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Investors know what's working and what's not. Jim Cramer says these stocks could power higher through the end of the year.

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The young-adult book series helped Scholastic achieve a great quarter, and shares of Lions Gate have risen on its movie plans.

By Kim Peterson Mar 15, 2012 1:49PM
"The Hunger Games" is exactly what Scholastic (SCHL) needed.

Strong interest in the young-adult series is generating oodles of cash for the book publisher. As a result, the company beat expectations for its most recent quarter and raised its outlook for the full year.

Sales of the series of novels have spiked, the company said, as anticipation grows ahead of next week's release of the big-screen adaptation of the first book in the series. 

The search engine's stock has slumped this year, while its rivals' shares have taken off.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 15, 2012 12:58PM
Image: Google © Bloomberg, Getty ImagesCongratulations to Google's (GOOG) public-relations department. It managed to persuade The Wall Street Journal to write an article on its plans to "fix the shortcomings of today's technology and maintain its dominant market share" -- without saying much new.

This is a transparent attempt to drum up interest in its shares, which are down about 4% this year, while rivals Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have both risen by double digits. Investors are still smarting over the search engine giant's disappointing fourth-quarter results. 

This high-flying tech stock shows no signs of slowing down.

By InvestorPlace Mar 15, 2012 12:24PM

By Jeff Reeves

 

Apple (AAPL) is arguably the most amazing tech company in history. It has redefined how we listen to music and use our phones, and it has almost single-handedly moved the world beyond the idea of desktop computers and tactile keyboards.

 

As an investment, the stock is equally amazing. The latest milestone for Apple is that it briefly traded above $600 a share Thursday morning. And that raises an important question: How long can Apple stock keep up this kind of growth?

 

The answer: Probably for a long time to come.

 

AMD is upgraded to 'buy,' and Ariad Pharmaceuticals is initiated with a 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 15, 2012 11:21AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Invesco Mortgage (IVR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
  • Public Storage (PSA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
  • Level 3 (LVLT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • AMD (AMD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • Union Pacific (UNP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Veeco (VECO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Aixtron (AIXG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
 

Helping customers slim down adds profits to this company's bottom line.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 15, 2012 10:18AM
By Mark Skousen, Hedge Fund Trader Alert

More than two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight. By 2015, the number of overweight and obese people in the world is estimated to reach 3 billion.

A growing number of them are doing something about it -- as well as exercising more, dieting and eating better. That’s where Weight Watchers International (WTW), the world’s leading provider of weight-management services, comes into play. 
Tags: WTW

As long as Fed oversight status of the nation's largest life insurer is up in the air, investors should take a pass.

By InvestorPlace Mar 15, 2012 8:54AM

By Dan Burrows


It's been almost four long years since too-big-to-fail insurer American International Group (AIG) required a massive bailout to prevent the financial system from imploding, but the bailout still haunts the insurance industry.


MetLife (MET), the nation's largest life insurer, was one of four companies to fail the Federal Reserve's recent stress test, joining Citibank (C), SunTrust Banks (STI) and Ally Financial. MetLife was subject to the stress test because it owns a bank that it can't get rid of fast enough.

 

Financial stocks have been in unlimited supply since the financial crisis, which makes demand hard to come by. The Fed's stress tests will help change that.

By Jim Cramer Mar 15, 2012 8:37AM

the streetToo much supply, so no demand begetting. That's been the story for banks ever since the Great Recession. It's one thing to have enough supply for buyers to get full positions in -- supply that can beget demand. It's another thing to have unlimited supply. That makes demand an impossibility.

 

For the past few weeks, it's become clear that something has been changing about the banks. First JPMorgan (JPM) said it could see growth, actual growth, from net interest margin. Then we saw other banks starting to chatter about how construction lending might be coming back. BB&T (BBT) and First Horizon National (FHN) made that clear to me.

 

The Finnish handset maker says it's working on a tablet computer, while Cisco is in talks to buy a software developer for television networks.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 15, 2012 8:01AM

By Andrea Tse

 

Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET

 

Cisco (CSCO) announced Thursday it will acquire NDS, a developer of software for multi-channel television networks, for $5 billion. Cisco said the acquisition of NDS will deepen its reach in emerging markets and accelerate the delivery of Videoscape, Cisco's platform for enabling service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation entertainment experiences. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close during the second half of the year. Cisco said the acquisition will be accretive to earnings per share in the first full year on a non-GAAP basis. NDS was founded in Israel and is headquartered in London. The company, which operates a large development center in Jerusalem, is 51% owned by the Permira private-equity fund and 49% by News Corp (NWSA).

