Wild market ride is just beginning
Wild market ride is just beginning

October is known for above-average volatility, though the reasons are unclear. Expect more of the same this time around.


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."


Here are 3 main price drivers and 3 great ways to invest in the metal.

By InvestorPlace Dec 12, 2011 10:41AM

Anthony Bradshaw/PhotographerBy Jeff Reeves

Gold prices were volatile in 2011. There were a lot of fireworks, not the least of which was a record for prices when the London fixed price hit $1,895 twice in early September. Spot gold prices for immediate settlement, also known as gold futures, briefly cruised to $1,916 per ounce around the same time.

Investors who bought gold in 2011 were richly rewarded. Year to date, the precious metal is up 25%, with very few periods when gold prices moved down instead of up.


European banks are reducing exposure to some markets, leaving room for others to step in.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 9, 2011 11:05PM
Image: Globe with money (© PhotoAlto/SuperStock)Winners from the euro debt crisis?

Well, sure. Just take a look in the banking sector. Most of the attention has focused on the losers in the crisis, the European banks that are reducing their lending, selling assets, and exiting entire markets in an effort to reduce assets and up capital ratios to the 9% required by suddenly vigilant European banking regulators.

But if somebody is exiting a market, it’s likely that someone is entering. And if somebody is selling assets, somebody has to be buying.
Tags: CSTD

It's hard not to be frustrated by volatility, but certain sectors could still be excellent buys.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 9, 2011 6:55PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

After the prior week’s 7.3% gain in the S&P 500, last week was bound to be a disappointment. Nevertheless, the relatively flat performance was pretty good and certainly better than I expected.

Trading kept up with the recent level of volatility. The week’s early rally was met with heavy selling Thursday as the positive impact of the widely expected ECB rate cut was dampened by comments that sent the yields on the Italian bonds sharply higher. The short-term technical action as of Tuesday’s close warned of a correction.


The billionaire investor tells '60 Minutes' his farmer son may one day oversee operations.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 9, 2011 3:51PM

the streetBy Antoine Gara


Warren Buffett says he would like his farmer son Howard Buffett to act as an unpaid nonexecutive guardian of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) after Buffett dies, according to a release of an interview that the legendary investor conducted with CBS News' "60 Minutes" that was to be shown in its entirety Sunday.


Howard Buffett, who is a corn and soybean farmer and does not hold a college degree, is the right choice to oversee Berkshire Hathaway because he understands the value of companies, his father said. Currently, Berkshire has a market cap near $200 billion and earned nearly $13 billion in 2010 profits.


Shale gas added $76 billion to the country's economy last year and has the potential to add close to $230 billion by 2036, predicts IHS Global Insights.

By Trefis Dec 9, 2011 3:29PM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)Chesapeake Energy (CHK) recently sold $750 million worth of shares in its Utica Shale Holdings to a group of private investors to fund the project development of the shale oil and natural gas deposit.

Although Chesapeake is looking to reduce its natural gas position in favor of the more profitable oil drilling, several reports suggest there is huge potential for the country to reduce its energy deficit and unemployment rate through more shale gas drilling. 

Just four dividend-paying stocks and time can help today's college graduate retire as a millionaire.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 9, 2011 2:35PM
By Steve Christ, Wealth Advisory

(© Stephen Wisbauer/Getty Images)My nephew Sam -- fresh out of college -- would rather chase the latest big momentum stock than actually work to build true wealth over time.

But despite his rookie mistakes, he does have the most valuable investment asset of them all. It's called time. Here's a look at four solid dividend-paying stocks and a long-term strategy that could make him rich.

And the best part is he doesn't need to be a star trader or market timer to get there. All Sam needs to do is use what Albert Einstein once called "the most powerful force on earth." 

Developments in key bond ETFs could shift the outlook for the stock market in the weeks ahead.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 9, 2011 2:26PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

The bond bull market of 2011 is likely to be remembered for many years. Who would have expected the sale of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 100-year bonds to be oversubscribed?

The summer spike highs did suggest a top was being formed, but after an initial round of selling, bonds have held up quite well. The technicals for the longer-term instruments can be interpreted as continuation patterns that would be resolved by another push higher in prices and a corresponding push lower in yields.


There may be a new player in premium TV with a DVD rental partner, but it's still no big deal.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 9, 2011 2:23PM

Image: Watching television (© image100/Corbis)By Rick Aristotle Munarriz


Building on the Reuters story about Verizon (VZ) rolling out stand-alone video streaming next year, TechCrunch is now reporting that Verizon's service will roll out in cahoots with Coinstar's (CSTR) Redbox.


The alliance makes sense. Redbox promised investors a digital distribution strategy that failed to materialize last year, and it was always assumed that the cheap DVD rental kiosk operator wouldn't go in alone.


One analyst firm says the retailer's operating performance continues to deteriorate.

By Kim Peterson Dec 9, 2011 2:20PM
Sears Holdings (SHLD) has been trading above $55 lately, but analysts at Imperial Capital say the stock is only worth about $6. Ouch.

The move comes as other analysts expect Sears, which also owns the struggling Kmart chain, to move from annual profits to losses. The company lost $421 million in the quarter ended Oct. 29 and is expected to report a loss for the full fiscal year. 

One analyst says the company is losing share opportunities to Apple and Google's Android platform.

By Kim Peterson Dec 9, 2011 1:33PM
Think Research In Motion (RIMM) has it bad now? Just wait.

Citigroup analyst Jim Suva lists 10 reasons the company could get even worse. Suva, who understandably has a "sell" rating on the stock, says he thinks RIM will probably start to guide more conservatively after missing expectations for the past few quarters. In fact, he added, he wouldn't be surprised if the company stopped giving full-year guidance completely. 

Despite recent good economic news, Toyota Motor and other companies continue to ratchet down expectations.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 9, 2011 1:08PM
Investors buoyed by the recent spate of good economic news shouldn't be breathing easier just yet. There is still plenty of negative data to digest.

Toyota Motor (TM) slashed its earnings outlook this week, citing the disruption to production caused by the worst floods in Thailand in almost 70 years. The timing couldn't be worse for the Japanese company, which is fighting the surging popularity of Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors. In November, Toyota posted a 6.7% gain in deliveries, its first monthly sales increase since April. Meanwhile, Hyundai's sales gained 29%, surpassing analysts' estimates. 
Tags: DDTM

The actor's onboard kerfuffle has turned attention to the game company's 'Words With Friends.'

By Kim Peterson Dec 9, 2011 12:59PM
Actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines plane this week because he wouldn't turn off his phone. Now, the game he was playing on his phone is getting some attention for online company Zynga as it heads into its initial public offering.

Baldwin was reportedly so into the Zynga game "Words With Friends" that he refused to turn it off as the plane prepared to leave. The actor took the phone into the lavatory, reports say, slamming the door so hard it alarmed the pilots in the cockpit. 
Tags: amrIPO

Bernstein upgraded Yum! Brands to 'outperform,' while Citigroup initiated Sirius XM with a 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 9, 2011 11:51AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • PEPCO Holdings (POM) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
  • Ensco (ESV) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Yum! Brands (YUM) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new week on a cautious note. The S&P 500 lost 0.3%, but managed to erase more than half of its opening decline. Thanks to the rebound, the benchmark index reclaimed its 50-day moving average (1976.78) after slipping below that level in the morning.

Equities slumped at the open amid a couple global developments that dampened the overall risk appetite. Continued student protests in Hong Kong and a potential response from China weighed on the ... More


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