You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

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The Federal Reserve may give some banks the green light to increase shareholder payouts.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 12, 2012 3:40PM
Image: Piggy bank (© Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Jupiterimages)The U.S. Federal Reserve will make big headlines this week -- just not at Tuesday's meeting of its Open Market Committee. The Fed body that sets short-term interest rates is expected to leave rates just where they are at 0% to 0.25% and put a damper on whatever hopes for a third round of quantitative easing the financial market may still have.

In other words, business as usual Tuesday.

Thursday is a very different matter.
 

CEO Iger wants the company to learn from the box-office mistake. But is this one mistake too many?

By InvestorPlace Mar 12, 2012 3:20PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Jonathan Berr

Walt Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger is trying to transform its huge box-office bomb "John Carter"into a teachable moment where nobody will lose their jobs. What a pity.


There's plenty of blame to go around for this turkey of a sci-fi mega-flick, as The New York Times notes. First, the script -- based on a forgotten story by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs -- was a mess.

 

Will the company drop the Queen of Southern Cuisine because of new allegations of offensive remarks?

By Melly Alazraki Mar 12, 2012 2:53PM

Credit: © Paul Zimmerman/WireImage/Getty Images)
Caption: Paula DeenNovo Nordisk (NVO) is having Paula Deen trouble again. And this time it may not be as easy to explain away.

 

The company suffered a backlash less than two months ago for hiring the Southern belle as the public face of its new online program, Diabetes in a New Light. And just when the controversy was calming down, Deen and her brother were accused last week of racial and sexual harassment and abusive treatment by a former employee, Lisa Jackson.

 

Deen and her lawyers adamantly deny the charges, saying Jackson has pledged to ruin Deen's reputation if not paid a large sum of money.

 

The company is running 2 to 3 weeks behind on orders for the new tablet.

By Kim Peterson Mar 12, 2012 2:39PM
Credit: © Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Apple Unveils Updated iPadGood luck getting Apple's (AAPL) new iPad at Friday's launch. The company says it has sold out of the tablets for delivery that day.

If you didn't preorder one for that date, you'll have to wait in line at an Apple retail store. And those queues can be obnoxious. Two people spent 17 days in line for the iPhone 4S debut last year. People are already lining up for Friday's launch, according to reports.

Apple's site shows a shipping delay time of two to three weeks for all three iPad models with Wi-Fi connectivity: the 16GB version for $499, the 32GB version for $599 and the 64 GB version for $699. There's a similar wait for the more expensive models with 4G connections.  
Tags: AAPL

After a sharp drop in its stock price, the world's largest security logistics system is attracting some attention.

By Gene Marcial Mar 12, 2012 2:08PM

Image: Money (© Corbis/Corbis)Brink's (BCO) is the oldest and largest global provider of secure transportation for cash and other valuables. The company that was founded in 1859 is now attracting fresh attention from some large investors. 


A recent big drop in its stock price has caught their eye.

 

A couple plays on a housing recovery have hit new highs, alongside a familiar aerospace supplier.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 12, 2012 1:40PM

Image: Woman Using a Spirit Level on a Sink in a Domestic Bathroom (© Alex Wilson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


One of the many joys of writing about the stock market is the sheer impossibility of acquiring expert up-to-date knowledge about more than a tiny fraction of the companies and industries it represents.


I can't possibly know how well Acme Widget's products are selling right now, scientifically evaluate the promise of the compound Elixir Labs is developing, and gauge the effect of recent accounting changes on Multilevel Marketing Inc's bottom line.

 

Changing technology trends that favor the PC maker's competitors only add to its woes.

By Jim Cramer Mar 12, 2012 1:22PM

Wherever I go, whatever story I read, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) always seems to be on the short end of the stick. I recently looked at IBM (IBM), Accenture (ACN) and SAP (SAP), all of which are doing so well, and I have to conclude that they are simply carving up Hewlett-Packard's consulting business.

 

Then there is the $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy to boost the enterprise consulting business by offering search software. Having seen SAP's search software in action, I have no idea how Autonomy can compete. Must have some clients, I guess, but SAP is gunning for what HP has left.

