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.


Investors have multiple ways to succeed this year, if they understand how the lingering effects of deleveraging are colliding with emerging forces of inflation.

By Feb 6, 2012 6:31PM

Image: Inflation (© Nick Koudis/Getty Images)By Charles Githler, chairman,

The worst is over for investors, and an improving environment awaits us in 2012, according to the MoneyShow experts who proved most accurate last year. Nor will the European sovereign debt crisis whipsaw the markets with last year’s ferocity.

The bad news: Our old friend, inflation, is still on its way back.

Its return was our top forecast last year.


Exxon and BP forecast that electric cars and hybrids will account for only 4% to 5% of the global fleet in the next few decades.

By Trefis Feb 6, 2012 6:24PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)Despite high pump prices pushing consumers to reduce spending -- and renewing calls for the U.S. to reduce its dependence on imported oil -- gasoline and diesel will continue to be the dominant fuels in passenger transport at least until 2040, according to forecasts from Exxon Mobil (XOM) and British Petroleum (BP).

Both companies released projections for the next two to three decades, and forecast that electric cars and hybrids will make up 4% to 5% of the global fleet even after decades of development. These forecasts are at odds with projections by independent consultants like McKinsey and government targets, which see electric vehicles taking on a much bigger role in transportation in the future. 
Tags: bpXOM

The company has been as steady as anyone could hope, but that doesn't mean it's a good time to buy, especially if you're just looking at price charts.

By Feb 6, 2012 6:19PM

By Julie Carnevale,

McDonald's (MCD) has a consistent record of growing earnings at double-digit rates, and the market tends to price the company's shares within reasonable variations of its earnings achievements.

But is McDonald's is too expensive to buy or hold at current prices?

Tags: MCD

Since 2009, trading volume has withered as exchange-traded funds have exploded. Is this where all the money is going?

By InvestorPlace Feb 6, 2012 6:03PM

Image: Wall Street trader at trading desk (© Tom Grill/Photographer)By James Brumley


January was a heck of a month, at least for stocks. The S&P 500 gained a hefty 4.3%, and the market's up more than 17% from its October lows. Yet, there's been a notable lack of volume on the way up. One could put the question this way: Where did all the money go?


There are two potential ways to interpret that -- and they're diametrical opposites.


Everyone's upset about companies not paying their fair share. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 6, 2012 5:35PM

By Dan Caplinger


As we watch the turmoil in Europe, the U.S. gets closer and closer to a sovereign debt crisis of its own. Yet the most recent public uproar over whether corporations are paying their fair share of taxes distracts from the far more important question: Why are we wasting time worrying about a tax that hasn't contributed all that much to the government's coffers for decades?


Much ado about little
Last week, The Wall Street Journal raised the hackles of tax reformers everywhere by highlighting a statistic from the Congressional Budget Office. According to the CBO, corporations paid just over 12% of their profits in taxes last year -- the lowest percentage since 1972.


The iPhone maker, which did not even run a commercial, got the best promotion by far.

By Jim Cramer Feb 6, 2012 4:28PM

I saw a lot of commercials last night that were cute. Funny dogs. Smiling, mischievous babies. Lovable polar bears. I saw some stupid ones, too, like the insulting and endless demeaning of women by GoDaddy, or something about a kid relieving himself in pool. I guess that was an ad for porta-potties?


But there was one ad that struck me as the most honest, most riveting and most compelling of all.


The bank showed strong internal growth in the fourth quarter.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 6, 2012 4:25PM
Image: bank ATM (© Image Source/Corbis/Corbis)US Bancorp (USB) continues to gain market share from both acquisitions and internal growth. (The stock is a member of my Jubak's Picks portfolio.)

The latest acquisition, announced on Jan. 30, is the purchase of BankEast in deal coordinated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after the Tennessee bank was shut by regulators. It's a small deal -- with US Bancorp getting 10 branches in the Knoxville area, $272 million in assets, and $268 million in deposits -- but the price was right (a $68 million discount to total assets) and the acquisition fills a hole in the bank’s Tennessee business.
Tags: USB

The company is seen as the next likely candidate in the biotech sector's takeover hit parade.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 6, 2012 4:09PM
Image: Insurance Money (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)By Gene Marcial

Recent buyouts have invigorated the biotechnology industry, and the predictable question is which company is the next likely target?
Amgen's (AMGN) acquisition of Micromet (MITI) for $1.61 billion, along with Celgene's (CELG) purchase of privately held Avila Therapeutics and Gilead's (GLD) acquisition of Pharmasset, have sparked renewed investor interest in the biotechs.  

