Why stocks are in for a rough ride this week
Stocks in for a rough ride this week

Longtime market bull Jeremy Siegel says investors could realize the market is behind the curve on interest rates.


The CDC takes its gloves off and goes after Big Tobacco.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 19, 2012 2:21PM
By Sean Williams


The tobacco sector is a giant. It spends approximately $10.5 billion a year on marketing and advertising in order to keep 20% of the American public smoking. This isn't to say it doesn't acknowledge the harmful effects of smoking, or that it ignores the growing number of smoking dissidents campaigning against them; it's just that I equate this situation to poking a dinosaur with a twig.


Well, the twig just got a little bigger.


The stock will now have solid buying support during what is normally a summer slump.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 19, 2012 1:42PM
Image: Crystal ball (© Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)What's most interesting to me about Monday morning's dividend announcement by Apple (AAPL) is the schedule for the payout.

Apple will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share -- roughly a 1.75% yield -- beginning sometime in its fiscal third quarter, which starts July 1. That yield is in the ballpark of Wall Street expectations for something around 2%. Apple also said it will launch a share-buyback program sometime after the company's fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. 

Together, the two measures will cost the company $45 billion over the next three years. Apple finished calendar 2011 with $98 billion in cash. Analysts estimate that the company will generate $75 billion in cash in 2012.
Tags: AAPL

For starters, just look at the amazing performances of Starbucks and Whole Foods.

By Jim Cramer Mar 19, 2012 1:34PM

Amid a host of unbelievably good charts -- including almost every bank, homebuilder, real-estate investment trust and retail play -- comes a group that can be described only as the senior growth cohort, the stocks with both terrific earnings power and higher growth than the average stock that seems to have real staying power.


We are all blinded by the staying power of Apple (AAPL) -- and now Apple's cash -- but have you looked at Nike (NKE) lately? It's reporting this week. We should only hope it sells off! That's what we got on Ross Stores (ROST) on Friday, but I bet that's just a temporary stop as we saw with Bed Bath (BBBY) and Costco (COST) recently. Meanwhile, the breathtaking moves in Chipotle (CMG), Alexion Pharma (ALXN) and Monster (MWW) seem to know no stopping, as is the case with Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Priceline (PCLN) and F5 (FFIV). (All of the internet video plays seem to have come alive again, including Akamai (AKAM) and Level 3 (LVLT), of all things.)


There wasn't a huge investor reaction to word of the company's upcoming dividend and share buyback.

By Kim Peterson Mar 19, 2012 1:29PM
Image: Apple logo © BECK DIEFENBACH//ReutersUpdated 4:30 p.m. ET

(AAPL) shares rose 2.7% Monday to close at $601.10 after the company announced it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share.

The dividend and stock buyback news was momentous, yet investors seemed to take it in stride. Did the market already know about the announcement?

That might be one reason shares didn't spike Monday. In fact, Apple shares dropped in early trading before climbing back at midday to a gain of more than 2%. 
Tags: AAPL

This biotech company shows strong fundamentals while technically poised to break out to new highs.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 19, 2012 12:59PM
By Leo Fasciocco, Ticker Tape Digest

Celgene (CELG) produces drugs to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory-related diseases. Its primary commercial-stage products include Revlimid, Vidaza, Thalomid and Abraxande.

Technically, the long-term chart shows the stock soaring from 5 back in 2003 to a peak of 77 in 2008. The stock has now regrouped and is pushing once again toward its breakout point.  
Tags: CELG

Sure, there were lines out the doors at stores worldwide, but some observers say the fervor was muted compared with the iHysteria of old.

By TheWeek.com Mar 19, 2012 12:35PM
© Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesIn what has become a bankable ritual of the digital era, Apple (AAPL) stores on Friday opened their gleaming glass doors to long lines of acolytes clamoring for the tech giant's latest gadget. 

New iPads flew off the shelves, and fans held their sleek toys triumphantly aloft as they exited stores to the applause of sales staffers. Yet some reports suggested that not all was right: The lines were distinctly shorter than in past years, some people whispered, the roll-out more subdued. Apple CEO Tim Cook says sales for the new iPad broke records, but he is keeping mum on details.
Tags: AAPL

The video game retailer, which is due to report earnings this week, has met or topped estimates over the last four quarters.

By Zacks.com Mar 19, 2012 12:24PM

Image: Teenage boys watching television with 3-D glasses © Robert Daly/OJO Images/Getty ImagesBy Zacks Equity Research
GameStop Corp. (GME), a video game and entertainment software retailer, is slated to report its fourth-quarter 2011 financial results before the opening bell on March 22. 

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter stands at $1.72 per share, representing an estimated year-over-year increase of about 10%. Revenue, as per the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is $3,709 million.


The company makes its biggest move outside of coffee.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 19, 2012 12:01PM
Image: Pears with linen napkin (© Michael Grimm/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) acquired Evolution Fresh for $30 million last year and now seeks to capitalize on the fruit juice maker.

The coffee company has opened its first Evolution Fresh location in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. It will offer freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices along with wraps, salads and soups. Vegan and vegetarian options will be available as well. Previously, Evolution Fresh juices were available at grocery stores. If the pilot store is successful, as it probably will be, Starbucks will open others. This is a risk worth taking. 

