocks. The companies will have minimal revenues, unproven management, and often an unproven product or industry. On the other hand, there are OTC stocks that will go to great lengths to let the public know their every move. These are the exception rather than the rule.

If you like the lure and excitement of highly speculative trades, spend time familiarizing yourself with the terms and ebb and flow of penny stock trading. Then don't be afraid to jump in.

Look for my companion articles for more valuable information about penny stocks.

I've been dabbling in penny stocks for a few years, educating myself in bits and pieces. The other day I got a call from one of my old frat brothers saying he too was researching penny stocks online. In his search, he ran across a crazy story about two geeks who have created a computer robot that does all the analysis work. They locked themselves in a room with 12 computers all running at once to test the system. (Shades of college-age Bill Gates.) The results are staggering. Winning picks right and left. See what you think. These two guys are so sold on their product they are giving people $100 trading cash! (Oh yeah, they named the robot, Marl!)


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Trading penny stocks for the most part is highly speculative. It more resembles spinning the roulette wheel in Las Vegas than it is like trading on the Nasdaq. One of the biggest dangers is that it holds some of the allure and mystique of the Las Vegas casinos. You hear of huge fortunes being made and you want a part. And it costs so little to jump in. It's so easy!

You will hear of fortunes being made - because there can be some degree of hype in penny stocks, especially in some of the so-called penny-stock newsletters. Penny stockbrokers have been known to engage in a mixture of cold calling and targeted sells. Say they have a collection of leads made up of people who have a history of buying into poor investments over the phone.

Using this list they'll call just to make contact. Later, they'll call back with a hot tip. "This is a ground floor opportunity of a stock that's ready to skyrocket." Meanwhile they are pumping up the stock in message boards, emails, newsletters, etc. As soon as investors buy in, the penny stockbrokers get out, taking investments and commissions with them.

Some micro-cap companies will pay people to hype their stocks for them. They might use newsletters, emails, or financial television and radio shows. The best advice here is to look at all of these with a wary eye. Check to see if the issuers of the recommendations are being paid for their services. That's the first clue of a bad investment. Also check to see if there are any press releases put out by people attempting to influence the price of the stock.

Keep in mind that the moves in penny stocks are lightning fast. It's nearly impossible for this type of up front information to ever be accurate. One would need to watch the stock over a period of days, and be ready to "pull the trigger" on a trade in a short amount of time. And be ready to sell just as quickly.

The key is not to rely on the hype. Use the Internet to do your own private personal research. Learning about a certain micro-cap stock may prove to be somewhat difficult because they are not required to file with the SEC and thus are not as publicly scrutinized or regulated as stocks listed on NYSE or Nasdaq. There are also no minimum standards for them to follow to remain on the OTCBB and Pink Sheets.

There may also be a lack of history on the company. The company may be a penny stock because it is newly formed or because it is approaching bankruptcy. The company could have a very bad track record - or none at all. This lack of history also makes research somewhat difficult. Notice I said difficult not impossible.

Another point to be aware of is liquidity. By watching the movement of a certain stock, you can see if there are high or low volumes of trading. If the volume is very low, you may be ready to sell, but there will be no buyer. You might have to lower your price just to get it s old. Frightening position to be in, to be sure.

Secondly, low liquidity means a stock is easier to manipulate. This is done in a number of ways. One example is to buy large amounts of stock, hype it up, then sell it after other investors find it attractive. (Would it surprise you to know this is called pump and dump?)

The waters of successfully trading penny stocks are fraught with many dangers. Here are a few tips in avoiding the worst of those dangers:

1. Look for consistent high volume of shares being traded. Not only how many shares, but how many trades per day. Is it one insider buying? Or many small time investors like you and me?

2. How did you find out about the stock? Mailing list? Penny stock newsletter? Email list? High-pressure penny stock broker? Of course there are excellent, highly educational newsletters out there. But watch for the ones who are "pumping and dumping." Research - then trade. Don't just trade, then wish you had researched.

3. Have an entry and exit plan - and stay by it. Penny stocks move very quickly. Keep in mind that if you purchase a stock at $.12 and it declines 2 cents, that's a 20% loss. If your investment was $10,000, that amounts to a $2,000 loss. How many dips like that can you afford? Find out what a "stop loss" is and use it wisely to protect your investment and your profits.

4. The most important tip is this one! Never invest more than 20% of your overall portfolio in penny stocks. When that 20% grows then reinvest the profits. Let your investments grow in increments. Never put more of your capital at risk than you can afford to lose.

Look for my companion articles to learn more important facts about trading and profiting from penny stocks.

I've been dabbling in penny stocks for a few years, educating myself in bits and pieces. The other day I got a call from one of my old frat brothers saying he too was researching penny stocks online. In his search, he ran across a crazy story about two geeks who have created a computer robot that does all the analysis work. They locked themselves in a room with 12 computers all running at once to test the system. (Shades of college-age Bill Gates.) The results are staggering. Winning picks right and left. See what you think. These two guys are so sold on their product they are giving people $100 trading cash! (Oh yeah, they named the robot, Marl!)


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Here are some tips to get you started. Some of these may seem a bit obvious, but don't overlook the power of getting back to the basics. Put them into practice on a regular basis and you will be surprised at where they can take you.

Get the Big Picture - Don't settle for looking at just one chart. If you are considering buying into a stock, step back and make sure that you get a look at the big picture. Take a look at what the stock has been doing for the past 3, 6 and 12 months as well as where it is going now. This may help you to recognize the bigger trends and not to micromanage the stock before you begin.

Know When to Fold 'Em - Before going into a new stock, have the exit points clearly fixed in your mind. Know how low and how high you are willing to go before you sell and then stick to those points. Sure, sometimes it may go higher or lower but if you get out at a predetermined level it will help to keep you from walking away from the table limping

Never Panic - It is not always an upward ride on the stock market so make sure that you have your bases covered. Set limits for yourself to make sure that you don't trade too much in any one day. It can be a good thing but can also cause you to panic and not thing straight. Think over any trades before you make them, especially when the day is not going well for you. Above all, make sure that you don't full vest yourself. If you do this you will be more prone to panic if the market takes a turn for the worse.

Invest for Comfort - Sometimes, especially when you are first starting out in trading stocks, it helps to stick with a company that you know. All of us use items on a daily basis that we are comfortable with. This would include things like our shoes or perhaps the types of food that we eat. If you are comfortable enough to use them regularly then you should be comfortable enough to invest in these items. This can also help you when the market has not been good to you and you need to stop and lick your wounds a bit.

Above all, make sure that you know what you are doing. Take the time to get familiar with the market in general and whatever system or software you choose to use. Not only will this help you to be a better trader, it will help you to be a smarter one. Your comfort will help you be on top for the long run.


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A lot of people often wonder, "how do I actually buy stocks?" This question can certainly be daunting, as the stock market appears to be a rich mans game. This negative sentiment is a leftover from trading in the latter century. I affirm that buying stocks is easier than ever with the prominence of discount (and premium) brokerage services.

Buying a share of stock, whether it be common or preferred, seems like a daunting task to those who have never owned stock before. But to put it quite simply, stock is nothing more than a piece of paper resembling a portion of ownership in a company. Most big-time firms will issue stock in order to raise cash, so if they have cut up 100 shares and you buy one... you essentially have 1% ownership in that company! Cool huh?

Rather than buying the paperwork directly, most investors nowadays turn to stock brokers. What is a stock broker? Think about a broker as somebody who orders the shares you want, does all the paperwork for you, and keeps track of your money, your earnings and your losses.

Picking a Broker: Discount BrokersThe most popular option for investing today is through a discount broker. These typically have a low minimum deposit and low trading commission fees. Here are my favorite three:

1. Scottrade

This is the broker I use to make my trades. They are known for having the best customer service in the business, and very favorable pricing for beginning/intermediate buyers. Trades are all just $7, including stock options. The minimum deposit is just $500, so anyone can put money in. Plus, they are the only major broker that hasn't been hacked in the recent wave of phishing attempts. I trust them more than anyone else because they offer a sense of security. Customer service is very helpful and their trade execution time is apparently the best of all discount brokers. If you want to sign up, let me know so we can both get 3 free trades!

