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    Apple (AAPL) has seen some selling during the last two trading days.  . The chart shows clear bullish sentiment from April 2013 to the present, no mystery there. That's what's great about Apple (AAPL) -- trade it in every direction. Must Read: 10 Best Apple Products Ever. This article is commentary by an independent contributor.

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    NEW YORK –- Apple shares have been on fire, soaring as much as 27% ever since the iPhone maker reported its monster fiscal first-quarter results last month, including $18 billion in profits, and what is good for Apple is also good for its suppliers such as Skyworks Solutions, Skyworks Solutions makes high-performance analog chips that connect people, places and things, and its chips are promi...

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    When driving on a winding mountain road, you probably don't flip on the cruise control and sit back grooving to the radio. Like a Rocky Mountain road trip, retirement requires constant course corrections.

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    Dividends have been on the chopping block quite a bit in recent months. But it's not all bad news for dividend stocks. The iBillionaire High Dividend Index indicates 50 high dividend stocks that are popular among billionaire investors. Looking for dividend stock ideas?

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    Wal-Mart's (WMT) recent decision to raise wages for its workers to a minimum of $9 an hour has several competing explanations: It could be a tight labor market, a marketing ploy or pressure on minimum wages. In reality, all three factors probably played a role, but the strongest explanation is one that bodes well for workers, particularly low-skilled ones.

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    NEW YORK – Organic and natural produce retailer Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM) has benefited from Americans adopting healthier lifestyles and eating habits. Sprout's shares closed Wednesday at $37, up 9% for the year to date. Sprouts, headquartered in Phoenix, has built a name for itself in the high-growth specialty retail business.

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    * Total dividend 3.00 euros from 2.05 euros for 2013. * Plans $1 bln share buyback. * Sees better industry volumes in U.S., Mexico, China. * Q4 core profit $5.07 bln vs Reuters poll consensus of $5.30 bln. By Philip Blenkinsop.

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    * 53 pct expect to increase Saudi equity allocations * Saudi Arabia to open market to foreigners in coming months * Has benefitted from oil's rebound * Funds less optimistic on other stalled Gulf markets * Negative on Qatar as dividend season nears its end By Olzhas Auyezov DUBAI, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Middle East funds are increasingly positive towards Saudi Arabia's stock market as oil prices appear to be stabilising and the kingdom is preparing to open its bourse to direct foreign investment, a Reuters survey of regional asset managers shows. With its main stock index up 11.2 percent year-to-date, Saudi Arabia has outperformed all other major bourses in the Middle East, whose returns are mostly in the low single digits. In the February version of the monthly survey, 53 percent of respondents said they expected to increase their Saudi equity allocations in the next three months, while none intended to cut them. A month earlier, 40 percent planned to boost Saudi equity allocations and the rest expected them to be stable. Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority has said it plans to open the stock market to direct investment by foreign institutions in the first half of 2015. Analysts expect the opening to be gradual, with institutional investors permitted to enter into stages, so a sudden rush of funds into the market looks unlikely. But eventually the opening may help Saudi Arabia secure the status of an emerging market in global indexes, which could trigger heavy fund inflows. Another positive factor is oil, which appears to have bottomed out at $45 per barrel of Brent in January and has hovered around $60 in the last few weeks. This is providing support to heavily weighted petrochemical stocks. Although Saudi Arabia's state budget will be in deficit if oil stays at the current level, the government's fiscal reserves will allow it to keep spending heavily, as shown by King Salman's order late last month to pay two months' salary as a bonus to public servants. State-run companies have mirrored the move, prompting a rally in consumer-focused stocks. Thanks to their high concentrations of interest-free deposits, profit margins at Saudi Arabian banks may benefit when U.S. interest rate hikes expected later this year prompt rate rises in the Gulf, where currencies are pegged to the dollar. The Reuters survey of 15 leading Middle East investment professionals was conducted over the past 10 days. UAE, QATAR With all eyes on Saudi Arabia, fund managers are somewhat less optimistic about other Gulf stock markets and have become temporarily negative on Qatar. Thirty-three percent of respondents expect to increase their United Arab Emirates allocations and 7 percent plan to cut them. In January, the percentages were 47 and 13 respectively. With its large exposure to the real estate sector, Dubai's bourse in particular may be vulnerable to interest rate rises starting later this year. UAE markets "have been trading in a tight horizontal range on low volumes, which indicates many of the institutions and high net worth individuals are adopting a wait-and-see approach till first-quarter results to see what the effect of lower oil prices will be on companies' profits in 2015," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director at Abu Dhabi's NBAD Securities. However, he added that he believed that "the second quarter will see more activity and the breaking of the trading range." In Qatar, 33 percent of respondents expect to reduce allocations and 20 percent see them increasing. A month earlier, fund managers were neutral, with 20 percent planning to increase allocations and 20 percent expecting to cut them. With its relatively generous dividends, Qatar usually attracts investors in December and January, but a substantial number then leave after receiving their payouts. Overall, 27 percent of respondents expect to raise their equity allocations to the Middle East in the next three months, down from 33 percent in the previous survey. At the same time, the number of managers planning to cut their total equity allocations has fallen to 13 percent from 20 percent. In the latest survey, only 7 percent expect to raise fixed income allocations, down from 13 percent a month ago; in both surveys, 27 percent of respondents said they expected to reduce them. "Middle East fixed income spreads are currently at the tighter end of historical levels, driven primarily by net negative issuance and liquidity in the banking system," Abu Dhabi-based Invest AD commented. "We expect the markets will remain technical over the next three months, and due to the already very tight spreads, our overall fixed income allocation to the Middle East will decrease." SURVEY RESULTS 1) Do you expect to increase/decrease/keep the same your overall equity allocation to the Middle East in the next three months? INCREASE - 4 DECREASE - 2 SAME - 9 2) Do you expect to increase/decrease/keep the same your overall fixed income allocation to the Middle East in the next three months? INCREASE - 1 DECREASE - 4 SAME - 10 3) Do you expect to increase/decrease/keep the same your equity allocations to the following countries in the next three months? a) United Arab Emirates INCREASE - 5 DECREASE - 1 SAME - 9 b) Qatar INCREASE - 3 DECREASE - 5 SAME - 7 c) Saudi Arabia INCREASE - 8 DECREASE - 0 SAME - 7 d) Egypt INCREASE - 6 DECREASE - 1 SAME - 8 e) Turkey INCREASE - 1 DECREASE - 2 SAME - 12 f) Kuwait INCREASE - 4 DECREASE - 2 SAME - 9 NOTE - Institutions taking part in the survey are: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development; Invest AD; Ahli Bank Oman; Al Mal Capital; Al Rayan Investment LLC; Amwal Qatar; Arqaam Capital; Emirates NBD; Global Investment House; National Bank of Abu Dhabi; NBK Capital; Rasmala Investment Bank; Schroders Middle East; Securities and Investment Co of Bahrain; Union National Bank. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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    NEW YORK –- Investors in alcoholic beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD)  are toasting the profits they've earned so far in 2015. But after outperforming the market in the past six months and 12 months, valuation concerns have arisen about the Budweiser and Michelob brewer. Shares of the Leuven, Belgium-based company are up almost 11% year to date, beating the broader averages.

