5 reasons the market is seeing red
5 reasons the market is seeing red

Geopolitical crises are taking a toll on stocks as we head into the seasonally weak month of August.

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If results are surprising, a bullish outlook on these stocks will pay off.

By Benzinga Oct 22, 2012 10:32AM

CorbisBy Ken Shreve

 

The bulls are rooting for Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Amazon.com (AMZN).

 

It's up to three high-profile tech names to save the day and lift the tech sector out of its recent malaise. Optimism is key, but judging from recent price and volume trends in each stock, it might be a tall order.

 

Earnings reports from tech companies have left a lot to be desired last week. IBM (IBM) missed its revenue number by about $1 billion, and results from Google (GOOG) also came in well below expectations.

 

The intermediate-term bullish trend is now questionable.

By InvestorPlace Oct 22, 2012 10:01AM

IPLOGO
CorbisBy Sam Collins


Friday's market was hammered by sellers who focused mainly on the technology sector. It was the 25th anniversary of Black Monday, and stockholders celebrated it with the worst day for stocks in three months.


Despite the fact that third quarter earnings have been projected to be lower than the second quarter for months, the lower earnings from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and General Electric (GE), and a lowered estimate by Marvel Technology (MRVL), seemed to catch the market by surprise. GE noted, however, that the company is performing well and is on track to have a double-digit earnings increase for full year 2012.

 

Before the launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet on Friday, a Barclays analyst feels the company must find a new cash cow.

By Minyanville.com Oct 22, 2012 9:41AM

Tom Grill CorbisEquity analysts are often accused of having a herd mentality, but Barclays Capital on Friday bucked the trend where the world's biggest software company is concerned. The firm's analyst Raimo Lenschow cut his price target on Microsoft (MSFT) stock by $2 to $34 while maintaining a lukewarm overall rating of "equal-weight."


Partially as a result, shares of Microsoft finished in the red Friday, closing 2.9% lower in an admittedly awful overall market.


The analyst, well regarded and historically highly ranked in industry surveys by both Institutional Investor magazine and Thompson Reuters Starmine, thus breaks with several more optimistic peers. Analysts at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Lenschow's ex-employer Bank of America-Merrill Lynch have all reiterated upbeat "buy" ratings -- even after Microsoft announced its quarterly profit tumbled 22%.

 

Tech may be spoiling the party, but old standbys like insurers, banks, retail and oil are holding up nicely.

By Jim Cramer Oct 22, 2012 9:18AM

thestreet logoKick Images, Photodisc, Getty ImagesTo listen to the dialogue is to think that somehow the world came to an end because of earnings last week. But I think that's in large part because of the companies that caught our eyes more than the companies that actually reported.

 

I'm not disputing some high-profile misses. Google (GOOG) had given no sign that it was struggling with mobile and mobile advertisers. None. Its acolytes, people close to the company, gave us no insight whatsoever that it was meeting with resistance and that advertisers are balking even for mobile search ads.

 

With not much news on the economic front but more major earnings, Wall Street looks ready to recover.

By Benzinga Oct 22, 2012 8:26AM

Zurbar age fotostockU.S. stock futures traded slightly higher on Monday after Friday's dramatic sell-off. Stocks in Europe and Asia traded largely flat as there was little major economic news affecting the global economy.


In Japan, trade balance came in lower than expected at -980 billion yen versus the -740 billion yen that was forecast.

And Spain's Prime Minister Rajoy won a political victory over the weekend as his party won a victory in a regional election.

There are no major economic releases on the U.S. economic calendar Monday. However, there will be three- and six-month bill auctions in the U.S. and France.
 

Some would-be cord cutters are just complacent couch potatoes, a survey says.

By Jason Notte Oct 19, 2012 3:14PM

Image: Couple with laptop (Corbis)The next time you hear someone crow about a show they've discovered on Netflix's (NFLX) streaming library, all the episodes they've uncovered on Hulu Plus or how much of a workout their Roku is going to get once their Amazon (AMZN) Prime membership kicks in this holiday season, resist labeling them an effete cord-cutter.


They're just watching reruns, like every other TBS and Nickelodeon-viewing cable and satellite customer.


A new survey released at at an Advertising Age conference on Wednesday found that 42% of TV viewers reported watching more streamed content this year than last year. While 8% did so because they were cutting back on cable and 10% had canceled cable and satellite altogether, a whopping 73% said they were streaming just to catch up on episodes of their favorite shows.

 

The unquenchably ambitious coffee chain opens its first store in the world's second-most-populous nation. But it faces some cultural challenges.

By TheWeek.com Oct 19, 2012 2:15PM

A Starbucks Corp., sign is displayed outside a coffee shop in London, U.K., Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg via Getty ImagesOn Friday, Starbucks (SBUX) opened its first outlet in India, a cavernous, two-story building in a swank Mumbai neighborhood. 


The store is part of the chain's broader push to expand its presence in emerging markets -- seen as the most promising areas for growth, given Starbucks' super-saturation in the States and Europe's entrenched cafe culture. 


But breaking into new countries requires a little more finesse than simply showing up, as Home Depot (HD) recently learned in China. 


Here's a guide to Starbucks' foray into India:

 
Tags: HDSBUX

The head of Abercrombie & Fitch has a long list of expectations for the crew of his private plane. Michael Jeffries' rules are coming to light as part of a discrimination lawsuit brought by a former pilot.

By Kim Peterson Oct 19, 2012 2:11PM
Think Van Halen was strange for demanding the removal of all brown M&M's in the backstage candy bowl? Meet Michael Jeffries.

