There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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Time is running out for a solid rally. Be careful, and watch these key indicators over the next few weeks to see where the wind is blowing.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
Friday’s final triple-witching day of 2011 was pretty quiet overall. Despite generally good news for the U.S. economy, stocks closed lower for the week. This makes me wonder whether the Grinch has already made his bet that stocks will finish the year on a weak note.
The short-term technical picture has deteriorated, and as I discuss later, it could turn negative early this coming week if stocks fail to mount a good rally. Analysis of the Volatility Index (also known as the "fear index") in the U.S. and in Europe suggests that even the most strident bears are not expecting the market to plunge going into the end of the year.
As the overall economy improves and the industrial sector continues to grow, coal production will also notch up.
Still, we believe that coal demand in the longer term will remain strong, particularly as infrastructure investments in Asia improve production levels. This should benefit railroad companies such as CSX (CSX), Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Union Pacific (UNP).
We expect the total carloads of coal shipped via railroads in the U.S. to increase to 8.6 million by the end of our forecast period, with improving domestic coal production levels and robust demand for coal exports.
With the pharmaceutical logistics market forecast to grow 7.6% per year, UPS will be well positioned to accommodate the expansion.
The transportation firm already provides freight services for German drug maker Merck (MRK), and in the past year has invested in five new pharmaceutical processing facilities, with further deals expected. That leaves UPS well positioned for traffic for the pharmaceutical logistics market, which is forecast to grow by 7.6% per year in the near-term.
Netflix doesn't make for a very good acquisition target, with more than $3.5 billion in future content obligations.
Why? Because a Verizon-Netflix combination would be a major force to reckon with for cable operators, such as Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), who are already concerned about cord-cutters dropping subscriptions in favor of cheaper Web-based alternatives. However, questions remain about how Verizon would roll out Netflix without directly cannibalizing its own FiOS service, which brings higher user revenue.
Despite the headwinds from the eurozone crisis, and an emerging slowdown in Asia, the U.S. economy is surprising to the upside. Can it last?
Stocks have been above the waterline over the last two days, thanks to some deceivingly positive economic data. Regional factory activity surveys have crushed expectations. And weekly jobless claims dropped to levels last seen when President Bush was in the White House.
At first glance, it seems as though the United States could, just maybe, shrug off the darkness of malaise descending on Europe and Asia as the eurozone tips into a deep new recession, pulling down the Asian exporters like China and South Korea. Call it a Santa rally for a downtrodden economy.
The company plans to eventually exit subsidized solar markets completely.
It's been an outstanding turnaround story, but the best days for the chain are likely behind it.
Talk about a recipe for success. Apologize for a bad product, launch a brilliant marketing campaign to support a change, then watch your stock soar to an all-time high.
It's not the traditional route to riches, but it has certainly worked for Domino's Pizza (DPZ). The stock closed at $33.42 on Thursday, up from $15.95 at the start of the year and $2.61 in late 2008.
Even as Michael Kors and Zynga go public, all eyes are on a bigger offering.
By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times
Fashion design franchise Michael Kors made its debut Thursday after being priced late Wednesday night. So far, so good: The company’s ability to boost sales in the midst of a sluggish economy impressed investors. The stock had a solid first-day pop of 21% and closed at $24.20 a share, well above its $20 IPO price.
The sector has surprisingly outperformed all others this year, and recent market action indicates more upside.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
With only a couple weeks left in the year, there is little debate that it has been a rough year for most stock investors -- and virtually no one expected that utilities would be the strongest sector for the year.
As of Thursday’s close, the Select Sector SPDR - Utilities (XLU) was up 10.47% compared to the 2.73% decline in the Spyder Trust (SPY), which tracks the S&P 500. In total, XLU has outperformed SPY by 13%.
This David Dreman-based investment screen uncovered 10 diamonds in the rough.
The most successful gurus I follow share one striking similarity: they are contrarians. When the rest of Wall Street is zigging, they are zagging; when Wall Street zags, they zig.
One guru in particular is known for being, well, the most contrarian: David Dreman. Throughout his long career, Dreman sifted through the market's dregs in order to find hidden gems. Indeed, his Kemper-Dreman High Return Fund was one of the best-performing mutual funds ever.
Perhaps the IPO was not as highly anticipated as we thought. Investors didn't think the stock was worth more than its IPO price.
Zynga (ZNGA) began trading Friday morning after pricing its IPO at $10 a share Thursday. But for investors, that $10 price was a little too rich.
Within the first few minutes of trading, Zynga's stock quickly fell below $10 -- and it would close the day there as well. Despite all the hype leading up to the IPO, investors could not be swayed to jump in. The company originally had hoped to sell shares at $20.
Safeway is initiated with a 'sell,' while Carnival is upgraded.
Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
- Liberty Global (LBTYA) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
- Linear Technology (LLTC) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
- Amgen (AMGN) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
- Carnival (CCL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC
- Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak
Despite an ugly chart and deflation worries, the ultimate chaos we are headed for in Europe is the best thing that can happen to gold.
Is everyone who follows gold just a chartist? Doesn't it seem that way?
How many times did I hear Thursday that gold fell below key support so it must be all over? How many times did I hear that gold is finished and kaput and the gigantic move is over? If people pronounced stocks dead as often as they pronounced gold dead, the world would be betting against equities.
I come here to defend gold. First, it will be up for 11 straight years if it finishes 2011 anywhere near here. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) started the year at $138, and while it did go up to as high as $184, it's still been a terrific year for the precious metal.
The global media and entertainment company offers sound finances, a rising payout and strong management.
Walt Disney (DIS) recently announced a big 50% hike in its dividend. While the yield is still only 1.6%, the move shows the confidence of the board of directors in the company's future and that has added to my good feelings about this business.
The long-term payout for Disney is only about 20% of the 2011 free cash flow. So the company could continue to raise dividends over the next few years without any difficulty.
With unexercised options, the company could be worth as much as $8.9 billion. But the $10 price in its initial public offering is lower than Street chatter of $12 a share.
Two weeks ago, Zynga projected it would sell 100 million shares in its initial public offering for $8.50 to $10 a share.
It did. That translates into a market capitalization of $7 billion. With unexercised options, the market cap rises nearly to $8.9 billion.
But the results of Thursday's IPO had to be something of a disappointment. There was chatter on CNBC that the IPO would price at $12 a share. And Zynga originally thought it would sell its shares at $20.
A better gauge of investor sentiment about the company will come Friday when shares open for trading on Nasdaq under the ticker ZNGA.
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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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