You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Here are the real facts on foreign oil, the U.S. debt, and buying American.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 26, 2011 4:37PM

By Morgan Housel

 

At a conference in Philadelphia earlier this month, a Wharton professor noted that one of the country's biggest economic problems is a tsunami of misinformation. You can't have a rational debate when facts are so easily supplanted by overreaching statements, broad generalizations, and misconceptions. And if you can't have a rational debate, how does anything important get done? As author William Feather once advised, "Beware of the person who can't be bothered by details." There seems to be no shortage of those people lately.

 

Here are three misconceptions that need to be put to rest.

 

Misconception: Most of what Americans spend their money on is made in China.

 

The fertilizer maker announced a slight miss, but rising prices are helping Yara ride a wave that investors like to see.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 26, 2011 4:24PM
Companies such as Cummins (CMI) are reporting big positive earnings surprises for the third quarter -- 11 cents a share above consensus for Cummins, for example -- and then seeing shares get slaughtered after warning investors about weakness in the fourth quarter. (Cummins, a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio, fell 5.1% the day of its news.)

Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara International (YARIY) did just the opposite. The company announced a slight miss, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) coming in about 2% below consensus, warning investors about a weaker fourth quarter. But then it signaled a stronger fourth quarter.
 
Tags: CMIYARIY

Long-term performance is more about common sense. Hence the beauty of the Dogs of the Dow.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 26, 2011 3:11PM

By Jim Trippon, Global Profits Alert


There's a history of investor interest in the 30 stocks and their dividends that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU).


There's even an approach called "Dogs of the Dow," which Michael O'Higgins featured in his book "Beating The Dow." Its relative simplicity struck a chord with many investors.

 

While the post-earnings fallout at Amazon rivaled that of Netflix, the two companies are nothing alike.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 26, 2011 3:01PM

the streetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Amazon (AMZN) is nothing like Netflix (NFLX).

 

Despite a similar after-hours massacre following its third-quarter earnings report and a blurry fourth-quarter outlook that could turn out to be a loss, Amazon's business isn't broken like Netflix's is.

 

Ford CFO Louis Booth said the company may start paying shareholders a dividend before its credit reaches investment grade.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 26, 2011 2:54PM

By Ted Reed, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Ford (F) chief financial officer Lewis Booth says the automaker is moving toward paying a dividend.

 

Previously, Ford had said that it would like to reach investment grade before it paid a dividend. 

 

Apple's new iPhone 4S may have some owners of RIM's phone ready to jump ship, one company says.

By Kim Peterson Oct 26, 2011 2:53PM
The recent launch of the iPhone 4S appears to have triggered an unusually high number of BlackBerry trade-ins.

Gadget recycling service Gazelle says the number of BlackBerry users looking to ditch their phones has spiked 80% since last week, Cnet reports.

Apple's (AAPL) new phone contributed to the sudden urge to purge. But the recent outage of the BlackBerry email and messaging systems probably didn't help either. 

Other software companies have incorporated the slide-to-unlock system, potentially leaving themselves open to lawsuits.

By Kim Peterson Oct 26, 2011 2:07PM
If you have a smartphone, you've probably used the slide-to-unlock feature to make a call or check your mail. This week, Apple (AAPL) won the patent for that feature.

Apple first applied for the patent in 2005 (you can read the patent here), long before the first iPhone was unveiled. The idea is simple: A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. 

A Fidelity fund manager focuses on the higher-quality side of junk bonds.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 26, 2011 1:15PM
By Jim Lowell, Fidelity Investor

Investors have been selling out of junk bonds and junk bond funds based on fears of potential outcomes rather than on known fundamentals.

I'm now recommending Fidelity High Income (SPHIX) to capitalize on this currently unloved and, I think, undervalued portion of the bond market. 

Bullish signals from the oil market suggest the economy and stocks may be healthier than thought.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 26, 2011 12:38PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


December crude oil futures hit a low of $75 per barrel in early October and closed Tuesday at $93.47. This is a gain of more than 24% through Tuesday's close, while the Spyder Trust (SPY) has gained just over 14% during that time.


More importantly, the December 2011 crude contract is trading above the January 2012 contract. This is the first time this has occurred since November 2008. With crude oil moving into "backwardation" (the nearby contracts are higher than the further-out contracts), it indicates that the market believes demand will be greater than supply going forward. The December contract for 2011 is trading $1.47 above the December 2012 contract.

 
Tags: oilSPY

Investors looking to gain exposure to commodities through exchange-traded funds have a variety of choices.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 26, 2011 11:08AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Sweeping macroeconomic turmoil and looming market doubts have created a treacherous environment for commodity investors over the past few months. While the risk of an upheaval remains present, as we have seen in recent days, the fog may be lifting on hard assets.

 

At the start of the week, industrial giant Caterpillar (CAT) injected a welcomed dose of confidence into commodities. The firm noted that its mining branch had been a major contributor to its analyst-beating quarterly earnings numbers.

 

Want to know why the company had such a spectacular rise and fall? Blame management, but also blame the short-selling process.

By Jim Cramer Oct 26, 2011 9:21AM

the streetHow can Netflix (NFLX) fall and fall and fall some more over the same sagging data? How can the company be worth a small fraction of what it was just a few months ago?

 

The answer lies in short sellers and the flawed process of betting against stocks.

 

These shares meet the legendary investor's criteria.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 26, 2011 9:01AM
By John Reese, Validea

Benjamin Graham, known as "the father of value investing", inspired a number of famous "sons" -- Mario Gabelli, John Neff, John Templeton, and, most famously, Warren Buffett.

Born in England in 1894, Graham built his reputation -- and fortune -- by using an extremely conservative, low-risk approach to investing. To him, preserving one's original capital was every bit as important as netting big gains. 
Tags: DCMFRX

Don't be reeled in by the lure of these big-name blue chips.

By InvestorPlace Oct 26, 2011 8:52AM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

There's a lot of focus on low-risk blue-chip investments right now. That type of investing strategy is a good one for volatile times, and taking shelter in big-name companies with global operations and a good dividend can provide stability to your portfolio.


But don't be fooled into thinking that all the big boys are the same. Even in the vaunted Dow Jones Industrial Average, there are a number of big-name stocks that are big-time disappointments. These dead Dow stocks have caused investors more stress at a time when they are looking for stability.


If you're considering blue chips right now, make sure your shopping list steers away from these toxic investments. Here are five dead Dow stocks you can live without right now:

 

Amazon disappoints Wall Street with weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Sprint reports a smaller-than-expected loss.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 26, 2011 8:44AM

By Andrea Tse, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Amazon (AMZN) was falling Wednesday after the online retailer reported disappointing third-quarter results Tuesday.


Amazon posted earnings of $63 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $10.88 billion. The average estimate was for earnings of 24 cents on revenue of $10.95 billion. For the fourth quarter, Amazon said it could post an operating loss of as much $200 million or a profit of as much as $250 million with sales ranging from $16.45 billion to $18.65 billion. Analysts had expected net income of about $394 million, or 85 cents, on sales of $18.15 billion.

 

Millions of Americans love the seasonal sandwich, so should the fast-food giant make it a full-time product?

By Benzinga Oct 25, 2011 5:13PM

By Abe Raymond, Benzinga Staff Writer


McDonalds (MCD) has developed an almost cult-like following around its popular McRib sandwich.


Legions of fans call for the sandwich to return to the restaurant's menu every year, and are appeased when it appears for a month or so. Given its extreme popularity, would McDonald's benefit from adding the McRib to its menu full-time?

 

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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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