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Up next: Biggest bank IPO ever

It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


Although management expects costs to increase next quarter, we still see untapped revenue sources for the future.

By Trefis Feb 15, 2012 12:54PM
Image: Woman Paying the Bill (© Fuse/Getty Images)Last week, we summed up OpenTable's (OPEN) fourth-quarter results in OpenTable Shows Resilience Despite Tough Climate. Although the report showed a good performance for the period, shares of the online restaurant reservation company tanked 11% after the release.

The market clearly responded to the bits and pieces of information provided by the company during the earnings call about ongoing changes to its business model. These changes, coupled with the outlook presented by management for the year, warrants a reduction in our price estimate for the company's shares from $65 to $55
Tags: OPEN

After declaring equities safer than bonds and gold, the billionaire sets an example with several purchases.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 15, 2012 12:38PM

By Robert Holmes


Warren Buffett recently said stocks will outperform gold and bonds, calling them the safest asset by far. He's putting Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) money where his mouth is, buying up shares of DirecTV (DTV) and IBM (IBM).


In a Fortune article published last week, Buffett offered investors a preview of his upcoming annual shareholder letter. Buffett said equities will "prove to be the runaway winner," with the Oracle of Omaha talking down investments in gold and bonds. Regarding the latter, Buffett said bonds are a dangerous asset because they are currency-based and exposed to interest-rate risk.


Safeway is upgraded to 'outperform,' while Bank of America is downgraded to 'market perform.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 15, 2012 12:08PM
Information provided by

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Safeway (SWY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham
  • Fidelity National (FIS) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan

Hoping to offset soggy cereal sales, the maker of Corn Flakes and Froot Loops will pay $2.7 billion in cash for Procter & Gamble's crispy potato snacks.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 15, 2012 11:40AM

Cereal maker Kellogg (K) announced Wednesday that it plans to buy Pringles from Procter & Gamble (PG) for $2.7 billion in cash. The move will help Kellog offset softening sales in its core century-old cereal business.

Indeed, during the fourth quarter, Kellogg's cereal business in North America was a laggard, posting an anemic sales growth of 1.5%. Internal net sales in Kellogg's North American snacks unit, meanwhile, rose 8.1%, and revenue at the North America frozen and specialty channels surged by 13.5%.

Tags: KPG

It stands to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from licensing agreements if it wins its latest round of lawsuits.

By Trefis Feb 15, 2012 10:58AM
After playing defense for months, Google (GOOG) looks to be on the offensive in the patent wars, with its acquisition target Motorola (MMI) providing much-needed ammunition. The targets of these first assaults are Google's two main rivals, Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL).

Motorola has already tried to block the sales of the iPhone in Europe, but its lawsuit was rejected by a German Court last week. However, it may get lucky with its patent lawsuit against Microsoft. It is targeting Microsoft's top moneymakers – Windows 7 and Xbox 360 – and some other products with patent infringement lawsuits. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)  

With a growing fleet and rising earnings, this is a high-quality, high-yielding play on global trade.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 15, 2012 10:57AM
By Mark Skousen, High-Income Alert

Seaspan (SSW) is one of the world’s leading charter owners of container ships. Virtually all of the company’s vessels are leased at long-term fixed-rates.

Today, Seaspan has a fleet of 72 vessels, with seven more scheduled for delivery through 2014. All seven container ships already are committed to fixed-rate time charters between 10 and 12 years in duration from delivery. 
Tags: SSW

Two of these could drop big on a market downturn.

By InvestorPlace Feb 15, 2012 10:40AM

By James Brumley

While the market is still technically in an uptrend, things are getting uncomfortably frothy, and a pullback might be closer than you think. A dip would whack ETFs, too -- some of them more than others.

Here's a closer look at the market's most overbought exchange-traded funds, and exactly why they're so vulnerable now.


Experts explain their stock picks in the consumer services and technology sectors.

By Feb 15, 2012 9:53AM
Possible investments in consumer services and technology? The Zacks panel of experts offers its stock picks in both sectors in the following video post.

Stocks discussed include Coinstar (CSTR), Netgear (NTGR) and Zynga (ZNGA). Plus, find out what the panel thinks of the latest Greek financial reforms and how they will affect markets. 
Tags: ZNGA

Investors are worrying more about the mismanaged bank now than when the financial situation was much worse.

