A Mexican wave for Big Oil?
Mexico opens way for Big Oil

New legislation is allowing foreign companies to finally invest in the country's vast oil reserves.

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Experts discuss the recent comments on jobs and the economy by Fed chairman Bernanke.

By Zacks.com Mar 8, 2012 10:46AM

Zacks experts discuss Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's recent comments on jobs and the economy. Bernanke appears to be now leaving the door open for a third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.


Plus, the experts explain their stock picks in the energy, banks and water sectors. Stocks covered include MarkWest Energy (MWE), Columbia Banking (COLB) and American Waterworks (AWK).

 
Tags: AWKMWE

Don't count on consumers to keep spending as much.

By Stock Traders Daily Mar 8, 2012 10:31AM

Fuse/Getty ImagesAs consumers and investors have begun to feel better about the economy and the labor market in particular, one of the hottest sectors in the stock market has been consumer discretionary.

Since the beginning of December, the SPDR Select Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) has staged a 12% rally. Consumers and investors alike have been in a much better mood, and this is evident in the consumer confidence reports. In February, the Consumer Confidence indicator jumped to 70.8 from 61.5 in January, which was the strongest reading since February 2011.

 

Fundamental gains, a bullish chart and support from Warren Buffett suggest that things are finally lining up for the bank.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 8, 2012 10:06AM
By Richard Schmidt, Stellar Stock Alert

It’s time to look for buy opportunities. The market's road to new all-time highs could still have significant bumps along the way. But the trend up is definitely in place.

And we now have a surprising new buy recommendation: Bank of America (BAC), a stock I honestly thought I would never buy. For years, it looked like it was too big to produce any appreciable growth in its share price or market share. And the company has really taken big hits in its public reputation. But things have really changed.  
Tags: BAC

The iPad maker could face a lawsuit over e-book prices. The fast-food company's same-store sales rise 7.5%, less than analysts expected.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 8, 2012 9:08AM

By Joseph Woelfel


Updated 8:30 a.m. ET

 

The Justice Department has warned Apple (AAPL) and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a court battle, the people told the newspaper. A successful settlement could potentially lead to cheaper e-books for consumers. The five publishers facing a potential suit are CBS' (CBS) Simon & Schuster; Lagardere's Hachette Book Group; Pearson's (PSO) Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers, a unit of News Corp. (NWSA). Apple unveiled a new version of its iPad tablet on Wednesday.

 

McDonald's (MCD) said Thursday that February global comparable-store sales rose 7.5%, less than the 7.7% analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected. U.S. same-store sales jumped 11%, "supported by strong customer demand for Chicken McBites, classic core favorites including Filet-O-Fish, signature beverage offerings, and McDonald's breakfast line-up," the company said.

 

The 2009 merger that created the leading tool maker is still paying bottom-line dividends, even as the US housing recovery looms as a bullish catalyst.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 7, 2012 6:43PM

Image: Young man and woman holding power tools, low section (© Thomas Barwick/Photodisc/Getty Images)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


Investors waiting for the stock market to come in to get a second crack at some of the 24 percentage points racked up since the October low could be waiting a while.


But if and when they do decide to jump in, they should hope for timing half as good as that displayed by hand-tools leader StanleyWorks when it snapped up the power-tool maker Black & Decker in the fall of 2009.

 
Tags: SWK

Two words in politics truly scare financial markets: Ron Paul.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 7, 2012 6:36PM
Image: Politics (© Jim Zook/Images.com/Corbis)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Trying to predict how financial markets will respond to politics is a mug's game, especially when it's still impossible to tell who's going to challenge President Obama as the Republican Party's presidential candidate.

Republicans portray themselves as the party devoted to free markets and unrestrained capitalism, and any market-shaking comments in debate forums or political ads will likely be more prevalent in the final race, rather than the Republican primary battle. 

Have something to say about McDonald's? You might just get a discount.

By Benzinga Mar 7, 2012 5:41PM

Image: African-American woman shopping online (© Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images)By Daniel James Hayden IV, Benzinga Staff Writer


American Express (AXP) and Twitter have teamed up to offer discounts when American Express cardholders send advertising messages to their Twitter followers.


It's a pretty clever idea. The companies can create a small army of advertising minions at very little cost. And Twitter users feel like they're getting a deal as well. The only people getting the short end of the stick are the Twitter followers who get subjected to all the shilling.

 

When promising stocks revive and the economy helps them, there's a lot of opportunity.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 7, 2012 5:19PM

By Rob DeFrancesco, Tech Stock Prospector


There was a lot of caution heading into the fiscal first-quarter earnings report from F5 Networks (FFIV).


As it turned out, that caution was unwarranted. The company delivered on both the top and bottom lines. Per-share earnings of $1.03 beat the consensus estimate by two cents, and revenue rose 19.9% to $322.4 million, above the consensus estimate of $319.1 million and the guidance range of $315 million to $320 million.

