Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?
Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?

Some investment advisers are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Fundamentally inspired picks from a market expert are put to the test by using technical analysis to validate the bullish outlook.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 31, 2012 6:48PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Each year, Barron’s publishes a roundtable discussion with market experts and shares their outlook and recommendations for the coming year. As I’ve mentioned before, I started analyzing the stock market from a technical standpoint over 30 years ago using manually entered data from Barron’s.


I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interview Ed Finn, the editor and president of Barron’s, who always has a very interesting and timely perspective on the markets. In fact, in an interview from early last year, he was recommending buying gold, which as we now know was definitely a good idea!

 

Leaders are producing less impressive news on the debt crisis with each summit, but strangely, the markets don’t seem to care right now.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 31, 2012 6:39PM

By Jim Jubak, MoneyShow.com


Even if you’ve come to expect empty promises dressed up as major progress from summits of European leaders, yesterday’s announcement of a breakthrough deal might have left you marveling at the audacity of Merkel, Sarkozy, Draghi, and company.


Not only did the announced progress—an agreement to back a treaty that would enforce fiscal discipline and to accelerate the setup of the permanent €500 billion rescue fund—have even less content than usual, but it also opened up new problems for countries such as Ireland.

 

A look at the competitive landscape of a volatile industry.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 31, 2012 3:50PM

By Brian Stoffel

 

Last week I offered a very basic look at the field of rare-earth minerals. Today I'll cover what the competitive landscape looks like should you consider investing in the field.

 

If you'll recall from my previous article, rare-earth minerals are far from rare: They are distributed throughout the earth's surface. It's simply that deposits can be so spread out that mining them tends not to be economically viable.

 
Tags: AVLMCPREE

Despite generic competition, the pharmaceutical giant beat Wall Street estimates, yet trimmed 2012 forecast.

By Melly Alazraki Jan 31, 2012 3:06PM

Corbis Pfizer (PFE), the world's largest drugmaker, reported better-than-expected results Tuesday despite the significant hit it took from generic Lipitor competition. The company's cost-cutting efforts and strong sales by its non-pharmaceutical units helped offset the declining sales of its bestselling cholesterol drug. But Pfizer also lowered its 2012 outlook, blaming currency issues.


Pfizer shares were down 1.5% at midday as investors digested the magnitude of the loss of Lipitor exclusivity.

 
Tags: PFE

The iPhone maker's share of the smartphone market has inched past rival Samsung.

By Trefis Jan 31, 2012 2:34PM
Apple's (AAPL) fiscal first-quarter earnings produced remarkable results. The computer giant not only exceeded its own revenue estimates by almost 25%, but also those of most analysts as well.

Another interesting fact that came out of the excellent results was that Apple has  overtaken Samsung in the smartphone market. 

Growth in PC shipments in emerging markets and pricing support from chip innovation should help the tech company.

By Trefis Jan 31, 2012 2:15PM
Image: Money and computer (© Angel Muniz/Jupiterimages)Intel (INTC) had a record 2011, registering strong revenue growth while its main rival AMD (AMD) struggled.

This year will likely be another eventful one for the company as it innovates further, pushes ahead in the mobile market and fights greater competition. Although it may not be as stellar as 2011, we believe that Intel has the capacity to do well this year despite certain threats, and the stock has potential to gain another 10% to 15% based on its fair value. Intel already made big strides in terms of innovation when it launched Sandy Bridge APUs in 2011, making integrated graphics from other players like Nvidia (NVDA) obsolete. 
Tags: AMDINTC

The largest operator of farm and ranch stores in the US suffered setbacks during the recession, but recent quarters have seen an uptick.

By Zacks.com Jan 31, 2012 1:11PM

Image: Construction (© Photodisc Green/Getty Images)By Zacks Equity Research 

 

Tractor Supply Company (TSCO), a leading retail firm and ranch store brand, is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter 2011 financial results after the market closes on Feb. 1, 2012. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is 91 cents per share. For the quarter under review, revenue is expected to be $1,216 million, according to the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

 

Tractor Supply's third-quarter 2011 earnings came in at 58 cents, breezing past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 52 cents, as well as the prior-year earnings of 40 cents per share.

 
Tags: HDLOWTSCO

The networking giant is the real deal, but its valuation is a moving target. Don't make a move just yet.

By Jim Cramer Jan 31, 2012 12:48PM

So now we know where all of that display ad money went to: Facebook.

 

With a 28% share, Facebook has put quite a distance between itself and Yahoo (YHOO), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) in display advertising. Yahoo is second, with an 11% share, and the others are left in the low-single-digit dust, which tells you how strong the Facebook story is. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, and MSN Money site.)

