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Technical methods identified the strongest and weakest sectors last year, and now they predict the best buying opportunities ahead.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 6, 2012 1:58PM

Image: Stock index © Image Source/Getty ImagesBy Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

The sector performance in 2011 further illustrates the year’s volatility. Many sectors had a few strong quarters, but the yearly performance numbers do not reflect the wide price swings.

Since the S&P 500 and its tracking exchange-traded fund (ETF) Spyder Trust (SPY) were essentially flat for the year, all the other Select Sector SPDR ETFs, except for Financials (XLF), Materials (XLB), and Industrials (XLI), performed better.


Treatments for myelofibrosis and arthritis could make biotech a takeover target for Big Pharma.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 6, 2012 1:56PM
Image: Pills (© Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStock/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By John McCamant, The Medical technology Stock Letter

Incyte (INCY) is our top stock selection for 2012.  The Delaware company is a leader in developing small molecule drugs for cancer and inflammation.   
Tags: INCY

Housing plays are rising, including the venerable paint supplier and a faucet maker backed by a top hedge fund manager.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 6, 2012 1:28PM

Image: Woman Using a Spirit Level on a Sink in a Domestic Bathroom (© Alex Wilson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com

Stocks go up, stocks go down, and most of the time it means nothing at all. Much of the trading these days is done by computers scalping pennies over microseconds, and if the past year proved anything at all, it's that most of the apparent patterns generated by the hyperactive machines can't be trusted.

One day a stock is a breakout candidate, and then suddenly it's trashed. Just as the charts look like a lost cause, the market rockets higher.


Here's why shareholders are still unlikely to get any of the company's ever-mounting cash hoard.

By InvestorPlace Jan 6, 2012 12:48PM
By Kevin Kelleher, Technology and Markets Contributor

Apple investors should be some of the happiest shareholders on Wall Street. And for the most part, they are. But when it comes to the question of dividends, the gratitude vanishes.

Year after year, Apple (AAPL) investors ask about a dividend. Year after year, Apple declines to offer one, rewarding shareholders instead with handsome returns in its stock value. Apple returned investors more than 25% in 2011, a year when the rest of the market basically flat-lined.


Good earnings, Calvin Klein expansion and short interest could spur a rally.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 6, 2012 12:38PM
Image: Young woman clothes shopping (© Image Source/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Todd Salamone, Schaeffer's Investment Research

In early December, G-III Apparel Group (GIII) reported quarterly earnings of $2.16 per share as year-over-year revenues rose 13.3%.  
Tags: GIII

The company plans to more than double its number of outlets over next 20 years. Baskin Robbins expands in Asia.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 6, 2012 12:36PM

DonutsBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times


Coffee addicts and policemen in quest of a donut fix in the Northeast are familiar with Dunkin' Donuts because that's where most of the chain's 7,000 U.S. outlets are.

Now, six months after its IPO, parent company Dunkin’ Brands Group (DNKN) has announced plans for a vast, long-term expansion. The company will more than double its number of locations over the next two decades, taking it into regions of the country where it isn’t currently a force. That will mean going head to head with Starbucks (SBUX), of course, but that doesn’t seem to deter Dunkin’ Brands’ management team. After all, fans of its coffee and donuts in Seattle -- Starbuck's backyard -- took to Twitter on Thursday to plead with Dunkin’ Donuts to open up shop in the Emerald City. (The last outlet was shuttered a decade ago.) As one Tweeter put it, "Seattle is waiting for their Dunkin' Donuts. WHERE ARE THEY?" 

Traveleres and JC Penney are upgraded to 'outperform,' while Kohl's and Nordstrom are cut to 'hold.'

By MSN Money Partner Jan 6, 2012 12:18PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Travelers (TRV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Cerner (CERN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • SanDisk (SNDK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • SunTrust (STI) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie and to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer

Alcoa and Target have disappointed investors even before reporting quarterly results.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 6, 2012 11:50AM
Earnings season hasn't started yet, and already investors are being bombarded with bad news even as signs continue to emerge that the economy is recovering.

