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Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

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Dick’s is the biggest name in the sporting goods space.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 27, 2011 3:25PM

Image: Girls playing tennis (© Digital Vision)By Jason Moser

 

This article is part of ourRising Star Portfoliosseries.

 

"If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf."
--Bob Hope

 

The legendary comedian hit the nail on the head. As a golfer for almost my entire life, I've put in a lot of hours working to get better. In fact, sports in general have played an integral part in my life, all the way down to my fantasy football team. Now it's my portfolio's turn, and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) is finally earning a spot in the starting lineup.

 

They're in the sweet spot of important seasonal patterns that could present good buying opportunities despite low-volume trading around the holidays.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 27, 2011 2:04PM

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


Just four trading days remain in 2011, and while volume is expected to be low, that does not mean we should ignore the markets this week.


As discussed earlier this month, the typical seasonal pattern is for stocks to bottom in November and then stay strong into May. If you look at the daily data, the Spyder Trust (SPY) typically has a short-term bottom on Dec. 19, which is precisely when it made its recent low.

 

Investors are happy with the acquisition, which eliminates a key rival and helps Akamai gain control of important technology.

By Trefis Dec 27, 2011 1:06PM
Akamai (AKAM) said Thursday that it has reached an agreement to buy out Cotendo for a net cash payment of approximately $268 million.

The move eliminates a key rival for Akamai in value-added services and also helps the company gain access to Cotendo's mobile acceleration technology. Founded in 2008 and backed by strategic partners such as Citrix, Juniper (JNPR), Google (GOOG) and AT&T (T), Cotendo has an impressive list of customers, including big names such as AT&T, Facebook and Zynga (ZNGA), that use its dynamic site acceleration (DSA) and application acceleration services. 

With positive industry trends, strong earnings growth and historically low valuation levels, the pharmacy chain has great appreciation potential.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 27, 2011 12:45PM
Image: Pills (© Sean Justice/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which more than 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Stock Picks for 2012

By Jim Stack, InvesTech Market Analyst

CVS Caremark (CVS) was created in 2007 by the merger of two pharmacy heavyweights: CVS, the nation's second largest drugstore chain, and Caremark, a leading pharmacy benefits manager.   
Tags: CVS

A focus on hot areas like renewable energy and bioplastics will enable the company to maintain its market share.

By Trefis Dec 27, 2011 12:16PM
Image: Filing (© Think Stock/SuperStock)3M (MMM) is consistently billed as one of the world's most innovative companies, despite being over 100 years old.

The industrial giant, founded to mine a mineral deposit in 1902, now offers more than 55,000 products to a wide variety of markets and has a presence in some 200 countries. The company's major products include adhesives, laminates, fire protection products, medical and surgical supplies, dental products, office supplies, optical film and car care products.

Some of the company's most recognizable brands include Scotch Tape, Post-It products, ACE bandages and Thinsulate insulation products.  
Tags: DDJNJMMM

As a slide in sales continues, Sears Holdings announces the pending closures of more than 100 stores. And a year from now, the outlook might be just as grim.

By InvestorPlace Dec 27, 2011 10:36AM

By Jeff Reeves

 

While many retailers remain on pins and needles about how their holiday receipts will stack up, there's no mystery at Sears Holdings (SHLD). The company that operates Sears and Kmart department stores has been losing customers and bleeding red ink forever, and the past few months were no exception.

 

So Sears wasted no time in announcing a huge cutback on its store count. Between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores will be closed. The company says $140 million to $170 million will be made as inventory is shuffled out at fire-sale prices.

 

Investors stand to benefit from higher oil prices and dividend growth policy.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 27, 2011 9:31AM
Image: Gas station (© Julia Christe/fStop/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which 50 newsletter advisers share their top stock picks for 2012. 

By Kelley Wright, IQ Trends

Every year the markets present investors with both challenges and opportunities.

We believe investors will have to wade through myriad challenges in the first-half of 2012 -- both geo-political and geo-financial, not to mention the ones that come from left field.  
Tags: CVXoil

With over 15 million acres spanning major U.S. gas plays, no company is better positioned for a surge in natural gas demand.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 26, 2011 6:57PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)This post is one in a series in which 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Stock Picks for 2012. 

