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.


Stocks are lower as investors await news expected later in the week from central banks at home and abroad.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 30, 2012 1:01PM
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Shares of Roper Industries (ROP) moved up 5% after the company raised its full year guidance and agreed to purchase Sunquest Information Systems, which provides diagnostic and laboratory software solutions.

Among the notable gainers Monday was Shaw (SHAW), up 54%, after agreeing to be acquired by Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI) for $46 per share in cash and stock. 

The search giant officially enters the broadband market with superfast connections, next-generation hardware, cable TV subscriptions, and competitive prices.

By Jul 30, 2012 12:20PM

Image: Google © Bloomberg, Getty ImagesGoogle (GOOG) has launched a sparkling new product called Google Fiber, a high-speed broadband service that delivers transfer rates of a near-instantaneous 1,000 megabits per second. Simultaneously, the company announced Google Fiber TV, its first entrant into the plodding and often frustrating world of cable television. 

The service will debut in Kansas City, Mo., where Google is investing $500 million to build a fiber-optic network, and may eventually roll out to other cities based on user demand. Lucky residents will be able to watch HD television not just on their TVs but also on their computers, tablets, and phones. They'll also be able to record up to eight programs at once using 1 terabyte of free cloud storage. Google is offering several package deals, but clients can get both broadband and TV service together for $120 a month while receiving a free Nexus 7 tablet to use as the media center's controller. 

Should longtime providers like Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon (VZ) be worried by Google's thunderous foray into the cable business?


The automaker claims that Ewanick failed to meet expectations.

By Benzinga Jul 30, 2012 12:00PM
Image: Los Angeles, Calif., traffic on Interstate 405 © VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesBy Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer

Auto giant General Motors (GM) has parted ways with its Global Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick, saying that he "failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees," according to Bloomberg.

In the two short years Ewanick was with General Motors, he made the decisions to stop advertising on Facebook (FB) and during the Super Bowl. These moves were supposed to save billions of dollars, but the company now believes that they have had a negative impact.


Despite the drought, these companies are set to benefit from a long-term global boom in agriculture.

By TheStockAdvisors Jul 30, 2012 11:45AM
Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)By Elliott Gue, Personal Finance

Drought now plagues roughly 56% of the contiguous U.S., the most extensive water shortage in the 12-year history of the USDA's Drought Monitor. In the near term, weather conditions will drive the bull market for ag­ricultural commodities.

However, the long-term outlook appears sanguine, thanks to surging meat consumption in emerging markets, epitomized by China. Here's how to harvest profits from the coming long-term boom in agriculture stocks. 

There are enough people out there who think the ECB can be like the Fed.

By Jim Cramer Jul 30, 2012 10:09AM

How can European stocks be at a four-month high? How can Italian 10-year borrowing costs come down so quickly to 5.5%? Is there any real individual or bank buying them? Is that all short covering? Hedge funds getting in ahead of ECB bond buying?


If everyone is suddenly buying these stocks and these bonds, is there any reason to believe that things are getting better? Or is this one of those moves like we have had before -- think LTRO -- where the buyers are saying "things aren't getting any better at all, but I better buy something just in case they say something positive on Thursday again?" Is it that same kind of LTRO-related buying where you could make a lot of quick money and then depart just as fast?


JP Morgan, PetSmart and Eli Lilly are downgraded.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 30, 2012 8:53AM

Information provided by


Today's noteworthy upgrades include:
Deere (DE) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Ciena (CIEN) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jeffries
Arch Coal (ACI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
Barclay's (BCS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale

Facebook's slowing growth disappointed investors, and its stock price hit an all-time low. Is the party over?

By Jul 30, 2012 8:34AM

On Thursday, Facebook (FB) published its first earnings report since it became a publicly traded company in May, and things got ugly very quickly.


The social network's stock tanked in after-hours trading, losing 12%, and its slide continued Friday, when it fell below $23, hitting an all-time low. The company reported a quarterly loss of $157 million, and even when adjusted for IPO-related costs, Facebook's profit was a mediocre $240 million. (By way of comparison, Apple (AAPL) just reported a quarterly profit of $9 billion.)


Street analysts look beyond quareterly results, focuses on multiple catalysts for more global growth ahead.

By Gene Marcial Jul 27, 2012 6:12PM

Image: Apple logo © BECK DIEFENBACH//ReutersWall Street isn't freaking out over Apple (AAPL). Facebook (FB), on the other hand, is a different matter. But that's a story for another column.


