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Investors who avoid overreacting to recent headlines will find favorable opportunities in a number of promising ETFs. Here are several risk-controlled buy set-ups.
The company hopes to hire 50,000 workers today in an effort to put the burger-flipping stereotype to rest.
Good luck hiring with that stereotype. But that's exactly what McDonald's is doing today in a push to hire 50,000 new workers. "We're proud of our food, and we're just as proud of the jobs we create," the company says about what it has called its National Hiring Day.
Search no more: Current negativity gives long-term investors a better price.
By Alyce Lomax
My Rising Star portfolio is designed to yield both financial and social dividends. So far, its holdings include three consumer-facing stocks, a solar company, a power demand response firm, and a corporation that cleans up waste, toxic and otherwise. But as yet, it still lacks a representative of our social, electronically connected world.
Let's fix that. Google's (GOOG) recent quarter caused Wall Street types to choke on their pricey Kobe burgers. What better time to ignore the negativity and buy into a company with surprisingly lofty goals, including its famous motto: "Don't be evil."
Google's everywhere, summoned by multitudes of browsers, countless times a day, to search for everything from the educational to the mundane. Some people have substituted Google's Chrome Web browser for Microsoft's (MSFT) Internet Explorer. Other rebellious types even reject Microsoft's Office products for Google Docs.
These funds all offer investors direct access to the semiconductor industry, but each has its own strategy.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
As I explained Monday, this week's busy earnings calendar is laden with companies from across the technology industry. I highlighted the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Sector Index Fund (IYW) as a product investors can turn to in order to gain adequate exposure to a number of these companies. However, hands-on investors can also tailor their IT exposure to suit their specific desires through a variety of subsector tech ETFs.
For instance, investors can use ETFs to home in on the semiconductor industry, which will be a major focus of this week's earnings-related press. Texas Instruments (TXN) kicked things off on Monday, and three other major names from this region of the tech market will follow suit this week: Intel (INTC), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Broadcom (BRCM) and Nvidia (NVDA) are slated to report in late April and May, respectively.
After failing to bolster its brick-and-mortar business, the company forms a digital retail division.
It's been a busy few months for Wal-Mart (WMT). The retail giant has said it will improve the nutritional value of its store brands, build smaller stores in urban areas, deliver groceries to inner-city residents and return to its roots by offering lower prices every day.
But if you think Wal-Mart is settling down, think again. According to reports, Wal-Mart has agreed to buy social-media startup Kosmix and form a digital sales division with the hip name @WalmartLabs.
The world’s largest retailer is trying to say loud and clear that it wants to be taken seriously as an online retailer. But amid all these other efforts, is Wal-Mart simply a jack of all retail trades and a master of none? Or can an online push really prop up sliding sales?
The stock of Central European Distribution is cheap enough to buy, but don't expect a fast jump.
The billionaire investor recoups the loan he gave the investment bank during the financial crisis. With video on Goldman Sachs' earnings.
Eric Rosenbaum, TheStreet
The $5.5 billion payment made by Goldman Sachs to Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway covered $5 billion in preferred shares and a $500 million dividend payment.
There have been signs for months that Goldman Sachs was preparing to repay Buffett. In March, Goldman Sachs received approval from the Federal Reserve to buy back the preferred stock bought by Buffett in September 2008. Goldman paid an additional 10% penalty to redeem the shares and had previously indicated that April 18 would be the repurchase date.
Russell 2000 shares have soared, prompting predictions of a pullback that favors large stocks.
So are large-caps are making a comeback? That could be the case, if history is a decent guide.
Small-cap stocks have run so high that the Russell 2000 Index, which includes 2,000 of the smallest ones, is nearing 2% of a record close, The Wall Street Journal reports. By contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 13% from a record close, and the S&P 500 index is 16% away.
Some of the hottest small-cap stocks include Dollar Thrifty Auto (DTG), up about 44% year to date. Other stars include Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Select Comfort (SCSS).
Post continues after this video interview about top small-cap picks:
Investment managers offer their best stock ideas in response to Standard & Poor's decision to lower its rating outlook for US debt to 'negative.'
