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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Digital Realty Trust is a real-estate play focused on computing operations.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 23, 2012 11:32AM
Image: Dollar sign on keyboard (© Corbis)In my March 16 post on investing in the technology sector -- even after it rallied so strongly at the beginning of 2012 -- I said don't forget about companies that enable bigger technology trends. 

I mentioned very briefly Digital Realty Trust (DLR) a company that owns a portfolio of 102 data centers in 31 markets serving clients that include Facebook, AT&T (T), and Morgan Stanley (MS). Organized as a REIT (real estate investment trust), I noted, Digital Realty pays a 3.8% dividend.

Let me dig a little further into this REIT because I think it's a very interesting way to get some technology exposure for even a risk-averse portfolio.
 

Aetna is downgraded to 'neutral,' and Zynga is initiated with an 'underperform.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 23, 2012 11:02AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Altria Group (MO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • Cameron (CAM) upgraded to Top Pick from Outperform at RBC Capital
  • Deutsche Bank (DB) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
  • Discover (DFS) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Dollar General (DG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
 

This company earns royalty interests on investments made in other miners' projects.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 23, 2012 10:35AM

By Ian Wyatt, Global Commodity Investing

Toronto-based Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV) is a gold streaming and royalty company. Though it only has about 20 full-time employees, Franco has tremendous reach in the mining industry, with a diverse portfolio of more than 200 mineral royalties and streams.

In exchange for an initial investment that helps miners with the capital cost of bringing mines into production or exploring for resources, the company earns a stream of the mine's future production -- on average 2% of the extracted gold. Its portfolio includes 43 producing assets, 22 in an advanced stage of development that are likely to generate revenue in the next five years, and another 141 promising exploration assets.

 

MSN Money's Charley Blaine answers Facebook users' questions about the presidential race.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 23, 2012 10:28AM
As the Republican nomination process grinds on, Americans are gearing up for the upcoming presidential election. In this video, MSN Money's Charley Blaine explains the impact of the election process on the markets.

As he answers questions from MSN Money's Facebook community, Blaine also explains what an Obama re-election could mean. 

While mutual fund outflows are staggering, it could be that average investors are bypassing fund managers to buy individual stocks themselves.

By Jim Cramer Mar 23, 2012 10:12AM

Is the retail investor back, or not? The other day I propounded the notion that quintessential retail stocks, such as Apple (AAPL), Panera Bread (PNRA) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) keep running and I have to believe it is because of individuals buying stocks.

 

But the mutual fund outflows were also pretty staggering -- about $2.8 billion in the data released Thursday. That would seem to indicate my thesis might be wrong. Plus, my friend Bob Pisani from the floor made it really clear that the low volume is further confirmation that there really isn't much retail investing to speak of.

 

With the tablet market at such a nascent stage, it is encouraging that the iPad is able to drive so much demand.

By Trefis Mar 23, 2012 10:05AM
Apple (AAPL) announced on Monday that it has sold around 3 million iPads in its debut weekend itself. The new iPad was launched in about 12 countries around the world on Friday last week and will be made available in 24 more countries by the end of this week.

For context, we do not have iPad 2's launch numbers but the first-generation iPad sold around 300,000 units on the launch day. A better context could be the launch of the incredibly successful iPhone 4S last quarter, which sold around 4 million units in its debut weekend. 

Global food giant Nestle looks good.

By InvestorPlace Mar 23, 2012 9:32AM

By James Brumley

 

It's kind of funny how complicated and difficult we can make the art of stock picking. There's really only one winning formula that has withstood the test of time: Buy stocks of companies that give consumers what they're always going to buy, and make sure that company knows how to increase market share. Given enough time, everything else seems to take care of itself.

 

Case in point: food. We all might gripe and complain about rising prices at the grocery store, yet nobody ever stops eating.

 

The athletic apparel company's profit beats expectations. The airline talks with creditors about a possible merger with American Airlines.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 23, 2012 7:52AM

By Chao Deng

 

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

 

Nike (NKE) posted third-quarter profit ahead of consensus estimates. It earned $560 million, or $1.20 a share, on revenue of $5.85 billion for the quarter ended Feb. 29, beating analysts' average earnings estimate of $1.17 a share on revenue of $5.82 billion. Gross margin came in at 43.8% for the quarter, down from 45.8% a year earlier.

 

"Our relentless focus on innovation delivered powerful new products and services for athletes and consumers, and continues to drive value to our shareholders," said Mark Parker, president and CEO, in a statement. "The environment remains volatile, but I'm optimistic about the future. We're starting a great season of major sports events and we have a pipeline full of innovation to fuel growth over the long term."

