You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

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The Nasdaq is booming, but some of the biggest names in technology haven't recovered.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 20, 2014 1:53PM
Credit: © Kris Tripplaar/Rex Features

Caption: The headquarters of Cisco Systems, Inc., in Silicon Valley, San Jose, Calif.By Tomi Kilgore, MarketWatch

While the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) has finally made it back to levels seen around the time the technology bubble popped more than 14 years ago, a number of tech-heavyweights that helped fuel the madness are still languishing at less than half their peak levels.


The tech-friendly Nasdaq Composite closed Tuesday at 4527.51, the highest level seen since March 31, 2000. 


The Nasdaq has soared more than four-fold since bottoming out at 1114.11 on Oct. 9, 2002, but is still an 11 percent rally away from its all-time closing peak of 5046.86 reached on March 9, 2000.

 

A 4.8% yield is drawing attention to this bundle of dividend stocks from Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.

By InvestorPlace Aug 20, 2014 1:40PM

Caption: Illustration of a businessman standing on stock prices looking up at line graphs over globe
Credit: © Roy Scott/Getty ImagesBy Kyle Woodley


If you're a dividend investor, chances are you're holding many of the space's stalwarts -- big, blue-chip American companies with rock-solid financials and gobs of cash that you can ride through thick and thin.


That's good. Don't stop doing that.


But if you're truly looking to diversify your holdings, that also means protecting yourself against a slump in the U.S. And one of the best ways to do that is to target the same types of big, blue-chip dividend companies you like here in the States . . . but elsewhere on the map.


One of the best ways to hunker down internationally is the iShares International Select Dividend ETF (IDV), a bundle of high-yielding dividend stocks from Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.

 
Tags: DVYIDVSDY

Low interest rates are supposed to get money circulating, but instead investors are hoarding cash.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 20, 2014 12:46PM
Image: Money with lock © Ingram Publishing, SuperStock​By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

The conventional wisdom says the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates so low that it doesn't pay to play it safe and that it's encouraging investors to do all sorts of crazy things to earn a higher yield.


Supposedly, the central bank is prompting investors to pump up stocks, junk bonds, farm land and all the other bubbles you've been reading about.


It's a nice story, but the data show that U.S. investors are still conservative about where they put their money.


Just how conservative are they?

 

The heavy-machine maker is getting killed in Asia. Its performance may say a lot about the world economy.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 20, 2014 12:17PM
Credit: © Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters
Caption: The CAT logo is seen on the side of a Caterpillar machineBy Myles Udland, Business Insider

Caterpillar's (CAT) sales keep falling.

The heavy-machine maker just released its latest three-month rolling retail sales stats, which showed that sales, particularly in its Asia/Pacific segment, keep falling. 


Worldwide, total machine retail sales were down 12 percent in May, 10 percent in June and 9 percent in July when compared to the prior year period. 


These declines compare to year-on-year declines of 8 percent, 12 percent and 13 percent in February, March and April. 


In its Asia/Pacific segment, total machine sales were down 30 percent, 30 percent and 29 percent for the months of May, June, and July, respectively. 

 
Tags: CAT

The dollar is down, the Gaza truce is off, the Fed's minutes come out today, and company news is all bad.

By Jim Cramer Aug 20, 2014 11:57AM

A pedestrian carrying an umbrella passes a U.S. flag on Wall Street in front of the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange in New York © Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThe Germans and Russians were potentially working things out in Ukraine. Home Depot (HD) and some other retailers put up terrific numbers, and housing starts got stronger even as gasoline and mortgage rates went lower. Gaza was peaceful. The dollar was stable, and we seemed not to have all that much to worry about regarding the Federal Reserve.


Keep those circumstances in mind, because those were the thoughts that framed Tuesday's closing bell.


Now consider today.