 
Tags: FFIV

Wednesday's rebound is not unexpected, but this likely oversold bounce should lead to a deeper correction -- and more buying opportunities.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 7, 2012 5:08PM

Image: Arrow Down Umbrella (© Photographers Choice RF/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Since Dec. 21, 2011, the S&P 500 had not touched its 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) until Tuesday, when it closed almost 1% below it. ETFs like the Spyder Trust (SPY) gapped below their 20-day EMAs.


As I said last week, the sharp decline in the Russell 2000 Advance/Decline (A/D) line sends a strong warning that investors should not get caught up in the euphoria at current levels. The market internals were very weak on Tuesday, and they have confirmed the deterioration evident over the past few weeks.

 

Western Gas Partners has seen double-digit gains in a matter of months.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 7, 2012 4:54PM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)Western Gas Partners (WES) hit my target price of $40 a share on Jan. 23 and kept rising, reaching $46.12 on March 1. Now, it looks like it's pulling back a bit with the rest of the market.

Sell? Hold? What have I been waiting for? My gain on Western Gas Partners was 22.6% as of the close on March 6 from Nov. 16, 2011, when I added it to my Jubak’s Picks portfolio. 

I was waiting for the master limited partnership's fourth quarter earnings report on Feb. 27, actually. I wanted to see what the partnership's list of growth projects looked like.
 
Tags: KMPOKSWES

The music service is losing money, but it could be reaping the benefits of the growth of mobile.

By Minyanville Mar 7, 2012 4:34PM
Image: Driving home (© gehringj/Vetta/Getty Images)Investors are laying into Pandora (P) Wednesday after the music-streaming service reported a massive fourth-quarter loss and issued a disappointing sales outlook for the first quarter.

The stock was down 24% in the late afternoon to $10.85 -- well below the $16 price from its June initial public offering.

Pandora was one of the highest-profile tech IPOs of 2011 but one of the hardest to call. It uses algorithms to custom-pick songs and artists for users. Its service is free with advertisements or $36 per year on a premium basis.  

Yelp is already running into trouble, and the investors who jumped in right after the IPO are hurting.

By Jim Cramer Mar 7, 2012 4:21PM

It's happening again, the big losses on the big dot-coms. If I had hair, I'd be pulling it out, because I know I have clearly failed at my mission to get people not to buy at the red-hot aftermarket "deals."

 

The latest? Yelp (YELP). The stock flew right out of the chute last Friday and now it is plummeting, and those who bought in the aftermarket have no idea what they own or why they own it ... other than it was hot.

 

The retailer will shutter at least 180 locations through 2015 and turn its focus to online growth and international expansion.

By Kim Peterson Mar 7, 2012 3:39PM
Image: Teens with MP3 player (© RubberBall/SuperStock)Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) has been closing U.S. stores for a while now, with 135 shuttered in the past two years. That's not going to stop anytime soon.

The retailer will close at least 180 more underperforming stores through 2015 as their leases expire. It might even buy out the leases in other cases, executive Eric Cerny said Wednesday at an investing conference.

The company's U.S. store count was down to 946 at the end of January. So taking 180 more out of the mix is about a 20% reduction. That's pretty significant. 
Tags: ANFRL

The new incarnation of the tablet is slick, but that's only the beginning of why the company's stock is great.

By InvestorPlace Mar 7, 2012 3:32PM

By Jeff Reeves


ipad 3 investorplaceApple (AAPL) was the center of attention Wednesday -- isn’t it always? -- at a press event in San Francisco. Consumer electronics fans were eagerly awaiting iPad release news, especially the date that the new tablet will be available.


They weren’t disappointed. The new iPad will include a host of features, including a slick new display, HD video recording and voice dictation.


But for investors, this in-demand gadget is only one tiny reason you should snap up this excellent investment for your portfolio. Here are five reasons Apple is better than ever:

 

With or without merger approval, Express Scripts and Medco are solid growth companies.

By Gene Marcial Mar 7, 2012 3:08PM

Image: Pills (© MedicalRF.com/Corbis)Sometime in the next two months the Federal Trade Commission will hand down its ruling on whether to embrace or reject Express Scripts' (ESRX) $29 billion acquisition of its bigger rival Medco Health Solutions (MHS). Wall Street isn't so sure the FTC will go for it, but some mergers-and-acquisitions pros think the agency will.

 

It doesn't really matter. 

 
Tags: ESRXMHS

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[BRIEFING.COM] As expected, equity indices began the session with slim losses. The S&P 500 is lower by 0.2% with eight sectors showing early weakness. The energy sector (-0.7%) has slumped out of the gate, while industrials (-0.3%) and financials (-0.2%) also display relative weakness.

On the countercyclical side, consumer staples (+0.2%) and utilities (+0.4%) have been able to register early gains, while health care (-0.1%) and telecom services (-0.1%) hover just below their ... More


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