Edited by former Washington, D.C. bureau chief David Leonhardt, The Upshot is the latest Times' online editorial offering and is partly aimed at replacing Nate Silver's popular FiveThirtyEight blog.
"You have no shortage of excellent news sources," wrote Leonhardt on the blog Tuesday. "We believe many people don't understand the news as well as they would like."
"We believe we can help readers get to that level of understanding by writing in a direct, plain-spoken way, the same voice we might use when writing an email to a friend. We'll be conversational without being dumbed down," he said.
The launch follows other similar efforts by competitors that are interested in providing sharper analysis and data-embedded stories. Data-centric journalism has become trendy in American newsrooms in recent months as news organizations seek product differentiation through technology and social media. The software applications used to process data and illustrate results in charts, quizzes and maps are cheaper, if not free online. And branded blogs are seen as an efficient means to post stories quickly to dedicated audiences to generate greater web traffic.
10 Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated(UNH)
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated provides healthcare services in the United States. Its Health Benefits segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; and non-employer based insurance options for purchase by individuals. It also provides health and well-being services for individuals aged 50 and older; and for services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals, as well as health plans for the beneficiaries of acute and long-term care Medicaid plans. This segment offers its services through a network of 730,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and 5,300 hospitals. Its OptumHealth segment provides health, financial, and ancillary services and products that assist consumers through personalized health management solutions; benefit administration, and clinical and network management; health-based financi al services; behavioral solutions; and specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, life, critical illness, short-term disability, and stop-loss product offerings. The company?s Ingenix segment offers database and data management services, software products, publications, consulting and actuarial services, business process outsourcing services, and pharmaceutical data consulting and research services. Its Prescription Solutions segment provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services comprising retail network pharmacy contracting and management, claims processing, mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy, benefit design consultation, rebate contracting and management, drug utilization review, formulary management programs, disease therapy management, and adherence programs to employer groups, union trusts, managed care organizations, Medicare-contracted plans, Medicaid plans, and third party administrators. The company was founded in 1974 and is based in Minne tonka, Minnesota.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Travis Hoium]
On the earnings front, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH ) is up 6.4% after reporting a surprisingly strong second quarter. Revenue jumped 12% to $30.4 billion, while net income rose to $1.44 billion, or $1.40 per share. The big driver was an increase in patients covered, which should continue under Obamacare next year. The company covered 89.2 million people as of June 30, up from 76.6 million a year ago.�
10 Best Cheap Stocks For 2014: Express-1 Expedited Solutions Inc.(XPO)
XPO Logistics, Inc. provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea, and air carriers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It operates in three segments: Express-1, Concert Group Logistics, and Bounce Logistics. The Express-1 segment offers ground expedited surface transportation services for freight. It operates a fleet ranging from cargo vans to semi tractor trailer units. The Concert Group Logistics segment provides domestic and international freight forwarding services through a network of independently owned stations. Its domestic freight forwarding services include air charter, expedites, and time sensitive services, as well as cost sensitive services comprising deferred delivery, less than truckload, and full truck load services; and international freight forwarding services consist of on-board courier and air charters, time sensitive services, less-than-container and full-container-loads, and vessel charters. This segm ent also offers documentation on international shipments, customs clearance and banking, trade show shipment management, time definite and customized product distributions, reverse logistics and on site asset recovery projects, installation coordination, freight optimization, and diversity compliance support services. The Bounce Logistics segment provides premium freight brokerage services for truckload shipments. The company serves approximately 4,000 retail, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial customers through 6 U.S. operations centers and 22 agent locations. It offers its services to the automotive manufacturing, automotive components and supplies, commercial printing, durable goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products, and high tech sectors. The company was formerly known as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc. and changed its name to XPO Logistics, Inc. in September 2011. XPO Logistics, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Buchanan, Michi gan.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) shot up 7.06 percent to $30.01 after the company announced its plans to acquire Pacer International (NASDAQ: PACR) in a deal valued at $335 million.
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO ) jumped 13% today after announcing an acquisition.
