Image: Bank Vault (© Corbis/Corbis)
Up next: Biggest bank IPO ever

It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


Amid a narrow, low-volume, liquidity-driven uptrend, traders hop from sector to sector.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Feb 7, 2012 2:11PM

Stocks have been flat-lining this week on a cavalcade of headlines out of Greece as leaders there try desperately to find a solution to an increasingly implacable problem. Leaders need to make even deeper budget cuts to satisfy their taskmasters in Germany and Brussels and at the International Monetary Fund. All is being done to unlock needed rescue funding before the country runs out of money in March.


But the coalition government in Athens is also pressured by domestic politics, with a major protest demonstration scheduled for Tuesday -- setting the stage for a dramatic climax to months of deliberations.


The 'littlest' big bank is on a tear in 2012.

By InvestorPlace Feb 7, 2012 2:09PM
Image: Piggy bank (© Corbis)By Dan Burrows

Is Wells Fargo (WFC) the Rodney Dangerfield of the nation's biggest banks? It sure seems like the firm gets no respect.

After all, Wells Fargo is the country's fourth-biggest bank by assets, after JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C). Heck, it's larger than high-profile Wall Street titans Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS). And yet too often Wells Fargo seems to fall through the cracks when it comes to consideration of financial sector stocks.


Rumor has it that the premier online retailer is taking a page from Apple and opening a retail 'boutique' in Seattle. Does this compute? The critics weigh in.

By Feb 7, 2012 1:44PM

Image: Woman making purchase (© Tim Pannell/Corbis)Online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) will open its first retail store in just a few short months, according to Michael Kozlowski at Good E-Reader.

Citing "Amazon sources close to the situation," Kozlowski says the company is planning to take the "small boutique route," opening a high-end, Apple-like shop in Seattle that focuses on Amazon Exclusives books, Kindle e-readers and tablets, and other accessories. If the store is a hit, Amazon would expand nationwide. This is clearly still just a rumor, but even if Amazon isn't truly thinking of getting physical, should it be?


The economy of the People's Republic may be slowing, but the country's appetite for KFC continues to grow.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 7, 2012 1:33PM
Image: Noodles (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Hard or soft? That's been the big question surrounding the slowdown expected in China, the great hope of the global economy.

Worries that the Chinese economy may be in for a "hard" landing -- one that would leave it unable to buoy other regions of the world -- were fueled by the news Monday that the International Monetary Fund slashed its estimate for China's growth for this year to 8.25% from 9%. That lower estimate -- a contrast to the 9.2% growth recorded in 2011 -- would be the logical result of weakening exports as the economic climate in Europe deteriorates. 

Technology stocks have been all over the place in the past few years. But this one looks set for big things in the long term.

By Feb 7, 2012 1:11PM

Image: Clouds in a blue sky (© Purestock/Getty Images) (CRM) will become even more of a battleground stock in 2012.

We started to see some of this last year. The bulls and bears have very strong opinions about this cloud-based provider of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. After ending 2010 at $132, up 78.9%, shares climbed higher still to $160.12 in July 2011, but then finished the year down 23%. 


Durables makers have led this market higher and could make even more hay if recent trends hold up.

By Feb 7, 2012 12:32PM

Image: Road (© Frank Whitney/Brand X/Corbis)By Igor Greenwald,

Clint Eastwood and Chrysler aren't the only ones who think the world "is going to hear the roar of our engines" very soon.

Strong spending on durable goods by businesses and consumers has been perhaps the most encouraging economic trend of all, while the turbo-charged performance of related shares has added lots of mileage to the market rally.


AMD is upgraded to 'buy,' while Urban Outfitters is downgraded to 'sell.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 7, 2012 12:27PM
Information provided by

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Charles Schwab (SCHW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group
  • HCP Inc. (HCP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus
  • AMD (AMD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow

Shares of the real thing remain cheap.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 7, 2012 12:05PM
 Image Source/PhotolibraryCoca-Cola (KO) is it -- at least as far as investors are concerned.

The iconic beverage maker on Tuesday reported better-than-expected quarterly results, fueled by strong growth in emerging markets such as China and India. Shares were up in early trading. The stock has risen about 9% over the past 52 weeks. 