 

These companies are making advances in medical treatments that target an individual's genetic profile.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 12, 2012 1:08PM
Image: Scientists monitoring computers in control room © Martin Barraud/OJO Images/Getty ImagesBy Benjamin Shepherd, Personal Finance

One of the most exciting -- and potentially lucrative -- trends in the biotech sector is the emergence of personalized medicine. Advances in gene sequencing have enabled researchers to identify the root causes of chronic diseases. These discoveries, in turn, allow drug makers to develop targeted treatments, with less damaging side effects, for a number of illnesses.

The concept behind personalized medicine is simple: Based on genetic information medical practitioners can tailor health care solutions to individual patients. Here are three stocks poised to benefit from this trend: Qiagen (QGEN), Life Technologies (LIFE) and Roche Holding (RHHBY). 

Shares of the embattled beverage maker have barely budged since she took the helm, while rival Coca-Cola's have soared.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 12, 2012 11:42AM
When PepsiCo (PEP) announced a management overhaul Monday morning, the Associated Press argued that the struggling beverage and snacks company "may be lining up a potential successor to CEO Indra Nooyi."  

My question to Pepsi: Why wait?
 
Tags: PEPYUM

Hershey is upgraded to 'buy' at Goldman, and Southwest is downgraded to 'neutral' at BofA/Merrill.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 12, 2012 11:24AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Equifax (EFX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
  • Lowe's (LOW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
  • C.H. Robinson (CHRW) upgraded to Hold from Underweight at BB&T
  • Hershey (HSY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Pulte Group (PHM) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • KB Home (KBH) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
 

The social media and news site would add clout to the news outlet's tech coverage.

By InvestorPlace Mar 12, 2012 10:46AM

By Tom Taulli


While Time Warner (TWX) may have stodgy print media roots, it is doing everything it can to evolve into a digital media powerhouse. 


It's latest move is a potential $200 million buyout offer for social media site Mashable, which would be rolled into the CNN family of websites.


The edgy tech, social media and business news blog could really beef up the organization's news coverage of 21st-century topics, but the deal is not without risks.

 

In an election year, politicians are likely to avoid tough choices and go for the easier solutions, which are good for the yellow metal.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 12, 2012 10:41AM

By Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, guest columnists

 

This year's presidential election will have a big impact on the price of gold -- and, no, that's not because we think Ron Paul has any chance of claiming the White House. Gold investors hoping for a Paul presidency had to realize on Super Tuesday his chances of winning the presidency and fulfill his promise to "end the Fed" are slim. Such investors might be better off putting their pile on red No. 7 on the roulette table than betting on the precious metal's biggest political champion.


Nor has there been much cheer for them on the markets, as gold has continued its recent slide after a long bull rally. Yet whoever the Republican nominee is, this election is likely to provide lots of reasons to be long on gold.

 
Tags: GLDgold

It's budgeting $150 billion for exploration over the next five years. That's a really smart move.

By InvestorPlace Mar 12, 2012 10:08AM

By Aaron Levitt

 

As more traditional sources of petroleum have become harder to find, energy companies have been forced to look off the beaten path. Unconventional resources such as shale formations, Canadian bitumen sand and even Arctic exploration have become commonplace.

 

Despite their different locations and extraction methods, all unconventional fields have one thing in common: They're expensive. Given the world's ever-increasing energy demands, it's no wonder capital expenditure programs at a variety of exploration and production (E&P) companies have skyrocketed over the past few years.

 

Despite short-term weakness in the fertilizer sector this potash producer plans on long-term growth.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 12, 2012 9:56AM
By Nathan Slaughter, Scarcity & Wealth

There has been some temporary softness in the fertilizer market, but I expect demand to return vigorously by the end of the year.

Mosaic (MOS) is scaling back potash production over the next three months. But that isn't a reflection of the market's supply/demand fundamentals -- it's a cautious move made in response to dealers that are tapping existing inventories and holding off on new purchases. But the firm is expecting sales volumes to pick up noticeably in the near future. 
Tags: MOS

Can they increase amid slowing economic growth and increasing gas prices?

By Benzinga Mar 12, 2012 9:05AM

By Jane Sanders, Benzinga


Chinese passenger car sales had their worst start to a year since 2005 as economic growth slowed and fuel prices rose.


About 2.37 million cars, including multipurpose and sport-utility vehicles, were sold in January and February, a 4.4% decline from the same two months last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. There were 2.95 million total vehicles sold, including trucks and buses, a 6% decrease.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More


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