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Tuesday, May 24

  1. page SMG1B edited Company Answers: 1. Why did Milton think his chocolate candy would sell? Milton believed he c…
    Company Answers:
    1. Why did Milton think his chocolate candy would sell?
    Milton believed he could make high quality milk chocolate for a price everyone could afford.
    (view changes)
    5:34 pm

Monday, April 18

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    Goals | Rubric | Assignment Due Dates | Additional Resources
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    Week in Review* - Apr 18
    Happy Emancipation Day! Last Friday anyway. Thanks to this little-known Washington, D.C. holiday that celebrates the freeing of slaves in the district, we enjoy three extra days to file our income taxes with Uncle Sam. While the official holiday isn’t until tomorrow, it is being observed today and under the official tax code, filing deadlines cannot fall on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. All procrastinators out there are rejoicing for the extra time! The last time an extension was granted for this reason was in 2007.
    While your Stock Market Game trading session may be nearing an end, April 29, many teams are surely asking for a prayer to turn their portfolios around. Perhaps now is the time to get into dividend paying stocks to ensure returns in a difficult market. According to Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist for LPL Financial, “a focus on yield makes a lot of sense in a low-returning and volatile market place. Prices tend to go up and down, but you can at least count on getting that regular dividend payment each quarter.” Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported there is no time is like the present as large companies are increasing their dividend payments by amounts previously unseen in history – to the tune of $16.6 billion. Since the beginning of 2011, 117 companies included in the S&P 500 announced they would begin dividend payments or raise their current payment. For the full article, be sure to click here.
    In terms of dividend payments in The Stock Market Game, to check whether or not a particular company offers a dividend payment, enter a ticker symbol on the “Enter a Trade” page of your team's portfolio. Click “Validate Ticker.” The company’s stock quote will appear. Click the ticker symbol to display the full stock quote. If a dividend is paid, the payment will appear beside the “Dividend” column. The payment date will also be listed, but you need to pay attention to the Ex. Date column, as this is the date by which the team must have owned the stock in order to receive the next dividend payment.
    Two-weeks left of trading!

    Week in Review* - Apr 11
    Is your team experiencing the end-of-the-year slump? Often I hear from teams with a positive return who continue to enjoy the project, but some teams have suffered losses needing some additional motivation. Read below.
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    4:01 am