 

Nokia (NOK) is creating a tablet computer, the handset maker's design chief told a Finnish magazine. "We are working on it," said Marko Ahtisaari, according to Kauppalehti Optio. Ahtisaari said he is spending a third of his time working on the tablet. Reports have said Nokia planned to launch a tablet using Microsoft's Windows 8 software in 2012.

 

The online retailer is reportedly looking to expand its video production arm. Look out, Netflix.

By Trefis Mar 14, 2012 5:59PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)Should Amazon (AMZN) become a movie and television producer? The company already makes some small films through its Amazon Studios arm.

Now, it may be hiring people to help develop half-hour comedies. It's an interesting move and not all that unexpected as Amazon ratchets up the competition with Netflix (NFLX), which is busy producing its own original content. We wrote about this developing competition before.

Amazon already has some experience with its streaming service and has deep pockets to bolster its content.

 

The majority of the company's spending is slated for the U.S. and a part in Africa in 2012.

By Trefis Mar 14, 2012 5:41PM
Image: Oil Well Pumpjack © Roger Milley/Vetta/Getty ImagesAnadarko Petroleum (APC), one of the largest oil and gas producers in the country, is boosting its spending significantly this year in hopes of capturing new opportunities.

The company released its capital program for 2012 earlier this week, projecting a possible 13% increase in its capital spending for the year. About 55% of the projected $6.6 to 6.9 billion expenditure will be targeted at onshore U.S. opportunities such as the Wattenburg field and the Eagleford shale play. 
Tags: APCCOPoil

Economists and investing pros increasingly think the worst is behind us. If you agree, here are 3 big-picture ways to benefit.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 14, 2012 5:14PM

Image: Arrow Up (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)

 U.S. News & World Report on MSN MoneyA year ago, the economic recovery turned out to be a false dawn. This time, however, it's looking like things could keep getting brighter.

 

The economy has been adding jobs for 17 months in a row, with the pace of hiring accelerating so far this year. Layoffs are abating, the stock market is rising and Europe seems to be patching up its financial problems. There are countervailing trends, to be sure, such as continued gloom in the housing market and incoherent policymaking in Washington. But with every passing month, the damage from a painful downturn heals.

 

The company has changed its policy and now writes customers' names on cups. That crosses the line for some.

By Kim Peterson Mar 14, 2012 4:19PM
Credit: © Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
Caption: Jimmy Carr launches new stronger British Latte at Starbucks on March 14, 2012 in London, EnglandStarbucks (SBUX) baristas often ask American customers their names to write on order cups. It's an easy way to move orders fast, and Americans don't generally mind sharing -- even if the names get a little mangled along the way.

The British, however, are a different story. Starbucks has begun asking customers' names there in an effort to be warmer and friendlier, and some aren't thrilled by the policy change.

The controversy is brewing to the point where the BBC wonders if Starbucks should brace for a backlash. 
Tags: SBUX

The company is one of several racing to get treatments approved.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 14, 2012 2:55PM

Image: Senior man in wheelchair looking out window (© Tetra Images/Getty Images)Short of a market meltdown that sends every investor screaming out of anything with a bit of risk, biotechnology stocks tend to march to their own drummer, going up on the progress of drug trials and corporate partnerships independent of what the market does.


OncoGenex (OGXI) scores highly on both those metrics. Which is why I'm adding it to my Jubak's Picks portfolio Wednesday.


The company has two prostate-cancer drugs in Phase II and Phase III trials.

 
Tags: OGXITEVA

Though the market keeps raging to the upside, I keep seeing bearish signs in market sentiment.

By V.N. Katsenelson Mar 14, 2012 2:23PM

Though the market keeps raging to the upside, I keep seeing bearish signs in market sentiment.


The VIX is hitting multi-year lows, NYSE short interest is hitting a four-year low, the ratio of insider selling to buying is running at what John Hussman calls a "panic level" at 8 to 1 (for every share bought eight were sold).

 

What about Time Warner? A partnership with the cable company would be a good idea.

By Trefis Mar 14, 2012 2:19PM
Image: Businessman watching television (© Image Source/Corbis)Netflix's (NFLX) proposals for partnership with a pay-TV company have reportedly been turned down by some of the big names in the business, including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Comcast (CMCSA).

This is no surprise. We noted before that it was unlikely any of these companies would partner with Netflix. We pointed out that Time Warner Cable (TWC) was the only potential partner for Netflix among the major cable companies. But we have yet to see any developments between the two companies over the matter. Why? 

 

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MARKET UPDATE

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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


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