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Verizon's disappointing investors, but you don't need shock and awe to rate a good buy.
When Verizon (VZ) reported fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 26, there were no real surprises. And that was disappointing to investors who were looking for signs that a rising economy was lifting margins in Verizon's legacy landline business or who were hoping for some sign that Apple (AAPL) was going to strike a deal with Verizon to sell the iPhone.
So, investors are stuck with the same old story -- which fortunately is pretty good despite its lack of surprises.
The market regained some of its losses but we are still not out of the woods. Maybe it's time to short the euro?
Value Line Index -- this uses 1,700 stocks so it's much broader than the narrower S&P 500 or Dow 30 -- is up 2.54% this week. Last month it was down 2.89% but up 1.57% so far this month -- let's call it recovering
- Barchart's technical indicators signal a buy on only five of the 13 signals for an overall rating of hold.
- The index closed Friday above its 100-day moving average but is still below its 20 and 50 DMA
Barchart market momentum indicator -- normally covers approximately 6,000 stocks --the percentage of stocks closing above their daily moving averages for various time frames -- still weak but improving.
The week of the Presidents Day holiday generally produces declines in the S&P 500.
The Bespoke Investment Group went back nearly 40 years analyzing the market's performance in the shortened President's Day work week. As it turns out, the S&P 500 declines an average of 0.20% for the week.
Normally, the market gains 0.12% to 0.15% in a work week, so a 0.20% drop is bad, Bespoke reports.
The end is in sight for some key emergency programs that helped the housing market limp along.
We may get the answer to that question soon, as many of the emergency programs propping up the market come to an end. Many people think the answer will be a resounding no, reports The New York Times.
In the last year, the government has given a tax credit to first-time homeowners and kept mortgage rates low. And the Federal Housing Administration backed low-money-down loans that many banks turn up their noses at, helping homebuyers without other options.
But even with those tools, look at what's happened:
This Indonesian telecom company stands to benefit from the country's improving economy and credit rating.
First, there's Indonesia's economy, which is forecast to show a 5.2% increase in gross domestic product in 2010 after 4.3% growth in 2009.
Second, there's the gradual improvement in Indonesia's credit rating: On Monday, Fitch upgraded Indonesia's sovereign debt to BB+ from BB. That's no small deal for a telecommunications company that has to access the capital markets frequently (although the debt-to-equity ratio looked to finish 2009 at just 33%).
Six Chinese picks with potential
Written by Douglas Estadt
I've opened positions in six stocks ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration. Here they are:
ChinaCast Education Corp (CAST): Online education company with a fantastic management team.
China Marine Food Group (CMFO): Present and growing popularity of night markets in more affluent cities will help this seafood snack producer.
Whether you're bullish or bearish on the broader market, there's money to be made in stocks
Is the stock market's recent dip merely a blip on the radar of a maturing bull market? Or is it the precursor to another big downward move for equities?
Some of the brightest investment minds disagree on that question. But the gurus I follow seem to agree on one thing: Wherever the broader market heads, there will be opportunities for investors to make hay.
Let's start with the bears. Economist and columnist A. Gary Shilling has been bearish for a long time, and he's not changing his view. "The slow growth and deflation I foresee in the years ahead portend a secular bear market for US and many foreign equities," Shilling writes in a piece published by MoneyShow.com. But, while consumers have switched from buying mode into saving mode, Shilling says several types of stocks should offer strong profits in the next decade. Among them: utilities and other high dividend-payers.
Corporate earnings growth is strong and a market correction creates opportunity for bulls.
The bears may be in charge for now with a market that is undergoing a somewhat painful correction, but ultimately the bulls will win this war.
Three quarters of S&P 500 companies have reported results, and with 4th quarter earnings crushing Wall Street estimates, valuations will ultimately rise if the trend continues. Or will they?
In response to fantastic operating performance at the end of last year traders have sent the S&P 500 to a decline of almost 5% in 2010.
So what gives?
Stocks have enjoyed an incredible run since hitting rock bottom last March. The market being forward looking appears not to care that 73% of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings have bested estimates. (Check out these 5 earnings stalwarts)
Sales of heavy farm equipment skyrocketed in January for reasons no one can explain. With video update.
Problem is, no one knows exactly why.
