Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?
Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?

Some investment advisers are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow.


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 (© Photos.com/Jupiterimages)

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 MoneyShow.com 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 Theflyonthewall.com

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%.


When a company is capable of moving entire stock indices by itself, it deserves the endless attention.

By Jim Cramer Feb 29, 2012 11:52AM

the streetHow important is Apple (AAPL) to this market? Honestly, I think at this point it's so powerful that it can move whole indices. It is capable of driving the entire Nasdaq ($COMPX) and it even turns around stocks that have nothing great going on, like Amazon (AMZN) or Google (GOOG).


Someone asked me on Twitter (@jimcramer) whether we talk about Apple too much. Frankly, given its size and dominance, I don't think so. I have seen many stocks capture the imagination of people at given times, but I have NEVER seen a stock actually hijack whole indices with its own heft.


The warehouse store chain posts impressive gains.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 29, 2012 11:35AM

Costco Wholesale (COST), whose stock has barely budged this year, has defied the skeptics yet again.

Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 12 was $394 million, or 90 cents per share, up 13% from $348 million, or 79 cents, a year earlier. Sales at the Issaquah, Wash., company rose 10% to $22.51 billion, fueled by gains in gasoline sales. The results topped Wall Street's expectations of profit of 87 cents on revenue of $22.83 billion.


Mobile web and apps usage on the iPhone is increasing thanks to its immense popularity.

By Trefis Feb 29, 2012 10:22AM
The iPhone 4S has boosted Apple's (AAPL) fortunes. The stock has recently hit all-time highs and was hovering Wednesday morning at nearly $542, up from around $400 in October last year when the iPhone 4S was launched.

Not only has the iPhone 4S helped Apple become the No. 1 global smartphone maker, but it has also helped narrow the gap with Google's (GOOG) Android operating system in the U.S. in the last quarter. 

Progress in treating myelofibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis is boosting the outlook - and takeover prospects - for this biotech.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 29, 2012 9:57AM
By John McCamant, The Medical Technology Stock Letter

Incyte (INCY) is poised for a very productive year, as the company will continue the launch of Jakafi -- the first FDA-approved treatment for myelofibrosis a rare bone marrow disorder.

The company will also prepare to present very important rheumatoid arthritis data for INCB28050, the JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor partnered with Lilly, whose Phase IIb trial in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is nearing completion. 
Tags: INCY

With the economy continuing to mend, several capital-goods stocks look attractive right now.

By John Reese Feb 28, 2012 7:44PM

Image: Semi trucks (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)Last summer, with the U.S. debt ceiling debate turning into a debacle, the European debt crisis lingering, and growth slowing, many believed the U.S. economy was headed for a big tumble.


But just when things looked so bleak, the economy staged an impressive turnaround. Numerous reports -- from unemployment claims numbers to manufacturing data to retail sales -- have shown that the economy hasn't just weathered last summer's storm; it has actually made some of the most significant improvement we've seen in quite some time.

And businesses are indicating we'll see continued growth. New orders for capital goods -- machinery and other equipment companies buy to make products -- jumped 5.1% in December after having risen 8% in November, according to Commerce Department data.


The TV licensing business makes up 16% of the value of CBS shares. What happens if streaming takes off?

By Trefis Feb 28, 2012 6:11PM
Image: Watching television (© Klaus Tiedge/Getty Images/Getty Images)Licensing television shows to Netflix (NFLX) and other streaming companies is a potential cash cow that could boost shares of CBS Corporation (CBS).

The licensing business helps television companies earn money when their shows run on other networks. Additionally, there is significant growth potential from streaming companies, including Netflix, Amazon (AMZN) and Blockbuster owner Dish Network (DISH), depending upon how this market develops. We estimate that the streaming-license business constitutes about 16% of CBS' value. This could increase, and CBS shares could grow further, if streaming picks up in the next few years.  


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on the defensive after spending the entire day in a steady retreat. The S&P 500 (-0.6%) posted its third consecutive decline, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.9%) slipped behind the broader market during afternoon action.

Equity indices were pressured from the start following some overnight developments that weighed on sentiment. The market tried to overcome the early weakness, but could not stage a sustained rebound, ... More


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