8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.


Markets were not impressed by a meeting of European leaders that didn't produce the hoped-for results.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 12, 2011 5:27PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Given a weekend to mull the results of the European summit, the markets blew a big raspberry Monday to the most recent plan to rescue the euro.

In Europe, the German DAX Index finished the day down 34%, the French CAC Index was down 3.4%, and the Spanish IBEX 35 Index was down 2.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closed down 1.3% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 ($INX) closed down 1.5%.

Actually, given the extent of the negative reaction, it’s surprising that the damage wasn’t worse.

Financial pundits are once again gazing into their crystal balls to come up with forecasts for the year ahead. Here’s how to read those prognostications.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 12, 2011 5:01PM
Image: Crystal ball (© Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Big name pundits do it; mutual fund managers do it; economists and wannabe CNBC talking heads do it.

"It," of course, is peering in their crystal balls at the end of each year to come up with forecasts for the year ahead. The never-ending frenzy of financial market prognostication seems to reach fever pitch every December, as money managers know they will be judged on their ability to pick ideas that will perform best for clients in the coming months.

Tags: AAPL

Even after a strong two-week rally, these standout S&P 500 stocks are likely to outperform the broad market.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 12, 2011 4:42PM

Image: Arrow Up (© Nicholas Monu/iStock Exclusive/Getty Images)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

With the S&P 500 up more than 8% in the past two weeks, it is important to know which stocks in the index are overbought and whether any are still oversold. The most objective way I have found to measure this is by comparing the weekly or monthly closing price to the Starc band readings.

Over the years, I have found that buying a stock when it is above its weekly Starc+ band is generally a mistake. More often, if I am fortunate to be long a stock that moves above its weekly Starc+ band, it’s best to take some profits.


The 'Edsel' of tablets? It's too early to say.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 12, 2011 4:06PM
Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN) were down more than 2% Monday afternoon as investors fretted about a report in the New York Times detailing a litany of woes affecting the Kindle Fire. The newspaper likened Amazon's new tablet computer to Ford's Edsel -- one of the biggest flops in the history of corporate America.

As the Times noted, the Kindle Fire is enduring a torrent of negative reviews on the company's website, of all places. This is a huge headache for Amazon, which is counting on the Fire to fuel future growth. 

Investors tired of all the volatility will lead an even bigger push into dividend stocks next year. Here are some picks.

By Kim Peterson Dec 12, 2011 3:53PM
With all the uncertainty and drama hitting investors this year, 2012 will see an even greater emphasis on income.

We already saw investors rush into dividend stocks in 2011, seizing the benefits of stability, rising payouts and more favorable tax treatment. That should continue next year.  

Here are some picks with very low valuations relative to their 5-year growth prospects.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 12, 2011 2:47PM
Image: Bull figurine on ascending line graph and list of share prices (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Stephen Quickel, US Investment Report

Our newest growth stock recommendations cover a wide range of industry sectors and market caps, with revenues ranging from $1 billion to $50 billion.

What they share, however, are five-year earnings growth prospects averaging close to 20% a year and very low price valuations. Here's a look at four of our latest ideas: AGCO (AGCO), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Genesco (GCO) and Triumph Group (TGI). 

Need a great place to find stock ideas? Look no further than the quarterly 13F filings put out by the super-investors.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 12, 2011 2:43PM

Image: Stocks circled in newspaper (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Tom Jacobs


You can make a lot of money following the moves of great investors. They have teams of analysts, endless resources, long experience, and great track records. Luckily, if they manage over $100 million, they must report their holdings every three months!

Thus, we can see the ebbs and flows of their stock portfolio (they are not required to file non-equity holdings) throughout the year -- buys, sells, and holds. Why ignore a potential gold mine of stock ideas?


The chip-maker attributes an expected revenue shortfall to a shortage of disk drives. But could softening demand be a factor as well?

By Kim Peterson Dec 12, 2011 2:25PM
Intel (INTC) was a big reason stocks were falling Monday. The stock was the biggest loser in the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU), dropping nearly 5% to $23.79 in midday trading.

