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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.


But more and more it seems as if a membership in Europe's bailout club is forever.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 13, 2012 11:22AM

By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, and Spain still doesn't need a bailout.


Which is a terrible thing for the Spanish prime minister to say, because it's only reminding people -- notably bond investors -- how Greece and then Ireland and then Portugal also didn't need a bailout -- until they did.


And Europe's bailout club is looking more and more like a Roach Motel that no one ever leaves.


Johnson Controls is upgraded to 'buy,' and Janney Capital is initiating apparel companies.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 13, 2012 11:11AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Alpha Natural (ANR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
  • Dover (DOV) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
  • Johnson Controls (JCI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Lennar (LEN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
  • Pulte Group (PHM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
  • Toll Brothers (TOL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
  • Altria Group (MO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Davenport

MSN Money's Anthony Mirhaydari answers Facebook users' questions about consumer prices.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 13, 2012 10:38AM
Rising energy and food prices have been increasingly on people's minds. While Friday's CPI figures point to a relief of sorts, consumers are concerned that things are getting worse. In this video, MSN Money columnist Anthony Mirhaydari explains how supply and demand forces, as well as monetary policies, are affecting prices.


As he answers questions from MSN Money's Facebook community, Mirhaydari also expresses his concerns that we still could be in a recession. 

Total System Services extends its long-term alliance to continue to offer card payment solutions.

By Zacks.com Apr 13, 2012 9:54AM

By Zacks Equity Research

In a strategic move, Total System Services Inc. (TSS) extended on Tuesday its long-term alliance with the U.S.-based Veracity Payment Solutions to continue to offer card payment solutions. However, other terms of the deal were not divulged.

The deal blends well with Total System's client-growth strategies. It provides merchant acquiring services to Veracity's more than 12,000 global businesses that generate about $2 billion of transaction volumes yearly. On the other hand, Veracity appears to be confident about Total System's much-acknowledged and secure card payment processing and point-of-sale solutions.


As top managers dash around to quench small fires, they risk taking their eye off the ball.

By The Fiscal Times Apr 13, 2012 9:30AM
The Fiscal Times

By Suzanne McGee

It's almost impossible to take a bite out of Apple's (AAPL) success right now -- nothing seems able to stop iPhone sales or quench the insatiable demand for the new iPads. That said, there's a lot of nibbling around the edges, and while none of the salvos being fired are likely to do serious damage to the Apple brand name or franchise, there is, on the margins, the risk that Apple's management might take their eye off the ball as they dash around trying to quench small fires.

The latest of these is Wednesday's news that the U.S. Justice department has sued Apple and five of the biggest publishing firms in the United States, alleging that they conspired together to drive up the prices of electronic books above what one senior publisher apparently referred to as "the wretched $9.99 price point."


Content companies and cable providers have to devise new ways to engage this new generation of fickle viewing.

By Trefis Apr 13, 2012 9:07AM
A recent survey commissioned by Time Warner (TWX) and conducted by Innerscope Research suggests that the new age video viewers are flipping through media at an alarmingly high rate -- 27 times every hour when they are not working. The culprit -- too many options floating in the market and flooding of channels.

This implies that it is imperative for content companies to create engaging and unique content, and it becomes necessary for pay-TV and streaming service providers such as Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Netflix (NFLX) to take a step towards personalization. 

The search giant announces a 2-for-1 stock split. The banks report strong earnings, with one posting a record profit.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 13, 2012 8:25AM

By Joseph Woelfel


Google (GOOG) posted strong quarterly earnings and announced a 2-for-1 stock split. Google reported first-quarter earnings of $10.08 a share on revenue of $8.14 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs. Total revenue came in at $10.65 billion. Revenue in the U.S. rose 22% year over year to $4.9 billion, while revenue outside the U.S. jumped 26% to $5.8 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $8.146 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs, and earnings of $9.65 a share.


Google also said it will create a new class of stock, effectively issuing a split that is "designed to preserve the corporate structure that has allowed Google to remain focused on the long term." On a conference call, CEO Larry Page said many investors have asked for a stock split and this effectively grants it to them.


The company's proposal effectively amounts to a 2-for-1 split, unveiled as quarterly profit and revenue climb higher.

