Why stocks are in for a rough ride this week
Stocks in for a rough ride this week

Longtime market bull Jeremy Siegel says investors could realize the market is behind the curve on interest rates.

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The company is left with higher inventories of outerwear, but is seeing improved spring traffic.

By Benzinga Mar 30, 2012 4:16PM
Image: Businessman looking out the window (© Corbis)

By Lear Yann, Benzinga Staff Writer


Shares of men's clothing company Jos A Bank Clothiers (JOSB) were slumping again Friday, two days after reporting a disappointing fourth quarter.


The stock tumbled some 10% after news of the quarter, and was trading Friday at $50.44. Before the quarterly report Wednesday, shares had been close to $55.

Margins are falling at the clothing chain. 

The chain is burdened with heavy debt, but it's slowly increasing sales and profit.

By Kim Peterson Mar 30, 2012 3:49PM
Arts and crafts giant Michaels Stores has filed plans to raise as much as $500 million in an initial public offering.

The specialty store is a haven for knitters and silk-flower fans, and has expanded over the years to offer kids' crafts, picture-framing services and scrapbooking supplies.

The stock might sound familiar to you. That's because Michaels was public before two private-equity companies paid some $6 billion to take it private in 2006. The companies paid $44 a share for the company -- and now, they're looking to get some money back. 
Tags: IPOWMT

The trend is not Safeway's friend and a rescue looks unlikely.

By Minyanville Mar 30, 2012 3:37PM

Minyanville MediaImage: Grocery shopping (© IT Stock Free/Jupiterimages)Safeway's (SWY) initial disclosure of its pension obligations was enough for a Credit Suisse analyst to downgrade the stock from outperform to neutral earlier this week. 

 

As an analyst, I look at the new rating as a change from "I don't see any way out of its pricing problems vs. the competition," to "I don't see any way out of its pricing problems vs. the competition, and now it cannot use a significant portion of its balance sheet to help reposition itself, either." Yuck.

 

Savvy investors know to go with dividend security over outright size.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 30, 2012 2:31PM

Image: Stocks circled in newspaper (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Richard Lehmann, Forbes/Lehmann Income Securities Investor


A slew of investors are turning over every rock they can find to get big yields, but the stocks below offer healthy yields and the security of knowing they'll be paying them for years to come.


They're also eligible for qualified dividend income (QDI) tax treatment.

 
Tags: AVPEXCT

Everyone turns optimistic on housing -- except me!

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 30, 2012 1:51PM

Image: Phoenix © Mark Downey / Lucid Images/Radius Images/Getty ImagesBy Sean Williams

 

I might just be the last pessimist in the housing sector.

 

Our president, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, nearly every analyst you talk to, the Fool's own Morgan Housel, and the most recent building permit data would indicate that the worst is behind us and housing is on the upswing. Building permit data released Tuesday indicated a 3.5-year high to a seasonally adjusted rate of 717,000 homes. This is not even one-third of the 2.27 million peak reached by new housing permits in January 2006, but it's been trending higher for a few months now and homebuilders' sentiment is also at a five-year high.

 
Tags: DHILEN

The chip sector as a whole is being dragged down by some laggards, but some of the better performers have charts worth reviewing.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 30, 2012 1:38PM

Image: Stock exchange (© John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesBy Kate Stalter 


In the notoriously volatile semiconductor sector, it's frequently been the case in recent years that the best performers have not been the much-heralded big caps, but smaller, relatively unknown companies.


Although Intel (INTC) is showing strong chart action, there are some upstarts flashing even better technicals. 

 

Stocks are higher Friday as the market puts the finishing touches on its best quarter since 1998.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 30, 2012 1:23PM

Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com  

 

Stocks on Wall Street are higher midday Friday, looking poised to break a recent losing streak and end a strong quarter on a high note. The market opened higher but could not gather upside momentum in the first hour of the session. The averages turned mixed, with the Nasdaq moving lower and the Dow and S&P remaining in positive territory.

 

Near noon, the Dow was up 50.44, or 0.38%, to 13,196.26; the Nasdaq was up 1.29, or 0.04%, to 3,096.65; and the S&P 500 was up 4.49, or 0.32%, to 1,407.77.  

Investors shouldn't let this year's hot start make them buy and forget.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 30, 2012 1:10PM

By Tom Aspray 


Much has been made in the press recently about stocks putting in the best first-quarter performance since 1998. Many readers may not remember the first half of 1998, but may be more likely to recall the Russian ruble crisis in July 1998 and the ensuing collapse in the fall of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM).


For those who don't recall, that meltdown had some eerie similarities to our more recent financial crisis. Warren Buffett, along with Goldman Sachs (GS), initially offered $3.75 billion for the fund, which had been worth $4.7 billion, but he reportedly only gave them an hour to decide on the buyout.

