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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.


The brewer is looking to buy growth abroad, but the $3.54 billion deal is no slam dunk.

By Jonathan Berr Apr 3, 2012 12:15PM
Image: Beer (© Corbis)Faced with lackluster U.S. beer sales, Molson Coors (TAP) Tuesday agreed to purchase StarBev, owner of nine breweries in Europe, for $3.54 billion.

The Colorado brewer is hoping to bolster sales overseas. While success is far from a given, the acquisition is worth the risk.    

We might be looking at the best possible scenario: growth without inflation.

By Jim Cramer Apr 3, 2012 11:24AM

One look at the charts shows a second quarter that looks like oil's going to collapse, not just natural gas, and regional banks plus housing are about to roar.


You always get suspicious when the charts are so uniform. Is there a price that people who own Ultra Petroleum (UPL) and Southwestern Energy (SWN) won't sell at? Can Apache (APA) hold any level? What is going to happen to Baker Hughes (BHI), which seems to have no bottom?


But remember: Repurchases don't always pay off for investors.

By InvestorPlace Apr 3, 2012 10:54AM

By Jeff Reeves


Standard & Poor's recently reported that stock buybacks are finally on the decline after almost three years of increases. Stock buybacks are a fairly common way for companies to return wealth to their shareholders. Although not as tangible as dividends, which get mailed directly to anyone owning the stock, the mechanics of a share buyback also can provide shareholder value and give shares a boost.


Consider that while Apple (AAPL) made waves with the announcement of a long-awaited dividend, at $2.65 a share, the tech giant also committed $10 billion toward stock buybacks at the same time. There's a reason the company made these two big announcements hand-in-hand.


Despite difficult times, the global long-term prospects for nuclear plant construction remain strong.

By TheStockAdvisors Apr 3, 2012 10:13AM

By Stephen Leeb, The Complete Investor

Down, but not out. That's perhaps the best way to describe Shaw Group (SHAW), which suffered through a dreadful fiscal 2011. The company lost more than $2 a share as Europe's debt crisis and fears of global slowdown caused many major construction and engineering projects to be delayed or shelved.

The tragic Fukushima disaster, which dealt a temporary blow to nuclear power development, was a further headwind last year. But now Shaw is bouncing back.


The drugstore chain hopes to maintain its relationship and existing long-term contracts with Medco.

By Trefis Apr 3, 2012 9:23AM
Express Scripts announced Monday that it has completed its $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions (MHS). The markets will be weighing the implications for Walgreen (WAG).

Walgreen walked out of Express Scripts (ESRX) network last year because of disagreements on reimbursement rates, losing more than $4 billion worth of business. Is it at risk of losing even more prescription business now that Medco will be folded into Express Scripts? 

The SEC will examine Groupon's revision of its first-quarter financial results. The automakers will release US sales figures for March.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 3, 2012 7:45AM

By Joseph Woelfel


Groupon's (GRPN) revision of its first set of financial results as a public company is being examined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a report said. The SEC's probe into the online deal company is at a preliminary stage and the SEC hasn't yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation into the matter, a person familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.

Groupon revised its reported fourth-quarter results lower and said its independent auditor determined it has a "material weakness" in its internal controls.


Automakers including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) on Tuesday are expected to announce U.S. sales figures for March.


A state court has stated that a lawsuit against the bank was premature.

By Trefis Apr 2, 2012 5:44PM
Image: Home with foreclosure sign in front yard © Ariel Skelley/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesIn what is possibly the best news Bank of America (BAC) received on the legal front in months, the troubled U.S. lender has been let off the hook in a mortgage-related lawsuit against it by investment firm Walnut Place.

The Supreme Court of the state of New York dismissed the lawsuit filed last February stating that Walnut Place cannot sue the lender directly without giving trustee Bank of New York Mellon (BK) enough time to handle the matter.

The judgment has a bigger, more far-reaching impact on Bank of America and all other banks jostling with a long list of mortgage-related lawsuits, as it reinforces the procedure that needs to be followed for such lawsuits. 

Now that the company has gotten religion about the welfare of Chinese workers, perhaps US taxpayers will be next in line.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 2, 2012 5:38PM

Image: Apple logo © BECK DIEFENBACH//ReutersBy Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com

Tim Cook isn't Santa Claus. On the other hand, Apple's (AAPL) CEO isn't Steve Jobs, either.

Jobs lectured President Obama that he'd be a one-term president unless the U.S. followed China's example and slashed "regulations and unnecessary costs."

