DJIA: 16,589.39  -65.38 (-0.39%) | NASDAQ: 4,802.596  -10.113 (-0.21%) | S&P 500: 1,983.47  -4.19 (-0.21%) Markets status unavailable

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    Speculating about the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate hike is always a popular past time, but it's likely to reach a fever pitch over the next few days. After a week of dizzying market swings on Wall Street, some are wondering whether the markets are just to jumpy to handle a rate increase.

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      When Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans a decade ago, the city's levees were unable to hold back water from Lake Pontchartrain, resulting in massive flooding. Now, 10 years and $18 billion later, levees have been rebuilt and new pumping stations are under construction. "We'll be able to pump an Olympic size swimming pool full in five seconds.

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    It's been a pretty brutal correction, right? The correction boiled down to being a growth scare, Rob Sechan, an institutional consultant for UBS Private Wealth Management, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" show. Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, pointed out that the volatility index has fallen more than 50% from this week's high and is now trading near $25.

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    Why the market selloff makes a September rate hike more compelling. The Federal Reserve says the timing of its first interest rate hike in nine years depends on the data, but that doesn't mean the Fed will be digging through the jobs, growth and inflation reports for the all-clear signal. Instead, the Fed will be doing what millions of people have been doing for the past couple of weeks: Watching the stock market.

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    Citing stagnant sales for the category but undoubtedly mindful of the public relations risks, Wal-Mart (WMT) announced on Wednesday that it will stop selling the AR-15 rifle and other semi-automatic weapons. The AR-15 rifles and other modern sporting rifles are sold at less than one-third of Wal-Mart's 4,588 U.S. stores.

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    The whiplash seen in stocks over the last week means your retirement savings strategy needs a little extra care. But with fears Social Security is running on empty and pensions hard to come by these days, there is a way to keep your income afloat, even if stocks drop.

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    A significant upward revision to U.S. second-quarter GDP growth to 3.7% from 2.3% was mostly driven by a change in all-important private domestic investment. It strains credulity to believe that private-sector capital allocators became meaningfully and sustainably more optimistic about reinvestment opportunities in the second quarter.

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    All the noise about whether the Federal Open Market Committee will start hiking interest rates in September or December could not be more irrelevant, because the Federal Reserve must raise interest rates to stay in sync with what the interest rate market has already done. After three decades of falling rates, the low arrived early this year, and rates have risen in impulsive manner ever since.

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    As Federal Reserve officials and central bankers from around the world gather for an annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., inflation will be in the spotlight. "Because Chair Janet Yellen is not attending, the focus of Jackson Hole will shift to inflation," said Michael Hanson, senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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    All the noise about whether the Federal Open Market Committee will start hiking interest rates in September or December could not be more irrelevant, because the Federal Reserve must raise interest rates to stay in sync with what the interest rate market has already done. After three decades of falling rates, the low arrived early this year, and rates have risen in impulsive manner ever since.

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    Any bounce or rally in the market should not be trusted. U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday after a failed attempt to rally from the Dow's worst three-day point decline, which is something we have not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis. The market had its first rally of the downtrend yesterday but it would be a big mistake to get bullish for new long-term investments at this point.

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    During its most recent quarter, Tiffany's & Co.   profit dipped 15%. In premarket trading this morning, shares of the luxury brand slipped more than 7%. With shares of Tiffany going down more than 20% this year, is now the time to buy? Here is Tiffany's stock recommendation, according to TheStreet Ratings,TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool.

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    Throughout this turbulent week, the stock market seemed to rise and fall on whatever was happening in China. And if proof were needed, the U.S. market has now erased all of its losses for the week -- Wall Street's way of saying "never mind."

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    The Chinese dragon is breathing a lot less fire these days, and the plunge in that nation's stocks over the past several sessions has been brutal for investors. But it should hardly come as a surprise. That doesn't mean gloom and doom for everyone, everywhere. Passive investment -- through vehicles like exchange-traded funds -- makes sense in plenty of market environments.

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    Sterling' caught in the crossfire' between the euro and the dollar. The British pound broke through several widely watched technical indicators Thursday on the way to a seven-week low, an incredible reversal from its highs earlier in the week, currency strategists said. On Tuesday, the British currency rose to $1.5820, its highest level against the dollar since late June.

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    Food stocks remain hot, TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Stop Trading" segment Thursday. Cramer, the co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, pointed to the recent earnings report from J.M. Smucker (SJM), which beat on EPS and revenue results and the stock is up nearly 7% as a result. The stock is now up 15.6% on the year to date, vastly outperforming the S&P 500's 4% drop in 2015.

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    Thanks to the market's summer swoon, investors may have a valuable opportunity to chow down on what was one of the hottest stocks earlier this year.