 
Tags: GSSPY

The rise of online shopping is taking a toll on the electronics chain -- and casting doubt on the future of sprawling, warehouse-like stores.

By TheWeek.com Mar 30, 2012 12:53PM
It may only be a matter of time before those familiar blue-and-yellow behemoths disappear from America's suburban shopping landscape. Best Buy (BBY) is closing 50 of its signature "big box" electronics stores amidst falling profits and the implacable rise of Amazon (AMZN) and other online retailers. Like other brick-and-mortar chains that have run aground in recent years --think Circuit City and Borders  -- Best Buy is struggling to adapt to the e-commerce economy, with more customers turning to the internet to buy their HD TVs and iPods.

Do Best Buy's problems herald the demise of the big-box model? 

The world's largest retailer is working to broaden its product offerings and 'invest' $2 billion over 2 years in lower prices. Will this be enough?

By The Fiscal Times Mar 30, 2012 12:09PM
Walmart By Suzanne McGee The Fiscal Times

At Wal-mart (WMT), the lowest price is once again the law.

After its advertising drifted away from reinforcing that pledge -- over and over again, to the point where television audiences were ready to scream for mercy -- its customers also began to drift away. Many opted to shop instead at "dollar stores" like Dollar General (DG), which continued to make explicit "lowest price" promises. Others began shopping online, even for staples like cat food, shampoo, jeans and sneakers -- the kinds of things they would have grabbed at Wal-mart. And they started streaming video from Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN), rather than buying DVDs. 

Can the search giant slay the tablet giant?

By Jonathan Berr Mar 30, 2012 11:41AM
Image: Google © Bloomberg, Getty ImagesGoogle (GOOG) wants to catch up to Apple (AAPL) in the tablet market in the worst way.   

According to the Wall Street Journal, the search engine giant plans to "sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store." Google, whose Nexus One was a flop, is eager to jumpstart sales of tablets powered by its Android operating system. Its easy to understand why. The iPad's market share stands at a whopping 73% -- and no Android tablet currently has more than 5% share, according to Forrester Research.

But the reason for this discrepancy is simple: The iPad is a superior product.  

Disney is upgraded to 'buy,' and RIM is downgraded to 'underperform.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 30, 2012 11:01AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Gap (GPS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
  • Vivus (VVUS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Murray
  • Wyndham (WYN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Disney (DIS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Lazard Capital
  • LinkedIn (LNKD) upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna
 

After a difficult year and successful restructuring, this shipper could see smoother sailing ahead.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 30, 2012 10:03AM
By Paul Tracy, High-Yield International

Ship Finance (SFL) owns a fleet of ships and drilling rigs, including intermediate-sized Suezmax-class tankers, very large crude carrier (VLCC) oil tankers, and dry bulk carriers.

Like most tanker companies, Ship Finance had a tough year in 2011 due to concerns about the impact of near record-low oil tanker and dry bulk shipping rates. The problem with the tanker and dry bulk markets is that operators ordered a large number of new ships when rates were high from 2003 to 2008. 
Tags: SFL

It's the first open-source software company to hit $1 billion in sales.

By InvestorPlace Mar 30, 2012 9:50AM

By Kevin Kelleher

 

It's taken more than 12 years, but business-software company Red Hat (RHT) has finally turned its open-source software model into a billion-dollar business. The Raleigh, N.C., company announced earnings after the bell on Wednesday, and it posted $1.1 billion in revenue in its fiscal year 2012, the first time a pure-play open-source software company has hit that milestone.

 

Red Hat's business centers on Linux, the open-source operating system software developed by a community of volunteer developers. Red Hat's job is to help ensure Linux runs smoothly on its customers' data centers as well as software from other companies.

 

The long-term positive impact of the company’s spinoff plan is still unappreciated.

By Gene Marcial Mar 30, 2012 9:39AM

Last December, Covidien (COV) announced its plan to spin off its pharmaceutical division. Since then, shares have advanced 25% to $54 a share as investors have supported the move. But now, some say the hefty gain suggests the spinoff's potential impact is fully reflected in the stock price and would inhibit any further upside move.

 

Don't bet on it.

 

Although details of the proposed spinoff have yet to be announced, some investment pros who focus on spinoffs believe the stock, which has now climbed close to its 52-week high of $57.65 hit back in May 2011, has a lot more upside potential.

 
Tags: COV

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MARKET UPDATE

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Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 hover just north of their respective flat lines, while the Russell 2000 sports a solid gain of 0.6% after showing relative weakness yesterday.

Yesterday, the small-cap index reclaimed its 100-day (1150) and 200-day (1151) moving averages, but could not overtake the 50-day moving average (1152), which served as the session high for the index. Today, however, the Russell 2000 has climbed above that level and currently trades near the middle ... More


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