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A jittery Europe, a slowing China, and a weak US recovery means rock-solid income is a great choice for investors looking to ride out the storm.

By MoneyShow.com May 10, 2012 2:30PM

Image: Woman reading newspaper in livingroom © Tetra images/Getty ImagesBy the Staff at Briefing.com


Europe remains a major global macroeconomic headache. Yet, many investors who are risk-averse have become overly cautious towards the U.S. equity market.


There are, however, excellent investment opportunities in high-quality, high-yield dividend stocks.

 

The iconic show has been a huge moneymaker but is losing viewers fast.

By MSN Money Partner May 10, 2012 1:28PM
Image: Watching television (© Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStock)By Jonathan Berr

News Corp. (NWSA), which reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings Wednesday, is worried that "American Idol" is running out of gas.

Ratings for the 11-year-old reality show have been down by double digits this year. Speaking  to investors, COO Chase Carey said he isn't ready to hit the panic button quite yet. He has made similar comments before.  
Tags: CMCSANWSA

The candy giant's dividend has risen 150% in the past decade -- and more increases are likely on the way.

By MoneyShow.com May 10, 2012 12:59PM

Image: Chocolate (© image100/Corbis)By John Heinzl, Globe Investor


When Hershey (HSY) hiked prices by more than 10% to offset rising ingredient costs, something unexpected happened: Candy lovers hardly blinked.


Hershey's unit volumes slipped just half a percentage point, as most people continued to feed their cravings for Almond Joy bars, Jolly Rancher candies, and BreathSavers mints. Driven by the combination of higher prices and resilient demand, Hershey's first-quarter sales and profit smashed expectations, sending the stock up sharply.

 

Stocks advance despite a steep decline in Cisco following its weak sales outlook.

By MSN Money Partner May 10, 2012 12:50PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Dow component Cisco (CSCO) reported quarterly earnings and revenue that just beat consensus views but forecast earnings in the coming quarter below the Street's expectations. The company's pessimistic view on challenges in Europe and weakness in India resonated with investors and the stock slid nearly 10%.

News Corp. (NWSA) shares gained about 5% after the company reported revenue and profit that beat expectations and it raised its stock repurchase program by $5 billion to $10 billion.  

This garbage disposal company is catching the eye of 'green' investors.

By Gene Marcial May 10, 2012 12:32PM

Image: Garbage men operating garbage truck (© Don Mason/Blend Images/Corbis)

Waste Management (WM), the largest U.S. trash hauling and disposal company, is attracting new investors looking for defensive stocks that not only pay attractive dividend yields but are environmentally conscious.

 
Tags: WM

Companies including Bank of America, Citigroup, General Electric and Wells Fargo have faced shareholder anger and protests at their annual gatherings.

By The Fiscal Times May 10, 2012 11:52AM
Image: Stand up for your rights (© Emilie Duchesne/Vetta/Getty Images)By Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

It's that time of year again -- the time when companies and shareholders gather for their annual meetings.

But there's a new twist to this rite of spring. This year, the buzz in corporate America isn't what goodie bags of your products you offer shareholders, or what food or entertainment you lay on to keep them smiling, but how much security you can deploy to make sure you get through the event without too much loss of dignity. 

But don't think the tech sector is doomed. The company and its CEO are looking for scapegoats.

By InvestorPlace May 10, 2012 11:48AM

By Jeff Reeves


Cisco (CSCO) took a spill Thursday on poor earnings after the bell Wednesday. As of this writing, CSCO shares were off as much as 9% in early trading because of a poor fiscal-third-quarter report.


The big reason is that Cisco CEO John Chambers dropped a bombshell, saying reluctant customers are waiting longer to close deals and spending less money. He revised down earnings and revenue forecasts for the tech giant's all-important fiscal fourth quarter, and investors panicked.


Cisco is clearly hurting. But don't read too much into the numbers. One bad report from CSCO doesn't necessarily spell trouble for other tech stocks, or signal that global economic problems are getting too big to handle.

 

Prudential is upgraded to 'overweight,' and Staples is downgraded to 'sell.'

By MSN Money Partner May 10, 2012 11:16AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Big Lots (BIG) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • East West Bancorp (EWBC) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
  • Post Properties (PPS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich
  • Prudential (PRU) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore, and to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
 

Competition among restaurant chains heats up in the region.

