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.

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Investment banking business continues to struggle, but expenses trimmed.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 18, 2012 11:27AM

Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty ImagesShares of Goldman Sachs (GS) rose in early trading after the venerable Wall Street firm posted large quarterly earnings and revenue drops that nonetheless beat expectations. Many see reasons for optimism, especially since the company was able to trim operating expenses by 14% to $22.64 billion in 2011.
 

Net income in the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2011 plunged 58% to $1.01 billion, or $1.84 a share, surpassing the $1.23 a share average estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

 
Tags: GS

Though short-sellers have targeted the company, Silvercorp is one of the best ways to play the expected silver spring rally.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 18, 2012 10:56AM
Photodisc/SuperStockBy Brien Lundin, Gold Newsletter

Silvercorp Metals (SVM) has mounted a vigorous defense against a massive "short and distort" scheme directed at the company.

These efforts appear to be paying dividends and the company has continued to conduct business as usual. 
Tags: SVM

Investing for yield isn't timid. It's downright smart.

By InvestorPlace Jan 18, 2012 10:34AM

 Image Source/CorbisBy Jeff Reeves


Think dividends are for lazy, below-average investors who are content with simply tracking the market? Think again. Dividend investing could be the only way to preserve your wealth right now.


But more important, dividend stocks don't just preserve wealth, they can constantly build your retirement funds through a steady stream of income. Don't underestimate the power of a regular payday, especially if the yield is 5%, 6% or more. Who in his right mind would pass up 6% annual returns in this choppy market?

 

This fund plays on continuing weakness in a downtrending sector.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 18, 2012 10:14AM

Medioimages/Getty ImagesBy Doug Fabian, ETF Trader


The beginning of the year is a great time to take stock of what you're doing with your money. It's also a good time to reiterate the goals and objectives of your various assets and portfolio holdings.


In this business, our goal is to swing for the fences and chase home-run trades. I'm talking about double-digit percentage gainers at a minimum, with the aim of achieving 20% to 40% gains on the positions that we take.

 

Bottom line: It's a clear signal that the Internet pioneer is up for sale.

By InvestorPlace Jan 18, 2012 9:49AM

Jerry Yang's abrupt departure Tuesday from Yahoo (YHOO) is a clear signal that the company he co-founded is on the block. A flashing neon "For Sale" sign would be less subtle, and that's the problem.


Pressure is so intense from shareholders -- including activists such as Daniel Loeb -- that Yahoo has little choice but to quickly sell anything that isn't nailed down.

 

The country's hotel industry has slumped over the past year, but the downturn is actually an advantage.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 17, 2012 4:22PM
Image: Great Wall of China (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Home Inns and Hotels Management (HMIN) is "now the indisputable leader in economy hotels" in China, according to Deutsche Bank. I’d have to say I agree, which is why I added the stock to my Jubak Picks 50 long-term portfolio on Friday (See my post for all the changes to the portfolio.)

With the acquisition of Shanghai’s Motel 168 chain, Home Inns and Hotels strengthened its multi-brand strategy in the economy segment and expanded its geographic coverage. At the end of the third quarter, the company operated 1,004 hotels (500 leased and operated and 504 franchised and managed) in 174 cities in China. Another 202 hotels were contracted or under construction at the end of the period. 
 
Tags: HMIN

Three familiar names in retail are fast approaching their day of reckoning.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 17, 2012 4:22PM

By Jeremy Bowman

 

While our banks may be too big to fail, it seems that our superstores are now too big to survive. The news for several familiar big box chains has gone from bad to worse lately as a slow economic recovery, increased competition from online channels, and a failure to adapt to new market conditions have a number of retail chains teetering on the brink of collapse.

 

The writing's on the wall
After posting an EPS loss of $1.31 in 2011, Barnes & Noble (BKS) recently announced this year's loss would be twice as large as previously expected, between $1.10 and $1.40. The bookseller's Nook e-reader, on which the company's last hopes seem to be riding, sits in a purgatory. Company execs had toyed with the idea of spinning it off entirely before announcing a partnership with TheNew York Times (NYT), in which the Times will subsidize the Nook for readers in exchange for a full year's digital subscription to the newspaper.

 

The coupon site needs to get its merchant mix right, focusing more on service-based businesses that benefit from daily deals.

By Trefis Jan 17, 2012 3:32PM
Image: Couple ordering meal in restaurant © NULL/Corbis Groupon's (GRPN) journey going public has been bumpy, to say the least. After a slew of public relations mishaps, questionable accounting practices and some highly publicized merchant fallouts, the company's stock finally ended 2011 at a price slightly less than its $20 offering price.