The company cut its fourth-quarter revenue outlook, saying it now expects revenue somewhere in the range of $13.4 billion to $14 billion, down from $14.2 billion to $15.2 billion. The cut was ostensibly due to shortages of hard disk drives. But is there more to the story? 

Toll Bros. and Lennar are downgraded to 'hold,' while Salesforce is cut to 'underperform.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 12, 2011 11:57AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA
  • Edwards Lifesciences (EW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
  • Roche (RHHBY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Boeing (BA) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • TiVo (TIVO) upgraded to Above Average from Average at Caris

The binary thinking of a few analysts and most journalists has nothing to do with making money. Ignore the noise and pick companies that are doing well.

By Jim Cramer Dec 12, 2011 11:36AM

the streetIf everyone was so happy with the accords on Friday, who was selling Monday? I believe there were two satisfied sets of customers last week: those who were so glad that there couldn't be a Lehman-style collapse with all of these levels of support, and those who figured "Now we'll see what the IMF will do to help the sovereigns."


The first set of buyers should still be happy. The second set of buyers sees gold down, sees the euro down, and says, "OK, the IMF isn't going to do anything. All that happened is that we saved the banks for now, but the sovereigns are going to drown into their own debt."


Here are 3 main price drivers and 3 great ways to invest in the metal.

By InvestorPlace Dec 12, 2011 10:41AM

Anthony Bradshaw/PhotographerBy Jeff Reeves

Gold prices were volatile in 2011. There were a lot of fireworks, not the least of which was a record for prices when the London fixed price hit $1,895 twice in early September. Spot gold prices for immediate settlement, also known as gold futures, briefly cruised to $1,916 per ounce around the same time.

Investors who bought gold in 2011 were richly rewarded. Year to date, the precious metal is up 25%, with very few periods when gold prices moved down instead of up.


European banks are reducing exposure to some markets, leaving room for others to step in.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 9, 2011 11:05PM
Image: Globe with money (© PhotoAlto/SuperStock)Winners from the euro debt crisis?

Well, sure. Just take a look in the banking sector. Most of the attention has focused on the losers in the crisis, the European banks that are reducing their lending, selling assets, and exiting entire markets in an effort to reduce assets and up capital ratios to the 9% required by suddenly vigilant European banking regulators.

But if somebody is exiting a market, it’s likely that someone is entering. And if somebody is selling assets, somebody has to be buying.
Tags: CSTD

It's hard not to be frustrated by volatility, but certain sectors could still be excellent buys.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 9, 2011 6:55PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

After the prior week’s 7.3% gain in the S&P 500, last week was bound to be a disappointment. Nevertheless, the relatively flat performance was pretty good and certainly better than I expected.

Trading kept up with the recent level of volatility. The week’s early rally was met with heavy selling Thursday as the positive impact of the widely expected ECB rate cut was dampened by comments that sent the yields on the Italian bonds sharply higher. The short-term technical action as of Tuesday’s close warned of a correction.


The billionaire investor tells '60 Minutes' his farmer son may one day oversee operations.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 9, 2011 3:51PM

the streetBy Antoine Gara


Warren Buffett says he would like his farmer son Howard Buffett to act as an unpaid nonexecutive guardian of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) after Buffett dies, according to a release of an interview that the legendary investor conducted with CBS News' "60 Minutes" that was to be shown in its entirety Sunday.


Howard Buffett, who is a corn and soybean farmer and does not hold a college degree, is the right choice to oversee Berkshire Hathaway because he understands the value of companies, his father said. Currently, Berkshire has a market cap near $200 billion and earned nearly $13 billion in 2010 profits.


Shale gas added $76 billion to the country's economy last year and has the potential to add close to $230 billion by 2036, predicts IHS Global Insights.

By Trefis Dec 9, 2011 3:29PM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)Chesapeake Energy (CHK) recently sold $750 million worth of shares in its Utica Shale Holdings to a group of private investors to fund the project development of the shale oil and natural gas deposit.

Although Chesapeake is looking to reduce its natural gas position in favor of the more profitable oil drilling, several reports suggest there is huge potential for the country to reduce its energy deficit and unemployment rate through more shale gas drilling. 


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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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