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Americans prefer gold, real estate

As the market wades through what many people hope is a sixth bull year, some have grown nervous about how long the run can go.

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HP and RIM are upgraded, while Dillard's is downgraded. Boeing is initiated with a 'buy.'

By Melly Alazraki Nov 29, 2011 1:30PM

As the nation's third-largest airline, American Airlines, and its parent company AMR (AMR) filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, the much smaller US Airways (LCC) was upgraded to "neutral" from "sell" at Citigroup.

 

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC Capital. And after being downgraded Monday, Research In Motion (RIMM) was upgraded to "market perform" from "underperform" at Bernstein.

 

Strong Black Friday sales recharged the sector. These three stocks have big upside potential if the rally continues.

By MoneyShow.com Nov 29, 2011 12:25PM

Image: Man Taking Money Out of Wallet © NULL/CorbisBy Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The major averages closed last week just above the key 61.8% Fibonacci support before rocketing to the upside on Monday, spurred on by much-better-than-expected Black Friday shopping.


Over the past several months, many economists had painted a bleak outlook for consumer spending. For example, in late September, the chief U.S. economist at Mizuho Securities, Steven Ricchiuto, said, "What you’re basically getting is a scene where consumers are losing momentum, they’re losing momentum on income, and as a result of that, they’re slowing down on spending."

 

The model of hub-and-spoke legacy carriers has proved difficult to perpetuate.

By InvestorPlace Nov 29, 2011 11:56AM

Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


AMR Corp. (AMR), the parent of American Airlines, announced Tuesday that it will file for bankruptcy protection. Crippling debt, labor issues and higher fuel prices have clipped the company's wings in recent years.


So what does this mean for consumers? Not a whole heck of a lot. American and its partners will keep flying as usual, and day-to-day operations will be unaffected.

 

The financial site welcomes new contributors, provides more ideas and focuses on building a vibrant investing community.

By Amey Stone Nov 29, 2011 11:32AM

Image: Bull figurine on ascending line graph and list of share prices (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)Welcome to the new Top Stocks. Today we're relaunching the site with a new look, new writers and a new emphasis on connecting with our readers.

 

We've added dozens of new voices, including that of Gene Marcial, who is bring his must-read Inside Wall Street column (previously a staple of BusinessWeek magazine) to Top Stocks exclusively twice a week. Along with Gene, Top Stocks now boasts some of the top investing columnists on the Web, including Jim Jubak, Jim Cramer, Kim Peterson and Anthony Mirhaydari.

 

Until we see deep-pocketed institutional buyers snapping up European bonds, we'll remain in market purgatory. Unfortunately, it's tough to see such a scenario.

By Jim Cramer Nov 29, 2011 11:27AM

the streetImage: Stock market Traders (© Photodisc/SuperStock)We need more Jon Corzines.

 

That's the only way to put it when you look at these bond auctions in Europe. Italy prices some bonds at 7.8%, and we need Corzine in there snapping them up for MF Global, with leverage. We need someone showing people it is a good bet and putting some flex behind the muscle.

 

Unfortunately, MF Global went bankrupt doing so. Instead we have the Italian people stepping up and getting a decent return on their money as part of a 'Buy Government Bonds' ploy by the Italian government. An individual sucker is born every minute. We need some more institutional suckers now.

 

Shares of the tech giant are ridiculously cheap.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 29, 2011 11:14AM

No one is sure why Apple (AAPL) shares are so cheap. The stock's price-to-earnings ratio is 13.14 (on a trailing basis) -- near the lowest level in the past five years and less than the average for the S&P 500, which is 19. 

 

During that same time period, as Apple changed the world with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, shares have soared more than 300%. And Wall Street analysts think the good times aren't going to end anytime soon. They have an average price target of $505.94. The high estimate is $700.

 

With the high-stakes drama in Europe, investors looking for the traditional end-of-year rally may find hopes dashed this time around.

By Kim Peterson Nov 29, 2011 10:16AM
Image: Bear (© DLILLC/Corbis)December is normally a great month for stocks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index ($INX) usually gains about 1.5%, Dow Jones reports. Investors are reworking their portfolios, feeling good about the holidays and looking forward to the new year.

But this December could well be a little darker. 

