Get ready for a flood of IPOs
Flood of IPOs land this week

If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.

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Exciting new products and rapid growth suggest a target of $655 within 3 years.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 9, 2011 10:40AM
Image Source/PhotolibraryBy J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

Apple (AAPL) has a unique ability to identify what customers want, produce easy-to-use products, and launch unique marketing campaigns to create demand.

The company’s revolutionary iPod digital music player, iTune online music store, and iPhone helped sales to increase 33% per year during the past five years, while earnings per share surged 70% per year during the same period. 
Tags: AAPL

Moody's has concluded that the bonds of some high-profile leveraged buyouts are too junky for most investors.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 9, 2011 10:06AM
bondBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

To some fund managers, they are known as the "Big Five:" The junk bonds that Clear Channel Communications, Harrah's Entertainment, Energy Future Holdings (the utility formerly known as TXU), Realogy, and Hawker Beechcraft originally issued in the midst of the leveraged buyout frenzy between 2006 and 2008.

All are trading at eye-popping yields that rise into the mid-teens. But to many investment managers, they are distinctive not because of the high yields, but because even as the default risk has ebbed for junk bonds as a whole, and the overall rate of defaults has fallen, the securities of the Big Five are still seen as perilous. 

Poorer countries like Italy and Spain need to know there's a backstop as they adopt austerity measures. And bond investors need reassurance.

By Jim Cramer Dec 9, 2011 9:59AM

Image: Euro bank notes, close up, soft focus (© Robert Kohlhuber/Photodisc/Getty Images)

the street

Still reeling that the European Central Bank didn't do more. Reeling that they didn't understand that the sovereigns need help in return for the austerity they have to administer to their budgets.

 

Yes, these poorer countries like Italy and Spain have spent too much, have profligate welfare states and have let others pay for their errant ways, but if they are going to continue their belt-tightening austerity ways, they need to know there is a backstop. They need to know there is a rescue or else it isn't worth it and they will just risk going under.

 

Missed expectations at the discount retailer? No problem.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 8, 2011 5:25PM
Image: Man shopping (© Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Alyce Lomax

 

Costco (COST) is impervious to negativity. Although the discount retailer missed analysts' expectations, investors are taking the news in stride. Anybody who was waiting for a temporary plunge in the stock price in order to take a position will have to wait a little longer.

 

Fiscal first-quarter net income inched 2.6% higher to $320 million, or 73 cents per share, including charges related to settling an income tax audit related to its Mexican joint venture and a contribution to a coalition supporting the reform of alcoholic beverage laws in Washington state; combined, these charges dinged earnings by about 7 cents per share.

 

The markets slumped even after the European Central Bank moved forcefully.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 8, 2011 5:24PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank Thursday delivered everything investors could have reasonably hoped for -- and still financial markets tumbled. The German DAX Index finished the day down 2% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ($INX) closed down 2.1%.

I think that market action amounts to a great big vote of no confidence in the European political leaders that have just begun a summit meeting that wraps up Friday.

At Thursday's meeting in Frankfurt, the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1%, extended the term of its credit facility for banks to three years from the current one-year term, and loosened its standards on the kinds of collateral it will accept from banks.
 

The payout isn't much, but it's the first from the automaker since 2006.

By Benzinga Dec 8, 2011 5:08PM

Image: Money (© Creatas/PictureQuest)By Jay Wong, Benzinga Staff Writer


Ford (F) said Thursday it has reinstated a quarterly dividend on its stock, and plans to pay out 5 cents per share on a quarterly basis.


The dividend will be the first from the company since 2006, when it faced significant financial difficulties and was forced to take large private loans to keep itself afloat. The decision paid off, as the company's perception seems to be better than competitors General Motors (GM) and Chrysler -- two companies that needed taxpayer loans to prevent outright collapse.

 

The acquisition is a vote of confidence in Isis Pharmaceuticals' drug development technology.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 8, 2011 4:48PM
Image: Surgery (© Corbis)By John McCamant, The Medical Technology Stock Letter

Isis Pharmacauticals' (ISIS) baby is going to a new home. Pfizer (PFE) is acquiring Excaliard Pharmaceuticals, an Isis spinoff out of Carlsbad, Calif.

Excaliard was founded in 2006 with technology from Isis. This is an excellent example of an Isis satellite partnership program in which it licenses out drug development candidates it doesn't have the internal resources to develop.  
Tags: ISISPFE

Most of the magazine's picks will sound familiar to investors -- and there's a reason for that.

By Kim Peterson Dec 8, 2011 4:25PM
Image: Dice on stock listings (© Kate Kunz/CorbisFortune magazine has released its top 10 stock picks for 2012, and most of the names aren't new.

