Since she joined in July 2012, CEO Marissa Mayer has acquired dozens of startups.
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The automaker reports its largest profit in more than a decade, but that doesn't mean the bailout was a success.
GM's road to recovery has been funded largely by the U.S. government. With these results, maybe the $49.5 billion bailout wasn't such a bad thing?
Not so fast. Taxpayers are still on the hook in a big way, and GM needs to do much more to sufficiently repay its rescue.
Even with today's solid results, GM shares fell by 6% in midday trading to $32.51 -- below their November IPO price of $33 a share. Why the sharp drop? We'll get to that in a minute.
Health care funds offer stability as global tensions produce more market turmoil.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
While stocks remained on a relatively uninterrupted upward path during the opening weeks of 2011, global headwinds have begun to mount more recently, once again testing the resilience of the market's recovery.
Rather than fleeing, however, investors can use the market's recent bout of turmoil to add to defensive positions. One sector that may prove attractive in the near term is health care.
Over the past six months, this sector has lagged the broader indexes considerably as the market's relentless climb caused investors to pour into riskier asset classes. Although health care shares are unloved at this point, if these global economic issues present the markets with hurdles in the coming weeks, this segment and its stability will likely fall into favor again.
United has dropped so sharply on oil prices that it now looks attractive.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Let's just say that oil prices are not going to keep going up forever.
Some analysts are beginning to suggest that airline shares, pummeled recently by rising fuel prices, could be attractive because of continuing strong traffic and some success in raising fares, not to mention the potential variability of the fuel-price trend.
"Opportunities exist in the group," Dahlman Rose analyst Helane Becker wrote in a report issued Thursday. She noted that in two days of trading -- Tuesday and Wednesday -- United (UAL) fell by 15%, while US Airways (LCC) fell by 13% and Delta (DAL) fell by 4%.
In the past week, the average legacy-carrier stock has fallen 13%, while the S&P 500 ($INX) has slipped 2%, said Soleil Securities analyst Jim Higgins.
Some have more than doubled in February and outperformed major benchmarks.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Stocks under $5, such as eDiets.com (DIET) and Acceler8 Technology (AXK), have doubled this month, squashing the broader market and surprising investors who haven't heard of the penny-stock companies.
Almost 1,000 stocks under $5 on major U.S. exchanges are up only 2.4% in February, in line with the benchmark S&P 500 ($INX). Friday, the S&P 500 had traded at its highest peak since the financial crisis started in September 2008. Protests across the Middle East sparked a rally in crude prices and triggered a pullback in equities.
Analysts expect stocks under $5, like Citigroup (C) and Sprint Nextel (S), will outperform this year, but those companies haven't been among the biggest winners in the new year. Instead, penny stocks including Evergreen Energy (EEE) and Independent Bank (IBCP) have surged as much as 500%.
The online retail giant's incursion into streaming video might not disrupt Netflix's dominance, but it might take a toll on its share price. With video commentary.
Am I worried about Amazon's(AMZN) incursion into the world of Netflix(NFLX)? You bet I am. But not because Amazon has a good collection of films and TV shows. And not because its library could one day rival Netflix's. I bet it won't.
I worry because Amazon doesn't have to charge for the service. Amazon is making it a "premium" for subscribing to Amazon Prime. When you give something away that others charge for, it is always going to be a problem.
Mind you, I am not worried about the dominance of Netflix; I am worried about the multiple of Netflix's stock. You need smooth sailing to stay on the Netflix horse. You need to have no real competitors of consequence. That's why I was never worried about Coinstar(CSTR).
The old sack will return while the company retools its packaging. The loud biodegradable bag was just one among several branding disasters. With video demonstration.
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
After less than two years on the market, the biodegradable SunChips bag is destined for the trash heap. The packaging made a lot of noise with critics because it was perceived as louder and more "crinkly" than any other packaging on the market.
Now the eco-friendly bag that started as a good environmental deed and an attempt at creative branding has become a lesson in marketing gone wrong. Theloud SunChips bag has been silenced (watch the video below), and Frito-Lay is returning to the old packaging as it races to create a new bag that's as easy on the ears as it is on the earth.
Fidelity Investment's analysis of 11 million accounts shows the average balance the highest in a decade. With video reports.
By The Associated Press
Most 401(k) accountholders continue to plug away at setting aside a portion of their pay. That consistency, along with a rising stock market helped push balances in plans managed by Fidelity Investment to a 10-year high, the retirement plan provider said Wednesday.
An analysis based on 11 million accounts showed the average balance rose to $71,500 at the end of December.
By joining forces, the companies could take out Google.
By Eric Jackson, TheStreet
Apple (AAPL) has a $315 billion market capitalization, with $60 billion in cash on its balance sheet. Analysts speculate it will use the money to start paying a dividend, do stock buybacks or make an acquisition.
There is one company -- Facebook -- that should be on the top of Apple's shopping list, and Apple should be willing to spend up to $100 billion to get it.
Last October, Steve Jobs made an unexpected appearance during the quarterly analysts' call and was asked his intentions for the cash pile.
He responded: "We strongly believe that one or more very strategic opportunities may come along that we're in a unique position to take advantage of because of our strong cash position." In other words, it will use the money only for acquisitions.
