DJIA: 16,643.01  -11.76 (-0.07%) | NASDAQ: 4,828.325  +15.616 (0.32%) | S&P 500: 1,988.87  +1.21 (0.06%) Markets status unavailable

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    Editors' note: Now that the markets have closed after one of the most tumultuous weeks ever on Wall Street, there's something we have to tell you: told ya so. Wednesday, following four straight days of major indexes trading in the red, before the market opened, TheStreet (TST) identified 10 high-quality dividend stocks down 10% or more to scoop up at a discount.

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    Liquidity Services (LQDT) is in the business of selling things you didn’t know you could buy, such as an ambulance, a silo or, until recently, a tank.The District-based company grew from its roots as a surplus marketplace founded during the dot-com boom to become a big player in the liquidation business, helping government and businesses get rid of their extra stuff.In the past year, Liquidity Services (LQDT) has had to take inventory on its own business. Its stock price and bottom line have been hammered as the company lost a pair of key contracts while it was in the midst of a costly makeover.The company runs nine separate marketplaces that operate on different systems: Some are aimed at consumers, others at businesses. There’s a site for consumers to buy military surplus and another for retail stores’ closeout items. It runs Web sites targeted at selling trucks to businesses, for example, and equipment for building pipelines and extracting natural gas.Its profits plummeted more than 90 percent, to $1.6 million, in its latest quarter, it reported. Over the past year, its stock price has been cut in half, to $7.36 a share.Analysts say the company could return to growing profits and bigger margins, but they don’t expect any sort of rebound for at least a year.The troubles began last year in April when Liquidity Services (LQDT) lost a bidding war for the right to sell the Defense Department’s old tanks, trailers and other vehicles. It was left with contracts to sell off the department’s scrap and other surplus — such as boots and bags — which carry thinner profit margins.Then, in December, Wal-Mart (WMT) cut short its deal with the company. (Wal-Mart (WMT) settled a dispute with the company this year for $7.5 million.)Losing those deals, Liquidity said, cost it nearly $34 million in sales this quarter, about one-quarter of its total revenue this time last year.All the while, the weak energy market has slowed sales of heavy machinery, and the company has been pouring money into a project to fuse the constellation of businesses and Web sites it runs, which has been a cumbersome and costly process, said Rohit Kulkarni, an RBC analyst.“This transformation is long overdue,” said Daniel Kurnos, a Benchmark analyst. “They need to get their house in order.”“I think they still have a very strong, established buyer base,” Kurnos said. “They clearly have a devoted seller group, so there’s definitely a strong backbone of an ecosystem.”William Angrick, chief executive of Liquidity Services (LQDT), told investors this month that he expects the project will eventually help the company grow by slimming its overhead and making it easier for clients to sell their products on their own, a sort of eBay (EBAY) for surplus. The company will also combine its sales staffs.“We are in the midst of a major investment cycle to transform and integrate our business to deliver superior service, scale and results for our customers,” Angrick said. “We understand that this will weigh on results in the short term.”Spokeswoman Jeanette Hanfling said the company expects to find “a new business normal” in its 2018 fiscal year. “The market for surplus goods is growing,” she said, “and our long-term focus on continued investment in platform, services and business development will pave the way for a stronger, more diversified company.”Analysts say the investment could eventually pay off but that the company’s timing wasn’t great: The project was launched after it lost its Defense Department contract but before ­Wal-Mart (WMT) backed out of its deal with the company. Kulkarni said it was “quite surprising” for the company to increase spending instead of cutting costs amid dropping sales.“Over the longer term, this might prove be a net positive,” Kulkarni said, “but in the short term, that creates a double whammy.”






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    Investors already might feel they are juggling with China, the U.S. Federal Reserve, commodities and fluctuating stocks, but it is worth keeping an eye on another ball in the air: the U.S. credit market. Yields on U.S. junk bonds recently hit their highest since 2012 before edging lower to stand at 7.33%, according to Barclays indexes.

