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Investing Specialists

Morningstar Runs the Numbers

We take a numerical look through this week's Morningstar research. Plus, our most popular articles and videos for the week ended June 1.

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Inspired by Harper's Index (with a tip of the hat to FiveThirtyEight's Significant Digits blog), Morningstar Runs the Numbers uses a numbers-based approach to highlight recent Morningstar research, along with some outside news stories.

25%'s (CRM) first-quarter revenue rose 25% versus the prior-year period to $3.01 billion. The better than expected results reflected strong multiproduct deal flow in the quarter, said senior analyst Rodney Nelson. Salesforce continues to see strength across each of its major cloud properties, and Nelson was encouraged to see continued stability in sales cloud growth rates, as these deals typically lead to incremental application consumption as the customer relationship matures. Nelson is maintaining Salesforce's wide moat and positive moat trend ratings.

Having a high credit score saves you money. The primary factors that determine your FICO score are payment history (35%), the amount you owe (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and  types of credit use (10%). You can spruce up your credit score by improving on any of these factors. Here are seven ideas.

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in May, according to data from the Labor Department. The unemployment rate clocked in at 3.8%, the lowest level since early 2000. Much of the gains in May came from "deeply cyclical" sectors that tend to perform best late in the economic cycle, like manufacturing, which added 18,000 jobs, and transportation, which registered a 19,000 gain, The New York Times said; less economically sensitive sectors also kicked in last month, with healthcare employment rising by 29,000.

Director of personal finance Christine Benz celebrated her 25th anniversary at Morningstar this week. In this column, she reflects on the past 25 years and shares some of the key lessons she's learned: becoming a minimalist, focusing on the really important allocations, and talking about hard stuff.

It's often tempting for mutual fund investors to buy whatever has been doing well recently and to avoid funds that have lost money or lagged the market. But the most successful long-term investors (including the great Warren Buffett) have gotten where they are by learning to ignore the market's short-term fluctuations and by going against the crowd when it's appropriate. Here we highlight five large-cap stock funds that are currently out of favor but that still have a lot to offer investors.

There are lots of benefits to using 529s to save for future college costs. They are funded with aftertax dollars, which then grow tax-free. Withdrawals for qualified education expenses are also tax-free. On top of that, some states offer tax deductions or credits for contributions. These four 529 plans earn Gold medals, the highest rating awarded by our analysts.

Most Popular Articles 

Most Popular Videos  

Most Requested Stock Quotes
Berkshire Hathaway
General Electric

Most Requested Fund Quotes
Vanguard 500 Index
Fidelity Contrafund
T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth

Most Requested ETF Quotes
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF
PowerShares QQQ
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.