There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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Williams-Sonoma is downgraded to 'underperform,' and Angie's List is initiated with a 'buy.'
Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
Forget about Facebook. The manufacturer of the iconic Stratocaster is making noise with plans to go public.
Leo Fender, the founder of the Fender Musical Instruments Corp., brought to life the Telecaster, the first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. It would help make Fender an iconic brand for the rock 'n' roll movement and bring the guitar brand into the pop culture mainstream.
Now Fender is aiming for the U.S. market mainstream via a stock IPO.
Burger chain's results are still outstanding.
McDonald's (MCD) shares are down over 3% in early trading after the company reminded investors it was not immune to the world's economic pressures. The burger chain results were otherwise outstanding.
Comparable sales in the U.S. rose 11.1% in February, fueled by strong demand for Chicken McBites, Filet-O-Fish, coffee beverages and McDonald's breakfast line-up. Sales at stores opened for at least a year rose 4% in Europe, led by gains in the U.K. and Russia. And strength in Australia boosted sales in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa by 2.4%. Systemwide sales for February jumped 9.4%, or 9.7% in constant currencies, helped by the extra day in the month because of leap year.
Last week's $7.8 billion settlement is really just one small step.
By Aaron Levitt
A short time ago, BP (BP) reported pretty decent earnings (minus its refining unit), and many analysts and pundits hinted at a potential turnaround for the company. The integrated energy major, whose 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and created one of the worst oil spills in recent history, has been fighting a tough battle since that tragedy.
Poor earnings, legal overhang, a dwindling dividend and public backlash have hampered the company's prospects in the nearly two years since the spill. While the recent improved earnings certainly took away one of the major problems, BP's huge liability issues were still cause for concern for investors.
Experts discuss the recent comments on jobs and the economy by Fed chairman Bernanke.
Zacks experts discuss Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's recent comments on jobs and the economy. Bernanke appears to be now leaving the door open for a third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.
Don't count on consumers to keep spending as much.
As consumers and investors have begun to feel better about the economy and the labor market in particular, one of the hottest sectors in the stock market has been consumer discretionary.
Since the beginning of December, the SPDR Select Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) has staged a 12% rally. Consumers and investors alike have been in a much better mood, and this is evident in the consumer confidence reports. In February, the Consumer Confidence indicator jumped to 70.8 from 61.5 in January, which was the strongest reading since February 2011.
Fundamental gains, a bullish chart and support from Warren Buffett suggest that things are finally lining up for the bank.
It’s time to look for buy opportunities. The market's road to new all-time highs could still have significant bumps along the way. But the trend up is definitely in place.
And we now have a surprising new buy recommendation: Bank of America (BAC), a stock I honestly thought I would never buy. For years, it looked like it was too big to produce any appreciable growth in its share price or market share. And the company has really taken big hits in its public reputation. But things have really changed.
The iPad maker could face a lawsuit over e-book prices. The fast-food company's same-store sales rise 7.5%, less than analysts expected.
Updated 8:30 a.m. ET
The Justice Department has warned Apple (AAPL) and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a court battle, the people told the newspaper. A successful settlement could potentially lead to cheaper e-books for consumers. The five publishers facing a potential suit are CBS' (CBS) Simon & Schuster; Lagardere's Hachette Book Group; Pearson's (PSO) Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers, a unit of News Corp. (NWSA). Apple unveiled a new version of its iPad tablet on Wednesday.
McDonald's (MCD) said Thursday that February global comparable-store sales rose 7.5%, less than the 7.7% analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected. U.S. same-store sales jumped 11%, "supported by strong customer demand for Chicken McBites, classic core favorites including Filet-O-Fish, signature beverage offerings, and McDonald's breakfast line-up," the company said.
The 2009 merger that created the leading tool maker is still paying bottom-line dividends, even as the US housing recovery looms as a bullish catalyst.
By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com
Investors waiting for the stock market to come in to get a second crack at some of the 24 percentage points racked up since the October low could be waiting a while.
But if and when they do decide to jump in, they should hope for timing half as good as that displayed by hand-tools leader StanleyWorks when it snapped up the power-tool maker Black & Decker in the fall of 2009.
Two words in politics truly scare financial markets: Ron Paul.
Trying to predict how financial markets will respond to politics is a mug's game, especially when it's still impossible to tell who's going to challenge President Obama as the Republican Party's presidential candidate.
Republicans portray themselves as the party devoted to free markets and unrestrained capitalism, and any market-shaking comments in debate forums or political ads will likely be more prevalent in the final race, rather than the Republican primary battle.
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Have something to say about McDonald's? You might just get a discount.
American Express (AXP) and Twitter have teamed up to offer discounts when American Express cardholders send advertising messages to their Twitter followers.
It's a pretty clever idea. The companies can create a small army of advertising minions at very little cost. And Twitter users feel like they're getting a deal as well. The only people getting the short end of the stick are the Twitter followers who get subjected to all the shilling.
When promising stocks revive and the economy helps them, there's a lot of opportunity.
By Rob DeFrancesco, Tech Stock Prospector
There was a lot of caution heading into the fiscal first-quarter earnings report from F5 Networks (FFIV).
As it turned out, that caution was unwarranted. The company delivered on both the top and bottom lines. Per-share earnings of $1.03 beat the consensus estimate by two cents, and revenue rose 19.9% to $322.4 million, above the consensus estimate of $319.1 million and the guidance range of $315 million to $320 million.
Wednesday's rebound is not unexpected, but this likely oversold bounce should lead to a deeper correction -- and more buying opportunities.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
Since Dec. 21, 2011, the S&P 500 had not touched its 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) until Tuesday, when it closed almost 1% below it. ETFs like the Spyder Trust (SPY) gapped below their 20-day EMAs.
As I said last week, the sharp decline in the Russell 2000 Advance/Decline (A/D) line sends a strong warning that investors should not get caught up in the euphoria at current levels. The market internals were very weak on Tuesday, and they have confirmed the deterioration evident over the past few weeks.
Western Gas Partners has seen double-digit gains in a matter of months.
The music service is losing money, but it could be reaping the benefits of the growth of mobile.
The stock was down 24% in the late afternoon to $10.85 -- well below the $16 price from its June initial public offering.
Pandora was one of the highest-profile tech IPOs of 2011 but one of the hardest to call. It uses algorithms to custom-pick songs and artists for users. Its service is free with advertisements or $36 per year on a premium basis.
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These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
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