8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.

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Vivus is upgraded to 'hold,' and Principal Financial is upgraded to 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 23, 2012 11:52AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Kellogg (K) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • HCA Holdings (HCA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Level 3 (LVLT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • Vivus (VVUS) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Brean Murray
  • DirecTV (DTV) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities
 

This global wireless tech firm will continue to benefit as smartphone users move to 3G and LTE networks.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 23, 2012 11:50AM
By James Moorman, S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst, The Outlook

S&P Capital IQ recently reiterated our Buy opinion on shares of Qualcomm (QCOM), which designs and licenses technology used in mobile handsets.

The company reported a very strong December quarter and stands to gain as more customers move to third generation ‘3G’ mobile networks, especially in emerging markets. We also believe QCOM stands to benefit from growth in China, in the chipset business as well as on the licensing end, as service providers migrate subscribers to 3G. 
Tags: QCOM

Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson has transformed the company into a must-watch stock.

By Jim Cramer Feb 23, 2012 11:33AM

Sometimes the 52-week-high list is a good place to mine for strong ideas, if you can find some that don't do poorly if oil goes still higher.

 

I think we all have to accept that we must look at stocks through the oil prism now because numbers are too high across the board for every company that has reported so far this year and has energy as a key component in their input costs.

 

But Wednesday night I interviewed an extraordinary CEO, Michael Johnson, who runs Herbalife (HLF), a new-high denizen, and the story does not run on oil -- it runs on people, and it is getting stronger by the day.

 

The REIT, which invests in senior housing and health care real estate, could use the proceeds to seize investment opportunities.

By Zacks.com Feb 23, 2012 10:35AM

‎By Zacks Equity Research

 

Tetra Images/Getty ImagesHealth Care REIT, Inc. (HCN) recently announced that it has priced its underwritten public offering of 18 million shares at $53.50 per share with the total amount estimated at $963 million. In a bid to cover over-allotments, the company will provide a 30-day option to the underwriters for purchasing an additional 2.7 million shares.


HCN intends to utilize the proceeds generated from the transaction to repay advances under its unsecured lines of credit, to repay other outstanding debts and for other general corporate purposes, including investing in health care and seniors housing properties.

 
Tags: HCNHCP

Satellite radio service provider offers unique consumer value in content and integration.

By Gene Marcial Feb 23, 2012 9:55AM

gehringj/Vetta/Getty ImagesIf you are into radio, you should pick up the good vibes from Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) -- and the promise of its stock.

 

The company provides a quintessential blend of Internet and satellite radio innovation, offering dozens of digital channels of music, news sports, and entertainment targeted and customized to its 21 million subscribers.

 
Tags: PSIRI

Despite being 'highly speculative,' the oil giant hopes to benefit from Europe's shale gas prospects in the future.

By Trefis Feb 23, 2012 9:15AM
Kevin Burke/CorbisOil major Exxon Mobil (XOM) isn't very optimistic about the European shale prospects, and it expects that it will take at least five years for the region to start producing gas. Company officials also termed some of the positive appraisals of the prospects in the continent as 'highly speculative.'

In its last conference call, Exxon revealed that two of its wells in Poland had failed to find commercially extractable quantities of gas. According to the energy behemoth, Germany would probably be the first country to see shale gas production. Competitor Chevron (CVX) is also among the energy companies looking to explore shale gas prospects in Europe. 
Tags: CVXXOM

While higher crude oil prices will undoubtedly be a boon to giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron, the smaller companies likely stand to benefit most.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 22, 2012 9:25PM
Gas and CarBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Are gasoline prices headed for $4 a gallon?

Californians are already feeling the pain of such hefty fuel prices, long before gasoline usually soars ahead of the so-called summer driving season, when higher demand traditionally causes price spikes. Indeed, this kind of a wintertime run-up in gasoline costs is a highly unusual phenomenon, one that many analysts are attributing to speculation in the highly volatile energy markets. 

With economic apocalypse postponed, consumers have stopped ditching cable service and are signing up for broadband in droves.

By MoneyShow.com Feb 22, 2012 6:19PM

Image: Watching television (© Corbis)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


Remember the New Normal, bracing us for years of austerity, slow growth, and miserly investment returns? Remember the buying sprees for gold, guns, and other apocalypse staples?


