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

A look at the value of the US dollar in 1929 and 2008; what has changed and where that leaves us today

By Benzinga Oct 6, 2011 4:08PM
By Marco Rabinowitz, Benzinga Staff Writer

How did the purchasing power of the US dollar change in the Great Depression and the Crash of 2008 and what can this information tell us today, three years after the Crash of 2008?
 
Many have drawn parallels between the current global financial crisis and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Analysts have not been shy in claiming that the current global financial crisis is the "worst since the Great Depression." Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman even recently mentioned on his blog that he's "got that 30s feeling, all the way."
 
Tags: Benzinga

Faced with declining viewership and escalating expenses, Fox is hinting that it wants to end TV's longest-running sitcom.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2011 3:42PM
The end of "The Simpsons" is near.

Fox wants the show for only one more season at the most -- and only then if it can get it for a 25% to 30% discount, TheWrap reports. The show is too expensive for Fox, and the six main voice actors have been asked to cut their salaries nearly in half.

If the actors and 20th Century Fox Television cannot reach a deal, then the current season of "The Simpsons" will likely be its last. 
Tags: Hollywood

Turnaround stock specialist highlights 9 stocks that have raised their dividends every year for 25 years and offer yields of at least 3%.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 6, 2011 3:38PM
By George Putnam, editor The Turnaround Letter

Standard & Poor’s maintains an index it calls the “Dividend Aristocrats,” consisting of blue chip companies that have increased dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years.  

Since it is no mean feat to raise your dividend every year for 25 years, there is a strong presumption that these are very well-managed companies. 
Tags: ABTPEP

The protesters are making many good points.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 6, 2011 3:31PM
By Selena Maranjian

 

"What do we want?" "500 different things!" "When do we want it?" "Nowish!"
-- @TheTweetofGod

 

Thousands of people are occupying the Wall Street area as I type this, and have been for many days. The simplest way to describe it all is that masses of people are protesting the status quo, specifically the behavior of corporate America. The message has been compelling enough to keep drawing new people, and it's spreading to cities across America and the world. But many are mocking it, or at least chuckling at it all. Fair enough. There's some cause for head-shaking. But don't write the protests off: There's a lot of truth behind them.

 

The grievances
One criticism is that the movement has been disorganized. Well, that's not surprising, especially as it snowballs into something bigger than initially expected. Organization is happening, though, and the NYC General Assembly recently issued a "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City," listing many grievances and a few calls to action.

 

These stocks are poised to benefit from rising long-term demand.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 6, 2011 12:43PM
by Elliott Gue, Personal Finance

As household incomes increase in emerging markets, consumers are shifting their diets from rice and other basic grains to meat and fresh produce.

This change in appetites translates into rapid demand growth for agricultural commodities over the long term. Here's a quartet of agricultural names that stand a good chance of outperforming. 
Tags: DEMONPOT

The loss of Apple's co-founder at age 56 is deeply felt around the world.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2011 12:38PM
Steve Jobs talked of making a "dent in the universe." He might have looked at the world Thursday and called the mission accomplished.

Apple (AAPL) fans mourned Jobs' death in an outpouring of grief unprecedented for a corporate executive. People who had never met the man choked up and placed flowers and handwritten messages at Apple stores. Others created makeshift memorials at Apple's Northern California headquarters.

In Tokyo, fans painted messages for Jobs on red apples. At a Hong Kong vigil, people displayed a flickering candle app on their iPhones. In China, Apple users posted millions of messages on microblogging sites. 

Upstarts look to swat Facebook from its lofty perch, but the social network may be its own worst enemy.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2011 12:34PM

By Joe Mont, TheStreetTheStreet

 

It must feel pretty good to be Facebook. It has some 700 million users worldwide, out-clicks the rest of the Web, including Google (GOOG) -- Google -- and buzz has even started about using Facebook as a search engine.

 

But there remain skeptics. Some might point to MySpace, since in 2007 an estimated one in five Americans used the site, or even to Friendster, once 100 million-strong and now with about 1.5 million users since rebranding as a gaming site (and expunging all older user profiles and content along the way).

 

What did in Friendster, aside from some internal politics, was failing to listen to user feedback, and to some that sounds like Facebook now.

 

Total assets in exchange-traded funds and notes fell below $1 trillion for the first time since January.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2011 11:38AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Shaky market action weighed on exchange-traded products over the past month.

 

According to the flow data compiled by the National Stock Exchange, total ETF/ETN assets dipped by $90 billion in September, closing out the month at $972 billion. This is the first time assets have broken below the $1 trillion mark since January. September's assets marked a decline of more than $160 billion since April's peak.

