The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.

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The company is trying to rev up sales with new approaches.

By Kim Peterson Mar 20, 2012 5:00PM
Image: McDonald’s restaurant © AFP/Getty ImagesMcDonald's (MCD) is killing it in the U.S. -- but needs a little work in Asia.

Look at the company's February sales. The U.S. saw sales growth of 11% -- far more than what analysts expected. Sales in Europe rose 4%, still respectable but a little lower than what analysts were looking for.

But Asia and other parts of the world were a huge disappointment. Analysts projected an 8.1% rise, but McDonald's only came in at 2.4% growth. 
Tags: MCDYUM

The company has extended its debt maturities, and has more time to work some magic on the Las Vegas Strip.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 20, 2012 4:08PM
Image: Four aces (© Image Source/Corbis)Growth or value. Growth or value.

If you're looking for the fastest current growth in the gambling sector, especially among the companies positioned to reap the rewards of growth in Macau, Singapore, and other Asian gambling hot spots, I suggested in my March 8 post going with Las Vegas Sands (LVS), or even better, the company's Macau unit Sands China. For more on the sector as a whole and how I'd handicap the players, see my March 8 post.

But if you're looking for value -- and a chance to make good profits with lower risk -- I'd go
with MGM Resorts International (MGM) on any pullback from Tuesday afternoon's $14.22 to $13.30 or less. (While I'm waiting, I'll put this on my watch list.)
 
Tags: LVSMGM

Here's why Evolution Fresh could go far beyond a "juice bar."

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 20, 2012 2:18PM

By Alyce Lomax

 

Starbucks (SBUX) is opening its first Evolution Fresh juice bar in Seattle. Shareholders are likely pleased with this progress, but there's a lot more to the growth story than meets the eye. From first reports of the juice bar, Starbucks really is evolving in a bold way that has nothing to do with coffee.

 

A healthy revolution
The Evolution Fresh brand (previously only available in a few stores like Whole Foods Market (WFM)) takes juicing to a whole new level of healthiness. Upon acquisition of the concept, it became clear that Starbucks was taking on one of the few "true juiceries" left out there. Its high-pressure processing means its juices are never heated, so they boast a more artisanal air, retaining more vitamins and nutrients than other juices.

 

Luxury stocks are solid buys these days, and few names can match this one in prestige. You can play the stock even if you can't play the pricey pianos.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 20, 2012 1:52PM

By Brett Arends for SmartMoney

 

Steinway & Sons has a brand name to die for. It's been more than 150 years since German immigrant Henry Steinway first began making pianos in a loft in New York. Today the company's famous name is almost synonymous around the world with the finest SmartMoneyconcert grands.

 

Are they the best in the world? It's a matter of personal preference. But Anthony Fogg, artistic administration of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, notes that the majority of major concert halls around the world use Steinways. That says a lot. The BSO has two nine-foot Steinway concert grands, he says -- one made in Germany, one in the United States.

 

In a review of the gold sector, Standard & Poor's looks at 2 ETFs, 3 stocks and 5 reasons to invest in the precious metal.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 20, 2012 1:14PM
Image: Small Stack of gold ingots (© Anthony Bradshaw/Photographer)By Leo Larkin, S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst, The Outlook

S&P Capital IQ has a positive outlook for gold and gold-related investments for 2012.

Even though the price of gold has risen steadily over the past decade --  reaching its highest average level ever in 2011 -- we believe gold will continue to climb in 2012 for five reasons. We also look at a trio of gold stocks and two exchange-traded funds. 

The athletic clothing maker, which will report earnings on Thursday, has topped estimates over the last four quarters.

By Zacks.com Mar 20, 2012 12:56PM

Image: Woman on rowing machine (© Jupiterimages/Brand X/Getty Images)By Zacks Equity Research
  
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU), a leading athletic apparel and accessories retailer in Canada, the U.S. and Australia, is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter 2011 financial results before the opening bell on March 22.


The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the quarter is 49 cents a share. For the fourth quarter, revenue is expected to be $360 million, according to the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

 
Tags: LULUUA

Who cares about the company's paltry dividend? Investors should focus on the massive success of its signature tablet computer.

By Jim Cramer Mar 20, 2012 12:49PM

TheStreetCandidly, I was disappointed in Apple (AAPL) on Monday. And not because it's paying out a relatively paltry dividend, given its cash hoard.


After all, if this stock were to come down, then you know the dividend would seem rather bountiful. No one should ever sniff at $2.65 a quarter when not that long ago the stock was in the $200s. There's plenty of room to raise the dividend over time as Intel (INTC) and Microsoft (MSFT) have done. I am also sure that the dividend will get other funds that can own only dividend stocks to purchase Apple, but that's not a real driver to own the stock.