By Nathan Slaughter, Scarcity & Real Wealth

What if I said you could buy 1,000 acres of productive land, and then later unload 250 of them, pocketing enough cash from the sale to cover the entire initial investment? Yes, that means you would keep the remaining 750 acres for free.  
Tags: CHK

The big machinery maker digs in for the long haul despite sluggish U.S. economic growth.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 26, 2011 4:01PM
Image: Construction (© Photodisc Green/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012. 

By J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

Caterpillar (CAT) is the world's largest manufacturer of earth-moving equipment. In addition, the company makes diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.  
Tags: CAT

The troubled financial institution is slowly crawling out of the hole it dug for itself.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 26, 2011 2:29PM
Image: Bank Vault (© Radius Images/Jupiterimages)Everything that could go wrong for Bank of America (BAC) in 2011 did go wrong. Signs are emerging, however, that this dog may see better days in 2012.

According to Reuters, the Charlotte, N.C. company is considering unloading additional assets to comply with new capital rules. That's not surprising, given that the company has been selling everything -- $50 billion since 2010 -- that wasn't nailed down, including its stake in the largest Pizza Hut franchisee and the China Construction Bank.

Regulators "are trying to have us have more capital, more liquidity, so in a time of crisis, we can be there to support the economy and not have to shrink and retrench," CEO Brian Moynihan recently told the Boston Globe."We’re all for that." 
Tags: BAC

The carrier clearly had the most to lose if the AT&T and T-Mobile merger had gone through.

By Trefis Dec 26, 2011 12:31PM
Image: Damaged cell phone (© Nick Koudis/Getty Images)AT&T (T) finally scuttled its T-Mobile merger plans, much to the delight of Sprint (S), which has vehemently opposed the deal right from the start.

Sprint welcomed AT&T's move as "the right decision" for customers, as the deal would have created "an undeniable duopoly that would have resulted in higher prices, less innovation and fewer choices for the American consumer." Sprint also lauded the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for a job well done.

Had the merger been approved, AT&T would have leapfrogged ahead of Verizon (VZ) as the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., leaving Sprint in an even more distant third place. 
Tags: AAPLSTVZ

The giant e-tailer takes the long view with new shipping centers, aggressive pricing and growing customer base.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 26, 2011 11:30AM
 Image: Moving boxes (© Michael Hitoshi/Getty Images/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012. 

By Stephen Quickel,US Investment Report

Amazon.com (AMZN) is a controversial call that we think will bear rich fruit long-term, and should begin to perform nicely during 2012.

The giant Internet retailer, with revenues in the $50 billion range -- 10 times its sales in 2003 and twice its 2009 total -- has taken a great tumble.  
Tags: AMZN

Branded drugs are set to lose over $100 billion in revenue in the next few years, and Merck, like other large pharma companies, will need to develop new drugs to offset these losses.

By Trefis Dec 23, 2011 4:23PM
Image: Pills (© Sean Justice/Corbis)Merck (MRK) is heading for big changes in the next several years, particularly as more than 10 of its blockbuster drugs lose patent exclusivity by the end of 2013.

Merck is the No. 2 pharmaceutical company in the world, offering prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health and consumer care products. It delivered nearly $46 billion in revenue in 2010 with a profit of $861 million, or 28 cents a share. On a non-GAAP basis, earnings were $3.42 a share.

Merck competes with other pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer (PFE), Abbott Labs (ABT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) and Roche. 
Tags: JNJMRKPFE

Regulators are investigating whether a recent infant death was related to the company's Enfamil product.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 23, 2011 3:20PM
There’s nothing more heartbreaking and shocking than the death of a child.

Shares of Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) dropped like a stone Thursday, and were down another 6% Friday, on news that an infant given the company’s Enfamil baby formula had died from a bacterial infection. Wal-Mart (WMT) and Supervalu (SVU) subsequently pulled cans of the product from their shelves.
 
Tags: MJNSVUWMT

From fast food to salons and energy to tech, here are some ideas with great long-growth potential.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 23, 2011 3:15PM
Image: Woman shopping at beauty store (© Jack Hollingsworth/Brand X/Getty Images)By Mike Cintolo, Cabot Market Letter

There is still potential for short-term market drops back toward the August lows, and until that probability is greatly reduced, it would be prudent to continue to hold a large cash reserve.

In the meantime, we continue to track numerous stocks with great growth potential; here, we present the current top prospects. If you do choose to invest in some of these, take care to buy on dips. And if you incur losses, keep them small, so you’ll still be in the game when the next big bull market gets rolling. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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