So what: The company will pay $365 million for logistics provider 3PD, consisting of $357 million in cash an $8 million in XPO restricted stock. Is will use its own cash and borrow $195 million from Credit Suisse Group for the remainder of the purchase. �
10 Best Cheap Stocks For 2014: Lionbridge Technologies Inc.(LIOX)
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. provides language, development, and testing services. Its Global Language and Content segment provides product localization services, such as creating foreign language versions of its clients? products and software applications, including the user interface, online help systems, and documentation; and content translation services, such as translating and maintaining clients? Web-based content, eLearning courseware and training materials, technical support, and sales and marketing information. It also offers technical authoring, eLearning courseware development, and production and integration of content; and global language and content services delivery. The company?s Global Development and Testing segment develops and maintains on-premise, SaaS, and smart phone and tablet applications, as well as provides Web production services. This segment also offers various testing services under the VeriTest brand, including managed test teams, test proc ess design, test automation, functional testing, performance testing, globalization testing, and product certification. In addition, it provides specialized search relevance, online content editorial, keyword optimization, and related services. Its Interpretation segment offers interpretation services for government business and healthcare organizations that require experienced linguists to facilitate communication. It provides interpretation communication services, such as onsite interpretation, over-the-phone interpretation and interpreter testing, training, and assessment services in approximately 360 languages and dialects. The company serves the technology, mobile and telecommunications, Internet and media, life sciences, government, manufacturing, automotive, retail, and aerospace sectors in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Lionbridge Technologies (Nasdaq: LIOX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Jeff Reeves]
Lionbridge (LIOX) is the kind of cheap, small-cap stock that investors love. This player has soared 60% in the last three months thanks to nice earnings and improving investor sentiment.
10 Best Cheap Stocks For 2014: Rent-A-Center Inc.(RCII)
Rent-A-Center, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, primarily engages in leasing household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company?s stores offer durable products, such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers, and furniture and accessories under flexible rental purchase agreements that allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period. It also provides merchandise on an installment sales basis in its stores. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated 3,008 company-owned stores in the United States, and in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, including 42 retail installment sales stores under the names ?Get It Now? and ?Home Choice?; and 18 rent-to-own stores located in Canada under the ?Rent-A-Centre? name. It also operates 209 franchised rent-to-own stores in 32 states under the ColorTyme trade name; and 384 kiosk locations under the ?RAC Acceptance? model. In addition, the company, th rough its ColorTyme?s franchised stores, offers custom rims and tires for sale or rental under the trade names ?RimTyme? or ?ColorTyme Custom Wheels?. Rent-A-Center, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ: RCII) were down 21.51 percent to $24.51 on Q4 results.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares tumbled 7.80 percent to $507.55 after the company issued weak sales forecast for the second quarter and reported downbeat holiday iPhone sales.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Rent-to-own consumer products company Rent-A-Center (RCII) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 23 cents per share, payable on Jan. 23 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 3.
RCII Dividend Yield: 2.77%
10 Best Cheap Stocks For 2014: S&P GSCI(GD)
General Dynamics Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, provides business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions; military and commercial shipbuilding; and communications and information technology products and services worldwide. Its Aerospace group designs, manufactures, and outfits various large and mid-cabin business-jet aircraft; provides maintenance, repair work, fixed-based operations, and aircraft management services; and performs aircraft completions for aircraft. The company?s Combat Systems group offers tracked and wheeled military vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions. Its product lines include wheeled combat and tactical vehicles; battle tanks and infantry vehicles; munitions and propellant; rockets and gun systems; and axle and drivetrain components and aftermarket parts. This group also manufactures and supplies engineered axles, suspensions, and brakes for heavy-load vehicles for military and commercial customers. The company Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Charles Mizrahi]
General Dynamics (GD) offers segment diversification. Although the US government accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company's revenue, it has four operating segments, with no single division accounting for more than a third of total revenue.
