Apple is a market darling again
Apple is a market darling again

The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.

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The tech giant has all the attributes of a long-term winner. Perhaps that's why Warren Buffett owns 9.3 million shares.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 2, 2011 2:02PM
By Paul Tracy, Street Authority Market Advisor

It has become one of my favorite stocks. I like to call it my "no-brainer" investment for 2012. The company is buying back billions of its stock.

It's raised dividends at a torrid pace over the past five years. And it just announced its sixth consecutive quarter of record sales. I'm talking about Intel (INTC).  

With McDonald's entrenched as No. 1, Wendy's is moving into second place.

By InvestorPlace Dec 2, 2011 1:23PM
Image: Hamburger (© BananaStock/Jupiterimages)By Jeff Reeves


McDonald's (MCD) is the 800-pound gorilla of fast food. The $100 billion company turned quick-service restaurants into a science, has more than 33,000 locations worldwide, and is a heavyweight in breakfast and beverage sales in addition to selling burgers and fries.


It's nearly impossible to knock No. 1 McDonald's from its perch. So that's why fast-food restaurant Wendy's (WEN) is instead focused on the No. 2 spot and, according to reports, has dethroned Burger King to become America's second-most-popular burger joint.

 

The maker of organic food sees strong earnings potential after profit tripled in its most recent fiscal year.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 2, 2011 1:16PM
Forget the volatility of LinkedIn (LNKD) and the disappointment surrounding Groupon (GRPN). One of the more promising initial public offerings of this year comes in a humble bowl of mac and cheese.

Annie's, the California maker of organic pasta and other foods, has filed to raise $100 million in an IPO. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the too-cute ticker symbol BNNY. 

Write-offs in sovereign debt holdings are expected to continue over subsequent quarters, driving down trading margins

By Trefis Dec 2, 2011 1:04PM

Citigroup's (C) shares are currently trading well below $30 -- lows unseen by the global financial group since the peak of the global economic crisis in early 2009. We believe that this significantly depressed price mirrors the extremely pessimistic market sentiment towards banks in particular.

 

Although weak global economic conditions -- primarily the escalating debt situation in Europe -- a string of lawsuits continue to present downside risks to the bank's value, we believe that the low price for Citigroup's shares is unwarranted.

 
Tags: BACCJPM

These Asian ETFs all show similar bottoming formations on the charts, and renewed economic growth in China could spur them to big gains in 2012.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 2, 2011 12:56PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The decision this week by the People's Bank of China to lower bank reserves caught the market by surprise and boosted the Hang Seng Index by over 1,000 points. This was the first lowering of reserves since 2008 and suggests that Chinese leaders are concerned that the economy is slowing down too fast.


The initial enthusiasm over the news was dampened a bit on Friday by unconfirmed reports that bank loans fell in November. Accounting irregularities at several companies and unconfirmed charges of fraud against Sino-Forest (TRE) and Focus Media Holdings (FMCN) have made even some hedge funds avoid Chinese stocks.

 

Guess is downgraded to 'neutral,' and Barnes & Noble is initiated with a 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 2, 2011 12:31PM
Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Lowe's (LOW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Allstate (ALL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Sun Life Financial (SLF) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
  • Analog Devices (ADI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
  • Lululemon (LULU) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Western Digital (WDC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity
 

After slashing the price of its tablet to compete with the iPad, the company will take a charge of nearly half a billion dollars.

By Kim Peterson Dec 2, 2011 11:48AM
Research In Motion (RIMM) slashed the price of its PlayBook tablet this year to compete with the dominant iPad. And now the company has paid the price.

The BlackBerry developer said Friday it will take a $485 million charge because it discounted the PlayBook so heavily. It previously cut the device's price to $200 from $500. 
Tags: AAPLRIMM

These medical shares are good for what ails you.

By InvestorPlace Dec 2, 2011 10:53AM
Comstock Images/JupiterimagesBy Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com


According to the regulatory agency behind Medicare and Medicaid, health care spending is expected to grow by an average of 5.8% per year through 2020. The same agency also forecasts that health care spending will make up a whopping 20% of GDP in eight years.


This is partly due to the growing ranks of baby boomers. The individuals in this age bracket are typically more health-conscientious and are willing to pay a premium to stay fit. So it's no wonder health care services companies are doing so well.

