You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

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Despite Wall Street skepticism, this remains one Chinese stock worth buying.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 6, 2012 2:52PM
China copyright Lawrence Manning, CorbisBy Geoffrey Seiler, Bullmarket.com

Chinese search provider Baidu (BIDU) reported its third-quarter results last week; the top line grew at its slowest pace in three years and its fourth-quarter guidance was below Wall Street's expectations.

That aside, Baidu still reported results that other companies would envy. Revenue grew by 50% and profit by nearly 60% as the company added a record number of business customers. 

Meanwhile, Internet usage and Web search has a long runway in China. The country has more people using the Web than the U.S., yet only about a third of its population has an Internet connection.
 

Streaming video costs grows as the retailer's competition with Hulu and others heats up.

By Jason Notte Nov 6, 2012 2:41PM

Amazon.com logo copyright Spencer Platt, Getty ImagesIf Amazon (AMZN) can't buy Netflix (NFLX), the least the online retailer can do is run its streaming video competitor into the ground.


According to Ad Age, Amazon is testing a $7.99 subscription plan for its Prime membership that bundles expedited two-day delivery for online purchases, free streaming of TV shows and movies and the right to borrow one free e-book a month from Kindle's Lending Library. 


This isn't such a great deal for existing Prime customers, whose $80-a-year fee just increased to $96 for the same annual service, but it puts Prime's price on par with the $7.99 charged per month by both Netflix and Hulu Plus, which is a joint venture of News Corporation (NWS), Disney (DIS) and Comcast (CMCSA).

 

Stocks are higher as Americans head to the polls.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 6, 2012 2:19PM
logoWall Street sign copyright Corbis, SuperStockInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Among companies reporting earnings Monday night and Tuesday morning, AOL (AOL), Office Depot (ODP) and OfficeMax (OMX) advanced, while Cablevision (CVC) and NYSE Euronext (NYX) declined.

Among the notable market gainers Tuesday were EnerNOC (ENOC), up 21% following price target raises at RW Baird and Needham after its Q3 results, and Weight Watchers (WTW), up over 16% after its quarterly earnings beat expectations.
 

The brewer is betting big on its new Black Crown brand.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 6, 2012 1:57PM
Men drinking beer copyright Radius Images, CorbisAnheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), the world's largest brewer, is making a big bet on higher-alcohol beers.

Early next year, the beer maker plans to introduce Budweiser Black Crown, which Advertising Age describes as a "golden amber lager" that is "distinctively smooth and beechwood finished." 

Black Crown will receive significant marketing attention, including a possible Super Bowl ad, the trade publication says. A spokesperson for the corporate parent of Bud Light and Stella Artois couldn't be reached for comment.
 
Tags: BUD

Canaccord initiates Kraft Foods with a 'buy' and Mondelez with a 'sell.'

By MSN Money Partner Nov 6, 2012 1:25PM
fly logoInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • China Mobile (CHL) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • Credit Suisse (CS) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays
 

With all the uncertainty, and likely volatility, there are no safe bets right now.

By InvestorPlace Nov 6, 2012 1:13PM
People putting political symbols in box copyright Comstock Images, Getty ImagesBy Serge Berger

iplogoWith the end of the U.S. presidential election within reach, I have received a dozen or so emails asking me how to trade the market over the next few days. I have just one answer:


Unless you must trade by mandate or have an incurably itchy trading finger, sit this one out and let the elections come and go before putting your hard-earned money at risk.

 

This year many cash-rich companies have been repurchasing their own shares ahead of the possible end of the Bush-era tax cuts.

By Minyanville.com Nov 6, 2012 12:30PM

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc Blend Images Getty ImagesThe 2012 buyback blitz continues. In October, dozens of companies announced new buyback plans or extended old ones, including IBM (IBM), which said on October 30 it would increase its stock refund by 75% to $11.7 billion. The company has spent $3 billion on share repurchases so far this year. The increase represents an additional $5 billion in stock, or about 2% of the company's market value. Joining IBM at the billion-dollar level is TRW Auto (TRW), which pledged to spend $1 billion to buy back stock (18% market value) over the next two years.

In July we wrote about the earlier group of companies buying back their own stock. At that time, American Greetings (AM), Baxter (BAX), CBS (CBS), Lockheed (LMT), News Corp (NWSA), Radio Shack (RSH), Travelzoo (TZOO) and Visa (V) had all pledged billions in repurchase plans.

Buybacks have numerous benefits. They reduce assets on the balance sheet, which translates into a higher return-on-assets and return-on-equity -- all without any change in earnings. They also drive down that ubiquitous measure, the price-to-earnings ratio, which makes it appear that a company is less expensive than it was before the buyback.

 

CEO Tim Armstrong is starting to win over skeptics.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 6, 2012 11:44AM

CorbisBefore AOL (AOL) shareholders start popping champagne corks over the company's better-than-expected earnings report they need to remember one important caveat: earnings "beats" are not so impressive if Wall Street's expectations are pretty low to start. That was the case with AOL.

