You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.


Strong acquisitions are key in this business, and SAP is showing more initiative with plans to buy SuccessFactors.

By Dec 5, 2011 5:15PM

SAP AG (SAP) launched another attack in its ongoing battle with rival Oracle (ORCL) with an announcement that it is on the verge of acquiring software company SuccessFactors (SFSF) for $3.4 billion in cash.


SuccessFactors is a leading developer of cloud computing software used by firms to evaluate employee performance. The acquisition is expected to give SAP a much needed growth platform in the software-as-a service (SaaS) market, where it faces significant competition from Oracle. Analysts believe that the acquisition will boost SAP’s competitive position in human resource applications, while reaffirming its commitment to SaaS as a key business model.


We expect American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy as a stronger company, but the stock is still way too risky to buy now.

By Trefis Dec 5, 2011 4:59PM

After holding off from filing bankruptcy much longer than its peers, AMR Corp (AMR), the parent company of American Airlines, finally decided to file for Chapter 11 last Tuesday in a Manhattan court.


Alhough American's loss in the near term translates into its competitors' gains, we believe the company is using bankruptcy as a way to improve its cost structure and renegotiate contracts with labor unions.  In bankruptcy, we expect American to continue operations while cutting capacity, improving its operating costs and upgrading its fleet. But that doesn't mean you should buy the stock now.

Tags: amrDALual

The outcome of the European Central Bank's Thursday meeting could shed some light on the ongoing debt crisis.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 5, 2011 4:41PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)Do you sell on the news? That’s the tough call.

Eurozone leaders will have something to announce at their Dec. 9 summit. There’s been enough activity this week involving German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and International Monetary Fund general director Christine Lagarde to guarantee some sort of plan to address the euro debt crisis emerges from the summit.

Everyone knows that putting nothing forward would be a disaster.

The delivery company is a key component of some manufacturing supply strategies.

By Trefis Dec 5, 2011 4:10PM
UPS (UPS) has increased capacity on flights between Asia and North America after determining that a third-quarter slowdown in volumes was an isolated occurrence.

The delivery firm had previously scaled back routes to Asia when it recorded a drop in consignments of consumer electronics, echoing a slump seen by competitor FedEx (FDX). But UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols told Dow Jones the slowdown has now been reversed, bolstering the firm's supply chain outlook. If this division keeps expanding, we see a potential 17% upside to the stock's value. 
Tags: FDXups

Some stocks could benefit if other companies follow the lead of France's Atos and ban internal email.

By Kim Peterson Dec 5, 2011 3:41PM
Image: Office worker (© Ebby May/Getty Images)You get into the office, coffee in hand, ready to start the workday. You fire up the computer, only to find a bunch of email from your bosses and co-workers.

Groan. There goes the morning.

That's exactly the buzzkill French tech company Atos wants to avoid, so it's banning office email. Instead, the company's 74,000 employees will be required to use instant-messaging tools or a Facebook-style chat interface, ABC News reports

Changing orthopedic surgery, one robot at a time.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 5, 2011 3:32PM

By David Meier


Last week, in "5 Stocks With Explosive Potential," I quoted venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who believes that "swinging for the fences is probably less risky than people think."


I think he's right, and that's why I am looking for TNT companies -- ones with:


  • Tranformational technologies.
  • Nascent performance.
  • Talented management.

All are top picks for growth next year.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 5, 2011 3:30PM
By Jack Bowers, Fidelity Monitor

What are the best stock funds to hold in 2012? The following are four choices among Fidelity funds that we think are well-positioned for the upcoming year:

Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX), Fidelity Low-Priced Stock (FLPSX), Fidelity Blue Chip Growth (FBGRX) and Fidelity Stock Selector Small Cap (FDSCX). They are listed in increasing order of risk. 

With two large American companies being investigated for health emergencies in China, the business environment there could be worsening.

By Benzinga Dec 5, 2011 3:29PM

Image: China (© Lawrence Manning/Corbis)By Daniel James Hayden IV, Benzinga Staff Writer

Investors may want to take note of a disturbing trend among Chinese officials, who lately seem more interested in blaming American parent companies for health emergencies. In September, Chinese authorities said American battery manufacturer Johnson Controls (JCI) was responsible for a number of lead poisoning cases in Shanghai.