Also, remember how cable was done? How we were all going to rip out the cord in favor of the live stream from the barricades or, best case, a Netflix (NFLX) DVD?

 
Tags: CMCSANFLX

Is the company developing any long-term strategies to continue this growth?

By Benzinga Feb 22, 2012 6:09PM

Image: A bunch of dollar bills (© Tetra Images/Getty Images)By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer


Dollar Tree (DLTR) said Wednesday that fourth-quarter earnings rose 16%. Analysts were not getting too excited, though, as the budget retailer's outlook for the current quarter came in short of expectations.


The forecast was a bit of a letdown, since Dollar Tree, Dollar General (DG) and Family Dollar (FDO) have been on fire ever since the economy soured. Their discounted products resonated with cash-strapped consumers looking for bargains.

 

The company plans to launch 50 new products in the next year, hoping that some will resonate with shoppers.

By Kim Peterson Feb 22, 2012 5:48PM
Image: Senior couple food shopping in supermarket © moodboard/the Agency Collection/Getty ImagesCampbell Soup (CPB) is desperate to energize its business, and thinks that soup in a pouch is one way to do it.

The company is planning to launch some 50 new products in the next year, and hopes that more interesting flavors and packages will be a hit with consumers. The idea is to make soups and sauces stand out on supermarket shelves increasingly filled with other meal options.

The company has previously said that Campbell soups are in 85% of homes -- with an average of six cans per home. Sounds great, right? 
Tags: CPB

China's markets rise as investors bet the People's Bank of China may move to expand the money supply.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 22, 2012 5:01PM
Image: China (© Brand X/SuperStock)The relationship between macroeconomic trends and stock prices is especially tortured right now.

Investors have to figure out which way global economies are moving -- and then figure out if stock prices will rise or fall on good and bad news.

Take Wednesday's reading from HSBC's Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index. The index showed a slight tick up to 49.7 to hit a three-month high, but the export component in the index fell to an eight-month low.
 

The Dow flirted with 13,000 this week on hopes the eurozone crisis is finally over. It isn't.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Feb 22, 2012 4:38PM

After a marathon session in Brussels that lasted into the wee hours of Tuesday morning, European leaders hammered out a new rescue agreement for Greece following the broad outlines of what was agreed to originally back in October. Call it Bailout 2.0.
 
Based on some dubious assumptions -- such as the five-year-old Greek recession ending within the next few months despite harsh new austerity measures including the firing of 150,000 public workers -- the hope is that the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio drops to 121% by 2020, ending the crisis.
 
I'll be blunt: It ain't gonna happen.

 

The operator of TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores said new apparel offerings helped its fourth-quarter results.

By Zacks.com Feb 22, 2012 4:09PM

By: Zacks Equity Research

 

TJX Companies (TJX) said Wednesday that a newer clothing mix and increased customer traffic helped profit soar 17% in the fourth quarter.


The operator of Marshalls, TJ Maxx and HomeGoods stores reported adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share for the quarter ended Jan. 28. The earnings were in line with the Zacks consensus estimate.

 
Tags: TGTTJX

Is a slick new phone a natural follow-up to the success of the Kindle Fire?

By Trefis Feb 22, 2012 3:42PM
Image: young woman reading from Kindle (© Reggie Casagrande/Photographer)The face-off between Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) is already expanding beyond tablets, and some customers want smartphones to be the next battleground.

Amazon made a sparkling tablet debut with the Kindle Fire, generating interest in the possibility of an Amazon smartphone (though the company has not confirmed plans in this area). A recent survey by Baird Equity found that a smartphone made by Amazon drew 40% interest, while customers were largely uninterested (12% interested) in a long-rumored phone from Facebook. 

The lightness of the correction in gold is very bullish for the metal as well as its ETF vehicles, and as this drought ends, the next big leg up may soon begin.

By MoneyShow.com Feb 22, 2012 3:10PM

Image: Small Stack of gold ingots (© Anthony Bradshaw/Photographer)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The two-week pullback in gold futures from early February highs was very mild, as was a similar pullback in the most popular gold ETFs.


With less than a 3% correction from the highs, last week's close suggested the correction might be over. Tuesday’s strong opening and the close above the recent swing high supports this view.


The weekly and daily chart formations have indicated for several months that the drop from the early September highs was just a pause in the uptrend.

 

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