2. E-Trade

These guys have a lot to their name. Even after their own stock was hit hard last November, they have managed to maintain their customers and continue offering value. Minimum investment at E-Trade is $1000, still very low, and they give you 100 free trades during your first month. Your first 1,500 trades of each quarter are just $7, increasing incrementally after that. The company is stable, and you can definitely count on their security and reliability as brokers. I think that their rates aren't as good as Scottrade, but a terrific option nonetheless.

3. TD Ameritrade

This broker is a bit more pricey as far as discount brokers go. The minimum for a cash account is $2,000, but you get their excellent "StrategyDesk" tool as an incentive. Their current promotion is 30 days free trades + $100 back. Trades are just $9.99 every time you place an order. As far as discount brokers, TD Ameritrade is probably the most prestigious with one of the largest networks around. You may be paying a few dollars extra, but the service and quality cannot be denied. They currently offer an "asset protection guarantee" on all of your information and money.

Picking a Broker: Other Brokerage OptionsThere are some relatively new trading services that offer trades around $5 each like TradeKing.com and ShareBuilder.com, there's even the $0 fees from Zecco.com! In a nutshell, I would rather trust an established broker with fees than mess with the uncertainty from these super-discount brokers... but judge for yourself if you want the savings. Premium brokers are much more for the experienced investor, so I am not going to go into detail about them. If you are interested in higher-end services, I suggest Charles Schwab, which straddles the line between discount and premium services. In short, to trade stock you will probably want a stock broker to handle all of the messy paperwork for you. Choose your favorite, deposit money into your account, and start investing like a pro!


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Your stock broker's website contains certain very important pages. These pages are dedicated to streaming quotes or streaming quote flashes. There may also be another page called trading center. These pages are of utmost interest to the active stock traders or day traders. Most of these traders remain glued to these pages during the working hours of the stock market right from the moment it opens till the last minute when it closes in the evening.

The reason why the traders sit glued to their computer screens is that these pages reflect the changes in the stock prices almost sooner than they occur and these changes appear to occur faster than the heart beats of the traders. The price changes keep flashing across the screen changing the heart palpitation of the traders.

A question arises: what causes the changes in stock market prices.

A very simple answer is that the stock prices change as a result of the interplay of market forces of supply and demand. If more people wish to buy a stock than those who wish to sell it, the price of the stock rises. In other words when the demand for a stock is more than its supply, the price of the stock rises. Conversely, if more people wish to sell a stock and there are fewer buyers, the supply outgrows the demand and price of the stock falls.

It is very easy to understand the concept of supply and demand of a stock. What is difficult to understand is why people wish to buy a particular stock and sell another. This statement can be made in different words: What news is good or positive for a company and what news is bad or negative for it?

This apparently simple question evokes as many different answers as there are the investors. Every investor has his own ideas and strategies.

A broad consensus about the theory of price changes is that the price movement of a stock indicates what the investors feel about the worth of a company. It must be noted that you should not equate a company's value with the price of its stock. The value of a company is its market capitalization which can be calculated by multiplying the stock price with the number of shares outstanding. For example, let us say, a company has one million shares outstanding and the price of its share is $100, its market capitalization is $ 100x one million= $100 million.

There is another company whose stock trades at $50 and its shares outstanding are 5 million. Its market capitalization is $50x 5 million= $250 million. Obviously the value of the former company is lesser than that of the latter. The problem is, however, complicated by the fact that the price of the stock not only reflects the current value of the company, it also reflects the growth that the investors expect in the future.

The most important factor that influences the value of a company is its earnings. Earnings are the profit that a company makes over a period of time. It is quite natural for the investors to think about the earnings of the company whose stock they wish to invest in. Public companies report their earnings every quarter of a year. The report enables the analysts to determine the future value of the company on their earnings projection. So if the earnings of a company are higher than expected, the price of its stock goes up. Conversely if the earnings are poor, the price falls.

There is another scenario too that can change the sentiment towards a stock. During the dotcom bubble, the market capitalization of numerous internet companies grew into billions. The prices of their stocks grew, but the companies hardly made any profits. These valuations, therefore, did not hold much water.

All these examples prove that price changes are determined by numerous intricate situations which cannot be explained in well-defined terms.

Investors have developed their own theories about these variables, ratios and indicators. Nobody has so far provided any definite, reliable and abiding answer to the question why the stock prices change. The best course for an investor is to keep trading in stocks cautiously. You develop your own theory and intuition which helps you to trade successfully.


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Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- China Railway Construction Corp. drew about 3 trillion yuan ($420 billion) in the fourth-most popular initial public share sale in Shanghai, said two people with direct knowledge of preliminary numbers.

Demand for the sale was 135 times the offering, said the people, who declined to be identified before an announcement tonight. The Beijing-based independent builder of more than half of the country's rail links since 1949 may raise as much as 22.25 billion yuan in the Shanghai IPO.

The orders reaffirm demand for new stocks after China's benchmark CSI 300 Index dropped 21 percent from its peak in October. That prompted the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Feb. 25 to vow to tighten scrutiny of additional share sales by listed companies.

``Investors are moving their money to the primary market to hedge against the decline on the secondary market, as the returns are quite secure,'' said Wu Kan, who manages the equivalent of $41 million at Dazhong Insurance Co. in Shanghai. ``The first-day gain of China Railway Construction won't be amazing, but at least investors won't be running the risk of losing money.''

Li Tingzhu, board secretary of China Railway Construction, and Raymond Tang, a Beijing-based spokesman for Citic Securities Co., which is managing the sale, couldn't be reached in their Beijing offices.

Best-Performing Market

Companies that sold shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges since the beginning of last year have gained at least 14 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That makes China the best-performing of the world's five-largest IPO markets last year, according to Bloomberg data.

Institutions, whose bids helped set the price range for China Railway Construction's Shanghai share sale, demanded more than 340 billion yuan of stock, said the people, citing preliminary numbers. Investors, including individuals and institutions, ordered about 2.67 trillion yuan of shares through the portion of the offering open to all buyers, they added.

China Railway Group Ltd., PetroChina Co. and China Coal Energy Co. attracted more money for their first-time Shanghai share sales, according to company statements.

At least 11 of the 90 major global indexes tracked by Bloomberg lost more than 13 percent of their value this year as a U.S. housing market collapse and banking losses triggered concerns of a global economic slowdown. The CSI 300, the best- performing index globally in 2007, has shed 13 percent this year.

Worst-Performing New Stocks

Last year's biggest first-time share sales in China, the world's fourth-biggest stock market, including those of China Pacific Insurance Group Co. and China Coal, were among its worst-performing newly listed stocks, according to Bloomberg data.

China Coal had the slimmest first-day gain of newly listed stocks in the country since the beginning of 2007 when its shares started trading in Shanghai on Feb. 1.

China Railway Construction is also selling 1.706 billion shares in Hong Kong for as much as HK$18.25 billion ($2.3 billion). The shares are scheduled to be priced March 6.


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Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- GD Midea Electric Appliances Co., China's largest publicly traded maker of household goods, bought a 24 percent stake in Wuxi Little Swan Co. to become the washing-machine maker's biggest shareholder.

Midea paid 1.68 billion yuan ($235 million) for 87.7 million Little Swan shares, raising its stake to 29 percent, it said in a Shenzhen Stock Exchange statement today. The stock was bought from Guolian Group.

Foshan, Guangdong-based Midea plans to expand as higher wages and China's surging real-estate market boosts demand for refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners. Retail sales in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, rose 17 percent last year.

Midea bought the stake at an average price of 19.16 yuan a share, according to Bloomberg calculations. That's a 13 percent discount to Shenzhen-listed Little Swan's 21.90 yuan closing price on Jan. 11. The stock has been suspended since then.