Struggling to complete orders in time, the heavy equipment manufacturer is issuing its third dim sum bond offering.

By Trefis Mar 19, 2012 10:44AM
Caterpillar (CAT), the construction and mining equipment manufacturer, has had a stellar year with its stock up nearly 25% year-to-date after the company delivered record 2011 earnings. Now, the company is again looking to raise money in the Hong Kong bond market to fund its expansion in China.

The company has gathered a huge backlog and is struggling to raise capacity and complete orders in time, necessitating further investments in this market. This is especially exaggerated for mining equipment. Caterpillar said it won't be able to deliver on some orders for large mining trucks until 2014.  
Tags: CAT

This oil & gas firm continues to pump money into exploration, stock buybacks and dividends.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 19, 2012 10:34AM
By Nathan Slaughter, Energy & Income

As with any energy producer, Devon Energy (DVN) has no control over the descent in natural gas prices and can only take what the market is willing to pay. But the company does control its own destiny when it comes to production and reserve levels -- both of which have just reached new record highs.

Its past investments are now bearing fruit. Devon exited 2011 with average production of 680,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, up from 618,000 per day in 2010. In addition, Devon continues to invest heavily (but prudently) to fuel future growth opportunities.  
Tags: DVN

Federal Mogul's aftermarket spin-off is a green light for the sector.

By InvestorPlace Mar 19, 2012 10:12AM

By Susan J. Aluise


Two conflicting trends -- white-hot new auto sales and the increasing age of vehicles on the road -- are combining to create a sweet spot for auto parts manufacturers. And companies that straddle the original equipment (OE) and aftermarket businesses have the opportunity to cash in big at both ends of the auto parts lifecycle.


Auto parts imports rose 10.4% in January to $25.3 billion, according to Commerce Department data released last week. But U.S. auto and auto parts exports also rose during the month, hitting a record $12.7 billion.


Analysis: The company will pay a quarterly $2.65 per share and buy back up to $10 billion in stock. It's an admission that the company has reached a certain level of maturity and that its expansion may slow.

By InvestorPlace Mar 19, 2012 9:57AM

By Jeff Reeves

investorplace logoApple Inc. (AAPL) has been sitting on a mountain of cash for ages. As of its most recent earnings report in January, that stockpile included $30.1 billion in cash and short-term investments and $67.4 billion in long-term investments.

Rumors have always swirled around what Apple was planning to do with that money. Buyouts, crazy new product developments and a dividend have been on the radar as moves Apple could make -- orshould make, according to certain stockholders.

This morning, Apple finally put the speculation to rest. It will pay a dividend of $2.65 per share quarterly, first payable on July 1, for a yield of around 1.8% at current pricing. Apple also will repurchase up to $10 billion in stock.


The Irish government takes action to rekindle investor interest in the nation.

By Gene Marcial Mar 19, 2012 9:50AM

With St. Patrick's Day just behind us, what's a better and more propitious time to talk about investing in Ireland? I spoke on Friday with Joan Burton, the minister for Social Protection and the deputy leader of the Irish Labour Party, who was visiting New York to help celebrate the most globally popular Irish holiday.


I had a very informative and refreshing interview as she updated me on the positive change that apparently is taking place in Ireland amid the messy financial conditions in some countries in Europe -- and in spite of continuing fears among worried and less-informed investors about Ireland's developing situation.

Tags: EIRLetf

Oracle is set to report its latest quarterly earnings this week, and analysts are concerned.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Mar 19, 2012 8:51AM

Oracle (ORCL) has repeatedly made excuses for falling short of earnings estimates, often blaming the global economy for its suffering. However, growing evidence suggests that its problems are rooted in the company's own failure to compete with rivals like SAP (SAP), the loss of a key IT partner Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and a hardware business that is constantly causing problems.

Analysts worry that that Oracle's $5.6 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems has turned into a liability, as sales have fallen short of expectations. Even Oracle's business management software has been slow to take off since its 2011 release.


The iPad maker announces a $2.65 dividend and a $10 billion buyback program for next year. The shipping company agrees to buy its Dutch rival TNT Express for $6.8 billion.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 19, 2012 7:47AM
By Chao Deng
Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET

Apple (AAPL) said Monday it will initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share starting in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. It also said it would maintain a "war chest for strategic opportunities." Over three years, the company expects to spend $45 billion of its nearly $100 billion cash pile. Apple also said a repurchase program of $10 billion will begin next year and be executed over three years.


United Parcel Service (UPS) said Monday it agreed to buy TNT Express, the second-largest express delivery company in Europe, for almost $7 billion. UPS will buy TNT for 9.5 euros a share ($6.77 billion). Last month, UPS offered to buy TNT for 9 euros a share, or $6.4 billion, but the offer was rejected. The acquisition is the biggest ever for UPS, which is the No. 1 delivery company in the world. UPS said the deal would expand its reach in Europe and other markets where TNT has operations like Latin America and Asia.  



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[BRIEFING.COM] The IMF expressed its concerns before the start of today's trading that "excessive risk taking may be building up" with valuations for just about every major asset class looking stretched.

As one can see from the standing of the major indices, that warning went in one of the market's ears and out the other.  Actually, we're not even sure it went in one ear.  The market started with a bullish bias and has maintained that bias throughout today's session.

The ... More


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