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.


Invest along with Warren Buffett to hold stakes in a variety of franchise stocks.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 22, 2012 2:50PM
© Mario Tama/Getty ImagesBy Stephen Leeb, The Complete Investor

The overall economic news is looking up, and market action is strongly suggestive of further gains. But the prospect of turbulence still suggests we put an emphasis on all-weather stocks.

And when we think of all-weather stocks, one of the first that comes to mind is Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B).

Buffett virtually coined the notion that you could translate a so-called franchise into public companies. 

The retail chain is holding a rare earnings call. Could it have bad news to share?

By Jonathan Berr Feb 22, 2012 2:37PM
Sears Holdings (SHLD) is holding its first earnings conference call since the venerable retail chain was acquired by financier Edward Lampert in 2005, causing one observer to quip that "hell, it appears, has frozen over."

Interestingly, Lampert, who regularly vows to do better in shareholder letters, is not scheduled to speak on Thursday's call. Blogger Jeff Matthews, who first noticed the development, is not expecting good news. "After all, good news takes care of itself, but bad news needs explaining," he writes. 

General Motors gets some unwanted attention as one Republican presidential candidate questions proposed subsidies for the electric car.

By Kim Peterson Feb 22, 2012 2:25PM
Chevrolet Volt (© ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)General Motors (GM) is getting pulled into campaign politics again, and this time the company is fighting back.

The automaker is standing up to Newt Gingrich's claims that the $40,000 Volt is an "Obama car" that shouldn't get government subsidies because it's purchased mainly by the wealthy. "You can't put a gun rack in a Volt," Gingrich said in this video, drawing lots of cheers and laughter from the crowd.

The company took to its blog to say that, actually, you can put a gun rack on a Volt. 
Tags: gmGOOG

Investors worry about rising gasoline prices, but market conditions and consumer attitudes are different than they were during past periods of expensive oil.

By Jim Cramer Feb 22, 2012 12:42PM

Image: Gas station © Purestock/Purestock/Getty ImagesThere's always something going wrong. Think about all that has gone wrong within the past eight months: a U.S. debt downgrade, prospects of failure among major European banks, Italian bond yields spiking. Spanish bond yields spiking, Greece repeatedly ailing and a U.S. government shutdown narrowly averted.


We sold down and we sold down hard on all of those. Every last one of them. In each case we got hammered once going in, and then we got hammered again after the actuality. There was a total inability to discount once. We always discounted twice.


Mosaic is upgraded to 'buy,' and Yahoo is downgraded to 'underperform.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 22, 2012 11:53AM
Information provided by

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Mosaic (MOS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
  • Blackstone (BX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Urban Outfitters (URBN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • Lions Gate (LGF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak

Mixed earnings landscape could linger through the week.

By InvestorPlace Feb 22, 2012 11:23AM
Michael Hitoshi/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesBy Beth Gaston Moon

Tuesday was an exciting session for retail-sector watchers as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) reported their quarterly earnings numbers … to mixed results. While Wal-Mart disappointed, Home Depot managed an 8-cent positive earnings surprise that also handily exceeded the previous year's earnings. WMT suffered a blow of nearly 4% during the session, while HD edged about half a percent higher.

As the end of earnings season approaches, retailers become more prominent in the earnings news. Through the remainder of this week, we will hear from companies such as Limited Brands (LTD), Chico's FAS (CHS), TJX Companies (TJX), and Target (TGT). But investors also will want to keep an eye on these three other retail names slated to report this week.


The companies say Google used loopholes in their browsers to track users' browsing history even when disabled.

By Trefis Feb 22, 2012 11:01AM

H-Gall/Vetta/Getty ImagesGoogle (GOOG) is facing yet another privacy complaint, this time about circumventing privacy settings in browsers despite user settings. First, it was Apple's (AAPL) Safari browser, and now Microsoft (MSFT) has alleged the same issues apply to its Internet Explorer browser.

This could be the start of more legal troubles for Google, with three U.S. lawmakers pushing for another Federal Trade Commission investigation into the company's operations. The repercussions of any such investigation could have a significant impact on Google's advertising revenues given that browsers like Safari have millions of users.


With the ever-increasing world population, good agriculture stocks are a smart long-term buys.

By Feb 22, 2012 10:28AM

By Marc Johnson, Investment Reporter


Winnipeg-based Viterra Inc. (Toronto: VT) is one of the food stocks that we regularly examine. We've upgraded this grain handling and marketing, agriproducts, and processing company to a buy.

