Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.
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A warning sign has emerged for one of 2011's top-performing sectors, calling into question which sectors will outperform in 2012.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The S&P 500 closed Monday at 1257.09, just a fraction below 1257.64, which was where it closed on December 31, 2010. Clearly, a buy-and-hold strategy on the S&P 500 has not worked well this year, but performance is always relative.
Those who bought and held the Select Sector SPDR - Financial (XLF) are feeling much worse, as it is currently down 17.4% for the year. Looking at the quarterly performance of the nine major Select Sector SPDR ETFs, you get even a better feeling for how difficult the past year has been.
China's biggest online travel agency has 13,000 employees, and has seen margins fall as wages increase.
Microsoft details its Xbox 360 Live TV offering, which includes Bing-powered voice control.
Apple (AAPL) is coming out with a TV. Sony (SNE) is trying to beat Cupertino to the punch. Google (GOOG) is preparing for a living-room war. Enter Microsoft (MSFT). (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
The Redmond giant quietly set the stage a few months ago by bringing a gaggle of Verizon FiOS channels to the Xbox 360 alongside content partners such as Comcast and Time Warner. Microsoft has now gone official with its plans with a press release ambitiously titled "The Future of TV Begins Now on Xbox 360."
What do you get from owning a share in the team? Maybe the bigger issue is what you don't get.
About 1,600 online orders came in the first 11 minutes, slowing down the website and frustrating some buyers, the team said. It was the team's first stock sale in 14 years and the fifth in its history.
But there isn't much here that resembles stock. In fact, the team even admits that its common stock "does not constitute an investment in 'stock' in the common sense of the term."
The bank has much less exposure to the eurozone than some of its major peers.
No doubt the global economic slowdown, aggravated by the escalating debt situation in Europe, has considerably impaired the financial institution's outlook for this year and next. But the current share prices hardly do justice to the value of the bank, which holds the distinction of being the largest custodian bank in the world.
BNY Mellon has much less exposure to the eurozone compared to other major banks -- particularly investment banks such as Morgan Stanley (MS).
A drop in business at the Italian-style dining chain is expected to slow profit and sales growth in fiscal 2012.
Updated: 5:41 p.m. ET
Shares of Darden Restaurants (DRI) plunged 12.4% Tuesday after the company cut its earnings outlook, having failed to ignite consumer interest in its struggling Olive Garden chain.
Darden, the world's largest full-service restaurant company, expects earnings per share growth from continuing operations of 4% to 7% for fiscal 2012, down from an earlier forecast of 12% to 15%. Sales are now expected to rise 6% to 7%, below a previous estimate of 6.5% to 7.5%. The Orlando, Fla. company blamed its problems on the dismal performance at the 750 Olive Garden locations.
The equipment maker is bullish about prospects in China in particular, where it's expanding production capacity.
Management says it will continue to expand production levels next year, when it expects sales and revenue to grow by 20%. Caterpillar is very bullish about the growth prospects in China in particular, where it's expanding production capacity. It mainly competes with Deere and Co. (DE), Komatsu, Terex (TEX) and Cummins (CMI).
Two analysts upgraded LinkedIn. Exxon Mobil was upgraded to 'buy' while Altria was initiated with a 'buy.'
Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
- General Electric (GE) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
- Texas Instruments (TXN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
- LinkedIn (LNKD) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan and to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
- Canadian Pacific (CP) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group
Unconventional energy finds also come with unconventional risks, but investing in the majors can minimize the risk.
The Jed Clampett days of finding oil -- accidentally in the case of the old Beverly Hillbillies clan leader -- are a distant past. No longer can an oil company find elephant fields in someone's backyard and easily pull the crude out.
To meet rising global energy demand and dwindling conventional supplies, energy companies have been scrambling to find new sources of production. With oil's sustained high prices, the industry has turned to a variety of unconventional sources to meet future demand. From offshore fields in Ghana and Mozambique to oil sands deposits in Canada, these finds have become more profitable. And while political, environmental and financial risks to developing these supplies abound, investors who bet on them -- carefully -- could be handsomely rewarded.
The stock of this global cigarette maker looks bullish from a fundamental and technical standpoint.
Philip Morris International (PM) sells cigarettes such as Marlboro and Virginia Slims in 180 countries, generating annual revenues of $75.3 billion.
The stock was floated back in early 2008 -- as a spin-off from Altria Group (MO) -- and traded near 50 at that time. Since hitting its bear market low around 33 in 2009, the stock has been driving higher strongly.
Oil and oil services stocks represent the best buys and could do well on the next euro-related dip.
You know you have a strong oil market when Transocean (RIG) makes you more than 10% in an equity offering in no time flat. Last week, this most disgraced and scorned oil service company priced 26 million shares at $40.50, an unthinkable sale, given how much stock RIG has bought back at much higher prices.
Monday, though, Transocean traded as high as $45.50, a remarkable move that shows the power of this rally in oil.
Ross's continuous effort to increase its store base, coupled with the ability to deliver positive same-store sales, will augur well for its top-line growth.
By: Zacks Equity Research
Ross Stores Inc. (ROST), the second largest off-price retailer of apparel and home accessories, reported last week a growth of 5% in comparable-store sales for the four-week period ended November 26, 2011. This was better than the company's forecast of a 2% to 3% increase for the month.
Sales in November increased 10% to $765 million from $696 million in the year-ago period. Regionally, Florida, California and Southwest were the top performing market with categories like Juniors and Shoes positively influencing results.
The oilfield services provider has seen strong North American growth, but international operations fell behind estimates.
The oilfield services provider expects international margins to recover to 15% in the current quarter. The company's performance fell short of our estimates, which were based on the assumption that operations would benefit from the acquisition of BJ Services last year.
Operations in North America, however, saw robust growth -- as was the case for larger operators Halliburton (HAL) and Schlumberger (SLB).
Strong acquisitions are key in this business, and SAP is showing more initiative with plans to buy SuccessFactors.
SAP AG (SAP) launched another attack in its ongoing battle with rival Oracle (ORCL) with an announcement that it is on the verge of acquiring software company SuccessFactors (SFSF) for $3.4 billion in cash.
SuccessFactors is a leading developer of cloud computing software used by firms to evaluate employee performance. The acquisition is expected to give SAP a much needed growth platform in the software-as-a service (SaaS) market, where it faces significant competition from Oracle. Analysts believe that the acquisition will boost SAP’s competitive position in human resource applications, while reaffirming its commitment to SaaS as a key business model.
We expect American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy as a stronger company, but the stock is still way too risky to buy now.
After holding off from filing bankruptcy much longer than its peers, AMR Corp (AMR), the parent company of American Airlines, finally decided to file for Chapter 11 last Tuesday in a Manhattan court.
Alhough American's loss in the near term translates into its competitors' gains, we believe the company is using bankruptcy as a way to improve its cost structure and renegotiate contracts with labor unions. In bankruptcy, we expect American to continue operations while cutting capacity, improving its operating costs and upgrading its fleet. But that doesn't mean you should buy the stock now.
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The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market capped the trading week with losses across the major averages. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to surrender its weekly gain, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.7%) and Russell 2000 (-0.9%) underperformed. The two indices posted respective losses of 0.8% and 0.6% for the week.
Equity indices were pressured from the get-go after several heavyweights disappointed the market with their earnings and/or guidance, which led to some broader profit-taking. After ... More
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