Stock trends remain bullish.

By Feb 6, 2012 3:28PM

Image: Worried woman © momentimages/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesBy Jared Levy

Given the current state of the economy, most consumers are likely to be smart with their money and keep splurges to a minimum. One of the only areas that they might be willing to spend a little (or a lot) extra is on their mattresses, especially if they are having a hard time sleeping due to increased stress levels.

And Tempur-Pedic International (TPX) claims to be the No. 1 recommended bed in America.

Tags: TPX

Teva is downgraded to 'equal weight,' and MGM is downgraded to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 6, 2012 3:05PM
Information provided by

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:

  • FedEx (FDX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA
  • Comerica (CMA) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
  • Disney (DIS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Davenport

With unemployment dropping, the retailer is poised to gain market share.

By Benzinga Feb 3, 2012 7:44PM

Image: Man Taking Money Out of Wallet © NULL/CorbisBy Samuel Richter, Benzinga Staff Writer

Economists hoping for good employment data got it in abundance Friday when the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the nonfarm private sector added 243,000 jobs in January, ahead of most analyst estimates by nearly 100,000.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3%, and the economy has added jobs for three months in a row.

While the news has caused a widespread rally in American markets, some companies will benefit from stronger employment more than others.


The Japanese automaker promised an aggressive sales effort once it got back on its feet, and it began in January.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 3, 2012 5:31PM

By John Rosevear


So much for concerns about auto sales: U.S. sales of cars and light trucks (pickups and SUVs) were up 11% in January over year-ago numbers, a strong result that suggests economic momentum is increasing. That result was good enough to put the annualized sales pace at 14.1 million, the highest monthly mark posted since the "Cash for Clunkers"-fueled sales boomlet in August of 2009.


Buried in the numbers are several trends worth noting, starting with a big one: After two years of troubles, Toyota (TM) is finally starting to roar back -- and General Motors (GM) has already lost some ground.

Tags: FgmHMCTM

IBM and other large businesses are increasingly allowing employees to use iPhones and other devices.

By Kim Peterson Feb 3, 2012 4:44PM
Image: Old computer equipment © Image Source/Getty ImagesApple (AAPL) is moving into big business with tremendous speed. Most of the Fortune 500 companies are either testing iPads and iPhones or allow them for use by employees.

One of the biggest companies to embrace Apple may surprise you. ZDNet reports that IBM (IBM) has 30,000 employees with iPhones, 10,000 using iPads and 10,000 with MacBooks. That's according to a presentation at a recent Macworld conference.

IBM now allows 50,000 Apple products into its workforce. Unimaginable.  

Governments worldwide are cutting back benefits to solar installers as panel prices drop.

By Trefis Feb 3, 2012 4:36PM
Image: Solar energy (© Mick Roessler/Corbis)China is the latest country to announce cuts in solar subsidies to reflect the falling costs of photovoltaic system installations. 

The government announced an 11% cut in subsidies for projects approved in 2011. Installations will get 8 yuan, or $1.30 a watt, while projects that become eligible for support in 2012 will earn 7 yuan per watt. 

Governments across the world are curtailing benefits enjoyed by solar installers as panel prices drop because of industry overcapacity and low demand from traditional markets such as Europe. Companies like Yingli Green Energy (YGE) and Trina Solar (TSL) are counting on growing demand from China to mop up excess production capacity in the industry.

The company sheds more light on its business and strategy after shares got pummeled this week.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 3, 2012 4:21PM
Shares of Polypore International (PPO) fell 30% on Jan. 31 as panic selling arose from the combination of a short recommendation from Axiom Capital and news that Polypore customer LG Chem would start making its own battery separator membranes -- instead of buying them from Polypore, the market assumed. 

More than 26 million shares traded hands that day, way above the daily average of 960,000 shares.

Since then, the stock has rebounded to $46.69 a share from the Jan. 31 close at $38.08. That's still way below the $56.38 close on Jan. 27.
Tags: PPO


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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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