Get ready for a flood of IPOs
Flood of IPOs land this week

If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.

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US banking regulators' proposal on risk weighting could boost the precious metal's attraction as an investor haven.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Jun 28, 2012 2:04PM

Image: Small Stack of gold ingots (© Anthony Bradshaw/Photographer)By Eric McWhinnie, Wall St. Cheat Sheet


Gold has been called many things over the past several years. The shiny yellow metal is seen as a haven to some, but a barbaric lifeless asset by others. In short, gold has trouble receiving a wide range of support as a key player in the global financial system. 


However, new developments may slowly change how investors and institutions view the precious metal.

 
Tags: gold

A return to annual iron-ore contract terms could affect miners' profit margins.

By Trefis Jun 28, 2012 1:46PM
Trefis
Citing sluggish economic conditions and volatility in iron-ore prices, steel giant Posco (PKX) and some other steel companies are pitching for a shift back to an annual contract-pricing method. 

If the steelmakers push the miners to once again change the contract-pricing method, this could affect the profit margins of mining giants like Vale (VALE), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF). Below we take a look at how the move could impact the value of the miners.
 
Tags: CLFRIO

Levinsohn might just be steering the Internet company with some competence.

By InvestorPlace Jun 28, 2012 1:38PM

By Jonathan Berr


Yahoo (YHOO) Interim Chief Executive Russ Levinsohn has decided that his company is in the advertising business.


The next thing you know, Christopher Columbus will discover America.


Though that sounds flippant, one of the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's problems is that it's an unfocused mess that tries to be all things to all people. No website being launched today would offer the array of services that Yahoo and AOL (AOL) offer, such as email, financial news and fantasy sports.

 

The investment guru owns some well-known names that look like bargains.

By GuruFocus.com Jun 28, 2012 12:50PM

Cheapness is a top characteristic Warren Buffett looks for in stocks, though they must also be high-quality companies. It makes sense then that his holdings would include quite a few companies with low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios


The lowest of the low in Buffet's portfolio are: General Motors (GM), ConocoPhillips (COP), Gannett Co. (GCI) and General Dynamics (GD).

 

Warm weather, export demand and health-conscious consumers spur a butter and cheese rally.

By Jonathan Berr Jun 28, 2012 11:24AM

Image: Rising food prices (© George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)Food companies are facing rising prices on dairy products, a cost that may eventually depress their profits, even if some of it will be passed on to consumers.

 

Wholesale prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for butter are currently around $1.52 per pound after jumping 16% from May's level of $1.35. Barrel cheddar spot prices soared about 13% to $1.67 per pound during the same period.

 

Halliburton is upgraded to 'outperform,' while Seagate is downgraded to 'hold.'

By MSN Money Partner Jun 28, 2012 10:54AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include: 
  • Anadarko (APC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Ensco (ESV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Halliburton (HAL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • General Growth (GGP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
 

In this market, it's best to watch where the good and bad results will come from.

By Jim Cramer Jun 28, 2012 10:53AM

A rally led by housing and fertilizer and oil is not a rally that can have all that much staying power.

 

But, then again, maybe it wasn't much of a rally. Maybe it was a repositioning out of growth winners into oversold losers and domestic stocks with some good news, like Lennar (LEN) and its cohort.

 

The boutique chain's expansion looks good but might take away its edge.

By InvestorPlace Jun 28, 2012 10:17AM

By Alyssa Oursler

 

If you hadn't heard of retail stock Francesca's Holdings (FRAN) before the company's last earnings report, I'm guessing you've heard of it by now.

 

The fashionable boutique chain, which went public in 2011, flaunted impressive numbers last quarter and saw shares skyrocket as a result.

 

Still, its stock price estimate implies a 60% premium to current market price.

By Trefis Jun 28, 2012 9:40AM
TrefisRecently, we wrote about increased competition for Netflix (NFLX) from Amazon (AMZN), and how that might impact it in the longer run (see Amazon Is About To Rain On Netflix's Parade With Original Content).

To add to that, Lovefilm has bagged an exclusive deal with News Corp's (NWS) Fox Studios to stream some movies to its customers in the U.K. that Netflix cannot. While competition seems to be increasing all around, customers are still willing to consider Netflix as one of their top choices in the U.S. 

