Wild market ride is just beginning
Wild market ride is just beginning

October is known for above-average volatility, though the reasons are unclear. Expect more of the same this time around.


The stock is downgraded to 'underperform' by a prominent analyst who says the company is broken.

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2011 3:55PM
Updated 4:35 p.m. ET

On a day when stocks soared, Netflix's (NFLX) drop was particularly jarring.

The stock just can't catch a break after passing $300 in July. Its plunge since then has been breathtaking, with shares closing at $64.53 Wednesday.

The day's fall was triggered largely by a downgrade from one of the more prominent analysts covering the stock. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan said in a research note to investors that the company is broken. 
Tags: NFLX

Increasing competition in its core business has forced the company to offer value-add services to augment its product portfolio and protect margins.

By Trefis Nov 30, 2011 3:11PM
Akamai (AKAM) may be planning to buy software company Cotendo for more than $300 million, according to a report published in the Calcalist Financial daily Sunday.

Cotendo, a smaller Israeli rival which competes with Akamai for value-added services, was founded in 2008 and launched in March of last year. The company has raised more than $36 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital and other investors, and also has the backing of strategic partners such as Citrix, Juniper (JNPR), Google (GOOG) and AT&T (T). 

But a few are more likely to sell than others. Here are some names.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 30, 2011 3:08PM

Image: Pills (© Corbis)By Brian Orelli


Another day, another buyout rumor. Monday, it was Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) that jumped after Bloomberg said the company was in the early stages of exploring the possibility of putting itself up for sale. Before that it wasAchillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN). And BioSante Pharmaceuticals (BPAX) before that. The rumor list is a mile long.


Here's a news flash for you: Every public biotech could be sold at any point.


New credit downgrades to a number of banks by S&P and still-negative chart patterns mean Bank of America and Citigroup are still very much out of favor.

By MoneyShow.com Nov 30, 2011 2:43PM

Image: bank ATM (© Image Source/Corbis/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

After the stock market close on Tuesday, S&P downgraded 15 big banks to reflect the results of its new credit criteria. Though many of the banks had been prepared for a downgrade, others immediately wondered about the impact on a fragile stock market.

The low-volume decline last week followed by Monday’s strong surge has kept the rally from the October lows intact, but it order to reverse the negative momentum, a strong weekly close is needed.


Bargain-shopping will never save us, and spending isn't as strong as some would believe.

By InvestorPlace Nov 30, 2011 1:46PM

Image: Santa Claus (© Corbis)By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

A lot of hay has been made lately about the return of American consumers and the resurgence of retail. Yes, holiday sales got off to a bang as shoppers spent a record $52.4 billion over the Black Friday weekend -- up 16.4% from 2010. Yes, Cyber Monday sales also blew the virtual doors off, if early projections of $1.2 billion hold true.

But let's not fool ourselves. Unemployment remains above 9%. Serious debt woes continue to plague America and Europe. And the broader economic troubles lurk like an unrepentant Scrooge.


The much-awaited offering of the online gaming company may not be as overpriced as you might expect.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 30, 2011 1:21PM

Image: Couple with laptop (© Daly and Newton/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Got an avid FarmVille player among your family members or Facebook friends? The much-ballyhooed initial public offering of online gaming company Zynga (which counts FarmVille among its offerings) is apparently finally on track for the week before Christmas.

You might want to consider giving shares in the company in the hopes that the FarmVille players on your list will recoup some of what they've paid to Zynga for "gold" and other virtual items.

Tags: IPO

The increases show that the shipping company is confident in its business and its per-package revenue growth.

By Trefis Nov 30, 2011 1:06PM
UPS (UPS) has outlined details of its 2012 rate hike, which includes a net increase of 4.9% on all domestic and international packages.

The higher rates incorporate a reduction in fuel surcharges, which will fall by one percentage point for ground packages and two percentage points for domestic and international air mail. Freight charges are also set to rise, with next-day air freight and two-day air freight facing an increase of 5.9%. Three-day freight charges will remain unchanged. 
Tags: FDXups

If the Supreme Court says yes, it could cost the industry billions.

By Melly Alazraki Nov 30, 2011 12:59PM

Labor disputes are common in the auto and airline industries but not so much in the pharmaceutical sector. Yet a dispute between pharmaceutical companies and their drug reps could have such serious implications for the entire industry that both sides petitioned the Supreme Court to take on a current case. On Monday the petition was granted.

The court is now set to decide whether GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has to pay overtime benefits to its sales representatives. What the court decides will have ramifications for similar cases against other Big Pharmas, including Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to name a few.