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Standard & Poor's decision to lower its outlook on the long-term rating of US sovereign debt to "negative" may have caught investors by surprise, but Michael Pento, senior economist with Euro Pacific Capital, has been making this case for years.
"It's not a surprise to me," Pento says of Standard & Poor's revision. "It's clearly late. But at least S&P is now waking up to the fact that the American sovereign debt picture is unsustainable and eventually we have to default on our debt in some form."
Just how late is S&P's revision to its outlook of U.S. debt? "I heard that the ratings agencies just downgraded the Titanic's chances of crossing the Atlantic," Pento jokes.
Investors have plowed more than $1 trillion into exchange-traded funds, which are getting increasingly complex.
ETFs are mutual funds that track an index, but unlike most mutual funds, they can be traded like stocks throughout the day. They're cheaper to trade than mutual funds, and they get traded a lot, creating a volatility that some experts are uncomfortable with.
ETFs started out simply, with the first one, SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), launching in 1993 to track the S&P 500-stock index, the Journal reports. But they've become increasingly complicated as Wall Street creates more complex schemes to make a buck. Some of the crazier ETFs can implode in an up-and-down market. In last May's Flash Crash, 70% of the securities that fell the most were ETFs, the Journal reports.
It's hard to ignore these funds, given their popularity. Investors have loaded more than $1 trillion into ETFs. But how can you control these potentially wild horses?
Post continues after this video about whether ETFs have gone too far:
Though the bank's stock is stuck below $5 and its first-quarter earnings fell, investors have been piling into the company. With video analysis on Citigroup's financial results.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
If you're an individual investor looking for a rifle-shot buy, Citigroup (C) may not be it, given the compelling alternatives in energy, metals and industrial stocks. But if you follow the wizened heads who run some of the biggest U.S. mutual funds, pay attention.
Mutual fund managers are piling into financial services, which badly lagged other sectors last year after rebounding strongly in 2009.
That's because Citigroup has been beaten down and may be at a generational low that's worth a look, since it's the world's largest and most diverse financial-services company. Big institutional investors are starting to load up on the stock.
Improving prospects for the industry, attractive yields and a positive technical picture make these plays worthy of consideration.
Management plots an uncertain future
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
The meandering consumer electronics giant is looking to scale back its big-box presence in the coming years, realizing that consumers have moved on. Back-to-back quarters of cascading revenue, comps and earnings can be as sobering as a cup of coffee rimmed with smelling salts.
In an effort to regain relevance before it becomes the second coming -- and going -- of Circuit City, Best Buy is spelling out four paths for growth.
Funds tracking industrials, financials and techs should see an active week as key holdings report first-quarter earnings. With video.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
XLI will be in the spotlight as six of the fund's top 15 holdings release their earnings performance reports over the course of the next week. Companies scheduled include General Electric (GE), Honeywell (HON), United Technologies (UTX), Union Pacific (UNP), Danaher (DHR) and CSX.
Although XLI witnessed an impressive run during the opening months of 2011, the fund has seen some choppy action in March and April. It will be interesting to see if earnings numbers from top holdings will be able to push the fund higher in the near term.
The German carmaker's ambitious goal to triple domestic sales relies on the stylish new Bug, a redesigned Passat and a new Tennesee auto plant. Includes video.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
With more than 21 million cars manufactured under the Beetle nameplate in the past 60-plus years, it's a bit shocking to consider the iconic Volkswagen car has seen only two major design schemes. Such big numbers on so few changes are proof of the compact car's resonance with motorists worldwide.
But with only 300,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. last year -- a mere 2.5% of the 11.6 million automobiles Americans purchased in 2010 -- Volkswagen has a long way to go before it is a serious player in the domestic auto market.
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The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks ended modestly higher as the S&P 500 climbed 0.2%, and the Dow added 0.4% to register its 19th consecutive Tuesday of gains.
The major averages saw little change during morning action, but afternoon buying interest helped lift the indices to session highs. Most cyclical sectors (with the exception of materials and technology) finished among the leaders, but the defensively-geared health care sector settled atop the leaderboard as biotechnology outperformed. ... More
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