Midea, whose 2007 net income more than doubled to 1.2 billion yuan, also plans to start a venture with Toshiba Carrier Corp. to make compressors used in appliances. It will hold a 95 percent stake.

The company more than quadrupled in Shenzhen trading in the year ended Feb. 15, when its shares were halted, beating the benchmark index. It will resume trading tomorrow. Little Swan, based in eastern Wuxi city, more than tripled in the year ended Jan. 11.


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Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong reported a record budget surplus and announced tax cuts and increased spending aimed at supporting the economy as a global slowdown spreads.

Financial Secretary John Tsang, in his first annual budget speech to city lawmakers, announced both one-time giveaways and permanent cuts in company, personal, alcohol and hotel taxes to redistribute the surplus, especially to poorer people.

Hong Kong is trying to contain inflation near a nine-year high, while providing jobs as global demand falters. The city's economic growth will probably slow to 4 percent to 5 percent this year, after dropping to 6.3 percent last year from a revised 7 percent in 2006, Tsang said today.

``When things turn for the worst, at least they won't burden themselves with extra long-term spending commitments,'' said Kelvin Lau, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in Hong Kong. One-time spending means that the government hasn't committed to expensive programs that it can no longer pay for in the event of fiscal problems, Lau said.

Public spending will rise to 19.2 percent of gross domestic product next financial year, from 15.9 percent this year, Tsang said.

Singapore, which reported its biggest budget surplus in at least a decade earlier this month, announced a package of cash handouts and rebates to help cushion the effect of inflation, running at the fastest in 25 years.

The island-nation held off on tax cuts for workers and companies, contrasting with Hong Kong.

Tax Cuts

Tsang proposed a few permanent tax cuts. He dropped all taxes and administrative controls on wine and beer at an annual cost of HK$560 million ($72 million).

To aid tourism, Hong Kong will drop its hotel room tax. It also cut the salaries and company profits taxes by one percentage point to 15 percent and 16.5 percent respectively, losing HK$5.36 billion in revenue per year.

``This is a 360 degree budget, the first that actually benefits everybody,'' said Agnes Chan, a partner at Ernst & Young Tax Services Ltd. in Hong Kong. ``Who won't be unhappy? The government has enough to spare.''

The government will also change depreciation rules to encourage spending on environmentally friendly facilities, and offer a tax concession on environmentally friendly vehicles.

The American Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have cited Hong Kong's air quality as a concern, and Chief Executive Donald Tsang has promised to make pollution a priority.

The government will raise the ceiling on charitable deduction to 35 percent of income from 25 percent, and has set aside HK$1.2 billion a year to pay for the extension of free schooling to 12 years from 9 years.

Deficit Forecast

Hong Kong's government is forecasting a HK$7.5 billion consolidated deficit for the 2008-09 financial year, compared with the record HK$115.6 billion surplus this year.

``Financial policies should be sustainable,'' Tsang said. ``I will continue to manage public finances prudently by keeping expenditure within the limits of revenue.''

Some of the cuts and payments are aimed at reducing the impact of inflation, to accelerate to about 3.4 percent in 2008 from 2 percent last year on rising food costs, Tsang said.

The government will waive 75 percent of salary and profit taxes of as much as HK$25,000, forego as much as HK$25,000 on annual taxes on real-estate rental income and forgive HK$5,000 each quarter of tax on residential property.

Electricity Grant

Tsang will also inject HK$1,800 into every residential electricity account in the city, to ease the impact of rising power costs on low-income households. CLP Holdings Ltd. and Hong Kong Electric Holdings Ltd. supply power to most of the city.

Standard Chartered's Lau said that while the one-time grants can be justified, they may have a negative effect.

``With all these tax concession and low interest rates, I am worried that the driver of the inflation rate will gradually shift from food to domestic sectors later on in the year,'' Lau said. Still, ``it's reasonable and justifiable given that Hong Kong people are likely to face higher cost of living.''

Tsang expressed concern that health-care costs are climbing, saying the government needs to set up a new system that would require individuals to pay more of the costs, and pledged HK$50 billion for a fund that will aid the change.

Old age pensioners and welfare recipients will receive extra one-time payments this year.

The budget measures are not expected to ``impair the government's financial position in the medium term,'' rating company Standard & Poor's said in a release today.


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Listen to the market, not your broker.

During any 10-year period there will be one major break in the stock market. It may be only 20%, but many times it will run to 40% or more. During those times any investor will not want to own stock. Even the best stocks will go down.

The good stocks decline because they fall in sympathy with a lack of buying and also because good stocks are sold to meet margin calls and for other needs.

Few investors are savvy enough to know how to sell. They usually sell those issues that have a profit as they don't want to get out of shares that will show a loss yet these are the ones that should be sold first.

Of course, investors will hear the famous broker line, "The market always comes back". But when?

Almost everyone watches the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and some also keep an eye on the Dow Transportation Index. These will alert the major market direction. If the investor wants to know how the U.S. economy is doing these indexes will tell. Investors must learn the language of the market.

Everyone including 99% of brokers and financial planners will say it can't be done. Why is it that there are a few who can. You can do it too.

Here is a simple method that will tell anyone the long term direction. If that investor puts his money into buying the major indexes he will over time become rich and sleep nights while it is happening provided he does not remain invested while the market is going down.

With very little work the investor can go to the Internet, seek out a graphics chart of the DJIA and on the monitor plot a 200-day Simple Moving Average, SMA. On www.bigcharts.com it is free.

As long as the DMA (Directiona Moving Average) line (that's the 200-day line) is moving up he can remain invested. When the line turns down it is time to sell and put money into a U.S.Treasury Bill money market account. That is especially Important in today's interest bearing accounts. Do not look for the highest interest paying account.

The market has spoken. It is not a foreign language. Any investor can see it and then comes the hard part. Investors must pick up the phone and say to his broker, "Sell". That is a four letter word brokers hate to hear unless the investor is planning to buy something else. Don't.

Currently the DMA is still rising so it is safe to stay invested in index funds. Watch that 200 line every week. When it turns decisively down the investor will want to safely be in cash.

Listen to no one. Do not try to outguess the market. Let the market itself tell you when to sell.


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For businesses looking to make some inroads in their own markets, one of the best strategies available is to make connections with a host of china export companies that can provide your business with a competitive advantage on goods and services. China export companies have been growing exponentially over the last decade. With globalization a key to keeping your enterprise or corporation stable, profitable and growing in the future, it is now more advantageous than ever to take advantage of the opportunities that China export companies offer. Here are some tips.

China Export Companies Can Make the Difference
One of the most advantageous strategies your business can implement is to find China export companies. In almost any industry and for a wide range of businesses, you can purchase products and services from China export companies for less. This not only gives you a competitive advantage in your market, but can help you achieve a wide range of your business goals as well. However, in order to start trading with China export companies, you must first make connections with the right businesses. This can be done with one simple tool- Made in China.

Make Valuable Business Connections
Made in China has been helping millions of businesses make connections with China export companies for years. While in the past, it took an enormous amount of time, money and experience to find the right China export partner, today, almost any company large or small can find suppliers to provide them with the goods and services they need to compete in their home markets. Made in China gives you the tools and resources necessary to make these connections such as the ability to search through their network of millions of businesses within seconds to find companies that fit your interest and then to further research specific companies that might provide the best fit for your specific needs.

China Export Tools and Resources to Improve Your Overall Business Dealings
While making the right connections with a China export partner is the first step to a possibly fruitful partnership, other aspects are vital to the process of doing business with China exporters. For instance, understanding customs, tax and other facets of China export issues can help you better offset costs and reduce the time it ultimately takes to do business with your new China export partner. Made in China can assist you in many ways on this front. With a variety of comprehensive trade consulting products offered, your company can do business efficiently and effectively reducing your overall costs and time constraints.

For businesses looking to gain advantage by employing China export partners for products and services, one company that can help you achieve your goals on a variety of fronts is Made in China.


