Indexes might not be in correction territory, but they're getting closer. Now's the time to consider what moves to make.
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Major homebuilders have soared since early October, and some analysts say there's no real justification for the rise.
A foreclosure glut is still dragging the sector down. The National Association of Realtors just said the market downturn was worse than it thought. Freddie Mac's chief economist is predicting "another bumpy ride" for 2012.
But shares of D.R. Horton (DHI) were up nearly 50% this week from early October. Toll Brothers (TOL) was up more than 45% in that time. Lennar (LEN) was up more than 50%.
Rumors swirl that the telecom giant could acquire the red envelope. But such a deal could be bad for both companies -- and worse for customers.
On Tuesday, an investment banker told Bloomberg that Verizon is "very serious" about buying Netflix, sending a flurry of rumors flying across the tech world. Just last week, it was reported that Verizon was considering launching its own streaming service to compete with Netflix. Would it make more sense for the company just to acquire Netflix? What would such a deal mean for Verizon, Netflix and customers?
It wouldn't do either Netflix or Verizon any good: Though there are exploitable synergies between the companies, they're better off remaining independent, says Todd Campbell at Seeking Alpha.
Yield-seeking investors shouldn't forget to check the charts.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
For most of 2011, with Treasury yields so low, the search has been on for safe, sizable dividends. This explains why the SPDR Diamond Trust (DIA), which tracks the Dow Industrials, is up 4.3%, while the Spyder Trust (SPY) is down 1.2%.
Of course, dividends are not included in these performance numbers, but the demand for large-cap, high-yielding Dow stocks has been strong. In many cases, those who went for the highest yields this year have fallen further behind because many high-yield stocks have dropped sharply in price.
Economic turmoil in the Old World is felt by companies in the New World.
Speaking Tuesday at the company's annual investor day in New York, Immelt announced plans to "restructure some of its industrial operations to prepare for a European recession," according to the Wall Street Journal. The slowdown will affect many GE businesses, including health care, where the company expects the market to contract by as much as 10%.
Renewable-energy companies face growing questions of viability.
First Solar (FSLR) is taking a beating Wednesday, off almost 20% thanks to a lowered outlook for 2012, delays in its projects and expensive reorganization plans. The stock is down an ugly 74% so far in 2011 and almost 90% from its 2008 peak.
First Solar isn't alone, either. Many solar companies are getting hit hard this year -- and are running the risk of going dark permanently.
The strong interest reflects increased interest in luxury goods and a willingness to spend more per bottle.
The French champagne industry shipped 192 million bottles by the end of September, The Wall Street Journal reports. The sector counts on the holidays for a good chunk of its sales, and expectations are high that shipments will approach the record 339 million bottles seen in 2007.
The pharmaceutical leader offers a consistent track record, strong new product pipeline, and generous yield.
While they don’t always deliver eye-popping growth, stocks that offer a steady stream of growing income are must-haves for the conservative investor.
With that in mind, we are now recommending Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), the $48 billion giant, as a dependable income play.
Consumers remain reluctant to spend as holiday shopping season hits full swing.
For all those who got caught up in the excitement over robust Black Friday sales, the release of the actual retail sales data for November was like an icy shower. The disappointing numbers serve as a reminder that putting money into the retail industry at this juncture is about as risky as strolling through a minefield.
Economists had been expecting retail sales to gain 0.5% to 0.6% last month, roughly the same as the upwardly revised 0.6% advance recorded in October. Instead, sales grew only 0.2%. Some retailers fared better than others, with electronics outlets seeing a 2.1% jump as consumers stocked up on gizmos for the holiday season. But even then, higher sales don’t always translate into higher margins, as illustrated by the earnings results from Best Buy (BBY) for the quarter ended Nov. 26. The Minnesota chain’s net income fell 29% for the quarter year-over year, while margins contracted nearly a full percentage point to 24.2%.
Avon is upgraded after its CEO is ousted, while Best Buy is both upgraded and downgraded.
Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
- Avon Products (AVP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
- Vertex Pharma (VRTX) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at Credit Suisse
- SunTrust (STI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
- Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
- Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
- Best Buy (BBY) upgraded to Buy from Above Average at Caris
Once considered a young star, Jung has been ousted after years of faltering operations.
Avon Products (AVP), the 125-year-old cosmetics company, has finally ousted CEO Andrea Jung. Investors were relieved to hear Tuesday that Jung is leaving executive management. Shares rose by nearly 10% Wednesday morning.
The company calls the move a separation of the the roles of chairman and CEO, saying Jung will be named executive chairman, while the board of directors "will work with" her to search for a CEO. Until they find one, Jung will continue in her dual role. But no matter how you call it, the message is clear.
Throw in high fuel prices, and the sector faces yet another tough year.
The airline industry has always been a notoriously difficult place to make money. Former American Airlines (AMR) Chairman and CEO Robert Crandall once characterized it as "a nasty, rotten business" that most resembles "the old game of Christians and lions."
So with European Union economies in disarray and fuel price volatility continuing to eat airlines' lunch, airlines face yet another treacherous year in 2012. Indeed, the worst-case scenario would be if the euro zone fiasco deteriorates into a full-blown banking crisis and European recession (with worldwide repercussions). If that happens, the global aviation industry could lose more than $8 billion next year, according to the international airline trade group IATA.
As far as we can tell, this holiday season is strong, and the group's fundamentals remain positive.
But I continue to believe that we are having a strong holiday season. It's just that so much of it this these days is online. The numbers we are getting out of FedEx (FDX) and International Paper (IP), which makes container board to ship with, are so strong that I have to believe that we are now in a world where bricks and mortar just can't give you the upside of the old days.
The automaker is a bargain bet on a US economic turnaround.
Our latest featured recommendation is all-American stalwart and success story Ford Motor Co. (F), a bet on U.S. consumers and the burgeoning economic recovery.
Even as Europe struggles with its debt crisis, the news from the U.S. economy has been improving steadily.
Prices have fallen from a year ago, however, on worries that demand might drop.
The new operating system is expected to be the company's biggest debut ever, as it will target desktops, notebooks and tablets.
The Windows platform currently dominates the operating system market and competes with Apple's (AAPL) Mac OS, Linux-based distributions and, to some extent, Google's (GOOG) Chrome OS. Windows 7 had a successful launch two years ago, having sold more than 500 million licenses worldwide to date. Windows 8 is expected to be launched in 2012, but may be delayed to early 2013, according to some reports.
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The company has made at least 4 acquisitions in the space, and few people have paid any attention.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the session on a modestly higher note, but not before heavy selling pressure sent the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) for a test of its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500, meanwhile, added 0.7% with all ten sectors posting gains.
Equities climbed at the open with the advance built on the relative strength of biotechnology and other momentum names. Despite the solid early gains in those areas, the market began fading from its high as multiple ... More
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