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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.

 

With its multi-channel approach, this firm is positioned at the forefront of today's changing retailing sector.

By TheStockAdvisors Apr 2, 2012 3:30PM
By Geoffrey Seiler, BullMarket.com

Nordstrom (JWN) is truly at the forefront of the evolving retail marketplace with the way it has embraced a multi-channel approach (department store, website with free shipping, off-price concept, and flash sale website HauteLook).

In addition, the company has built up its technology, distribution, and fulfillment infrastructure. In the near term, its investment spending will be a drag on the bottom line, but it is a long-term positive. 
Tags: JWN

These US-listed investments can grab a large stake in global trends without the high fees and difficulty of investing in individual stocks abroad.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 2, 2012 3:16PM

RDM Financial CEO Ron Weiner advises individuals to use ETFs and mutual funds for emerging-world exposure. He also likes sovereign debt in several emerging nations, he explains to MoneyShow.com's Kate Stalter.


Kate Stalter: Ron Weiner is the CEO and founder of RDM Financial Group. Ron, I understand that your investment philosophy involves quite a bit of exposure to emerging markets in some way. Can you tell us about that?

 

If the market's strong first quarter has you worried that investors are too bullish, try switching to defensive plays.

By John Reese Apr 2, 2012 1:59PM

Image: Bull (© Photographers Choice RF/SuperStock)Ever since the 2008 market collapse and financial crisis, many investors have been suffering from a fear of heights.


Whenever the market goes on a nice upward run, they get fearful -- very fearful -- with the still-fresh scars of the '08 crash leading them to think that what goes up will certainly come down. That's what seems to be happening right now. With the market having a very strong first quarter, fears have arisen that things are too good, and sentiment is overly bullish.

 

As gas prices climb, automakers are scrambling to produce vehicles that won't give you much pain at the pump.

By Kim Peterson Apr 2, 2012 1:45PM
The price of gas has climbed to $3.93 a gallon, on average, from $3.76 a month ago. And that weighed heavily on car buyers' minds in March.

Shoppers turned their focus to smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles, hoping to get some relief at the pump.

General Motors (GM) has 12 vehicles that do at least 30 mpg on the highway, and each of those was a sales winner in March. Combined, those 12 models contributed to 100,000 in sales for the month -- a record for GM. 
Tags: FgmTM

Before the iPod, everyone's headphones were plugged into the Sony Walkman. But as the Walkman lost its relevance, Sony seemed to, as well.

By TheWeek.com Apr 2, 2012 1:41PM

Like Xerox (XRX), Kleenex, and Google (GOOG), Sony's (SNE) Walkman was the rare brand that was so popular it became the thing itself. The Japanese electronics giant was ubiquitous in other ways, too, and there was a time when it seemed as if everyone owned a Sony device, whether it was a television, a camcorder, or a stereo. But in the Apple (AAPL) iPad age, Sony seems to have all but disappeared from the marketplace for must-have gadgets.


What happened? And how can its new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, turn the company around? Here, a guide to Sony's woes:

 

The biotech has brighter prospects than its valuation suggests.

By Melly Alazraki Apr 2, 2012 1:30PM
Image: Insurance Money (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Last week was a busy one for Amgen (AMGN), with good news mixed in with bad.

 

The largest biotech in the world lost its anemia drug monopoly in the U.S., but also announced good results for experimental drugs that have the potential to tap huge markets.

 

The question now is whether the good news outweighs the bad.

 

Stocks are at session highs after better-than-expected manufacturing reports in the U.S. and China.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 2, 2012 1:15PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Stock futures were a bit lower in pre-market trading Monday on renewed concern the eurozone has fallen into a recession after manufacturing data there disappointed.

The averages opened lower in what looked like a rocky beginning to the second quarter of trading. The averages soon found a level, however, where they sat and then built from. Construction spending for the month of February showed a decline, which analysts had not predicted. The ISM manufacturing report, though, was slightly ahead of expectations and the prices-paid report was also better, giving investors a reason to buy into the market. The averages soon turned positive and now stand near fresh recovery highs. 

Investors bet on a gradual recovery in the housing sector.

By Gene Marcial Apr 2, 2012 12:08PM
Image: Home under construction (© Corbis)With headlines about the economy's recovery turning more positive, investors have started to seriously scout for growth-but-less-risky stock plays in one of the most depressed sectors of the economy: housing.


While the turnaround is expected to be gradual, some companies associated with the industry have already started to shine.

 
Tags: HDLOW

The cosmetics giant needs to join forces with Coty or someone else.

By Jonathan Berr Apr 2, 2012 11:36AM

Image: Lipstick (© Stockbyte/PictureQuest)Updated: 4:56 p.m. ET

 

Avon Products (AVP) is weakened and vulnerable -- and Coty pounced on the opportunity with an unsolicited $10 billion acquisition offer.


Avon immediately rejected the bid, but that didn't stop its shares from soaring Monday as investors sensed opportunity -- and negotiation. News of the offer pushed Avon's shares up $3.34 to $22.70. Volume topped 64 milion shares -- more than 10 times the daily average.

 

There are many problems with Coty's offer -- but that doesn't mean a merger of the cosmetics companies is a bad idea.

 

Amazon.com and Groupon are downgraded to 'neutral' at BofA/Merrill.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 2, 2012 10:52AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Murray
  • Canadian Natural (CNQ) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Concho Resources (CXO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Kohl's (KSS) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
  • Gap (GPS) upgraded to Above Average from Average at Caris
 

The generics drugmaker plans to tackle AstraZeneca's blockbuster antipsychotic drug Seroquel next.

By Zacks.com Apr 2, 2012 10:20AM

By Zacks Equity Research
 
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY) recently announced the U.S. launch of its generic version of AstraZeneca's (AZN) drug, Seroquel.


Late last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved Dr. Reddy's abbreviated new drug application for the generic drug. Seroquel is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mania.

 

With the "stress test" behind it, the clouds are clearing for this leader in the financial sector.

By TheStockAdvisors Apr 2, 2012 9:45AM
By Mike Cintolo, Cabot Top Ten Trader

Our technical screens generally don't uncover many mega-cap companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), with sales of $111 billion and a market cap of $172 billion.

But the the stock is one of the strongest in the market now because investor perception of the financial group has taken a sharp turn for the better. There are two main reasons for that. 
Tags: JPM

The daily-deals company restates its fourth-quarter earnings

By InvestorPlace Apr 2, 2012 9:36AM
By Tom Taulli

The world’s top daily-deals site, Groupon (GRPN), has announced a restatement of its fourth-quarter earnings. In short, the sales and profits it reported weren't accurate.


Oops.


This is fairly unusual for a newly public company, since Wall Street has no history of quarterly results to go on and it's crucial for a new stock to build trust out of the gate. Unfortunately, Groupon scared many investors into thinking this company is at best sloppy and at worst corrupt -- resulting in a sharp sell-off that sent the company stock tumbling.

 

The engines will comply with 2014 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gases regulations.

By Zacks.com Apr 2, 2012 9:17AM

By Zacks Equity Research

 

Cummins Inc. (CMI) announced that it will launch diesel engines in compliance with 2014 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gases (CHG) regulations beginning in January 2013. The engines will deliver up to 2% fuel economy improvement over those produced nowadays and will be available for North American trucks. They include ISB6.7 to ISX15 lineups.


In August 2011, Cummins intended to begin actions to comply with the new fuel efficiency and GHG standards of 2014. The standard was proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

 
Tags: CATCMI

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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