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It may not be the NBA Finals, but as Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban once quipped, “If you don’t follow the stock market, you are missing some amazing drama.”

As the stock market continues to reach record highs this year, a majority of Americans feel confident about their portfolios and their equity investments. According to a March poll by business channel CNBC, 60 percent of Americans feel confident that their stocks will trade higher this year, even after the survey was completed during a downturn in the market.

The market has seen an extraordinary run since last summer, going from the 10,000s to the high-13,000. Americans are becoming more secure with their financial aptitude nowadays, and realize that regular stock investing over time can result in tremendous returns.

The stock market isn’t without its defects, but a practical, easy-to-understand advice follows the logic that stocks have historically outperformed all other investments, averaging a 10 percent gain in the S&P 500 since 1926.

It’s no real secret that a diversified portfolio over the long run is part of a smart financial strategy. But there are rules to investing, and I believe the new book “How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not.” offers up some common-sense solutions for everyone who wants to invest in stocks and mutual funds.

Trying to outwit the experts is fruitless. People [who go to Vegas] always tell you about the time they went and won, but they never tell them about the other eight trips where they lost. If you’re a hobbyist picking stocks part time thinking you’re going to outsmart Wall Street, you’re out of your mind.


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China's stocks fell, dragging the nation's benchmark to a three-week low, on speculation new shares will dilute existing holdings and after the central bank said it will continue to order banks to set aside more reserves.

China Merchants Bank Co. dropped to an almost seven-month low on concern the ending of a two-year share lock-up this week will spark a sell-off by institutional investors. China Vanke Co. led developers lower after the People's Bank of China said it will ``vigorously'' reduce money supply by raising banks' reserve ratio, restricting funds available for loans.

China Railway Construction Corp., which starts accepting subscriptions for its initial share sale today, also added to concerns funds will be diverted from existing issues.

``There's a lot of supply flowing into the market and that's affecting sentiment,'' said Gabriel Gondard, who helps manage the equivalent of $10 billion at Fortune SGAM Fund Management Co. in Shanghai. ``Investors are also concerned over the way the central bank will rein in inflation, which adds uncertainties in the stock market.''

The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, fell 2.8 percent to 4,570.67 as of 1:07 p.m. in Shanghai, headed for its lowest close since Feb. 1. All 10 industry groups fell, with a gauge of financial and property shares contributing the most to the main index's decline. The measure is down 22 percent since its Oct. 16 peak.

Merchants, Pudong Bank

China Merchants, the nation's largest dual-currency credit card issuer, fell 0.75 yuan, or 2.5 percent, to 29.60, the lowest level since Aug. 1. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Chinese partner of Citigroup Inc., declined 0.85 yuan, or 2.1 percent, to 39.13. The bank said last week it is studying a plan to sell new shares to the public.

China will stick with a tight monetary policy as controlling inflation remains a top priority, said Yi Gang, vice governor of the People's Bank of China, yesterday at an economic forum in Beijing. The central bank will ``vigorously'' soak up liquidity by raising the level of reserves that banks must keep on hand, he said.

Vanke, the nation's biggest publicly traded developer, fell 0.9 yuan, or 3.8 percent, to 23.09. Financial Street Holding Co., a Beijing-based developer, lost 1.49 yuan, or 6.3 percent, to 22.14, the biggest drop since Jan. 28.

China Construction Corp., the builder of more than half of the nation's rail links since 1949, may raise $5.4 billion in first-time stock sales in Shanghai and Hong Kong, said four people with direct knowledge of the plans. That would be the world's biggest stock sale this year.


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A lot of tips on stock trading you can find online, not all of them really work and many of them can even lead of losing your hard earned money in the bargain. Thus, you need to identify which is proper method of making investments.

The simplest method for stock traders is used online stock trading tips with which they can identify the right method of investing and make them successful in online stock trading. On the other hand, if you required stability, it is best for you to heed another online stock trading tip that advises that you invest pre-agreed sums of money on a monthly basis into mutual cash, which in spite of carrying some amount of risk is still a lot more durable option and it has good chances of recovery as well. However, you do need to be tolerant should the market decline because a market that goes down, will probably also go up again. However, the best online stock trading tips is to trade where the money is going and to also go where the money goes, and to locate where the money is going, you can check out the Accumulation and/or Distribution indicator.

What is needed is to be precise as well as plan ahead and make decisions based on well-thought out strategies and being clear in your mind that online stock trading is not the same as rolling a dice randomly will go a long way in helping you actualize your goals. All it takes is a little initiative in learning how to do it right!


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The Idea:

In my everyday perusal of the stock market I sometimes come across a stock whose current market value appears low and I of course wonder, "What is wrong with this stock?" A little research sometimes shows an obvious reason, but often it does not. A little more research and I can determine how secure this stock is as an investment, and if all looks good I make a purchase. Some of my best gains have come in this way.

The Problem:

The problem, if there is a problem, with investing in this manner is that it is often difficult to find these "bargains". With thousands of stock to choose from I don't have time to go through them all. So, question: How to make a quick determination on any given day as to what stocks may be undervalued? A method I have found to be quite useful is to compare the stock to the others in it's index.

A Solution:

The theory is that if ABC company makes widgets and the index comprised of all the widget making companies is doing well (i.e. people are buying widgets), then ABC should also be reaping the rewards. Low and behold after months of tracking this type of data it appears this theory is sound.

My best, unsubstantiated, guess for this behavior is due to what I would call "lag" time in the market. What appears to be happening is if ABCs clones or ABC itself hasn't yet noticed or reported the improvement, or, and this does happen, the market hasn't noticed that it has, you get lag.

The Result:

This lag period can last from days to a month, but when the market finally figures it out, and it almost always does (assuming I have done my research and can find no other factors keeping it down) my investment quickly pays off. My best analogy of this behavior is the old adage I learned in science class "Nature abhors a vacuum".

Uses:

A very useful artifact of this calculation is that the short-term correction is often quite predictable. If an index is doing well but a given stock in the index is down say 5% for the past week, I can usually expect a 5 to 6% gain to be upcoming.
It also is useful to determine a relative low in the price of a stock. Lets say I have been following ABC for some time and I believe it prudent to invest in some of its shares. I want to buy when the price is low, but when does this occur. No one can tell you exactly, but when it starts to appear as undervalued in it's own index you can be fairly certain it's not going to stay down much longer.

This strategy is of course highly speculative (notice the number of time I said 'often' or 'usually' in this article) and in no way replaces the necessary research (i.e. infrastructure, financial standing, industry, the market as a whole, various trends currently affecting the market, etc.). Performing this calculation does not render a "Pick". However, as a tool, to narrow down the universe that comprises the stock market into a short, manageable list, it is quite useful.

Conclusion:

Assuming this approach interests you then you may ask, how does an individual investor accomplish this task? Most investors already have a sector or index they follow closely and thus know how it has been performing. It is fairly simple to determine the overall trend of an index (try http://biz.yahoo.com/ic to follow indexes) and then see how each individual stock is performing. I have found it even more helpful, and much faster, to break down the individual indexes and stocks by different time ranges (ex. Index over the past 6 months and the stock over the past week) and then list these stocks on a day-by-day basis. With this daily list I can quickly pick out the potential "bargains" and get to work deciding which will be the most productive buy.

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In my everyday perusal of the stock market I sometimes come across a stock whose current market value appears low and I of course wonder, "What is wrong with this stock?" A little research sometimes shows an obvious reason, but often it does not. A little more research and I can determine how secure this stock is as an investment, and if all looks good I make a purchase. Some of my best gains have come in this way.

The Problem:

The problem, if there is a problem, with investing in this manner is that it is often difficult to find these "bargains". With thousands of stock to choose from I don't have time to go through them all. So, question: How to make a quick determination on any given day as to what stocks may be undervalued? A method I have found to be quite useful is to compare the stock to the others in it's index.