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    U.S. markets closed with a whimper Friday, but the quiet day still offered a positive ending for a tumultuous week.On Friday, the Dow slipped 12 points, or down .07 percent, to 16643. But the index was still up 1.1 percent for the week, a rise that was in steep contrast to the jaw-dropping losses seen a few days earlier.The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index gained 1 point to rise .06 percent. And the Nasdaq was up 0.32 percent.The calm day followed stronger gains in Asia. Chinese stocks rose for the second day in a row, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gaining 4.8 percent on Friday. European markets also saw modest increases, with the STOXX Europe 600 index gaining 0.3 percent.The week was one of extremes. The Dow plunged by 1,000 points at Monday’s open, kicking off a rollercoaster ride sparked by  increased worries about a slowdown in China and concerns of whether those issues would weigh down the United States. Adding to the uncertainty was speculation that the market turmoil might cause the Federal Reserve to push back an increase in interest rates.“The market was pricing in a more catastrophic event, some kind of global recession or a systemic problem,” said Geoffrey Sipes, senior vice president and market investment director for U.S. Trust.But as the week progressed, investors were encouraged by developments that suggested the picture may not be so grim. Chinese officials took steps to stem the panic by cutting interest rates and pushing the currency higher. New data revealed stronger-than-expected economic growth in the U.S. and an improvement in consumer confidence, bolstering investors’ hopes that the country would be able to withstand any turmoil in China. The good news lifted markets, making Wednesday and Thursday among the best trading days seen in years.For ordinary people investing for long-term goals, the fluctuations were a reminder about the risks of timing the market. The volatility may have invoked flashbacks of the financial crisis that depleted their retirement savings. But anyone who rushed out of the stock market on Monday would have missed the recovery — and the gains — achieved by the end of the week.“If you panicked and you sold,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group, “it probably will take months, if not years, to recover what you’ve lost in the process.”Market strategists said the volatility is likely to continue over the next several weeks as investors readjust to the steep losses seen earlier in the week, says Scott Wren, senior equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.“We’re going to see lots of 300-, 400-, 500-point days, I think, before this is all over,” Wren said.Traders will be watching to see whether the economy stabilizes in China. Some will look to next week’s job report for further signals that the U.S. economy is steady, Sipes said.Read more:What regular investors should do about the market downturnA rollicking week in the markets is really a chance to clean up your actWisdom to see you through those heart-stopping big drops in the market






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    After a dizzying two weeks that saw a rapid plunge and rebound in equity prices, investors are looking forward to a week of economic data that may provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term U.S. interest rate hike and help tamp down the market's recent wild swings. The economic figures will culminate in Friday’s jobs report that should reveal more about the strength of the U.S. economy.

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    It seems like even Wall Street was ready for a quiet weekend. After a volatile week of trading that saw huge swings in domestic and overseas financial markets, major U.S. stock indexes closed Friday largely unchanged. All three key indexes moved by less than 1% Friday. Among technology companies, Concurrent Computer (CCUR) jumped by 16.7%, closing at $5.46 per share.

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    JACKSON HOLE, WYO. -- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday that it was “too early to tell” whether the nation’s central bank should raise its target interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade when it meets next week. In an interview with CNBC during the Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Fischer said the implications of China’s recent decision to let its currency float more freely and the global turmoil in financial markets are still unclear. But he said the U.S. economy was returning to normal and that the central bank was looking for further improvement in the labor market once the government releases its monthly tally of job creation and unemployment next week. “We haven’t made a decision yet, and I don’t think that we should make a decision,” he said. “We’ve got a little over two weeks before we make the decision, and we’ve got time to wait and see the incoming data and see what, exactly, what is now going on in the economy.” The Fed has said that it plans to raise its benchmark rate -- currently at zero -- sometime this year, and investors had widely expected that to happen when the central bank meets in Washington in September. But that timing has now been cast into doubt following the wild swings in stock markets at home and abroad and the growing concerns that China is entering a protracted economic slowdown. In public remarks on Wednesday, New York Fed President William Dudley said the case for raising rates in September was “less compelling.” The question has been looming over top Fed officials and international economic policymakers as they gathered in the foothills of the Grand Tetons on Friday for the annual symposium hosted by the Kansas City Fed. Kansas City Fed President Esther George suggested to Fox Business News that she still favored a September hike but wanted to “wait and see” if there was fallout from the financial market turbulence. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Bloomberg TV that market volatility has not changed the outlook for the economy very much. Yet Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said that he is “less resolute” about moving in September, according to Market News International. But Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota argued that inflation remains too low and suggested that the central bank may have to take additional measures to bring it up to the Fed’s 2 percent target. Government data released Friday showed inflation excluding food and energy prices rose just 1.2 percent in July compared to a year ago. On CNBC, Fischer said there are still plenty of questions about the impact and cause of the recent financial turbulence. He noted that markets could settle quickly, but the Fed won’t know when that has happened until after the fact. “If you don’t understand the market volatility, and I’m sure we don’t fully understand it now,” he said, “yes, it does affect the timing of a decision you might want to make.”






