Energy boom makes oil a safe haven
Oil becomes a surprising safe haven

The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.

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Akamai, Verizon and Williams-Sonoma receive downgrades.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 3, 2012 2:12PM

Theflyonthewall.com on MSN MoneyInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

 

Tuesday's noteworthy analyst upgrades include:
Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan

American Eagle (AEO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank

 

Satellite television, railroads and beverage packagers should be early beneficiaries of any recovery.

By Gene Marcial Jan 3, 2012 1:41PM

Image: Railroad Crossing with Train (© Edmond Van Hoorick/Photodisc/Getty Images)The market could have done better in 2011, but, frankly, it didn’t do too badly either, considering the tumultuous challenges it had to overcome. Rather than collapse under numerous burdens -- including a wayward Europe, a tsunami in Japan and discombobulated leadership in the U.S. Congress -- it still ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) up 5.5%.


Taking a closer look at market activity, almost all of the brand-name stocks -- like McDonald's (MCD), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM) and Pfizer (PFE) -- excelled over the year. It might be time now to revisit the non-brand stocks, at least for the intermediate term.

 

Silicon Valley-based maker of electric cars powers up for the mass market.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 3, 2012 12:10PM
Image: Traffic (© Pixtal/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012

By Timothy Lutts, Cabot Stock of the Month

While Toyota has blanketed the U.S. with milquetoast hybrid Priuses, and the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are uninspiring "appliances," Tesla Motors (TSLA) has done something different. It has built electric cars that are thrilling to drive.  
Tags: TSLA

Bearish traders said consumers would run out of gas and Dow stocks were the place to be. They were wrong.

By Jim Cramer Jan 3, 2012 11:21AM

TheStreetImage: Shredding money (© RubberBall/SuperStock)Oh, to be part of the intelligentsia, the bearish think tanks that inspire so much of what passes for conventional wisdom that then gets passed on to the "news." I yearn for it because it is never wrong, always prescient and seems to make so much money when the truth is, of course, that it is often wrong, rarely prescient and costs you a fortune.


With that in mind, here are the 10 bearish myths, all conventional wisdom, that you read about over and over again and pretty much took for gospel:

 

The coffee shop isn't alone as food inflation drives up costs at every restaurant and grocery store.

By InvestorPlace Jan 3, 2012 10:18AM
Image: Coffee (© HD Connelly/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Jeff Reeves

If your New Year's resolution was to pinch a few more pennies, Starbucks (SBUX) has some bad news for you. The coffee king is hiking prices, thanks to the rising costs of coffee and milk, and passing its expenses on to java junkies.


Starbucks is raising prices about 1%, on average, in some of its most popular markets in the Northeast and South. Cities such as New York, Dallas and Atlanta are the big targets. For example, a 12-ounce cup of coffee will go up in cost by 10 cents, a Starbucks spokesman said.

 

Indian automaker sees strong growth at home and in China, though low-end Nano disappoints.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 2, 2012 10:19AM
Image: Los Angeles, Calif., traffic on Interstate 405 © VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.  

By Yiannis Mostrous, Global Investment Strategist

Tata Motors (TTM) is India's dominant producer of commercial vehicles and controls 60% of the market. It is also a leading manufacturer of passenger cars, and owns the Jaguar Land Rover brand of luxury cars and sport utility vehicles. 
Tags: FTTM

Spice maker shows earnings growth is always in season.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 1, 2012 9:39AM
Image: Parents and children eating at table © Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.  

By Steve Mauzy, High Yield Wealth

Sticking with a trend can be a good thing. The trend I'm sticking with in 2012 is dividend-growth investing -- buying shares in companies that continually increase their dividend year after year. 
 
Tags: MKC

Growing appetite for organic products makes Whole Foods supplier a healthy choice.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 30, 2011 5:09PM
Image: Grocery shopping (© IT Stock Free/Jupiterimages)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012

By Bernie Schaeffer, Schaeffer's Investment Research

Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) offers natural and organic products, which are found mostly in Whole Foods Market (WFM) stores. 
Tags: HAINWFM

Most reports are spinning 2011 as a bad year, which is coloring Wall Street perception and putting shares under pressure.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 30, 2011 4:02PM

Minyanville on MSN MoneyBy Steve Birenberg

 

Media stocks had a quiet week, yet a few tidbits caught my interest.

