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.


Placing a value on US Bancorp depends a lot on the future of the banking sector.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 21, 2011 7:25PM
This is about as good as it gets in U.S. banking these days. Which is to say, not great.

But US Bancorp (USB) continues to show that it’s more than ready to take advantage of the turn when it comes.

On Oct. 19, before the New York market opened, US Bancorp reported third-quarter earnings of 64 cents a share. That was 2 cents a share above the Wall Street consensus.
Tags: USB

Friday's big bounce shouldn't have been that surprising based on the charts, which tell us that the overall rally could run through the end of the year.

By Oct 21, 2011 5:55PM

By Tom Aspray,

Wall Street professionals and the media were fixated on two things last week: the trading range in the stock market averages, and the European summit over the weekend.

Very few are talking about the very bullish action of the market internals, which are painting a much more attractive picture.


Boston Scientific fell after missing earnings expectations. Is it a good buy now?

By Benzinga Oct 21, 2011 5:51PM

By Abe Raymond, Benzinga Staff Writer

There have to be at least 1,000 scientists living in the metro-Boston area that specialize in the life sciences and health care. With institutions all over the place, including universities like Harvard and MIT, Boston is in shortage of brilliant, cutting-edge scientists.


One famous global company that operates out of Boston is Boston Scientific (BSX). Boston Scientific develops and manufactures medical technology applicable to a range of diseases, including various cancers and heart conditions. The company's stock has lost almost 30% in value, but could it still be valuable?


RIM announces its new software strategy, but it won't be enough.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 21, 2011 3:00PM

By Evan Niu


There's a new mobile operating system on the block, and you can call it BBX.


Research In Motion (RIMM) just announced its new mobile operating-system strategy at its BlackBerry DevCon developer conference. BBX will be a single and unified OS that will run on smartphones, tablets, and embedded devices, similar to Apple's (AAPL) iOS strategy.


It will leverage the $200 million purchase of QNX that RIM made last year. The new OS is taking the best of the BlackBerry platform and the best of the QNX platform and tossing them into a digital mixing bowl.


Better economic fundamentals force worrywarts back into risky assets.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 21, 2011 2:46PM

After spending the better part of two weeks dancing around the flat line, the Dow Jones Industrial Average blasted over technical resistance Friday, returning to levels not seen since early August, as it breaks free of its three-month trading range.


The fierce standoff between bulls and bears has been driven by the fact that both sides had a compelling argument. The optimists pointed to better economic data and a strong start to third-quarter earnings. The pessimists were obsessed with the nightmare eurozone breakup scenario as the Gordian's Knot that is saving Greece, backstopping Europe's banks, and preventing the debt contagion from bringing down Italy and Span seemed too tall a task. 


But now, with Europe's leaders demonstrating deep commitment to their cause and economic growth accelerating to a pace not seen since early 2010, the bulls are making an offensive push. And investors are rallying to their side.


A newly amended filing shows the Nov. 4 offering will list shares between $16 and $18 -- much lower than previous estimates.

By InvestorPlace Oct 21, 2011 1:19PM

By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace IPO Writer

Unless there's an implosion in the stock market, Groupon should be a publicly traded company within two weeks or so. To get things rolling, the company on Friday filed its latest amendment to its S-1, the formal IPO document that provides all the necessary information for investors to evaluate the deal.

The listing will be on the Nasdaq with the symbol GRPN, and the IPO date will be Nov. 4.

The last step is for the company's 30-year-old CEO, Andrew Mason, to pitch the deal on the road. Hopefully, he won't be too goofy, which has been his reputation.


Homebuilding stocks could begin an impressive year-end run. Here are entry levels and price targets for four major players.

By Oct 21, 2011 11:46AM

By Tom Aspray,

Monday’s release of the US Economic and Housing Outlook hinted at some interesting trends for the housing market. The rising rental rates and pickup in new construction of apartments is starting to make single-family homes more attractive.

This release was followed on Tuesday by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing index, which showed that builder confidence had a nice jump. More good news came on Wednesday, when housing starts jumped 15%. The enthusiasm was dampened on Thursday, however, as existing home sales continued to decline and home prices were also lower.


American Express and Coca-Cola fared well, but Wells Fargo turned in a tepid report.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 21, 2011 11:20AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet



Given the mix of winners and losers we have seen during the opening weeks of earnings season, it has likely been difficult for many stock pickers to navigate the markets without a setback. Even Warren Buffett has seen a blend of strength and weakness from the companies in his legendary portfolio.


