Investors know what's working and what's not. Jim Cramer says these stocks could power higher through the end of the year.
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Intuitive Surgical is upgraded to 'buy,' and ConAgra is initiated with a 'buy.'
Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
This retailer is a new addition to a portfolio that focuses on stocks showing buyback activity.
By David Fried, The Buyback Letter
Clothing giant The Gap (GPS), a new addition to our Buyback Portfolio, is one of the world's largest specialty retailers, with some 3,200 stores in 39 countries.
Founded in 1969 and based in San Francisco, Calif., the company has five of the most recognized apparel brands in the world -- Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta. The company is focusing on growing internationally and gaining market share at home by offering items at lower prices and improving its merchandise selection.
New moves aimed at making money are fine, but not when you anger users along the way.
Some of the moves have been downright infuriating, such as switching everyone's email address to a facebook.com address. Others have been just annoying, such as the new "sponsored stories" that now appear in feeds.
Nearly every move appears designed to make Facebook more money by increasing traffic, showing users more ads or persuading them to pay more.
The soft drink and snacks giant posts better than expected results.
Shares of PepsiCo (PEP) rose some 1.2% in early trading Wednesday after the drinks and snacks company posted quarterly results that were less awful than Wall Street expected.
Net income at the Purchase, New York company fell to $1.49 billion, or 94 cents per share, versus $1.89 billion, or $1.17, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, profit was $1.12 a share, beating the $1.09 average estimate of Wall Street analysts. Revenue fell 2.2% to $16.5 billion.
We have some winners over losers and some cyclical trends that only some companies are playing in.
Whom do you trust?
Do you trust Norfolk Southern (NSC) with great volumes in chemicals, oil, wood and automotive, with some possible turn in coal? Or do you trust UPS (UPS), which talked about business falling off a cliff. Do you trust Riverbed (RVBD), Broadcom (BRCM) andAltera (ALTR), all talking about increased telecom and wireless spending, or do you fret about Apple (AAPL)? Do you buy into Buffalo Wild Wings' (BWLD) sudden decline in growth or do you bank with Panera (PNRA) Wednesday and Domino's (DPZ) Tuesday?
The former Googler has an impressive resume as one of Silicon Valley's foremost engineers and managers, but can she save the struggling company?
Yahoo's (YHOO) new CEO Marissa Mayer is not facing an easy road as she takes on an ailing company. But the 37-year-old former Google (GOOG) exec differs from predecessors like Scott Thompson and Carol Bartz in that she seems to have a large slice of the tech world rooting for her success.
Her hiring was praised as a "surprising coup" for Yahoo, since Mayer oversaw the development of some of Google's most popular products, including search, Gmail, Google News, Google Images, and Google Maps. Though Yahoo has seen revenue growth stall as more users migrate to other sites like Facebook, Mayer can take a number of incremental steps to improve the legendary web company.
Stocks of both companies doubled this year on hope their drugs will be approved for sale in the US.
A pair of biotech companies -- Amarin (AMRN) and Horizon Pharma (HZNP) -- are expected to find out by Thursday whether key experimental drugs pass muster for U.S. approval. Stocks of both companies have roughly doubled this year on expectations that the drugs will be cleared for sale.
But that's where the similarities end. Amarin, which developed a heart medicine made of fish oil, has grown to a $2 billion market value company. Closing at $14.83 Tuesday, the stock can climb higher, some analysts say. (The Irish company's American shares trade on Nasdaq (NASDAQ).)
The iPad maker reports disappointing quarterly results, while the heavy machinery maker surprises to the upside.
Apple (AAPL), the iPhone, iPad and iPod maker, missed Wall Street's expectations on the top and bottom lines in the third quarter and issued weak guidance after the markets closed Tuesday. Apple reported third-quarter earnings of $9.32 a share on revenue of $35.02 billion for the three months ended in June. Analysts expected a profit of $10.37 a share on revenue of $37.18 billion. Apple shares were down 4.6% in pre-market trading at last check.
During the earnings conference call, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer cited several reasons for the revenue and earnings miss, including economic weakness in Europe, Australia, Canada, and Brazil. He also said consumer speculation about new products was delaying some purchasing and that a delay with Intel's (INTC) Ivy Bridge chips hurt Mac sales in April and May.
The company was particularly hurt by weakness and uncertainty in Europe.
DuPont (DD) shares fell 2% Tuesday to close at $47.74 after the company beat Wall Street expectations on profit but missed on revenue. DuPont also revised its full-year outlook.
The company reported a profit of $1.18 billion, or $1.25 a share, a 3% decrease from a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, profit of $1.48 per share beat analyst estimates of $1.46 a share. Sales rose 7% to $11 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $11.25 billion.
Analysts had high expectations, but a slowdown in iPhone sales hurt the quarter in a big way.
Everyone knows a new iPhone is coming soon, and as a result, people are delaying iPhone purchases until the next version is out. So now Apple (AAPL) finds itself in a new boom-and-bust cycle for its most important product -- and the quarter reported Tuesday definitely fell into the bust side.
Normally, 1 or 2 of the company's top 10 markets might struggle. Now, for the first time, it's seeing trouble across the board.
With its favorable funding mix, improved core business performance, and expansion strategies, the commercial bank should continue to yield profitable earnings in the upcoming quarters.
By Zacks Equity Research
Regions Financial Corporation's (RF) second-quarter 2012 earnings from continuing operations came in at 20 cents per share, outshining the Zacks consensus estimate by 6 cents. Moreover, the results compare favorably with the 14 cents per share reported in the prior quarter.
Quarterly results benefited from improved net interest margin and better credit quality backed by lower loan loss provisions and reduced non-performing assets. Moreover, improved funding mix and decline in non-interest expenses were the positives for the quarter. Yet, lower top-line, aided by reduced non-interest income was a dampener.
The company launches a generous education program to help new employees pick up high-demand skills. But some people question the motive.
This week, visitors to Amazon's (AMZN) homepage were greeted with an open letter from CEO Jeff Bezos seeking employees for the company's storage and distribution warehouses. The main draw is a new education initiative called the Amazon Career Choice Program, which will pay up to $8,000 over four years to equip employees with "high-demand" skills in engineering, information technology, or nursing. Bezos also touted improved safety conditions at Amazon's warehouses, which have been criticized as "sweatshops" after reports that employees at one warehouse were working in 100-plus-degree temperatures and needed medical care.
So, while some praise Bezos' education drive, others see a huge public relations stunt.
Stocks slide as US companies continue to indicate caution with their guidance and Moody's signals worries about more debt fallout in Europe.
The celebration, however, may be short-lived as massive defense spending cuts loom.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market. Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.
For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow. The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.
Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More
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