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Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

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Even though the motorcycle maker had a solid quarter, concerns about margins hit the stock hard.

By Kim Peterson Oct 18, 2011 1:07PM

Updated: 6 p.m. ET

 

Blame the $8,000 SuperLow for whacking Harley-Davidson (HOG) stock Tuesday.

Even though the company had a good third quarter, with profit more than doubling, a shift to producing cheaper bikes like the SuperLow worried investors. Those bikes aren't as profitable, and gross margin in the quarter narrowed to 33.7% from 34.9% a year earlier.

Gross margin was the main reason the stock ate dirt Tuesday even after solid quarterly earnings. Harley lowered its full-year guidance on gross margin to between 33.5% and 34.5%. That's a mere 0.5% less than before, but it was enough for shares to close at $34.59, down 7%.

 
Tags: HOG

For tax-efficient exposure to Kinder Morgan's $38 billion deal with El Paso, use these funds.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 18, 2011 11:27AM

Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet


The week began with news of a landmark M&A transaction in the natural gas pipeline and storage industry. As the overall impact of this deal gains clarity, ETF investors can position themselves to benefit.

 

Kinder Morgan's (KMI) decision to acquire El Paso (EP) is notable for a number of reasons. First, the deal, valued at $38 billion, marks the largest pipeline takeover in history.

 

In addition, the marriage of these two massive gas transporters represents another notable example of the consolidation that has been taking place in natural gas.

 

Facing a host of risks, including Wall Street protests and mortgage lawsuits, financials could see more downward pressure.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 18, 2011 10:59AM

the streetBy Robert Barone, TheStreet 


It appears that several factors are still not priced into the market. Continued downward pressure on financial stocks could be expected as events unfold, especially the potentially disruptive forces that Europe may unleash, or the conclusion that the foreclosure and mortgage lawsuits are larger and more significant than currently believed.

 

Here are the top seven reasons bank stocks may keep falling.

 

1. Occupy Wall Street. Although it's not a cohesive movement, at least part of its birth can be traced to outsized Wall Street salaries and bonuses, especially since taxpayers saved most of the Too Big to Fail banks.

 

The demonstrators could just as easily be targeting Congress, but the alienation in this country is palpable.

By Jim Cramer Oct 18, 2011 9:25AM

the streetOccupy Wall Street has, in a few short weeks, gone from a sideshow to the fulcrum of a national debate about wealth and jobs and a sense of despair that's palpable among many Americans. You can't be on the sidelines on this one; you are pro or con.

 

Which, frankly, is the problem, because I am not sure what being pro or con actually means in this case.

 

Am I pro justice for the people who got us into this mess -- chiefly the lenders who lent recklessly and should have known better, and the investment bankers who pooled their miserable loans into unfathomable tranches that have done so much to impair the American economy? You bet.

 

From the lenders to the processors to the robo-signers to those who took huge bonuses after being saved by TARP and yet were integral to this corrupt process, to the ratings agencies that checked off on it all, I've seen little or no justice at all.

 

There's too much uncertainty and fuzzy math in these profits.

By InvestorPlace Oct 18, 2011 7:52AM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


This morning we saw a seemingly impressive earnings report from Bank of America (BAC). Revenue was up. Profits beat expectations. Good news, right?


Not so much. A closer look at the numbers shows some  fuzzy math that only a contortionist could feel comfortable with. The real bottom line is that Bank of America earnings are still ugly and that the entire financial sector remains a very risky bet.

 

After crashing from $70 a share to just a buck, Crocs had been building a recovery - until Monday's ugly earnings report

By InvestorPlace Oct 17, 2011 9:41PM
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com

investorplace Crocs, Inc.
(CROX), the cult stock behind the cult footwear hit of the same name, is the quintessential fad investment. The stock raced up 400% after its IPO before flaming out spectacularly, going from a peak of around $70 to bottom out at $1 a share.

Investors should have learned their lesson after that ugly performance – and anyone who saw the ugly footwear knew the ride couldn’t last forever. But after a huge restructuring and rebranding effort, some on Wall Street were again duped in 2011 and started thinking Crocs had hit its stride once more. CROX stock regained the $30 mark just a few weeks ago.


But like everything else in the fashion industry, things changed fast for Crocs. An ugly profit report yesterday has prompted panic on Wall Street – and shares of CROX stock are set to open down as much as 35%.

 

At first glance, the financial giant had a knockout quarter. But there's more to the numbers than meets the eye.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 17, 2011 4:30PM
Just shows you should never believe the headlines when it comes to quarterly earnings -- especially for banks right now.