By Benzinga Apr 12, 2012 6:26PM

By Scott Rubin, Benzinga Staff Writer

Google (GOOG) beat analyst estimates on income but slightly missed on revenue for its fiscal first quarter, and unveiled Thursday an unusual plan to split its stock to preserve its corporate governance.

In what amounts to a 2-for-1 stock split, Google said it will create a new class of stock, Class C, that won't have any voting power. Anyone who owns a share of Google's existing Class A or Class B stock will automatically receive a share of the new Class C. The new class of shares will trade under a different ticker symbol.


With Instagram, Facebook could easily eclipse its competitors in the photo-sharing space.

By Trefis Apr 12, 2012 5:52PM
Facebook recently acquired a very popular mobile photo sharing service, Instagram, for more than $1 billion to bolster its position in the rapidly growing mobile photo-sharing space. (See our note, Facebook snaps up Instagram to secure online pics leadership.)

Instagram is a highly engaging service, with more than 30 million users on Apple's iOS mobile platform alone. It racked up more than 1 million downloads within a day of its launch on Android, and its strong growth continued after the acquisition was announced. 

Shareholders to receive a penny a share even after the bank passes a test that was expected to boost payout.

By Benzinga Apr 12, 2012 5:35PM

Image: Penny on a graph (© Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty Images)By Jane Sanders, Benzinga Staff Writer

Bank of America (BAC) shareholders will continue to receive a quarterly dividend of a penny a share, despite the bank passing a federal stress test earlier this year that would have allowed it to boost the payout.

The dividend will be payable July 25 to shareholders as of July 11, according to the bank.

The company has paid a 1 cent dividend every quarter since the beginning of 2009, according to its website.


Revenue from the print arm of the directory business has declined by nearly half over the past four years.

By Trefis Apr 12, 2012 4:53PM
AT&T (T) is selling a majority stake sale of its Yellow Pages division to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $950 million in cash and debt.

With this, AT&T will hold only a 47% stake in the division. AT&T had to sell at a depressed valuation, showing its desperation to get rid of a non-strategic business with declining revenue in the face of increasing online competition from Google (GOOG) and Yelp (YELP). 

The company has a great long-term story, but its building energy business has hurt the overall picture.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 12, 2012 4:14PM

You might think that the problem with Johnson Controls (JCI) was its exposure to the auto industry -- especially the auto industry in China, where the company has a 45% share of the auto-seating market. After all, auto sales are slowing in China, and European auto sales didn’t exactly zoom ahead in 2011. Or in the auto battery business, which is exposed to, you guessed it, any slowdown in auto sales.


But, no, the problem for nine of the last 10 quarters has been in the building energy systems segment.


Not even the world's largest retailer is safe as more consumers turn to the Web to buy everything from diapers to televisions.

By TheWeek.com Apr 12, 2012 3:42PM

Walmart © Bloomberg/Getty Images"A mobile shopping revolution is under way, and brick-and-mortar retailers are worried," says Steve Henn at NPR. The phenomenon of "showrooming" -- in which customers go to stores to eyeball and test products before buying them online at a cheaper price, often at Amazon (AMZN) -- is taking its toll on Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), Best Buy (BBY), and other giants in the retail industry.

Can Wal-Mart fight the trend and cling to its customers?

Wal-Mart can't compete with Amazon's prices: These days, "half of shoppers who buy products online first checked them out in a traditional store," says Ann Zimmerman at The Wall Street Journal.


Despite the stock's rise after spinoff news, the large packaged-food company holds more upside potential.

By Gene Marcial Apr 12, 2012 2:59PM

When change happens, there's opportunity -- or the devil to pay.


In the case of Kraft (KFT), opportunity beckons more than trouble. The devil may be in the details, but the bonanza is still in owning the stock.


Before year's end, Kraft plans to spin off to shareholders its North American grocery business, which will retain the world-famous Kraft brand. The parent company will retain the global snacks business, including coffee and powdered drinks, and will be named Mondelēz International.

Tags: KFT

With positive earnings and business outlooks, these 2 plays could outperform the S&P 500.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 12, 2012 2:51PM

Image: Gambling (© Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

After a rough five-day slide, stocks stabilized Wednesday as surprisingly positive earnings from Alcoa Inc. (AA) pushed the stock 7% higher. 

Most of the major averages closed below their daily Starc-bands Tuesday, and the short-term McClellan Oscillator was quite oversold at minus 315. Tuesday's drop did have some signs of panic liquidation.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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