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.


Medical records company has strong vital signs.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 4, 2012 3:17PM
Image: Dentist working on a computer © Andersen Ross/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Andy Obermueller, Game-Changing Stocks

The courts will decide the fate of ObamaCare, but the real winners in the health-care sector are actually the result of the stimulus bill, which provided funding for digital medical records. 
Tags: ATHN

International growth and recession-resistance make this stock look like a bargain after recent fall.

By Trefis Jan 4, 2012 3:14PM
Image: Baker (© Blend Images/SuperStock)Dunkin' Brands Group (DNKN) stock has fallen by nearly 10% in the last three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by 10%, marking a 20 percentage point outperformance for the benchmark index. DNKN is close to its 52-week low of $23.24, which it set in early November after reported income fell 60% amid efforts to pay back debts to private equity firms.

These one-time expenses mask strong revenue growth and a lack of bad news, suggesting that investors are exiting more because of broader market concerns than any fundamental failing in Dunkin' Donuts itself.


Tech's master of mystique will reportedly make a media-related announcement later this month. What might Big Fruit reveal?

By MSN Money Partner Jan 4, 2012 3:13PM

By  The Week


According to multiple (vague) reports, Apple (AAPL) will hold a "mystery" event in New York later this month to discuss something related to media. What might Apple announce? Here, five theories:
1. Digital textbooks for the iPad
"Steve Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson has indicated several times that one of Jobs' last goals had been to revolutionize textbooks," says Eric Slivka at Mac Rumors. And Apple spent last month shooting a number of short interviews with executives in the textbook industry. Yep, sources also say that "this event will focus on iTunes University and Apple in education," says Clayton Morris at his blog. And it's not being held in Silicon Valley, but New York -- the center of publishing and textbooks.


Every portfolio needs a high-yield component made up of strong assets with manageable risk.

By Jan 4, 2012 2:08PM

Image: Lumber, construction © fotog/Tetra images/Getty ImagesBy Tom Aspray,

The winning stock strategy for 2011 was to buy high-yielding stocks. Following Tuesday's surge in global markets, the focus may now move more towards growth stocks. The technical action in the stock market does favor further gains, though the market is likely to take a few days to digest its gains.

Nevertheless, I expect high-yielding stocks in strong sectors -- including the Dow stocks discussed here -- will do well, and these should make up a part of all portfolios.


The struggling Internet giant names the PayPal boss as its new CEO.

By InvestorPlace Jan 4, 2012 1:59PM
By Jonathan Berr, InvestorPlace

If PayPal head Scott Thompson can turn Yahoo (YHOO) around, he will earn a spot among the greatest CEOs of his era. The challenges facing the Sunnyvale, Calif., company are that formidable.

Thompson, who is replacing fired Carol Bartz, needs to bring a 20th-century company into the 21st century -- and fast. He did a good job at eBay's (EBAY) payments subsidiary, boosting users to more than 100 million and helping it generate an anticipated $13 billion by 2013. Yahoo, a diverse Internet portal, is a much different company, and Thompson's learning curve will be short.


Italian bank Unicredit raises money through a discounted offering, creating a potential ripple effect through the markets.

By Jim Cramer Jan 4, 2012 1:49PM

Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)By Jim Cramer


Unicredit bank is NOT Joseph A. Bank (JOS). You don't want to get a two-for-one sale from a financial. You want one from a clothing store. Yet that's exactly what you got with this rights offering that drove Unicredit's stock down to the March 2009 level, the worst month I can ever recall for banks around the world.


The fact is that there were buyers at this 43% rights offering discount. So I guess we can say it was a success. But it also says that the prices people are paying for bank stocks in Europe with lots of leverage and lots of sovereign debt are about 43% too high, even after the declines this group has seen.


Customers found the DVD rental company wasn't indispensable when it raised its prices.

By Trefis Jan 4, 2012 1:41PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)While 2010 saw Netflix (NFLX) transformed from a mainstream DVD rental provider to an online movie-streaming leader, 2011 was a mixed bag.

After the exceptional subscriber growth in the first half of the year, which propelled the company's stock to almost $300, terrible management decisions led to a momentous slide and tarnished its image. This has opened up a window of opportunity to newcomers like Amazon (AMZN) and Dish Network's (DISH) Blockbuster. 

