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Always do your homework before buying or selling shares -- especially during earnings season, when the news tells only part of the story.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why do I emphasize endlessly that you can't trade off the headlines in earnings, that you can't make snap judgments?
Because of Pepsi (PEP).
Not that long ago, with its stock trading at $68, the company reported a strong quarter and then told people that it was doing so well in the emerging markets that it had to spend more money to take advantage of the opportunity. I liked the call because I love to hear a CEO, in this case Indra Nooyi, talk about spending -- not cutting back but spending because there is accelerated growth to be had.
Prices are likely to keep climbing because of lower inventories and smaller herds.
The fallout continues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's shocking turnaround on the size of this year's corn crop.
Last Friday, the USDA completely reversed its optimistic Sept. 30 projection for corn production for the year and slashed its estimate of year-end stocks. The agency lowered its projections for year-end corn inventory to just 902 million bushels, a 19% drop from its September 30 estimate and a huge drop from the 2009-2010 end-of-the-year inventory of 1.6708 billion bushels. (For more on the corn harvest and the USDA's projections, see this post.)
Not surprisingly, corn prices are soaring. They rose another 8.5% on the Chicago Board of Trade on Monday.
We are expecting good things from the search leader.
Written by Douglas Estadt
Google (GOOG) reports earnings after the market closes Thursday, and we are expecting good things. The Android’s exceptional performance in outselling the iPhone, along with the recent positive earnings of tech companies, foreshadow a promising report.
Take a look at why we believe in Google and what we do to profit:
Some McDonald's locations in Hong Kong will offer full-service wedding banquets next year.
Starting next year, some McDonald's locations will offer full wedding banquet service -- complete with an appearance by Ronald McDonald. The happy couple will never forget their wedding cake, either. Cakes can be made of cheeseburgers, Filet-o-Fish sandwiches or apple pies.
The cost? Around $300 to $400, the company estimates. A steal compared to a traditional hotel wedding banquet, which can run as high as $50,000. McDonald's Hong Kong also wants to host wedding anniversary parties.
The companies must delay foreclosure cases as the document crisis expands.
Foreclosures have ground to a halt at some big banks. Forged documents are coming to light. Prosecutors in all 50 states are investigating improper procedures.
Fannie and Freddie have been able to avoid the drama -- until now. They're feeling some heat for using a Florida law firm accused of forging paperwork and backdating documents.
Fueled by easy money, computer-driven hedge funds are creating a dangerous situation for the average investor.
It's obvious that something strange is afoot. Assets of all types are moving higher in unison, while the U.S. dollar drops into the abyss. Stocks are up, foreign currencies are up, gold is up, industrial commodities are up, foodstuffs are up, and bonds are up. This is extremely unusual, as these assets are supposed to move to their own beat.
What's the cause? Anecdotal evidence suggests this is the work of computer-driven, trend-following, algorithmic traders -- the same folks who contributed to the May 6 "flash crash" -- who are being fueled by ultra-cheap money from the Fed and the anticipation of another round of money printing. (The Financial Times reports these "algo" hedge funds are enjoying big profits.)
The strange sandwich seems to find its cult following in fleeting and random reappearances on US menus.
Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
McDonald's (MCD) has a lot to be proud of in 2010. Its dividend increase in September made it the sole U.S. company to increase payouts every year since it went public 34 years ago. The company's McCafe offerings have been a tasty and affordable alternative for cash-strapped consumers. And let's not forget the fun of another McDonald's Monopoly promotion, which just kicked off last week.
But in the eyes of some fast-food fanatics, those achievements pale in comparison with the return of an iconic and elusive menu item: the McRib.
While the appeal of the boneless pork patty is a head-scratcher to some people, to others the McRib is a cult sensation. Find out the first day you can buy one below.
Individual investors are flocking to key exchange-traded funds as the yellow metal's price gets red hot.
By Jon Ogg, InvestorPlace.com
Gold exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded notes have become the new fad for 401k plans and individual investors. Folks have been flocking to the key gold ETFs via SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU) and even the ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (SGOL). In fact, GLD would be one of the top five or six central government banks in the world if measured solely in gold holdings.
