5 reasons the market is seeing red
5 reasons the market is seeing red

Geopolitical crises are taking a toll on stocks as we head into the seasonally weak month of August.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Germany and France's push for a tax on each stock, bond and derivative trade garners support among financial professionals.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 26, 2012 9:23AM
By Sarah Anderson

 

The leaders of France and Germany may have their differences on the big question of the day -- stimulus versus austerity. But they do agree on one thing -- taxing financial transactions.

 

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was hot on the idea of a small tax on each trade of stocks, derivatives, and other financial instruments. But his successor, François Hollande, is even hotter.

 

The media company is reportedly considering splitting into two companies, and the social giant named another board member.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 26, 2012 8:52AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

News Corp. (NWSA) is considering splitting into two companies, separating its smaller publishing business from its entertainment businesses, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. The split would carve off such assets as 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel from News Corp.'s newspapers, book publishing assets and education businesses. News Corp. owns the Journal.

A final decision on the split hasn't been made, according to the Journal. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has previously opposed such a move, but has recently warmed to the idea, said one person familiar with the situation.

 

Why? Movies, TV and cable generate most of the company's income. The publishing business, which includes The Wall Street Journal, isn't growing nearly as quickly.

By Charley Blaine Jun 26, 2012 3:24AM

Updated: 6:17 p.m. ET.

The markets are telling media baron Rupert Murdoch to get out of print: books and newspapers.

That's the real meaning of a story in The Wall Street Journal that says Murdoch's News Corp. (NWSA) is considering splitting into two pieces. One would contain News Corp.'s film and television businesses, including the Fox Broadcasting Network and the Fox News Channel. 
 
The other, smaller piece would contain the company's newspaper and publishing businesses, including Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Journal, plus newspapers in England and Australia. and book publisher HarperCollins book publishing. Their sin: Revenue growth is slow, and the group isn't nearly as profitable as the other parts of the company.

 

News Corp. later confirmed that the issue is being studied and a decision on the idea may come on Thursday.

 

The company plans to cut prices in some regions to clear through some stocks.

By Kim Peterson Jun 25, 2012 5:26PM
Image: Magnyfying glass (© Creatas/SuperStock)Nike (NKE) has seen an unexpected buildup in its inventories this year, which is worrying some investors as the company tries to unload those extra goods.

The inventory number will be one of the most watched figures coming out of the company's earnings report Thursday. Nike has already said that inventories were especially high in Europe and China, and it will discount some products to clear through the stock. 

Shares may push lower as costs rise and earnings growth slows.

By Jim J. Jubak Jun 25, 2012 4:53PM
Image: Businessman in China (© Brooklyn Production/Corbis)I hate it when fundamentals mess up a good swing trade. Unfortunately, that's just what has happened recently with shares of Baidu (BIDU). Earlier in 2012, you could have made good, and relatively low-risk, money by buying the shares whenever they fell near $115 and selling when they went over $135. Over and over again.

But I wouldn't advise this trade now because the fundamentals of Baidu and the rest of China's Internet sector have changed -- for the worse in the short term. Because of increased competition in the relatively new mobile space, China's Internet leaders are waging an expensive war for market share. That's likely to push the shares of Baidu and competitors such as Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) lower as costs rise and earnings growth slows.
 

The strong shift to natural gas power generation has the potential to improve the company's margins.

By Trefis Jun 25, 2012 4:00PM
TrefisImage: Electrical plug (© Jupiterimages/Getty Images/Getty Images)Duke Energy (DUK) derives most of its value through its U.S. franchised electric and gas business that accounts for nearly 84% of our $25 price estimate for the company's stock.

Duke reported sound growth in domestic customer addition in its recently announced first-quarter results. Additionally, it also benefited from increasing electricity tariffs, especially in the Carolinas. A noteworthy emerging trend in the U.S. power generation market is the shift to natural gas power generation, and that has potential for margin improvements. 
Tags: DUK

Reports claim the company colluded with EnCana to keep land prices down in Michigan.

By Benzinga Jun 25, 2012 3:23PM

By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer


Chesapeake Energy (CHK), the natural-gas and oil exploration and production company, and CEO Aubrey McClendon may be in hot water again. A Reuters report Monday says Chesapeake may have colluded with Canadian competitor EnCana (ECA) to keep land prices down in Michigan.


The news service examined a series of emails that appeared to suggest that the two companies were plotting to avoid "bidding each other up."

 

Does any other brand command the same level of devotion?

By Kim Peterson Jun 25, 2012 2:45PM
Image: Apple logo © BECK DIEFENBACH//ReutersApple (AAPL) has legions of rabid fans, and their devotion is very strong.

