The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.

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The company plans to sell the Verismo this fall, and says it will maintain a relationship with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

By Kim Peterson Mar 8, 2012 12:55PM
Credit: © 2012 Starbucks Corporation
 
Caption: Verismo® System by Starbucks, A New Premium Single Cup Solution for At-Home Espresso and Coffee BeveragesUpdated 5:35 p.m. ET

Starbucks
(SBUX) is jumping into the single-cup brewing market, preparing to launch a home-based machine called Verismo.

The machine (pictured) is slated to launch this fall at specialty stores, at some Starbucks cafes and online. It's a direct hit at the single-cup brewers made popular by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).

In a webcast Thursday afternoon, CEO Howard Schultz said Verismo will differ from Green Mountain's Keurig machines. 

Williams-Sonoma is downgraded to 'underperform,' and Angie's List is initiated with a 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 8, 2012 12:02PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • ARM Holdings (ARMH) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • American Eagle (AEO) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman, and to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
  • Macerich (MAC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
 

Forget about Facebook. The manufacturer of the iconic Stratocaster is making noise with plans to go public.

By InvestorPlace Mar 8, 2012 11:47AM
Image: Fender guitar (© Corbis)By Tom Taulli

Leo Fender, the founder of the Fender Musical Instruments Corp., brought to life the Telecaster, the first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. It would help make Fender an iconic brand for the rock 'n' roll movement and bring the guitar brand into the pop culture mainstream.


Now Fender is aiming for the U.S. market mainstream via a stock IPO.

 

Burger chain's results are still outstanding.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 8, 2012 11:46AM

Photodisc/SuperStockMcDonald's (MCD) shares are down over 3% in early trading after the company reminded investors it was not immune to the world's economic pressures. The burger chain results were otherwise outstanding.

Comparable sales in the U.S. rose 11.1% in February, fueled by strong demand for Chicken McBites, Filet-O-Fish, coffee beverages and McDonald's breakfast line-up. Sales at stores opened for at least a year rose 4% in Europe, led by gains in the U.K. and Russia. And strength in Australia boosted sales in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa by 2.4%. Systemwide sales for February jumped 9.4%, or 9.7% in constant currencies, helped by the extra day in the month because of leap year.

 
Tags: MCD

Last week's $7.8 billion settlement is really just one small step.

By InvestorPlace Mar 8, 2012 11:00AM

Scott Gibson/CorbisBy Aaron Levitt

 

A short time ago, BP (BP) reported pretty decent earnings (minus its refining unit), and many analysts and pundits hinted at a potential turnaround for the company. The integrated energy major, whose 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and created one of the worst oil spills in recent history, has been fighting a tough battle since that tragedy.

 

Poor earnings, legal overhang, a dwindling dividend and public backlash have hampered the company's prospects in the nearly two years since the spill. While the recent improved earnings certainly took away one of the major problems, BP's huge liability issues were still cause for concern for investors.

 

Experts discuss the recent comments on jobs and the economy by Fed chairman Bernanke.

By Zacks.com Mar 8, 2012 10:46AM

Zacks experts discuss Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's recent comments on jobs and the economy. Bernanke appears to be now leaving the door open for a third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.


Plus, the experts explain their stock picks in the energy, banks and water sectors. Stocks covered include MarkWest Energy (MWE), Columbia Banking (COLB) and American Waterworks (AWK).

 
Tags: AWKMWE

Don't count on consumers to keep spending as much.

By Stock Traders Daily Mar 8, 2012 10:31AM

Fuse/Getty ImagesAs consumers and investors have begun to feel better about the economy and the labor market in particular, one of the hottest sectors in the stock market has been consumer discretionary.

Since the beginning of December, the SPDR Select Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) has staged a 12% rally. Consumers and investors alike have been in a much better mood, and this is evident in the consumer confidence reports. In February, the Consumer Confidence indicator jumped to 70.8 from 61.5 in January, which was the strongest reading since February 2011.

 

Fundamental gains, a bullish chart and support from Warren Buffett suggest that things are finally lining up for the bank.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 8, 2012 10:06AM
By Richard Schmidt, Stellar Stock Alert

It’s time to look for buy opportunities. The market's road to new all-time highs could still have significant bumps along the way. But the trend up is definitely in place.

