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  Friday, 2 May 2014 | 8:36 AM ET

Chart: What’s the real unemployment rate?

Posted By: CNBC.com staff

The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in April—but does that rate tell the real story?

A number of economists look past the "main" unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "U-6," which it defines as "total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers."

Read MoreWhat millenials don't know about the job market

In other words, the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged — a rate that still remains high.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 | 1:09 PM ET

Apple to get bruised? What history shows

Posted By: Katie Little

Apple's quarterly report following the closing bell could send shares sharply lower Thursday even if the company hits earnings estimates—if history is any guide.

During the past 20 quarters, the company's seen an average bump of 0.4 percent the day after it delivers quarterly results, according to FactSet data.

While this average seems like a tepid reaction, most second-day moves have been on the sharper side. Interestingly, during this period, the majority of the company's steepest declines have been over the past two years.

In Apple's case, even an earnings beat doesn't necessarily translate into content investors. Of the past eight quarters, six have seen negative day-after stock swings despite Apple only falling short of earnings forecasts twice. During the past 20, Apple missed earnings forecast three times, but second-day share reaction was negative nine times.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 1:21 PM ET

Chart: Who's using all that nat gas in the US?

Posted By: Javier E. David

By all accounts, the U.S. is putting its surging natural gas stockpiles to good use.

The Energy Information Administration recently compiled data showing who exactly is using nat gas, and how much. The world's largest economy consumed more than 26 trillion cubic feet of the energy source last year, a modest 2 percent rise from the year prior. That represents more than 71 billion cubic feet worth of gas that gets used in the average day.

»Read more
  Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 | 8:00 AM ET

Why billions are pouring into blockbuster funds

Posted By: Robert J. Martorana is a CFA and portfolio manager of Right Blend Investing

In recent years the asset management industry has witnessed the rise of mutual funds and ETFs that dominate sales for their category. The key factors that create a blockbuster are brand, category demand, distribution prowess and investment performance.

Demand is also being driven by subtle trends in distribution. Most mutual funds are bought by intermediaries, such as advisors, 401(k) plans, insurance companies, etc. So it is important to monitor changes within the asset management industry that are leading to blockbuster products.

For example, most brokerage firms and other large wealth managers have been winnowing their recommended lists and model portfolios and are focusing resources on a few best-of-breed managers in each category. As intermediaries consolidate their lists, big funds get bigger.

Read MoreAre smart beta ETFs really a free lunch?

»Read more
  Monday, 7 Apr 2014 | 1:22 PM ET

2 charts tell the whole story of value vs growth

Posted By: Alex Rosenberg

On an unpleasant few days for the market, the worst performers have been the growth-oriented stocks that have been leading stocks higher. And according to Sterne Agee chief market technician Carter Worth, the turnaround in market leadership is just getting started.

Stocks fall as investors shed high-profile names

On CNBC's "Options Action," Worth on Friday presented a chart comparing three different groups of stocks: the Russell 2000, the index's growth names, and the index's value-oriented stocks. This elegant charting technique allows him to compare the moves in growth stocks to the moves in value stocks while quieting the action of the index as a whole.

»Read more
  Friday, 4 Apr 2014 | 8:36 AM ET

Chart: What’s the real unemployment rate?

Posted By: CNBC.com staff

The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was 6.7% in March—but does that rate tell the real story?

A number of economists look past the "main" unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "U-6," which it defines as "total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers."

In other words, the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged — a rate that still remains high.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 2 Apr 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Chart of the Day: PB&J's price surge

Posted By: Katie Little

As fans brown bag it Wednesday in honor of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, it turns out the childhood staple isn't quite the bargain it used to be.

Prices of two of the main ingredients have jumped during the last decade.

»Read more
  Monday, 31 Mar 2014 | 1:42 PM ET

Chart of the day: Top 5 cash hoarders

Posted By: Katie Little

Cash is king in America as nonfinancial companies hoard more cash than ever before, according a new report from Moody's Investors Service.

U.S. nonfinancial businesses rated by the firm sat on $1.64 trillion in cash at year-end, a 12-percent increase from the end of 2012.

Apple remains the top cash titan, accounting for 9.7 percent or $159 billion of the total cash last year, up from $137 billion the previous year. Interestingly, Apple's cash hoard is larger than the total amount of every sector, except tech and health care/pharma.

Microsoft, Google, Verizon Communications and Pfizer round out the top five for nonfinancial companies with the largest cash piles.

»Read more
  Friday, 7 Mar 2014 | 8:38 AM ET

Chart: What’s the real unemployment rate?

Posted By: Ben Berkowitz

The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in February—but does that rate tell the real story?

A number of economists look past the "main" unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "U-6," which it defines as "total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers."

In other words, the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged — a rate that still remains high.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Chart of the Day: Religious giving slides

As millions of Christians head to their local churches for Ash Wednesday, a report from Giving USA Foundation shows that donations made to religious organizations have slowed of late.

Americans gave religious organizations $101.54 billion in 2012, down just 0.2 percent from 2011—but that's a 2.2 percent decline when adjusted for inflation, the report showed. Still, religious organizations—mostly houses of worship—receive the largest share of total U.S. donations, claiming 32 percent of charitable dollars.

»Read more