The Dow has run up to -- and been turned away from -- 16,000 twice before.
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Upcoming earnings from Potash of Saskatchewan could be the next critical driver of price action in fertilizer stocks. Here are key levels to watch in three sector leaders.
While shares of General Motors look attractive near their post-IPO low, Ford is even more compelling. With video.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The case was made last week to consider GM (GM) at its new post-IPO low. Even more compelling is Ford (F), the only U.S. automaker that didn't require a government bailout to survive the Great Recession.
Under the laudable leadership of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, Ford has refocused on fuel-efficient vehicles, streamlined its operations and fortified its balance sheet. Its stock has surged from a 2009 low of $1.58.
Ford beat Wall Street expectations when it reported first-quarter earnings Tuesday morning. The automaker said new products, higher volume and strong pricing produced profits in every region, including Europe, and said it overcame the impact of higher commodity prices.
The social network is getting into the couponing game, which could squash startup darling Groupon.
By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace.com
While the tech world has always been fast and furious, it seems that the pace of change has been accelerating lately. Just consider that five years ago Facebook was a small operator. Now the company measures its impact as a percentage of the world's population.
But the challenge for Facebook is to turn its massive platform into gushing revenue and high margins. After all, the company's market value is about $80 billion, and an IPO is likely next year. In other words, Facebook needs to find ways to justify the extreme expectations.
So it's no surprise that it's jumping into the daily-deal business with the launch of Facebook Deals. But will the effort be the cash cow Facebook hopes? If so, will it severely damage the prospects of current coupon king Groupon?
Stereotypes portraying PC users as stodgy and Mac users as cool are not completely without merit, according to one survey.
By Matt Brownell, MainStreet
Well, it turns out those stereotypes aren’t completely without merit.
Hunch, a website that makes a variety of personalized recommendations on everything from restaurants to books based on a user’s stated tastes and preferences, issued a report last week in which it assessed some of the traits of the Mac and PC users active on its site.
Investors looking for exposure to the energy sector as earnings heat up can choose from a variety of exchange-traded funds.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Hundreds of companies will report their earnings this quarter, allowing investors to get a feel for the state of industries ranging from tech to health care.
Already, analysts are forecasting that rising oil prices will fuel strong earnings in this sector. As the Wall Street Journal points out, two factors are lending to crude's dramatic ascension: unrest in the Arab world and the global economic recovery.
ConocoPhillips will officially kick things off on Wednesday. In the meantime, investors can prepare themselves for this week of excitement by arming themselves with ETFs.
With last week's downgrade of the outlook for US debt, it's time the Fed came clean about interest rates and Treasury bond buying.
The clock is ticking on "Bubbles" Bernanke. Come June 30, his latest quantitative easing program (QE2) is scheduled to end. The big question on everyone’s mind is: what happens next?
Surely such big-picture ideas will be discussed tomorrow at the central bank's first-ever press conference. But the bottom line is that the reckless behavior of the Federal Reserve demands closer scrutiny -- and harder questions.
Here is one I want a straight answer to: "Chairman Bernanke, what would you do if, one of these days, the Chinese placed a $100 billion order to sell their U.S. Treasury bonds?"
The yellow metal needs to be part of any portfolio. But if you already own some, stand pat for now.
I think gold has to be an integral part of every portfolio. I have been saying that for about five years now, and I mean it. You have to have it. It has to be part of your diversification, because it is both a currency and a commodity.
Here's the problem, and it is a real high-quality problem: If you have been listening to me, you are struggling right now with the size of your gold position. I think it should be up to 20% of your portfolio. But for some of us -- like in my retirement plan -- gold is now 30%. It has just moved up and up. It is too big. It is now the swing factor.
Now, I don't mind that it is so big. There are plenty of places to put your money that are worse than gold.
However, to buy more here if you have that kind of exposure is just averaging up in the worst way. No thanks.
Rising prices for granular urea, along with strong farm commodity prices, could put Yara within reach of its 52-week high.
China will surpass the US as the world's largest economy soon -- sooner than most people expected, according to an IMF report.
That's according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund, which has set 2016 as the year when China's economy officially surpasses that of America as the world's largest.
