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An increase in mergers could be a good sign for the markets in the months to come.

By Benzinga Oct 24, 2011 3:33PM

By Jonathan Chen, Benzinga Staff Writer


"Merger Monday" appears to be in full effect again.


After a period of quiet in capital markets activity, there were a few mergers announced Monday, which could be a sign that managers are seeing low valuations in the stock market as an opportunity to add businesses at cheap prices. Call it the "Warren Buffett" line of thinking.


The ever-acquisitive Oracle (ORCL), led by Larry Ellison, purchased RightNow Technologies (RNOW) for $43 per share, or $1.5 billion. That's a 20% premium over Friday's closing price.

 

Here are some of the most interesting parts from the book, which went on sale Monday.

By Kim Peterson Oct 24, 2011 2:31PM
"Steve Jobs," the biography of Apple's (AAPL) iconic founder, went on sale Monday and is already on track to top the charts for 2011.

Amazon (AMZN) says the book could very likely be its top-selling of the year. People are eagerly reading it, looking for insight and inspiration from a man who didn't reveal much publicly about himself or his life. 
Tags: AAPL

Some Wall Street economists say a congressional deficit committee is headed for failure, making a rating cut more likely.

By Kim Peterson Oct 24, 2011 1:30PM
America's credit rating could get whacked again -- and soon.

That's what economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch say in a recent report. And political squabbling will be very much to blame.

The problem lies with the congressional supercommittee charged with coming up with ways to reduce the deficit. The committee is turning out to be anything but super. Members spent most of September in a standoff, The New York Times reports

This steelmaker trades at just 5.5 times earnings and yields nearly 4%.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 24, 2011 12:48PM
By Nathan Slaughter, Scarcity & Wealth

The best time to bet on steel is usually at the point of maximum pessimism. I don't know if we're there yet, but it says a lot that ArcelorMittal (MT) recently sank even lower than the depths of the March 2009 bottom.

That spells opportunity, because the company is in much better shape than it was during those dark days. 

Some leading tech shares may have gone too far too fast, while others are showing signs of continued upside.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 24, 2011 12:29PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


In a recent post, I discussed the most oversold Dow stocks, which focused on the results of one of the scans that I run each weekend.


It is based on Starc band analysis, as I have found that it is important to know which stocks or ETFs are closest to their monthly and weekly Starc+ or Starc- bands. When a security is close to its monthly Starc- band, it indicates that it is already oversold.  Statistically, this makes it more likely that the security will stabilize or rebound rather than continue to drop sharply.

 

The company's new RIO robotic system offers a less invasive approach.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 24, 2011 11:42AM
By Timothly Lutts, Cabot Stock of the Month

It was almost exactly seven years ago that we first discovered Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), which was just getting started with its da Vinci surgical robot, which offered less invasive surgeries.

Now along comes Mako Surgical (MAKO), which is loosely replicating Intuitive's success by offering its own robotic surgical solution. In fact, Intuitive's founder sits on Mako's board of directors. 
Tags: MAKO

A pair of companies will give investors a glimpse into the health of the economy as the holidays approach.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 24, 2011 11:31AM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Investors are stuck in a no man's land in which Credit Crisis 2.0 is capsizing a shaky global economy.

 

Every region of the world and asset class has its share of woes, from emerging markets to bonds, a condition that's unnerving American investors already wracked with worry over high unemployment.

 
Tags: AMZNups

Record revenue and a bright outlook from the industrial equipment giant are signs the global economy is still growing.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 24, 2011 11:02AM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Caterpillar's (CAT) third-quarter earnings report is a sign the global economy won't suffer another wave of recession.

 

Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, reported a third-quarter profit of $1.71 a share Monday, an increase of 40% from a year earlier. Revenue jumped 41% to $15.7 billion, although the results include the company's acquisition of mining company Bucyrus International. Excluding that, revenue of $14.6 billion was an all-time record.

 

It's a big earnings week for these ETFs.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 24, 2011 9:56AM

By Andrea Tse, TheStreetTheStreet


1. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Index Fund (IYE)

 

Major oil companies will be in focus this week, pushing IYE and other large-cap energy ETFs into the spotlight. Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP) are among the companies slated to report their earnings. This trio accounts for over 40% of the fund's total portfolio.

