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Funds aren't flowing so freely in Silicon Valley, so new technology stocks may have trouble getting off the ground

By InvestorPlace Oct 11, 2011 11:37AM
By Kevin Kelleher, InvestorPlace.com

So long, tech bubble of 2011.


Stock speculators and doom-mongers alike had such great hopes for the new tech bubble. Privately held shares of the hottest web companies commanded valuations in the tens of billions of dollars, ratcheting up with each SecondMarket auction. Social media brands that ventured into the public market surged. LinkedIn (LNKD) left many, including me, wondering if the mania of the dot-com days had returned.


But so much has changed since LinkedIn went public – starting with LinkedIn’s stock price: It’s down 38% from its high point of $122.70, reached a few hours after it went public. And now major investor MFS Investment Management is slashing its stake in the social network. It all adds up to a rather ugly state of affairs for tech start-ups -- even the good ones.

 

These funds are well positioned to capitalize on niche plays.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 11, 2011 11:16AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

The technology sector started off the week on an exciting note, with reports that Netflix (NFLX) was back-stepping from its controversial plan to spin off its DVD business into a new brand, Qwikster.

 

In the next two weeks, technology will continue to be in the spotlight as companies such as Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM) report quarterly performance and outlook.

 

Waning European demand and a 15% slide in aluminum prices could dent profits.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 11, 2011 10:45AM

By Joseph Deaux, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Alcoa (AA) faces a dual profit threat of lower demand in Europe and declining aluminum prices.

 

CEO Klaus Kleinfeld has warned investors awaiting the company's third-quarter earnings report after the market close Tuesday that Europe has not seen the usual seasonal upswing from August to September in its flat-rolled segments.

 

Bridget Freas, Morningstar's aluminum analyst, said there's usually a pickup in September orders but that hasn't yet materialized. Freas doesn't think volume will take a significant hit, however, and said Alcoa's aerospace segment should be strong.

 
Tags: AA

Buying time allowed banks to reposition themselves -- not on the fly, as in 2008, but in a considered way that has reduced our systemic risk.

By Jim Cramer Oct 11, 2011 9:19AM

the streetI come to praise the virtues of kicking the can down the road. Don't laugh or snicker. Wednesday we will hear from JPMorgan (JPM), and we will learn exactly how virtuous the can-kicking game is.

 

That's because the smart banks like JPMorgan have either hedged their European risk, almost eliminated it or actually made a bet against foreign countries that are falling apart.

 

That's what time allows you to do -- to reposition, not on the fly, but in a considered way. And to read the papers and talk among yourselves about country risk and counter-party risk and be set up. That's something that we didn't have time for in 2008.

 

Analysts are concerned about the company's spending, profitability and debt -- even after the carrier nabs the iPhone.

By Kim Peterson Oct 10, 2011 4:50PM
Getting the iPhone hasn't done much for Sprint (S).

The stock plunged nearly 8% Monday after at least seven analysts downgraded the stock -- and that's after a 20% drop on Friday. Sprint's spending is much higher than analysts wanted to see, and they weren't willing to cut the company much slack.

"Management must demonstrate an ability to execute against its strategy before investors give the company the benefit of the doubt," said one analyst, Michael Nelson from Mizuho Securities, according to Bloomberg

The bank passed 2009 and 2010 stress tests, and still needs a bailout. How can you profit from this bad bank?

By Benzinga Oct 10, 2011 4:18PM
By Daniel Hayden IV, Benzinga Staff Writer

Dexia agreed to sell its Belgian banking retail operations to the Belgian government for 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in order to prevent the Belgian-French financial institution from going bankrupt. Dexia had recently lost access to short-term funding because of concerns over its debt holdings of troubled eurozone countries.

 

How can investors profit from this news?

 

If you're expecting to find a lifelong stock commitment, you could get burned.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 10, 2011 3:41PM

By Dan Caplinger

 

For many investors, buying stocks and holding them for the long run is the core principle they follow. Even Warren Buffett has said that "our favorite holding period is forever." But if you invest your money as if every stock you ever buy is one you'll hold forever, you're going to get burned -- because you'll often end up watching hard-earned gains dwindle to nothing.

 

A perfect picture
The most recent example of this phenomenon is Eastman Kodak (EK), which plunged last week on rumors that it would have to file for bankruptcy, potentially leaving current shareholders with a complete loss on their investment. From its heyday as a technological innovator, Dow Industrial stock, and member of the elite "Nifty Fifty" of the 1960s, the company failed to keep up with the pace of the transformation in its industry brought on by digital photography.

 

As a "forever" stock, Kodak has turned out to be a huge disappointment. But plenty of investors made lots of money on the stock.

 

Shoppers are expecting discounts this holiday, but a weak dollar and leaner inventories will pressure retailers to keep prices high.

