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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The retailer's shares tank as razor-thin margins result in a 13% profit drop.

By InvestorPlace Dec 13, 2011 11:24AM

Kyu Oh/Photodisc/GettyJeff Reeves


Best Buy (BBY) had high hopes for this holiday shopping season. Black Friday sales numbers hinted that Best Buy was a winner, going big on discounts and exclusive in-store deals after a rather lackluster showing last year.


After Tuesday's earnings report for the third quarter, however, Best Buy investors might be getting a lump of coal under the tree. The big-box electronics retailer saw profit slump 13%, predicted weak margins and stuck with its previously conservative sales forecast.

 

Without Europe, it can't be great. But with so many bullish signs, it can't be that bad either.

By Jim Cramer Dec 13, 2011 11:01AM

the streetWhat is the truth about tech? What is really going on?

 

Are the problems macro related, as in weakness in Europe, the way Texas Instruments (TXN) described? Are the problems related to the secular decline in personal computers, a decline that has accelerated if you just look at Intel's (INTC) numbers? Or does the problem really have more to do with the Thai tragedy and personal computers will get back on track soon enough, as Intel tried to explain to us?

 

Is the problem slowing smartphone sales? Or just slowing smartphone sales from non-Apple (AAPL) vendors? Slowing television sales? Or just slowing sales from the Korean customer who wouldn't take the Corning glass? Is the problem a dramatic decline in telecom spending, or is telecom spending just frozen by ATT's (T) flailing attempt to buy T-Mobile?

 

A Texas money manager likes Time Warner, Honda and Garmin.

By Gene Marcial Dec 13, 2011 11:00AM

Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesJeanie Wyatt is a true-blue value investor. But she is more particular about the term value than many of her peers. She loves to see a hoard of greenbacks on a company's balance sheet. If a company doesn’t have plenty of cash, she won’t tag it as a value play.

 

Most investment managers identify value stocks as companies with underappreciated and undervalued assets that have yet to be reflected in the price of their stock. In other words, investors haven’t yet paid up for their intrinsic worth.

 

In this Q&A, a leading tech guru reviews the chipmaker's lowered guidance.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 13, 2011 10:08AM
Angel Muniz/JupiterimagesBy Paul McWilliams, Next Inning

Intel (INTC) lowered its fourth quarter guidance from its original range of $14.2 billion to $15.2 billion to a range of $13.4 to $14.0. At the midpoint, this represents a 6.8% lower forecast.

However, the chip maker stated very clearly this lower forecast is solely attributable to the shortage of hard disk drives (HDD), and is not at all related to the demand for its products. With that, let's address some of the questions I've received from investors. 
Tags: INTC

Even though heightened regulatory requirements could put more pressure on the bank's trading margins, the stock is worth more than its current price.

By Trefis Dec 12, 2011 6:03PM
Credit Suisse (CS) shares fell more than 4% Monday to $23.69 -– almost half the $47 per share commanded in February. The progressive deterioration of the debt situation in Europe and the ensuing economic slowdown have hammered the value of all major global banking institutions.

New tax agreements between Switzerland and other countries like the U.K. and Germany -- with more countries likely to be added to the list -- are also expected to hit the secrecy afforded by the Swiss banking system, directly affecting Credit Suisse and its larger Swiss competitor UBS (UBS). And don't forget the ongoing issues between Credit Suisse and the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly aiding tax evasion, or the mortgage-backed securities related lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Housing Financing Agency. 
Tags: CSubs

Markets were not impressed by a meeting of European leaders that didn't produce the hoped-for results.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 12, 2011 5:27PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Given a weekend to mull the results of the European summit, the markets blew a big raspberry Monday to the most recent plan to rescue the euro.

In Europe, the German DAX Index finished the day down 34%, the French CAC Index was down 3.4%, and the Spanish IBEX 35 Index was down 2.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closed down 1.3% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 ($INX) closed down 1.5%.

Actually, given the extent of the negative reaction, it’s surprising that the damage wasn’t worse.
 

Financial pundits are once again gazing into their crystal balls to come up with forecasts for the year ahead. Here’s how to read those prognostications.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 12, 2011 5:01PM
Image: Crystal ball (© Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Big name pundits do it; mutual fund managers do it; economists and wannabe CNBC talking heads do it.


"It," of course, is peering in their crystal balls at the end of each year to come up with forecasts for the year ahead. The never-ending frenzy of financial market prognostication seems to reach fever pitch every December, as money managers know they will be judged on their ability to pick ideas that will perform best for clients in the coming months.