Now they are investigating none other than Coca-Cola (KO) for selling milk products that allegedly caused the death of a young boy and sickened his mother in the city of Changchun, the capital of Jilin province.


The stocks of discount stores have seen incredible runs this year. For that reason, they may not be the best picks.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 5, 2011 1:55PM
Image: A bunch of dollar bills (© Tetra Images/Getty Images)Can anything slow Dollar General (DG) down?Apparently not -- though that doesn't mean the stock is a good buy.

Net income at the Goodlettsville, Tenn., company rose to $171.2 million, or 50 cents a share, from $128.1 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose more than 11% to $3.6 billion, fueled by increases in customer traffic and customer spending. The results beat Wall Street consensus forecasts of 47 cents on revenue of $3.57 billion.

The good news didn't stop there. 

Two investment houses upgrade American Eagle, while Goldman downgrades Alcoa to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 5, 2011 1:10PM
Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Time Warner Cable (TWC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • Willis Group (WSH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • American Eagle (AEO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital and to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
  • Nabors Industries (NBR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • D.R. Horton (DHI) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • TE Connectivity (TEL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • International Game (IGT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital
  • eBay (EBAY) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James
  • Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James

Double-bottom patterns on the charts for key metal producers could bring about good entry points for patient investors in 2012.

By Dec 5, 2011 12:14PM

By Tom Aspray,

China's decision last week to lower bank reserve requirements suggests the emerging giant could cut rates in 2012. It is thought that such a rate cut would stop the slowdown in the Chinese economy and be positive for other emerging market economies as well.

The aluminum market has been hit hard by the weakness in the global economy, and prices have declined while supply seems to be increasing. As a result, the decision by Rio Tinto (RIO) to invest $2.7 billion in order to complete an aluminum mine in British Columbia suggests the company expects aluminum prices to be firmer when the plant is completed in 2014.


If you've got the nerves and the cash to play the game, there can be good money in selling short.

By InvestorPlace Dec 5, 2011 11:26AM

Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Richard Band

Most of the time, I recommend stocks to buy and hold. I sell when stocks reach what appears to be their full gains potential or, less often, when the company fails to live up to my expectations. Occasionally, I'll also give out lists of stocks to avoid because of their subpar outlook.

At this point in the market cycle, though, I see another opportunity shaping up -- for aggressive investors only. If you've got the nerves and the financial resources to play the game, I believe there's good money to be made selling individual stocks short.


This stock meets the investing criteria of the Fidelity Magellan Fund's legendary manager.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 5, 2011 10:59AM
Sean Justice/CorbisBy John Reese, Validea

We select stocks by using screens that are based on the investment strategies of well-known investors. Forest Laboratories (FRX) scores 100% on our Price-Earnings-Growth Investor screen, which is modeled on the investing criteria of Peter Lynch.

Forest Laboratories develops, manufactures and sells branded forms of ethical drug products, most of which require a physician's prescription. 
Tags: FRX

The sector is getting a lift as Thailand comes back online, China gets ready to spend and Google leads the way.

By Jim Cramer Dec 5, 2011 10:29AM

the streetThe flood waters recede, and tech springs to life. That's what it looks like when we realize that the "seasonal" trade, the annual move up in tech stocks, was clearly stunted by all the capacity that was taken out by the flooding in Thailand.


Remarkably, now that the country is coming back online, we are seeing supply constraints that are allowing the drive makers to get some gross margins. At the same time, people are getting excited about a return to spending from China, a very big deal, one that makes for good chatter from Intel (INTC), SanDisk (SNDK) and, one of my favorites, Nvidia (NVDA).


The small player's growth and low valuation are too good to resist.

By Gene Marcial Dec 5, 2011 9:57AM
SuperStockPlenty of people regularly take nutritional supplements in an effort to boost their nutrients or enhance dietary goals. Among the top believers are some of the famous athletes, particularly skiers, speed skaters as well  as tennis, basketball, and football players. Some are Olympians, including Jennifer Heil, an Olympic Champion Mogul Skier. Runway fashion models and red-carpet film stars are also among celebrities who are hot on nutritional food aids. Actor Tom Cruise created quite a controversy in 2005 when he criticized Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressant pills rather than vitamins to fight post-natal depression.   


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StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

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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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