Tyson Foods (TSN) is recalling 75,000 pounds of chicken nuggets, after customers found small bits of plastic inside. No illnesses have been reported, but the company is advising that if you still have one of the contaminated five-pound bags in your freezer, throw it away. Call the company's toll free line, 800-328-3156, with any questions. The nuggets were sold at Sam's Club.
Stocks could be at a key turning point.
A number of Wall Street pros believe the market is in a dangerous position. After the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) hit record highs last week, we saw a big sell-off on Friday despite some more good economic news.
Many of the stocks that ran up the fastest last year and earlier this year, have been taking a beating. Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN), Tesla Motors (TSLA) and a long list of other so-called momentum stocks have tumbled by 20 percent or more from their recent high. Many investors now see them as overvalued.
For the 5-year-old bull market to continue, these stocks will need to stabilize, and investors will have to rotate into a new group of favored stocks. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Compounding the problem, a new earnings season begins tomorrow and any disappointments could lead to heavy selling.
Here on Wall Street last week, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 0.6 percent, coming within a whisker of the all-time closing high several times. The S&P 500 added 0.4 percent, but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 0.7 percent.
MasterCard (MA) has swiped a big account. Walmart's (WMT) co-branded credit card will switch to MasterCard, beginning this summer, ending a relationship with Discover Card (DFS). But if you have one of those Discover cards, don't worry -- they'll still work. And Walmart is still at war with Visa (V), the nation's largest credit card company. The retailer sued Visa last month, seeking more than $5 billion for allegedly violating anti-trust rules with its swipe fees.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
7 Tax Tips for Investors
Money Minute: Tyson Recalls Tainted Nuggets; Are Stocks Overpriced?
The 1099 forms you received from brokerages and other financial institutions might not be the last ones they send. It's common for them to issue corrected versions a little later. Consider getting your tax return ready to go, then waiting until close to April 15 before submitting it. That way, you can incorporate any last-minute changes and avoid having to file an amended return.
Pay attention to when you sell any holding, because the capital gains tax rates differ for long-term and short-term holdings. Short-term capital gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate, which could top 30 percent. Long-term gains (those held for more than a year) get preferential rates, which are zero percent for those in low-income brackets and 15 percent for most of us.
If you own underwater stocks, consider selling them for a loss. You can use those losses to offset gains from other sales, reducing your taxes owed. You can always buy back the asset later, if you still believe in it -- just be sure to wait for 31 days to pass, to observe the "wash sale rule."
If you're planning to sell one or more holdings that will give you a really big gain, submit an amended W-4 form to increase your withholding, or send the IRS an estimated tax payment. Underpaying your taxes significantly during the year can lead to a penalty at tax time. You may be protected by a "safe harbor" provision, though, which can save you from having to jump through those hoops.
If you're planning to buy shares of a mutual fund, determine when it will distribute its dividends. Many funds do so near the end of the year, and when that happens, the fund's share price will drop by the amount of the distribution -- which is taxable to shareholders. It's better to just wait until after that payout to buy in.
Mutual funds with high turnover ratios (reflecting a lot of buying and selling in a fund) have expenses for these trades. It's worth favoring funds with low turnover ratios, especially index funds and index-tracking ETFs, which simply hold onto the mix of securities in a given index, without a lot of trading activity. (Index funds generally outperform their higher-turnover counterparts, too.)
Boost the power of your Individual Retirement Accounts by making your annual contributions early in the year, giving the funds more time to grow. Over decades, it can make a significant difference.