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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Major oil producers saw output reduced because of the natural decline in production fields, asset sales and political issues.
Brent prices remained above the $100 per barrel mark for most of the year, driven by an improved economic outlook in the first half of the year and supply concerns in the second half. The year also saw the announcement that ConocoPhillips (COP) would divest its downstream business and focus on upstream exploration and production and unconventional resources such as shale.
Gold miner has production volume, growth projects and seasonal factors in its favor.
By Curtis Hesler, The Professional Timing Service
There was a study done in the 1970’s that revealed that gold stocks tended to bottom in the fourth quarter and rally strongly into the end of the first quarter of the next year. Thus, looking for seasonal bargains in the gold sector makes sense, especially now.
After enjoying months of cheaper fuel, Americans will soon experience more pain at the pump because of oil speculation and market manipulation.
There have been a lot of "funny" things happening in the market over the past two months. I chalk it up to a combination of end-of-year seasonality and a desire by the powers that be to keep the market together long enough to exit ahead of the fall. Something similar happened in 2008 before the most acute phase of the bear market got started.
Wall Street has apparently been using large-cap energy stocks Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) to hold the Dow Jones industrial Average aloft, ostensibly to keep retail investors placated so the heavy hitters can create the little upward flurries they need to exit their position. (This has to do with the fact the Dow is a price-weighted index that can be pushed around by the most expensive stocks.)
Pause a moment before you start building an investment strategy based on fourth-quarter reports.
The storage market is rapidly changing in the age of big data and cloud computing.
Even NetApp (NTAP), EMC's only major pureplay storage competitor, saw its stock tumble in the second half of 2011 largely due to concerns of lower government and enterprise spending as the macroeconomic condition deteriorated in the U.S. and Europe.
The biggest letdown is still under the hood.
By Alex Planes
Electric cars started 2011 with a lot of hype and ended the year with a big face-plant. Combined sales for the plug-in electric movement's marquee names, General Motors' (GM) Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, clocked in at fewer than 20,000 units. IDC Energy Insights predicted that half a million plug-ins would sell in 2011, which now seems downright silly.
Don't worry, IDC. You're far from the first to get burned by your love of the electric car.
Sabrient Systems has a strong track record, which is why its annual 'Baker's Dozen' list is getting attention.
Stuff you and I could never fathom.
So when one of the more respected quantitative investment shops releases its stock picks, people pay attention. And when that investment shop becomes known for beating the market year after year with those picks -- well, a lot of people pay attention.
Technical methods identified the strongest and weakest sectors last year, and now they predict the best buying opportunities ahead.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The sector performance in 2011 further illustrates the year’s volatility. Many sectors had a few strong quarters, but the yearly performance numbers do not reflect the wide price swings.
Since the S&P 500 and its tracking exchange-traded fund (ETF) Spyder Trust (SPY) were essentially flat for the year, all the other Select Sector SPDR ETFs, except for Financials (XLF), Materials (XLB), and Industrials (XLI), performed better.
Treatments for myelofibrosis and arthritis could make biotech a takeover target for Big Pharma.
By John McCamant, The Medical technology Stock Letter
Incyte (INCY) is our top stock selection for 2012. The Delaware company is a leader in developing small molecule drugs for cancer and inflammation.
Housing plays are rising, including the venerable paint supplier and a faucet maker backed by a top hedge fund manager.
By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com
Stocks go up, stocks go down, and most of the time it means nothing at all. Much of the trading these days is done by computers scalping pennies over microseconds, and if the past year proved anything at all, it's that most of the apparent patterns generated by the hyperactive machines can't be trusted.
One day a stock is a breakout candidate, and then suddenly it's trashed. Just as the charts look like a lost cause, the market rockets higher.
Here's why shareholders are still unlikely to get any of the company's ever-mounting cash hoard.
Apple investors should be some of the happiest shareholders on Wall Street. And for the most part, they are. But when it comes to the question of dividends, the gratitude vanishes.
Year after year, Apple (AAPL) investors ask about a dividend. Year after year, Apple declines to offer one, rewarding shareholders instead with handsome returns in its stock value. Apple returned investors more than 25% in 2011, a year when the rest of the market basically flat-lined.
Good earnings, Calvin Klein expansion and short interest could spur a rally.
By Todd Salamone, Schaeffer's Investment Research
In early December, G-III Apparel Group (GIII) reported quarterly earnings of $2.16 per share as year-over-year revenues rose 13.3%.
The company plans to more than double its number of outlets over next 20 years. Baskin Robbins expands in Asia.
By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times
Coffee addicts and policemen in quest of a donut fix in the Northeast are familiar with Dunkin' Donuts because that's where most of the chain's 7,000 U.S. outlets are.
Now, six months after its IPO, parent company Dunkin’ Brands Group (DNKN) has announced plans for a vast, long-term expansion. The company will more than double its number of locations over the next two decades, taking it into regions of the country where it isn’t currently a force. That will mean going head to head with Starbucks (SBUX), of course, but that doesn’t seem to deter Dunkin’ Brands’ management team. After all, fans of its coffee and donuts in Seattle -- Starbuck's backyard -- took to Twitter on Thursday to plead with Dunkin’ Donuts to open up shop in the Emerald City. (The last outlet was shuttered a decade ago.) As one Tweeter put it, "Seattle is waiting for their Dunkin' Donuts. WHERE ARE THEY?"
Traveleres and JC Penney are upgraded to 'outperform,' while Kohl's and Nordstrom are cut to 'hold.'
Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
- Travelers (TRV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
- TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
- Cerner (CERN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
- SanDisk (SNDK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
- J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
- SunTrust (STI) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie and to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
Alcoa and Target have disappointed investors even before reporting quarterly results.
Alcoa (AA), which unofficially kicks off earnings season next week, set the downbeat tone Thursday when it announced plans to shutter an idled aluminum smelter in Tennessee and reduce operations at a Texas plant as part of a planned 12% reduction in capacity. When it finally reports Monday, the company, which obviously lives and dies by aluminum prices, is expected to post its worst results since 2009.
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Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
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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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