The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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New funds allow investors to gain exposure to small companies in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
The field of BRIC-related ETFs expanded last week with the launch of Van Eck's Market Vectors Russia Small Cap ETF (RSXJ). The first fund of its kind, RSXJ provides investors with exposure to a diverse collection of small companies based in Russia.
So far, the fund has seen limited interest and is still vulnerable to liquidity issues. I urge investors to hold off on RSXJ until it gathers steam.
This pharmacy-benefits manager has a much brighter future than its current stock price implies.
By Bryan White
About $14 billion in annual sales of brand name drugs have come off patent annually since 2008, but that was just the beginning. Starting in December of this year through the end of 2012, approximately $35 billion worth of sales more will lose patent exclusivity, including Lipitor, Plavix, and Singulair. One industry positioned to profit from the wave of new generic launches is the pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs.
Born in the 1980s, PBMs work for health-care payors such as insurance companies, employers, and government agencies which outsource prescription drug plan management and claims processing. PBMs are responsible for developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, and negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers on behalf of their clients, the health-care payors.
Your decision depends on your appetite for risk. At any rate, GM should be on investors' watch lists. With video on GM's prospects.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The new General Motors (GM)went public in November, collecting proceeds of $23 billion, which ranked as the second-largest offering in US history. The automaker was assisted by lead book-runners JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
Although GM's stock -- initially valued at 7.8 times forward earnings, a sizable peer and market discount -- appeared cheap, it has tumbled from $33 to just over $29, as of Tuesday's close. The stock has tumbled 24% from a recent high around $39 to a fresh post-IPO low. What happened?
Momentum-driven stocks that are plagued by skepticism have a tendency to rise into a positive earnings report.
By Ali Meshkati, TheStreet
A few months ago, I wrote an article that said Netflix (NFLX) would outperform Apple (AAPL) during any market correction. What I should have written, at that time, was that Netflix would outperform Apple, period.
The point of the article was missed by most. I take full responsibility as I probably mixed in too many distracting points and topics. It's not about an Apple vs. Netflix war of technology, executives or each company's place within this technology-driven world.
The point of the article was that market psychology drives stock price, irrespective of fundamentals. When a momentum-driven trend begins in a company that is under a tremendous amount of scrutiny and doubt, it creates a support dynamic for the stock. It allows the stock to continue to a share price and market cap that not even the founders of the company could have imagined would be possible.
Though housing prices have dropped to new lows, folks aren't sure a home is a solid investment anymore.
But people aren't buying. The economy and the tightened lending market have all but removed the possibility of homeownership for some. But there's another interesting sentiment developing: More and more people just don't want to buy anymore.
The percentage of people who think of a home as a safe investment has dropped to just 64%, Bloomberg reports. That's the lowest ever reported in the national housing survey from Fannie Mae, and down from 83% in 2003.
So many people have turned away from homebuying, in fact, that we may be seeing a culture shift. Maybe the house with a white picket fence is no longer part of the American dream.
DirecTV plans to offer on-demand movies just two months after their theatrical release. But the rental is pricey.
But that's what DirecTV (DTV) has chosen to launch its premium on-demand video service this week. The service plans to offer movies just two months after their release in theaters, and DirecTV thinks people will pay more money to take advantage of this early window.
The service is set to launch Thursday with "Just Go With It," available for a 48-hour rental, Bloomberg reports. It will reportedly get movies from Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox.
Other movies coming in the next few months include "The Adjustment Bureau," "Cedar Rapids" and "Hall Pass," Bloomberg reports.
The Verizon iPhone and a rush to prepaid plans have Ma Bell on the ropes. With video on the telecom sector.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Analysts expect that the loss of Apple iPhone exclusivity took the steam out of AT&T's wireless growth. The number of new so-called post-paid-contract customers AT&T added in the first quarter fell uncomfortably close to zero, according to at least one analyst.
Investors who avoid overreacting to recent headlines will find favorable opportunities in a number of promising ETFs. Here are several risk-controlled buy set-ups.
The company hopes to hire 50,000 workers today in an effort to put the burger-flipping stereotype to rest.
