Why stocks are in for a rough ride this week
Stocks in for a rough ride this week

Longtime market bull Jeremy Siegel says investors could realize the market is behind the curve on interest rates.

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But the country is likely months away from an actual cut to interest rates.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 12, 2012 4:43PM
Image: (Shanghai, China © Yang Liu/Corbis)Inflation at the consumer level fell to a 15-month low in December, China's National Bureau of Statistics announced Thursday. Inflation at the producer level fell to the lowest rate in two years.

The path to another cut by the People's Bank of China in the bank reserve requirement before the Lunar New Year holiday is now wide open. In December, China’s central bank reduced its record high reserve requirement ratio for the first time since 2008.

Consumer prices rose in December at 4.1% annual rate. That was down from a 4.2% rate in November and just slightly above the 4% median estimate from 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
 

With holdings in defensive sectors, this fund offers growth plus dividends for investors worried about Europe.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 12, 2012 4:02PM
Image: Power lines (© Digital Vision)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Jim Farrish, Sector Exchange

Looking towards 2012, Europe is the single biggest obstacle facing both investors and the financial markets. Therefore, my outlook is cautious, and any investment added to my portfolio should first measure the risk/reward of the opportunity.  
Tags: DVYetf

The retailer is building mini-Apple shops in some stores, and has struck exclusive deals with other boutiques.

By Kim Peterson Jan 12, 2012 3:19PM
A store within a store? Target (TGT) thinks that might be just what it needs.

The company plans to open a small number of Apple (AAPL) stores in 25 locations, increasing the number of iPads and other products it sells from the electronics maker. The mini stores will have Apple employees wearing the blue shirts you normally see at Apple's own retail locations.

Target isn't stopping with Apple. The retailer has announced a broader initiative, called "The Shops at Target," that will carry exclusive items from other boutiques. 

The cake maker has been divesting its less-profitable bakery businesses in North America to reallocate resources to its core meat division.

By Trefis Jan 12, 2012 2:26PM
Image: Bread (© Corbis)Sara Lee (SLE) is a leading manufacturer of meat, bakery and beverage products, with food services and retail channels in the U.S. and Europe. Last year the company announced plans to split into two separate, pure-play beverage and meat companies after divesting its non-core businesses by 2012.

Under the plan, the international beverage business will be spun off, tax-free, into a new company. The remaining company will include Sara Lee's North American retail and food service businesses, focusing primarily on strengthening its leading market position in the meat business. The company competes with major food and consumer companies like Kraft Foods (KFT) and Nestle (NESN). 
Tags: KFTSLE

The metal typically rises in the opening months of the year, and buyers should look to a particular copper ETN and stock.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 12, 2012 2:04PM

Image: Arrow Up (© Photodisc/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The copper market is watched closely as a barometer of the economy’s health, and copper futures been active so far this week. 


The recent report that China’s imports of copper in December hit record levels has also caught many analysts’ attention, even though some of the increase has been attributed to arbitrage in the futures market. The recent decline in China’s inflation rate is also an encouraging sign.

 
Tags: AAJJCSCCO

Ignore the country's shrinking GDP. These stocks are poised for growth.

By InvestorPlace Jan 12, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)By Charles Sizemore


The capital market turmoil of the second half of 2011 is finally starting to show up in Europe's real economy.


Initial estimates show Germany's gross domestic product shrinking 0.25% in the fourth quarter of 2011, dragging down the growth rate for the year to 3% (versus 3.7% last year). If the first quarter of this year proves to be sluggish, GDP might shrink again, placing the German economy officially in recession.

 
Tags: DAIetfSI

P and Q preferred shares are a solid investment despite halt in dividend payments.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 12, 2012 1:55PM
Image: Birds nest with golden eggs © Rob Casey/Brand X/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Vivian Lewis, Global Investing

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has tripped over its kilt. Nevertheless, as our top idea for 2012, we recommend the bank's preferred shares, specifically the non-cumulative preferred Q (RBS-Q) issues. We also like the preferred P series (RBS-P), which we already own. 
Tags: RBS

A company that lent money to the chain's suppliers will stop providing financial assistance.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 12, 2012 1:48PM
Image: Woman using calculator on desk full of bills and statements © Sheer Photo, Inc/Photodisc/Getty ImagesShares of Sears Holdings (SHLD), billionaire Edward Lampert's struggling retail empire, slumped Thursday after Bloomberg News reported that some of the chain's suppliers may have a harder time getting paid.

