8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.

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By Amey Stone Nov 29, 2011 11:32AM

Image: Bull figurine on ascending line graph and list of share prices (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)Welcome to the new Top Stocks. Today we're relaunching the site with a new look, new writers and a new emphasis on connecting with our readers.

 

We've added dozens of new voices, including that of Gene Marcial, who is bring his must-read Inside Wall Street column (previously a staple of BusinessWeek magazine) to Top Stocks exclusively twice a week. Along with Gene, Top Stocks now boasts some of the top investing columnists on the Web, including Jim Jubak, Jim Cramer, Kim Peterson and Anthony Mirhaydari.

 

Until we see deep-pocketed institutional buyers snapping up European bonds, we'll remain in market purgatory. Unfortunately, it's tough to see such a scenario.

By Jim Cramer Nov 29, 2011 11:27AM

the streetImage: Stock market Traders (© Photodisc/SuperStock)We need more Jon Corzines.

 

That's the only way to put it when you look at these bond auctions in Europe. Italy prices some bonds at 7.8%, and we need Corzine in there snapping them up for MF Global, with leverage. We need someone showing people it is a good bet and putting some flex behind the muscle.

 

Unfortunately, MF Global went bankrupt doing so. Instead we have the Italian people stepping up and getting a decent return on their money as part of a 'Buy Government Bonds' ploy by the Italian government. An individual sucker is born every minute. We need some more institutional suckers now.

 

Shares of the tech giant are ridiculously cheap.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 29, 2011 11:14AM

No one is sure why Apple (AAPL) shares are so cheap. The stock's price-to-earnings ratio is 13.14 (on a trailing basis) -- near the lowest level in the past five years and less than the average for the S&P 500, which is 19. 

 

During that same time period, as Apple changed the world with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, shares have soared more than 300%. And Wall Street analysts think the good times aren't going to end anytime soon. They have an average price target of $505.94. The high estimate is $700.

 

With the high-stakes drama in Europe, investors looking for the traditional end-of-year rally may find hopes dashed this time around.

By Kim Peterson Nov 29, 2011 10:16AM
Image: Bear (© DLILLC/Corbis)December is normally a great month for stocks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index ($INX) usually gains about 1.5%, Dow Jones reports. Investors are reworking their portfolios, feeling good about the holidays and looking forward to the new year.

But this December could well be a little darker. 

A share buyback and a stake by Buffett are among the reasons to get charged up over this stock.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 29, 2011 9:23AM

By Nicholas Vardy, Bull Market Alert

Serving approximately 22,000 financial institutions, think of MasterCard (MA) as a financial toll road, making its money on each of the transactions it processes. In doing so, MasterCard racks up $545 billion in transactions each year.

Even with the U.S. economy in the doldrums, MasterCard has been making a mint from the global trend toward a switch to cashless payments — whether using credit cards or debit cards.

 
Tags: MA

The pharmaceutical company's share price reflects the bad news but not the potential positives.

By Gene Marcial Nov 29, 2011 8:23AM

Photodisc/SuperStockOnce a highflying growth darling on Wall Street, TevaPharmaceuticalIndustries (TEVA)has fallen from favor. Many nervous shareholders bailed out of the stock because of a string of adverse events, including the pending loss of patent protection in 2014 for its blockbuster MS drug Copaxone. Shares of Teva have tumbled about 40% to $38 a share from a high of $64.54 in late March 2011.

 

But for opportunistic and not "of the herd" investors, the world’s largest generic-drug maker should be an enticingly attractive buy. And some of the smart-money crowd have been snapping up shares in anticipation of a sharp snap-back.

 
Tags: TEVA

A lineup of upgrades contributed to Monday's market rally.

By Melly Alazraki Nov 29, 2011 12:32AM
Some noteworthy upgrades Monday:
  • Google (GOOG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
 

Global markets have weakened as the European debt crisis worsens, but US investors can take comfort in several positives.

By Zacks.com Nov 28, 2011 6:00PM

Image: Arrow Down (© ImageSource/PictureQuest)It is said that opportunities are never lost -- someone else will catch the one you miss. And the saying remains true in the equity market. No one wants to miss a good opportunity to make exceptional profits.