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    It's no secret that social media stocks are overvalued now, especially if you look at the fundamentals. The whole valuation basis of these companies rests on the assumption that their rapidly growing numbers of users can, sometime soon, be leveraged to lure in a massive amount of advertising revenue.

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    The stock indexes closed moved higher on Wednesday, although they closed off of the day's high. What appears to be of more importance from a risk management standpoint is the lack of volume, especially in the S&P 500 Trust Series ETF , Wednesday saw another new low-volume day following the new low-volume day on Tuesday. This will gain more importance once the stock indexes start to sell off.

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    The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted rules to protect an open Internet by prohibiting pay-to-play fast lanes that could favor the traffic of some companies and users above others. "The action that we take today is an irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one, whether government or corporate, should control free and open access to the Internet," Wheeler said.

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    Starz  CEO Chris Albrecht spoke of controlling shareholder and media mogul John Malone's growing appreciation for content on Wednesday while hinting on a conference call with investors that a merger with  Lions Gate Entertainment   makes sense for both companies.

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    Of the four-year presidential cycle, pre-election year tends to be the best, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average averaging a 16% return in those years and the S&P 500 doing slightly better. It's "generally a very positive year," said Jeffrey Hirsch, editor-in-chief at Stock Trader's Almanac.

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     Weak oil prices are causing energy companies to slash spending and rethink how they conduct business. With shares, at $43.55, up more than 15.5% for the year to date, the El Paso,Texas company has outperformed the 1.3% gain in the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund, which includes Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron.

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    Correction: Corrects stock movement percentage in the second paragraph. SeaDrill  and the other offshore drilling contractors that provide production services to the oil and gas industry have been some of the hardest-hit stocks because of low oil prices. SeaDrill, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, will report fourth-quarter and full-year results Thursday before the open.

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     . AMC Networks (AMCX), creator of The Walking Dead, may finally be walking the walk of a company looking to making a deal. The appointment earlier this month of Gregg Seibert, a former Merrill Lynch media investment banker, as AMC's vice chairman is stoking speculation that the New York-based cable-TV operator may be preparing for a sale.