A share buyback and a stake by Buffett are among the reasons to get charged up over this stock.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 29, 2011 9:23AM

By Nicholas Vardy, Bull Market Alert

Serving approximately 22,000 financial institutions, think of MasterCard (MA) as a financial toll road, making its money on each of the transactions it processes. In doing so, MasterCard racks up $545 billion in transactions each year.

Even with the U.S. economy in the doldrums, MasterCard has been making a mint from the global trend toward a switch to cashless payments — whether using credit cards or debit cards.

 
Tags: MA

The pharmaceutical company's share price reflects the bad news but not the potential positives.

By Gene Marcial Nov 29, 2011 8:23AM

Photodisc/SuperStockOnce a highflying growth darling on Wall Street, TevaPharmaceuticalIndustries (TEVA)has fallen from favor. Many nervous shareholders bailed out of the stock because of a string of adverse events, including the pending loss of patent protection in 2014 for its blockbuster MS drug Copaxone. Shares of Teva have tumbled about 40% to $38 a share from a high of $64.54 in late March 2011.

 

But for opportunistic and not "of the herd" investors, the world’s largest generic-drug maker should be an enticingly attractive buy. And some of the smart-money crowd have been snapping up shares in anticipation of a sharp snap-back.

 
Tags: TEVA

A lineup of upgrades contributed to Monday's market rally.

By Melly Alazraki Nov 29, 2011 12:32AM
Some noteworthy upgrades Monday:
  • Google (GOOG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
 

Global markets have weakened as the European debt crisis worsens, but US investors can take comfort in several positives.

By Zacks.com Nov 28, 2011 6:00PM

Image: Arrow Down (© ImageSource/PictureQuest)It is said that opportunities are never lost -- someone else will catch the one you miss. And the saying remains true in the equity market. No one wants to miss a good opportunity to make exceptional profits.

 

So, is this the time to take the plunge? Or should we wait for the markets to fall further?

 

Trouble in the housing sector has led to a boom in rentals, benefiting some investment trusts.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 28, 2011 5:39PM
By Steve Christ, Wealth Daily

The housing market may still be down for the count, but if there's one pocket of absolute strength, it has to be apartment-based real-estate investment trusts.

In the wake of the housing bubble, the rate of home ownership has taken the biggest tumble in 70 years. The end result has been a bona fide boom in apartment rentals. 

Investors are hoping for something out of a December meeting of European leaders to address the problem.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 28, 2011 5:22PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)If it's Nov. 28 -- and the Dec. 9 summit of European leaders is just 10 days away -- it must be time to throw every potential solution to the euro debt crisis at the markets and see if bond buyers are impressed with the sheer volume, if not the quality, of these ideas.

So to go along with the weekend reports that Italy and Spain were talking with the International Monetary Fund about potential credit lines in the hundreds of billions of euros, the market today is now hearing about:
 

Shares of retailers bounced on bullish reports from Black Friday. But experts are urging caution.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 28, 2011 2:43PM
Image: Credit card (© Burke/Triolo Productions/BrandX/Getty Images)Lost amidst the hoopla over the record $52 billion in Black Friday weekend sales and the expected $1.2 billion in Cyber Monday revenue was much discussion over whether those gains are sustainable. The jury is still out.

Consumers remain stressed due to high unemployment and a lackluster real estate market, neither of which is showing signs of rapid improvement. A recent Gallup Poll found that 49% of Americans are feeling better about their financial situation, down from 53% a few months ago. Experts are not expecting consumers to splurge much this year. 

The company will continue to dominate the tablet market, despite competition from Amazon, Research in Motion and others.

By Trefis Nov 28, 2011 2:16PM
According to a report by BGR Media, Apple (AAPL) could launch a smaller iPad mini and an iPad 3 next year.

However, news reports conflict over the timing and the specifications of these devices. One report suggests that suppliers are already shipping millions of panels for the iPad 3. Another says that Apple will launch the iPad mini early next year and the more powerful iPad 3 by the second quarter. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on a modestly lower note, but it is worth mentioning today's retreat took place after six consecutive gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.1%) and S&P 500 (-0.2%) settled not far below their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.8%) lagged throughout the session.

Equity indices started the day in the red, with the Nasdaq showing early weakness as large cap tech names and biotechnology weighed. The technology ... More


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