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.


Microsoft tests the limits of conventional operating systems with its new vision.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 19, 2011 2:44PM

By Evan Niu


Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 is here.


At least it is if you're a developer. The official public release won't be until late next year, and the operating system is far from complete. We got a sneak peek at AllThingsD's D9 conference earlier in the year, but now we're getting a better idea of what Redmond's next big release will be like.


This week at the company's BUILD Windows developer conference in Anaheim, Calif., additional details emerged surrounding Microsoft's ambitious new operating system. The OS represents more than a concerted assault on the tablet market, but rather embodies an entirely re-envisioned and unified approach to computing that includes mobile computing.


With the national fiscal situation in tatters, President Obama pushes for long-term budget austerity, including a 'Buffett tax' on the rich.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Sep 19, 2011 12:58PM

President Barack Obama has sure been busy lately. Two weeks ago he unveiled his American Jobs Act in front of a joint session of Congress -- a $450 billion stimulus plan composed mainly of tax cuts along with spending on infrastructure and unemployment benefits. The idea is that it would boost the economy in the near term and stave off the risk of another recession driven by premature budget tightening.


But that doesn't remove the need for a long-term plan on cutting the deficit and reducing the national debt -- the lack of which was responsible for America losing its AAA credit rating last month. It's a delicate balance: The government needs to listen to the bond market and borrow now at ultra-low interest rates to support the economy before pulling the plug later as the recovery becomes self-sustaining.


Monday, Obama unveiled his plans for the second half of this strategy --a $4 trillion cut to the budget over 10 years featuring, most prominently, a $1.5 trillion increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans to ensure they don't pay lower tax rates than the middle class.

But would the so-called "Buffett tax" -- proposed by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) CEO Warren Buffett and pushed by Obama -- sink the economy by soaking the rich?


Don't want to throw your own money into the market? A new contest gives you fictional cash, but the winner will take home a real $1 million.

By Kim Peterson Sep 19, 2011 12:38PM
A new contest starting Monday at CNBC gives you $1 million in pretend money to trade with -- and the winner gets a million real dollars.

It's a typical stock-picking contest, with winners determined by who has the highest portfolio gain. The second-place finisher gets a new Maserati, and weekly winners get exotic vacations to places such as Dubai and South Africa. 

These picks offer safe, steady returns as well as solid growth potential, making any of them worthy buys on any pullback.

By Sep 19, 2011 12:08PM
By Tom Aspray,

Stocks finished out last week surprisingly strong, and many of the strongest stocks were some that offer attractive yields. 

My weekend scan of the stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that the ten most overbought stocks all have attractive yields. That is not surprising given the current uncertain investment environment and the high degree of pessimism about the stock market.

I have listed the ten stocks whose weekly close was the nearest to their weekly Starc+ bands. For example, The Coca Cola Co. (KO) closed last week at $71.23, which was just 2.6% below the weekly Starc+ band at $73.07.


David Marcus, the manager of the Evermore Global Value Fund, says he's seeing the biggest bargains in 20 years in Europe.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 12:00PM

Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)By Robert Holmes, TheStreetTheStreet


David Marcus, the manager of the Evermore Global Value Fund (EVGBX), says alarming news stories about Europe's debt debacle -- including a possible default in Greece -- are creating the biggest bargains in two decades.


As a global value-fund manager, Marcus has put his focus squarely on European stocks, as many stock indexes from Germany to France to Italy are mired in bear markets after plunging on sovereign bankruptcy fears plaguing the continent.


"We're in a world of headline readers, and they see it's pretty bad out there," Marcus says. "What our investors are paying us to do is sift through the headlines and dig deep. There are a lot of problems in Europe. We're finding that while some things are worse than the headlines, there are more opportunities there than I've seen in 20 years."


Mining shares have largely missed out on the metal's recent rally, but some analysts think that's about to change. With video analysis.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 11:29AM

By Alix Steel, TheStreetTheStreet


Gold stocks may have missed the rally in gold prices, but they're poised to hop on the bandwagon.


The changing environment for gold stocks has been a prominent topic at the Denver Gold Forum this year. It was only a year ago that the thought of $2,000 gold was reserved for the more enthusiastic gold bugs. Today that price target is becoming the norm.


"We have about a 40% probability that gold will be over $2,200 next year," says Martin Murenbeeld, the chief economist at DundeeWealth. "We have about a 50% probability that gold will average between $1,950-$2,000 an ounce."


Qwikster, the company's new DVD-by-mail branch, will offer video game rentals. Is this yet another mistake?

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 10:19AM

the streetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Netflix (NFLX) is entering the video game rental market, a risky bet for a company attempting to find value in its DVD-by-mail service.


The company announced Sunday that it is dividing itself into two companies -- one for its DVD-by-mail program, called Qwikster, and another for its streaming service, which will continue to operate under the Netflix banner. As part of Qwikster, subscribers will be able to rent video games for Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


Chief executive Reed Hastings said on Netflix's blog that this will be a video upgrade, which implies subscribers will need to pay more for the service. But Hastings didn't reveal how much more it will cost. Rival GameFly offers the service starting at $15.95 a month, while Blockbuster includes video game rentals in all of its packages, which start at $9.99 a month.


Funds that track transportation, housing and software will be in the spotlight.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 19, 2011 10:06AM

Image: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet


Here are five ETFs to watch this week.


1. iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT)


Transportation companty FedEx (FDX) is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings on Thursday. While FedEx's numbers will generate interest from transports fans, the firm's report and outlook will also provide ample clues on the state of the global markets.


FDX is IYT's second largest holding, representing close to 10% of the fund's total portfolio.