A Solution:

The theory is that if ABC company makes widgets and the index comprised of all the widget making companies is doing well (i.e. people are buying widgets), then ABC should also be reaping the rewards. Low and behold after months of tracking this type of data it appears this theory is sound.

My best, unsubstantiated, guess for this behavior is due to what I would call "lag" time in the market. What appears to be happening is if ABCs clones or ABC itself hasn't yet noticed or reported the improvement, or, and this does happen, the market hasn't noticed that it has, you get lag.

The Result:

This lag period can last from days to a month, but when the market finally figures it out, and it almost always does (assuming I have done my research and can find no other factors keeping it down) my investment quickly pays off. My best analogy of this behavior is the old adage I learned in science class "Nature abhors a vacuum".

Uses:

A very useful artifact of this calculation is that the short-term correction is often quite predictable. If an index is doing well but a given stock in the index is down say 5% for the past week, I can usually expect a 5 to 6% gain to be upcoming.
It also is useful to determine a relative low in the price of a stock. Lets say I have been following ABC for some time and I believe it prudent to invest in some of its shares. I want to buy when the price is low, but when does this occur. No one can tell you exactly, but when it starts to appear as undervalued in it's own index you can be fairly certain it's not going to stay down much longer.

This strategy is of course highly speculative (notice the number of time I said 'often' or 'usually' in this article) and in no way replaces the necessary research (i.e. infrastructure, financial standing, industry, the market as a whole, various trends currently affecting the market, etc.). Performing this calculation does not render a "Pick". However, as a tool, to narrow down the universe that comprises the stock market into a short, manageable list, it is quite useful.

Conclusion:

Assuming this approach interests you then you may ask, how does an individual investor accomplish this task? Most investors already have a sector or index they follow closely and thus know how it has been performing. It is fairly simple to determine the overall trend of an index (try http://biz.yahoo.com/ic to follow indexes) and then see how each individual stock is performing. I have found it even more helpful, and much faster, to break down the individual indexes and stocks by different time ranges (ex. Index over the past 6 months and the stock over the past week) and then list these stocks on a day-by-day basis. With this daily list I can quickly pick out the potential "bargains" and get to work deciding which will be the most productive buy.


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Short selling is a technique that many stock brokerages allow. It allows you to Sell High then Buy Low, which is the opposite order of the traditional Buy Low, Sell High technique.

First, you will need to apply for a margin account with your trading brokerage. Having margin gives you the ability to buy more stock than the cash you have available by borrowing money from your brokerage. This is also called leverage because it allows you to do more with the money you have. All brokerages require a margin account to do short selling.

Second, you need to find a stock that you believe will be dropping in price soon. However, not all stocks are available for shorting due to supply limitations or other restrictions. When you go to short sell this company, your brokerage will let you know if it is available to short on their system. The brokerage needs to have those shares available to lend to you before you can sell them.

This concept may sound strange, but after you read more about it and try it on your own it will start to make sense. It is used successfully every day by thousands of traders. It is somewhat controversial, however. In fact, the SEC considered banning it for a while. But after they made better regulations on it, they decided to continue allowing it because it is a healthy part of the market. When prices are dropping, who is going to buy the shares from people needing to get rid of them? Short sellers, along with traders looking for bargain prices.

Caution: Before you try it this technique, keep in mind that you will be "swimming against the current," so to speak. The market in general has a tendency to go up about ten percent every year. You will be betting that the company is going down in value, which is the opposite intent of most companies! The owners and managers will be trying to turn the company around every day, so do not hold your shorted position for long! You should also practice this technique with an online stock market game to get the hang of it.


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There was a time when stock trading was considered so risky that it was equated with gambling. The reason why it does not carry that stigma any longer is because of the evolution of risk management techniques in stock trading. Still stock trading involves numerous risks if the investor is not careful. Stock trading remains imbued with several risks all the time.

The most visible, talked about and common risk in stock trading comes from the volatility of stock market. Stock market pundits are often taken off guards when volatility strikes like an unexpected tsunami and sweeps away all the precautions and predictions in no time. Besides the volatility, there are some other risks also:

The first and foremost risk is inherent in the stock market itself. Market corrections and bear markets cause havoc to numerous investors who just throw in the towel and lock in their losses. When the market correction takes place, it takes a toll of 10% to 20% of the market value of the stocks.

Risks associated with interest rates confront the investors all the time especially when the prices fall due to the increase in interest rates. If the interest rates rise significantly, people tend to sell off their equities and invest in fixed income securities such as high yielding bonds and other money market funds When there is a wide spread sale of shares, the value of the stocks falls. This causes loss to the investors especially those who have bought the stocks at higher rates.

The third risk emerges from the value of currency. When the currency grows stronger people experience loss on their foreign securities. Conversely, when the rates of the local currency fall, the investors get bonus in terms of increased returns on their investments. Constant fluctuations in currency rates affect the investors who hold the funds for shorter terms.

Any investor, who does not diversify his investments and puts all his eggs in one basket, especially when he invests all his money in equities, is likely to bear the brunt when the market falls. Short-term investors who take loans to invest in equities suffer most.

Most of the stock market investors cannot successfully manage their investment portfolios since they lack the expertise of investment specialists. They cannot anticipate the market trends and suffer losses.

Besides these, some risks are related to certain sectors of investments. People who invest in narrowly focused sector portfolios such as health care etc are exposed to losses.

Changes in tax laws can also reduce the value of your holdings.

How to manage risks in stock trading?

1. Slow and steady wins the race.

The adage holds good in every area of human activity including investments in stock trading. If you sow a seed of investment cautiously and continue to water it regularly with funds, your money plant can grow steadily, flower and blossom in time to provide fruit and shade to your entire family over your life time. The only virtue required is patience, forbearance and regular investment. This virtue beats all stock market punditry.

You can secure your future even if you are not overflowing with funds. You can make small yet regular investments even in high value equities. The only need is to find a stock broker who can provide you the right mechanism of fractionalized investments. You do not have to buy shares in big bunches, say, of at least 100 high value shares of a stock in one go. You can buy one share or even a fraction of a share. In this way you can diversify your investment in numerous high value stocks with strong fundamentals which can withstand the vicissitudes of unpredictable and volatile market.

2. Weed out the laggard stocks

Vigilance is not only the price of your personal security, it is also essential for every stock market trader. You must keep a constant watch over the performance of your portfolio. It is better to weed out the stocks that perform poorly over a period of time.

3. Use cost averaging techniques

An intelligent investor spares some amount of his income for regular investment on monthly basis in specific stock. It is a great way to build wealth and face the highs and lows of the market which are an inevitable part of stock trading.


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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- China's stocks fell for a second day after crude oil rose to a record and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. announced plans to sell new shares.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, dropped by the most in almost four weeks on concern record oil prices will erode earnings at the refiner.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. completed its biggest two-day decline since November 1999 on concern its plan to sell new shares will drain capital from existing equities.

``Surging oil prices and coming fund-raising plans have undermined market confidence and encouraged investors to sell,'' said Wang Zheng, who manages the equivalent of $400 million at the asset management unit of Everbright Securities Co. in Shanghai.

The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, declined 32.69, or 0.7 percent, to 4,876.03 at the close. The measure dropped 2.2 percent yesterday.

China Petroleum, Asia's biggest oil refiner, decreased 0.83 yuan, or 4.4 percent, to 17.90, its steepest decline since Jan. 28. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co., China's largest maker of ethylene, fell 0.03 yuan, or 0.2 percent, to 13.10. Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Co., China's largest chemical fiber maker, lost 0.05 yuan, or 0.5 percent, to 9.16.

Crude oil for March delivery closed at a record for the second consecutive day yesterday in New York, rising 0.7 percent to $100.74 a barrel on speculation demand for fuels remains high. That's 66 percent higher than a year ago.

Airlines, Pudong Bank

Chinese oil refiners cannot increase prices of their products to pass the higher cost of crude onto customers, unless they have government approval.

