How long can the S&P 500 keep 2,000?
How long can the S&P keep 2,000?

The Federal Reserve and Congressional politics threaten to rain on the market party.

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These stocks are trading for less than investment gurus David Einhorn and Prem Watsa paid for them.

By GuruFocus.com Jun 20, 2012 12:13PM
Talk of a potential quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve after it concludes its two-day meeting has lifted markets this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its highest level in a month on Tuesday. Most of the stocks in the portfolios of the best stock pickers all rose in tandem, but a few haven't yet surpassed the investors' original purchase prices. Some standout bargain candidates are Marvell Tech Group (MRVL), a David Einhorn holding, and Research In Motion (RIMM), which Prem Watsa has invested in.
 

Check out these value, speculative and niche picks for the grocer in you.

By InvestorPlace Jun 20, 2012 11:27AM

Image: Grocery shopping (© Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Lawrence Meyers


I am not a fan of supermarkets these days. While they desperately fight off challenges from stores like Dollar Tree (DLTR) and the organic juggernaut that is Whole Foods Market (WFM), they still continue to lose market share.


That's why I became intrigued by other niche players and think there's value there to be explored. Let's check in and see how these markets are doing.

 

Adobe is downgraded at 2 firms, while Applied Materials is upgraded to 'overweight.'

By MSN Money Partner Jun 20, 2012 11:02AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • Huntington Ingalls (HII) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Marathon Petroleum (MPC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
 

The food and beverage company has the ability to test and roll out products designed to appeal to local tastes and at low prices.

By Trefis Jun 20, 2012 10:29AM
TrefisPepsiCo (PEP), in partnership with Strauss Group, recently launched Obela spreads and dips in Mexico. In India, the company plans to launch 50 new products under the Frito-Lay brand to cash in on the growing demand for salted snacks. Earlier in the year, PepsiCo partnered with Germany's Theo Muller Gmbh to soon launch dairy products in the U.S.

There is a clear emphasis by PepsiCo on food products and its portfolio comprises more food products than ever before. We explore the advantages and disadvantages of a portfolio with more focus on food rather than beverages.

 

Here's a high-quality trio with steady growth, low risk and undervalued prices.

By TheStockAdvisors Jun 20, 2012 9:53AM
By J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

Our Modern Value Model portfolio is based on a strategy first developed by Benjamin Graham and Dr. Wilson Payne in 1946.

The model contains undervalued stocks of well-known, high-quality companies with steady earnings growth. Here's our latest three additions to the portfolio: Fiserv (FISV), ResMed (RMD) and Target (TGT). 

JC Penney and Walgreen seem to have lost their way, to the benefit of their competitors.

By Jim Cramer Jun 20, 2012 9:45AM

There are a lot of ways to win in business. You can out-execute the others in your category. You can expand from regional to national and ultimately to global. You can offer a better mousetrap.

 

And then again, sometimes you can win by doing nothing, doing nothing but going against flailing and faltering competitors who seem to be flummoxed and floundering in unfathomable ways. Or, to put it another way, you can be lucky enough to compete against J.C. Penney (JCP) and Walgreen (WAG).

 

The credit card issuer has been generating exceptional sales volume.

By Zacks.com Jun 20, 2012 9:41AM

By Zacks Equity Research

 

Discover Financial Services (DFS) reported second-quarter 2012 earnings per share of $1.00, a penny ahead of the Zacks consensus estimate but lower than $1.09 recorded in the year-ago quarter.


Net income declined 10.5% year-over-year to $537 million from $600 million. Net income allocated to common shareholders also declined to $532 million from $593 million in the year-ago quarter.

 
Tags: DFSMAV

Just 18 months after going private, the home of the Whopper relists as BKW on the NYSE.

By InvestorPlace Jun 20, 2012 9:32AM
By Jeff Reeves

Lately, investors should have plenty of examples of how stocks are born via an initial public offering. In the case of Facebook (FB), we saw in painful detail how a fast-growing tech company can go from Internet darling to IPO flop overnight. Other big offerings of various success in the past few months include organic foods giant Annie's (BNNY) and investment powerhouse Carlyle Group (CG).


But not all companies reach the bright lights of Wall Street via an IPO. In the case of Burger King, which was taken private in 2010 for $3.3 billion, it avoided the complicated path that Facebook and Annie's followed to the stock market.


Burger King, which will trade under the symbol BKW on the NYSE, is avoiding an IPO altogether. And it started trading again Wednesday.

