You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

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The push for healthier food has prompted the Golden Arches to stop using ammonium hydroxide in its burgers. Will the move hurt the company's bottom line?

By InvestorPlace Jan 27, 2012 2:10PM

By Kyle Woodley


McDonald's (MCD) clientele can finally rest easy, as "dog food" is coming off the menu at the Golden Arches.


In the wake of an outcry by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, McDonald's said on Thursday said it will stop using ammonium hydroxide, a common ingredient in cleaning solutions that's dubiously dubbed "pink slime," in its beef patties.

 

Some of the biggest and highest-yielding drug stocks are declining near attractive buy levels.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 27, 2012 1:53PM

Image: Pills (© Sean Justice/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The early strength in the stock market on Thursday was later hit with selling as stock index futures declined for most of the day. This is consistent with a loss of upside momentum, but there are no signs of a short-term top.


If you are waiting for the major market averages to reach a certain corrective level before you buy, you may miss out. Sector rotation is how the market has been correcting recently, with the material stocks coming to the forefront early this week.

 

Gambling revenue from casinos in Macao soared last year to nearly $33 billion -- many times the revenue earned in gaming meccas like Las Vegas.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 27, 2012 1:44PM
Macau CasinoBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

The Year of the Dragon is off to an explosive start, as much of Asia and Chinese communities worldwide greeted the lunar new year with fireworks and festivities.

But the party atmosphere is nothing new for the casino business in Macau, the destination of choice for Chinese gamblers, a large and avid gaming community. 

3 writers weigh in on the search giant's sharing of user data.

By TheWeek.com Jan 27, 2012 1:30PM
Image: Man with laptop (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Google (GOOG) is changing its privacy policies to allow the sharing of a user's data across 60 of its web services, including Gmail, YouTube, and personalized search (but not Google Wallet, Google Books, or the Chrome browser). For example, says Brent Rose at Gizmodo, "If you searched for 'Furbies' on Google's homepage (for some freaky reason) and then later went to YouTube, you might see Furbies videos pop up. That's new. Previously, data was compartmentalized between applications."

Privacy advocates and many tech commentators aren't happy, especially because there's no way to opt out of the cross-Google data sharing. Does this change violate Google's "don't-be-evil" philosophy? 
Tags: GOOG

States and local municipalities are still barely getting their footing, but these companies will help them in their recovery.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 27, 2012 12:26PM

Image: Car Accident (© George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)By Benjamin Shepherd, Personal Finance


U.S. state and local governments shed about 244,000 jobs in 2011 and 249,000 jobs in 2010, according to government data. Since the height of the global credit crunch in mid-2008, almost 670,000 state and local government jobs have been eliminated.


But as the U.S. economy slowly heals, the outlook for state workers is beginning to improve. 

 
Tags: AIRMEGOV

Juniper and Wendy's are downgraded, while Transocean is upgraded.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 27, 2012 12:15PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
  • U.S. Bancorp (USB) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Atlantic Equities
  • Starbucks (SBUX) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA
  • Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Add from Neutral at Capital One
 

Ford shares slump on disappointing results.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 27, 2012 11:52AM
Ford Motor (F) is the only car company of the Big Three not to end 2011 on a high note. The only one of the three that didn't need a government bailout has stumbled as its rivals have gained.

Net income at the Dearborn, Michigan-based company reported net income of $13.6 billion, or $3.40 per share, versus $190 million, or 5 cents per share the year before.  Excluding one-time items, profit was $1.1 billion, or 20 cents per share, 5 cents below Wall Street consensus forecasts. Revenue rose to $34.6 billion. 
Tags: Fgm

Golar's speciality fleet is set to benefit from an expected boom in LNG shipping.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 27, 2012 11:12AM

Ron Chapple/JupiterimagesBy Harry Domash, Dividend Detective

Thanks to new techniques for getting natural gas out of shale rock formations, the U.S. is suddenly producing more natural gas than we need.

That's a good thing because many foreign countries are eager to import our surplus natural gas. Meanwhile, falling natural gas prices have opened up an opportunity for investors in Golar LNG (GLNG).

