There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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Internet IPOs last year reached highs not seen since the dot-com boom, but that still wasn't enough to make venture capitalists confident about 2012.
Last year was a bonanza for Internet startups trying to go public. Global Internet IPOs raised $9.3 billion in 2011, almost double the 2010 level, according to figures released by tracking firm Dealogic.
But while that’s higher than in any year since the dot-com boom went bust more than a decade ago -- and while one of the deals packing the most buzz, online gaming giant Zynga (ZNGA), was a highlight of the fourth quarter -- IPO activity in the closing months of the year wasn’t lively enough to give the venture capital backers of those companies still languishing in the pipeline much cause for jubilation.
Payment processor leads the charge at home and abroad.
Every time you pay for something with a debit or credit card, chances are good that Visa (V) is profiting from your purchase.
The fashion house bets on high-end consumers.
The name reflects New York (Fifth Avenue) and Pacific (The Pacific Ocean). A new name is needed because the company is new and needs to create a new brand identity. Fifth and Pacific is not a bad corporate name, but it doesn't obscure the challenges that lie ahead for the fashion house.
Long term, the giant contractors have strong hope to keep thriving.
As U.S. defense officials start getting used to the idea of dramatic cuts to military spending, major contractors like Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) are bracing for mandatory reductions of $600 billion in defense and national security budgets. Contractors saw the writing on the wall when the congressional supercommittee fumbled the deficit-reduction ball last Thanksgiving, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts beginning in 2013 in both defense and non-defense programs.
Faced with what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta termed a "doomsday scenario," he plans to scrap DOD's long-standing strategy of being able to fight two wars simultaneously. The havoc such a move would wreak on contractors' revenues adds an exclamation point to the defense sector's fears.
Oil is surging to seven-month highs on worries the Iranian navy will close the crucial Strait of Hormuz transit point. Here's a look at the potential impact.
So, 2012 started right where the old one left off: Turmoil in the Middle East pushes crude oil higher, defanging the Federal Reserve on inflationary fears and threatening an already weak and fragile economy.
Sure, it's all about Iran this time and its boisterous saber rattling and nuclear ambitions instead of the blossoming of democracy during the Arab Spring. Specifically, with the European Union moving toward an embargo of Iranian oil imports, and with Israel and the United States getting itchy trigger fingers over Iran's nuclear program -- which claims it just enriched its first fuel rod -- the regime there has stepped up its threats to shut down the Strait of Hormuz through which 17 million barrels of oil per day flows. That's worth 35% of seaborne traded oil.
Yet the result is the same: Higher energy prices and the predictable consequences that will surely follow, as the U.S. Oil Fund (USO) closes at its best levels since June. Here's why.
The company's Asian variable annuity assets have been growing consistently at over 15% in the past couple of years.
"Happy Annuity," as it is called, requires no underwriting and offers guaranteed income for 15 years. It also offers dividends in addition to the annuity benefit at 16% of sum assured annually after the age of 55. Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group that has significant insurance and wealth management operations in Asia.
Surprising 2011 outperformance has left many big Dow stocks close to overbought, but several strong performers still have upside potential.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The disparity in the performance of the major averages in 2011 was unusually pronounced, as the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) gained 5.5%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was flat and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was down 2.2% for the year.
This does not typically occur, as seen in 2010, when the Dow was up 1%, the S&P 500 gained 12.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite led the pack, up 16.8%.
The stock's IPO quiet period ends, and weak recommendations follow.
When it comes to IPOs, there are several arcane rules. One is the "quiet period," which bans a company's insiders and underwriters from making any forward-looking comments about the offering.
But once the quiet period expires 40 days from the IPO, you'll typically see plenty of analyst recommendations. While they usually glow, there are some exceptions. Just look at Groupon (GRPN). In mid-December, when Groupon's quiet period expired, the company's analysts issued recommendations that ranged from "neutral" to "sector perform" to "hold."
Stocks in the S&P 500 have been moving up and down with the broader index, making it hard for individual names to stand out.
"Correlation” isn’t usually a dirty word on Wall Street. The term refers to how closely two asset classes or securities move in relation to each other. As long as traders know what the relationships are, and are quick to catch on when those relationships change, they don’t tend to gripe too much about the specific ties that do or don’t exist.
Ask an investment manager what he or she thought of the correlations among stocks in the S&P 500-stock index in 2011, however, and you’re liable to meet with dark looks and unprintable comments.
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Berkshire Hathaway shares did not perform well in 2011.
Investors in Berkshire should be thankful that their money wasn't with a hedge fund manager such as John Paulson, who recently released a 24-page letter of apology after his fund tumbled more than 32% in its worst performance in 17 years. Disappointing performance at Soros Investment Management led to the departure of the firm's chief investment officer and prompted billionaire George Soros to return money to outside investors.
Could this mean long-term growth for Mead Johnson?
A continued dispute with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts may cause Walgreen to lose prescriptions and sales.
In a move that hints at a renewed focus on merchandising, the company picks a Brookstone exec.
The company said Tueday it has hired away the CEO of Brookstone, Ron Boire, as its chief merchandising officer. Boire will report to CEO Lou D'Ambrosio, whom Lampert hired last year despite a lack of retail experience. Brookstone, long a fixture in America's malls, is holding its own financially -- which is more than can be said for Sears, where sales have declined for 18 straight quarters.
Dreamliner launch should help profits soar at this aerospace industry supplier.
Our top stock pick for 2012 is Titanium Metals (TIE), or TIMET for short.
Janney Capital Markets is concerned with the company's inflated margins and ability to sustain sales growth.
That's the message behind Janney Capital Markets' downgrade Tuesday of Williams Sonoma to "sell" from "neutral." The stock fell more than 3% to $37.19 as a result.
Williams Sonoma owns its namesake brand of home goods stores as well as the Pottery Barn and West Elm names.
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These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
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