Cook has just gone to China, in part, to look after the welfare of the Chinese workers assembling Apple products. In the wake of allegations of widespread labor abuses, now partially confirmed by a monitoring group hired by Apple, Cook presumably nudged Chinese partner Foxconn to pledge higher pay and improved working conditions.


Hackers attack a pipeline that services credit card transactions, exposing more than one million customers to fraud

By TheWeek.com Apr 2, 2012 5:31PM

Image: Man paying with credit card © UpperCut Images/UpperCut Images/Getty ImagesGlobal Payments (GPN), a little-known third-party processor of credit-card transactions, has admitted that its security defenses were breached by hackers, leaving more than 1 million customers of Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), and other companies vulnerable to fraud.

Visa and MasterCard were quick to reassure customers that they would be covered for any losses from theft, but the attack nevertheless is raising concerns about the security of the credit-card payment system. The incident is also casting a spotlight on Global Payments and other companies that help execute credit-card transactions, and that could be less secure than bigger companies like Visa.

Tags: MAV

Despite large first-quarter gains, 2 big Dow stocks show strong monthly chart formations and are worthy of new buying.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 2, 2012 5:27PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

The first-quarter gain of over 8% in the Dow Industrials was impressive, but many of the Dow stocks fared much better. One of the most oversold Dow stocks in the October scan was Caterpillar (CAT), which was up 17.6% in the first quarter, but it trailed the huge 38.2% gain posted by JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

My monthly scan identifies stocks that are closest to either their upper Starc band (Starc+) or lower Starc band (Starc-).


A few short years ago, Research In Motion's device was the undisputed smartphone king. Now the company's latest earnings report is being called a 'train wreck.'

By TheWeek.com Apr 2, 2012 5:24PM

The latest earnings report from Research In Motion (RIMM) (commonly known as RIM), the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphone, is nothing less than a "train wreck," says John Paczkowski at All Things D.

With more and more customers ditching their BlackBerries for Apple (AAPL) iPhones and Google (GOOG) Android-supported devices, RIM failed to meet sales expectations for the fifth-straight quarter, and officials are hinting that the once-dominant smartphone maker might put itself up for sale.


The chain tries to lighten up with healthier menu options -- and it looks to its larger rival for ideas.

By Kim Peterson Apr 2, 2012 4:52PM
Burger King, desperate to recover after losing the No. 2 industry spot to Wendy's (WEN), has a new menu.

Actually, call it a McMenu. That's because most of the 10 new items on the menu can already be found at McDonald's (MCD).

The Caesar salad with grilled chicken and dressing? Check. The crispy chicken snack wrap? Check. Honey mustard snack wrap? Check. Strawberry banana smoothie, mocha frappe and caramel frappe? You got it. 

The Brazilian steelmaker is performing against headwinds -- and more good news lies ahead.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 2, 2012 4:24PM
Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau (GGB) turned in a great performance in the first quarter -- a 23.90% gain -- against considerable headwinds. 

I see those headwinds falling in velocity for the remainder of 2012 -- which suggests good things for the stock. With the ADRs trading at $9.93 Monday afternoon, I'll continue to hold these shares in my Jubak's Picks portfolio. I am cutting my target price for the end of 2012, however, to $14.80 from $16.80 on the relatively slow recovery in Brazil from the growth slump engineered in 2011 by the country’s central bank in order to fight inflation.
Tags: GGB

The Affordable Care Act implies a major reform in the public and private health insurance industry, which should increase demand for drugs and diagnostic equipment.

By Trefis Apr 2, 2012 3:49PM

When President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), popularly known as "Obamacare," in March 2010, it received large amounts of praise and criticism. Most people seem to feel strongly one way or the other.


The polarizing response and the underlying reasons for it are quite intriguing and lie at the core beliefs of fundamental rights governing healthcare and the government's ability to enforce these rights. As research analysts, we consider how this impacts healthcare companies such as Abbott Labs (ABT), Pfizer (PFE), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).


It's time for a more realistic Plan B.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Apr 2, 2012 3:35PM

By Dan Caplinger


If you happen to be one of the winners of the Mega Millions jackpot from over the weekend, then by all means, skip the rest of this article. But for the rest of us losers -- which sadly includes yours truly -- it's time to get real about coming up with a plan for financial security that doesn't involve a 175 million-to-1 long shot.


Looking for the easy way out
I've got nothing against throwing away a dollar or two for the chance at winning millions. After all, it's not every day that you get a chance at a nine-figure payday -- and just the entertainment value alone of pondering the impact that a $640 million jackpot could have is worth something.



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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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