By Trefis May 10, 2012 10:49AM
TrefisDunkin' Donuts, owned by Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), opened its first outlet in India recently. With the Indian food industry showing plenty of promise, most of the major restaurant chains plan to open their first restaurants in the country sometime soon, or ramp up their presence there. Dunkin' Brands has had presence in the country for several years through Baskin-Robbins.

McDonald's (MCD), Starbucks (SBUX), Yum Brands (YUM) and others are piling on their investments in this region.  

When the smartest guy in the sector contradicts the crowd, you at least stop and listen.

By Jim Cramer May 10, 2012 10:41AM

Lotta smart guys are saying we have put in a bottom in natural gas and a top in oil.

 

But the smartest guy I know in the patch, EOG Resources (EOG) CEO Mark Papa, the man who de-emphasized natural gas drilling when everyone else was going gaga for it, is saying the opposite.

 

Macau's progress is persistent, and Vegas appears on the mend.

By InvestorPlace May 10, 2012 10:23AM

By Dan Burrows


Top international casino stocks came up snake eyes in the wake of recent first-quarter earnings reports -- even though their results beat Wall Street expectations handily.


The wider market selloff is no doubt partly to blame -- risk aversion is unkind to economically sensitive cyclical sectors like gambling stocks. But it's also the case that while results from Macau continue to go gangbusters, the picture in Las Vegas remains somewhat mixed.

 

Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax Financial, is averaging down his position in the stock.

By MSN Money Partner May 10, 2012 10:11AM
By GuruFocus

Renowned value investor and CEO of Fairfax Financial (FRFHF) Prem Watsa has substantial paper losses from his investment in Research In Motion (RIMM) -- so far. Yet he was buying more as recently as three months ago.

Watsa started to buy RIM in the third quarter of 2010. He bought about 2 million shares when the stock was trading in the $50s. He then added to his position as the stock price collapsed to the $40s then $30s and $20s in 2011. The last time he bought was January of 2012. He doubled down on his position and bought another 14 million shares.  
Tags: RIMM

The social network's upcoming IPO appears to be 'zucking' the air out of other well-known Internet companies.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet May 10, 2012 9:29AM

Facebook recently revealed that it is targeting a market value of as much as $96 billion, offering shares at $28 to $35 each. The world's largest social networking site is scheduled to hold its initial public offering on May 18 and is set to become the most valuable U.S. technology company at the time of an IPO, far surpassing Google's (GOOG) $23 billion valuation in 2004.

 

At a market value of almost $100 billion, Facebook would already rival well-established Internet companies such as Amazon (AMZN).

 

The company says it stands to earn $500 million from license deals every year at the current rate.

By Trefis May 10, 2012 8:54AM
TrefisAfter Apple (AAPL) and Samsung, it is Nokia's (NOK) turn to engage in patent wars. The Finnish handset maker has sued rivals HTC and Research In Motion (RIMM) on multiple counts of patent infringement at several courts in the U.S. and Germany.

Nokia has alleged that the two companies, along with visual technology company Viewsonic Corp, have infringed on some 45 patents in all.

With its mobile phone sales flagging as Apple and Samsung run away with the smartphone market, Nokia is relying on its patents to draw in some licensing revenues and mitigate the impact of what is likely to be long and painful Windows Phone transition process. 
Tags: NOKRIMM

The networking giant offers a disappointing forecast. The retailer reports lower profits and gives dimmer guidance.

By TheStreet Staff May 10, 2012 7:58AM

By Joseph Woelfel

 

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

 

Cisco (CSCO) provided disappointing guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter. The networking giant forecast earnings of 44 cents to 46 cents a share for the July-ending quarter, with year-over-year revenue growth anticipated at 2% to 5%. Analysts were calling for a profit of 49 cents a share on revenue of $11.99 billion.

 

For its third quarter, Cisco, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), posted revenue of $11.59 billion, up from $10.87 billion a year earlier, and a tick above analysts' estimates of $11.58 billion. Excluding items, Cisco earned 48 cents a share, up from 42 cents a share in the same period last year. Analysts were looking for earnings of 47 cents.

 

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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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