And we now have a surprising new buy recommendation: Bank of America (BAC), a stock I honestly thought I would never buy. For years, it looked like it was too big to produce any appreciable growth in its share price or market share. And the company has really taken big hits in its public reputation. But things have really changed.  
Tags: BAC

The iPad maker could face a lawsuit over e-book prices. The fast-food company's same-store sales rise 7.5%, less than analysts expected.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 8, 2012 9:08AM

By Joseph Woelfel


Updated 8:30 a.m. ET

 

The Justice Department has warned Apple (AAPL) and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a court battle, the people told the newspaper. A successful settlement could potentially lead to cheaper e-books for consumers. The five publishers facing a potential suit are CBS' (CBS) Simon & Schuster; Lagardere's Hachette Book Group; Pearson's (PSO) Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers, a unit of News Corp. (NWSA). Apple unveiled a new version of its iPad tablet on Wednesday.

 

McDonald's (MCD) said Thursday that February global comparable-store sales rose 7.5%, less than the 7.7% analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected. U.S. same-store sales jumped 11%, "supported by strong customer demand for Chicken McBites, classic core favorites including Filet-O-Fish, signature beverage offerings, and McDonald's breakfast line-up," the company said.

 

The 2009 merger that created the leading tool maker is still paying bottom-line dividends, even as the US housing recovery looms as a bullish catalyst.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 7, 2012 6:43PM

Image: Young man and woman holding power tools, low section (© Thomas Barwick/Photodisc/Getty Images)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


Investors waiting for the stock market to come in to get a second crack at some of the 24 percentage points racked up since the October low could be waiting a while.


But if and when they do decide to jump in, they should hope for timing half as good as that displayed by hand-tools leader StanleyWorks when it snapped up the power-tool maker Black & Decker in the fall of 2009.

 
Tags: SWK

Two words in politics truly scare financial markets: Ron Paul.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 7, 2012 6:36PM
Image: Politics (© Jim Zook/Images.com/Corbis)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Trying to predict how financial markets will respond to politics is a mug's game, especially when it's still impossible to tell who's going to challenge President Obama as the Republican Party's presidential candidate.

Republicans portray themselves as the party devoted to free markets and unrestrained capitalism, and any market-shaking comments in debate forums or political ads will likely be more prevalent in the final race, rather than the Republican primary battle. 

Have something to say about McDonald's? You might just get a discount.

By Benzinga Mar 7, 2012 5:41PM

Image: African-American woman shopping online (© Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images)By Daniel James Hayden IV, Benzinga Staff Writer


American Express (AXP) and Twitter have teamed up to offer discounts when American Express cardholders send advertising messages to their Twitter followers.


It's a pretty clever idea. The companies can create a small army of advertising minions at very little cost. And Twitter users feel like they're getting a deal as well. The only people getting the short end of the stick are the Twitter followers who get subjected to all the shilling.

 

When promising stocks revive and the economy helps them, there's a lot of opportunity.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 7, 2012 5:19PM

By Rob DeFrancesco, Tech Stock Prospector


There was a lot of caution heading into the fiscal first-quarter earnings report from F5 Networks (FFIV).


As it turned out, that caution was unwarranted. The company delivered on both the top and bottom lines. Per-share earnings of $1.03 beat the consensus estimate by two cents, and revenue rose 19.9% to $322.4 million, above the consensus estimate of $319.1 million and the guidance range of $315 million to $320 million.

 
Tags: FFIV

Wednesday's rebound is not unexpected, but this likely oversold bounce should lead to a deeper correction -- and more buying opportunities.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 7, 2012 5:08PM

Image: Arrow Down Umbrella (© Photographers Choice RF/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Since Dec. 21, 2011, the S&P 500 had not touched its 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) until Tuesday, when it closed almost 1% below it. ETFs like the Spyder Trust (SPY) gapped below their 20-day EMAs.


As I said last week, the sharp decline in the Russell 2000 Advance/Decline (A/D) line sends a strong warning that investors should not get caught up in the euphoria at current levels. The market internals were very weak on Tuesday, and they have confirmed the deterioration evident over the past few weeks.

 

Western Gas Partners has seen double-digit gains in a matter of months.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 7, 2012 4:54PM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)Western Gas Partners (WES) hit my target price of $40 a share on Jan. 23 and kept rising, reaching $46.12 on March 1. Now, it looks like it's pulling back a bit with the rest of the market.

Sell? Hold? What have I been waiting for? My gain on Western Gas Partners was 22.6% as of the close on March 6 from Nov. 16, 2011, when I added it to my Jubak’s Picks portfolio. 

I was waiting for the master limited partnership's fourth quarter earnings report on Feb. 27, actually. I wanted to see what the partnership's list of growth projects looked like.
 
Tags: KMPOKSWES

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 continues hovering near its high, which is a bit surprising considering several noteworthy areas like biotechnology, chipmakers, transport stocks, and retailers underperform.

The biotech space is on its low with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 264.30, -2.55) down 1.0%. Elsewhere, the PHLX Semiconductor Index trades flat even as the technology sector outperforms with a gain of 0.5%.

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