This week has been important for fans of the Oracle of Omaha. Over the past few days, some of the largest names in the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) portfolio have reported quarterly earnings and provided insight into the closing months of the year.


Of particular importance were Coca-Cola (KO), Wells Fargo (WFC) and American Express (AXP), which represent the three largest slices of the portfolio.


Warren Buffett's stake is just one more reason for long-term investors to like these shares.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 21, 2011 9:42AM

By Paul Tracy, Street Authority Market Advisor

With more than 988 million of its products in use, $3.5 billion in cash, and a $2 billion buyback, I consider MasterCard (MA) a 'buy it and hold it forever' stock.

And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Just a few months ago, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought 189,000 shares, adding to its 216,000 share stake.

MasterCard racks up $545 billion in transactions each year. But besides its size, what is it about MasterCard that has grabbed Mr. Buffett's attention?


Nucor just reported a great quarter, boasts a high yield and has catalysts galore.

By Jim Cramer Oct 21, 2011 9:02AM

the streetOccasionally a stock comes along that's easy. Nucor (NUE) is that kind of stock.


The company reported a terrific quarter, showing great growth at a time when every other steel company has had its head handed to it. The balance sheet is its best in years. Its exports, while small, are starting to spurt. Raw costs are coming down as the bidding-up of scrap subsides.


General Electric meets forecasts, while McDonald's beats estimates as global sales rise.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 21, 2011 8:17AM

By Andrea Tse, TheStreetTheStreet

General Electric (GE) earnings rose 57% to $3.22 billion in the third quarter, up from $2.06 billion a year earlier. Operating earnings in the quarter were 31 cents a share, meeting the estimates of analysts.

McDonalds (MCD) posted earnings of $1.45 a share in the third quarter on revenue of $7.2 billion, and global same-store sales were up 5%. The top and bottom line were an improvement from the year-ago quarter, when the fast-food giant earned $1.29 a share on revenue of $6.3 billion. Analysts had expected $1.43 per share on revenue of just over $7 billion.


The risk in the stock still outweighs the reward at current share prices.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 20, 2011 7:27PM
It was as much of a surprise as Apple’s (AAPL) earnings miss.

On Oct. 18, after the New York market closed, Intel (INTC) announced third-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share, 6 cents a share above the Wall Street consensus.

And the biggest contributor to Intel’s surprise was its PC chip group, which contributed $4 billion in pre-tax profit. The company’s unit focused on servers and cloud computing added $1.2 billion in pre-tax profits. And Intel’s chip group that produces low-power chips for tablets, embedded processors, and smartphones turned in a $140 million loss.

Once again, rumors are circulating that Microsoft could be a buyer. Haven't we heard this a few times by now?

By Benzinga Oct 20, 2011 2:07PM

By Jonathan Chen, Benzinga Staff Writer

Yogi Berra is famous for his skill with the Yankees, as well as some of his "Yogisms" in which he says nonsensical things that have somehow made their way into pop culture. Now you can apply "Yogism" -- it's deja vu all over again -- to the world of finance.

Last night, a tweet from Wall Street Journal reporter Anupreeta Das said that Microsoft (MSFT) would help pay for a potential Yahoo (YHOO) takeover (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site). In addition, private equity partner Silver Lake Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board would help pay for the rest.


Forget coal mining stocks; buy this global mining equipment maker instead.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 20, 2011 12:54PM
By Ian Wyatt, Top Stock Insights

Coal still remains a major part of global energy generation, and it likely will remain so for many years to come.

But rather than buy a coal miner, we prefer Joy Global (JOYG); we believe this is the perfect company to take advantage of increased capital expenditure on mining equipment.

More than half of the energy generated in the U.S., and more than 40% of energy generated worldwide, comes from coal. 

From metals to SE Asia, these ETFs have found big success

By InvestorPlace Oct 20, 2011 11:38AM
By Jeff Reeves, Editor,

Investors have been taking for a wild ride in 2011. Depending on the day, the major indices are either sitting on a slight gain for the year or a slight loss. Traders are patting themselves on the back every time the market makes an about-face, claiming that the volatility is further proof that buy-and-hold is dead.

But don’t believe it. While it certainly is true that buy-and-hold investing never will make you a mint overnight, there are a host of long-term investments that have thrived — even in a choppy market and a hostile environment to many stocks on Wall Street.

Need proof? Here are five funds that have all delivered gains of over 120% in the last three years. Most importantly, the flavor of these funds also says a lot about the current areas of opportunity in this market.



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Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

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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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