There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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The cake maker has been divesting its less-profitable bakery businesses in North America to reallocate resources to its core meat division.
Under the plan, the international beverage business will be spun off, tax-free, into a new company. The remaining company will include Sara Lee's North American retail and food service businesses, focusing primarily on strengthening its leading market position in the meat business. The company competes with major food and consumer companies like Kraft Foods (KFT) and Nestle (NESN).
The metal typically rises in the opening months of the year, and buyers should look to a particular copper ETN and stock.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The copper market is watched closely as a barometer of the economy’s health, and copper futures been active so far this week.
The recent report that China’s imports of copper in December hit record levels has also caught many analysts’ attention, even though some of the increase has been attributed to arbitrage in the futures market. The recent decline in China’s inflation rate is also an encouraging sign.
Ignore the country's shrinking GDP. These stocks are poised for growth.
The capital market turmoil of the second half of 2011 is finally starting to show up in Europe's real economy.
Initial estimates show Germany's gross domestic product shrinking 0.25% in the fourth quarter of 2011, dragging down the growth rate for the year to 3% (versus 3.7% last year). If the first quarter of this year proves to be sluggish, GDP might shrink again, placing the German economy officially in recession.
P and Q preferred shares are a solid investment despite halt in dividend payments.
By Vivian Lewis, Global Investing
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has tripped over its kilt. Nevertheless, as our top idea for 2012, we recommend the bank's preferred shares, specifically the non-cumulative preferred Q (RBS-Q) issues. We also like the preferred P series (RBS-P), which we already own.
A company that lent money to the chain's suppliers will stop providing financial assistance.
One company that makes loans to small businesses, CIT Group (CIT), will no longer provide financial assistance to Sears' suppliers waiting to be paid.
Sears shares fell 3.5% to $31.75 in midday trading, and CIT Group shares were unchanged at $37.14.
In spite of natural disasters, the automaker forges ahead with its efforts to develop fuel-efficient technologies.
Toyota was able to post a modest 0.4% year-over-year growth in the U.S. last month, while its total year sales declined by around 7%. In comparison, General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Chrysler posted 13%, 11% and 26% growth, respectively, in the U.S. last year.
Improving global demand for aluminum bodes well for the battered stock.
Since April of last year, shares of Alcoa (AA), one of the world's largest manufacturers of aluminum and alumina, have been in a downspin. They tumbled from more than $18 a share in April, 2011, to a low of $8.52 on Dec. 28. But the stock's recent jump to $9.80 -- even after reporting a fourth quarter loss on Jan. 10 of 3 cents a share -- indicates to some pros that the negative sentiment towards Alcoa may be abating.
Is the timing right?
The chain, which raised its earnings outlook in November for the third time in six months, says the workers will help it maintain high levels of customer service as the public buys plants, gardening equipment and grills, along with other seasonal merchandise. Tim Crow, Home Depot's executive vice president of human resources, told Bloomberg News that the Atlanta, Ga., company is starting the hiring process earlier this year, beginning next month in South Florida.
The venerable company this week introduced the second generation of its scratch-resistant glass for tech gadgets.
Can a "gorilla" get the monkey off Corning's (GLW) back?
That's certainly what the manufacturer of glassware and related products is hoping, just as a decade ago it counted on fiber-optics to revive its fortunes. The gorilla in question is actually the second generation of Corning's Gorilla Glass. This tough and scratch-resistant glass is used by manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronic gadgets can use to make their own products more appealing to consumers.
Meanwhile, smaller rival ConocoPhillips is downgraded to 'hold.'
Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
If the restaurant reservation site's increasing spending outpaces revenue growth, margins will take a serious hit.
The company's shares are currently trading at around $40 apiece. This is not far from the $45 and $49 price targets with which Goldman Sachs (GS) and Credit Suisse (CS), respectively, initiated their coverage of the company recently. A few weeks ago, we presented our views on the extreme fluctuation witnessed in the online restaurant reservation company's stock price last year.
This bond fund acts like a large-cap stock in bull markets and a defensive stock when times are tough.
By Rick Pendergraft, ETF Master Portfolio
Given the current global economic uncertainty, I don't expect big things from the equity markets in 2012. With that in mind, my pick for 2012 is the SPDR Barclay's Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK).
Newly listed companies are often among the market’s best performers. Here are some small-cap names with solid support since their debuts.
By Kate Stalter, MoneyShow.com
I regularly track recent IPOs -- meaning any company that’s gone public within the first ten or 12 years of its existance -- for signs of fundamental and technical strength.
These newer companies often have products and services that are still hot and in demand, and company management often remains creative and enthusiastic. All together, that can be a recipe for healthy growth.
Some popular chains have become a little more palatable.
With so many concept restaurants to choose from, one has to wonder whether the market can sustain them all. The answer is simple: They are sufficiently different from each other and are healthy competitors -- so they can all make a buck. That's the American way, and three cheers for being able to chow down on any kind of meal you please.
While the food at each of these places may be good, are their stocks worth buying? In the past, I've found these stocks to be perpetually overvalued. Let's see if they still are.
The smarter tech companies have already moved away from the personal computer.
What would have happened if Microsoft (MSFT) had said something positive about personal computers this week instead of something negative? How much would the stock have moved? How much would the group have moved?
Maybe the issue, though, is that there isn't much of a group anymore. Remember the PC makers? How about the PC component makers? They've all kind of realized this day would come, when the personal computer wouldn't have growth, and they have all moved on, including Microsoft.
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These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
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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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