 

There are many reasons to expect a pullback soon.

By Stock Traders Daily Mar 22, 2012 5:25PM

Image: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)This past winter, while car shopping, I must have heard the phrase "deal of a lifetime" from four different salesmen.


I wondered how it could be possible that each car salesman could offer me a deal of lifetime. Obviously, it was just another pitch, hoping to make me feel confident and comfortable with their offers. So, when I heard Wednesday that "now is the best time in a generation to buy stocks," I grimaced.


While the opinion, from Goldman Sachs (GS) analysts, is certainly valued, I think it's fair to say that the statement came off as over-the-top at best, and perhaps just wrong at worst.

 

Analysts remain cautious about the video-game retailer after a quarter that saw sales drop 3%.

By Benzinga Mar 22, 2012 5:04PM

By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer


Shares of GameStop (GME) tumbled Thursday after the video-game retailer disappointed Wall Street with lower quarterly sales.


The company reported that fourth-quarter sales fell 3% to $3.58 billion, below the $3.71 billion analysts expected to see. Profit was in line with estimates and dropped to $174.7 million, or $1.27 per share, from $237.8 million, or $1.56 per share, a year earlier. That's a startling slide, no matter which way you look at it.

 
Tags: GME

Even China is showing signs of slowing, while Europe continues to struggle.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 22, 2012 3:48PM
Image: Globe with money (© PhotoAlto/SuperStock)It seemed like the U.S. was the only strong economy in the world Thursday.

Thursday morning, U.S. initial claims for unemployment fell to 348,000 for the week ended March 17 from 353,000 for the prior week. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had projected a drop to 350,000. That number would be consistent with the U.S. economy adding another net 200,000 jobs in March for a fourth consecutive month of 200,000 new jobs or better.

But if you're looking for good economic news Thursday, that's about it.
 

Sturm, Ruger shares rise more than 12% after it says it's received orders for more than 1 million units and won't take new orders until after May. Smith & Wesson shares rise, too.

By Charley Blaine Mar 22, 2012 2:59PM

Updated: 3:08 p.m. ET

 

It's a great time to be a maker of handguns.

Just ask Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR), whose shares are up $5.50 to $47.80 this afternoon after hitting an all-time high of $47.88.

Reason: The gunmaker announced late Wednesday that it has received wholesale orders for more than 1 million units so far this quarter. That's more than the company can manufacture. So it has stopped accepting new orders until the end of May.

The shares are up 960% since bottoming in November 2008.

 

The coffee roaster takes on the $8 billion market for energy drinks.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Mar 22, 2012 1:56PM

Starbucks © Bloomberg, Getty ImagesSoft drink sales have been in a downtrend for much of the past decade, but the pace of the decline increased in 2011. According to data from Beverage Marketing, a research firm that covers the industry, the U.S. beverage market increased by only 0.9% last year, representing slower growth than in 2010. 


The weakness in soft drink sales is paving the way for companies like Starbucks (SBUX) to capitalize on changing taste buds.

 

Key sector groups and asset classes roll over on evidence of a new slowdown.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Mar 22, 2012 1:21PM

Investors have been shaken violently from their slumber this week. Instead of the "sure thing" easy confidence that has dominated, fueled by massive central bank intervention and a wash of cheap money, there is growing fear that something ain't right. Each day brings new evidence that something is wrong with the global economy.

 

Thursday, reports out of China and the eurozone disappointed markets. Previous bastions of growth, Germany and China, are beginning to succumb to negative headwinds. In the Middle Kingdom, the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI indicated a month-to-month drop in activity for the fifth consecutive time on a particularly nasty drop in new export orders.  In Europe, the manufacturing activity surveys, Irish GDP, U.K. retail sales and industrial production fell short.

 

As a result, the bears continue to test the bulls' defenses, with energy shares joining a list of other economically sensitive areas that have rolled over and started to underperform. They include industrial commodities, basic materials and emerging-market stocks. Here's why there's more trouble ahead -- and a few ideas on how to profit.

 

Computer sales are sagging, but a report claims the October release of the new operating system will reinvigorate the market.

By TheWeek.com Mar 22, 2012 12:58PM

Image: Woman with laptop (© Corbis)These days, it's nearly impossible to ignore Apple (AAPL) and its sleek and sexy gadgets. But PC makers are hoping that Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 will revive what has become a lethargic market. 


According to Bloomberg, the "reimagined" Windows OS will go on sale in October, along with a splashy new cast of ultrabooks and other razor-thin computers (some of which will have touchscreens equipped to take full advantage of Windows 8 swipe-based interface). 

 

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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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