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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.

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Not exactly a beacon of healthful living, the fast-food giant is criticized for linking its name to athletic contests.

By InvestorPlace Jan 13, 2012 11:24AM

McDonald's (MCD) once again is a top sponsor of the Olympic Games. But not everyone is lovin' it.


On Thursday, McDonald's announced it would continue its sponsorship through 2020, a deal estimated at about $100 million per four years, or for every pair (winter and summer) of Olympic Games.

 

This entertainment and leisure company has proved recession-resistant even if the movie business isn't necessarily.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 13, 2012 11:11AM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which more than 50 newsletter advisers share their Top Picks for 2012.

By David Dittman, Australian Edge

Amalgamated Holdings Ltd. (AHD: Australia stock exchange) has more than 1,000 movie screens in Australia, New Zealand and Germany.  

The automaker is in a position to move higher based on the company's strategy to innovate, grow and increase sales.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 13, 2012 11:08AM

Photodisc/SuperStockBy Mike Kapsch, Investment U


I recently wrote about the "connected car" making its debut at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.


On Wednesday, Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally gave his keynote speech at CES, touting the automaker's future innovations to the standard automobile. Those in attendance heard about the coming introduction of heart monitoring systems in your steering wheel, the emergence of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, getting instant weather and traffic updates on your dashboard, as well as a slew of other technologies that'll soon dramatically improve the everyday driving experience.

 

MSN Money's Anthony Mirhaydari answers Facebook questions about investing and housing in 2012.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 13, 2012 10:33AM

It's a new year and a time to assess our investment strategies and portfolios. MSN Money columnist and Top Stocks blogger Anthony Mirhaydari urges caution on buying into the turbulent markets, especially with a soft earnings season as well as several unresolved issues from 2011.

 

He fielded questions from our Facebook community, including one on the housing market.

 

But at least one casino stock is scary on its own merits.

By InvestorPlace Jan 13, 2012 10:14AM
CorbisBy Lawrence Meyers


Wynn Resorts' (WYNN) own vice chairman, Kazuo Okada, who indirectly owns 20% of the company, filed suit against Wynn so he could get a look at its books. Allegedly, he's been stonewalled from doing so, and he's asking about a $129 million donation to the University of Macau and $30 million Okada gave to the company to develop a Macau casino.


Does the lawsuit have merit? Who knows? Should you care? Probably not.

 

Sales of mobile devices are sure to continue growing. Why bet on just one connectivity stock?

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 13, 2012 9:02AM
Image: Man filling up car with gas while on cell phone (© moodboard/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012

By Paul McWilliams, Next Inning

Rather than select a single "stock of the year" for 2012, I am selecting a favorite sector and four stocks in it.
 

The world's third-largest PC maker has been planning a new facility in western China for years.

By Zacks.com Jan 12, 2012 5:14PM
The world's No. 3 PC maker, Dell (DELL), plans to start production this year at its new factory in Chengdu, Western China.


Dell's Chinese expansion has taken a while. The plan was initiated in September 2010, but construction didn't start until a year later. Previously, Dell expected the unit to be operational by the end of fiscal 2011, creating 3,000 jobs.

 
Tags: AAPLHPQ

Here are a few of the top picks from one of the best defensive investing gurus out there.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 12, 2012 5:05PM

Image: Image: Woman reading newspaper in livingroom © Tetra images/Getty Images Woman reading newspaper in livingroom © Tetra images/Getty ImagesBy Kelley Wright, Investment Quality Trends 

Special to MoneyShow.com


After posting robust double-digit returns in 2009 and 2010, analysts' predictions for the S&P 500 in 2011 were for more of the same. In fact, the predictions ranged from a low of 1,300 to a high of 1,520, with the consensus at 1,391.


The S&P failed to reach the consensus estimates for 2011. This is not a slam on Wall Street analysts. But in contrast to the last two years, analysts’ consensus estimates for 2012 are more subdued.