Airlines also declined as rising oil prices increase fuel costs. Air China Ltd., the world's biggest airline by market value, lost 0.82 yuan, or 3.8 percent, to 21.01. China Southern Airlines Co., the nation's biggest carrier by fleet size, declined 0.32 yuan, or 1.4 percent, to 22.29. China Eastern Airlines Corp., the nation's third-largest carrier by fleet size, fell 0.58 yuan, or 3.6 percent, to 15.54.

Pudong Bank, the Chinese partner of Citigroup Inc., tumbled 2.75 yuan, or 6 percent, to 43.23, the steepest two-day drop since Nov. 10, 1999. The bank hasn't decided on the details of its new share sale, the proceeds of which will be used to boost core capital, it said in a statement last night.

Its stock plunged by the 10 percent daily limit yesterday on speculation the company will sell 1 billion new shares worth about 46 billion yuan ($6.43 billion).

Other banks fell on concern they have similar fund-raising plans. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the nation's biggest listed lender, decreased 0.13 yuan, or 1.9 percent, to 6.62. China Merchants Bank Co., the nation's biggest dual- currency credit-card issuer, lost 0.74 yuan, or 2.3 percent, to 32.20. Shenzhen Development Bank Co., controlled by buyout firm TPG Inc., retreated 0.80 yuan, or 2.3 percent, to 33.99.

The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the bigger of China's stock exchanges, fell 0.9 percent to 4,527.18. The Shenzhen Composite Index added 0.4 percent to 1,423.21.


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Taiwan's Economy grows beyond expectation, Bloomberg said.
Taiwan's economy expanded faster than forecast in the fourth quarter, buoyed by the biggest increase in exports in almost two years.

Gross domestic product advanced 6.39 percent from a year earlier after gaining a revised 6.86 percent in the third quarter, the statistics bureau said today in Taipei. That beat the median estimate of 5.65 percent in a Bloomberg News survey of 14 economists.

Stronger-than-expected growth may stoke optimism that shipments to China and other emerging markets will cushion Asia's export-dependent economies against a slowdown in demand from the U.S. and Europe. Japan and South Korea also reported expansions in the fourth quarter that beat economists' estimates.

``Exports will continue to be the driving force in 2008,'' said Cheng Cheng-mount, chief economist at Citibank Taiwan Ltd. in Taipei.

The outcome marked a 18th consecutive quarter of growth in Asia's fifth-largest economy. Overseas shipments are equivalent to about 50 percent of Taiwan's GDP.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest custom-chip maker, is among exporters posting increased sales.

Other economies in the Asian region are reporting resilient demand even as the U.S. slows. Japan's export growth quickened in January as rising sales of cars and steel to China and Russia made up for falling U.S. shipments, the nation's Finance Ministry reported today.

Emerging Markets

The International Monetary Fund last month forecast emerging economies will expand 6.9 percent in 2008, compared with 1.5 percent growth in the U.S. China will expand 10 percent.

Taiwan's GDP report was released after the close of trading on the stock exchange. The Taiex index rose 2.4 percent today.

The stock index has dropped almost 5 percent this year on concern the U.S. economic slump will damp global growth, curbing sales for the island's exporters.

The government today lowered its forecast for the economy's expansion in 2008. Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG all cut their growth estimates last month.

Taiwan's economy will grow 4.32 percent this year, lower than November's estimate of 4.53 percent, the government said. The economy expanded 5.7 percent in 2007.

``China's rising income is helping lift demand'' for Taiwan products, said Lucas Lee, an economist at Mega Securities Co. in Taipei. Still, ``the trade contribution in the first quarter has apparently declined, with the U.S. slowdown being a factor.''

Exports Surge

Exports climbed 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2006, today's report showed.

The contribution to Taiwan's fourth-quarter growth from net exports increased to 5.3 percentage points compared with 3.3 points in the third quarter.

Taiwan's exports to China, the world's fastest growing major economy, have helped compensate for the U.S. slowdown. There was a 12.6 percent increase in goods bound for China and Hong Kong combined in 2007. Shipments to the U.S. dropped 0.9 percent last year.

China, which regards Taiwan as one of its provinces, is increasing trade and investment links with the island in spite of a ban on direct transport across the 100-mile Taiwan Strait that separates them.

Taiwan Semi posted its first profit gain in five quarters on higher sales of products used in mobile phones and computers.

``Mainland China is growing very quickly,'' Chief Executive Officer Rick Tsai told reporters on Jan. 31.

U.S. Fallout

``We're still assessing the full impact of the subprime crisis and the economic slowdown,'' Tsai said. ``But if you look at GDP per capita in the U.S. compared with Europe or Japan, it's still very high, so spending power is still very high.''

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp., Taiwan's second-biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays, plans to invest an additional $131 million in its three China units to tap rising demand for slim screens used in LCD televisions and mobile phones.

Taiwan's private consumption climbed 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slower than the third quarter's 3.6 percent increase, today's report showed. Corporate investment fell 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

The government said it expects private consumption to rise 2.9 percent in 2008, the biggest gain in four years, as record cash dividends paid by listed companies buoy spending.


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China needs up to $5 billion to repair power lines, Bloomberg said.
State Grid Corp. of China, the bigger of the country's two electricity distributors, said it needs 39 billion yuan ($5 billion) to restore power links after heavy snowstorms damaged transmission lines.

The Beijing-based company had a ``direct economic loss'' of 10.5 billion yuan after the worst snowstorms in five decades disrupted power networks, it said in an e-mailed statement today.

China shut 7 percent of its coal-fired power plants last month as snowstorms hampered transportation. The government last week ordered authorities to restore all power grids by the end of March after the ``extremely bad weather'' caused damage in 21 provinces. State Grid's spending to repair networks is in addition to an original 2008 budget of 253.2 billion yuan.

``The snowstorm has caused severe losses to State Grid, and we face huge difficulties to restore power lines in such a short time,'' President Liu Zhenya said in the statement.

China's worst snowstorms since 1954 hit the southern provinces of Guangdong, Hunan, Guizhou and Jiangxi where sub- zero temperatures are rare. Millions of people were left without electricity and water, while road, rail and air routes were closed as an estimated 200 million migrant workers headed home for the New Year holidays that ended Feb. 12.

Ninety-five percent of people affected by power cuts had had their supplies switched back on by Feb. 14, State Grid said in today's statement.

State Grid supplies electricity to more than 1 billion people through a network that covers 88 percent of China's territory.


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On Bloomberg, today reported that Shanghai Pudong Bank's shares fall:
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co., part-owned by Citigroup Inc., posted its biggest two-day drop since November 1999 after confirming plans to sell shares.

Pudong Bank slumped 6 percent to close at 43.23 yuan in Shanghai after declining by the maximum 10 percent yesterday. The bank plans to sell 1 billion new shares to the public, worth 42 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) at the current price, said fund managers including Fan Dizhao at Guotai Asset Management Co.

A sale of that size would boost Pudong Bank's stock outstanding by almost a quarter at a time when the benchmark CSI 300 Index has lost 17 percent since an Oct. 16 record. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., the nation's second-largest insurer, has lost about a quarter of its market value since announcing plans to sell stock a month ago.

``Domestic investors have been wary of large offerings in current market conditions,'' Samuel Chen, a Hong Kong-based analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., wrote in a note to clients today. While the bank needs capital, selling 1 billion shares would be ``excessive, given the lack of good, major M&A opportunities.''

The potential offering would dilute earnings per share by 5 percent in 2008 and 11 percent in 2009, Chen estimated.

The bank may cut the size of the new share offering by as much as 25 percent after a larger-than-expected market reaction yesterday, Reuters reported, citing an unidentified bank executive.

`Development Needs'

``In light of business development needs, the company is studying a plan to sell shares to the public to boost core capital,'' state-controlled Pudong Bank said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange late yesterday, adding it will decide on details after a board meeting next week.