 
Tags: AAPL

Even after a strong two-week rally, these standout S&P 500 stocks are likely to outperform the broad market.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 12, 2011 4:42PM

Image: Arrow Up (© Nicholas Monu/iStock Exclusive/Getty Images)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


With the S&P 500 up more than 8% in the past two weeks, it is important to know which stocks in the index are overbought and whether any are still oversold. The most objective way I have found to measure this is by comparing the weekly or monthly closing price to the Starc band readings.


Over the years, I have found that buying a stock when it is above its weekly Starc+ band is generally a mistake. More often, if I am fortunate to be long a stock that moves above its weekly Starc+ band, it’s best to take some profits.

 

The 'Edsel' of tablets? It's too early to say.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 12, 2011 4:06PM
Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN) were down more than 2% Monday afternoon as investors fretted about a report in the New York Times detailing a litany of woes affecting the Kindle Fire. The newspaper likened Amazon's new tablet computer to Ford's Edsel -- one of the biggest flops in the history of corporate America.

As the Times noted, the Kindle Fire is enduring a torrent of negative reviews on the company's website, of all places. This is a huge headache for Amazon, which is counting on the Fire to fuel future growth. 

Investors tired of all the volatility will lead an even bigger push into dividend stocks next year. Here are some picks.

By Kim Peterson Dec 12, 2011 3:53PM
With all the uncertainty and drama hitting investors this year, 2012 will see an even greater emphasis on income.

We already saw investors rush into dividend stocks in 2011, seizing the benefits of stability, rising payouts and more favorable tax treatment. That should continue next year.  
Tags: DDKFTWM

Here are some picks with very low valuations relative to their 5-year growth prospects.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 12, 2011 2:47PM
Image: Bull figurine on ascending line graph and list of share prices (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Stephen Quickel, US Investment Report

Our newest growth stock recommendations cover a wide range of industry sectors and market caps, with revenues ranging from $1 billion to $50 billion.

What they share, however, are five-year earnings growth prospects averaging close to 20% a year and very low price valuations. Here's a look at four of our latest ideas: AGCO (AGCO), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Genesco (GCO) and Triumph Group (TGI). 

Need a great place to find stock ideas? Look no further than the quarterly 13F filings put out by the super-investors.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 12, 2011 2:43PM

Image: Stocks circled in newspaper (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Tom Jacobs

 

You can make a lot of money following the moves of great investors. They have teams of analysts, endless resources, long experience, and great track records. Luckily, if they manage over $100 million, they must report their holdings every three months!


Thus, we can see the ebbs and flows of their stock portfolio (they are not required to file non-equity holdings) throughout the year -- buys, sells, and holds. Why ignore a potential gold mine of stock ideas?

 

The chip-maker attributes an expected revenue shortfall to a shortage of disk drives. But could softening demand be a factor as well?

By Kim Peterson Dec 12, 2011 2:25PM
Intel (INTC) was a big reason stocks were falling Monday. The stock was the biggest loser in the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU), dropping nearly 5% to $23.79 in midday trading.

The company cut its fourth-quarter revenue outlook, saying it now expects revenue somewhere in the range of $13.4 billion to $14 billion, down from $14.2 billion to $15.2 billion. The cut was ostensibly due to shortages of hard disk drives. But is there more to the story? 
Tags: AAPLINTC

Toll Bros. and Lennar are downgraded to 'hold,' while Salesforce is cut to 'underperform.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 12, 2011 11:57AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA
  • Edwards Lifesciences (EW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
  • Roche (RHHBY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Boeing (BA) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • TiVo (TIVO) upgraded to Above Average from Average at Caris
 

The binary thinking of a few analysts and most journalists has nothing to do with making money. Ignore the noise and pick companies that are doing well.

By Jim Cramer Dec 12, 2011 11:36AM

the streetIf everyone was so happy with the accords on Friday, who was selling Monday? I believe there were two satisfied sets of customers last week: those who were so glad that there couldn't be a Lehman-style collapse with all of these levels of support, and those who figured "Now we'll see what the IMF will do to help the sovereigns."

 

The first set of buyers should still be happy. The second set of buyers sees gold down, sees the euro down, and says, "OK, the IMF isn't going to do anything. All that happened is that we saved the banks for now, but the sovereigns are going to drown into their own debt."

 

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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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