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    Shares of Kinross Gold   closed higher by 6.40% to $1.83 on Friday, after gold prices rose as the market dismissed the likelihood of a September interest rate hike. Recent volatility in global markets following China's move to devalue the yuan two weeks ago has led traders to view a December interest rate hike by the Fed as more probable than a September rate hike, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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    * Fed's Fischer says no decision yet on September rate hike. * July consumer spending picks up slightly. * U.S. crude jumps 6 pct; Chevron up 3.6 pct. * Indexes end: Dow down 0.07 pct, S&P up 0.06 pct, Nasdaq up 0.32 pct. By Noel Randewich.

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    ended the most tumultuous week in memory with modest gains after closing virtually unchanged on Friday. The main indexes spent most of Friday's session diving in and out of negative territory, as investors seemed undecided on how to interpret comments from Federal Reserve officials. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer indicated the central bank is keen on raising rates this year, but provided little clarity on whether it will be in September.

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    By Anora Mahmudova and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch. Oil surge boosts energy shares. U.S. stocks wrapped up one of the most tumultuous weeks of trading in recent memory with modest weekly gains after closing little changed on Friday.

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    Shares of oil and natural gas company LinnCo   closed up 14.18% to $2.98 on Friday, as oil prices reached their highest two-day percentage gain in six years. Crude oil is higher by 6.56% to $45.35 per barrel this afternoon, and Brent crude is up by 5.24% to $50.05 per barrel, according to the CNBC.com index.

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     Penn Virginia stock closed up by 16.64% to $1.09 on Friday afternoon, after oil prices rallied for a second day. WTI crude is rising 6.6% to $45.37 per barrel, while Brent crude is increasing 5.34% to $50.10 per barrel this afternoon, according to the CNBC.com index.

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    Comments from Fed's Fischer helped turn yields higher Friday. Treasury yields finished a tumultuous week higher Friday as comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer revived hopes for a Federal Reserve rate increase in September. It was the largest one-week gain for both the 10- year and two-year Treasury notes since June.

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     Encana stock closed higher by 3.36% to $7.08 on heavy trading volume on Friday, after oil prices gained for the second consecutive day. WTI crude is up 6.65% to $45.39 per barrel, while Brent crude is rising 5.38% to $50.12 per barrel this afternoon, according to the CNBC.com index.

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    Wall Street ended near flat on Friday after comments by a top Federal Reserve official suggested that a September rate rise was more likely than some investors expected. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12.3 points, or 0.07 percent, to 16,642.47, the S&P 500 gained 1.14 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,988.8 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.62 points, or 0.32 percent, to 4,828.33.

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    Is the week finally over? And for all the breathtaking ups and downs, the market ended the week with only a modest gain. Volatility continued into the final hour of trading on Friday before stocks closed mixed. Big swings have been characteristic of this week's trading with gains or losses of more than 1% from Monday to Thursday.

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    * Most U.S. yields post biggest weekly rise in nine weeks * Fed's Fischer: don't need overwhelming case for rate hike * Data support notion of modest U.S. growth, low inflation * Doubts about China persist despite stabilization By Richard Leong NEW YORK, Aug 28 - U.S. Treasuries prices fell on Friday, with most yields posting their biggest weekly rise in nine weeks as the Federal Reserve's No. ...