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Investing in cheap stocks can seem fail-proof. And to be sure, the underlying logic is sound.

Early investors should seek out equities that are fundamentally undervalued, and others will follow as the strength of said equities becomes more apparent. Then the underlying equity rises in price concurrently with demand and investors benefit via price appreciation. 

But the world doesn’t work in such easily identifiable patterns. If it — or at least,  the investment world as a microcosm of the larger world — did, then Benjamin Graham would be all the rage on Wall Street. Further, many of the growth stocks that dominate our daily media headlines wouldn’t receive much investment interest, because these stocks are anything but “cheap”. 

Which leads me to my next point, or rather a question: how can investors objectively define a subjective term like cheap? After

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With the market up near all-time highs, it’s getting hard to find cheap stocks, but you can do it if you look in the right places. Right now, that includes retail landlords like Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) and Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), as well as net lease player W.P. Carey (NYSE: WPC). The first two will probably take a strong stomach to own, but the third is a real estate investment trust (REIT) even the most conservative investor could easily love. Here’s a quick rundown on each.

A giant in the hard-hit mall sector

Simon Property Group owns around 200 enclosed malls and outlet centers. The coronavirus has not been kind to its business, with the REIT collecting just 85% of the rent owed in the third quarter. Funds from operations (FFO), which is like earnings for an industrial company, was off by 33% year over year

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Like many businesses, Mastercard (NYSE:MA) has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising unemployment and social distancing measures have reduced consumer spending in many key markets, from entertainment to travel. As a result, Mastercard’s revenue has dropped over 10% during the first nine months of 2020. But for investors willing to see past the present, Mastercard’s culture of innovation and operational excellence positions the company for strong growth in the years ahead. Here are three reasons why Mastercard looks set to succeed.

A woman sitting on a bed next to a backpack holds a credit card in one hand and a phone in the other.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. An enormous market opportunity

During Mastercard’s most recent Investment Community Meeting, management detailed the company’s $235 trillion opportunity, which spans three distinct payment markets. 

Person-to-Merchant (P2M)

Business-to-Business (B2B)

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Disbursements

Total Global Opportunity

$50 trillion

$125 trillion

$60 trillion

$235 trillion

Astonishingly, card-based transactions currently account for only $30 trillion (roughly 13%) of all payments, while cash and checks still

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UPDATE: Starbucks confirmed the gift card deal will go live at 1 p.m. ET Monday. See more details below.

Favorite coffee shop closed? Here’s how to make a great cup of coffee from home

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Coffee lovers, take note: Starbucks has Cyber Monday deals, too.

This year, the Seattle-based coffee giant has two one-day-only deals, Monday, Nov. 30, both involving freebies.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Starbucks Rewards members who buy a grande or larger handcrafted beverage on the app using mobile order Monday will get a free drink coupon to redeem the following week, between Dec. 7-13.



a close up of a bottle next to a cup of coffee: Starbucks' holiday drinks and red cups are back to get you in the holiday spirit.


© Provided by USA TODAY
Starbucks’ holiday drinks and red cups are back to get you in the holiday spirit.

According to the fine print, the one-time offer is not valid on purchases of hot brewed coffee or

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From June, the FTSE 100 index zigzagged downwards, losing ground as rising Covid-19 infections worried investors. By Halloween, the Footsie had dropped 590 points — almost a tenth (9.6%) — as share prices drifted downwards. Then came a near-record month, with cheap shares staging a massive comeback and the FTSE 100 leaping by almost an eighth (12.4%) in November. However, not all stocks rose in this relief rally, with several quality companies lagging behind.

Bottom-fishing for cheap shares

From early June until today, 29 FTSE 100 members have seen their share prices decline. The worst performer has crashed by almost a quarter (24.1%), while the best of these 29 losers had its share price dip by just 0.3%. Overall, the average decline among these laggards is 9%, with 12 stocks recording higher falls than this. I see this ‘dirty dozen’ as fertile ground for bottom-fishing — finding unloved and cheap

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Buy Local Gift Card website helps Region residents support local businesses

When doing your holiday shopping, it’s easy to grab gift cards from Starbucks, Target and other big corporate chains.