Viterra is becoming increasingly profitable, yet it's cheap. It is suitable for long-term gains and attractive dividends that may rise further.


Experts explain their stock picks in the travel & leisure, oil field services and construction sectors.

By Feb 22, 2012 9:48AM

Interested in the travel & leisure, oil field services and construction sectors? The Zacks panel of experts offers its stock picks in both sectors in the following video post.

Stocks covered include Wyndham Worldwide (WYN), C&J Energy Services (CJES) and Interline Brands (IBI). Plus, the panelists discuss the significance of a market's rally amid thin volumes. Is the bull tired?


A majority stake in Yihaodian would strengthen Wal-Mart's presence in Chinese online market.

By Trefis Feb 22, 2012 9:22AM
Wal-Mart (WMT) has increased its stake in Yihaodian, a fast-growing online retailer of groceries, consumer electronics and apparels, to 51%.

Presently, the Chinese e-commerce market is dominated by, a subsidiary of the Internet giant Alibaba. Wal-Mart has been aggressively looking to increase its online sales and has taken several initiatives past year in this regard.  

Changes at one mobile carrier hurt the electronics retailer in its fourth quarter.

By Benzinga Feb 21, 2012 7:23PM

Image: Arrow Down Red (© Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty)By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer

RadioShack (RSH) shares fell nearly 8% Tuesday after the electronics retailer said fourth-quarter profit fell by 79%. As horrific as that number sounds, it's actually in line with expectations, as the company warned that a struggling mobile phone business weighed heavily on the bottom line.

Once the very definition of technology in America, RadioShack is now seen as a relic of a bygone age. However, many analysts considered its push into the cellphone industry a sound survival tactic. RadioShack still has a reputation for quality and good customer service -- strong attributes, one would think, for selling mobile phones.


This crisis will surface again, probably by May or June.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 21, 2012 6:31PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)What, no dancing on Wall Street or in London's City? Frankfurt? Paris? Madrid?

The reaction to the new 130 billion Greek rescue package has been strikingly pessimistic -- and surprisingly realistic. In the U.S. markets, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) and the Standard & Poor's 500 ($INX) closed up a piddling 0.12% and 0.07% Tuesday. In Europe, the German DAX index closed down 0.58%, the French CAC down 0.21, and the Spanish Ibex down 0.58. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.25% and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.75% but I expect them to follow the U.S. and European lead tonight.


The bookseller announces a cheaper Nook to take on Amazon's Kindle Fire.

By Minyanville Feb 21, 2012 5:01PM

minyanville,minyanville mediaImage: young woman reading from Kindle (© Reggie Casagrande/Photographer)Bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS) reported so-so third-quarter earnings before the open this morning. But the real news is its decision to raise the stakes in its war of attrition with Amazon (AMZN) in the low-end tablet market.

The company announced a $199 Nook Tablet featuring eight gigabytes of memory, which complements the $249 16-gigabyte model that debuted in November. The bookseller also cut the price of its Nook Color e-book reader by $30, putting it at $169, though that's not as important as the Nook Tablet pricing.

Corrections Corporation of America wants to buy prisons from states, offering millions of dollars to governments in need of cash.

By Kim Peterson Feb 21, 2012 4:38PM
Image: Jail (© Corbis)Corrections Corporation of America (CXW) is proposing a deal to cash-strapped states.

It's reportedly offering to buy prisons in as many as 48 states -- setting $250 million aside to do so. The offer will undoubtedly intrigue state governments looking for some quick cash.

But there's a catch here. The company wants a 20-year contract to manage the place. And it also wants to make sure the prison stays 90% full. 
Tags: CXW

The musician's 17th studio album explores many of the same themes as the Occupy Wall Street movement.

By Kim Peterson Feb 21, 2012 2:14PM
Credit: © Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images
Caption: Bruce Springsteen performs onstage at The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, CaliforniaBruce Springsteen is furious at Wall Street, and he funneled that anger into his newest album, "Wrecking Ball."

The result is a collection of songs about the destruction of the American dream. You don't get too deep into that subject before you hit the financial crisis -- and Wall Street's role in it.

"An enormous fault line cracked the American system wide open, and its repercussions are just beginning to be felt," Springsteen said in interviews promoting the album, which comes out next month. 


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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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