Stocks are hot again, but as in 2000, not all of them are reaping the benefits.
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In what world does it become more relevant in 3 years than it is now?
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
Shares of Best Buy (BBY) rose nearly 5% Tuesday after the consumer electronics retailer posted better-than-expected quarterly results. The company is pretty popular around Fooldom. Several of our newsletter services like it. Fellow Fool Alyce Lomax feels that "value-minded investors should give the electronics retailer props" after the report.
I have to respectfully disagree. Best Buy may not be the second coming -- and going -- of Circuit City, but the chain has nonetheless peaked.
Let's go over the reasons I think buyers are running into a burning building.
On the 100th anniversary of IBM, we look at young names that experts say have the staying power to endure the next century.
By Olivia Oran, TheStreet
With one of the world's best track records when it comes to the ability to remake itself time and time again, IBM (IBM) celebrates its centennial on Thursday, joining a list of iconic American stocks like Colgate (CL), John Deere (DE) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) that have all out-gunned countless competitors and economic cycles to reach 100 years of age.
Though this type of lasting power inevitably has, at times, colored IBM as stodgy, slow-growing and unexciting -- especially in a sector where many investors crave a continuous stream of new consumer gadgets -- Big Blue has repeatedly reconquered tech with its own world-changing brand of innovation.
So who in tech is in for the next 100 years?
Obvious answers from our sources include Apple (AAPL) -- whose ability to innovate in consumer electronics is viewed as virtually untouchable -- and Google (GOOG), thanks to its significant investment in efficient data centers and sustainability (not, as you might think, its core search business).
Technical indicators show that a major top is not in place, but as fears mount and carnage continues, here are the critical risk factors.
Industry analysts say a production increase could send shares flying as high as $100.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
"Global demand for aircraft remains healthy and resilient given requirements to replace aging fleets, satisfy growth in emerging regions and add more fuel efficient aircraft to existing fleets," wrote Gleacher & Company analyst Peter Arment, in a report issued Thursday.
Supporters say giving companies a break on repatriating foreign profits would help the economy.
Companies have as much as $1 trillion in profits stored abroad. They want to bring that money to the United States but don't want to pay taxes at current corporate rates, which max out at 35%. Some politicians are pushing for a tax holiday similar to one granted in 2004, which allowed corporations to bring back money at a 5.25% rate, The Hill reports.
Even a former union chief supports the move. Check out the following interview with Andy Stern, who formerly led the Service Employees International Union, about why he supports a tax repatriation holiday.
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The online music service already sees flagging interest from investors on its second day of trading.
Well, that didn't take long. Shares of Pandora Media (P) closed today down 23% to $13.39, dashing any hopes that this would be the next soar-out-of-the-gate tech IPO.
Pandora opened Wednesday at $20, and some eager suckers -- oh, I mean investors -- pushed the price up to $26 before everyone sobered up. The online radio service has never made a profit and runs mostly on advertising money. There's plenty to be skeptical about here.
"On the bright side, maybe there's not so much of a tech-stock bubble after all," writes Mark Gongloff at The Wall Street Journal. Pandora was certainly no LinkedIn (LNKD), which doubled to $94 on its first day of trading but Thursday was at about $71.40.
Check out the following interview, which analyzes the state of the IPO market after Pandora.
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Funds tracking producers can offer relief from economic headwinds while outperforming the physical metal during rallies.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Thanks to exchange-traded funds, gaining access to gold has become simpler than ever. With products such as SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), iShares Gold Trust (IAU) and ETFS Physical Gold Shares (SGOL), investors can gain exposure to physical bullion.
However, there are other options gold-hungry investors may want to consider, including gold-miner-backed funds like the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ). Unlike GLD and other physically backed products, GDX and GDXJ do not track a physical stockpile of the metal. Instead, they spread their assets across a wide collection of global gold producers.
Rising material costs, weak existing-home prices and a glut of distressed properties on the market are crushing builder confidence.
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Homebuilder sentiment fell to an eight-month low in June as a perfect storm of weak existing-home prices, rising material costs, distressed property sales and sluggish consumer confidence brewed in the housing market.
"Builders are being squeezed by the continuing weakness in existing-home prices -- against which they must compete -- as well as rising material costs," said Bob Nielsen, a homebuilder from Reno, Nev., and the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.
