Apple is a market darling again
Apple is a market darling again

The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.


The market can do a very poor job of evaluating some picks, CNBC host Jim Cramer says.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 12:46PM
A model of a Boeing Co. 777-300 ER Dreamliner aircraft is displayed at the Singapore Airshow
© Seperi/Getty ImagesBy Lee Brodie, CNBC

CNBC host Jim Cramer always advocates doing your own research and drawing your own conclusions. This is why.

"There are times, such as now, when the market does a very poor job of valuing certain stocks", Cramer said. 

If you followed Street sentiment you might have avoided a number of stocks, and, in turn, missed out on opportunities to make money. 

"Let me give you some examples," he added.


Investors sense the industrial giant is fast becoming one of the biggest software firms on earth.

By Staff Jul 15, 2014 12:43PM

The General Electric logo is displayed during the company's 2010 annual meeting in Houston © Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Marc Courtenay, TheStreet 

General Electric (GE) keeps surprising investors in ways it hopes will build excitement and loyalty. Most recently it won the energy business of French engineering conglomerate Alstom, a deal that GE snatched from the jaws of its German competitor Siemens (SI).

But CEO Jeff Immelt is looking beyond that. He wants to make good on his plan to transform GE from a finance-focused labyrinth into a heavyweight of the industrial equipment universe. The Alstom transaction is just one component of that transformation.

By spinning off its credit card business, Synchrony Financial, via an initial public offering later this year GE lowers its dependence on profits from its finance division to a target of less than 25 percent by the beginning of 2016 from 45 percent in 2013.


Fund managers are hoarding equities, overlooking what even they admit are fairly lofty valuations.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 12:07PM
Credit: © H-Gall/Getty Images

Caption: A fund managerBy Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

Just how bullish are fund managers these days? 

So much so that they are aggressively positioning for a second-half upturn in the global economy, according to the latest survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, out Tuesday.

Among those global asset allocators surveyed, a net 61 percent are now overweight equities. That difference between those who are overweight versus those that are underweight is the survey's highest reading since early 2011, and the second-strongest response ever for the bank's monthly report that takes the pulse of fund managers.

Investors are willing to overlook what even they see as fairly lofty valuations, along with tail risks.  A net 21 percent of managers in the July survey regard stocks as overvalued, the survey’s highest reading since 2000. 


The drug industry is primed for huge growth in the next few years, and Warren Buffett is already investing in the company best positioned to take advantage.

By StreetAuthority Jul 15, 2014 11:44AM

Insurance Money © Comstock Images, JupiterimagesBy Ian Floyd, StreetAuthority

The global pharmaceutical industry is worth roughly $1 trillion. And when you look at the major players in this space -- Merck (MRK), Bayer (BAYRY), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and so on -- it's hard to imagine the industry growing at any sort of rate for investors to get excited about.

But a wave of change is quietly sweeping this industry. And investors who are aware of these developments have an opportunity to position themselves to profit ahead of the crowd.

It's no secret that many of the companies I just mentioned are facing some challenges. Before I tell you more about the opportunity, it's important to understand what those challenges are.

Big Pharma seemed unstoppable until a few years ago -- when three these trends began pushing the industry in a new direction:


In the real investing world, the situation is simple. Facebook is making a fortune, while Twitter is losing one.

By Jim Cramer Jul 15, 2014 11:42AM

The Twitter bird logo is on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. © Richard Drew/AP PhotoIs Facebook's (FB) stock better than Twitter's (TWTR)? Here's a question that has become a real battleground, that isn't really even a contested situation in the real world.

That's because Facebook is making a fortune and Twitter is losing a fortune. In the world of stocks, that's pretty much the only real salient piece of information you need. But in the world of Twitter -- or at least my bizarre, sometimes ridiculously contested Twitter feed -- it is irrelevant.

This weekend I lit up a firestorm on Twitter, talking about how advertisers tell me they like Twitter because they get promoted without ever having to pay Twitter anything and they like Facebook because even though they have to pay Facebook and pay it handily the results are fantastic.