Monday, April 11

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    Week in Review* - Apr 11
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    positive return who continue to enjoy the program,project, but some
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    suffered losses needneeding some additional motivationmotivation. Read below.
    As your team continuecontinues to select their portfolio investments, theyinvest in your portfolios, you may be
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    have your studentsteam rush to
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    them to theiryour portfolios (they can if they wish),(you can), but rather
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    sectors. Your studentsteam may be
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    then select theiryour own winners
    The list is compiled from the states with the largest number of SMG teams, so it’s not exhaustive, but it’s designed to give you a sneak peek at some of the best performing companies this semester. The list of the top five stocks and brief descriptions follow.
    Top Five Stock Market Game Stocks – Spring 2011 Company Ticker 1/3/2011 4/6/2011 Increase
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    4:24 am
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    As your team continue to select their portfolio investments, they may be interested in reviewing some stock picks that have experienced some incredible growth since early January. The goal of highlighting these companies is not to have your students rush to add them to their portfolios (they can if they wish), but rather to draw attention to possible trends within these companies’ industries and sectors. Your students may be able to then select their own winners based on further research.
    The list is compiled from the states with the largest number of SMG teams, so it’s not exhaustive, but it’s designed to give you a sneak peek at some of the best performing companies this semester. The list of the top five stocks and brief descriptions follow.
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    Spring 2011
    Company
    Company Ticker 1/3/2011
    5. VirnetX Holding Corp. VHS 14.42 25.88 79%
    4. Travelzoo Inc. TZOO 41.29 77.88 88%
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    4:14 am
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    Goals | Rubric | Assignment Due Dates | Additional Resources
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    Week in Review* - Apr 11
    Is your team experiencing the end-of-the-year slump? Often I hear from teams with a positive return continue to enjoy the program, but some teams have suffered losses need some additional motivation
    As your team continue to select their portfolio investments, they may be interested in reviewing some stock picks that have experienced some incredible growth since early January. The goal of highlighting these companies is not to have your students rush to add them to their portfolios (they can if they wish), but rather to draw attention to possible trends within these companies’ industries and sectors. Your students may be able to then select their own winners based on further research.
    The list is compiled from the states with the largest number of SMG teams, so it’s not exhaustive, but it’s designed to give you a sneak peek at some of the best performing companies this semester. The list of the top five stocks and brief descriptions follow.
    Top Five Stock Market Game Stocks – Spring 2011
    Company Ticker 1/3/2011 4/6/2011 Increase
    5. VirnetX Holding Corp. VHS 14.42 25.88 79%
    4. Travelzoo Inc. TZOO 41.29 77.88 88%
    3. Mercer International Inc. MERC 7.85 14.86 89%
    2. Weight Watchers International Inc. WTW 37.92 73.20 93%
    1. Technology Research Corporation TRCI 3.62 7.16 98%
    5. VirnetX Holding Corp.: an internet security software and technology company that owns a dozen US technology patents for establishing secure mobile Internet communications over the 4G network.
    4. Travelzoo Inc.: publishes discount offers, promotions, and related information provided by more than 2,000 travel companies. Airlines, car rental companies, cruise lines, hotels, and travel agencies pay the company to publicize fares and promotions on its website, through its Travelzoo Top 20 newsletter, and across its Newsflash e-mail alert service.
    3. Mercer International Inc.: one of the world's largest producers of virgin fiber (wood chips and pulpwood) and recycled fiber used by tissue and paper manufacturers.
    2. Weight Watchers International Inc.: one of the world’s leaders in providing weight management services, operating globally through a network of company-owned and franchise operations.
    And the winner is...
    1. Technology Research Corporation: the company makes ground fault protectors, portable leakage current interrupters, and other electrical safety products that protect people and equipment against electric shock and fires.

    Week in Review* - Apr 4
    Snow in April? The East Coast may be viewing the recent Nor’easter as a cruel April Fool’s joke this past Friday after one of the worst winters in history, but the markets seem to have a sunny disposition in light of the government’s stronger-than-expected jobs report released on Friday. The report, one of the most closely-watched economic indicators on Wall Street pushed stocks up higher in early trading as the number of jobs increased by 216,000 in March, significantly topping analysts’ forecasts. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.8% - its lowest level in two years. Now if only the weather would respond in kind.
    (view changes)
    4:08 am

Monday, April 4

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    Goals | Rubric | Assignment Due Dates | Additional Resources
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    Week in Review* - Apr 4
    Snow in April? The East Coast may be viewing the recent Nor’easter as a cruel April Fool’s joke this past Friday after one of the worst winters in history, but the markets seem to have a sunny disposition in light of the government’s stronger-than-expected jobs report released on Friday. The report, one of the most closely-watched economic indicators on Wall Street pushed stocks up higher in early trading as the number of jobs increased by 216,000 in March, significantly topping analysts’ forecasts. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.8% - its lowest level in two years. Now if only the weather would respond in kind.

