Get ready for a flood of IPOs
Flood of IPOs land this week

If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.


A cloud-based content delivery system could benefit a host of players in the tech sector.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 24, 2012 1:48PM
By Paul McWilliams, editor Next Inning

I've recently been pointing to evidence suggesting Google (GOOG) will enter the content delivery business and speculated as to which companies might benefit.

Based on what I've learned, I think we can put a bow around this and predict with solid footing that Google in fact will make the move. Further, any such move should be viewed as a rising-tide event that benefits a broad swath of tech companies. 

The $200 tablet has become a niche market -- and Apple may be looking to compete in it.

By Trefis Feb 24, 2012 1:32PM
Image: Breaking wave © Martin Ruegner/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesSpeculation is rife that Apple (AAPL) may come out with its next generation iPad, the iPad 3, in March. At the same time, rumors about the release of a smaller iPad, or iPad mini, are also gaining traction.

According to one report, an iPad with a smaller screen is undergoing tests. We believe a smaller and cheaper iPad could be a good strategy and would help Apple compete with low cost tablet vendors like Amazon (AMZN).  

Wall Street lobbies hard against the Volcker Rule and restrictions on high-frequency trading to preserve its bottom line.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 24, 2012 12:44PM
BanksBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

 It has become clear in recent days that two much-debated Wall Street reforms -- the Volcker Rule and restrictions on high-frequency trading -- may never occur, at least not in any truly effective way, all in the interest of preserving market liquidity.

In other words, they may be sacrificed for no good reason. 

After several bad quarters, this gold miner is poised to get back on track -- or be bought out.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 24, 2012 12:20PM
Image: Golden Nest Egg (© Chris Collins/Photographer)By Jack Adamo, Insiders Plus

Gold may not tarnish, but gold stocks do. In fact, it seems they tarnish more than most stocks when they have problems.

Kinross Gold (KGC) is one such company. Between 2002 and 2008, the stock soared nine-fold, matching its peers in the industry, but since then it has fallen more than 60%. 
Tags: goldKGC

Deckers Outdoor downgraded to 'neutral,' and Gap downgraded to 'underperform.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 24, 2012 12:18PM
Information provided by

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Target (TGT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • Marriott (MAR) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
  • Baxter (BAX) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
  • Under Armour (UA) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • AvalonBay (AVB) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at Credit Suisse

While more focused and higher-end rivals posted positive earnings surprises, Wal-Mart fell short of expectations.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 24, 2012 11:58AM
WalmartBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Wal-Mart (WMT) may promise "Low Prices. Every Day. On Everything," but it was particularly aggressive about offering discounts at holiday time -- and now it's paying the price.

While more focused and higher-end rivals like Macy's (M), Saks (SKS) and Home Depot (HD) posted upside earnings surprises and were rewarded by investors, Wal-Mart fell short of expectations, reporting net income for the fourth quarter of $1.50 a share, down from $1.70 in the year-earlier period, and sales that also disappointed retailing analysts.


CEO Ron Johnson has a realistic vision for the venerable chain.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 24, 2012 11:42AM

 Image Source/Getty ImagesJ.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson, whose company reported a fourth quarter loss Friday, sure talks a good game.

Speaking to the Harvard Business Review last year, the former Apple (APPL) retail guru, who joined the venerable retailer in November 2011, argued that the traditional brick-and-mortar retail industry is its own worst enemy.


Her blunt assessment of HP's woes stung investors, but at least she's facing the facts.

By InvestorPlace Feb 24, 2012 10:29AM
By Jonathan Berr,

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman, who took over as head of the No. 1 PC maker after Leo Apotheker was moved out last year, is being penalized by investors for not mincing words about the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the iconic tech company. She has little choice because the company's results, released Thursday, were terrible.

Net income at the Palo Alto, Calif. company fell 44% to $1.5 billion, or 73 cents a share, down from $2.6 billion, or $1.17, a year earlier. Adjusted for one-time items, the profit was 93 cents, beating Wall Street's low expectations of 87 cents. Revenue fell 7% to $30 billion, missing analysts' forecasts of $30.7 billion. To her credit, Whitman, who rose to fame as the CEO of eBay (EBAY), gave a blunt assessment of HP's problem and pointed out that it will take years to fix them.


The cloud-computing company is growing much faster than its detractors -- and even its backers -- realized.

