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Up next: Biggest bank IPO ever

It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


Liz Claiborne is initiated with an 'outperform,' and TripAdvisor is downgraded to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 1, 2012 11:52AM
Information provided by

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include: 
  • InterActiveCorp (IACI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • Denbury Resources (DNR) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee
  • LINN Energy (LINE) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse

These stocks are a selection from among S&P's top buy-rated issues for capital appreciation potential.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 1, 2012 11:16AM

Nicholas Monu/iStock Exclusive/Getty ImagesBy Standard & Poor's The Outlook

The Top Ten Portfolio comprises stocks that S&P Capital IQ believes to be well positioned for solid capital appreciation over the next 12 months.

The goal of the Top Ten Portfolio is to outperform the S&P 500 index on a capital appreciation basis. Stocks must have our highest five-STARS ranking to enter the portfolio. This dynamic, actively managed portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 since inception.


Attempts to pin the metal's Wednesday collapse on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are far-fetched.

By Jim Cramer Mar 1, 2012 11:04AM

thestreet logoImage: Gold Bars (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)Some days, it's so difficult to fathom this market that you get led astray in wicked fashion. Wednesday was one of those days.


The two most salient features of the day's action were the amazing decline in gold and the incredibly swift collapse in the euro. The latter occurred in the CurrencyShares Euro Trust ETF (FXE) from what had looked to be a stable level at around $133 to $134.


Both declines immediately brought out the "alibi-ers" -- the people who claim to know the answer for the decline.


Apple, Google and Baidu still have upside potential right now.

By InvestorPlace Mar 1, 2012 10:41AM
By Ivan Martchev

On Feb. 28, the Nasdaq-100 Index Trust (QQQ), tracking the NDX, closed on the high tick of the day at $64.70. The level itself does not say much until you consider that the last time "the cubes" traded at such a price was February 2001. The 11-year highs prompted a message in my email box from a financial editor regarding my take on the on the issue du jour: Are technology stocks overbought?

My short answer: Not the right ones.


The fad of making your own soda has fizzled.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 29, 2012 6:33PM
SodaStream International (SODA) learned Wednesday that what the market giveth, it can taketh away.

Shares of the soda machine maker plunged more than 13% after the company reported that unit sales growth had slowed to 8% from 60% in the third quarter. Investors were floored by the news. 

The drop in gold stocks Wednesday is a perfect opportunity to look at this mining play.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 29, 2012 4:36PM
Image: Small Stack of gold ingots (© Anthony Bradshaw/Photographer)I'd use Wednesday's drop in gold and gold-mining stocks on strength in the dollar to buy Yamana Gold (AUY), which was trading down more than 4% in the afternoon.

I think the strength in the dollar is temporary, due first to Wednesday morning's announcement by the European Central Bank that European banks had borrowed 530 billion euros under the central bank's new three-year loan facility. That means the central bank has added 1 trillion euros to its balance sheet since December, and has a balance sheet that now stands at a record 2.74 trillion. The currency markets, rightly, feel that this expansion is inflationary down the road.

The company is emphasizing business hardware and software instead of the personal computers it built its name on.

By Kim Peterson Feb 29, 2012 4:07PM
Image: Man sitting at dining table with financial advisor (© Corbis)The personal-computing space doesn't get any love these days. First Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) said it's thinking about getting out of the business -- only to change its mind later.

Now Dell has had it. The company "is not really a PC company," founder Michael Dell said at an event in San Francisco Monday. "It's an end-to-end IT company that really understands the needs of its customers."

That's an interesting turnaround for the world's No. 3 personal computer maker. 

The activist investor cashes out at the right time as the markets have bid up the stock.

By Trefis Feb 29, 2012 2:39PM
Carl Icahn's long-standing association with Motorola seems to be drawing to an end after Motorola Solutions (MSI) announced Monday that it has agreed to repurchase almost $1.2 billion worth of stock from the activist investor.