"In addition to the ongoing impacts of distressed property sales on home prices, appraisal values and consumer confidence, rising costs for materials such as roofing, copper, wallboard, vinyl siding and other components have made it extremely difficult to construct a new home and sell it at a price that covers the costs."
The economy has hit a soft patch, but corporate America is healthy.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
After a one-day relief rally, stocks resumed their decline Wednesday.
Although Tuesday's consumer spending report beat expectations, it marked the first year-over-year monthly decline since June 2010 as higher gasoline and food prices weighed on Americans. Then, Wednesday, the New York Area General Economic Report dropped to negative 7.8, signaling contraction, as manufacturing slowed. Making matters worse, June's national survey of U.S. homebuilders fell to a nine-month low as demand outlook weakened.
A negative-data deluge is pushing stock prices to discounts. Although the pace of growth has weakened in recent weeks, corporate America remains healthy, and a soft patch may provide an attractive entry point for equity investors. It's difficult to buy when others are fleeing the market, but long-term investors should be on the lookout for bargains in both ETFs and equities.
Despite a 20% sell-off in 2011, the retail banking giant could be a breakout pick for aggressive investors.
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
Yes, my decision to buy Bank of America (BAC) on Dec. 31 at $13.34 has made me the subject of much ridicule among my colleagues. As the stock creeps down toward $10, more and more folks ask, "So, are you ready to sell now?"
My answer is firm: No way. Because my rule is that you should never make a sale unless you look at the stock in a vacuum and ask yourself, "If I didn't own stock, how would I feel? Would I think it's a buy or look elsewhere?"
And when I look at B of A, I still see reasons to buy. So much so that I'm seriously considering doubling down in my position. Here's why:
This time around, Greek riots don't pose as big a threat to US markets. But the same can't be said for European banks.
The last time I saw Greek protesters running down the streets and causing a big ruckus, the market plummeted almost 1,000 points. For the first 300 points, we thought it was all about Greece. It was only after we saw Procter & Gamble (PG) drop 30 points that we recognized that it was a revolt by the machines.
Still, I found it pretty uncomfortable, a little more than a year later, to see this same replay and recall that Greek protests were the proximate cause for an event that drove people out of this market like there was no tomorrow. Of course, there was a tomorrow, but a lot of people didn't stick around to see it.
It's worth debating for a moment, though, whether we are in better shape to handle the potential collapse of a country's treasury and its bonds than we were the last time Greece reached crisis mode.
The capital raising has run ahead of the income for Navios Maritime Partners.
The retail giant turns to small and midsized buildings in an effort to draw more US shoppers.
The company still runs the giant, sprawling supercenters that we're familiar with. But now it's opening more midsized stores under the Walmart Market name. They're about the size of an average supermarket.
Wal-Mart already has 185 such markets and wants to open 90 to 100 more by January. That total will ramp up to 300 by fiscal 2013, the company said.
And Wal-Mart is getting even smaller with Wal-Mart Express, its answer to the dollar stores that have been stealing its business. Wal-Mart Express stores get you in and out fast, with milk, eggs, a pharmacy, check-cashing services and gasoline pumps.
Here are a few names that have disappointed some top fund managers.
By Matt Koppenheffer
"Managers don't go from geniuses to idiots overnight."
-- Russell Kinnel, director of mutual fund research at Morningstar
The quote above comes courtesy of a recent Bloomberg article that discussed the lackluster performance of mutual fund all-stars Bruce Berkowitz, Ken Heebner and Bill Miller so far this year.
We could actually read that quote a couple of different ways. The obvious read is that when a top-performing manager's performance dips, it doesn't mean that he's suddenly lost his touch. However, we could also take the view that when a stock picker's performance badly falters, perhaps he wasn't the genius that we originally assumed he was.
Of course Berkowitz, Heebner and Miller aren't just any trio of schmoes who had a few years of good returns. In fact, they have delivered outstanding performance over extended periods and provided good reason for us to believe that they have legitimate skill.
The stock looks to be in correction mode as institutional traders have lost interest. What's its future?
But we really haven't seen much from the stock in the past three months. Shares bounced between $35 and $37, and Wednesday they were slipping below $35.
So is it time to buy or sell? In the following video, we get arguments for both moves. Dan Fitzpatrick of TheStreet says the technicals show big institutions have lost interest in Starbucks, while Jim Cramer says the institutions will be back and the stock is worth buying.
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For years, Todd Mills pushed Frito-Lay to make taco shells from Doritos. He died from a brain tumor on Thanksgiving.
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