CNBC reports (video below) that sales of large two-wheel-drive tractors rose 33%, and four-wheel-drive tractors were up 9%. Combine sales were on the march as well.
Sales of video games and equipment drop 13% as shoppers cut spending and buy less Nintendo Wii gear.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Video game sales tumbled 13% in January from a year earlier amid disappointing forecasts from game makers.
The NPD Group said sales for the month fell to $1.17 billion as consumers curtailed spending after the holidays.
Sales of game software sank 12% to $597 million, while console sales plunged 21% to $353 million. There was a significant drop in sales of Nintendo's Wii, but sales of Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3 rose from a year earlier.
Yahoo! shareholders should be happy that Yang & company are selling their positions.
Yahoo! submitted a filing on Thursday evening disclosing that Jerry Yang, co-founder, filed to sell 3 million shares of common stock. David Filo, also a co-founder, made the same insider sale filing to sell up to 2 million shares.
After the Microsoft (MSFT) buyout was rebuffed and botched by Jerry Yang in the manner that it was, shareholders should not be upset that Yang or Filo are selling. They should instead cheer and ask at least Jerry Yang to unload the rest of his shares, much in the same way Yahoo finally unloaded HotJobs for a $220 million loss.
All the linkage plays -- metals, oil, tech -- will likely feel the pinch today.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why did we hold Freeport (FCX) through the night? What were we thinking when we bought Vale (VALE) on a disappointing quarter? Shouldn't we now be worried about the Bucyrus (BUCY) we took up three or the Caterpillar (CAT) up the same amount?
That's what happens when you think the Chinese are going to be like our country's government and let the bubbles roll. The Chinese are not like us. There is no Nancy Pelosi pushing pet products in a stimulus plan that probably only had half of the money creating jobs with a multiplier effect -- as opposed to giving raises and stabilizing unionized civil service employment.
The Chinese mean business. They are not going to let expansion run amok. So when you have 3-point gains on the backs of the shorts who got caught leaning the wrong way for a day, you have to take them.
Basic metals, grains, and energy are finding buyers as risk appetites return.
While investors have been waiting with bated breath for word on a possible European Union bailout for debt-addled Greece, commodities have been catching a bid. Since last Friday, various commodity ETFs have been on fire: The U.S. Oil Fund (USO) is up 8%, the iPath Copper (JJC) is up 11%, the iPath Grains (JJG) is up 4.7%, and the Gold Trust (GLD) is up 5%.
Overall, the DB Commodities Tracking Index Fund (DBC) has added 6% over the last five days. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 3%.
Much of this was driven by the undulations of the U.S. dollar. As traders worried about Europe's government debt woes, they sold the euro and bought the dollar. A stronger dollar in turn weighed on the entire commodities complex. But now, with the dollar stalling out commodities are moving higher as some optimism over global economic recovery returns. Here are a few ways you can get in on the action.
American Airlines becomes the latest airline to charge for a blanket and pillow. It's also charging for standby flights.
American Airlines, a unit of AMR (AMR), will pull all free blankets for customers flying coach starting May 1. Instead, it will sell an inflatable pillow and fleece blanket together for $8.
It's not the first airline to do so -- JetBlue and US Airways charge $7 for a similar set. But the blanket fee comes just as American said it will soon charge $50 for most customers who want to fly standby.
American tried to spin the standby fee in a positive light,
PepsiCo just misses Wall Street estimates, but it's still a good stock for uncertain times.
That was a penny below Wall Street's projections, but almost twice the 46 cents a share the company reported in the fourth quarter of 2008.
At $13.3 billion, revenue came in just ahead of the analysts' consensus of $13.26 billion. Sales grew by 4.5% in the quarter from the fourth quarter of 2008. The performance of PepsiCo's business units followed recent form.
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As the season winds down, a few companies are still left to report financial results.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The three indices all trade with gains of no more than 0.2% with Dow maintaining its lead. Cyclical sectors have strengthened their gains in recent action as the financial sector sits atop the leaderboard. Although most growth-oriented groups trade in positive territory, technology and materials remain in the red.
Also of note, the Dow Jones Transportation Average is little changed after charging out of the gate. Nasdaq +2.09 at 3498.52... NYSE Adv/Dec 1385/1528... ... More
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