Chinese companies have sold almost $6.5 billion of stock in Shanghai and Shenzhen this year, even as at least 78 firms worldwide scrapped or delayed share sales while stock markets fell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Pudong Bank, which has 380 branches nationwide, wants to expand lending 18 percent a year by 2010 from 2006, as rising incomes in China encourage people to borrow to buy cars and homes. The Chinese economy grew 11.4 percent in 2007, the fastest pace in 13 years.

Loan expansion pushed Pudong Bank's capital adequacy ratio to 8.24 percent as of Sept. 30, down from 9.27 percent at the end of 2006, close to China's mandatory 8 percent minimum. Capital adequacy ratio is a measure of a bank's financial strength. The share sale may raise the ratio to more than 15 percent, Deutsche Bank AG estimated.

China's Wall Street

Pudong Bank was established in 1992 by the local government to finance development of Shanghai's Pudong financial district into China's version of Wall Street. The lender posted a 64 percent gain in profit last year to 5.5 billion yuan.

Shanghai International Group Co., the investment arm of the local government, holds 33.87 percent of Pudong Bank. The two firms share the same chairman, Ji Xiaohui. Citigroup, the largest U.S. bank, owns 3.8 percent of Pudong Bank.

Stephen Thomas, a Shanghai-based spokesman at Citigroup, declined to comment.


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Let me share with you a trading secret that can make you rich. This secret has been used for decades by some of the top traders. You might wonder why these traders would be so secretive, and not share their great knowledge with all of us. Well, to be honest with you, they did share it with us. Many times they spoke about and wrote about this trading rule.

W. D. Gann said "You can make a fortune by following this one rule alone."

Burton Pugh called it "one of the most valuable of market habits and the trader should follow and profit by this most dependable of all market laws."

So, why doesn't everybody listen to these great sages of Wall Street? To tell you the truth I don't know, maybe it's because this trading rule is so simple that it gets overlooked. I find that people often think that if something is this simple it couldn't possibly work. Well, I have some advice for them. Don't over complicate things, "KISS" (Keep It Simple Silly).

OK, so you want to know what this great Stock Market secret is? It's the 50% Rule. Simply put, a stock often retraces 50% of the previous price movement. This rule works in an upward trending as well as a downward trending market.

Let's imagine that ABC stock started its most recent run at $10 and advanced to $20 before it began to pull back. A buy order would be put at $15 (50% of the previous move). A stop could then be placed just below the 62% retracement. Many of you will recognize these as Fibonacci Retracement Lines, and you would be correct. Traders were using the 50% rule before anybody ever associated it with Fibonacci. I'm not telling you that price will always retrace back to the 50% mark. No, sometimes price might not make it all the way to the 50% mark, and sometimes it might move past it, somewhere between 50% and 62%. You get the picture.

This rule works at amazing regularity. Just remember, that if a stock is in a trading range, or currently in the process of forming a chart pattern, the 50% rule will not apply.

Most charting services have a Fibonacci Retracement Tool that draws the 38%, 50%, and 62% lines, making it very easy for you to draw the lines without having to do any figuring. Keep the 50% rule in mind. Check for it on historical charts. You will be amazed how often it occurs and how well it works.


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Bloomberg's report about China's inflation in 11 years:

China's inflation accelerated to the quickest pace in more than 11 years after the worst snowstorms in half a century disrupted food supplies.

Consumer prices rose 7.1 percent in January from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today, after gaining 6.5 percent in December. That was more than the 7 percent median estimate of 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Accelerating inflation adds to evidence the world's fastest-growing major economy is at risk of overheating after the trade surplus rose more than forecast and money supply grew at the quickest pace in 20 months. Interest-rate increases risk triggering a sudden slowdown as U.S. demand for exports weakens and the blizzards curb first-quarter production.

``The economy faces a serious short-term inflationary threat,'' said Stephen Green, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in Shanghai. ``The central bank will have to move on rates before too long.''

The yuan traded at 7.1540 versus the dollar at 10:35 a.m. in Shanghai from 7.1544 before the data. The yield on a two-year bond didn't change.

Food prices jumped 18 percent in January from a year earlier and non-food prices rose 1.5 percent. Pork soared 59 percent, edible oil 37 percent and vegetables 14 percent. Those increases add to the risk of social unrest in a nation where 300 million people live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

Inflation Tools

The impact from the snowstorm's disruptions may be more pronounced in February's data because of the extra eating associated with this month's Lunar New Year celebrations.

Central banks across Asia face the choice of tackling slowing growth or rising inflation. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. last week cut its forecast for 2008 growth in the region, excluding Japan, to 7.3 percent from 7.6 percent and raised its inflation estimate to 4.6 percent from 4.2 percent.

``China's central bank has relaxed monetary policy a bit but it will be forced to tighten again because inflation will go higher and outweigh concerns on economic growth,'' said Ma Jun, chief China economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Hong Kong. ``We are looking for two more interest-rate increases this year.''

China's economy, the world's fourth largest, may grow 10 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, down from 11.4 percent in 2007, as export growth weakens.

The financial system is flooded with cash from record trade surpluses, threatening to stoke inflation that has soared since last year on food and fuel. The surplus jumped 23 percent in January from a year earlier to $19.5 billion, even as the U.S. appetite for Chinese goods weakened. Money supply rose 18.9 percent.

Shuttered Factories

Snowstorms from mid-January closed factories and boosted prices by destroying crops and disrupting deliveries.

Accelerating producer prices show pressure for inflation to stay high. Producer prices, the cost of goods as they leave the factory, jumped 6.1 percent in January, the biggest gain in more than three years, on oil and raw materials.

Currency gains and curbs on bank lending may be favored this year as tools to curb inflation, according to Sun Mingchun, an economist at Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong. The government has also imposed food and energy price controls.

So far, the government is letting the yuan gain at a faster pace versus the dollar than it did last year. The currency has climbed nearly 2 percent after rising 7 percent in 2007. A stronger currency would push up the price of exports and make imports cheaper.

Economists expect the government to keep raising banks' reserve requirements, a Bloomberg News survey last month showed. The central bank has ordered lenders to set aside more deposits as reserves on 11 occasions since the start of last year, pushing the ratio to 15 percent, the highest ever.

Economists are split on whether interest rates will rise this year after six increases in 2007, the survey showed.

January's consumer prices climbed 1.2 percent from December.


[Bloomberg]


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Feb. 19, Bloomberg claimed that Oil-Rig Maker struggling for a big sum of money in IPO:
Honghua Group Ltd., the world's second-largest maker of land oil rigs, may raise as much as HK$3.75 billion ($481 million) in a Hong Kong initial public offering, said two people familiar with the sale.

Chengdu, southwestern China-based Honghua is offering about 833.4 million new shares at HK$3.16 to HK$4.50 each, said the people who declined to be identified because the information is not public yet. The sale of the 25 percent stake values the company at as much as $1.9 billion, or more than 17 times its estimated profit this year, they added.

About 60 companies pulled or delayed IPOs worldwide as stocks slid this year amid mounting financial industry losses linked to U.S. mortgages to people with poor credit. At least 10 of the 90 equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg fell more than 15 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

New Media Group Holdings Ltd.'s HK$102 million offering is the only first-time public stock sale that was completed in Hong Kong this year, the slowest start in the city's IPO market in eight years, the data shows.

``The liquidity crunch is severe and no doubt investors prefer cash to risky assets now,'' said Winson Fong, who manages about $600 million of China stocks for SG Asset Management in Hong Kong.

Honghua is the first company to start taking orders for a Hong Kong IPO after the Chinese New Year on Feb. 7. It and China Railway Construction Corp. could help revive the city's stock fundraising scene, Fong said.

Right Industries

``Both are in the right sectors, with minimal policy risks,'' he added. ``Global oil exploration investments and domestic Chinese railway investments are the least affected areas under the current environment.''

China Railway Construction is expected to set price ranges later this week for Shanghai and Hong Kong share sales that may collect as much as $5.6 billion, said two people familiar with the sale.