By Kim Peterson Oct 10, 2011 3:17PM
Deep discounts and doorbuster sales helped save last year's holiday season, and sales rose 5.2% from the year before.

It's going to be much harder for stores to pull off a repeat performance this year. The National Retail Federation thinks retailers will only see a 2.8% increase in holiday sales. That could translate into tough times for stocks like Gap (GPS), Macy's (M) and other retailers. 

Crude prices are holding up better than those of other commodities, but the industry's stocks are a bargain.

By Jim Cramer Oct 10, 2011 1:14PM
the street logo

When is oil going to crash already? Isn't that the most salient question out there?


The prices of oil stocks, whether of drillers, big oil companies or independents, suggest that there is going to be a collapse in oil that will be of cataclysmic proportions.


However, you have oil companies like ConocoPhillips (COP) yielding 4% despite its breakup plans. You have oil-service companies like Halliburton (HAL), which has a shortage of employees compared with the amount of business it has, trading where it was when oil was in a free fall going toward $30 in 2007.

 

Household earnings continued to drop even after the recession ended in 2009, a new study shows.

By Kim Peterson Oct 10, 2011 12:50PM
The recession ended in June 2009 -- at least that's what the experts say.

But for many Americans, it doesn't seem that way. Part of the reason is that incomes haven't improved since the recession ended. In fact, median household income dropped more during the "economic recovery" than during the recession.

A new study from two former Census Bureau officials shows that during the recession, from December 2007 through June 2009, incomes fell 3.2%. But in the two years of recovery, starting June 2009, incomes fell 6.7%. 

The biggest generic-drug maker in the world should start to benefit from the next cycle.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 10, 2011 12:41PM
By Geoffrey Seiler, Bullmarket.com

We are adding to our position in Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), which is already a holding on our recommended buy list.

Canaccord Genuity just initiated coverage of Teva, and analyst Randall Stanicky placed a "buy" rating and $52 price target on the stock. We agree with his analysis and are making a second purchase of this beaten-down stock. 
Tags: TEVA

ETF investors will be closely following earnings, including banking, retail and technology sector reports.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 10, 2011 11:26AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. SPDR KBW Banks ETF (KBE)

 

Macroeconomic issues facing the European Union, China and other regions will continue to command headlines and steer investor sentiment. Earnings will also be in the spotlight as companies across the market spectrum report their quarterly results.

 

Banking goliath JPMorgan (JPM) is one of the first companies to step up to the plate. It has been a rough road for JPM and the rest of the financial sector as confidence wanes and many begin to question global economic growth prospects.

 

While I would encourage cautious investors to avoid turning to ETFs linked to the financials at this time, KBE will be an exciting product to watch as earnings season heats up. The fund casts a wide net over the banking sector, exposing investors to Wall Street kings like JPMorgan and Bank of America (BAC) as well as smaller regional banks.

 

A key technical measure for these shares indicates risk may be high for new buying.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 10, 2011 10:49AM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The rally from last week’s lows has been fairly impressive, as many stocks and ETFs show gains of over 10% in just a few days. Typically, sharp gains like this are more characteristic of a rally against the major trend.


Stocks are higher in early-Monday trading on new plans to support the Eurozone banks. A strong close Monday with strong A/D numbers could complete the bottom formations in the Advance/Decline (A/D) lines that we have been watching. This would put the market in a position to rally into the end of the year.


If last week’s lows in the stock market do hold, then those stocks and industry groups that are acting stronger than the market should be favored. This makes the relative performance, or RS analysis, especially important.

 

The company backtracks on separating its DVD and streaming businesses. Unfortunately, it won't be so easy to undo the damage the company has done to itself.

By InvestorPlace Oct 10, 2011 9:25AM

Updated: 4:50 p.m. ET

 

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


Netflix (NFLX) critics have been very vocal since the company's Sept. 1 move that would have separated its streaming video from DVD rentals. And it has been one wild ride for NFLX in recent weeks.


First we learned that 1 million Netflix customers defected because of the changes. Then Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stumbled through an apology and the company tactlessly revealed users would have to suffer through two websites with two billing accounts if they wanted both streaming and DVD service. The backlash was big, and shares went from more than $300 in July to as low as $108 recently.

 

Companies with a proven ability to grow earnings should be attracting more interest, a fund specialist says.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 9, 2011 12:49PM
By Jack Bowers, Fidelity Monitor

It’s been 11.5 years since growth stock values topped out in a speculative frenzy. Most of today’s large-cap growth stocks are now at the opposite end of the valuation spectrum. Investor pessimism, along with big earnings gains, has made them cheap.

Today it is easy to find good growth stocks with P/E ratios at a fraction of their projected earnings growth rate. Some of them even sell at below-market multiples. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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