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GM probably reclaimed its global sales crown in 2011, but it comes with an asterisk.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 19, 2012 5:53PM

By John Rosevear

 

It's not official quite yet -- the company won't release its final, official 2011 sales numbers until later this month -- but it's looking like General Motors (GM) has reclaimed the global sales crown, less than two years after emerging from its historic bankruptcy.

 

Adding up the year-end numbers from GM's divisions and affiliates around the world gives a total of about 9 million vehicles sold in 2011, enough to put the General ahead of the surprise second-place finisher Volkswagen, and longtime rival Toyota (TM).

 
Tags: FgmTM

An overreaching effort to rid the Internet of pirates has run aground, to the spitting fury of one media tycoon who should know better.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 19, 2012 3:41PM

Image: Money and computer (© Angel Muniz/Jupiterimages)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


The Google (GOOG) logo was blacked out Wednesday for seekers of enlightenment (or, more likely, gossip about Paula Deen).


Wikipedia made its English-language pages harder to reach for 24 hours.


Their ire, and that of millions of Americans mobilized via blogs and social networking sites, was directed at legislation before Congress targeting online piracy of copyrights and trademarks.

 

The oil explorer also plans to raise its LNG output because of the more attractive economics of liquids production in shale plays.

By Trefis Jan 19, 2012 2:27PM
Image: Oil drilling platform (© Scott Gibson/Corbis)Anadarko (APC), one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration companies, has driven a successful program to boost its reserves and diversify its resource base beyond American shale plays.

In the last quarter, the company announced that its offshore gas find in Mozambique might be among the most significant discoveries of the past decade (see: Anadarko's Mozambique Find Could Add Upside to $88 Value). 
Tags: APCCVX

Despite an old-fashioned image, this conglomerate boasts leading-edge products from aerospace to green tech.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 19, 2012 1:42PM
Image: Airplane at gate (© Brand X/Jupiterimages)By Stephen Leeb, Income Performance Letter

The economy has shown undeniable signs of expanding at an accelerated rate in recent months, and we see many excellent opportunities for investors willing to focus beyond just the next quarter or two.

We're adding Honeywell International (HON) to our model portfolio. A member of the Dow Industrial Average, Honeywell is generally thought of as an old-school conglomerate. But in truth, the company boasts a line-up that includes many leading-edge products, and it frequently holds top positions in the markets it serves. 

The company is targeting growing energy demand from Asian markets with the development of massive projects.

By Trefis Jan 19, 2012 1:26PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)Oil major Chevron (CVX) had a strong 2011. Its stock rose from $94 to $106 as the company continued to deliver success on the exploration side.

Chevron is betting heavily on growth in energy demand from Asia, and from China in particular, with multi-billion dollar liquified natural gas (LNG) projects off the coast of Australia. LNG ventures  will take up the largest share of the company's planned project spending over the next 10 years.  
Tags: bpCVXXOM

The airplane maker has over-promised and under-delivered on the 787 Dreamliner for too long.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 19, 2012 1:00PM
Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)Sometimes you just have to say that a trade hasn't worked out the way that you thought it would -- and that giving it more time just isn't going to help.

On Sept. 30, 2010, I added Boeing (BA) to my Jubak’s Picks portfolio with a target price of $84 a share by September 2011. The idea was that Boeing would solve its big problems with the 787 Dreamliner and the stock price would rise as planes started to roll off the assembly line.

It didn’t quite work out that way.
 
Tags: BA

Bank stocks are rocking because everyone had written them off for dead.

By Jim Cramer Jan 19, 2012 12:37PM

If you lower expectations enough, if you get bearish enough, if you get whipsawed enough, pretty much anything looks good. You get a smaller loss from Morgan Stanley (MS) -- we love it! You get an EPS number from Bank of America (BAC) that looks something like you might expect, and you buy it. You see some revenue line from Goldman Sachs (GS) that's truly anemic and you say, "Let me in!"


Let's puzzle through how bad things have been for a moment so we can understand how we got here.

 

With luxury spending in China booming, the handbag maker has high hopes for the longest and most important holiday of the year.

By Trefis Jan 19, 2012 12:36PM

Image: Woman with shopping bags (© Tanya Constantine/Getty Images)

Aspirational luxury retailer Coach (COH) may get a solid lift in sales as Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, approaches. China is the largest market for Coach outside the U.S., and with Chinese luxury spending expected to increase significantly in the week leading to Jan. 23, Coach may well witness its first 2012 bonanza.