 

Despite the overall decline in assets, the total universe of exchange-traded funds and notes continues to expand. Over the past month, 34 new products were added, bringing the total number of ETFs and ETNs to 1,335.

 

These drug stocks show good relative strength, a global presence, and pay sizable dividends, a highly productive recipe.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 6, 2011 10:27AM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The big drug companies have shown some of the best relative performance, or RS analysis, since the August lows. Equally important is that most surged with the market this week as they continued to act better than most stocks.


Of the four stocks that I have selected, all have very attractive yields that from their financials appear to be quite safe. 


Another important factor, in my opinion, is a robust presence in some of the overseas markets which have the best demographics, like the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Once the emerging economies start to expand again, these drug companies should be well positioned to profit.

 

Hoarding cash isn't any safer.

By InvestorPlace Oct 6, 2011 10:05AM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

You might think it’s a stupid idea to buy stocks right now. And I’ll admit, things are a bit bleak. Seasonal hiring is disappointing, and unemployment remains stubbornly high. Inflation is eroding family budgets, while wages and personal income are stagnant. Debt woes in Europe are in focus, but the "supercommittee" ensures that debt problems in America will be the subject of ridicule sometime soon.


It’s indeed ugly on Wall Street. September saw us shed about 4% from all of the major indexes, and if we hadn’t seen some big up days last week, we could have languished at lows that were off about 6% on the month. And who knows what October will bring after a flop earlier this week and a rally off the lows in the past two days.


But the risk you should be focusing on right now isn’t the risk of owning stocks. No, the real risk could be what will happen if you are not invested in the market.


Here are three reasons you should stop fretting and start investing now, with opportunities to prove the point to consider:

 

The uniquely American Apple visionary transcended even our greatest industrialists, from Ford to Rockefeller, making the impossible simple.

By Jim Cramer Oct 6, 2011 8:53AM

the streetWho was Steve Jobs? Was he our Henry Ford? Let’s see, Ford did create a car for the masses, he made it possible for every American to afford a vehicle, which democratized transportation.

 

Was he our Sam Walton? Perhaps. Walton created a national chain of stores that democratized what it took to get a job in this country. Walton offered affordable clothing for men and women and children. The impact? You could look for a job and no one could judge you, because you looked like all of those who had made it.

 

Fewer golden parachutes and more vision are needed for corporate America to make a comeback.

By InvestorPlace Oct 5, 2011 10:22PM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


By now you've surely heard that Steve Jobs, the visionary behind Apple (AAPL), has passed away.


There will be a million legacy stories written about the passing of Apple's front man, but the one I hope gets the most attention by investors is the story of Steve Jobs the CEO -- a true leader at a time when many people in corner offices are frankly not worthy of the post.


We need more leadership in corporate America right now and fewer golden parachutes.

 

Investors may be able to put the fear on hold and actually see what earnings season has to say.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 5, 2011 6:08PM
Wednesday, the U.S. stock market paid attention to sectors. Technology was up. Financials were down.

I think that’s good news for investors are we head into earnings season, with Alcoa (AA) kicking off third-quarter reports after the close next Tuesday.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) closed Wednesday up 2.1%. That performance
is a major reason that the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite ($COMPX), which closed up 2.3%, outperformed the S&P 500 ($INX) and the Dow Jones Industrials ($INDU) Wednesday.
 
Tags: EMCFFIV

As long as pension funds are continually allocating ever more money into commodities, they will drive the price up. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

By Benzinga Oct 5, 2011 4:22PM
By John Thorpe, Benzinga Staff Writer

If there were ever an official league for screw-ups, Wall Street and Congress would earn perfect attendance awards nearly every year. It seems like everything they do to "fix" some flaw in the system only serves to create two new problems down the road. (Guess who pays the bill each and every time?)


This cycle of inept intervention is described in greater detail by Dr. Randy Wray, a respected economist at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, as he describes the across-the-board increase in commodity prices in recent years.

 
Tags: Benzinga

Denmark recently became the first country to implement a tax on saturated fats, and other countries are likely to follow.

By Kim Peterson Oct 5, 2011 3:56PM
Eating fatty foods just got a little pricier in Denmark.

The country is the first to slap a tax on saturated fats. Now, residents will pay about 12 cents more for a bag of chips, 39 cents more for a small package of butter and 40 cents more for a hamburger, one Danish group calculated. Hungary also recently implemented a tax on soft drinks, pastries and salty snacks.

The movement could spread to other countries; Finland and Romania could soon follow suit. Governments around the world are desperate for cash, and the tax is one way to raise more money while appearing to take a stand on public health. 
Tags: MCDPEP

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