Net income at the Internet media company was $20.8 million, or 22 cents per share, reversing a year-ago loss of $2.6 million, or 2 cents per share. Revenue was unchanged at $531.7 million. Excluding one-time items, profit was 34 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 29 cent per share, according to Bloomberg News. Analysts expected revenue of $522 million. This was the first quarter in seven years that AOL didn't post a year-over-year decline in sales.

Shares of AOL, which have more than doubled this year, surged more than 10% in early trading to above $39. The stock is trading ahead of the $34.58 average price target of Wall Street analysts.

 

The chip-maker no longer dictates the terms of engagement, but the other 2 companies still do.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 6, 2012 11:03AM

TheStreet logo

Guy Crittenden PhotographerBy Rocco Pendola

 

As I have written in recent Intel (INTC) articles, it pains me to be so bearish on a company I've had great respect for.

 

While Intel's fate will likely not be as dismal as Research in Motion's (RIMM), the writing on Intel's wall looks eerily similar to RIM's 2011-12 graffiti.

 

By and large, Wall Street analysts give Intel a free pass on its pathetic miss on mobile. Sure, they lower estimates consistently, but the benefit of the doubt that legacy companies often enjoy lingers.

 

There's this hope upon hope that Intel will turn the corner, produce some funky silicon and become the darling of smartphone and tablet makers. "Is a dream a lie if it don't come true or is it something worse?"

 

The industry looks set to remain stuck in its first inning for some time to come.

By Jim Cramer Nov 6, 2012 9:52AM

TheStreet.com logoKevin Burke, CorbisYes, Jack Welch was right Monday when he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that we are in inning one of the natural gas revolution. But this is a game that could easily be rained out simply because the groundswell to use the stuff may end with the forces that are peddling it.

 

We periodically hear about companies that are switching to natural gas engines. But they tend to be companies that are in the industry themselves or are inner-city operators who are afraid of governmental authorities and don't want to run afoul of rules on airborne particulates.

 

Investors, traders are bound to follow the extremely tight presidential race as the day unfolds.

By Benzinga Nov 6, 2012 9:29AM

Zurbar SuperstockU.S. equity futures rose in premarket trading on Election Day. Heading into the vote, the candidates are in a statistical dead heat as the margin of error on all of the tracking polls is generally wider than the difference in the surveys; thus, this is one of the closest races in history.


In other news around the markets, the Royal Bank of Australia kept rates unchanged. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a cut of 25 basis points following a cut last month also of 25 basis points. The bank noted higher than expected inflation and stabilization in China as its rationale for holding rates.


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy spoke, saying that 2012 will be the worst year for Spain and that the country would only ask for a bailout if borrowing costs rose markedly. The statements came as the Spanish services PMI contracted less than expected in October.

 

Even with the partnership's projected 15% increase in distributions, the yield will climb to just 4.4% by the end of 2013.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 5, 2012 6:32PM
Financial Stock Chart -- Kick Images, Photodisc, Getty ImagesI like everything about Western Gas Partners (WES) but the partnership's unit price of $51.43 at the close on Nov. 2. The stock fell another 1% Monday to $50.92.

That's above my $49 target price. I’m therefore selling Western Gas Partners out of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio Monday with a 40.7% price gain (plus dividends) since I added it to the portfolio on Nov. 16, 2011.

I’ve said repeatedly that in the current extended environment of low interest rates, investors should look for MLPs (master limited partnerships) with a pipeline of attractive projects where they can put borrowed money to work and earn a hefty return. Those returns, then, flow back to investors in the form of increased future distributions.
 
Tags: APCWES

Record weekend sales obscure the company's larger issues. The tablet simply isn't the undisputed steamroller that Apple is used to.

By Jason Notte Nov 5, 2012 5:04PM

The backs of Apple (AAPL) employees must look sunburned after the company spent Monday patting them for selling 3 million iPads this weekend. But what does that number really mean?


In Apple's world, sales numbers often swirl into a cider that looks impressive and smells just fine, but mellows after a bit of fermentation. Right now, 3 million sales of Apple's new iPad Mini and its updated full-sized model look brag-worthy.

 

Not so fast. While the search competition is increasing, so is mobile ad spending.

By Trefis Nov 5, 2012 3:28PM
 Man with laptop copyright Ken Seet, SuperStockBaidu's (BIDU) stock, which has fallen to $110 from a high of $130 earlier in the year, has a fair share of bears claiming that the company's dominance in the Chinese search market is over. However, in contrast with these views, we think Baidu's fundamentals are strong. 

Specifically, we think that Baidu's search market share will remain high despite an increase in competition, the company will be able to capitalize on the growth in mobile ad spending, and it will be able to increase diversification of its revenue streams due to services like Ting and iQiyi.
 
Tags: BIDU

No matter who wins in November, our advisors have you covered.

By InvestorPlace Nov 5, 2012 3:02PM

IPLOGOVoter voting in polling place Hill Street Studios, Blend Images, Getty ImagesWith the presidential election just a day away, the headlines are full of the latest polls, debate gaffes, and battle plans. But how will the results affect investors like you?


Four of InvestorPlace Media's top advisors sat down and discussed how the election will shape the investing landscape. Here's what they had to say:

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

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