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Investors looking to gain exposure to commodities through exchange-traded funds have a variety of choices.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 26, 2011 11:08AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Sweeping macroeconomic turmoil and looming market doubts have created a treacherous environment for commodity investors over the past few months. While the risk of an upheaval remains present, as we have seen in recent days, the fog may be lifting on hard assets.

 

At the start of the week, industrial giant Caterpillar (CAT) injected a welcomed dose of confidence into commodities. The firm noted that its mining branch had been a major contributor to its analyst-beating quarterly earnings numbers.

 

Want to know why the company had such a spectacular rise and fall? Blame management, but also blame the short-selling process.

By Jim Cramer Oct 26, 2011 9:21AM

the streetHow can Netflix (NFLX) fall and fall and fall some more over the same sagging data? How can the company be worth a small fraction of what it was just a few months ago?

 

The answer lies in short sellers and the flawed process of betting against stocks.

 

These shares meet the legendary investor's criteria.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 26, 2011 9:01AM
By John Reese, Validea

Benjamin Graham, known as "the father of value investing", inspired a number of famous "sons" -- Mario Gabelli, John Neff, John Templeton, and, most famously, Warren Buffett.

Born in England in 1894, Graham built his reputation -- and fortune -- by using an extremely conservative, low-risk approach to investing. To him, preserving one's original capital was every bit as important as netting big gains. 
Tags: DCMFRX

Don't be reeled in by the lure of these big-name blue chips.

By InvestorPlace Oct 26, 2011 8:52AM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

There's a lot of focus on low-risk blue-chip investments right now. That type of investing strategy is a good one for volatile times, and taking shelter in big-name companies with global operations and a good dividend can provide stability to your portfolio.


But don't be fooled into thinking that all the big boys are the same. Even in the vaunted Dow Jones Industrial Average, there are a number of big-name stocks that are big-time disappointments. These dead Dow stocks have caused investors more stress at a time when they are looking for stability.


If you're considering blue chips right now, make sure your shopping list steers away from these toxic investments. Here are five dead Dow stocks you can live without right now:

 

Amazon disappoints Wall Street with weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Sprint reports a smaller-than-expected loss.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 26, 2011 8:44AM

By Andrea Tse, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Amazon (AMZN) was falling Wednesday after the online retailer reported disappointing third-quarter results Tuesday.


Amazon posted earnings of $63 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $10.88 billion. The average estimate was for earnings of 24 cents on revenue of $10.95 billion. For the fourth quarter, Amazon said it could post an operating loss of as much $200 million or a profit of as much as $250 million with sales ranging from $16.45 billion to $18.65 billion. Analysts had expected net income of about $394 million, or 85 cents, on sales of $18.15 billion.

 

Millions of Americans love the seasonal sandwich, so should the fast-food giant make it a full-time product?

By Benzinga Oct 25, 2011 5:13PM

By Abe Raymond, Benzinga Staff Writer


McDonalds (MCD) has developed an almost cult-like following around its popular McRib sandwich.


Legions of fans call for the sandwich to return to the restaurant's menu every year, and are appeased when it appears for a month or so. Given its extreme popularity, would McDonald's benefit from adding the McRib to its menu full-time?

 

The company is poised to benefit most from the expected jump in mobile advertising -- but its costs are also escalating.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 25, 2011 5:13PM
By Richard Moroney, Dow Theory Forecasts

Google (GOOG) as a brand is so strong that its name has become a verb. Further, Google’s core business — selling targeted advertising through its popular Internet search engine — is as robust as the brand. Indeed, more than 65% of online searches in the U.S. use Google.

And industry researcher eMarketer expects spending on mobile advertising to jump 65% to $1.2 billion this year and approach $4.4 billion by 2015. 

The company is spending heavily on infrastructure and to develop its Kindle Fire tablet, which it will likely sell at a loss.

By Kim Peterson Oct 25, 2011 4:55PM
Updated at 8 a.m. ET Wednesday

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) were slumping Wednesday after the company missed Wall Street expectations on profit and revenue for the third quarter.