Alcoa (AA), which unofficially kicks off earnings season next week, set the downbeat tone Thursday when it announced plans to shutter an idled aluminum smelter in Tennessee and reduce operations at a Texas plant as part of a planned 12% reduction in capacity. When it finally reports Monday, the company, which obviously lives and dies by aluminum prices, is expected to post its worst results since 2009. 

The company once hoped for double its current market cap. Here's how it might just get there.

By Trefis Jan 6, 2012 11:15AM
Photodisc/SuperStockHaving occupied the position of the largest player in the social commerce space, Groupon (GRPN) has always been in the news for both the right and wrong reasons. One of the main critiques has been the firm's business strategy and its impact on the valuation. After rejecting a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google (GOOG) in December 2010, Groupon's expected valuation was as high as $25 billion earlier last year before estimates finally fell to around the $11 billion to $12 billion range.

While Groupon has had its share of mistakes, including criticisms on its creative (and supposedly confusing) accounting metrics as well as PR mishaps, we try to explore a couple of scenarios that could propel the company closer to the original expected valuation of $25 billion. We recently launched coverage on our analysis of Groupon with a $8.6 billion valuation estimate

The miner looks cheap regardless of the outlook for copper.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 6, 2012 10:58AM
Image: Gold Bars (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Kevin McElroy, Global Commodity Investment

One of my favorite blue-chip commodity stocks is on sale again. Freeport McMoRan (FCX) currently has more superlatives than a high school yearbook. 
Tags: FCXgold

This signals long entry opportunities.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 6, 2012 10:24AM

 Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesBy Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Many investors are likely aware of the term golden cross, which is defined as a short-term moving average (MA) crossing a longer-term moving average. Most often, this refers to the 50- and 200-day moving averages.

On Jan. 3, the 50-day MA for the SPDR Diamond Trust (DIA), the primary Dow-Tracking ETF, crossed above the 200-day MA. The 50-day had been below the 200-day since Aug. 24, 2011.


Unless the company starts to serve third-party resellers better, it will begin to lose market share.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 6, 2012 10:16AM

Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Thomas Kee, guest columnist


In all industries, across all demographics and within every business segment, one thing remains crystal clear. Businesses must serve their customers or their customers will go elsewhere. 


In the case of Apple (AAPL), the demise of the growth rate of what was once one of the best on the planet is happening in front of our eyes. Unless Apple starts to serve its customers better, it will begin to materially lose market share and revenue and earnings projections will come down aggressively.


These 3 picks are among oil shares that should outperform.

By Gene Marcial Jan 6, 2012 10:00AM
Comstock/CorbisIf the stock market stays true to its historical pattern during presidential election years, one important group that investors should go for is energy stocks.

As a group, these shares have been outstanding performers during those important periods since 1972, gaining an average 15.6% and outperforming the average 5.9% gain for the S&P 500.  

The graphics king began its serious push into mobile computing last year and showed ambitions of becoming much more than a graphics chip maker.

By Trefis Jan 6, 2012 9:24AM
Nvidia (NVDA) had several significant developments in 2011, accompanied by some wide swings in its stock price. While the company made some significant announcements on the product development side, it also had to face the aftermath of product advancements from Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD). This past year Nvidia began its serious push into mobile computing and showed ambitions of becoming much more than a graphics chip maker.

Our price estimate for Nvidia stands at $20.91, implying a premium of about 50% to the market price.


Utilities are the best small-cap sector right now. Here are some standouts to watch.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 5, 2012 6:15PM

Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)By Kate Stalter, MoneyShow.com

The top-performing sector from the S&P SmallCap 600 in 2011 was utilities -- not particularly surprising, given that investors were seeking yield, as well as putting money into reliable defensive names.

With Europe likely to roil markets for the foreseeable future, and investors continuing to fret about the economy, defensives and dividend payers should remain in favor as 2012 trading gets under way this week.

One top technical performer heading into the new year is El Paso Electric (EE), which provides service to customers in Texas and New Mexico.



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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -4.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.80. U.S. equity futures remain below their flat lines, which has been the case through the course of the night. If the current indication holds, the S&P 500 will take a step back after climbing 1.4% during the first two sessions of the week.

There was no market-moving data released this morning, but the FOMC will reveal the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 14:00 ET. Due to the ... More


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