Credit Suisse Group and Morgan Stanley are arranging the public offering of Honghua, which will be 5 percent owned by buyout funds managed by the Carlyle Group after the IPO, according to a draft share sale document.

Liu Gangqiang, Chengdu-based board secretary for Honghua, is traveling and couldn't be reached in his office. Godwin Chellam, a Credit Suisse spokesman in Hong Kong, and Nick Footitt, a Hong Kong-based Morgan Stanley spokesman, declined to comment.


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Feb. 19 Bloomberg reported the Bank of China shares:
Bank of China Ltd. rose the most in almost a month in Hong Kong trading after Reuters reported the lender has set aside enough money to cover its investments in securities tied to U.S. subprime mortgages.

Bank of China jumped 7.5 percent to HK$3.29 at 11:19 a.m. local time. The company expects ``marked'' profit growth for this year and is considering buying an insurance company, Reuters also said late yesterday, citing Chairman Xiao Gang. Spokesman Wang Zhaowen confirmed Xiao's comments.

The bank may have to write down the value of overseas securities by 35 billion yuan ($4.9 billion), analysts at BNP Paribas SA have estimated. That would amount to three-quarters of profit in the nine months to Sept. 30, 2007.

Bank of China has fallen 33 percent in Hong Kong since Oct. 30, when it reported profit growth that trailed competitors because of losses on its $7.95 billion of subprime-related investments.


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Whilst there are a number of different strategies which can be employed in stock market trading, from ultra short term daytrading to long term buy and hold strategies, there is a lot to be said for using momentum trading to ride a stock for maximum profits.

Allowing a winning stock to continue to ride is an alternate approach to taking profits after a defined percentage is gained. This strategy can maximize profits by extracting the most out of a stock rather than settling for smaller gains and the risk of entering another trade to capture the profit that may have been had if the stock were held longer. This strategy has proven to be successful for many traders and is a key part of the momentum trading system. The big profits are in the big moves.

Historically, trading momentum stocks has shown to be effective in producing stock market profits. Firstly a high performance market is chosen. Next groups of stocks which fit predefined criteria in terms of momentum, based on price and volume changes, are identified. Finally, a stock is identified with greater momentum than others in the group. Thus the odds for success are tipped in your favour. A stock with high momentum has the potential to continue the trend into higher levels of profit.

Some trading methods will dictate that the key to stock market profits is in diversification. Other strategies favour more frequent trading such as daytrading. Momentum stock trading frees you from the necessity of trading constantly and utilizes the concept that "concentration builds wealth". You ride the momentum of the stock market and focusing in on strong momentum stocks is likely to capitalize on the highest possible gains.

Many smart investors are now seeing the wisdom of using a momentum trading strategy and focusing on momentum stocks. These stocks have been proven to be useful in deriving profits from the stock market. Trading big and concentrating on a few strong momentum stocks is the key to the stock market. Using a momentum trading strategy allows you to do that.

Mark Crisp is an experienced stock trading and the creator of the Momentum Stock Trading System which focuses on big moves for big profits.


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The Author: Joel Teo

Since the advent of the internet commodity trading has grown by leaps and bounds and just about anybody with a computer and a few spare dollars can get into the market. Here’s how to make money with commodity trading.

1. Buy low-sell high. Sounds really simple but the number of investors that manage to do exactly the opposite is high. The success or failure of your investment will depend on this concept and that;s how to make money with commodity trading.

2. The only real thing on the stock market is the price of the stock and if you are planning to make money then you have to invest by mirroring the stock market itself. The market corrections are always right so follow the lead. That’s how to make money with commodity trading.

3. What goes up must come down and stocks are exactly the same. The trend will change the rule and the more it moves up or down the more extreme the move will be and that is how to make money with commodity trading

4. You can spend your days trying to figure out what the cause of the large directional moves are but you’ll be wasting your time and seldom will you find the answer. It’s all about market perception if you want to know how to make money with commodity trading if you follow this path.

5. One of the biggest mistakes the majority of investors make is thinking that stock markets are rational. If you want to make money all you need to know is whether the market is moving up or down and how long it’s been doing it for.

6. Usually some type of news or world event affects the movement of a stock or stock. The news can be months in advance and not totally clear but you should not wait to invest or it will be too late and the how to make money with commodity trading skills you have will go down the drain.

7. The trends are like lovers you need to keep them close and understand their move. It’s where all the profit or loss stems from. You will need long term trends if you want to make bigger profits and learn how to make money with commodity trading.

8. Discipline is key and without it you will not be able to make money over the long term. Sometimes you do have to cut your losses and get out. Know when to stay and know when to run.

Now that you know how to make money with commodity trading your ready to get started. One last thought. Much of your success depends on your individuality.


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The Author: Joel Teo

When it comes to learning how to make money in the stock market the first and most important lesson is to ignore what Wall Street is telling you and try to avoid that broker.

Suddenly you are faced with brokerage fees and you are reliant on contacting your broker to get the job done. If you listened to a Wall Street broker the only words you would ever hear are buy. That’s why you need to learn how to make money in the stock market.

The problem is anyone can buy stocks but it’s knowing when to sell stocks that makes you rich. It’s having an exit strategy that works and those that have made millions had just that. Your broker get’s wealthy because he sells you stocks and makes a commission. It’s time you developed your own exit strategy and knew how to make money in the stock market.

You need to first study the market. Look for companies that are undervalued and stocks with a lower price earning ratios than similar stocks then seek out bad news. Wall Street loves to overreact. This is your chance to make some investments with great potential. Investigate company balance sheets and watch for good cash flow, low debt ratios, and consistent earnings. And most of all know when to cut your losses and bow out gracefully once you learn how to make money in the stock market.

As a shareholder there are two ways you can make money – by being paid a dividend or by holding the stocks and selling when their value increases. Remember a company does not have to pay out dividends if they do not wish too. Personal preference is to go for the hold and sell at an increased value which is where your exit strategy comes into play which when you learn how to make money in the stock market you will also learn the exit strategy.

There are three things to consider when building your exit strategy. You have to ask yourself how long you are planning on staying in this trade, How much risk you are willing to take, and where are you wanting to go from here. When you answer these questions truthfully your path will become clear and you will be on your way to making money in the stock market.

Making money in the stock market is your ticket out of the 9 to 5 world.


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What do you look for in you investment portfolio? Can you find all you need in one fund family. We take a look at Fidelity, and see if they can fulfill your needs.

First, most investors will need a variety of stock investment funds to choose from. Fidelity has over 100 stock funds in their portfolio. This includes the Fidelity Select family, which has over 40 Select funds. These are for the most part domestic sector funds, which invest in the stocks of companies that are in specific industries or sectors. Note that these are actively managed funds, and don't simply track a sector index by buying and holding stocks in one of the indices, which is the approach taken by many exchange traded funds. This gives the opportunity for above average returns. Sector funds are a favorite of many momentum investors, as they will usually be able to find some area of strength in the market in spite of an over market down trend. For example, in the middle of the last bear market for the year 2002, even though all the major market indices were down double digit percentages, Fidelity had a handful of funds that were still up for the year.

If sector funds don't give enough diversification for your portfolio, there are also a wide range of international funds. There are several regional funds like Latin America and the Pacific Basin, along with several single country funds like Japan, Germany, and China.

There are also a host of fixed income funds, ranging from money market funds to municipal bond funds, government bond fund, and long term corporate bond funds. Something for almost every twist of fixed income investing.

For those investors looking for a simpler approach, they offer their Freedom Funds and Fidelity Asset Manager funds. Both these are designed to do the job of asset allocation for you, so it's more a one stop solution for your investing needs.

Finally, if none of the Fidelity funds are exactly what you are looking for, you can also buy one of several thousand mutual funds that are offered through Fidelity in their no transaction fee program. As long as you meet the minimum holding period many of these funds can be traded without any fees.

Throw in a whole host of other products and services like retirement accounts, annuities, college savings plans, and insurance, and it's likely that you won't need to look elsewhere for your investment needs.


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