The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.
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Stores that cater to the wealthy fared the best.
Tiffany (TIF), Coach (COH) and Macy's (M) were among the winners this holiday season, according to Jason Asaeda, retail analyst at S&P Capital IQ. He rates Tiffany and Coach as "strong buys" and doesn't cover Macy's, but points out that wealthy consumers are attracted to the exclusive merchandise being sold by department stores.
With a rising dividend, aggressive buybacks and a growing global market, this cigarette maker shows that where there's smoke there's fire.
First things first: I understand not everyone likes investing in cigarette manufacturers. That's fine. However, Philip Morris International (PM) is one of the most solid stocks on the planet, and I think it can serve investors well.
Number of homes under contract for sale is at highest level in a year and a half.
The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that U.S. pending home sales rose 7.3% in November. This is the highest level of homes in contract in a year and a half. A Bloomberg survey forecast that November growth would only be 1.5%.
Consumers were buoyed by home prices and interest rates that have continued to remain low. The housing industry has shown signs of life as construction in new homes have increased and more have been purchased.
As the inventory of unsold new homes decreases, manufacturers of homes could see increased demand. The positive report affected several companies in Thursday's market, including PulteGroup (PHM) and KB Home (KBH).
The new slate of picks is almost ready, but what does it mean for the coming year?
Everyone likes a simple investing strategy. If you like dividends, there's just about nothing simpler than the following the Dogs of the Dow. But will buying these stocks help you beat the Dow Jones Industrials in 2012, or will the strategy come back to bite you with bad returns?
I'll give you my answer to that question later in this article. But first, let's make sure everyone's up to speed with what the Dogs of the Dow strategy actually is.
Hollywood is fretting over a drop in audience numbers and ticket revenue. Will 2012 be any better?
Movie crowds fell to a 16-year low in 2011. The number of tickets sold is expected to drop 4.4% this year to about 1.28 billion, the Associated Press reports. The price of tickets is higher this year, so the domestic revenue decline was only about 3.5% to $10.2 billion.
Worrisome numbers for studios such as Warner Bros., a subsidiary of Time Warner (TWX), and for theater owners, such as Regal Entertainment Group (RGC).
The coatings company hopes the investment will boost sales in fast-growing markets in Asia.
By: Zacks Equity Research
Valspar Corp. (VAL) has opened a new science center in Shunde, China, and says the facility will employ more than 200 scientists to support growth in the Asia Pacific region and research and development efforts worldwide.
The Minneapolis coating company launched the Valspar Applied Science and Technology Center with a grand opening that drew more than 400 guests. This facility aims to improve relationships in the Asia Pacific region by bringing the company closer to its customers.
The fashion for dividend stocks is drawing some sniping from the sidelines.
By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com
There are no atheists in foxholes, they say. And also, they should add, no doctrinal disputes like those between the last adherents of the same small, dying religion.
Stocks have certainly been through a lot this year. And now the few brave souls who haven’t sought safety in cash or capital appreciation in bonds are arguing over exactly what sort of stock won’t stab them in the back.
Investors have been talking about dividends all year, and the blue-chip winners reflect that appetite for income.
By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times
It looks increasingly as if 2011 will go down as the year of two stock indexes.
As of Wednesday's market close, the S&P 500 had wiped out the last of its remaining gains and again had fallen into the red for 2011. Still, despite a similar retreat in Dow Jones Industrial Average, it remains 5% higher for the year.
Investors can gain a keen perspective on long-term trends by stepping back to the yearly time frame.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
As we end 2011, most investors and analysts are looking ahead into 2012 in an effort to position their portfolios for the coming year. Though I mostly concentrate on the monthly, weekly, and daily charts, I have also found it helpful to examine quarterly and yearly time frames.
From the yearly charts, we can find some valuable information that can be used not only to gain perspective for the year ahead, but also to identify some key support and resistance levels for 2012.
Tried-and-true fundamental and technical gauges point to continuing strength.
By Kate Stalter, MoneyShow.com
As 2011 winds down, there are some growth stocks well positioned for gains in the new year. Higher beta names as well as smaller stocks have fallen out of favor recently, and the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 are trailing the benchmark S&P 500.
It's not unusual for growth stocks to underperform the broader market during a downturn -- they also outperform in a market rally. But individual stocks that outpace the indexes in times of weakness are often poised for further gains.
The company, which makes customized computer systems, recently offered shareholders a one-time dividend.
By: Brian Bolan - Zacks Equity Research
In the most recent quarter, PC Connection (PCCC) beat earnings for the seventh straight time. Analysts responded by moving estimates higher for the stock, which is a Zacks No. 1 rank (strong buy).
PC Connection operates under several companies that offer custom-configured computer systems to individuals as well as government agencies and businesses.
As more confident U.S. consumers hit the showrooms, dividend-paying automaker is once again a bargain.
The innovative mobile gaming company has room to run.
Cantor Fitzgerald has been at the cutting edge of innovation in the financial industry, especially with electronic bond trading. The company owns more than 250 U.S. and foreign patents on real-time, secure technology systems.
However, the company's technology turned out to be useful in other applications -- specifically, online gambling. Back in 2006, Cantor built a new company -- Cantor Entertainment Technology -- to pursue this goal, and it recently filed to go public.
Gold has chalked up gains every year over the past decade -- a claim few other investments can make.
Our top pick for 2012 is gold. It has been the best investment year after year, and it's still the best performer.
Can Google's new service make the social networking site obsolete?
By Tuomo Kallio, Benzinga Staff Writer
About 625,000 new users join Google's (GOOG) social network, Google+, every day, according to Bloomberg. At this rate, the service will have 400 million users by the end of 2012, which would make it a serious competitor for Facebook.
Ancestry.com co-founder Paul Allen posted a note Tuesday saying that he expects the number of Google+ users to grow, as more and more people are using Android smartphones.
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Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
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