To put this into perspective, only 10 years ago the U.S. economy was three times the size of China's, according to Brett Arends at MarketWatch. We knew this was coming, but this is the first time the IMF has put an actual date on it. "Most people aren’t prepared for this," Arends writes. "They aren’t even aware it’s that close."
The Daily Mail puts it starkly: "Whoever wins the 2012 presidential election will have the dubious honour of presiding over the fall of the United States." Even at its peak, Japan only had half of America's economic output, the Mail adds, and the USSR produced only a third.
The company has seen profit drop for 2 years and needs a new system to jump-start sales.
It's good timing, as Nintendo has now seen two years of profit declines. The company didn't reveal many details about the upcoming console, saying in a short statement only that it will have a playable model to show off in June at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Expect an official launch before the holiday season.
The Wii elicited snickers from the industry when it debuted in 2006, coming on the heels of Nintendo's disappointing GameCube, but the system and its motion-sensing controller were a phenomenal success.
The latest fund to tap the roaring BRIC economy reduces single-stock risk with a more diversified approach.
By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreet
The latest is First Trust Brazil AlphaDEX Fund (FBZ), one of nine international AlphaDEX funds that were recently launched.
First Trust defines the AlphaDEX brand and strategy as enhanced indexing, meaning First Trust takes an index, screens all its components for fundamental and growth factors, and then selects the top-scoring stocks for inclusion in a fund.
First Trust has had success using this process with domestic ETFs. With the launch of the Brazil AlphaDEX and its eight sister funds, the company is betting it can repeat that success with international indexes.
A look at the coffee king through Porter's Five Forces.
By Jason Moser
Not too long ago I opened a position in Starbucks (SBUX) for my Rising Star portfolio. The idea was (and is) pretty simple: The company has a brand recognized the world over, and there are plenty of growth opportunities still ahead.
Still, I think some of management's biggest challenges lie in growing market share in places like China and India as well as growing the consumer-packaged-goods segment to one day rival that of the retail store segment.
I always find it helpful to take a look at companies through Porter's Five Forces to get a better grip on their competitive advantages and potential areas of weakness; threat levels can range from high to low and everywhere in between.
The Internet retailer has become more expensive than the far superior Apple.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
Superlative inventory management, low pricing and innovative rewards programs have helped Amazon propel revenue 32% a year since 2008. But despite Amazon's outstanding fundamentals, its stock is overvalued and overloved.
There are signs that the growth trajectory at Amazon is tapering. Whereas sales expansion remains brisk, hitting 36% in the seasonally strong fourth quarter, profit growth was marginal. Amazon's quarterly net income rose 8.3% and earnings per share ascended 7.1%, earning a growth score of 1 out of 5 from TheStreet Ratings' quantitative equity model.
While big banks continue to struggle, the charts for these regional banks appear to be bottoming, making them possible star performers once financials turn around.
As Amazon, eBay and Netflix prepare to report earnings, Internet stock funds will try to build on last week's tech rally. Gold, energy and aerospace are other sectors to keep an eye on.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.
So far, earnings season has proven largely positive for the technology sector after firms including Intel (INTC), Apple (AAPL), and IBM (IBM) all reported stellar performance over the past three months.
For FDN, however, the first few weeks of earnings season have been a mixed bag. Yahoo (YHOO) and Juniper Networks (JNPR) reported promising numbers last week. Meanwhile, however, index leader Google (GOOG) has struggled to regain ground after releasing a troublesome report.
FDN will be back in the spotlight this week as a number of major components announce their quarterly earnings, including Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), Akamai (AKAM) and Netflix (NFLX) are slated to report throughout the week.
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The US government is giving perks to foreign airlines, all at the expense of US companies.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Crude oil futures sold off just ahead of the weekly EIA inventory data, dropping a new LoD of $97.69. Following the data, Jan crude oil spiked initially after the EIA released inventory data, which showed a draw of 10.6 mln barrels.
Jan crude oil is now -0.4% at $98.08/barrel.
Natural gas found some buyers this morning, pushing the energy component back near the unchanged mark. Jan natural gas is now -0.5% at $4.22/MMBtu.
Gold and silver are pulling back ... More
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