After Market: China Contraction Fears Can't Hold Stocks Down

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Worries over China's economic outlook put downward pressure on U.S. stocks in the early going Monday, but the market bounced back to close slightly higher. A survey of Chinese manufacturing showed that it contracted for the fourth straight month in April, and by more than had been expected.

Still, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 17 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 3, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 14 points. The Dow had been down as much as 135 points this morning.

Target (TGT) fell 3½ percent after ousting its chairman and chief executive. He had been with the company for 35 years, but took the blame for a series of missteps including weakness with the retailer's online business and the massive data breach last year. Over the past year, Target shares have lost 15 percent.

JPMorgan (JPM) and Pfizer (PFE) also cut into the Dow's rise. JP Morgan fell 2½ percent on word that it expects revenue in the current period to fall by 20 percent from a year ago. That weighed on Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and other financial stocks.

Pfizer also fell 2½ percent as revenue fell short of expectations. The company continues to be hurt by patent expirations for key drugs.

On the upside, Apple (AAPL) gained 1½ percent. The stock is now trading above $600 a share for the first time in nearly a year-and-a-half. Over the past year, it's gained 33 percent, but is still well off its high of more than $700 a share.

BE Aerospace (BEAV) soared 9 percent. The company says it is "exploring alternatives" -- meaning it's putting itself on the auction block.

Biotechs Gilead Sciences (GILD), Biogen (BIIB), and Alexion (ALXN) each gained about 3 percent.

But fuel cell companies short-circuited on reports on heavy short-selling. Plug Power (PLUG) fell 10 percent and Ballard Power (BLDP) fell 7 percent.

Checking today's earnings-related movers:
  • Investors in chicken producer Tyson Foods (TSN) were squawking as the stock slid 10 percent after falling short of expectations.
  • Orbitz (OWW) fell 2½ percent after posting a quarterly loss.
  • And BroadSoft (BSFT) tumbled 20 percent on an earnings miss and a weak outlook.

Finally, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) gained 2 percent on a Raymond James "buy" rating.

And PerkinElmer (PKI), which provides technical services to the healthcare industry, rose 3-1/2 percent on a Janney Montgomery "buy" rating.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • The Commerce Department releases international trade data for March at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Allstate (ALL)
  • DirecTV (DTV)
  • Electronic Arts (EA)
  • FireEye (FEYE)
  • First Solar (FSLR)
  • Groupon (GRPN)
  • Hillshire Brands (HSH)
  • Marathon Oil (MRO)
  • Martha Stewart Omnimedia (MSO)
  • Office Depot (ODP)
  • Papa John's International (PZZA)
  • TripAdvisor (TRIP)
  • UBS (UBS)
  • Walt Disney (DIS)
  • Whole Foods Market (WFM)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

7 Simple Habits to Save a Pretty Penny (or $100)
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After Market: China Contraction Fears Can't Hold Stocks Down
Have you ever heard of the 30-day rule? As a frugal guy, this is one of my favorite rules in spending. If you’re about to spend any more than $20 on something that is unnecessary, don’t. Instead, put the item down and wait 30 days to buy it. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save by not making unnecessary frivolous purchases.
I literally mean freeze your credit cards. It seems a bit extreme, but think of it this way. The average credit card comes with a 13 percent or higher interest rate. By simply not using credit cards as often, you’ll save a ton. So, get a plastic sandwich bag and put your credit cards in it. Fill it with water, zip it up and throw it in the freezer. Without easy access to those tempting pieces of plastic, you probably won’t use them as much. However, they’ll still be around -- in an emergency, you can retrieve them from the ice.
Have you ever looked around your house, seen a few items and thought, “I could have made that!” You probably could have. The only thing is, you didn’t. Instead you paid for it. From now on, before you buy something you think you can make on your own, give it a shot. I saved a little over a hundred bucks about two weeks ago. I needed a new bird cage for my fiancé’s doves. Instead of buying a cage for $200, I made one that was far bigger for less than $80.
Did you know that a clean air filter in your car can lead to 7 percent more fuel efficiency? That means at current gas prices, with a clean air filter, you’ll save about $100 a year, if you drive the average 10,000 miles.
How often on the way home from the office do you want to stop for a convenient quick meal? You’ve had a long day, and it feels justified. But it costs much more than a home-cooked meal. The answer is your slow cooker. Use it to prepare your meal in the morning on days you know will be rough. This way, you can skip the fast food and rush home to an already ready home-cooked meal.

Do you pay a maintenance fee for your bank account? Why? Tons of banks offer checking and savings accounts without them. Look to your local credit union or even switch to an online bank. When comparing your options, also look at the interest you can earn. Currently, I get about 3 percent on checking and about 3.4 percent on savings, but who knows what kind of great deals you can find?

I’ve had tons of options to sign up for customer rewards programs and I was just too busy. So, I didn’t sign up. Then one day, I realized that I was paying for rewards I wasn’t getting. The cost of the rewards obviously trickles down to the end consumer. So, if the end consumer doesn’t take part, he or she loses money in the process. Since I’ve signed up for every reward program around me, I’ve saved at least 20 or 30 bucks a month in rewards.

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