 

The software maker's outlook disappoints, and the consumer-products giant reduces profit and revenue forecast.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 20, 2012 8:51AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

Adobe Systems (ADBE), the publishing software maker, provided a disappointing outlook for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday because of a "weaker demand forecast" for Europe.

Adobe forecast non-GAAP earnings of 56 cents to 61 cents a share for the three months ending in August on revenue of $1.075 billion to $1.125 billion. Analysts forecast profit of 61 cents a share on revenue of $1.133 billion. Adobe shares dropped 5.75% to $31.00 in premarket trading Wednesday. 

The effect of rising fuel costs on the shipper's bottom line may lead to strategic restructuring.

By Benzinga Jun 19, 2012 7:52PM
By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer

FedEx's (FDX) ground-business stumbles tarnished stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profits on Tuesday.


The transportation holding company reported a profit of $550 million, which was largely overshadowed by the fact that FedEx's express business saw average daily package volumes fall by 5%.

 

An analyst says the cancer drug company may fetch a 55% premium in a buyout.

By Minyanville Jun 19, 2012 7:27PM
With a more than 300% rise in Medivation's (MDVN) stock over the past year, how can this clinical-stage biotech company jump any higher in value?

Takeover speculation.

That’s the thinking from Jefferies analyst Biren Amin, who predicts that Medivation can fetch a 55% premium in a takeover by a large drug or biotechnology rival. Shares of Medivation were up almost 90% since January, closing at $87.01 Tuesday. 

The company may be producing its own tablets to drive Dell and others to innovate.

By Jim J. Jubak Jun 19, 2012 6:43PM
Surface, the new Windows tablet announced by Microsoft (MSFT) Monday, won't make Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG) quake in their boots. The tablet has a 10.6-inch display and its cover works as a full keyboard with a track pad.

Nothing here like the whiz-bang punch of Apple's Siri voice software or the mountain of applications that run on the Google Android platform.

As a product strategy, you've got the right to ask why Microsoft bothered. After all, going into the tablet business will cause friction with the PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) that Microsoft partners with on the Windows platform.
 

With 2 decades of consistent performance, this is the quintessential buy-and-hold stock.

By TheStockAdvisors Jun 19, 2012 4:42PM
By Chuck Carlson, DRIP Investor

One of the first DRIPs I ever bought was ExxonMobil (XOM), in April 1992. Adjusted for subsequent stock splits, my cost basis on those initial shares is $14.63 per share.

I’ve never taken a single penny in dividends over the years, preferring to reinvest my dividends back into the stock. And that dividend has increased on average 5.7% per year over the last 29 years and was recently boosted 21%. The bottom line is that ExxonMobil has been a fabulous stock for long-term investors like me. 
Tags: XOM

The venerable tech giant leaps into the hardware business with a dynamic line of Windows 8 touchscreen slabs. Should Apple be afraid?

By TheWeek.com Jun 19, 2012 4:38PM

Microsoft (MSFT), which has long made its living through software and operating systems, announced Monday that it's getting into the hardware business with Windows-powered tablets that will compete with Apple's (AAPL) dominant iPad.


Microsoft will release two versions of its tablet, dubbed Surface, both of which come with a kickstand, keyboard, and stylus. Some details are still hazy -- like pricing and the release date -- but the tablets are expected to premiere in time for the holiday season. 


Here are five talking points from Monday's big unveiling:

 

The retailer's site, which launches Wednesday, even lets you put your trip on layaway.

By Kim Peterson Jun 19, 2012 3:43PM
Image: Couple Entering a Hotel Room © Fuse/Getty ImagesSears Holdings (SHLD) has quietly been moving into the online space, and this week adds another piece to that puzzle with a new vacations site that lets customers put their trip on layaway.

The new site, SearsVacations.com, kicks off Wednesday by offering 100 vacations for less than $399. Some of those vacations include three-day cruises to the Bahamas on Carnival Cruise Lines, a three-night stay in Honolulu or a two-night stay at a Napa Valley spa.

Customers will be able to reserve a vacation and pay the cost gradually, or buy a pre-paid vacation package that can be financed with payment installments, reports the Chicago Tribune. 
Tags: SHLD

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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +0.50. The S&P 500 futures trade within a point of fair value.

It was a sea of green across Asia as all of the major bourses, aside from Hong Kong's Hang Seng, finished in positive territory.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Australia's Construction Work Done fell 1.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected -0.3%; prior -0.4%) 
    • New Zealand's FPI slipped 0.7% month-over-month ... More


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