By Jim Cramer Feb 24, 2012 10:08AM

Sometimes you get an honest-to-Betsy absolute blowout: a number so astounding that the doubters say "wow" on the call and the short sellers just say "OK, gotta go take the medicine."


That's what happened with (CRM) Thursday night, a wow quarter that answered every objection and then some.


It will offer streaming as well as downloads and may be integrated with most Microsoft offerings.

By Trefis Feb 24, 2012 10:07AM
RubberBall/SuperStockAfter Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) could be the next tech giant to launch its own digital music service. It is in talks with several major record companies to license their music content and offer it on its new digital service, according to Cnet. The new music service will offer streaming music as well as downloads and may be integrated with most Microsoft offerings, including Windows 8, Windows Phone and the Xbox.

Microsoft now has more than 40 million Xbox Live subscribers, which gives it a potentially large user base to have some bargaining power with the record labels. Microsoft's new music service will compete not only with Apple's and Google's offerings but also with other Internet music giants like Pandora (P) and Spotify.  

Completed bottom formations and improved growth prospects make these emerging-market ETFs buy worthy, but only on sizable pullbacks to stronger support.

By Feb 23, 2012 5:21PM

Image: Globe with money (© PhotoAlto/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray,

Since December 2011, many stocks have completed reverse head-and-shoulders (H&S) bottom formations and have rallied to their first targets. It is interesting that many of the emerging-market ETFs show similar formations, and two of them, the iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI) and the iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index Fund (EWH), were discussed in early December (see "3 Asian ETFs to watch").

Many of the emerging-market ETFs have had little in the way of a pullback over the past six weeks, but even though my previously recommended buy levels were not reached, this is no time to chase these funds.


While some airlines are trying to help you find a compatible seatmate, others will let you pay for no neighbor at all.

By Kim Peterson Feb 23, 2012 5:09PM
Image: Airline (© Blend Images/SuperStock)Now here's a fee that airline fliers might actually like. On some flights, you can pay to ensure the seat next to you is empty.

No U.S. airline is offering this option, but three international airlines seem to be finding success with the idea. Air New Zealand, AirAsia X in Malaysia and Spain's Vueling all sell the empty seat next door for fees ranging from $6 to $60, The New York Times reports.

But there's one caveat: If the flight is full and the airline needs that seat for someone else, you'll get your money back. 

Central bank shenanigans and rising inflationary fears are fueling a big rise in precious metals. It's set to continue.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Feb 23, 2012 4:40PM

Stocks have largely stalled out over the last few days as traders think twice before pushing the Dow through the 13,000 barrier. The real news, aside from the worrisome rise in crude oil, is the breakout underway in the precious metals. Both gold and silver have jumped out of two-month trading ranges in a big way.


The same dynamic that's driving energy prices is fueling the rise in gold and silver: Big time inflation concerns. With those about to get worse, the rise in the glitter stuff is set to continue.


Here's why.


There's little hope for the 1,000 video-rental locations that remain, but the Blockbuster name will live on in other ways.

By Kim Peterson Feb 23, 2012 4:06PM
Image: Man changing TV channels with remote control (© Flying Colours/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Say farewell to Blockbuster, the video chain that was once one of the biggest brand names in America.

The chain's new owner, Dish Network (DISH), has said it will close 500 under-performing Blockbuster locations with expiring leases, and it may close more beyond that. There were only about 1,500 Blockbuster stores left, so the announcement is one of the final nails in the coffin for the former video powerhouse.

Not that many people are complaining. Former Blockbuster customers still grumble about the chain's strict return policies. 
Tags: DISH

With diverse holdings in the media sector, this fund trades below net assets and has a double-digit yield.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 23, 2012 3:53PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Amy Calistri, The Daily Paycheck

I have many reasons to like Gabelli Multimedia Trust (GGT), which specializes in media and entertainment. For one thing, the fund is still relatively cheap -- it currently trades at a 12% discount to its net asset value (NAV).

This means you are getting the equivalent of a dollar's worth of assets for just 88 cents. Better yet, you are getting the assets of one of the better positioned sectors in the economy. 


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the last week of July on a quiet note with the S&P 500 ending less than a point above its flat line. Like the benchmark index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) also posted a slim gain, while the Russell 2000 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) lagged throughout the session.

The major averages were awakened from their weekend slumber with an opening retreat that pressured the S&P 500 below its 20-day moving average (1975). Even though ... More


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