The offerings range from pet insurers to medical billing companies.

By Benzinga Jul 14, 2014 5:44PM

Image: Stock market © Digital Vision/SuperStockBy William Hubbard

Nine initial public offerings are scheduled for the week of July 14, including Medical Transcription Billing (MTBC), which was previously expected to open last Thursday.

The two largest IPOs for the week are TerraForm Power (the latest spinoff of SunEdison (SUNE), and Trupanion, a pet insurance provider.

TerraForm is issuing 20.1 million shares between $19 and $21 to raise just over $400 million in SunEdison's second spinoff following SunEdison Semiconductor (SEMI). 

SunEdison Semiconductor's May IPO rose 15 percent in its first day of trading and 34 percent since inception.


With trouble in developed markets and yields on interest-bearing assets still paltry, these funds offer potential.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 4:27PM
Image: Earth encircled by money © Bob Jacobson/CorbisBy Jeff Reeves, MarketWatch

Last week, I listed concerns of a stock market correction in the U.S., including high valuations and a weaker-than-expected economy. Investors seemed to acknowledge those risks, as stocks drifted steadily lower on the week.

At the same time, European equities had a shock as the solvency of a major Portuguese bank was called into question. Shades of the 2011 European debt crisis spooked investors, and stocks across Europe slid.

With trouble in developed markets and yields on interest-bearing assets still paltry -- and perhaps threatening to drift even lower given recent trends with the 10-year Treasury -- then where is an investor to turn?

I say go global -- and start staking out a position in emerging markets. The valuations are much cheaper, the momentum is much better and there are some very attractive ETFs that allow you to play the upside potential in these volatile regions but with enough diversification to reduce your risk significantly.

Tags: TSM

The CEO of Reynolds American could soon hold enormous clout in how quickly the sector switches from combustible smokes to nicotine products.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 3:52PM
Credit: © Chris Keane/Reuters
Caption: Susan Cameron, president and CEO of Reynolds AmericanBy Mike Esterl, The Wall Street Journal

Longtime tobacco executive Susan Cameron (pictured), the chief executive of Reynolds American (RAI), is a former smoker who these days puffs, or "vapes," on electronic cigarettes.

That in itself is a hint as to the strategy behind her company's talks to acquire Lorillard (LO), which makes Newport cigarettes and Blu e-cigarettes.

The possible deal between Reynolds and Lorillard presents a historic opportunity to reshape the tobacco industry, pushing it more quickly into new avenues like electronic cigarettes, which use battery power to turn nicotine-laced liquid into vapor and one day could displace traditional smokes.


Take another look at some of those rules investors are supposed to abide by.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 3:04PM
Image: Stock investor © Tom Grill/CorbisBy Brett Arends, MarketWatch

At the start of the soccer World Cup a month ago, everyone knew, they just "knew," that Brazil was going to walk away with the tournament.

Brazil hadn't lost a major game at home in decades, said the experts.

The Brazilians had the best attack, the best defense, the best team -- the best everything, they said.

And these weren't just opinions. These were analyses. Quantitative Analysts had produced algorithms -- indeed, Proprietary Algorithms -- using vast quantities of data to prove their point. And if you can't trust a Proprietary Algorithm, what can you trust?

Really, what else was there to do but to prostrate ourselves in awe before the quants and begin chanting in worship once again "Algo akbur! Algo akbur!" -- "The Algorithm is Great! The Algorithm is Great!"

Oh well.


The chain adds the chocolate chip behemoth after discovering that most customers want dessert after a pie.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 2:19PM
Credit: © Pizza Hut via Twitter at
Caption: Pizza Hut’s Ultimate Hershey’s Chocolate Chip cookieBy Venessa Wong, Businessweek

After a Papa John's (PZZA) exec bragged about the popularity of its new pizza-size Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie, Pizza Hut has decided it, too, can make a big old cookie. 

On Monday, it launches an 8-inch chocolate chip cookie -- cut into eight triangular slices -- nationwide. It's the second Hershey-branded dessert on Pizza Hut's menu, joining Chocolate Dunkers. You can also get cinnamon sticks, as yet unbranded.

