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It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


The chain doesn't have McDonald's margins, brand or global reach, but it does pay a 2.8% dividend.

By Jun 1, 2012 9:42AM

By Igor Greenwald,


Jim Jubak recommended McDonald's (MCD) shares the other day after finding its fast-food competitors' margins less than filling. And I wouldn't dare second-guess Jim, since he's forgotten more about stocks than I'll ever glean.


The global fast-food leader's 3.1% annual dividend yield certainly looks tasty, especially now that it's 75% above the yield on the ten-year Treasury note. But ask me if anyone can beat the Big Mac and I'll point you to the shares of Cracker Barrel (CBRL).


The US isn't perfect, but its troubles don't come close to the mess across the pond.

By Jim Cramer Jun 1, 2012 9:28AM

Updated at 10:45 a.m.


Them versus us. Isn't that what it comes down to here? Why are we, as Americans, so willing to buy domestic stocks while not wanting to touch anything with European exposure?


I think a lot of it has to do with our differing political systems and central banks. I hear constant criticism of our Federal Reserve and of Ben Bernanke in particular. But what is he guilty of? Creating an environment in which people aren't afraid of their shadow and actually want to invest? Giving us confidence that he has our back if something goes wrong? Is it that he has recognized that deflation, not inflation, is the bogeyman? Is it his understanding that Europe could pull down the U.S. economy and make the recovery so uneven that he could not afford to raise rates like so many people want him to do?


The oil company receives an interest in its stake in TNK-BP. Automakers are set to release May sales figures.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 1, 2012 9:11AM
By Joseph Woelfel,

BP (BP) said Friday it has received "unsolicited indications of interest" for its 50% stake in TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer. BP's stake in TNK-BP could be worth more than $30 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. TNK-BP is a joint venture between BP and AAR, a consortium of Russian billionaire shareholders. The company has been involved in a corporate dispute after AAR blocked BP's deal with Rosneft, a Russian oil company. Shares of BP rose 2.3% in premarket trading Friday to $37.30.

Automakers including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) on Friday will release U.S. sales figures for May. 

With declining soft drink consumption, the companies are promoting lower-sugar alternatives.

By Trefis May 31, 2012 7:50PM
TrefisWith consumers ditching traditional soft drinks for healthier alternatives such as juices, brewed teas and coffees, soft drink companies Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) and PepsiCo (PEP) are taking their midcalorie variants more seriously than ever to boost flagging soft drink sales.

Soft drink consumption has been continuously decreasing for the past seven years, according to Beverage Digest. But PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi says sales of its recently launched Pepsi Next have exceeded expectations. Similarly, Dr Pepper Snapple's Dr Pepper TEN helped the company post volume growth in its recently released quarterly data. 

The company has a not-so-secret weapon in its rapidly expanding line of Qdoba Mexican Grills.

By Jim J. Jubak May 31, 2012 6:21PM
Jack In The Box (JACK) looks like it could be a profitable turnaround/value story, but I'd like another quarterly report or so to answer some nagging questions. For now this goes on my watch list.

What's interesting about Jack in the Box is that the company actually operates two very different restaurant chains. There's the namesake hamburger chain, with about 2,200 restaurants, and the Qdoba Mexican Grill with 600 restaurants.

The company has been converting its hamburger restaurants to franchises in order to raise margins and reduce capital demands for the refreshes necessary to keep up with McDonald's (MCD) these days. Some 72% of the company’s Jack in the Box restaurants are now franchised versus 57% in 2010.

The infamous IPO from 2000 may turn out to be a bigger success than Facebook's.

By Minyanville May 31, 2012 5:34PM
Facebook (FB) had an awful lot of trouble early Thursday gaining any kind of upside traction as investors continued to avoid what was supposed to be easy money. The stock was in the $27 range for much of the day before making a late-afternoon upswing to close up 5% to $29.60.

In fact, Facebook is now significantly underperforming the last mega-bubble IPO, 2007's Blackstone (BX), as well as that of the last generational Internet IPO, 2004's Google (GOOG) deal. 
Tags: FIPO

The CEO of Morgan Stanley sits down with CNBC to discuss what happened.

By Kim Peterson May 31, 2012 5:23PM
The Facebook (FB) IPO has been a disaster, and the company has largely been silent about the whole thing. We haven't seen much from CEO Mark Zuckerberg or any other executives since shares spiraled after their May 18 debut.

But one of the deal's creators, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, went on national television Thursday to talk about the infamous offering. Morgan Stanley was the deal's chief underwriter, and Gorman defended his company's role and says his team acted appropriately. 

The company wants to open hundreds of new locations in China and India.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet May 31, 2012 4:06PM

The "America runs on Dunkin'" slogan may soon transform into "World runs on Dunkin'" -- at least if Dunkin' Brands Group (DNKN) gets its way.

