holiday exchange

Developing a comprehensive retirement plan isn’t easy. You need to have a strategy.

For decades, the business world has been guided by something called SWOT analysis to evaluate new ventures, ideas and opportunities. SWOT, you say? By identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, executives have made decisions that helped to shape directions of entire companies.

See Also: Knight Kiplinger’s Keys to Financial Security

You can apply a similar model to manage your own finances. The categories of the traditional SWOT analysis don’t match up with the specific goals of financial planning. But let’s re-imagine the SWOT analysis to create a better financial focus for investors.

Using this revised SWOT analysis, you can work with your advisers to develop a comprehensive picture of your past, present and future finances. Let’s take a look:

holiday exchange: TAL International Group Inc.(TAL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Craig Jones]

    Instead of buying TAL Education Group (ADR) (NYSE: TAL), Cramer would buy Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA).

    Cramer thinks Burlington Stores Inc (NYSE: BURL) is going to have a good quarter, because Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) posted a good one, and they have similar business models.

holiday exchange: Applied Materials, Inc.(AMAT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Short interest in Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) rose to 13.95 million shares. The previous reading was 13.21 million. Shares were trading at $38.55, in a 52-week range of $19.46 to $39.81.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    A final company income seekers would be wise to give a look is Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT). Applied Materials provides manufacturing equipment to semiconductor companies, meaning its business tends to be highly cyclical. If the economy is performing well, Applied Materials is probably excelling. But if semiconductor spending is down, Applied Materials is likely struggling.

  • [By William Patalon III]

    Shares of chip-equipment leader Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) have zoomed 80% since we brought them to you in May 2014.

    And they’ve jumped 8% since we re-recommended the stock back on Jan. 31.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Applied Materials (AMAT) rose to the top of the S&P 500 today as semiconductor stocks rebounded from yesterday’s selloff.

    Getty Images

    Applied Materials gained 4.5% to $31.44 today, while the S&P 500 was little changed at 2,191.95. The SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD) rose 1% to $52.80, while the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) climbed 1.6% to $68.77.

    My colleague Tiernan Rey at Barron’s Tech Trader Daily quoted B. Rileys Craig Ellis in a post today, who called the selloff yesterday an unusually attractive entry opportunity forApplied Materials andMicrochip Technology (MCHP) buyers.

    Applied Materials reported net income of $1.7 billion on sales of $10.8 billion in fiscal 2016.

     

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

    Wall Street expects Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT) to report quarterly earnings at $0.97 per share on revenue of $120.89 billion before the opening bell. Wal-Mart shares slipped 0.26 percent to $89.60 in after-hours trading.
    Analysts expect Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) to post quarterly earnings at $0.91 per share on revenue of $3.94 billion after the closing bell. Applied Materials shares rose 0.50 percent to $56.05 in after-hours trading.
    Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported better-than-expected profit for its first quarter on Wednesday. Cisco shares gained 5.83 percent to $36.10 in the after-hours trading session.
    After the closing bell, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) is expected to post quarterly earnings at $0.84 per share on revenue of $1.29 billion. Williams-Sonoma shares gained 1.61 percent to $51.60 in after-hours trading.
    Analysts are expecting Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) to have earned $0.86 per share on revenue of $3.23 billion in the latest quarter. Viacom will release earnings before the markets open. Viacom shares gained 0.29 percent to close at $24.61 on Wednesday.
    NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) reported stronger-than-expected results for its second quarter and issued strong Q3 guidance. NetApp shares climbed 11.41 percent to $51.05 in the after-hours trading session.

    Find out what's going on in today's market and bring any questions you have to Benzinga's PreMarket Prep.

  • [By Chris Neiger]

    Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) makes equipment that allows companies to manufacture semiconductors, displays, and other components for some of the most advanced technology on the planet. And just like other tech companies, Applied has to stay ahead of new trends so that it can provide the latest equipment to its customers.

holiday exchange: ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc(ZIOP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Friday, healthcare shares fell by 0.88 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Simulations Plus, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLP), down 7 percent, and ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP), down 7 percent.

holiday exchange: Baker Hughes Incorporated(BHI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    Among the year-end numbers, there isn’t that much that pops out as extraordinary. Halliburton ended 2016 with a $6.69 per-share loss. Much of that loss, though, was the $7.4 billion in charges related to asset impairments, goodwill writedowns, and the $4.06 billion it had to charge for the termination of the merger with Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI). So when looking at the company’s year-end results, do keep in mind that those are heavily skewed by one-time items that probably won’t have much of a material impact on the business in the coming year. Looking at operational income, we see that international markets held up rather well throughout the year, while the North American market suffered.

  • [By William Patalon III]

    Since the moment it was announced, we’ve been highly bullish on the complicated-but-intriguing deal that would combine the oilfield services unit of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and all of sector rival Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Evercore ISI’s James West and team are starting to feel really good about the potential of the General Electric (GE)-Baker Hughes (BHI) merger. They explain why:

  • [By Arie Goren]

    The Oil and gas business represents a significant part of GE’s operations. Oil and gas segment revenues of $9.5 billion accounted for 10.5% of the company’s total revenues in the first nine months of 2016. In the same period in 2015, the segment’s revenues were much higher at $12.1 billion, 14.5% of GE’s total revenues for that period. In one of my previous articles about GE, I suggested that GE’s decision to combine its oil and gas business with one of the world’s leading oilfield services companies Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI)is a smart move. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil price has climbed 20% from the beginning of 2016 to $55.45 per barrel, and WTI crude oil price has increased 17.5% to $52.37 per barrel in the same period. As such, the U.S. rig count has started to recover, and oil and gas producers have begun to increase their capital spending. According to Baker Hughes, the average U.S. rig count for December 2016 increased by 54 from the prior month to 634 rigs. This development will benefit GE in the current quarter and much more after the merger with Baker Hughes.

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