A look at what's ahead now that the uptrend has been shaken by international political turmoil.
Investors were rudely reminded Tuesday that stocks don't just go up; they can go down, too. And when they do fall, sell-offs tend to be hard and fast. In just days, market corrections wipe out weeks of upward progress.
That's exactly what's happening now that concerns over bubbling inflationary pressures, the end of policy stimulus and the Fed's $600 billion QE2 money-printing operation, and political turmoil in Libya and elsewhere have finally broken the back of the post-September uptrend, resulting in the worst one-day losses since last August. The weakness continues today.
Everywhere you look, critical support was lost, trend lines were broken, and recent patterns reversed. So what's next?
When natural gas prices recover, Range may be ready to run.
While some commodity prices have skyrocketed lately, natural gas has remained relatively flat. But Fool analyst Jordan DiPietro believes that won't last, and has a company that might benefit from a more gaseous economy.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor
Cash-rich oil conglomerates like ExxonMobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) have been forming joint ventures and acquiring smaller gas companies in anticipation of a nascent recovery in natural gas. Even BP (BP), attempting the first in what will most likely be a number of moves in its recovery from the gulf spill last year, has gotten in the game -- it recently announced a $7.2 billion move into difficult natural gas blocks in India.
Both ExxonMobil and BP recently released independent reports that confirm the same feeling: Natural gas is going to surge; it's not "if," but "when." While oil demand is expected to rise by 0.6% annually, natural gas is supposed to surge by 2.1% each year for the next 20 years. Want to get in on the rally? I've got one company worth your while.
Gold's cheaper cousin is trading at 30-year highs and is already up 11% this year. But it's still far from its record.
By Alix Steel, TheStreet
Gold was the hot metal in 2010, but silver has emerged as the early favorite to be this year's precious-metal winner.
As gold prices struggle to hit and hold new highs, silver prices are on a tear. The white metal is trading at 30-year highs, and prices are already up 11% this year.
The metal settled at a high of $32.86 an ounce Tuesday after hitting an intraday 30-year high of $34.33, but these levels are still a far cry from their $50 record.
Silver hit an all-time high of $50 an ounce in 1980 after the famous (or infamous) Hunt brothers bought the metal aggressively for 7 years; at one time they owned more than 200 million ounces of silver.
As the supply gets squeezed, these companies stand to benefit.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
Unrest in the Middle East is causing volatility in the price of oil, but fund managers say the main engine pushing energy shares higher remains the global economic recovery and a supply squeeze.
TheStreet searched for three powerful energy stocks with Stephen Davis, a senior associate portfolio manager for the Alpine Mutual Funds, and Mark Schultz, the fund manager of the MTB Mid-Cap Growth Fund (AMCRX).
Apache is an oil and gas exploration and production company operating all the way from the U.S. to Australia. The company's international locations help diversify geologic and geographic risk and expose it to larger reserve targets, which fuel production and reserve growth. Apache also has exploration interests in Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
Hewlett-Packard is faltering hard, losing market share to Apple and EMC.
Here are the three biggest:
1. The enterprise is still strong, which means that EMC (EMC) is seeing great strength, although it will most certainly be knocked down by the "sweeping generalization" types. This is cloud/virtualization; the group got hit Tuesday and most likely will be today -- a good place to buy.
2. The personal computer is weak. We don't know whether that's because of the Apple (AAPL) competition and the iPad freezing the market, but it seems like a decent bet. The decline is too big to explain it away by saying weak consumer demand, especially given how strong both smart-phone and iPad sales are. This is looking more and more like Apple has a completely destructive technology.
3. The low-end router biz of HPQ is eating Cisco's (CSCO) lunch but isn't doing so well for HPQ's margins. Hewlett is making too many low-end deals on routers that are taking away core Cisco business.
TRW Automotive Holdings had such a great quarter that analysts' earnings growth estimates for 2011 now seem too low.
United and Delta lead the decline as violence in Libya sends oil prices up.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Airline shares were falling Tuesday as oil prices surged on unrest in Libya.
By midafternoon, airline shares were all trading down, led by United (UAL), which was down about 8.5% to $24.63, and Delta (DAL), trading at $10.76, down 74 cents or about 6.5%. The Amex Airline Index was down 4.3%. Unhedged US Airways (LLC) was trading at $9.24, down 48 cents or about 5%.
Airlines have been seeking to raise fares, but it can be challenging to keep up when fuel price increases occur suddenly. During the past year, jet fuel prices have risen about 50% to around $2.80 per gallon.
In a report issued late Tuesday, Soleil Securities analyst James Higgins wrote about media reports that Delta could acquire Virgin Atlantic in order to enhance its access to London's Heathrow Airport. "Our rating on DAL remains buy, although it is difficult for us to see how any airline stock can move higher in the uncertain near-term environment for fuel prices the social unrest in the Middle East is creating," Higgins said.
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John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.
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The underperformance of the Russell 2000 was likely owed in part to tax-loss selling, which tends to pick up this time of year. Small-caps often feel that pinch in a stronger fashion than large-cap issues since individual ... More
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