TheStreet.com logoFirst, the dollar is soaring again, much harder than what we have seen of late. Why? Maybe because Ukraine wants more concessions and the Russians don't want to go quietly into the night? Second, at the Bank of England, the prior consensus to keep interest rates lower is unraveling as two members want higher rates. Third, the Gaza truce is off and the fighting is back on.

 

Do your research. There's a reason it's the No. 1 rule in the book.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 19, 2014 4:04PM
Credit: © Nati Harnik/AP

Caption: Warren Buffett
By Patrick Morris, The Motley Fool

Looking for how to make money in the stock market? A new paper reveals there's one easy way.


And it turns out it's one thing Warren Buffett (pictured) has admitted he does almost every day.


According to a recent paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, or NBER, entitled "Financial Knowledge and 401k Investment Performance," now, more than ever, the ability for an individual American to properly save and invest is critical.


The paper notes that as a result of the changes in how employers contribute to employee retirement accounts -- pension plans have become less common and things like 401k accounts, which require more decisions from individuals, have grown -- "the ability to invest wisely and earn better returns will therefore be increasingly critical for national retirement well-being in an aging world."

 

The market is setting itself up to hit new highs that should last through November.

By InvestorPlace Aug 19, 2014 3:51PM

Caption: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Credit: © Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBy Anthony Mirhaydari


Stocks continued to push higher Tuesday in response to a batch of "Goldilocks" economic data.


Consumer price inflation was softer than expected, providing the doves at the Federal Reserve with more ammunition to keep the hawks at bay. And housing looks set to get a lift as new construction starts jumped 8 percent, ending two months of declines.


The broad market looks ready for a Fed-fueled melt-up heading into Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. That likely will set up a push to new highs that should last through November. Helping in this has been the diminishing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Iraq.


In fact, after largely skidding sideways over the last few months, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) looks set for another move toward the 2,000 mark and new all-time highs. Here's why.

 

Sales at the retailer are plunging, leading executives to roll out some dramatic fixes. Shares rise 4% in response.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 19, 2014 2:44PM
Pedestrians walk past the Urban Outfitters Inc. store in San Francisco, Calif. (© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Hayley Peterson, Business Insider

Urban Outfitters' (URBN) namesake brand is struggling.

The brand's same-store sales plunged 10 percent in the second quarter over last year, marking the fourth straight quarter of comparable sales declines.


By comparison, same-store sales increased 21 percent at Free People and 6 percent at Anthropologie in the second quarter. 


The company blamed Urban Outfitters' poor performance on fashion misses and "what had become incessant promotional activity" in an earnings call with analysts Monday. 

 
Tags: URBN

The businesses reporting the largest increases in sales per share can help when picking stocks.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 19, 2014 2:28PM
Caption: The 'Facebook' logo is seen on a tablet screen
Credit: © LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch

Now that second-quarter earnings season is nearly over, it's time to find out which companies moved up the ranks in their industry.


But how do we find out? Earnings results are so often affected by one-time items that comparisons have become essentially meaningless.


To address that problem, last week we looked at the 10 Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) stocks that had seen the greatest increases in consensus 2015 earnings estimates since June 30. Forward estimates don't include one-time items. 


We also listed the 10 S&P 500 stocks suffering the largest cuts in earnings estimates.

 

The beauty company's stock sinks 24% on a steep decline in sales of celebrity fragrances.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 19, 2014 2:09PM
Credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Caption: Justin BieberBy Phil Wahba, Fortune

After years of great effort trying to become the pre-eminent purveyor of celebrity fragrances, troubled beauty company Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) has placed the blame for its collapsing business on two of its biggest stars.


Net sales for the quarter ended June 30 fell 28.4 percent to $191.7 million because it introduced fewer new fragrances. But it also said popular ones are fading fast.


"The decline in sales of celebrity fragrances, particularly the Justin Bieber (pictured) and Taylor Swift fragrances, was steeper than anticipated," the company said.