In an effort to capture market share in emerging nations, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins plans to open hundreds of new international outlets.

During a launch event in New Delhi on Wednesday, the Massachusetts company said it plans to open 350 to 450 outlets outside the U.S. this year, with many located in Asia. The launch event was held to celebrate Dunkin's third store opening in India.


The company hopes to extend its Chevy brand by sponsoring the world's most popular soccer team. But will shareholders pay the price?

By Benzinga May 31, 2012 3:53PM
By Tuomo Kallio, Benzinga Staff Writer

General Motors (GM) has confirmed a five-year sponsorship deal between Chevrolet and soccer giant Manchester United in an effort to expand the Chevy brand worldwide.

This announcement comes in on the heels of GM's decision to pull its ads from Facebook (FB), as it did not get the desired results on the social network's advertising platform. As a result, GM has been looking for a more effective way to reach its audience.


Here's why shares continue to move lower.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet May 31, 2012 2:56PM

Image: Highway through prairie (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Facebook (FB) is not only a great American success story, it's also a company that attracts some serious dark clouds. In the past, these clouds took the form of lawsuits from the Winklevoss brothers and Mark Zuckerberg's co-founder Eduardo Saverin. However, as the late Biggie Smalls said, "More money, more problems."

Facebook's new dark clouds are worrisome for investors.


News Corp is thinking about turning one of its cable channels into a national sports network.

By Kim Peterson May 31, 2012 2:52PM
Image: Man changing TV channels with remote control (© Flying Colours/Digital Vision/Getty Images)ESPN has enjoyed a long ride at the top of the cable sports heap. But a well-funded rival may be making a run at the business, and is looking at ways to steal ESPN's viewers.

Media giant News Corp (NWS) is considering turning one of its cable channels into a national sports network that would compete with ESPN, reports Bloomberg. News Corp is targeting its Speed channel, which is currently devoted to Nascar auto racing.

The Speed channel is already available in 78 million homes in North America, according to its website, and is one of the fastest growing cable networks. News Corp could easily change the channel's format, keep the name that already has broader sports appeal, and start selling it as an alternative to ESPN. 

Cigarette makers fight back with lobbying efforts and smokeless products.

By Trefis May 31, 2012 2:46PM
TrefisImage: Man smoking (© Steve Mason/Photodisc Blue/Getty Images)Tobacco companies are finding it difficult to endure the slew of proposed legislation and increased taxation slapped against them worldwide. They are already plagued with high levels of taxation as they are increasingly blamed for soaring healthcare-related costs.

The proposed tax hike on cigarettes in California, if passed, would see the excise taxes rising to $1.87 per cigarette pack. Public figures like Lance Armstrong have pledged their support for the proposed tax hike.  

The company's strong performance earlier in the year is making the April figures look weaker than usual.

By Trefis May 31, 2012 2:22PM
trefisImage: Construction (© Photodisc Green/Getty Images)Caterpillar (CAT) is seeing a slowdown, even in high growth markets like Asia. In its latest April series sales data, the company recorded a decline in sales growth in almost all regions, except North America where sales are up by 32%.

While Caterpillar has cited unfavorable economic conditions, particularly in Europe and Latin America, as responsible for this drop, the company's good performance earlier is also making these numbers look weaker than usual. 

Missed your chance to buy Apple before it went parabolic? Don't fret. Here's a company that will ride the iPhone wave.

By May 31, 2012 1:55PM

Image: Stocks circled in newspaper (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Ian Wyatt, Top Stock Insights

For those who wish they had bought Apple (AAPL) a year ago, we suggest you now consider Avago (AVGO), a well-established company that operates in two strong sectors that we like -- smartphones and network expansion

Last year, the company bolstered its customer base when it achieved big contract wins with Apple, which tapped Avago to build custom technology for the iPhone 4.


The struggling retailer gets back to basics and revamps sale efforts.

By Benzinga May 31, 2012 1:16PM

Image: Poster proclaiming Sale up to 50% off and shoppers silhouetted in foreground © Michele Constantini/PhotoAlto Agency RF/Getty ImagesBy Scott Rubin, Benzinga Staff Writer

When former Apple (AAPL) executive Ron Johnson was hired as CEO of struggling retailer J.C. Penney (JCP), he outlined a strategy that spurned the company's previous highly promotional approach in favor of more straightforward pricing.

To that end, the company implemented a three-level selling plan and scrapped its numerous sales and promotional events. The new approach was announced in January.



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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -5.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -12.80. U.S. equity futures trade modestly lower amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover six points below fair value after climbing off their overnight lows reached during the Asian session. The night has been very quiet on the economic front with several central bank and government officials playing down expectations of additional stimulus. On that note, China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei ... More


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