The carrier is mitigating fuel cost pressures with capacity improvements and synergies.

By Trefis Feb 7, 2012 10:58AM
Tetra Images/CorbisIn the recently released FY 2011 annual financial results, most U.S. airlines revealed that they are seeing stable leisure and corporate travel demand trends.

Major U.S. legacy carriers, including United Continental (UAL) and Delta Airline (DAL), were able to report a profit in fiscal 2011. This despite a challenging year for the U.S. and global economies, marked by high unemployment, slow GDP growth, volatile jet fuel prices and the debt crises in Europe. However, capacity discipline, fare hikes and re-fleeting decisions have contributed to top-line growth and helped mitigate fuel cost pressures. 
Tags: DALual

After hitting a 52-week high last week, shares next target is the 5-year high.

By Feb 7, 2012 10:29AM

Image Source/Getty ImagesBy Tracey Ryniec
Macy's, Inc. (M) has been on a roll since the Great Recession. Shares of this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) now have their eye on the 5-year high after hitting a 52-week high last week. Yet there's still plenty of value. Macy's is trading at just 11x forward estimates.

Macy's operates 850 department stores under the brands Macy's and Bloomingdale's in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

It also is an online retailer using the websites and

Tags: M

The former head of retail operations at Apple is now trying his hand at transforming the company.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 7, 2012 9:49AM
By Mike Cintolo, Cabot Top Ten Trader

For our latest Editor's Choice, we're selecting a stock that recently broke out of an eight-month base on humongous volume.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is far from being a growth stock, but the market seems convinced that it’s on the cusp of a powerful turnaround. Indeed, the company is just embarking on an aggressive turnaround plan. Actually, it’s more of a total transformation, and so far investors like what they’re hearing.   
Tags: JCP

Will the company be able to succeed amid signs of an economic slowdown?

By Benzinga Feb 6, 2012 11:10PM

Image: Credit card (© Imagemore/Getty Images)By Samuel Richter

Citigroup (C) has announced that it will be the first Western bank to issue credit cards in China. Currently, the only foreign bank allowed to offer its own credit cards in China is the Bank of East Asia (BKEAY) in Hong Kong.

The Chinese credit card market is dominated by domestic banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (IDCBY) and China Construction Bank (CICHY), which have been facing challenges recently from a deflating property market and troubles in Europe, which may stall Chinese growth.


Investors have multiple ways to succeed this year, if they understand how the lingering effects of deleveraging are colliding with emerging forces of inflation.

By Feb 6, 2012 6:31PM

Image: Inflation (© Nick Koudis/Getty Images)By Charles Githler, chairman,

The worst is over for investors, and an improving environment awaits us in 2012, according to the MoneyShow experts who proved most accurate last year. Nor will the European sovereign debt crisis whipsaw the markets with last year’s ferocity.

The bad news: Our old friend, inflation, is still on its way back.

Its return was our top forecast last year.


Exxon and BP forecast that electric cars and hybrids will account for only 4% to 5% of the global fleet in the next few decades.

By Trefis Feb 6, 2012 6:24PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)Despite high pump prices pushing consumers to reduce spending -- and renewing calls for the U.S. to reduce its dependence on imported oil -- gasoline and diesel will continue to be the dominant fuels in passenger transport at least until 2040, according to forecasts from Exxon Mobil (XOM) and British Petroleum (BP).

Both companies released projections for the next two to three decades, and forecast that electric cars and hybrids will make up 4% to 5% of the global fleet even after decades of development. These forecasts are at odds with projections by independent consultants like McKinsey and government targets, which see electric vehicles taking on a much bigger role in transportation in the future. 
Tags: bpXOM

The company has been as steady as anyone could hope, but that doesn't mean it's a good time to buy, especially if you're just looking at price charts.

By Feb 6, 2012 6:19PM

By Julie Carnevale,

McDonald's (MCD) has a consistent record of growing earnings at double-digit rates, and the market tends to price the company's shares within reasonable variations of its earnings achievements.

But is McDonald's is too expensive to buy or hold at current prices?

Tags: MCD


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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