The company has been on a spending spree all year, building up its infrastructure for the holiday season and for the launch of its new line of Kindle devices. And generally investors have been fine with that. 
Tags: AAPLAMZN

The company didn't give a reason for why Rob Gillette left his post.

By Kim Peterson Oct 25, 2011 3:22PM
When a chief executive resigns suddenly and without giving a reason, it's a safe bet that investors will panic.

That's what's happening to First Solar (FSLR) Tuesday after chief executive Rob Gillette left the company effective immediately. Shares of the solar company fell more than 25% to close at $43.27.

The company didn't give a reason for Gillette's departure. Its chairman and founder, Mike Ahearn, will take over the chief executive duties until a search committee can find a permanent replacement. 
Tags: FSLR

The shipping company is optimistic about the country's economic future. Now if only its customers were as well.

By Kim Peterson Oct 25, 2011 3:04PM
United Parcel Service (UPS) really wants the economy to turn around.

You can tell from executives' comments that they see a recovery within reach. We're so close, and they're enthusiastic. But there is still too much uncertainty, too many question marks blocking the way.

"Over the last month or so, we are starting to see better economic numbers, so there is more optimism out there, and that could turn things around," chief executive Scott Davis told analysts on the company's earnings call Tuesday. "We are still expecting a slow-growth economy, but I don't think it is as negative as people were thinking two and three months ago." 
Tags: FDXups

The group-buying site lowers its target.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 25, 2011 2:19PM
By Tim Beyers

 

What is Groupon really worth? We may know more this week. The group-buying specialist is scheduled to meet with investors and bankers for the purpose of ratcheting its proposed IPO valuation down from more than $20 billion to $12 billion or less, The Wall Street Journal reports.

 

Color me unsurprised. Not only is Groupon unprofitable, but there's also no telling what management will have to spend to grow the business as outrageously as it has.

 

For its part, Groupon wants us to believe it has achieved massive economies of scale. Just look at how the company describes the economics of acquiring customers in its latest prospectus. On page 81, management gives the example of a "Q2 2010 cohort" group of 3.7 million subscribers acquired with $18 million in online marketing spending that went on to produce $92.8 million in revenue on 9.4 million Groupons sold over six quarters. The implication? Marketing is a minimal one-time cost that produces generous revenues downstream.

 

Certain characteristics of the company may make it attractive to buyers.

By Benzinga Oct 25, 2011 12:59PM

By Abe Raymond, Benzinga Staff Writer


Taleo Corporation (TLEO) is a head-hunting company that uses computer programs to streamline the recruitment process. Recently, rumors have circulated that Taleo might be acquired by another company, which led its stock to rally of more than 7.5% on Monday. However, is there any truth to these rumors?

 
Tags: TLEO

The largest publicly traded US operator earns S&P's highest 5-star buy rating.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 25, 2011 12:01PM
By Tanjila Shafi, S&P The Outlook

With a market cap of $34.9 billion, Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is the largest publicly traded pipeline limited partnership in the U.S.

We view EPD as a core master limited partnership holding, given its integrated assets that connect energy supply sources to end markets, its large geographic footprint and what we consider the sustainability of its cash distributions. 
Tags: EPD

Recent quarterly reports showing strong demand from emerging markets have boosted investor optimism in this sector.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 25, 2011 11:37AM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

The aerospace and defense industry will be of particular interest during the middle and latter half of this heavy earnings week. Names on tap include Boeing (BA), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Raytheon (RTN), General Dynamics (GD), and Precision Castparts (PCP).

 

So far this month, insider selling is averaging $178 million worth of transactions per day, according to TrimTabs.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 25, 2011 11:18AM

 By Michael Baron, TheStreet

TheStreet

 

October has seen plenty of insiders selling and very few buying, according to data from research firm TrimTabs, which tracks asset flows and market liquidity.

 

So far this month, insider selling is averaging $178 million worth of transactions per day, the firm said. That's more than double September's daily average of $76 million. Meanwhile, insider buying has been almost nonexistent, TrimTabs notes, coming in at just $8 million per day, less than a third of the year-to-date average of $30 million.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More


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