A new survey by Mizuho Securities finds that 95% of people who use only Macs say their next purchase will be another Mac. That's not too surprising, as these people were already diehard Mac fans.

But Mizuho also interviewed people who own both Mac and Windows computers. Of that group, 70% said their next computer would be another Mac. Barron's reported the Mizuho survey Monday. 
Tags: AAPLMSFT

The extension of Operation Twist makes stocks that pay a healthy dividend more attractive than ever.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Jun 25, 2012 2:05PM

Image: Federal Reserve Building (© Hisham Ibrahim/Corbis)By Eric McWhinnie, Wall St. Cheat Sheet


The Federal Reserve recently announced  it would extend Operation Twist, a program where the central bank sells short-term securities and buys long-term securities. The Fed also reiterated its stance to keep interest rates exceptionally low through at least late 2014.


While the moves are aimed at boosting the economy, they are another blow to those seeking yield.

 

The smartphone developer could be selling its handset business in a rumored company separation.

By Benzinga Jun 25, 2012 1:36PM
By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer

Reports surfaced over the weekend that distressed smartphone distributor Research In Motion Limited (RIMM) might soon be splitting into two businesses. The company's handset category may be separated from its messaging network and sold off to large-cap tech companies, if the rumors prove to be true.


According to Reuters, Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) could conceivably scoop up the handset portion of Research In Motion's brand. However, the company could choose to take matters in a completely different direction and allow Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) to get in on the sale.

 

Stocks fall as 2 more European nations officially request aid from the EU.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 25, 2012 1:10PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Chesapeake Energy
(CHK) shares sank about 9% after Reuters said the company plotted with Encana (ECA), Canada's largest natural gas firm, to suppress land prices in a promising oil and gas play in Michigan.

Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) moved up about 0.6% after being halted for trading after various media sources reported that the company is in talks to take control of Grupo Modelo (GPMCF), the maker of Corona beer. Anheuser-Busch confirmed the talks but said a deal has not been reached yet and any speculation about a transaction is premature. Shares of Constellation Brands (STZ) also rose over 13%, since Anheuser-Busch's purchase may include the buyout of a Constellation/Modelo distribution joint venture. 

Despite positive reviews of the Galaxy S III, the South Korean company faces skeptical investors.

By Jonathan Berr Jun 25, 2012 12:57PM
Samsung Electronics doesn't want its new Galaxy smartphone to be this hot.

According to media reports, a user in Ireland is claiming that his Galaxy S III smartphone exploded and caught fire while it was docked in his car. Thankfully, no one seems to have been hurt and the South Korean company is investigating the cause of the fire, which it says was not related to the battery. At least one review did note the smartphone was warm to the touch during use, though it expressed no alarm. Regardless, the timing couldn't have been worse for the company. 
Tags: AAPLNOK

This technology bellwether is a cash machine and a solid play in an uncertain environment.

By TheStockAdvisors Jun 25, 2012 12:14PM
By Geoffrey Seiler, BullMarket.com

Oracle (ORCL), the database and business software giant, reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results last week and we wanted to circle back and take a closer look.

The technology bellwether delivered better-than-expected results and guided a bit above the consensus for the current quarter, but more than anything it showed that its large corporate customers are continuing to spend on IT infrastructures. 
Tags: ORCL

The major truck and defense vehicle maker looks like an enticing target.

By Gene Marcial Jun 25, 2012 12:05PM
Image: Semi trucks (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)Navistar International (NAV) may find itself in play sooner than many expect.

Its latest defensive moves, including adopting a shareholder rights plan, or "poison pill," aimed at thwarting hostile bids, signal that Navistar has been getting unsolicited feelers from some interested groups.  

Deutsche Bank is downgraded to 'sector perform,' and Research in Motion is downgraded to 'underweight.'

By MSN Money Partner Jun 25, 2012 11:13AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include: 
  • Agrium (AGU) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Dahlman Rose
  • CF Industries (CF) upgraded to Buy from Sell at Dahlman Rose
  • Mosaic (MOS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Dahlman Rose
  • Potash (POT) upgraded to Buy from Sell at Dahlman Rose
 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.5%) has paused its slide in the 1920 area for the time being. The benchmark index spent the first 90 minutes of action near its flat line, but has been pressured to lows in recent action. There was no particular catalyst that could be cited for the weakness, which suggests the retreat resulted the market's inability to build on a modest gain that was on display shortly after the open.

At this juncture, four of six cyclical sectors trail the broader ... More


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