Anytime you get a hot market, as we can see now with gold, you can bet more investment vehicles will pop up to capitalize on the trend. Enter leveraged gold exchange-traded funds and exchange traded notes, which add another layer to playing the gold market right now.
The tech giant will leave the record share price in the dust it rises much higher.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
What's the significance of Apple (AAPL) crossing $300? Not much, frankly. In fact, I am reminded of Hyman Roth's eulogy of the dearly departed Moe Greene -- $300 seems no more than a "desert stopover for GIs on the way to the West Coast." I believe that $300 will not warrant a plaque or a signpost or a statue on the way to much higher prices for the computer and entertainment giant.
On Tuesday, in my talk at the 92nd Street Y, I again had to remind people that Apple had now gone from $200 to $300 in the past year and that $400 wouldn't be so extreme. We would accept such a move from most companies that are doing well, with accelerating fundamentals.
Of course we are bumping up against all sorts of other constraints: the law of large numbers, the disbelief that this company could be worth more than Exxon (XOM) one day and worth more than Microsoft (MSFT) today. The recognition that when we put so-called outrageous valuations like Apple's on stocks before, in the 1999 time frame, it all ended badly.
There's major upside to SIRI shares for 2 main reasons.
By Hilary Kramer, InvestorPlace.com
The company I see boasts one of the most brilliant and cunning chief executives in the history of media: Melvin Alan "Mel" Karmazin. He began selling radio ads at age 17 and worked his way up to CEO of Infinity Broadcasting, which he sold to Westinghouse (the then parent of CBS) and subsequently served as CEO of CBS Radio and ultimately, President of CBS Corporation (owned by Viacom).
The company announces a media event next week that will focus on Macs.
The event will likely feature a preview of a new operating system. The invitation shows a photo of a lion, leading many people to assume the new OS will be called Lion. That fits right in with the big-cat names on previous versions.
The news comes as Apple shares surpassed $300 for the first time Wednesday, lifted by iPad expectations -- it's going to Wal-Mart(WMT) even -- excitement over China sales and a possible Verizon(VZ) iPhone. Three analysts have set a $400 price target on the stock, reports International Business Times.
The chain's new owners are pushing for a face-lift that involves chrome and brick and a red-and-black color scheme.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
Now, fresh off a buyout by private-equity firm 3G capital, Burger King is ready to go beyond baby steps and look at the big picture: a wholesale overhaul of its image via a redesign of the restaurants themselves.
A rising stock market and higher oil prices are lighting up these funds.
Exchange traded funds involving solar energy have been stellar over the past two months. A rising stock market and higher oil both tend to help. Many companies are raising guidance or are calming fears that margin compression is escalating and that orders are dropping.
We have taken a look at some of the solar ETFs on the market which offer the best alternatives on investing, although there are also some broader ETFs via alternative energy and clean energy ETFs that of course include heavy weightings in solar stocks.
Guggenheim Solar (TAN) and the Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT) are key solar ETFs in the mix. We have also loosely covered solar via broader alternative energy ETFs of PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (PBW), Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX), and the iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index (ICLN).
Its recent price action is worth noting.
Recent competition from flash memory devices has caused some pricing erosion, but with new products in the pipeline Seagate should be all right in the long run.
Recent price momentum saw a 16.84% increase last month, with the stock hitting nine new highs in the past 20 sessions.
These exchange-traded funds in real estate have risen more than 30% in the past year.
By Kevin Grewal, TheStreet
As the residential real-estate market remains volatile and highly dependent on the strength of the labor force, some signs of prosperity have emerged in real estate investment trusts, enabling the iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate (IYR), the iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Major (ICF) and the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) to perform relatively well this year.
One reason these exchange-traded funds have been trending upward is that they offer an opportunity to lend that traditional financing institutions like banks and insurance companies are unwilling to take on.
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All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 ended this week with a bang, roaring to a new all-time high on the back of stronger-than-expected economic data, influential leadership, and an ongoing appreciation for the Fed's monetary policy support.
The bullish bias was evident in premarket action as the S&P futures pointed to a higher start without the benefit of any definitive news catalyst. Stocks indeed benefited from a blast of buying interest at the opening bell on this ... More
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