While Groupon can become a sustainable business, we believe that its present fundamentals do not support the stock's current market price.  
Tags: GOOGGRPN

Earnings could be the catalyst that drives bank stocks into high-risk buying zones, but one big bank looks like a good buy on a correction.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 17, 2012 2:51PM

Image: Bank Vault (© Corbis/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The reaction of the overseas markets to the S&P downgrades announced after Friday's close has been very positive with stock index futures actually showing nice gains. This week, of course, is an important one, with many key quarterly earnings reports.


In running a weekly scan of bank stocks, I was interested to note that over half of the 10 bank stocks that are closest to their weekly Starc+ bands have either already reported or are scheduled to report earnings this week.

 

While the computer giant retained its top position, the competitors are closing in.

By Trefis Jan 17, 2012 2:23PM
Image: Couple with laptop (© Corbis)Shipments of personal computers totaled 92.7 million worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2011, down 0.2% from the same quarter of 2010, according to research firm IDC.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) continued to lead sales, accounting for 16.3% of worldwide PC shipments in Q4, followed by Lenovo, Dell (DELL), Acer Group and Asus, in that order. However, the giant computer maker took a major hit during the quarter. 
Tags: HPQ

As car ownership becomes less attractive, 18- to 34-year-olds are becoming the most lucrative and influential market segment for the car-sharing company.

By Trefis Jan 17, 2012 1:50PM
Image: Man using hands-free phone (© Digital Vision Ltd./Getty Images)The "Millennials" are Zipcar's (ZIP) most popular patrons. The car-sharing company recently conducted a study that revealed that 18- to 34-year-olds are the most important market for the company and already constitute more than half of Zipcar's membership base.

Zipcar competes with traditional car-rental companies like Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ), Avis Budget Group (CAR) and car-sharing services like Connect by Hertz, Enterprise's WeCar, UHaul's UCarShare and City Car Share. 
Tags: ZIP

The profits you earn still count, even if conventional wisdom says the trade was wrong.

By Jim Cramer Jan 17, 2012 1:49PM
By Jim Cramer

There's a tremendous reluctance to ever admitting that anything better is happening in Europe.

 

It doesn't matter that the borrowing costs for the downgraded Spanish 12- and 18-month paper went for half of the interest rate that it sold at last month. It doesn't matter that you had a darned good trade if you bought last time. It doesn't matter, because all European countries are basket cases and in the end everything must fail.

 

Admit that's not the conventional wisdom -- it's the only wisdom.

 

US Airways, TPG Group and Delta would each bring different possibilities to the table.

By InvestorPlace Jan 17, 2012 12:26PM
Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)By Susan J. Aluise

The week before American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. (AAMRQ) filed for bankruptcy in November, I offered four ways for the struggling legacy airline to pull out of its tailspin. Now that it's taken the first step -- gaining Chapter 11 protection -- let's consider step two: merging with another carrier.


The airline industry has been awash in rumors this week of at least three potential suitors for American -- Delta (DAL), US Airways (LCC) and David Bonderman's private equity firm TPG Capital.

 

The company says it has new technology to keep food hot and crispy in transit.

By Kim Peterson Jan 17, 2012 12:08PM
Image: Hamburger (© BananaStock/Jupiterimages)Can't make it out for a Whopper? Burger King just might bring it to you.

The fast-food chain has begun delivering to homes in Washington, D.C., USA Today reports. If the test goes well, the King may expand the service to other cities.

Home delivery has always been a challenge for the food and beverage business. Pizza restaurants obviously have found success, but burgers and fries don't hold up quite as well in transit. They also lose some appeal in the microwave. Finally, the size of a fast-food order isn't normally large enough to justify the expense of delivery. 
Tags: MCDWEN

Goldman downgrades Philip Morris, while CIBC upgrades Potash Corp.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 17, 2012 11:59AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Charles Schwab (SCHW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • LyondellBasell (LYB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Medtronic (MDT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • Applied Materials (AMAT) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
  • Potash (POT) upgraded to Sector Outperformer from Sector Performer at CIBC
 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.5%) remains pressured as every uptick has been met with selling activity. This morning, the health care sector (-0.6%) was an early source of weakness in reaction to concerns about the impact of new rules on tax inversion deals.

Over the past 30 minutes, Bloomberg reported that Pfizer (PFE 30.01, -0.17) has approached Actavis (ACT 242.88, +7.02) about a potential acquisition. Actavis, which traded with a slim loss ahead of the reports, has ... More


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