 

IYE has seen a strong run up in recent weeks as EU-related concerns have begun to abate. This strength has helped it recover all of the losses it suffered during the September selloff.

 

The days ahead will be crucial for IYE. In the event that confidence returns, the fund could be in for a lift. However, given its top heavy nature any exposure to IYE should be kept small.

 

In a region where Weimar inflation and German deflation led to social unrest and the rise of Hitler, peace and stability are more important than triple-A credit ratings.

By Jim Cramer Oct 24, 2011 9:28AM
the streetThe smart money has wanted to bet against this market every step of the way. It's as if the only badge of honor has been to be short -- positioned to gain if the markets fall -- and the reason is clear: These investors think Europe is too big and must fail.

 

In other words, there truly is no plan big enough and no entity large enough to rescue banks from themselves. The European banks, unlike the American ones, are so huge and so intertwined with the fortunes of sovereign debt that anyone who even thinks there could be a solution that isn't catastrophic is regarded as a lightweight.

 

This time, the sporadic approach of the past has been replaced with a comprehensive nationwide rollout for the cult boneless pork sandwich.

By InvestorPlace Oct 24, 2011 9:18AM

McDonald's (MCD) has been tearing it up in 2011. Shares are up 20% so far this year compared with a flat market. The company's McCafe coffee offerings have been a tasty and affordable alternative for cash-strapped consumers, and flashy upscale store redesigns and an exclusive McDonald's McTV channel look to build on current momentum.


But for some fast-food fans, the tastiest development of all is McDonald's plans to bring back the vaunted McRib sandwich in November. And this time, the sandwich will appear not just sporadically but nationwide as part of a serious rollout.

 

The heavy-equipment maker posts better-than-expected earnings. The movie rental company reports after the close.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 24, 2011 9:08AM
Image: Stock chart (© Photodisc/SuperStock)

By Andrea Tse, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT) reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.93 a share, beating the estimated $1.54. Caterpillar said it would have full-year sales of $58 billion after forecasting a range of $56 billion to $58 billion. Caterpillar also expects to have a full-year profit of $6.75 a share, compared with a previous outlook of $6.25 to $6.75.

 

Online movie rental company Netflix (NFLX) is expected to post a third-quarter profit of 94 cents a share after the markets close Monday, up from 70 cents last year.

 

Manufacturer Eaton (ETN) said third-quarter earnings rose 36%, and it reaffirmed the midpoint of its full-year earnings outlook. Excluding a charge related to acquisitions, earnings in the quarter were $1.08 a share, matching estimates.

 

A diversified portfolio and a high credit rating make this health care leader a defensive favorite.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 22, 2011 11:02AM
By Elliott Gue, Personal Finance

We are boosting our stake in blue chip healthcare stocks and have chosen Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) as the latest stock to join our Growth Portfolio

The company one of the best-diversified and most defensive stocks in the health care sector; it is also one of a handful of companies that emerged from the ravages of the credit crunch and recession with an AAA credit rating from S&P. 
Tags: JNJ

Placing a value on US Bancorp depends a lot on the future of the banking sector.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 21, 2011 7:25PM
This is about as good as it gets in U.S. banking these days. Which is to say, not great.

But US Bancorp (USB) continues to show that it’s more than ready to take advantage of the turn when it comes.

On Oct. 19, before the New York market opened, US Bancorp reported third-quarter earnings of 64 cents a share. That was 2 cents a share above the Wall Street consensus.
 
Tags: USB

Friday's big bounce shouldn't have been that surprising based on the charts, which tell us that the overall rally could run through the end of the year.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 21, 2011 5:55PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Wall Street professionals and the media were fixated on two things last week: the trading range in the stock market averages, and the European summit over the weekend.


Very few are talking about the very bullish action of the market internals, which are painting a much more attractive picture.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have taken a couple steps back from their opening highs, with the Nasdaq (+0.3%) slipping behind the S&P 500 (+0.4%).

The benchmark index currently hovers in the middle of its range, but the tech sector, which displayed early strength, has narrowed its gain to 0.3%. Other heavily-weighted groups like financials (+0.1%) and health care (+0.2%) also trail the broader market. The consumer discretionary space (+0.7%), meanwhile, continues trading ahead of ... More


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