 

Plus, the company has doubled its revenue in the past year. And the revenue is in the billions of dollars.

 

Maybe a mediocre quarter is good news for the oil giant.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 31, 2012 12:41PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares were down Tuesday because the oil giant posted worse-than-expected quarterly results. For investors, though, this is not necessarily bad news, as it may quell calls to make the oil industry pay higher taxes.

President Barack Obama and other Democrats argue that the government should strip away decades-old subsidies for the oil industry in favor of promoting greener alternatives such as solar energy. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson argues that the industry needs these tax breaks and claims the industry earns "windfall profits" are wrong. Moreover, Tillerson says Wall Street traders are running up oil prices beyond the normal variations of supply and demand. Now he has proof to back up his case. 
Tags: oilXOM

Potash Corp. is downgraded to 'neutral' at Goldman.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 31, 2012 12:00PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • CF Industries (CF) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Aon Corp. (AON) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse, and to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
  • Viacom (VIA.B) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak
  • Nike (NKE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
  • Under Armour (UA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham
 

These funds will give you a stake in other great tech names as well.

By InvestorPlace Jan 31, 2012 11:43AM
 Christian Zachariasen/JupiterimagesBy Will Ashworth, InvestorPlace.com


How can you tell that exchange-traded funds, despite their rise in popularity, have a long way to go to catch mutual funds? Check out the number of ETFs with Microsoft (MSFT) as a top 10 holding compared with mutual funds. According to Morningstar, 66 ETFs count the tech giant among their top holdings, compared with 2,416 mutual funds. Clearly, a lot of portfolio managers feel Microsoft is a necessary component of any portfolio.


If you're thinking about owning Microsoft stock, why not contemplate an ETF instead. You'll get a stake in Microsoft as well as some other great tech companies. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, and MSN Money site.)

 

With low valuations and no debt, this drug maker earn top scores in a Ben Graham value screen.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 31, 2012 11:29AM
 Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesBy John Reese, Validea

We select stocks based on a variety of screens that are each based on the investment strategy of long-standing "legendary" investors.

Forest Laboratories (FRX) scores a 100% rating in our Value Investor screen that is based on Benjamin Graham. The company develops ethical drug products; its principal products include Lexapro, Namenda, Bystolic, Savella and Teflaro. 
Tags: FRX

Can the social-media giant generate the kind of outsized growth that investors expect?

By The Fiscal Times Jan 31, 2012 11:21AM
Facebook IPOBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

At last, the IPO the investment world has been awaiting with varying degrees of impatience appears likely to make its debut. And if those who have had an early peek at Facebook's pending IPO filing are right, the deal could value the social networking giant at $100 billion -- more than four times the valuation that Google (GOOG) commanded when it went public not quite a decade ago.

But while there will be a lot of buzz surrounding Facebook as the road show gets under way and eager investment bankers talk up the company's unparalleled ability to bring people together -- have dinner, organize a high school reunion, plan a revolution in the Middle East -- it's important not to forget that what is more important than where Facebook has been is where it is going next.

 

Earnings surprises translate into price appreciation.

By Zacks.com Jan 31, 2012 10:27AM

UpperCut Images/UpperCut Images/Getty ImagesBy Brian Bolan

 

Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) sees earnings surprises translate into price appreciation. With estimates moving higher, this stock is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

 

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. provides bankcard payment processing services. It facilitates the exchange of information and funds between merchants and cardholder's financial institutions and offers electronic payment processing services to merchants.

 
Tags: HPY

Despite a tough economy, the managed-care industry leader continues to gain members and boost profits.

By Gene Marcial Jan 31, 2012 9:43AM
Andersen Ross/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesManaged-care companies aren't on Wall Street's favored list, so shares of the group remain on the ropes. Even industry leader UnitedHealth Group (UNH), which hit a 52-week high of $54 a share on Jan. 18, has been under pressure. The stock slipped to $50 on Jan. 26.

 

Even so, some investment pros see the stock's slippage as an opportunity to buy more shares. Some bulls see the stock, which had climbed to an all-time high of $63 in 2005, hitting $65 or more in 2012.

 
Tags: UNH

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on the defensive after spending the entire day in a steady retreat. The S&P 500 (-0.6%) posted its third consecutive decline, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.9%) slipped behind the broader market during afternoon action.

Equity indices were pressured from the start following some overnight developments that weighed on sentiment. The market tried to overcome the early weakness, but could not stage a sustained rebound, ... More


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