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.


International expansion may provide some relief as the retailer grapples with a margin crunch in its domestic markets.

By Trefis Feb 23, 2012 2:39PM
Image: Jewelry store (© Baerbel Schmidt/Getty Images/Getty Images)American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) announced plans to expand into Israel by opening 11 stores there starting February.
With the new stores, the company now operates in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, thus making the Middle East one of the key strategic regions for American Eagle's international operations. 

The company is the world's largest producer of titanium dioxide, but is seeing a huge increase in raw materials costs.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 23, 2012 2:07PM
I said in my Feb. 21 post that for the first half of the year, earnings growth would come under pressure as companies find that, while the cost of raw materials rises, demand isn't strong enough to pass those increases to customers. Keep an eye out for companies facing that problem, I advised, and when you find one in your portfolio, sell it.

Which is why I'm selling DuPont (DD) out of my 12-18 month Jubak’s Picks portfolio Thursday.  (I still like the longer-term picture for DuPont, so I'm keeping it in my Jubak Picks 50 portfolio -- especially since the rules of that portfolio only allow selling once a year in January.)

Shares of the smaller retailer offer more bang for your buck.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 23, 2012 2:02PM
Image: Woman shopping in interior design shop, side view © Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesTarget (TGT) shares are trading up Thursday after the second-largest retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The good news should keep coming if the economic rebound doesn't falter.

Net income at the Minneapolis company fell 5.2% to $981 million, or $1.45 a share, while revenue rose 3.3% to $20.9 billion in the quarter. Excluding one-time items, profit was $1.49, topping the average $1.39 estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.  

The company wants to reach customers who don't like diet or regular soft drinks.

By Kim Peterson Feb 23, 2012 1:25PM
Image credit: PepsiCoHate the taste of diet soda but don't want all the calories of regular? PepsiCo (PEP) has a beverage for you.

The company is trying once more to fill the void between diet and regular with Pepsi Next, a soda with half the calories of regular Pepsi. With 60 calories in a can, it's expected to be available nationwide by the end of next month.

But does Pepsi Next have any chance of success? The odds are stacked against it.  

Zipcar's established markets grew by 23% in 2011, which indicates more scope for penetration.

By Trefis Feb 23, 2012 1:17PM
Image: Driving home (© gehringj/Vetta/Getty Images)Even though Zipcar (ZIP) posted a loss for the full year in 2011, the company's proven ability to serve its established markets indicates that it could achieve impressive profitability as its newer markets mature.

During 2011, Zipcar increased its overall membership by 25%, leading to 30% higher revenues over the previous year. The high growth is attributable to not only newer markets but also established markets, indicating greater scope for penetration. 
Tags: ZIP

The often-ignored continent is just waiting to break out.

By InvestorPlace Feb 23, 2012 12:40PM
Image: Africa (© OJO Images/SuperStock)By Aaron Levitt 


When it comes to emerging markets and energy production, powerhouses like Brazil and Russia tend to dominate portfolio holdings. Both nations have been blessed with a vast array of hydrocarbons and natural resources -- Russia is the world's leader in natural gas and Brazil's deep-water salt fields could be home to some of the richest concentrations of oil in recent history.


Equally rich -- but less known -- is the emerging oil story in Africa. The continent often is completely ignored by investors, but the tale brewing there could be exactly the catalyst needed to propel the region into superstar status.


Beleaguered retailer catches a break.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 23, 2012 12:19PM

Image Source/Corbis/CorbisSears Holidings (SHLD) is planning to sell anything it can as the struggling retail chain tries to convince investors that it is not going to wither away into oblivion. The message got through to Wall Street loud and clear.

Shares of the 119-year-old retailer soared in early morning trading, gaining more than 20% and hitting $63.09. The stock had plunged 56% last year, but made up lost ground this year as investors speculated that controlling shareholder Edward Lampert would take Sears Holdings private. Sears Holdings, though, isn't out of the woods yet.