    Week in Review* - Mar 28
    With the various projects coming to fruition, the SMG has been put on the side burner. But take heart! Soon a new round of weekly readings and challenges will be offered to excite your team's capitalist thirst for profit!
    Enough of the raw meat - some good news for the markets this week – the economy grew slightly faster at the end of 2010 than previously thought based on a Commerce Department report released last week. Gross domestic product (GDP), (NOTE: we get into this soon) the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised higher to an annual growth rate of 3.1% in the three months ending in December. It’s slightly better than economists expected and higher than the estimate made last month. Consumer spending and exports helped drive the overall number higher while the report also contained new information about strong corporate profits, which could be an encouraging sign for the job market going forward, so I've read. Additional signs of economic improvement include the government’s monthly jobs report, which showed the jobless rate slipped to a near two-year low in February. At the same time, it appears the Fed plans to continue supporting the economy through bond buying and keeping interest rates near zero for an extended period of time.
    While this recent report has helped push the markets into positive territory this morning, some economists have scaled back their growth forecasts in the current January-March quarter in light of recent global events and challenges. From the spike in oil prices fueled by political unrest in the Middle East to the natural disasters in Japan, U.S. auto and electronics industries could take a mighty hit as many U.S. companies rely on Japanese companies to manufacture parts. Your team has a lot to consider when deciding where to invest or sell and the current events provide some great discussion topics for all teams.
    (view changes)
    4:20 am

Friday, March 25

  1. page home edited ... Enough of the raw meat - some good news for the markets this week – the economy grew slightly …
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    Enough of the raw meat - some good news for the markets this week – the economy grew slightly faster at the end of 2010 than previously thought based on a Commerce Department report released last week. Gross domestic product (GDP), (NOTE: we get into this soon) the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised higher to an annual growth rate of 3.1% in the three months ending in December. It’s slightly better than economists expected and higher than the estimate made last month. Consumer spending and exports helped drive the overall number higher while the report also contained new information about strong corporate profits, which could be an encouraging sign for the job market going forward, so I've read. Additional signs of economic improvement include the government’s monthly jobs report, which showed the jobless rate slipped to a near two-year low in February. At the same time, it appears the Fed plans to continue supporting the economy through bond buying and keeping interest rates near zero for an extended period of time.
    While this recent report has helped push the markets into positive territory this morning, some economists have scaled back their growth forecasts in the current January-March quarter in light of recent global events and challenges. From the spike in oil prices fueled by political unrest in the Middle East to the natural disasters in Japan, U.S. auto and electronics industries could take a mighty hit as many U.S. companies rely on Japanese companies to manufacture parts. Your team has a lot to consider when deciding where to invest or sell and the current events provide some great discussion topics for all teams.
    By ththe way, do
    Below are three companies that have recently announced stock splits as well as a short description of each:
    Lear (NYSE: LEA): 2-1 ratio split: designs and manufactures complete automotive seat systems.
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    1:21 pm
  2. page home edited ... {hot-stocks-01.jpg} Week in Review* - Mar 28 ... the various project projects coming t…
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    Week in Review* - Mar 28
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    the various projectprojects coming to
    Enough of the raw meat - some good news for the markets this week – the economy grew slightly faster at the end of 2010 than previously thought based on a Commerce Department report released last week. Gross domestic product (GDP), (NOTE: we get into this soon) the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised higher to an annual growth rate of 3.1% in the three months ending in December. It’s slightly better than economists expected and higher than the estimate made last month. Consumer spending and exports helped drive the overall number higher while the report also contained new information about strong corporate profits, which could be an encouraging sign for the job market going forward, so I've read. Additional signs of economic improvement include the government’s monthly jobs report, which showed the jobless rate slipped to a near two-year low in February. At the same time, it appears the Fed plans to continue supporting the economy through bond buying and keeping interest rates near zero for an extended period of time.
    While this recent report has helped push the markets into positive territory this morning, some economists have scaled back their growth forecasts in the current January-March quarter in light of recent global events and challenges. From the spike in oil prices fueled by political unrest in the Middle East to the natural disasters in Japan, U.S. auto and electronics industries could take a mighty hit as many U.S. companies rely on Japanese companies to manufacture parts. Your team has a lot to consider when deciding where to invest or sell and the current events provide some great discussion topics for all teams.
    (view changes)
    1:20 pm
  3. page home edited ... Goals | Rubric | Assignment Due Dates | Additional Resources {hot-stocks-01.jpg} Week in R…
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    Goals | Rubric | Assignment Due Dates | Additional Resources
    {hot-stocks-01.jpg}
    Week in Review* - Mar 28
    With the various project coming to fruition, the SMG has been put on the side burner. But take heart! Soon a new round of weekly readings and challenges will be offered to excite your team's capitalist thirst for profit!
    Enough of the raw meat - some good news for the markets this week – the economy grew slightly faster at the end of 2010 than previously thought based on a Commerce Department report released last week. Gross domestic product (GDP), (NOTE: we get into this soon) the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised higher to an annual growth rate of 3.1% in the three months ending in December. It’s slightly better than economists expected and higher than the estimate made last month. Consumer spending and exports helped drive the overall number higher while the report also contained new information about strong corporate profits, which could be an encouraging sign for the job market going forward, so I've read. Additional signs of economic improvement include the government’s monthly jobs report, which showed the jobless rate slipped to a near two-year low in February. At the same time, it appears the Fed plans to continue supporting the economy through bond buying and keeping interest rates near zero for an extended period of time.
    While this recent report has helped push the markets into positive territory this morning, some economists have scaled back their growth forecasts in the current January-March quarter in light of recent global events and challenges. From the spike in oil prices fueled by political unrest in the Middle East to the natural disasters in Japan, U.S. auto and electronics industries could take a mighty hit as many U.S. companies rely on Japanese companies to manufacture parts. Your team has a lot to consider when deciding where to invest or sell and the current events provide some great discussion topics for all teams.
    By th way, do you get the idea of a stock split?. A stock split refers to a corporate action that increases (or decreases) the number of shares in a public company. A 2-for-1 stock split, for example, doubles the number of outstanding shares and divides the price by two. If you own 100 shares of a stock selling at $50 a share, for a total value of $5,000, and the company`s directors authorize a 2-for-1 split, you would own 200 shares priced at $25, with the same total value of $5,000. While 2-for-1 splits are the most common, stocks can be also be split 3-for-1, 10-for-1, or any other combination. In addition, a company can reverse the process and consolidate shares to reduce their number by authorizing a reverse stock split.
    Below are three companies that have recently announced stock splits as well as a short description of each:
    Lear (NYSE: LEA): 2-1 ratio split: designs and manufactures complete automotive seat systems.
    FMC Tech (NYSE: FTI): 2-1 ratio split: designs and manufactures products such as subsea production and processing systems.
    Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF): 3-2 ratio split: a regional brokerage and investment banking firm based in St. Louis.
    It`s basically an accounting procedure. Instead of a $20 bill in your wallet, you now have two $10 bills. If a stock split simply rearranges the numbers, why do companies do them? The typical reasons include: making the stock appear cheaper than it really is (to encourage more buyers); to increase liquidity; to meet stock exchange listing requirements; and to express a bullish management attitude.

