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Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.


The mega-bank's stock is plunging, its reputation has been battered, and now the Justice Department is investigating whether it committed a crime.

By TheWeek.com May 15, 2012 5:20PM

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the country's largest bank, continues to reel from its $2 billion trading loss last week, which critics are touting as evidence that Wall Street is still making the types of dangerous bets that caused the financial crisis in 2008.

JPMorgan Chase's stock plunged by nearly 10% the day after CEO Jamie Dimon disclosed the loss, erasing $13 billion from the company's value. Dimon, one of the loudest voices against government regulation of Wall Street, has been pilloried in the press for what he has described as a "terrible, egregious mistake." And now the Justice Department is investigating whether the controversy involved more than mere blunders, raising the prospect that the bank or its executives could be charged with violating securities laws. 

Tags: JPM

Survey shows a majority of investors committed to little more than select US large caps and a sizable cushion of cash.

By MoneyShow.com May 15, 2012 2:18PM
Image: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com

Investors remain wary of stocks, despite the market's strong start in 2012 and hopes for continued progress on the jobs front, according to the latest MoneyShow Sentiment Indicator.

The survey, completed late last month, also suggests the inflation threat remains a nagging concern, even though economic growth is widely expected to remain modest.


Stocks edge higher amid a raft of U.S. economic data and surprisingly strong economic growth in Germany.

By MSN Money Partner May 15, 2012 1:42PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall

(GRPN) shares rallied over 16% after its earnings and revenue beat expectations. The company also guided to revenues next quarter that were above consensus at the midpoint but some on Wall Street remain skeptical. Stifel Nicolaus said shares are likely to weaken into the June 1 lockup expiration and Susquehanna lowered its price target on the stock to $15 from $25. 

The automaker decides to drop its name and logo from its newest sales pitch.

By Kim Peterson May 15, 2012 1:40PM
Image: Ford logo © JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty ImagesSome drivers hate Ford (F) vehicles. They have all kinds of reasons to cringe whenever they see the Ford name and the blue oval.

Ford knows it. But Ford has been overhauling its lineup, adding new technologies and new designs. The quality is improved and the new models look good. If only people could get past that blue oval.

So Ford is experimenting with a new strategy. Why not take the name and logo out altogether? That's the basis for a new TV ad campaign that doesn't mention the company at all. 

Despite the raging controversy over the bank's shocking $2 billion loss, Wall Street stands behind its stock.

By Gene Marcial May 15, 2012 1:31PM

Image: Wall Street sign (© Comstock Images/age fotostock)Not surprisingly, Wall Street remains steadfastly bullish on Jamie Dimon and his mighty JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which, by the way, counts $2.3 trillion in total assets -- yes, $2.3 trillion.

Critics, discombobulated shareholders, and acerbic media commentators lost no time in heaping abuse on the chairman,  CEO and his bank's aggressive and unrestrained trading strategy. Some of them are demanding nothing less than the ouster of Dimon.


Bankers became complacent about their models and their ability to steer through a crisis.

By The Fiscal Times May 15, 2012 1:07PM
By Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

It's probably a safe bet that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon had been looking forward to today. Here was an opportunity to stand before the bank's shareholders at the company's annual meeting, bask in the spotlight, poke fun at poorly paid journalists, and easily handle questions about the economy, market liquidity and other obvious topics.

But, as we've all learned lately, maybe there are no real safe bets when talking about big investment banks. 

Is this an economic hiccup or a sign of troubles to come?

By Jonathan Berr May 15, 2012 12:20PM
Image: Woman Using a Spirit Level on a Sink in a Domestic Bathroom (© Alex Wilson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Shares of Home Depot (HD) were down Tuesday on disappointing quarterly results as consumers put off large projects amidst concerns about the strength of the economic recovery.

Net income at the largest home-improvement retailer rose 27% to $1 billion, or 68 cents a share, from $812 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.9% to $17.8 billion. Wall Street had expected earnings of 65 cents on revenue of $17.93 billion.

Home Depot also said sales this year will rise 4.6%, below the 5.3% gain forecast by analysts. 

One brokerage has set up sports-betting operations at casinos along the Strip.

By Kim Peterson May 15, 2012 10:58AM
Image: Dice on stock listings (© Kate Kunz/CorbisWall Street trading is volatile, risky and fraught with huge swings in profit and loss. Las Vegas betting happens to be that way, too.