By Jim Cramer Feb 15, 2012 9:51AM

The downgrade of Bank of America (BAC) Tuesday strikes me as ill-considered. When Citigroup (C) turned lukewarm on the name, I thought that if you are bullish on the market and housing in general, you would have a hard time getting back into this one.


I have to admit that Bank of America is the worst of the worst -- the most poorly run of all the major financials. People may hate Goldman Sachs (GS) more, but that's born of jealousy more than incompetence. I also expect earnings in the near term won't be anything to write home about.


Shares of companies such as LinkedIn and Zynga have jumped higher since Facebook filed to go public two weeks ago.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 14, 2012 6:18PM
LinkedInBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Is rally in the prices of some of the best-known social networking stocks due solely to the halo effect of Facebook’s IPO filing?
Shares of companies such as LinkedIn (LNKD) and Zynga (ZNGA) have jumped higher since that other social media business filed to go public two weeks ago. In the case of LinkedIn, at least, the gains may have a basis in fundamentals as much as they are in the increased appetite for anything even tangentially related to Facebook. 

CEO Tim Cook hints that the company may be willing to do something with its mountain of cash.

By Kim Peterson Feb 14, 2012 5:45PM
Image: Money (© MedioImages/Jupiterimages)Apple (AAPL) has about $100 billion in cash. It's a ridiculous amount, and CEO Tim Cook even came close to admitting that Tuesday afternoon.

"I think it's clear to everyone we have more cash than we need," he said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference in San Francisco, according to Business Insider. He asked investors to be patient so he could make the best decision about what to do with the cash.

"We're not going to go have a toga party or do something outlandish," he joked, according to ZDNet. "People don’t have to worry that it’s going to burn a hole in our pocket." 
Tags: AAPL

Some propose looking at leveraged ETFs for guidance.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 14, 2012 5:43PM

By Dan Caplinger


Leveraged ETFs have been the downfall for some long-term investors who misunderstood how they worked. But now, one research company thinks that leveraged ETFs may actually provide some helpful information -- and suggests that current signs point toward a possible plunge for stocks.


Following the dumb money
Yesterday, Barron's reported a trend among leveraged ETF trading that TrimTabs Investment Research identified. TrimTabs observed that issuance of new shares of leveraged bearish ETFs, including Direxion Financial Bear 3x (FAZ) and ProShares UltraShort QQQ (QID), was at a very low level of just 0.2% of assets last week.


The company says business is normal Tuesday even as groups promise action over its gun policies.

By Kim Peterson Feb 14, 2012 5:22PM
Starbucks (SBUX) has become the unlikely center of a Valentine's Day debate over U.S. gun laws.

A group that aims to reduce gun violence says it is boycotting the coffee giant Tuesday because Starbucks has not stopped customers from bringing guns into stores when the law allows it. Starbucks has the legal right to ban guns, the National Gun Victim's Action Council says. The group has sent an open letter to Starbucks with its complaints. 
Tags: SBUX

Knowing that a plethora of good apps is key to drawing new smartphone users, the company makes an appeal to app creators.

By Trefis Feb 14, 2012 4:58PM
Research In Motion (RIMM) is showing a renewed interest in reaching out to application developers since naming Thorsten Heins as its new CEO.

At a recent developer's conference, executives mentioned that, contrary to popular belief, users of the BlackBerry platform have actually shown great interest in embracing smartphone apps. This is an encouraging statement from the company at a time when it's facing challenges in competing with Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) in the smartphone and tablet market. 

The company has made significant investments in the region as a whole to insulate itself from the volatility of the individual markets.

By Trefis Feb 14, 2012 4:47PM
Image: Wat Doi Suthep temple, Thailand (© Paul Edmondson/Brand X/Getty Images)General Electric (GE) has a new strategy to address opportunities in Southeast Asia. 

The company is going to focus on the region as a whole instead of its countries separately -- a move designed to insulate GE from the volatility of individual markets there.

The company also unveiled a new plan to make Thailand the service center for region's energy, healthcare, aviation and other businesses.


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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