Vivus is upgraded to 'hold,' and Principal Financial is upgraded to 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 23, 2012 11:52AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Kellogg (K) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • HCA Holdings (HCA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Level 3 (LVLT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • Vivus (VVUS) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Brean Murray
  • DirecTV (DTV) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities

This global wireless tech firm will continue to benefit as smartphone users move to 3G and LTE networks.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 23, 2012 11:50AM
By James Moorman, S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst, The Outlook

S&P Capital IQ recently reiterated our Buy opinion on shares of Qualcomm (QCOM), which designs and licenses technology used in mobile handsets.

The company reported a very strong December quarter and stands to gain as more customers move to third generation ‘3G’ mobile networks, especially in emerging markets. We also believe QCOM stands to benefit from growth in China, in the chipset business as well as on the licensing end, as service providers migrate subscribers to 3G. 
Tags: QCOM

Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson has transformed the company into a must-watch stock.

By Jim Cramer Feb 23, 2012 11:33AM

Sometimes the 52-week-high list is a good place to mine for strong ideas, if you can find some that don't do poorly if oil goes still higher.


I think we all have to accept that we must look at stocks through the oil prism now because numbers are too high across the board for every company that has reported so far this year and has energy as a key component in their input costs.


But Wednesday night I interviewed an extraordinary CEO, Michael Johnson, who runs Herbalife (HLF), a new-high denizen, and the story does not run on oil -- it runs on people, and it is getting stronger by the day.


The REIT, which invests in senior housing and health care real estate, could use the proceeds to seize investment opportunities.

By Zacks.com Feb 23, 2012 10:35AM

‎By Zacks Equity Research


Tetra Images/Getty ImagesHealth Care REIT, Inc. (HCN) recently announced that it has priced its underwritten public offering of 18 million shares at $53.50 per share with the total amount estimated at $963 million. In a bid to cover over-allotments, the company will provide a 30-day option to the underwriters for purchasing an additional 2.7 million shares.

HCN intends to utilize the proceeds generated from the transaction to repay advances under its unsecured lines of credit, to repay other outstanding debts and for other general corporate purposes, including investing in health care and seniors housing properties.


Satellite radio service provider offers unique consumer value in content and integration.

By Gene Marcial Feb 23, 2012 9:55AM

gehringj/Vetta/Getty ImagesIf you are into radio, you should pick up the good vibes from Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) -- and the promise of its stock.


The company provides a quintessential blend of Internet and satellite radio innovation, offering dozens of digital channels of music, news sports, and entertainment targeted and customized to its 21 million subscribers.


Despite being 'highly speculative,' the oil giant hopes to benefit from Europe's shale gas prospects in the future.

By Trefis Feb 23, 2012 9:15AM
Kevin Burke/CorbisOil major Exxon Mobil (XOM) isn't very optimistic about the European shale prospects, and it expects that it will take at least five years for the region to start producing gas. Company officials also termed some of the positive appraisals of the prospects in the continent as 'highly speculative.'

In its last conference call, Exxon revealed that two of its wells in Poland had failed to find commercially extractable quantities of gas. According to the energy behemoth, Germany would probably be the first country to see shale gas production. Competitor Chevron (CVX) is also among the energy companies looking to explore shale gas prospects in Europe. 

While higher crude oil prices will undoubtedly be a boon to giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron, the smaller companies likely stand to benefit most.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 22, 2012 9:25PM
Gas and CarBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Are gasoline prices headed for $4 a gallon?

Californians are already feeling the pain of such hefty fuel prices, long before gasoline usually soars ahead of the so-called summer driving season, when higher demand traditionally causes price spikes. Indeed, this kind of a wintertime run-up in gasoline costs is a highly unusual phenomenon, one that many analysts are attributing to speculation in the highly volatile energy markets. 

With economic apocalypse postponed, consumers have stopped ditching cable service and are signing up for broadband in droves.

By MoneyShow.com Feb 22, 2012 6:19PM

Image: Watching television (© Corbis)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com

Remember the New Normal, bracing us for years of austerity, slow growth, and miserly investment returns? Remember the buying sprees for gold, guns, and other apocalypse staples?

Also, remember how cable was done? How we were all going to rip out the cord in favor of the live stream from the barricades or, best case, a Netflix (NFLX) DVD?



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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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