The deal was inked pursuant to the company's $3 billion stock-buyback plan approved in January. Following the settlement of the transaction, Vincent Intrieri, Icahn's representative on Motorola Solutions' board, will resign from his position. 

If the soda maker can successfully market Pepsi Next, it will help boost the company's sluggish soft drink sales.

By Trefis Feb 29, 2012 2:25PM
The cola wars are heating up again. In addition to an announcement that it will spend $600 million more in marketing, PepsiCo (PEP) is also planning new product offerings and a strategic review of existing products in 2012. 

PepsiCo competes with leading food and beverage companies around the world, including Kraft Foods (KFT), Coca-Cola Co (KO) and Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS).

A portfolio of these high-calorie stocks would see double-digit increases.

By Kim Peterson Feb 29, 2012 2:16PM
Image: Person on scale (© Purestock/SuperStock)Some enterprising fund manager needs to create the "fat guy fund" with stocks focused on pizza, burritos, wings and beer. The fund would be an instant hit, because those stocks have performed very well this year.

The idea came from private trader Joey Fundora, who tweeted this week about a "fat guy fund" that could hold the following stocks: Domino's Pizza (DPZ), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) and the ADR shares of Fomento Economico Mexicano (FMX).

I think he's on to something here. 

Millions of consumers use the innovative food packager's products, but individual investors have yet to discover the stock.

By Gene Marcial Feb 29, 2012 2:08PM

Image: Woman and refrigerator (©

When you reach into the fridge for that food in a sealed plastic container, you expect that it's fresh and safe from germs or contamination. That may be thanks to Sealed Air (SEE), which makes a wide array of protective packaging materials and products.


In spite of being a worldwide maker of everyday household items, Sealed Air is far from a household name. Institutional investors are aware of the company, however, and own 75% of the shares outstanding. That's probably because Sealed Air is also a major producer of industrial packaging materials, such as the Bubble Wrap and Cryovac automated packaging systems used by food-service companies.

Tags: SEE

Seasonal patterns suggest another strong month for stocks. Any substantial pullbacks in these semiconductor stocks may present good opportunities.

By Feb 29, 2012 1:35PM

Image: Bull (© Photographers Choice RF/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray 

The stock market performance in 2011 was disappointing for those who follow the presidential cycle, as the third year of the cycle is generally the best. So far, 2012 -- which has historically been the second-best year in the cycle -- is making up the difference.

The table below shows that on average since 1900, the fourth year of the presidential cycle averaged a 7.77% gain versus 11.26% in the third year. With the Spyder Trust (SPY) already up 9.3% this year, stocks have exceeded that yearly average and are approaching the median return of 10.39%.


The oil-drilling giant's future is beginning to look rosier than it has since the Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion in the Gulf.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 29, 2012 12:27PM
Oil DrillingBy Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 13,000 level -- an event last recorded before the financial crisis struck in 2008 -- and among the stocks participating in the celebration was Transocean (RIG).

At first glance, you might wonder how the world's biggest offshore oil drilling company managed to pull of this feat, given that it is still mired in legal issues arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (it owned the rig that exploded and sank, causing the worst offshore oil spill on record in the United States and killing 11 people). 

Williams is upgraded to 'conviction buy' at Goldman, and ONEOK Partners is downgraded to 'sell' Goldman.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 29, 2012 12:27PM
Information provided by

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Chevron (CVX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Cablevision (CVC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak
  • Williams (WMB) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
  • Plains All American (PAA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • NuStar Energy (NS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Enbridge Energy (EEP) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman

Home-improvement stocks already look strong, and continued weakness in home sales can only make them stronger.

By InvestorPlace Feb 29, 2012 11:59AM

Digital Vision/PhotolibraryBy Beth Gaston Moon

The current environment is bad news if you're trying to sell your home -- prices haven't been this low since the first season of "American Idol." (That's 2002 for you non-Ryan Seacrest fans.)


The Case-Shiller national home price index reported a 4% drop in Q4 2011, marking the biggest decline since 2008. Since the market peaked in Q2 2006, home prices have dropped 33.8%.



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Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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