But if you’re looking to support local businesses rooted in your own community — the business owners who are your neighbors, who sponsor your kid’s Little League team, and who you ask to donate to your church’s fundraiser — there’s now an easy way to do so.

Lee Enterprises, which owns The Times of Northwest Indiana and other daily newspapers across the country, rolled out Buy Local websites in all its markets this year to help people support local businesses in their own communities. The platform showcases local shops and merchants that are selling gift cards that would make perfect gifts this holiday season.

It includes gift cards from locally owned stores and restaurants from across the Region, including Gamba Ristorante in Merrillville, White Rhino in Dyer, Revolution Valparaiso, Dixon’s Florist

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“Verizon’s strategic position isn’t nearly so dire as AT&T’s.”


Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images


Verizon Communications

shares received a boost Wednesday from MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett, who lifted his rating on the telecom giant to Buy from Neutral and changed his price target on the stock to $66 from $59.

His core thesis is that with the stock trading at just half of the broader market’s price/earnings ratio,

Verizon

shares (ticker: VZ) are “simply too cheap.”

Moffett isn’t exactly a raging bull on Verizon, but he does see room for the stock to gain ground from here, even as the company continues to lose market share to

T-Mobile US

(TMUS), which he continues to recommend. He also maintains his Sell rating on

AT&T

(T), which he sees as losing market share to both of its rivals and which is hampered by considerable leverage.

Moffett notes that T-Mobile’s combination

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The defense sector has been one of the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, not least because of huge cuts to government spending. At the end of October, the sector’s average price-to-earnings ratio hit a 20-year relative low against the European market, according to JPMorgan.

But sentiment on the sector started to turn last month when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country’s biggest defense investment since the end of the Cold War.

Johnson has promised an extra £16.5 billion in addition to the annual budget, which is almost £41.5 billion, or $55.4 billion, for this financial year.

The announcement of the UK’s increased spending, combined with the outlook for Europe and the US, has fed into JPMorgan analysts’ positive view on the defense-and-aerospace sector.

As part of JPMorgan’s Europe and Global equity outlook released Monday, the equity analyst David Perry provided insight into the sector exploring the current

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Yext YEXT provides a relatively simple, yet vital service at a time when nearly all information is available digitally. The tech company helps its clients ensure that their digital footprints provide accurate factual information about their businesses or organization.

Yext stock has climbed roughly 100% since early April and even though it trades for under $20 a share, it still rests well below its 2018 highs. Yext shares have also jumped during the last several sessions heading into its third quarter earnings release that’s due out after the market closes on Thursday, December 3.

Staying on Brand & Message

Yext aims to help businesses provide people with “dynamic answers and clear calls-to-action wherever they search.” The firm, which went public in 2017, also aims to reduce “data discrepancies, manual work, and support costs across your teams and internal systems.”

The ability to consistently provide the most up-to-date and accurate information

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Shoppers Who Shun Credit Cards Will Still Borrow $20 for Candy

Consumers are flocking to buy-now, pay-later offers as online shopping surges in response to the pandemic. Soaring unemployment has left struggling consumers looking for ways to pay without busting their budgets. That has prompted a surge in interest in options that let consumers split up their purchases into smaller payments. Afterpay and its rivals—brands like Klarna and Sezzle and Quadpay—are now featured across thousands of merchants’ websites, with small ads popping up as consumers check out, encouraging them to pay off their purchases in installments. [Bloomberg]

PayPal Launches A New Crowdsourced Fundraising Platform, The Generosity Network

PayPal is expanding its fundraising efforts with the launch of the Generosity Network. The new Generosity Network lets people raise money for themselves, other individuals in need, or organizations like a small

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