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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It looks like Wall Street's fashion sense may be improving.

By Minyanville Feb 24, 2012 4:54PM
minyanville media,inc.Image: Shoebox of money (© Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images/Getty Images)Updated 4:30 p.m. ET

It's a bad day for anyone who invested in the long-term potential of appalling shoe fads.

Deckers Outdoor Corp. (DECK), which sells the much-hated but reputedly comfy Ugg brand of boots, is getting slammed by investors after its earnings release. The stock closed down nearly 14% Friday.

Deckers actually earned its highest profit ever, far more than expected by analysts, most of whom must be flabbergasted at the company's continued ability to convince women to wear big, unflattering sheepskin boots with no arch support. 
Tags: CROX

This toy company is rated E for everyone.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 24, 2012 3:50PM

By Jason Moser

 

What do Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Uno have in common? No, I'm not talking about the latest "Toy Story" movie. But they are all toys and they're all members of the happy Mattel (MAT) family. And now Mattel is becoming a part of my Motley Portfolio family.


In simplest terms, Mattel is a toy company. Along with the aforementioned names, the company also owns the ubiquitous childhood brand Fisher-Price, which gives it additional exposure to popular names such as Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go!, and Sesame Street. Add Toy Story into the mix and I think you get it: The company has a knack for knowing what kids want and what parents want for their kids.

 
Tags: DISHASMAT

The already-healthy dividend from the energy company could get an increase with the acquisition of El Paso.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 24, 2012 3:48PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)In my Feb. 3 post, I added three stocks to my dividend income portfolio and dropped three.

The reason, I argued then, was that the growing popularity of dividend-paying stocks at a time when income vehicles such as Treasuries and CDs pay almost nothing had created a glorious but still real problem for income investors. 

As investors flocked into dividend-paying shares, they drove up share prices. That was great for investors already fully invested, but for investors looking to get into new positions or for investors looking to put more cash into existing positions, it meant that yields were in constant danger of erosion. 
 

The big drops in these stocks on Thursday were all preceded by clear technical warning signals.

By MoneyShow.com Feb 24, 2012 2:58PM

Image: A green chalkboard with the alphabet written on it © Ocean/Corbis /CorbisBy Tom Aspray


Quite a few stocks dropped sharply this month, even while the overall market moved higher. One of the most dramatic was Gilead Sciences (GILD), which we featured in early-February: 3 Stocks You Shouldn't Buy Now.


GILD dropped from a high of $56.50 to a low this week of $43.81. It closed well above its weekly Starc+ band in early February but is now close to the weekly Starc- band. (Learn more about trading with Starc bands here.)

 

Google is reportedly developing some high-tech specs that could display information to the user.

By Kim Peterson Feb 24, 2012 2:53PM
Credit: © 2012 Oakley, Inc.
Caption: Oakley Thump 2 glassesThe tech world is buzzing about the computerized eyeglasses Google (GOOG) may be developing for release later this year.

The New York Times' Nick Bilton spoke to several Google employees and reports that the specs will be able to display information in front of the wearer's eyeballs. The glasses are expected to cost about as much as a smartphone, or in the range of $250 to $600.

Seth Weintraub, who writes for the 9 to 5 Google site, says they'll look a little like the Oakley Thumps pictured above. The glasses are expected to be based on Android, the operating software that Google has developed for smartphones and tablet computers. 
Tags: GOOG

Zacks ranks this industrial tools manufacturer an aggressive growth 'buy' for consistent performance.

By Zacks.com Feb 24, 2012 2:46PM

Image: Nuts and Bolts © Andrew Bret Wallis/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Brian Bolan
    
Actuant Corporation (ATU) has a good history of positive earnings surprises and an attractive valuation. The stock is a Zacks No. 2 rank (buy).


Actuant designs, manufactures, and distributes industrial products and systems worldwide. The company's industrial segment provides hydraulic and mechanical tools, including heavy-lifting solutions. Its energy segment offers joint integrity products that consist of hydraulic torque wrenches, bolt tensioners, and portable machining equipment.

 
Tags: ATU

Strong growth at home and in China offset the automaker's $600 million loss in Europe in the fourth quarter.

By Trefis Feb 24, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Man Looking at Brochure in Car Dealership (© Fuse/Getty Images)General Motors (GM) posted strong earnings results for 2011 and reclaimed the title of world's largest automaker (in terms of sales volume) from Toyota (TM) in January this year.

The automotive giant's bottom-line grew by about 62% to reach $7.6 billion for the full year. It sold 9,025,942 vehicles in 2011, registering a growth of 7.6%.  
Tags: gmTM

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).  
Tags: AAPLAMZN

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 Theflyonthewall.com

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.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages remain near their highs as the quiet session continues. In all likelihood, today's session will challenge yesterday's affair for the title of the slowest trading day of the year with only 172 million shares having changed hands so far at the NYSE.

NYSE floor volume stood at 191 million at this point yesterday before climbing to 479 million by the end of the session.

Market breadth continues favoring the bulls with nearly two names trading higher ... More


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