He's the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), and if you were lucky enough -- or is it unlucky enough? -- to work on the crew of his private jet, you had a lot of rules to follow. Jeffries allegedly gave the crew members more than 40 pages of precise instructions on how to dress, act and work while in the air, and some of those demands were, well, a little creepy. 

The athlete's tarnished name scares sponsors and further sullies cycling's image.

By Jason Notte Oct 19, 2012 2:03PM

Cyclists copyright Digital Vision., Digital Vision, Getty ImagesWhen we last checked in with Lance Armstrong, he had just stepped down from his chairman's post at the cancer-fighting charity he founded and was dropped from his Nike (NKE) sponsorship for "seemingly insurmountable" doping evidence against him.


Now he's lost considerably more, which is impressive for someone who's lost all of the above and all his cycling wins -- including seven Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005 -- after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation that was released in full detail last week. 


Sports marketing agent Steve Rosner of 16W Marketing told AdAge that the loss of current sponsorship deals, future sponsorships and potential corporate speaking engagements could cost Armstrong a total of $30 million.


How tarnished is Armstrong? 

 
Tags: BUD

Third-quarter earnings extend the e-tailer's revitalized growth story.

By InvestorPlace Oct 19, 2012 1:56PM
Woman with mobile phone and credit card, smiling copyright Pando Hall, PhotographerBy Tom Taulli

iplogoA few years ago, eBay (EBAY) seemed like a washed-up Internet operator, just an online secondhand store amid a growing field of true online retailers.

The company's recently reported third-quarter earnings are just another reaffirmation that CEO John J. Donahoe has changed all that. He has his company back to attacking growth through mega-markets, specifically mobile.


In Q3, eBay's revenue increased by 15% to $3.4 billion and earnings came to 55 cents a share, a penny above Wall Street expectations. The company also gave a rosier outlook for the full year: EBay expects revenue of $13.95 billion to $14.1 billion and earnings per share of $2.32 to $2.35, both improved from forecasts in late August.

 

Stocks are sharply lower after mixed quarterly reports from some of the country's largest corporations.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 19, 2012 1:38PM
Image, Wall Street sign copyright Corbis, SuperStocklogo
 
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT), General Electric (GE) and McDonald's (MCD) all fell as investors reacted to their earnings results and guidance. 

Microsoft slid 2.7% after saying its Q1 revenue was negatively impacted by a challenging PC market and weakness in Europe. 

General Electric fell 2.8% after it reported in-line earnings but light revenues and lowered its view for 2012 revenues as well. 

McDonald's said its Q3 results were hurt by tough competition in the U.S., global economic weakness and the stronger dollar, trends it sees as likely to continue in the near term. Shares fell about 3.5% near midday.
 

Money manager Ken Fisher likes 'the biggest of the big.'

By GuruFocus.com Oct 19, 2012 12:50PM

Image, Bull figurine on ascending line graph and list of share prices copyright Adam Gault, OJO Images, Getty ImagesAs the founder of Fisher Investments, an independent adviser with more than 25,000 private and 100 institutional clients, Ken Fisher employs a "variety of strategies" to manage assets, adding value by "identifying information not widely known" or interpreting readily available information more accurately than other market players.


Fisher also frequently deciphers the market in his Forbes column. On Sept. 5, he wrote that it was currently in the latter half of a bull run, with more ahead. Hence he advised investors to buy "the biggest of the big," as companies with $78 billion market capitalization or higher have traditionally performed best in similar scenarios.


"And if I'm wrong and a bear lurks soon, mega-cap stocks will drop far less than more speculative smaller stocks," he said.

 

No matter what you do, not every customer will be happy.

By Jonathan Berr Oct 19, 2012 12:11PM
African-American woman shopping online copyright Ariel Skelley, Blend Images, Getty ImagesWhen I read about Yelp's (YELP) efforts to crack down on businesses buying positive reviews, it got me thinking about how fake reviews are a huge problem for Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY) and the numerous other merchants that track consumers' views.

One study conducted by Bing Liu, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, found that 80% of the reviews on Amazon had four stars or higher, according to the Christian Science Monitor. He estimates that 30% of online reviews are fake. That number may be low, given the growing importance that businesses place on customers' feedback.

Some businesses have gotten the idea that the Internet is a place "where seldom is heard a discouraging word." Companies are extremely concerned -- and rightly so -- about their online reputations, because unfounded rumors can damage multibillion-dollar brands in the blink of an eye. Consumers, however, need to be suspicious about what they read online, because of the sophisticated ways companies "manage" their reputations. 
Tags: AMZNYELP

These companies serving the construction industry offer some upside potential.

By Benzinga Oct 19, 2012 11:46AM

Home under construction copyright CorbisBy Ken Shreve


If you missed the recent run in homebuilder stocks, don't worry. Instead of chasing them when most are well past proper entry points, focus on ancillary plays -- companies that stand to benefit from a continued housing recovery.


Housing start and building permit data earlier this week smashed expectations. Starts spiked in September, rising to 872,000 from 758,000 in August -- the most since July 2008.


Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS) could still be in the early stages of a move, and shares remain under accumulation. It was spun off by Fortune Brands a little over one year ago. The company, with a market capitalization of $3.1 billion, provides home security, and kitchen, bath and tool storage products. Some of its brands include Master Lock and Moen faucets.

 

SanDisk is upgraded to 'overweight,' while AMD is downgraded to 'market perform.'

By MSN Money Partner Oct 19, 2012 11:27AM
fly logoInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Abbott (ABT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • Cummins (CMI) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
  • Harley-Davidson (HOG) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
  • Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at FBR
 

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