Investors are expected to scrutinize every word when Ben Bernanke discusses global imbalances at a Bundesbank lecture in Berlin at 11 a.m. EDT, looking for some clues before the U.S. central bank's rate-setting meeting Sept. 18.
This could affect today's pick:
Capital One Financial
, which is one of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S. and has created one of the most recognized brands worldwide with its highly successful and ingenious, "What's in your wallet?" marketing strategy.
Yet the secret to its success is more than just marketing. The company's national scale provides it access to valuable information on consumer spending trends, making it easier to develop cross-selling initiatives, plan new product and pricing strategies, and forecast market opportunities and risks.
Not many companies have access to such large-scale information. Capital One has nearly 50 million accounts worldwide, offering credit cards, loans and savings products. And with the acquisition of North Fork Bancorp and other established, regional banks, Capital One has expanded its ability to fund high-yield consumer loans.
In addition, Capital One is on
100 Best Companies to Work for list, it was named one of
100 Best Companies, and it made
Top 100 Most Innovative Companies list.
Recently, Morningstar raised its fair value estimate for Capital One to $115 per share from $87 to reflect profits since its last report and because lower-risk retail and commercial banking activities have increased the company's bottom line.
The stock closed at $62.79 on Monday, well off its 52-week high of $83.84, and despite continued market uncertainty regarding credit risk and the firm slashing guidance in August, I believe Capital One has been wrongfully penalized -- we are talking about a company with a forward P/E of 7.62, $11.44 billion in revenue, and a very comfortable $7 billion in cash on top of that.
Today, I will look to buy 10 March 50 (COFCJ) Capital One calls. I will use a limit order of $13.90, or better.
Game of Life
In life, smooth riding is often too good to be true. Bumps in the road come without warning, and before we know it, we're tossed off the road.
On this so-called road of life, even with the most accurate directions, we still seem to get lost. Roads wind in unexpected ways, and what lies behind the bend is unknown.
Most of the time, we drive around the bend, assuming the road continues to safety. There are times, however, that the road could stop, thereby pushing you off your route.
This happened to Ted Maki and his wife. As they were driving in their truck along I-90 in Minnesota, a bowling ball suddenly came crashing through the front windshield, knocking Ted unconscious and forcing the semi truck off the road, over the median, through a fence, and finally to a halt in a cornfield.
Ted broke three bones in his cheek, and severely bruised his right eye. Fortunately, his vision will not be permanently impaired, and he is expected to make a full recovery. Although the truck was damaged in the accident, both Ted and his wife are happy to still be here today.
Clearly, the unexpected can happen in the snap of a finger. Why would a bowling ball possibly be coming through a windshield? An afternoon drive turned into a life-threatening accident. This incident will leave an indelible mark on both of their lives. And like most other experiences in life that occur unexpectedly, the lesson to appreciate life is strongest.
Today represents the six-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Candle vigils will light up the country this evening, as we remember those who passed away six years ago. It feels like yesterday, and most of us can probably recall exactly where, when, and how we realized the tragedy of the day.
As we all know, the catastrophe didn't stop there. In fact, there will be no "end" to the effects of 9/11, as it will leave a permanent mark on our nation, both in the textbooks and in our memories.
The Players Club understands the unpredictability of life. By guaranteeing recurring cash flow to professional athletes, through our strategic partner, we strive to keep you on track, at least financially. While financial status is certainly not a recipe for happiness or success, it undoubtedly assists in getting back on route. Life inescapably puts us in vulnerable situations every minute of every day.
Sometimes, we can assess the risk and make a decision about our actions, but more often, we are hit without warning. Appreciate the joy of life, while remembering the undeniable instability of such, simultaneously.
Always remember: Life is a journey; enjoy the ride!
At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."