Coach is the leading American marketer of luxury lifestyle handbags and other fashion accessories and competes with premium apparel and accessories players like Ralph Lauren (RL), Liz Claiborne (LIZ) and Ann (ANN).

 
Tags: COHRL

F5 Networks is upgraded to 'buy' at BofA/Merrill, while Walgreen is downgraded to 'neutral' at Goldman.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 19, 2012 12:06PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Garmin (GRMN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
  • F5 Networks (FFIV) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • Terex (TX) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
  • St. Jude Medical (STJ) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Boston Scientific (BSX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Automatic Data Processing (ADP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
  • Advance Auto Parts (AAP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
 

Don't let a share price above $200 scare you off.

By InvestorPlace Jan 19, 2012 12:03PM
Image: Wealthy couple celebrating in a car (© Image Source/Getty Images)By Jeff Reeves


There are some low-priced stocks out there that really catch Wall Street's fancy. There's some kind of love affair with a cheap stock -- with investors fooling themselves into thinking that it's easier for a $1 stock to get to $2 than it is for a $100 stock to get to $200.


But the bottom line is still the bottom line. A stock succeeds or fails on the merit of its business, not on logistical nonsense like shares outstanding or the headline price of the stock.

 

MSN Money's Charley Blaine answers Facebook questions about the real-estate market in 2012.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 19, 2012 11:26AM
With about a third of homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their houses are worth, Americans would like to know where the housing market is headed in 2012. MSN Money columnist Charley Blaine thinks the worst is over but cautions not to expect big price increases for some time.

 

He fielded questions from our Facebook community, including one on housing stocks. 

But hold the champagne and jolly song. Despite improving operations, the banks are still a long way from a recovery.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 19, 2012 11:12AM
 Photodisc/SuperStockShares of Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) rose Thursday as the banks' earnings beat Wall Street's low expectations on one-time events and improving results.

However, both companies, whose shares have plunged more than 40% over the past 52 weeks, remain far from a recovery.

Net income at Bank of America was $2.0 billion, or 15 cents a share, reversing a year-ago loss of $1.2 billion, or 16 cents a share. Revenue at the second-largest U.S. lender rose 11% to $25.1 billion.  
Tags: BACMS

Increasing global voice & data usage boosts the outlook for the wireless tower operator.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 19, 2012 10:51AM
By James Moorman, S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst, S&P The Outlook

This week’s Focus Stock of the Week is American Tower Corporation (AMT), which carries S&P Capital IQ’s highest investment recommendation of 5- STARS, or Strong Buy.

American Tower Corporation operates the largest independent portfolio of wireless communications and broadcast towers in North America, based on the number of towers and revenue. 
Tags: AMT

Given the right price point and enhanced customer convenience and satisfaction, DVDs can still be sold.

By Trefis Jan 19, 2012 9:48AM
 Maria Teijeiro/Getty Images/Getty ImagesWhile the overall home video market in the U.S. fell in 2011, certain trends emerged that demonstrate that it is not just the form -- be it physical or electronic -- that matters, but the convenience and price points also play a very critical role in determining how the home video business grows.

Nevertheless, the fall in DVD sales is a concern for media companies like Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA) and Disney (DIS). For this reason, these companies are striking more online content licensing deals. Time Warner has even decided to increase the DVD sell-through window to 56 days, double the earlier period. Let's take a quick look at 2011 home video market growth and what it means. 

The Costa Concordia tragedy spells severe headwinds for cruise liners' future bookings.

By Gene Marcial Jan 19, 2012 9:21AM

 image100/SuperStockVacationers, for sure, will continue going on cruises to seemingly exotic places, but for investors, shares of companies that own and operate cruise ships, such as Carnival (CCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), should be off limits. Wall Street believes investors should stick to dry-land investing for now. The reason: The Costa Concordia disaster that has so far claimed the lives of eight people -- and counting.

 

"We are downgrading shares of Carnival and Royal Caribbean to neutral from positive as a result of the Costa Concordia tragedy this weekend," says Rachael Rothman, analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group.

 
Tags: CCLRCL

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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices remain near their flat lines as heavily-weighted sectors continue trading in mixed fashion.

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