 
Tags: GLNG

The company stands to gain from the latest complex exploration methods.

By Trefis Jan 27, 2012 10:47AM
Scott Gibson/CorbisHigh oil prices and declining production from existing fields have been prompting oil companies to explore technically complex and remotely located reserves. As a result, oilfield services companies like Schlumberger (SLB) are positioning themselves to benefit from the long-term trends shaping the energy industry.

Already we see strong revenue and earnings growth because of the rising interest in shale exploration and increasing deepwater activity. We expect Schlumbeger to leverage its global presence and its technological edge to benefit from the current era of high energy prices. The company competes with other players in the field, such as Halliburton (HAL) and Baker Hughes (BHI). 
Tags: BHIHALSLB

These picks fit the bill in a sector with great long-term prospects.

By InvestorPlace Jan 27, 2012 10:21AM
Don Farrall/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Jeff Reeves

Heath care stocks are the no-brainer demographic trend that every investor should take advantage of.


Aging baby boomers will demand more services, prescriptions and medical care. Health care is recession-proof, since people rarely cut back on their quality of life even if money is stretched thin. The big-picture reasons go on and on.

 

The coffee behemoth has a record holiday quarter, but investors are wary of narrowing margins and a disappointing forecast.

By Kim Peterson Jan 26, 2012 5:57PM
Image: Coffee Beans (© Purestock/SuperStock)Starbucks (SBUX) continued its pattern of beating Wall Street estimates Thursday, reporting quarterly profit and sales that were ahead of expectations. But margin concerns and a not-quite-high-enough forecast hurt shares in after-hours trading.

The coffee giant reported a $382.1 million profit, or 50 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, a 10% rise from a year earlier. Revenue rose 16% to a record $3.44 billion. Analysts expected a profit of 49 cents a share on revenue of $3.29 billion. 
Tags: SBUX

The food company may be trying to divert investors' attention ahead of earnings.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 26, 2012 4:18PM
If PepsiCo (PEP) can't dazzle investors with brilliant results, it seems the company is trying to baffle them with baloney.

The Purchase, N.Y., beverage giant announced Thursday that three of its brands -- Diet Mountain Dew, Brisk and Starbucks bottled beverages -- have each surpassed $1 billion in annual retail sales. There is less to this claim than meets the eye. 

The stock flies high above the otherwise stagnant Brazilian steel industry. So is it time to buy?

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 26, 2012 3:46PM
Image: Brazil (© Donald Edwards/age fotostock)The numbers out of Brazil's steel industry are ugly. How ugly? Uglier than a mole rat. Uglier than the first day of school. Uglier than an Ugli fruit.

Brazil's steel industry produced a record 35.2 million metric tons in 2011, 6.8% more than in 2010, but "apparent consumption" (the sum of domestic production plus imports minus exports) fell by 4.2% to just 25 million tons. And since Brazil’s steel industry has a total capacity of 45 million tons, steel prices haven't gone up strongly even if exports did climb 21% in 2011.
 
Tags: GGB

With superior asset quality and conservative loan policies, this bank is the top play on Brazil's economic growth.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 26, 2012 2:53PM
By Yiannis Mostrous, Global Investment Strategist

One of Brazil's most favorable characteristics is a strong banking system, a sector that should benefit as investment flows return to the country. 

Banco Bradesco (BBD) is our favorite bank to gain exposure to this sector. Banco Bradesco is Brazil's second-largest private bank, with over 40 million customers and more than 4,000 braches. 

Strong growth in 2012 will be driven by its infrastructure businesses and a good backlog of orders.

By Trefis Jan 26, 2012 2:34PM
Image: Power lines (© Digital Vision)General Electric's (GE) recent earnings indicate that it might not have had an exceptional fourth quarter, but it has put all the drivers in place to help it record impressive growth in 2012. While earnings were in line with our expectations, they were considerably lower than last year's quarter.

Revenue growth was lower than we expected partly because of project delays, which have helped GE build an exceptional order backlog.  

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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More


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