Could the social-networking site handle a massive offering all by itself?

By Jonathan Berr Nov 30, 2011 12:40PM
Image: Stock market Traders (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Facebook's $10 billion initial public offering, expected next year, is the among the most eagerly anticipated deals in recent memory. Wall Street bankers, though, may be sitting on the sidelines.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman "has told bankers he is skeptical about the value bankers could bring to such a deal." That nugget, courtesy of anonymous sources, was designed to make the masters of the universe who arrange multi-billion dollar deals quake in their $695 Gucci loafers. It probably worked. 

Though the insurance company has been facing headwinds, there are long-term reasons for investor optimism.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 30, 2011 11:16AM
Image: Insurance (© Hemera/age fotostock)By Richard Moroney, Dow Theory Forecasts

Aflac (AFL) ought to be reveling in its own success. As the top seller of cancer and medical insurance products in Japan, Aflac produces predictable cash flows from premiums on these policies.

But the shares have been volatile, reflecting its fight against the currents of Japan’s natural disaster and Europe’s debt crisis.

The company has grown sales 7% and per-share profits 14% over the last year, and expectations are for modest growth in 2012 (8% in sales and 4% in per-share profits). 
Tags: AFL

A coordinated intervention by the world's central banks to pump money and liquidity into the system suggests things in Europe are worse than we thought.

By Jim Cramer Nov 30, 2011 10:56AM

the street

Image: Bank Vault (© Radius Images/Jupiterimages)Things are much worse than I thought. For me, that's the real takeaway from this financial D-Day, this worldwide coordination from wealthier countries to help major banks in Europe that were clearly about to go under.


Remember, there were two risks to the situation: credit to the banks and credit to the countries. Apparently the credit had all but dried up for SocGen, for BNPParibas and maybe even for Deutsche Bank (DB). Now that credit will be freed up.


Zacks ranks this specialty retailer a strong buy and expects to see double digit earnings growth this year.

By Zacks.com Nov 30, 2011 10:45AM

By: Tracey Ryniec


Genesco Inc. (GCO), a specialty shoe and hat retailer, is in the sweet spot for retailing. This Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) is expected to see double digit earnings growth this year. Shares recently soared to a new multi-year high. But surprisingly, GCO is also a value stock, with a forward P/E of 14.7.


Being involved in retail since 1924, Genesco has seen its share of both good and bad economies. Headquartered in Nashville, it now operates 2,225 footwear and headwear retail stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

Tags: GCO

The company notched an impressive gain Tuesday after telling analysts it would target DIY customers.

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2011 9:27AM
Image: Woman Using a Spirit Level on a Sink in a Domestic Bathroom (© Alex Wilson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Home Depot (HD) shares saw a 5% gain Tuesday, a performance that handily beat all the other components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU).

This stock is on a roll, rising nearly 15% in the past three months.

You'd think the company wouldn't be faring all that well. The housing market is dismal, with home prices continuing to drop. Homeowners are cash-strapped, with little money budgeted for major renovation projects. 

A single error on the company’s part can lead to dire consequences for small-scale merchants.

By Trefis Nov 30, 2011 8:16AM
Groupon's (GRPN) key pitch to merchants and small businesses is that it's the perfect alternative to traditional advertising in the newspaper and on television. However, the recent case where a U.K. bakery lost some $20,000 on a Groupon deal highlights how the company's daily-coupon structure can potentially be dangerous, especially for businesses with high marginal costs.

Groupon shares closed Tuesday at $16.01 -- well below the company's Nov. 4 IPO price of $20. 

By rejecting a settlement between Citigroup and the SEC, a Federal judge seems to have struck a blow for transparency and investor protection. But the ruling could backfire.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 29, 2011 6:53PM

By  Suzanne McGee

Maybe the Occupy Wall Street movement is making everyone just a little bit more thoughtful about the roles and responsibilities of both the financial services industry and its regulators toward investors.


At least, that’s one possible conclusion we can draw from the unexpected decision by Judge Jed Rakoff, of the  Federal District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, to nix the proposed $285 million settlement between the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Citigroup over allegations that the bank didn’t disclose to investors that it was involved in selecting investments for a mortgage-bond investment pool -- as it continued to sell those investments short.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new week on a cautious note. The S&P 500 lost 0.3%, but managed to erase more than half of its opening decline. Thanks to the rebound, the benchmark index reclaimed its 50-day moving average (1976.78) after slipping below that level in the morning.

Equities slumped at the open amid a couple global developments that dampened the overall risk appetite. Continued student protests in Hong Kong and a potential response from China weighed on the ... More


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