One company that makes loans to small businesses, CIT Group (CIT), will no longer provide financial assistance to Sears' suppliers waiting to be paid.

Sears shares fell 3.5% to $31.75 in midday trading, and CIT Group shares were unchanged at $37.14. 
Tags: SHLDWFR

In spite of natural disasters, the automaker forges ahead with its efforts to develop fuel-efficient technologies.

By Trefis Jan 12, 2012 1:34PM
Image: Couple shopping for a new car © Tetra Images/Getty ImagesLast year was one that Toyota (TM) would like to forget. The company saw its worst performance in the U.S. in three decades, as it was beset by production and distribution disruptions due to the earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand. Losses in the U.S. by Toyota, as well as Honda (HMC), translated to gains in market share for the Detroit Three in 2011.

 Toyota was able to post a modest 0.4% year-over-year growth in the U.S. last month, while its total year sales declined by around 7%. In comparison, General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Chrysler posted 13%, 11% and 26% growth, respectively, in the U.S. last year. 
Tags: FgmHMCTM

Improving global demand for aluminum bodes well for the battered stock.

By Gene Marcial Jan 12, 2012 1:22PM
Image: Stock trader with phone (© Comstock/SuperStock)Watch Alcoa. It may be signaling re-invigorated economic times ahead.

 

Since April of last year, shares of Alcoa (AA), one of the world's largest manufacturers of aluminum and alumina, have been in a downspin. They tumbled from more than $18 a share in April, 2011, to a low of $8.52 on Dec. 28. But the stock's recent jump to $9.80 -- even after reporting a fourth quarter loss on Jan. 10 of 3 cents a share -- indicates to some pros that the negative sentiment towards Alcoa may be abating.

 
Tags: AA

Is the timing right?

By Jonathan Berr Jan 12, 2012 1:07PM
Image: Woman Using a Spirit Level on a Sink in a Domestic Bathroom (© Alex Wilson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Home Depot (HD), the largest home improvement retailer, is speeding up plans to hire 70,000 seasonal workers ahead of its busy spring shopping period. The move comes as consumer spending is slowing.

The chain, which raised its earnings outlook in November for the third time in six months, says the workers will help it maintain high levels of customer service as the public buys plants, gardening equipment and grills, along with other seasonal merchandise. Tim Crow, Home Depot's executive vice president of human resources, told Bloomberg News that the Atlanta, Ga., company is starting the hiring process earlier this year, beginning next month in South Florida. 
Tags: BBYHDMTGT

The venerable company this week introduced the second generation of its scratch-resistant glass for tech gadgets.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 12, 2012 12:45PM
corningBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Can a "gorilla" get the monkey off Corning's (GLW) back?

That's certainly what the manufacturer of glassware and related products is hoping, just as a decade ago it counted on fiber-optics to revive its fortunes. The gorilla in question is actually the second generation of Corning's Gorilla Glass. This tough and scratch-resistant glass is used by manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronic gadgets can use to make their own products more appealing to consumers. 

Meanwhile, smaller rival ConocoPhillips is downgraded to 'hold.'

By MSN Money Partner Jan 12, 2012 12:06PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • EMC (EMC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
  • BP (BP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • Urban Outfitters (URBN) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Wedbush
 

If the restaurant reservation site's increasing spending outpaces revenue growth, margins will take a serious hit.

By Trefis Jan 12, 2012 11:50AM
Image: Couple ordering meal in restaurant © NULL/CorbisOpenTable's (OPEN) shares rose from under $75 at the beginning of 2011 to breach $118 in April before plunging to below $30 -- all within a period of seven months.

The company's shares are currently trading at around $40 apiece. This is not far from the $45 and $49 price targets with which Goldman Sachs (GS) and Credit Suisse (CS), respectively, initiated their coverage of the company recently. A few weeks ago, we presented our views on the extreme fluctuation witnessed in the online restaurant reservation company's stock price last year. 
Tags: OPEN

This bond fund acts like a large-cap stock in bull markets and a defensive stock when times are tough.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 12, 2012 11:35AM
Image: Stock market (© Digital Vision/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Rick Pendergraft, ETF Master Portfolio

Given the current global economic uncertainty, I don't expect big things from the equity markets in 2012. With that in mind, my pick for 2012 is the SPDR Barclay's Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK). 
Tags: JNK

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