    Week in Review* - Mar 14
    It might be a rough start to a tough week as global markets continue to respond negatively after the massive earthquake and tsunami slammed Japan. An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan last Friday, triggering tsunami and prompting the US and nineteen other countries to issue tsunami warnings. Google was quick to respond by launching the Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake a web tool for listing and finding missing people in Japan. The disaster comes on the heels of continued concern about volatile global political unrest such as the ongoing civil war in Libya and planned anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia (They fizzled out). European markets such as the British FTSE 100, the DAX in Germany, and France’s CAC all dropped this Friday morning along with the Asian markets which fell sharply. Investors were shying away from stocks and crude oil, while the dollar, considered a safe haven by global investors, rose sharply against the euro and the U.K. pound. Economists are urging caution saying it is too soon to speculate the possible impact of the tsunami. In light of these recent global events and their impact on the markets, it may be a good time to consider investing in bonds. There is a super section on the portfolio page (tab) that explains bonds in detail. Here is why your team might want to consider bonds - when the stock market is on a roller-coaster ride, bonds can help steady a portfolio because they’re a safe investment tool to help balance the overall risk in a portfolio. In essence, bonds are loans investors make to the issuers in return for the promise of being paid interest, usually but not always at a fixed rate, over the loan term. The issuer also promises to repay the loan principal at maturity, on time and in full. While bonds have a reputation as a dull investment in part because they are less volatile than stocks and produce a lower long-term return, their appeal has risen due to the current economic climate as they provide a great financial “buffer.” While all bonds share basic characteristics such as terms, rates, and par values (the face value, or named value of the bond – usually $1,000), they are not all alike. One of the major differences is that they’re issued or sold, by four distinct entities in the U.S. Corporations issue bonds to raise money for expansion, research and development, and other expenses of doing business. While corporations can also raise money by selling new stocks, they may prefer bonds because the existing stocks lose value when new stocks are issued. Municipal governments, such as states and cities, sell bonds called “munis” to fund projects for the public good like building bridges, sewers, roads, and schools. The U.S. Treasury also issues bonds to meet its regular and unusual obligations. And finally, government agencies issue bonds to raise money to do their work, such as provide mortgages as well as student loans.
    (view changes)
    1:19 pm