Pizza Hut has not always been on top of menu trends. It just launched barbecue pizza in May, long after Papa John's, Domino's (DPZ), and California Pizza Kitchen, and customers have not been impressed with its latest efforts. 


They haven't given up on shares of builders, lenders and other related companies. Here's why.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:57PM
Image: © Burle/Triolo Productions/JupiterimagesBy Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch

There's a lot that's holding back U.S. home sales and construction rates.

Just ask Federal Reserve officials, who laid out a laundry list last week of factors behind the sluggish housing market.

To name just a few: Credit standards are strict, families are having trouble saving enough for high down payments, and costs are rising.

The housing market has been so disappointing for so long that many have lost hope for much improvement. But big investors say the recovery hasn't petered out and are holding onto shares of builders, lenders and other housing-related companies.

Here are three reasons that big investors are optimistic about the housing market:


'This is affecting the opportunity to make money,' a former Morgan Stanley executive laments.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:34PM
Credit: © Tetra Images/Getty Images

Caption: Empty trading desks with computers and phonesBy Katy Burne, Justin Baer and Saabira Chaudhuri, The Wall Street Journal

UBS' (UBS) trading floor in Stamford, Conn., once teemed with traders occupying a space equal to two football fields. The Guinness World Records recognized it as the biggest such facility on the planet. And the Swiss bank used it to showcase its Wall Street credentials.

Stu Taylor, a former UBS managing director in trading who now runs trading-technology company Algomi Ltd., remembers when guests were brought around the gallery regularly. "It was very much a showpiece," he said.

Today, there are virtually no traders shouting into their phones or staring at terminals. UBS's cavernous floor is taken up mostly by back-office, legal and technology staffers, according to people familiar with the bank.

A spokeswoman for UBS said the trading floor was built for 1,400 traders, but wouldn't disclose the number of employees at the facility.


One market strategist thinks the shopping malaise could contribute to a 'shallow US recession' early next year. Others disagree.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:20PM
Nicho Sodling/Folio Images/Getty Images
Man shopping for clothesBy Alex Rosenberg, CNBC

It's Wall Street's latest worry: The current state of the American consumer.

Despite a blockbuster June employment report, buffeted by positive auto sales and same-store retail sales numbers, many investors and strategists worry that American consumers just don't have the cash, or the willingness to spend it, that is required for the recovery to continue.

These concerns have recently come to the fore, as companies from Wal-Mart (WMT) to Rent-A-Center (RCII) have warned that slack consumer demand will weigh on results.


The Swiss company is buying Russell Stover Candies, becoming the No. 3 chocolate maker in the US.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:07PM
Credit: © Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Caption: Lindt chocolate products sit on display
By John Revill, The Wall Street Journal

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli is betting the U.S. chocolate market will remain the world's sweetest for years to come.

On Monday, the Zurich-based maker of high-end confections said it was buying Russell Stover Candies for an undisclosed sum. When the deal closes, Lindt will be the third-biggest chocolate maker in the U.S., behind Hershey (HSY) and privately held Mars Inc

Mintel Group, a market research company, estimates the combined company would have had roughly 11 percent of the U.S. market last year.


Investors can make big gains using basic fundamental value metrics combined with some common sense.

By Traders Reserve Jul 14, 2014 11:55AM
Credit: © Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters
Caption: The CAT logo is seen on the side of a Caterpillar machineBy Jamie Dlugosch


It's earnings season! Are you pumped up or what?

I sure am. Why? Because earnings season is a time to crush Wall Street at its manipulative best.

Most traders avoid earnings given the uncertainty and volatility. Hogwash!

Earnings season is the perfect money-making opportunity. It is the one time when for a brief moment the market gets to price a stock based on actual operating performance instead of nonsensical speculation. Using some basic fundamental value metrics combined with some common sense and you have the ingredients to make some big money, fast.

Already we saw Alcoa (AA) report earnings easily surpassing expectations. What did the stock do thereafter? It went up, of course, impressively.



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