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Up next: Biggest bank IPO ever

It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


Here's why shareholders are still unlikely to get any of the company's ever-mounting cash hoard.

By InvestorPlace Jan 6, 2012 12:48PM
By Kevin Kelleher, Technology and Markets Contributor

Apple investors should be some of the happiest shareholders on Wall Street. And for the most part, they are. But when it comes to the question of dividends, the gratitude vanishes.

Year after year, Apple (AAPL) investors ask about a dividend. Year after year, Apple declines to offer one, rewarding shareholders instead with handsome returns in its stock value. Apple returned investors more than 25% in 2011, a year when the rest of the market basically flat-lined.


Good earnings, Calvin Klein expansion and short interest could spur a rally.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 6, 2012 12:38PM
Image: Young woman clothes shopping (© Image Source/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Todd Salamone, Schaeffer's Investment Research

In early December, G-III Apparel Group (GIII) reported quarterly earnings of $2.16 per share as year-over-year revenues rose 13.3%.  
Tags: GIII

The company plans to more than double its number of outlets over next 20 years. Baskin Robbins expands in Asia.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 6, 2012 12:36PM

DonutsBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times


Coffee addicts and policemen in quest of a donut fix in the Northeast are familiar with Dunkin' Donuts because that's where most of the chain's 7,000 U.S. outlets are.

Now, six months after its IPO, parent company Dunkin’ Brands Group (DNKN) has announced plans for a vast, long-term expansion. The company will more than double its number of locations over the next two decades, taking it into regions of the country where it isn’t currently a force. That will mean going head to head with Starbucks (SBUX), of course, but that doesn’t seem to deter Dunkin’ Brands’ management team. After all, fans of its coffee and donuts in Seattle -- Starbuck's backyard -- took to Twitter on Thursday to plead with Dunkin’ Donuts to open up shop in the Emerald City. (The last outlet was shuttered a decade ago.) As one Tweeter put it, "Seattle is waiting for their Dunkin' Donuts. WHERE ARE THEY?" 

Traveleres and JC Penney are upgraded to 'outperform,' while Kohl's and Nordstrom are cut to 'hold.'

By MSN Money Partner Jan 6, 2012 12:18PM
Information provided by

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Travelers (TRV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Cerner (CERN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • SanDisk (SNDK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • SunTrust (STI) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie and to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer

Alcoa and Target have disappointed investors even before reporting quarterly results.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 6, 2012 11:50AM
Earnings season hasn't started yet, and already investors are being bombarded with bad news even as signs continue to emerge that the economy is recovering.

Alcoa (AA), which unofficially kicks off earnings season next week, set the downbeat tone Thursday when it announced plans to shutter an idled aluminum smelter in Tennessee and reduce operations at a Texas plant as part of a planned 12% reduction in capacity. When it finally reports Monday, the company, which obviously lives and dies by aluminum prices, is expected to post its worst results since 2009. 

The company once hoped for double its current market cap. Here's how it might just get there.

By Trefis Jan 6, 2012 11:15AM
Photodisc/SuperStockHaving occupied the position of the largest player in the social commerce space, Groupon (GRPN) has always been in the news for both the right and wrong reasons. One of the main critiques has been the firm's business strategy and its impact on the valuation. After rejecting a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google (GOOG) in December 2010, Groupon's expected valuation was as high as $25 billion earlier last year before estimates finally fell to around the $11 billion to $12 billion range.

While Groupon has had its share of mistakes, including criticisms on its creative (and supposedly confusing) accounting metrics as well as PR mishaps, we try to explore a couple of scenarios that could propel the company closer to the original expected valuation of $25 billion. We recently launched coverage on our analysis of Groupon with a $8.6 billion valuation estimate

The miner looks cheap regardless of the outlook for copper.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 6, 2012 10:58AM
Image: Gold Bars (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Kevin McElroy, Global Commodity Investment

One of my favorite blue-chip commodity stocks is on sale again. Freeport McMoRan (FCX) currently has more superlatives than a high school yearbook. 
Tags: FCXgold

This signals long entry opportunities.

By Jan 6, 2012 10:24AM

 Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesBy Tom Aspray,

Many investors are likely aware of the term golden cross, which is defined as a short-term moving average (MA) crossing a longer-term moving average. Most often, this refers to the 50- and 200-day moving averages.