According to the headline numbers, third-quarter earnings at Citigroup (C) climbed by 74% to $3.8 billion. The headline number put Citigroup’s earnings per share at a huge $1.23.

So according to the headlines, Citigroup killed this quarter, since Wall Street had been projecting that the bank would earn just 82 cents a share for the period.
 
Tags: CJPM

Examining the company's most recent conference call for clues to this week's earnings.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 17, 2011 4:03PM

By John Reeves

 

Excellent companies transform entire industries. Prior to Starbucks, for example, restaurants could get away with selling "bottomless" cups of coffee, because the coffee usually tasted so bad that you didn't want a second cup. And Netflix changed the way we bought our movies -- no longer do you have to go out to the video store and be subject to long lines and late fees.

 

Chipotle (CMG) is another example of an excellent company that is transforming its industry. In advance of its earnings release later this week, I took a look at its most recent conference call transcript. I was extremely impressed with what I discovered.

 

Despite noting that its business was facing some challenges in the current environment, the company's two co-CEOs, Steve Ells and Monty Moran, spent most of the call talking about two things not always associated with the fast-food industry: quality food and outstanding people.

 

The company is on a nutritious-foods mission, and wants to start producing yogurt for U.S. supermarkets.

By Kim Peterson Oct 17, 2011 3:18PM
The yogurt section in the supermarket keeps getting bigger, and for good reason. Yogurt is a huge seller -- the U.S. market has doubled in the last decade.

And Pepsi (PEP) wants in.

Pepsi? Maker of all things junk? Yep, the soda and snacks company wants to go nutritious in a big way. And its plans include yogurt. 
Tags: KOPEP

These new funds are designed to minimize volatility and ease market bumps.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 2:47PM

By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreet

TheStreet

 

Why do you invest? What really is your objective?

 

For most individual investors, whether they invest on their own or hire someone, the real objective is simply having enough money when they need it. In most instances, this means retirement.

 

If you want to retire, then chances are your accumulated savings will go toward supplementing the benefit you will receive from Social Security and you will either have enough saved to offer the lifestyle you want or you won't.

 

For those who can reorient their thinking to the long term and to their real objective, a whole new way of investing opens up by using the low-volatility ETFs that have recently been created.

 

Shares climb after the company says it sold more than 4 million new iPhones in 3 days.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 2:36PM

TheStreetBy James Rogers, TheStreet

 

Apple's (AAPL) stock hit a new high Monday shortly after the gadget maker announced record sales of the new iPhone 4S.

 

"IPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend -- the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, explained in a statement released before the market open on Monday.

 

Investors responded positively to the iPhone 4S numbers, pushing the company's stock up to a new 52-week high of $426.70 during morning trading, though later in trading shares pulled back to just under the $420 mark.

 

Investors are waiting for news of the latest negotiations between American Airlines and its pilots.

By Kim Peterson Oct 17, 2011 2:24PM
Investors are still very jittery about American Airlines.

Shares of the airline's parent, AMR Corp. (AMR), were briefly halted Monday after falling as much as 11%. The drop was so intense that it triggered an automatic circuit breaker to keep other shares from falling as well. 
Tags: amr

This ETF holds midstream energy master limited partnerships and offers a 6.4% yield.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 17, 2011 2:24PM
By Benjamin Shepherd, Passport to Profits

In this low interest rate environment, it’s been tough for income investors to find worthwhile payouts that don’t entail inordinate amounts of risk.

But there’s one income-producing sector that has become increasingly attractive as the markets have sold off -- midstream master limited partnerships.

These midstream MLPs operate the pipeline and storage infrastructure for our oil, gasoline and natural gas resources. 

The struggling retailer wants to allow competitors to sell its most valuable brands. Smart move or disaster in the making?

By Kim Peterson Oct 17, 2011 1:33PM
Sears (SHLD) is in bad shape. Sales are down, profit is nonexistent, and stores are closing. Even the chairman has described the company's finances as unacceptable.

But is Sears' latest move a stroke of genius or the final nail in the coffin?

The company doesn't have much going for it, but what it does have are its brands. Craftsman tools. DieHard batteries. Kenmore appliances. People know and trust them. They are some of Sears' most valuable assets. 
Tags: COST

Here are some exchanged-traded funds to follow during this busy week of earnings reports.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 12:03PM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet


Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI)

 

The industrials have run into trouble in the past few months as investors have begun to question the strength of the global economy. Since its July breakdown, shares of XLI have struggled to recover lost ground, as the fund has jockeyed back and forth along a generally sideways path.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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