So it makes sense that when you plop a Wall Street brokerage into the middle of the Las Vegas strip, it will take to its new home like a fish to water. That's what's happened with Cantor Fitzgerald, a bond-trading firm that decided to try a little casino sports betting.

Cantor Fitzgerald has partnered with several casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, including the Venetian and the Palazzo, owned by Las Vegas Sands (LVS).  

McDonald's is downgraded to 'neutral,' and Akamai is upgraded to 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner May 15, 2012 10:51AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include: 
  • Akamai (AKAM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
  • Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
  • Cepheid (CPHD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS

What the Internet company should consider while hiring Thompson's replacement.

By InvestorPlace May 15, 2012 10:23AM

By Jonathan Berr


Hey, Daniel Loeb: You just won your proxy battle against Yahoo (YHOO) without firing a shot and ousted CEO Scott Thompson in the process. What are you going to do now?


In Sunday's press release announcing the shakeup at the Internet company, Loeb spoke about how Third Point was "committed to working with new leadership to unlock Yahoo!'s significant potential and value" -- without explaining what that means. That's not surprising given that Yahoo management has been saying more or less the same thing for nearly a decade and has failed to back up its words with deeds.


Warren Buffett has been on the prowl for new additions for Berkshire Hathaway. Here are a few stocks that should grab his attention.

By John Reese May 15, 2012 9:56AM

Warren Buffett revealed last weekend that his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) recently came close to buying a $22 billion company before talks broke down, setting off a flurry of speculation about which company it was -- and what other companies might be in Buffett's sights.

Given Buffett's exceptional track record, the question of what companies he's targeting is well worth asking. I thought I'd bring some cold hard facts and figures to the table in trying to address it, by using my Buffett-inspired "Guru Strategy" computer model to scour the market for stocks that currently appear to be "Buffett-esque."


Believers hope Dan Loeb can find a buyer for the stalled-out Internet portal, and that Carl Icahn can rescue the energy company from its bad books.

By Jim Cramer May 15, 2012 9:05AM

Does Carl Icahn make Chesapeake Energy (CHK) a better investment? Does Dan Loeb make Yahoo (YHOO) a better investment? People think they do because of their reputations as change artists, true catalysts who can get something done.


But here's the problem: They are better as catalysts where the companies are strong franchises that have underperformed. These classic, sleepy companies, if woken up, would do much better. Or these catalysts have been best at putting companies into play so they ultimately get bids.


This British company calls itself the world's largest commercial currency printer and papermaker.

By The Fiscal Times May 15, 2012 9:03AM
The Fiscal Times

By Yuval Rosenberg

While the world watches to see if -- or when -- Greece exits the eurozone, some on Wall Street are already looking for indicators about what's being called the "Grexit" -- or looking for ways to play it.

"Outside of the Greek stock market, if there is one stock to watch as an indicator of what the market thinks of the chances Greece stays in the euro or not, watch De La Rue," writes Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, in an email to clients today.


The home improvement chain misses sales forecasts. Shares of the coupon site soar on better-than-expected earnings.

By TheStreet Staff May 15, 2012 7:56AM

By Joseph Woelfel


Updated at 8:20 a.m. ET

Home Depot (HD) reported a jump in fiscal-first-quarter profits attributed to record-breaking warmer winter weather. The home improvement retailer earned $1.04 billion, or 68 cents a share, up from 50 cents a share a year ago and ahead of analysts' expectations of 65 cents a share. Sales of $17.81 billion fell short of the $17.96 billion analysts anticipated, however.

Groupon (GRPN) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings after Monday's closing bell. Groupon reported first-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $559.3 million. Analysts had forecast a profit of a penny a share on revenue of $530.6 million. The company expects second-quarter revenue to be between $550 million and $590 million. The current consensus estimate is for revenue of $558.7 million.


The flailing search giant sacks Thompson for a bogus claim on his resume, plunging the company into even deeper turmoil.

By TheWeek.com May 14, 2012 5:36PM
Yahoo (YHOO) has canned CEO Scott Thompson just four months into the job, after it emerged that Thompson's resume inaccurately claimed a college degree in computer science. (Though Thompson has also been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, it appears the resume controversy decided his fate.)

"Resume-gate" is the latest blow to hobble the company, which has long been losing the battle for online advertising dollars against rivals Google (GOOG) and Facebook. Thompson was the latest in a string of CEOs brought on to mastermind a turnaround, and his dismissal could deepen Yahoo's pain.


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More


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