The utility company also plans a 1-for-3 reverse stock split.

By Zacks.com Jun 28, 2012 9:29AM

By Zacks Equity Research
 
Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) raised the quarterly cash dividend on its common stock by 0.5 cents to 25.5 cents per share. This action increases the annualized dividend to $1.02. The dividend is payable on September 17, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 17, 2012. This is the 86th consecutive year that Duke Energy has paid a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock. 


Earlier, in January 2011, Duke Energy announced that it would buy Progress Energy Inc. (PGN). The Raleigh, North Carolina company is a pure-play electricity utility with a solid rate base growth opportunity in the long term. The company engages in regulated electricity operations in the southeastern U.S. and also runs non-regulated businesses.

 
Tags: DUKEXC

The bank's loss could total as much as $9 billion, and the media company's board approved its planned split.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 28, 2012 8:54AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) $2 billion trading loss related to hedging could total as much as $9 billion, The New York Times reported, citing people who have been briefed on the situation.

CEO Jamie Dimon estimated last month that losses from the bad bet on credit derivatives could double within the next few quarters. But the losses have been mounting in recent weeks, as the bank has been unwinding its positions, the Times reported, according to interviews with current and former traders and executives at the bank.


The Times said JPMorgan is now out of more than half of the trade and may be completely free this year. JPMorgan will disclose part of the total losses on the hedging bet on July 13, when it reports second-quarter earnings. Shares of JPMorgan fell 3.75% in premarket trading Thursday to $35.40.

 

The head honcho of News Corp. is considering a major split that would divide the lucrative Fox News and 20th Century Fox from his struggling newspaper business.

By TheWeek.com Jun 27, 2012 5:05PM

Image: Newspapers (© Janis Christie/Getty Images)News Corp. (NWS), the media empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch, confirmed this week that it is considering a plan to split into two companies.


Reportedly, one company would comprise Murdoch's publishing business, which includes The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Britain's The Times of London, and book publisher HarperCollins. A separate (and much bigger) company would house News Corp.'s far more lucrative entertainment units, such as the film studio 20th Century Fox, the Fox television network, and the Fox News cable channel.

 
Tags: NWS

The decision, expected Thursday, could move these health care stocks and subsectors.

By Benzinga Jun 27, 2012 4:15PM
Image: United States Supreme Court (© Hisham F Ibrahim/Photodisc Red/Getty Images)By Scott Rubin, Benzinga Staff Writer

The Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. 


The legislation was the defining accomplishment of the President's first term but has been bitterly criticized by political opponents. Needless to say, the stakes are high.

 

Nike leads a pack of companies that could give investors clues about the consumer mindset and the state of manufacturing.

By Stock Traders Daily Jun 27, 2012 2:51PM

Image: Pie Chart (© Christine Balderas/Photodisc/Getty Images)By Stock Traders Daily

 

It's not quite earnings season yet, but that doesn't mean that the earnings calendar is void of any important events. Thursday will bring a few key reports, including one from Nike (NKE). Additionally, a prominent steel producer will likely give us a look into how the manufacturing sector is faring.

 

With global economic and corporate growth slowing, and with companies facing perhaps as many risks and uncertainties since the Great Recession, the second-quarter earnings season may be yet another hurdle for the stock market.

 
Tags: FDOSWHC

The car-parts distributor is positioned well, especially as it turns its focus to improving commercial sales.

By Benzinga Jun 27, 2012 2:07PM

Image: Man working on car © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty ImagesBy Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer


AutoZone (AZO), the auto-parts retailer operating nearly 5,000 stores throughout the United States alone, has sparked the interest of analysts with its compelling growth story.


Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold" Tuesday and increased its price target by $40. The move was made for several reasons, but it appears that concern about slowing new-car sales is one of the driving factors behind the upgrade.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The time is drawing near for the FOMC to release its latest policy directive.  It will be done at the top of the hour; and the major indices are mixed at the bottom of the hour.

Market participants are expecting the policy directive to read very similarly to the last directive.  Any new nuggets of information, therefore, that suggest the Fed is angling to prepare the market for the fed funds rate to go up sooner rather than later would be a source of ... More


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