Good luck hiring with that stereotype. But that's exactly what McDonald's is doing today in a push to hire 50,000 new workers. "We're proud of our food, and we're just as proud of the jobs we create," the company says about what it has called its National Hiring Day.
Search no more: Current negativity gives long-term investors a better price.
By Alyce Lomax
My Rising Star portfolio is designed to yield both financial and social dividends. So far, its holdings include three consumer-facing stocks, a solar company, a power demand response firm, and a corporation that cleans up waste, toxic and otherwise. But as yet, it still lacks a representative of our social, electronically connected world.
Let's fix that. Google's (GOOG) recent quarter caused Wall Street types to choke on their pricey Kobe burgers. What better time to ignore the negativity and buy into a company with surprisingly lofty goals, including its famous motto: "Don't be evil."
Google's everywhere, summoned by multitudes of browsers, countless times a day, to search for everything from the educational to the mundane. Some people have substituted Google's Chrome Web browser for Microsoft's (MSFT) Internet Explorer. Other rebellious types even reject Microsoft's Office products for Google Docs.
These funds all offer investors direct access to the semiconductor industry, but each has its own strategy.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
As I explained Monday, this week's busy earnings calendar is laden with companies from across the technology industry. I highlighted the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Sector Index Fund (IYW) as a product investors can turn to in order to gain adequate exposure to a number of these companies. However, hands-on investors can also tailor their IT exposure to suit their specific desires through a variety of subsector tech ETFs.
For instance, investors can use ETFs to home in on the semiconductor industry, which will be a major focus of this week's earnings-related press. Texas Instruments (TXN) kicked things off on Monday, and three other major names from this region of the tech market will follow suit this week: Intel (INTC), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Broadcom (BRCM) and Nvidia (NVDA) are slated to report in late April and May, respectively.
After failing to bolster its brick-and-mortar business, the company forms a digital retail division.
It's been a busy few months for Wal-Mart (WMT). The retail giant has said it will improve the nutritional value of its store brands, build smaller stores in urban areas, deliver groceries to inner-city residents and return to its roots by offering lower prices every day.
But if you think Wal-Mart is settling down, think again. According to reports, Wal-Mart has agreed to buy social-media startup Kosmix and form a digital sales division with the hip name @WalmartLabs.
The world’s largest retailer is trying to say loud and clear that it wants to be taken seriously as an online retailer. But amid all these other efforts, is Wal-Mart simply a jack of all retail trades and a master of none? Or can an online push really prop up sliding sales?
The stock of Central European Distribution is cheap enough to buy, but don't expect a fast jump.
The billionaire investor recoups the loan he gave the investment bank during the financial crisis. With video on Goldman Sachs' earnings.
Eric Rosenbaum, TheStreet
The $5.5 billion payment made by Goldman Sachs to Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway covered $5 billion in preferred shares and a $500 million dividend payment.
There have been signs for months that Goldman Sachs was preparing to repay Buffett. In March, Goldman Sachs received approval from the Federal Reserve to buy back the preferred stock bought by Buffett in September 2008. Goldman paid an additional 10% penalty to redeem the shares and had previously indicated that April 18 would be the repurchase date.
Russell 2000 shares have soared, prompting predictions of a pullback that favors large stocks.
So are large-caps are making a comeback? That could be the case, if history is a decent guide.
Small-cap stocks have run so high that the Russell 2000 Index, which includes 2,000 of the smallest ones, is nearing 2% of a record close, The Wall Street Journal reports. By contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 13% from a record close, and the S&P 500 index is 16% away.
Some of the hottest small-cap stocks include Dollar Thrifty Auto (DTG), up about 44% year to date. Other stars include Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Select Comfort (SCSS).
Post continues after this video interview about top small-cap picks:
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the session on a lower note as the S&P 500 lost 0.4% while the Nasdaq shed 0.1%. The Russell 2000, which paced the retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday, added 0.2%, trimming its December loss to 3.5%.
After spending the first half of the session in a steady retreat, the S&P 500 found technical support in the 1772 area. Upon reaching that level, the index reversed sharply, and marched back to its flat line. There was no particular catalyst ... More
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