Most professional Street watchers of the stock remain bullish on Apple, forecasting that it will continue to climb to record highs, and some put Apple's intrinsic private market value at more than $1,000 a share.


Here are some of the reasons why:


The online retailer is again promising to deliver in the future -- and Wall Street appears willing to believe it.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 27, 2012 5:58PM
By Suzanne McGee

Facebook’s (FB) earnings announcement Thursday topped analysts’ official expectations, but the stock still got pummeled, closing Friday down nearly 12%. Earlier this week, Apple’s (AAPL) quarterly earnings fell far short of analysts’ expectations. That stock also got punished, falling more than 4% the next day.

Then there's (AMZN). Despite posting earnings Thursday that fell just shy of analysts' forecasts, the stock has responded quite nicely, thank you. It closed up more than 7% Friday. 

The energy giant is looking to sell its 50% stake in Russia's No. 3 oil company.

By Benzinga Jul 27, 2012 5:34PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)By Gordon Wilcox, Benzinga Staff Writer

A big deal could be brewing in the energy sector and it probably will not involve any of the U.S. oil majors. BP (BP) is looking to part with its 50% interest in TNK-BP, the British oil giant's highly lucrative but highly problematic joint venture with Russian oligarchs.

Estimates for the value of BP's stake ranges from $20 billion to $30 billion. Even at the low end of that range, BP would exit the venture with quite a windfall. BP paid $7 billion to acquire the interest in TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil company, in 2003. Since then, BP has reaped $19 billion in dividends alone, Reuters reported.


In its first earnings report as a public company, the social networking giant announced another sharp decline in the rate of revenue growth.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 27, 2012 4:01PM
Image: Couple with laptop (© Daly and Newton/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

It sure looks like Facebook (FB) chose exactly the right point in its corporate evolution to go public -- at least as far as the company itself is concerned. Investors, however, aren't quite so happy about that timing in light of the second-quarter financial results the company announced Thursday afternoon. 

In its first earnings report as a public company, Facebook announced another sharp decline in the rate of revenue growth -- another signal that the social media leader may have completed its IPO just as its growth, after years of massive gains, was poised to slow down to more normal levels. Facebook stock, which went public at $38 a share, opened trading Friday at just over $23, a new low that represents a plunge of about 14% from Thursday's close.

Guidance for the rest of the year is well below the company's prior projections.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 27, 2012 3:20PM
After the results that Potash of Saskatchewan (POT) reported Thursday, I'd use the current strength in fertilizer stocks -- on soaring crop prices (because of a severe drought in the United States and elsewhere) and on the general stock market bounce on hopes that the European Central Bank will do something when it meets next week -- to sell shares. 

Even if you continue to like the fertilizer sector -- and at current valuations and with current projections of increased supply I'm not a fan -- the company-specific news from Potash argues that you should find another horse to ride. 
Tags: POT

The company just posted a horrible quarter and suspended its dividend. There's little hope it can turn things around in this age of 'showrooming' and online buying.

By Kim Peterson Jul 27, 2012 3:03PM
All hope is lost for RadioShack (RSH). The stock is trading below $3 and on its way to zero.

Analysts have turned on the company, and with good reason. It has simply lost its direction. That became clear this week after RadioShack suspended its dividend and swung to a $21 million loss in its second quarter from a $25 million profit a year earlier.

Shares fell to an all-time low of $2.46 after the earnings were announced. They recovered to $2.64 Friday. A year ago, shares were $14. 

The company has lost nearly 40% of its value since it went public in May.

By Kim Peterson Jul 27, 2012 1:44PM
Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

(FB) is a market disaster. The stock price is down 20% in two days. Investors are fleeing this thing, even after an earnings report that beat revenue expectations.

We knew where the stock price was headed after watching shares plummet as earnings were announced. The carnage continued Friday, and Facebook shares fell to a record low of $22.28 before bouncing back to close at $23.71. Facebook has now lost about 37% of its value since it debuted at $38 a share in May. 

The Dow crosses 13,000 as the Federal Reserve and the ECB move closer to taking aggressive action.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jul 27, 2012 1:31PM

For weeks, I've been writing that stocks and other risky assets were headed higher despite signs of economic stalling, confirmed by Friday's GDP report showing a pitiful 1.5% annual growth rate in the second quarter. That was because, as inflation has cooled, the Eurozone crisis has reignited, and China set about managing a once-in-a-decade leadership change, central bankers were poised to unleash a globally synchronized dose of cheap money.


Over the past few days, stocks and commodities, especially precious metals, have taken flight as both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have indicated that more stimulus is coming -- potentially as soon as next week.



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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.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More


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