10 Best Cheap Stocks For 2014: Bank of America Corporation(BAC)
Bank of America Corporation, a financial holding company, provides banking and nonbanking financial services and products to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, large corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company?s Deposits segment generates savings accounts, money market savings accounts, certificate of deposits, and checking accounts; and Global Card Services segment provides the U.S. consumer and business card, consumer lending, international card and debit card services. Its Home Loans & Insurance segment offers consumer real estate products and services, including mortgage loans, reverse mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and home equity loans. It also provides property, disability, and credit insurance. The company?s Global Commercial Banking segment offers lending products, including commercial loans and commitment facilities, real estate lending, leasing, trade finance, short-term credit, asset-based lending, and indirect consumer loans; and capital management and treasury solutions, such as treasury management, foreign exchange, and short-term investing options. Its Global Banking & Markets segment provides financial products, advisory services, settlement, and custody services; debt and equity underwriting and distribution, merger-related advisory services, and risk management products; and integrated working capital management and treasury solutions. The company?s Global Wealth & Investment Management segment offers investment and brokerage services, estate management, financial planning services, fiduciary management, credit and banking expertise, and asset management products. Bank of America Corporation serves customers through a network of approximately 5,900 banking centers and 18,000 automated teller machines. It was formerly known as NationsBank Corporation and changed its name on October 1, 1998. Bank of America Corporation was founded in 1874 and is based in Charlott e, North Carolina.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
One problem holding the Dow back from a recovery involves renewed concerns about long-running scandals. For instance, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) leads the Dow's decliners with a 2.7% drop as banking regulators consider doubling the minimum capital requirements for it and several other large banks. The move could force B of A, Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) to stop paying dividends until their capital reserves rise enough to meet the new standards. Further, given reports that one investigator has found that mortgage-servicing companies have provided inaccurate information to the financial institutions that act as trustees for mortgage-bond investors, banks that have already suffered greatly from billions of dollars in lawsuit settlements could potentially see further hits. Citigroup has fallen the most of the three, down 3.6%, while JPMorgan's loss is minimal at 0.8%.
- [By Jessica Alling]
One of the sectors viewed to be benefiting largely from the Fed's current policy (and resulting low interest rates) is the nation's banks. Both Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) have been enjoying a flood of refinancing activity thanks to the historically low interest rates. This is great news for the banks, which are trying to gain ground on the top originator, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) . Wells commanded an impressive 29% of the mortgage origination market in 2012, with JPMorgan coming in a distant second. Bank of America has stated that one of its main goals is to capture some more market share, though the historical issues with the bank's home loans may be keeping customers away.
- [By Amanda Alix]
When it comes to dealing with business clients, Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC ) Merrill Lynch section knows exactly what it's doing: Give the customer what he wants, and make some money in the process. A perfect example of this tenet is a new line of online products called Cash Management Essentials, something the bank developed by using direct feedback from the very customers it is now serving.
10 Best Cheap Stocks For 2014: Uranium Resources Inc.(URRE)
Uranium Resources, Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and mining of uranium properties, using the in situ recovery or solution mining process. It owns developed and undeveloped uranium properties in South Texas; and undeveloped uranium properties in New Mexico. The company?s primary customers include utilities who utilize nuclear power to generate electricity. Uranium Resources, Inc. was founded in 1977 and is based in Lewisville, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Bryan Murphy]
If you listened to my bullish calls from December 27th and/or February 24th about Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG), then congratulations - you're now up as much as 50%, depending on when you stepped into a trade, and which stock you chose. Now get out. See, as well as URZ and URG have done and are doing (URRE not so much), it looks like the short-term rally I first spotted a little more than a couple of months ago has fully run its course, and now these names are setting up a pullback.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Well, I'll give myself an A for effort, but a C- for timing. But, I can bump that C- up to a B+ if my intuition is right as we head into the last few days of 2013 and the first few of 2014. What I'm talking about is a bullish commentary I penned back on November 26th regarding Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG). All three stocks were perking up, and more than that, the buzz surrounding URG, URRE, and URZ was getting louder. More often than not, when the fervor and bullish action and chatter reaches the levels they had reached a month ago, an explosion is right around the corner.
- [By James E. Brumley]
You know, were it just Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE) or just Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG) or just Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ) making a decided bullish move, I might be able to dismiss it. Similarly, if URZ had only been moving higher for one or two days (or only URG or only URRE), it might be easy to not be impressed. Neither of those situations has been the actual case, however. All three stocks have been moving upward for several days now, quite a bit, on noticeably higher volume. There's something "going on", as it were, and if prior group-wide movements are any clue, it's the kind of move worth tapping into.