Industry leader turns trash into cash.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 4, 2012 1:00PM
Image: Garbage men operating garbage truck (© Don Mason/Blend Images/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Jason Cimpl, Top Stock Insights

Uncertainty in the markets could make the next two to three years excruciating for long-term investors. That's why it's important to pick the right stock in the right industry if you want to profit from your investments during the volatile years ahead. 
Tags: WM

Visa, MasterCard were downgraded to 'neutral,' and Intel was initiated with a 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Jan 4, 2012 12:16PM
Information provided by

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • CF Industries (CF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • American Eagle (AEO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
  • Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Lululemon (LULU) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman

Internet IPOs last year reached highs not seen since the dot-com boom, but that still wasn't enough to make venture capitalists confident about 2012.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 4, 2012 11:45AM
Image Source/Getty ImagesBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Last year was a bonanza for Internet startups trying to go public. Global Internet IPOs raised $9.3 billion in 2011, almost double the 2010 level, according to figures released by tracking firm Dealogic.

But while that’s higher than in any year since the dot-com boom went bust more than a decade ago -- and while one of the deals packing the most buzz, online gaming giant Zynga (ZNGA),  was a highlight of the fourth quarter -- IPO activity in the closing months of the year wasn’t lively enough to give the venture capital backers of those companies still languishing in the pipeline much cause for jubilation. 

Payment processor leads the charge at home and abroad.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 4, 2012 11:14AM
Image: woman swiping a credit card © Rubberball/Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Amy Calistri, Stock of the Month

Every time you pay for something with a debit or credit card, chances are good that Visa (V) is profiting from your purchase.  
Tags: V

The fashion house bets on high-end consumers.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 4, 2012 10:55AM
Tim Pannell/CorbisWhen Liz Claiborne (LIZ) sold its namesake brand to J.C. Penney (JCP) late last year for $288 million, it became obvious that a name change was in order. The company indeed announced Wednesday that starting in May it would become Fifth and Pacific Companies, trading under a new ticker FNP.

The name reflects New York (Fifth Avenue) and Pacific (The Pacific Ocean). A new name is needed because the company is new and needs to create a new brand identity.  Fifth and Pacific is not a bad corporate name, but it doesn't obscure the challenges that lie ahead for the fashion house. 
Tags: JCPM

Long term, the giant contractors have strong hope to keep thriving.

By InvestorPlace Jan 4, 2012 10:29AM
 Tetra Images/CorbisBy Susan J. Aluise, Aviation, Auto & Transportation Writer

As U.S. defense officials start getting used to the idea of dramatic cuts to military spending, major contractors like Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) are bracing for mandatory reductions of $600 billion in defense and national security budgets. Contractors saw the writing on the wall when the congressional supercommittee fumbled the deficit-reduction ball last Thanksgiving, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts beginning in 2013 in both defense and non-defense programs.

Faced with what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta termed a "doomsday scenario," he plans to scrap DOD's long-standing strategy of being able to fight two wars simultaneously. The havoc such a move would wreak on contractors' revenues adds an exclamation point to the defense sector's fears.


Oil is surging to seven-month highs on worries the Iranian navy will close the crucial Strait of Hormuz transit point. Here's a look at the potential impact.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 3, 2012 6:21PM

So, 2012 started right where the old one left off: Turmoil in the Middle East pushes crude oil higher, defanging the Federal Reserve on inflationary fears and threatening an already weak and fragile economy.


Sure, it's all about Iran this time and its boisterous saber rattling and nuclear ambitions instead of the blossoming of democracy during the Arab Spring. Specifically, with the European Union moving toward an embargo of Iranian oil imports, and with Israel and the United States getting itchy trigger fingers over Iran's nuclear program -- which claims it just enriched its first fuel rod -- the regime there has stepped up its threats to shut down the Strait of Hormuz through which 17 million barrels of oil per day flows. That's worth 35% of seaborne traded oil. 


Yet the result is the same: Higher energy prices and the predictable consequences that will surely follow, as the U.S. Oil Fund (USO) closes at its best levels since June. Here's why.


The company's Asian variable annuity assets have been growing consistently at over 15% in the past couple of years.

By Trefis Jan 3, 2012 5:45PM
Manulife (MFC) recently launched a new annuity offering in Thailand that helps customers save taxes before the end of the year and facilitates early retirement by limiting the premium-paying period to age 55.

"Happy Annuity," as it is called, requires no underwriting and offers guaranteed income for 15 years. It also offers dividends in addition to the annuity benefit at 16% of sum assured annually after the age of 55. Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group that has significant insurance and wealth management operations in Asia. 


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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.

Equity indices opened with slim gains, ... More


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