 

The actor says his character in 'Pretty Woman' glorified the Wall Street type.

By Kim Peterson Mar 20, 2012 12:48PM
JULIA ROBERTS AND RICHARD GERE (© Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Don't ask Richard Gere about "Pretty Woman."

The 62-year-old actor hates the 1990 romantic comedy and told Woman's Day magazine that "it's my least favorite thing."

In its own small way, the movie may have helped contribute to the global financial crisis, he added. That's because the character he played, corporate raider Edward Lewis, helped romanticize and idealize Wall Street. 

The entertainment giant aimed for the stars but crashed to earth with its action flick 'John Carter.'

By Zacks.com Mar 20, 2012 12:37PM

Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Zacks Equity Research
    ‎ 
The Walt Disney Company's (DIS) science-fiction movie "John Carter" is creating a buzz, but for all the wrong reasons. 


Disney is expected to register a loss of $200 million as the big-budget production turns out to be the biggest flop in its history, according to Reuters.

 

Investors take a shine to the luxury-goods retailer despite economic concerns.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 20, 2012 11:50AM
Image: Dollar sign (© Image Source/Corbis)Shares of Tiffany & Co. (TIF) soared more than 7% Tuesday morning after the company said its earnings would exceed analysts' estimates, despite fears that Wall Street layoffs and a slowdown in Europe would hurt results more than the economic rebound would help them.

It appears that rich Americans not employed on Wall Street are doing fine and that consumer confidence in the world's largest economy is on the rise. Ditto for wealthy Chinese, though China's economy is faltering.  
Tags: GSTIF

Adobe is upgraded to 'sector perform,' and Agrium is initiated with a 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 20, 2012 11:20AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • ARM Holdings (ARMH) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Adobe (ADBE) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital
  • Harley-Davidson (HOG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
 

The networking giant is reinvigorating its business with a focus on virtualization and cloud computing.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 20, 2012 10:45AM

By Richard Moroney, Dow Theory Forecasts

Cisco Systems (CSCO) pushed the reset button in the fiscal year that began in August. The networking giant has sharpened its focus on cost cuts and efficiency improvements in hopes of reinvigorating its business.

Over the past few years, competitors have nibbled away at Cisco's markets, slowing the company's growth. But it is now emphasizing new products that will keep it relevant.

 

It can work regardless of where things go from here.

By Stock Traders Daily Mar 20, 2012 10:31AM

Admittedly, we all hope the market will go up forever, as it has recently. But we all know it will not. Even people who focus on the short term have doubts about the economy and acknowledge that any stumble could cause stocks to pull back more seriously again.


In every respect, this is a time when smaller investors are being enticed back into the market. They think it will go straight up because everything looks great. But smarter investors are hedging those bets. Smarter investors are looking for strategies that can work if the market goes up or if it goes down. Strategies that are not tied to market direction but have solid historical performance as well. That is what I will discuss here.

 
Tags: etfQIDQLD

These ETFs have huge AAPL holdings at a fraction of the full share price.

By InvestorPlace Mar 20, 2012 9:32AM

By Kyle Woodley

 

Want to get into Apple (AAPL)? Get ready to fork over 600 clams.

 

Good grief.

 

At this point, the Cupertino, Calif., behemoth's growth is all but unstoppable, especially with the new iPad now available at Apple stores and the appeal of the recently announced Apple dividend.

 

The software maker meets quarterly profit expectations. The online retailer will acquire robotic packaging company Kiva Systems.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 20, 2012 7:42AM

By Chao Deng

 

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

 

Adobe Systems (ADBE), a maker of digital media publishing applications, posted a fiscal-first-quarter profit in line with analysts' estimates. Adobe posted non-GAAP profit of $284.5 million, or 57 cents a share, on revenue of $1.045 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share on revenue of $1.053 billion. For the fiscal second quarter, ending in May, Adobe forecast non-GAAP earnings of 57 cents to 61 cents a share on revenue ranging from $1.09 billion to $1.14 billion. The current average analyst view is for a profit of 60 cents a share on revenue of $1.10 billion.

 

Amazon.com (AMZN) agreed to acquire privately held Kiva Systems, a maker of robotic package handling systems, for $775 million in cash. Separately, Amazon will sell $10 gift cards for $5 on Tuesday to people who visit AmazonLocal.com, its answer to deals sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, The Associated Press reported.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages registered modest early gains with the S&P 500 climbing above its record closing high at 1987.98. The benchmark index trades higher by 0.1% with seven sectors showing gains.

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