 
Tags: ELWMT

Excitement is growing about the company's new iPhone, expected this fall.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 19, 2014 1:30PM
The Apple logo is seen on the facade of the Apple Store
 
© Maja Hitu/epa/Corbis
 Updated 5 p.m. ET

By CNBC.com staff

Apple (AAPL) hit $100 a share during midday trading on Tuesday for the first time since its seven-for-one split in June. The stock closed the day up 1.4 percent to $100.53.

The stock followed a general upward trend after the milestone, putting shares above their split-adjusted record close of $100.30 set on Sept. 19, 2012, just shy of the split-adjusted all-time high of $100.72 from Sept. 21, 2012.


At pre-split levels, individual shares traded just above $705 each in September 2012 and fell to trade near $600 in May of this year.


Shares have risen more than 8 percent since the split, when the stock opened near $92 a share. Apple shares had not traded below $100 each for five years.

 
Tags: AAPL

A decade ago, the offering did not get off to an auspicious start.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 19, 2014 12:48PM
Credit: © Jose Sanchez/AP

Caption: A Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, CalifBy Bob Pisani, CNBC

Two things stick in my memory about the Google (GOOG) IPO: The Dutch auction was a disaster, and a lot people weren't sure what it did or how it would fly as a listed company. 


I know it sounds ridiculous, but explaining the concept of a search engine in 2004 was a stretch, even though it had been out for a few years. Even if you could explain it, no one could figure out how you could make a multibillion industry out of it.


Google went public on Aug. 19, 2004. It was not an auspicious start. It ended up pricing 19.6 million shares at $85, the low end of its revised price expectation of $85-$95.

 

The drama between Russia and Ukraine isn't over yet, and that's a terrific reason to stay short.

By Jim Cramer Aug 19, 2014 12:30PM

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 18, 2014 in New York © Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesIt's so tough to judge hatred these days. I don't trust the put/call ratios, as there's so much behind-the-scenes basket weaving that it's become more of a vestige. Short-selling figures don't add up, for the same reason. The investors' intelligence polling has done nothing to indicate the contempt. Nor have the margin positions.


But I have to tell you that this market is despised. It is despised to the point that you can feel the pain of having to buy on days like Monday. You see the sea of green, and you know that even as the news reports were of "no progress" in talks between Ukraine and Russia, the fact is there are talks and that's enough to get shorts scared.


Remember we are playing by Gulf War One rules. That's when the bulls were always hoping for a diplomatic solution and we would get covering on Fridays fearing one, and shorting on Mondays after the failure to even have anything remotely like a sit-down between the two sides.

 

The bricks are coming off the market's shoulders, and biotechs are among the top beneficiaries.

By InvestorPlace Aug 19, 2014 12:27PM

Image: Pills © Sean Justice/CorbisBy Anthony Mirhaydari


Stocks have rebounded strongly over the last couple of weeks as the geopolitical bugaboos that were bothering investors have ratcheted down a few notches.


ISIS is on its heels in Iraq thanks to U.S. airpower. Russia seems to be backing down as separatists in eastern Ukraine come under heavy pressure from an increasingly offensive Ukrainian military.


Even concerns about a sooner-than-expected interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve have fallen by the wayside.


Not all sectors have participated equally however, with biotech stocks leading the rest of the market to the upside over the last three weeks.


Here are three hot stocks in the group that are worth checking out:

 

CEO Elon Musk announced an extension to the Model-S' drive train warranty, which raises questions about warranty reserves and earnings.

By TheStreet.com Staff Aug 19, 2014 10:42AM

A sign for a Tesla showroom in Palo Alto, Calif. © Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesBy Herb GreenbergTheStreet


After the market closed Friday, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk posted an item on the company's blog announcing an "infinite mile warranty" on the Model-S' drive train to match the warranty on the car battery. It was classic Musk, going where no car company has ever gone.


Then, at the bottom of the post, he added:


TheStreet.com logo"To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term, as our warranty reserves will necessarily have to increase above current levels."


Wall Street is likely to roll its eyes, but it really shouldn't.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.

Equity indices opened with slim gains, ... More


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