Friday, March 11

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    Goals | Rubric | Assignment Due Dates | Additional Resources
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    Week in Review* - Mar 14
    It might be a rough start to a tough week as global markets continue to respond negatively after the massive earthquake and tsunami slammed Japan. An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan last Friday, triggering tsunami and prompting the US and nineteen other countries to issue tsunami warnings. Google was quick to respond by launching the Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake a web tool for listing and finding missing people in Japan. The disaster comes on the heels of continued concern about volatile global political unrest such as the ongoing civil war in Libya and planned anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia (They fizzled out). European markets such as the British FTSE 100, the DAX in Germany, and France’s CAC all dropped this Friday morning along with the Asian markets which fell sharply. Investors were shying away from stocks and crude oil, while the dollar, considered a safe haven by global investors, rose sharply against the euro and the U.K. pound. Economists are urging caution saying it is too soon to speculate the possible impact of the tsunami. In light of these recent global events and their impact on the markets, it may be a good time to consider investing in bonds. There is a super section on the portfolio page (tab) that explains bonds in detail. Here is why your team might want to consider bonds - when the stock market is on a roller-coaster ride, bonds can help steady a portfolio because they’re a safe investment tool to help balance the overall risk in a portfolio. In essence, bonds are loans investors make to the issuers in return for the promise of being paid interest, usually but not always at a fixed rate, over the loan term. The issuer also promises to repay the loan principal at maturity, on time and in full. While bonds have a reputation as a dull investment in part because they are less volatile than stocks and produce a lower long-term return, their appeal has risen due to the current economic climate as they provide a great financial “buffer.” While all bonds share basic characteristics such as terms, rates, and par values (the face value, or named value of the bond – usually $1,000), they are not all alike. One of the major differences is that they’re issued or sold, by four distinct entities in the U.S. Corporations issue bonds to raise money for expansion, research and development, and other expenses of doing business. While corporations can also raise money by selling new stocks, they may prefer bonds because the existing stocks lose value when new stocks are issued. Municipal governments, such as states and cities, sell bonds called “munis” to fund projects for the public good like building bridges, sewers, roads, and schools. The U.S. Treasury also issues bonds to meet its regular and unusual obligations. And finally, government agencies issue bonds to raise money to do their work, such as provide mortgages as well as student loans.

    Week in Review* - Mar 6
    While the clock is ticking on hammering out an NFL deal, much of Wall Street remains focused on the rising cost of oil (blame Libya). Despite scoring its best one-day rally in three months on Thursday due to upbeat employment news, markets retreated this morning as investors question whether political upheaval in the oil-producing world will undermine this country’s shaky economic recovery. Crude oil prices jumped 2.2% in afternoon trading on reports of continuing unrest in Libya and news of protests planned in Saudi Arabia. But one person who seems to be optimistic is Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke. On Tuesday, Bernanke told Congress that rising oil prices will cause only a brief and modest rise in consumer inflation.
    (view changes)
    11:25 am

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