 

So, is this the time to take the plunge? Or should we wait for the markets to fall further?

 

Trouble in the housing sector has led to a boom in rentals, benefiting some investment trusts.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 28, 2011 5:39PM
By Steve Christ, Wealth Daily

The housing market may still be down for the count, but if there's one pocket of absolute strength, it has to be apartment-based real-estate investment trusts.

In the wake of the housing bubble, the rate of home ownership has taken the biggest tumble in 70 years. The end result has been a bona fide boom in apartment rentals. 

Investors are hoping for something out of a December meeting of European leaders to address the problem.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 28, 2011 5:22PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)If it's Nov. 28 -- and the Dec. 9 summit of European leaders is just 10 days away -- it must be time to throw every potential solution to the euro debt crisis at the markets and see if bond buyers are impressed with the sheer volume, if not the quality, of these ideas.

So to go along with the weekend reports that Italy and Spain were talking with the International Monetary Fund about potential credit lines in the hundreds of billions of euros, the market today is now hearing about:
 

Shares of retailers bounced on bullish reports from Black Friday. But experts are urging caution.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 28, 2011 2:43PM
Image: Credit card (© Burke/Triolo Productions/BrandX/Getty Images)Lost amidst the hoopla over the record $52 billion in Black Friday weekend sales and the expected $1.2 billion in Cyber Monday revenue was much discussion over whether those gains are sustainable. The jury is still out.

Consumers remain stressed due to high unemployment and a lackluster real estate market, neither of which is showing signs of rapid improvement. A recent Gallup Poll found that 49% of Americans are feeling better about their financial situation, down from 53% a few months ago. Experts are not expecting consumers to splurge much this year. 

The company will continue to dominate the tablet market, despite competition from Amazon, Research in Motion and others.

By Trefis Nov 28, 2011 2:16PM
According to a report by BGR Media, Apple (AAPL) could launch a smaller iPad mini and an iPad 3 next year.

However, news reports conflict over the timing and the specifications of these devices. One report suggests that suppliers are already shipping millions of panels for the iPad 3. Another says that Apple will launch the iPad mini early next year and the more powerful iPad 3 by the second quarter. 

This stock now trades at half the level at which the CEO bought a quarter of a million worth of shares in August.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 28, 2011 1:44PM
By Nathan Slaughter, Scarcity & Wealth

Just twelve short months ago, rare earth play Molycorp (MCP) posted third-quarter 2010 revenues of $8.5 million.

For the same period this year, sales just spiked 16-fold to $138 million. More important, net income swung from a steep $10 million loss to a hefty $48 million profit, or $0.52 per share. 
Tags: MCP

While registered users on the social network are visibly expanding, information about Facebook's revenue and operating margins is erratic at best.

By Trefis Nov 28, 2011 12:31PM
Image: African-American woman shopping online (© Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images)Speculation is rising that Facebook might file for an IPO before 2012 itself.

While valuations for the company have gone to as high as $100 billion in private markets, an initial registration statement is all it takes to provide a much clearer picture of how Facebook's metrics are faring. Facebook leads the global social networking arena, competing with the likes of Google (GOOG), LinkedIn and MySpace. 
Tags: GOOGGRPN

Prominent home construction stocks are showing important bottom patterns, setting up opportunities in these stocks and a sector ETF.

By MoneyShow.com Nov 28, 2011 12:25PM

Image: Home under construction (© Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


This week brings lots of data on the housing market with new home sales due out Monday, followed by the S&P Case-Shiller housing price index on Tuesday. On Wednesday, pending homes sales for October are due, followed by the latest report on construction spending.


Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that while sales rose in October, prices are still declining. Another positive for the housing market is that rents in many areas have risen to the point where owning a home is now cheaper than renting.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Wednesday session on a mixed note. The tech-heavy Nasdaq displayed relative strength, climbing 0.4%, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% with five sectors settling in the green. For its part, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) spent the entire session below its flat line.

Equities started the midweek affair on a rather unassuming note in the absence of market-moving news or economic releases. With those pieces missing from the equation, ... More


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