On Jan. 3, the 50-day MA for the SPDR Diamond Trust (DIA), the primary Dow-Tracking ETF, crossed above the 200-day MA. The 50-day had been below the 200-day since Aug. 24, 2011.


Unless the company starts to serve third-party resellers better, it will begin to lose market share.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 6, 2012 10:16AM

Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Thomas Kee, guest columnist


In all industries, across all demographics and within every business segment, one thing remains crystal clear. Businesses must serve their customers or their customers will go elsewhere. 


In the case of Apple (AAPL), the demise of the growth rate of what was once one of the best on the planet is happening in front of our eyes. Unless Apple starts to serve its customers better, it will begin to materially lose market share and revenue and earnings projections will come down aggressively.


These 3 picks are among oil shares that should outperform.

By Gene Marcial Jan 6, 2012 10:00AM
Comstock/CorbisIf the stock market stays true to its historical pattern during presidential election years, one important group that investors should go for is energy stocks.

As a group, these shares have been outstanding performers during those important periods since 1972, gaining an average 15.6% and outperforming the average 5.9% gain for the S&P 500.  

The graphics king began its serious push into mobile computing last year and showed ambitions of becoming much more than a graphics chip maker.

By Trefis Jan 6, 2012 9:24AM
Nvidia (NVDA) had several significant developments in 2011, accompanied by some wide swings in its stock price. While the company made some significant announcements on the product development side, it also had to face the aftermath of product advancements from Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD). This past year Nvidia began its serious push into mobile computing and showed ambitions of becoming much more than a graphics chip maker.

Our price estimate for Nvidia stands at $20.91, implying a premium of about 50% to the market price.


Utilities are the best small-cap sector right now. Here are some standouts to watch.

By Jan 5, 2012 6:15PM

Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)By Kate Stalter,

The top-performing sector from the S&P SmallCap 600 in 2011 was utilities -- not particularly surprising, given that investors were seeking yield, as well as putting money into reliable defensive names.

With Europe likely to roil markets for the foreseeable future, and investors continuing to fret about the economy, defensives and dividend payers should remain in favor as 2012 trading gets under way this week.

One top technical performer heading into the new year is El Paso Electric (EE), which provides service to customers in Texas and New Mexico.


Looking for some new stock ideas for 2012?

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 5, 2012 5:09PM
Image: Stock market (© Digital Vision/SuperStock)Each year for almost 30 years, has turned to many of the nation's most respected and well-known newsletter advisors and asked them for their favorite investment ideas for the coming year.

With more than 50 advisors participating in this year's survey, there's something for every type of investor, from high-quality blue chips to speculative home runs. As always, we caution you to only use these ideas as a starting place for your own research and only buy stocks that meet your personal investing criteria, risk parameters, and time horizon.


Mega caps, junk bonds and emerging markets offer hedged play on economic recovery.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 5, 2012 4:56PM
Image: Stock market Traders (© Comstock/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Jim Lowell, Fidelity Investor

If 2011 was a slim-pickings picnic, many are saying 2012 will be nothing more than the ants. Not me. I know the macro issues we’ll have to invest through: ongoing eurozone crisis, escalating U.S. class warfare rhetoric, another Arab Spring. But don't forget that 2011 also taught us that even though one major piece of the global economy was broken, our own economy was able to maintain growth, albeit slow.  

Shares are down and peripheral bond yields are up as spending cuts continue to undermine the continent’s economy.

By Jan 5, 2012 4:28PM

Image: Euro (© Corbis)By Igor Greenwald,

That didn’t take long. 

A couple of days into the new year, Spanish and Italian stocks are down 2% amid dimming risk appetite around the globe.

Big Italian lender UniCredit had to discount its equity 43% to raise €7.5 billion from skeptical investors. Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s top maker of wind turbines, fell even more after cutting its outlook for the second time in two months as European customers postponed orders.



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[BRIEFING.COM] Nov crude oil is trading higher this morning as the U.S. and Arab allies have begun missile strikes in Syria on the Islamic State. The energy component dipped to a session low of $90.77 moments after equity markets opened but quickly recovered back into positive territory. It popped to a session high of $91.90 in recent action and is now up 0.9% at $91.64.

Oct natural gas is chopping around in a tight range between $3.88 and $3.90 in the black. It is currently up 1.2% at ... More


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