We are beginning to recognize that the sovereign debt crisis will be solved -- just not in a way that is satisfying to anybody.

By Jim Cramer Sep 19, 2011 9:08AM

the street logoSome things never get old -- or discounted, for that matter. That's how I am feeling about the sovereign debt crisis.


You put it past you for a couple of days and a lot of money is made. Not a little but a lot. And then it comes back and bites you again because it can't be solved easily. The fact is, though, we are beginning to recognize that it will be solved. It just won't be solved well and in a way that is satisfying to anybody.


In other words, get used to it, it will play out, it will hurt people, but it might not hurt as many stocks as you think.


I am taking this posture because I like to see how players react to the same stimuli over and over. In other words, whenever futures are down off of Europe, do the same people who missed the rally big hold their hands up, point fingers and say "I told you so?"


As often happens, strong bearish sentiment helped boost the market all week, but it’s best to wait to buy until a pullback occurs, which could come as early as mid-week.

By Sep 16, 2011 6:11PM

By Tom Aspray,

The stock market got very close to the key levels in the major stock ETFs Monday, and then spent the rest of the week rebounding. This was in spite of very little in the way of positive news, either on the US economy or the Euro debt crisis.

Some of the Euro pain was lessened last Thursday, after the world’s central bankers moved to offer unlimited dollar funding through the end of the year. This helped the hard-hit European banks, especially those in France, to rebound.

The news on our economy was not a big help. Retail sales were flat and Best Buy (BBY) reported 30% drop in income for the second quarter. Retail sales were hurt by the several days lost because of Hurricane Irene.

A recent survey of economists by The Wall Street Journal sees a 1 in 3 chance the US will slip into a recession. They also put even odds that the euro would breakup.

The Conference Board was even more negative on the economy, as they see a 45% chance that there will be a recession.


Energy Transfer Partners may run into a problem with growing cash distributions.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 16, 2011 4:19PM
I think you can do better.

Yes, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) pays a current yield of 8.2%. But with a master limited partnership like this, what I want to see is the potential for solid increases in cash distributions over time. And on that front, Energy Transfer Partners looks like a laggard.

I’m selling this master limited partnership out of Jubak’s Picks as of today.

Standard & Poor’s, which gives this stock a buy rating, forecasts that cash distributions will climb just 1.7% in 2011.

The bears probably won't be in hibernation next quarter.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Sep 16, 2011 2:43PM

By Evan Niu


The dread continues for besieged BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM).


The self-proclaimed "global leader in wireless innovation" reported gloomy earnings last night. Net income came in at $329 million, or $0.63 per share, dropping nearly 59% from last year's $797 million. Top-line revenue of $4.2 billion dropped by "only" 10% from the previous year, falling short of the $4.5 billion that Wall Street analysts were looking for. Meanwhile, gross margin took a big hit, falling to 38.7% from 44.5%. If you ask me, the only thing that RIM is leading is its own implosion.


The company shipped 200,000 PlayBooks and 10.6 million BlackBerry phones. The (already reduced) estimates called for 562,000 PlayBooks and 11.8 million BlackBerry phones. The discouraging figures don't paint a pretty picture for the future of the company's QNX platform.


Could a Chinese online shopping site really raise that much in a public offering? It seems to think so.

By Kim Peterson Sep 16, 2011 2:37PM
The largest Internet IPO in U.S. history is coming up -- and it's not Facebook.

The company is Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co., which runs the online shopping site The business is growing at an insane pace, and Jingdong is now expecting to raise a whopping $4 billion to $5 billion from the IPO, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That would totally blow away the $1.9 million that Google (GOOG) raised in its 2004 IPO. 

Brian Lazorishak, who heads the Chase Mid-Cap Growth Fund, discusses some of his best-performing holdings.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 16, 2011 2:22PM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreetTheStreet


This year is the moment of truth for mutual fund managers. As the economy slows and stocks fall, managers' strategies are laid bare, and those who can't make money for investors face the firing squad.


The Legg Mason Value Trust (LMVTX), which beat the S&P 500 Index for a record 15 years under Bill Miller, has slumped 10% this year. Ken Heebner's CGM Focus Fund (CGMFX), which used to gain more in one quarter than most funds did in a year, has dropped twice as much as the Value Trust. Even Fidelity's Contrafund (FCNTX) has declined 1.9%. The Boston mutual fund firm's Harry Lange, the manager of the Magellan Fund, was replaced this week because of poor performance.


Brian Lazorishak of the Chase Mid-Cap Growth Fund (CHAMX) is earning his keep. The mutual fund is in the top 2% of its category in terms of performance this year, with a return of 6%, and in the top 1% over the past 12 months, with a 27% gain, as tracked by Morningstar. The S&P 500 ($INX) is down 4% this year and up 8% over the past 12 months.


Why did the state give the television show a tax credit of up to $420,000?

By Kim Peterson Sep 16, 2011 1:54PM
New Jersey residents are angry that their taxes are helping fund production of the MTV television show "Jersey Shore."

Taxpayers will foot the bill for as much as $420,000 in production costs from the show's 2009 season, the Star-Ledger reports. This week, the state's Economic Development Authority agreed to give the show a film tax credit. 


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market hasn't lacked bullish catalysts today, yet buyers nonetheless have been a reluctant bunch.

  • There were no major geopolitical flare ups over the weekend
  • M&A activity continued afoot
    • Dollar General (DG 64.38, +0.39) raised its all-cash offer for Family Dollar Stores (FDO 80.27, +0.44) to $80 per share
    • Compuware (CPWR 10.51, +1.16) agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for approximately $2.5 billion or $10.92 per ... More


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