 

At the movies: The box office saw a mixed year in 2011. Total domestic revenue finished down about 4%, but the international box office rose 5%. 2011 was the third largest on record for the domestic box office. In April, it was down 22% year to date. Summer was an all-time record. Early fall was up big. The holidays were weak, but the day after Christmas saw a surge, bringing the four-day weekend in up 3%.

 

The expanding trade war between the U.S. and China over solar module production could further hurt the joint venture's revenue.

By Trefis Dec 30, 2011 3:46PM
Image: Solar energy (© Mick Roessler/Corbis)Dow Corning is a joint venture between Dow Chemical (DOW) and Corning (GLW), and was formed in 1942 to develop silicon products.

It has stayed true to its mission, manufacturing silicon products worldwide. It's also the majority owner of Hemlock Semiconductor, a market leader in the production of polysilicon and other key materials for solar industry.

We estimate that the joint-venture contributes around 22% of Corning's stock price.  

It's become one of the hottest tech and investment trends around, but it's not too late to find upside.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 30, 2011 3:26PM

cloud computingBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

 

For more than a decade, we’ve all been referring glibly to "cyber space" -- that place where misdirected e-mails end up; the home of countless websites peddling discount-priced Viagra; the source of music and movies that stream almost magically onto our tablet devices.


Now cyber space, under its proper name of "the cloud," has become one of the hottest investment trends around -- it even has its own exchange-traded fund, the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY) to prove it.

 

It's good news for Disney, Comcast and Marriott, among others.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 30, 2011 12:52PM
Image: Orlando, Florida (© Purestock/age fotostock)How's this for a sign of consumer confidence: Theme parks in Orlando, Fla., got so crowded during the holidays that they turned away visitors.

As the AFP noted, "visitors to Legoland, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and three Disney destinations found parking lots and entryways shut for short periods Wednesday and Thursday as the Orlando area enjoys record numbers of tourists."

The question is how long the crowds will last for Walt Disney (DIS), the largest theme park operator; Comcast (CMCSA), whose Universal Orlando resort features The Wizarding World of Harry Potter; and Marriott (MAR) and other hotel chains. 
Tags: CMCSADIS

Solid operating momentum, a cash-heavy balance sheet, and an attractive yield are just a few of the attractions of these shares.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 30, 2011 12:14PM
Image: Couple Out Shopping © Fuse/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.  

By Chuck Carlson, The DRIP Investor

There's a nice turnaround story building at Foot Locker (FL). This specialty athletic retailer, after struggling in 2007, 2008, and 2009, has achieved five quarters of better-than-expected profit growth. 
 
Tags: FL

Any official announcement is likely to come close to the actual launch date.

By Trefis Dec 30, 2011 12:10PM

Although Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4S was released less than three months ago, rumors are already circulating surrounding the next iteration of the device. Apple is going to release a redesigned next generation iPhone next year, according to a report from BGR.

 

Unlike the iPhone 4S, which was launched earlier this quarter without any major body changes, the next iPhone is said to boast a completely redesigned exterior. From the outset, it should be noted that it's too early to give too much credence to any report about Apple's iDevice, as they are generally shrouded in secrecy until they are unveiled. 

 
Tags: AAPLGOOG

The credit card company doesn't get the respect it deserves.

By InvestorPlace Dec 30, 2011 9:46AM
By Kyle Woodley

The first time my girlfriend flashed her Discover card in front of me, I laughed and blurted out, "Who uses Discover?" The waitress didn't do me any favors when she said my significant other's plastic wasn't any good there.


Little did I know, I'd eventually eat my words. Discover Financial Services (DFS) is managing to get its namesake card accepted at more merchants -- and investors should give this stock some attention.

 

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