From Apple (AAPL) to Caterpillar (CAT), the picks rely on stable income stocks that Fortune says are undervalued. "Times are uncertain," the magazine says. "Stocks are moving in lockstep. Reliability and income matter more than ever."

When stocks move in lockstep, it's very difficult to pick ones that can rise above the rest of the action. Did Fortune make the right choices? Let's go through the picks: 

Winter is the strong period for agricultural chemical stocks, and 2 industry leaders are showing favorable entry points.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 8, 2011 3:09PM

Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


As discussed in "The Four Key Seasonal Trends for 2012," research has indicated that many markets show repeating seasonal tendencies. While these tendencies do not necessarily determine price behavior, buying technically strong markets during strong seasonal periods can give traders and investors an additional edge.


As the charts show, this is the peak season for fertilizer and agricultural chemical stocks, and the weekly bottoming action in two of the key fertilizer stocks makes the risk favorable on new long positions.

 
Tags: AGUMOS

Changes in the business model appear to be paying off for the online retailing and auctioneering giant.

By InvestorPlace Dec 8, 2011 2:48PM

By Anthony John Agnello, Consumer and Technology Writer


(© Tom Grill/Corbis)Don't call it a comeback -- eBay (EBAY) has been here for a long time. But the online auctioneer and e-tailer is on the uptick again, and this time, it could stick.


Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler's upgrade of eBay to "strong buy" gave the stock a 4% bump Monday and it was hanging onto those gains Tuesday. Kessler gave the company a 12-month price target of $39 -- a hefty 25% above current valuations. EBay is currently hovering below its resistance point price of $31.18 (trading midday Thursday at $30.97), having fluctuated between $29 and $33 for months now.

 

The insurer announced the acquisition of a leading health data analytics provider.

By Zacks.com Dec 8, 2011 1:35PM

Humana(© Creatas/SuperStock)(HUM) announced the acquisition Wednesday of health care analytics company Anvita Health. The financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.


Anvita, established in San Diego in 2000, analyzes vast amounts of health care data to provide information to help companies improve the quality of their services and reduce costs.


The acquisition is expected to strengthen Humana’s clinical management.

 
Tags: AETHUMWLP

The burger chain's comparable global sales blew away analyst expectations for November.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 8, 2011 12:28PM
Forget Ronald McDonald. A better mascot for McDonald's (MCD) may be the Energizer Bunny, because the burger chain keeps going and going.

The Home of the Golden Arches reported that global same-store sales increased 7.4% in November, surpassing the 4.6% gain Wall Street analysts expected. Sales in Europe and the U.S. rose 6.5% each, beating analysts' expectations. Not surprisingly, shares of the Oakbrook, Ill. company, which have risen more than 25% this year, rose 1.4% to $97.75 Thursday morning. 
Tags: MCD

Expedia, Philip Morris and Las Vegas Sands are downgraded to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 8, 2011 12:23PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Madison Square Garden (MSG) upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
  • Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray
  • Wipro (WIT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • Mobile TeleSystems (MBT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
 

Few things are as bullish as stocks breaking above the ranges they have traded in, and big-cap names like McDonald's and IBM are hitting levels we’ve never seen before.

By Jim Cramer Dec 8, 2011 10:46AM

the streetImage: Arrow Up (© Nicholas Monu/iStock Exclusive/Getty Images)Breakout!

 

Sometimes it hits you like that. You will be watching the ticker go by and you will say, "Holy cow, did I just see a 4 handle on Home Depot (HD)?" Or, "Wait a second, did McDonald's (MCD) just take out $95? Is Verizon (VZ) finally out of the $35 orb? IBM (IBM) about to take out $200? No way!"

 

That's where we are right now: Stocks are hitting levels we haven't seen before -- not "haven't seen in a while" . . . never before.

 

CEO Jeff Bezos is focused on a far-reaching strategy, rather than just short-term results.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 8, 2011 9:46AM
Photodisc/SuperStockBy David Sandell, Leeb's Income Performance Letter

Amazon.com (AMZN) has been making massive investments in its future at the expense of short-term results.

With Jeff Bezos -- one of the few remaining tech visionaries -- at the helm, we’re willing to bet the online retailer will succeed in its far-reaching strategy. 
Tags: AMZN

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Tuesday session on a lower note after generally upbeat earnings took the back seat to geopolitical concerns. The S&P 500 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) ended on their lows, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) displayed relative strength.

Once again, market participants were focused on quarterly reports in the early going, but geopolitical worries overshadowed the impact of mostly better than expected earnings. Specifically, equities ... More


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