 

But the country is likely months away from an actual cut to interest rates.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 12, 2012 4:43PM
Image: (Shanghai, China © Yang Liu/Corbis)Inflation at the consumer level fell to a 15-month low in December, China's National Bureau of Statistics announced Thursday. Inflation at the producer level fell to the lowest rate in two years.

The path to another cut by the People's Bank of China in the bank reserve requirement before the Lunar New Year holiday is now wide open. In December, China’s central bank reduced its record high reserve requirement ratio for the first time since 2008.

Consumer prices rose in December at 4.1% annual rate. That was down from a 4.2% rate in November and just slightly above the 4% median estimate from 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
 

With holdings in defensive sectors, this fund offers growth plus dividends for investors worried about Europe.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 12, 2012 4:02PM
Image: Power lines (© Digital Vision)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Jim Farrish, Sector Exchange

Looking towards 2012, Europe is the single biggest obstacle facing both investors and the financial markets. Therefore, my outlook is cautious, and any investment added to my portfolio should first measure the risk/reward of the opportunity.  
Tags: DVYetf

The retailer is building mini-Apple shops in some stores, and has struck exclusive deals with other boutiques.

By Kim Peterson Jan 12, 2012 3:19PM
A store within a store? Target (TGT) thinks that might be just what it needs.

The company plans to open a small number of Apple (AAPL) stores in 25 locations, increasing the number of iPads and other products it sells from the electronics maker. The mini stores will have Apple employees wearing the blue shirts you normally see at Apple's own retail locations.

Target isn't stopping with Apple. The retailer has announced a broader initiative, called "The Shops at Target," that will carry exclusive items from other boutiques. 

The cake maker has been divesting its less-profitable bakery businesses in North America to reallocate resources to its core meat division.

By Trefis Jan 12, 2012 2:26PM
Image: Bread (© Corbis)Sara Lee (SLE) is a leading manufacturer of meat, bakery and beverage products, with food services and retail channels in the U.S. and Europe. Last year the company announced plans to split into two separate, pure-play beverage and meat companies after divesting its non-core businesses by 2012.

Under the plan, the international beverage business will be spun off, tax-free, into a new company. The remaining company will include Sara Lee's North American retail and food service businesses, focusing primarily on strengthening its leading market position in the meat business. The company competes with major food and consumer companies like Kraft Foods (KFT) and Nestle (NESN). 
Tags: KFTSLE

The metal typically rises in the opening months of the year, and buyers should look to a particular copper ETN and stock.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 12, 2012 2:04PM

Image: Arrow Up (© Photodisc/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The copper market is watched closely as a barometer of the economy’s health, and copper futures been active so far this week. 


The recent report that China’s imports of copper in December hit record levels has also caught many analysts’ attention, even though some of the increase has been attributed to arbitrage in the futures market. The recent decline in China’s inflation rate is also an encouraging sign.

 
Tags: AAJJCSCCO

Ignore the country's shrinking GDP. These stocks are poised for growth.

By InvestorPlace Jan 12, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)By Charles Sizemore


The capital market turmoil of the second half of 2011 is finally starting to show up in Europe's real economy.


Initial estimates show Germany's gross domestic product shrinking 0.25% in the fourth quarter of 2011, dragging down the growth rate for the year to 3% (versus 3.7% last year). If the first quarter of this year proves to be sluggish, GDP might shrink again, placing the German economy officially in recession.

 
Tags: DAIetfSI

P and Q preferred shares are a solid investment despite halt in dividend payments.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 12, 2012 1:55PM
Image: Birds nest with golden eggs © Rob Casey/Brand X/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Vivian Lewis, Global Investing

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has tripped over its kilt. Nevertheless, as our top idea for 2012, we recommend the bank's preferred shares, specifically the non-cumulative preferred Q (RBS-Q) issues. We also like the preferred P series (RBS-P), which we already own. 
Tags: RBS

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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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