 

Raytheon's strong orders not enough to allay concerns over the U.S. defense budget.

By Zacks.com Dec 2, 2011 10:33AM

By: Zacks Equity Research

 

Raytheon Company (RTN) said Wednesday the U.S. Congressional and State Department approved its $1.7 billion contract with Saudi Arabia for upgrading the kingdom's Patriot air and missile defense system.


The contract, announced in June this year, is for upgrading the system to the latest Configuration-3. In includes ground-system hardware, a full training package, support equipment upgrades and an interoperability capability to support potential coalition operations.

 
Tags: LMTRTN

The FIFA World Cup and Olympics will been a boon to Brazil's economy. These investments could benefit.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 2, 2011 10:16AM
Image: Brazil (© Donald Edwards/age fotostock)By Glenn Rogers, Internet Wealth Builder

Brazil will be heavily in focus over the next couple of years since they are hosting two of the largest world sporting events: the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Both will be held in Rio de Janeiro.

Either of these events is a big deal on its own. Hosting both is both a huge coup and a tremendous opportunity from a business point of view. Both events will require a dramatic upgrade to the infrastructure within the country, which should spur a considerable amount of economic activity. 
Tags: ABVEWZ

The world has changed so radically in the past week that scorned ideas -- even a tentative play on European bonds -- have become winning ones.

By Jim Cramer Dec 2, 2011 10:16AM

the streetA week ago, everyone really gave up hope. The perceptions were that all of the major European banks were insolvent, the U.S. economy was hurting badly, the sovereign bonds were all suckers' plays and China was doing nothing to help and everything to hurt us.

 

That was one week ago. One week!

 

Strong Silverado sales offset a slump in aging brands, but the automaker is betting on small fuel-efficient cars for the future.

By Benzinga Dec 2, 2011 9:58AM

Echo/Cultura RF/Getty ImagesBy Matthew Kennedy, Benzinga


On Thursday, General Motors (GM), along with other U.S. automakers, reported November sales. GM sales rose 6.9%, a slight miss from analysts' estimates of 7.4%. Sales of its Chevy Silverado pickup jumped 34%, compensating for falling sales of its aging Malibu and Impala sedans. Going forward, the company hopes to increase sales by introducing new, small, fuel efficient cars.


Chevy has historically struggled to compete in the economy car class. The previous generation featured the Aveo and Cobalt, both of which were poorly received by consumers. Automotive reviews panned the vehicles for using cheap interior plastics, having poor handling capabilities, and lacking the reliable characteristics of their Japanese competitors. Chevy followed up with the Cruze compact car, which was an improved offering but still did not present the same value proposition as that of the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

 

World steel production has increased since April 2009 due to a moderate rise in demand. But global growth could slow in 2012.

By Zacks.com Dec 1, 2011 6:08PM

Overview

The world steel industry is concentrated in structure, with a few producers accounting for the lion’s share of sales.

 

Historically, the automotive and construction markets have remained the largest consumers of steel, absorbing more than half of the total steel produced. Large automakers such as General Motors Company (GM), Ford Motor Company (F), Toyota Motor Corporation (TM) and Honda Motor Company (HMC) depend upon the steel industry.

 

The company looks like it will survive the shakeout in the solar sector, but that's not guaranteed.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 1, 2011 5:28PM
Image: Solar energy (© Mick Roessler/Corbis)Yingli Green Energy Holding (YGE) announced ugly third quarter results on Nov. 23 -- and then topped them with even uglier forecasts for the fourth quarter. 

Shipments will be down 20% in the fourth quarter from the third quarter and average-selling prices will fall by 13% to 19%.

But investors expected that. What they want to know about Yingli Green Energy -- and about all the world's solar companies -- is if they have the cash to survive until the solar market turns and when is that turn likely.
 
Tags: YGE

A popular analyst is eyeing an Apple HDTV next year.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 1, 2011 4:20PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

 

By the time Apple (AAPL) rolls out its rumored flat-screen television -- whenever that may ultimately be -- we may as well call it the iMunster.

 

After all, no one has championed the cause the way that Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster has. For nearly three years Munster has hopped on his horse, shouting to anyone within hearing distance, "The Apple HDTVs are coming! The Apple HDTVs are coming!"

 

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