8 reasons the market isn't worse
8 reasons the market isn't worse

Stocks should be crushed by global turmoil, Jim Cramer says. Instead, they're doing fine.


Just wait until corporate IT departments start ripping out their PC gear to install Macs and iStuff.

By TheStreet.com Staff Jul 16, 2014 12:47PM

(From left) Apple & IBM logos © Hitij/epa/CorbisHow big a deal is the Apple-IBM deal? Wrong question. How smart is the Apple-IBM deal for Apple? Very.

I know IBM (IBM) is rallying harder than Apple (AAPL) on its newfound affiliation with the best ecosystem in the world. That's all well and good, and perhaps Ginny Rometty can spin the earnings that are reported Thursday with some Apple-infused excitement.

But to me, this is all about IT -- meaning that the objections of the IT departments are finally being met from the ground up.

TheStreet.com logoWe all know what's been going on at companies in this country for years and years. Ingrained IT people have been reluctant to support Apple, because Apple is a consumer company. It always wants us to carry around many devices. It always pleads that it is security that keeps the WINTEL system in place with its Blackberry adjunct.


The company courted the former Ford CEO for months. He injects a dose of independence to a group that has added just 1 other new member since 2005.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 12:38PM
Credit: © Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Alan Mulally, outgoing chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co.By Rolfe Winkler, Alistair Barr and Joann S. Lublin, The Wall Street Journal

Former Ford Motor (F) Chief Executive Alan Mulally, who flirted with Microsoft's (MSFT) top job last winter, has joined the board of another tech giant: Google (GOOG). (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

Mr. Mulally (pictured), who retired as Ford's CEO on July 1, became the 11th member of Google's board on July 9 and adds a dose of independence to a group that has added just one other new member since 2005. Mr. Mulally will serve on the board's audit committee.

Mr. Mulally, also a former Boeing (BA) executive, brings to Google expertise in both the auto and aviation industries as the search giant expands into self-driving cars, information and entertainment systems for cars and delivering Internet access from drones and satellites.


Time Warner surges after rejecting an $80 billion acquisition bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

By TheStreet.com Staff Jul 16, 2014 12:24PM

A general view of the Time Warner Center in New York City © Jason Szenes/epa/AlamyBy Keris Alison Lahiff, TheStreet

Time Warner  (TWX), owner of the Warner Brothers movie studio and popular pay-TV networks TBS, TNT and HBO, was surging Wednesday after confirming it had rebuffed media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox  (FOXA) bid to buy the company in a deal worth $80 billion.

Shares of New York-based Time Warner were gaining 16.4 percent to $82.70, its highest price since August, 2001, as investors buy into a deal whose offer may have to be increased before can be consummated. Fox, ever the acquirer, was dropping 1.7 percent to $33.49.

"21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies," New York-based 21st Century Fox said in a statement. "The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner." 


The bid for Time Warner may not go through, but it's an indication that the industry is ripe for consolidation.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 16, 2014 12:19PM
Credit: © Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Caption: A post that shows trades Time Warner stock on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2014By Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

The surprise $80 billion offer from 21st Century Fox (FOX) for Time Warner (TWX) may have been rejected, but more consolidation in media is likely, former Time Warner chief Gerald Levin told CNBC on Wednesday.

It's "part of the digital disruption" of the industry, he said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

"Even though content is normally king, the new age of the Googles, the Amazons, the Apples, the Netflixes all suggest that you have to be very entrepreneurial," Levin continued, "and most importantly, try and redefine your company."

"It's ultimately all about management," he added. "The ability to manage a combination. It's not just about blue-chip assets. That's another lesson from AOL-Time Warner."


The investor made waves recently when he was photographed in an Outback, but these days he favors Caddies.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 4:14PM
Credit: © Nati Harnik/AP

Caption: Warren BuffettBy Joann Muller, Forbes

Pretty much anything that billionaire Warren Buffett says or does makes news, it seems. 

So last week, when the influential investor was photographed sitting alone in a new Subaru Outback, a hungry blogger at AutoEvolution turned it into a story, which then went viral, including this post explaining how the no-nonsense Subaru is a perfect fit for the Wizard of Omaha's frugal investing style. 

CNBC tweeted the news to its 1.5 million followers and Subaru even jumped on board, posting the grainy photo and story on its Facebook page.

Buffett, whose modest tastes are well-known, was flabbergasted by the attention -- especially because the story was wrong. 


We already knew what she was going to say because, these days, the Federal Reserve can't stop talking about its plans. It wasn't always this way.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 3:58PM
Credit: © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Caption: Federal Reserve Chair Janet YellenBy Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

Humphrey-Hawkins Day used to mean something, but when Janet Yellen (pictured) went to Capitol Hill Tuesday to testify on the state of the economy, investors didn’t pay much attention.

We already knew what she was going to say because, these days, the Federal Reserve can barely shut up about what it thinks and what it plans to do.

These days, Yellen has plenty of other opportunities to explain herself and the deliberations of the Federal Open Market Committee. The Fed chairwoman doesn't need to wait for her ritual appearances in front of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. 

Yellen holds press conferences and conducts on-the-record interviews. The FOMC itself releases a long explanation after each meeting, and includes detailed forecasts and assumptions about the course of the economy every quarter. We even have a "dot plot" showing where each member thinks the federal funds rate will be years from now.


The company pulled Zilmax last year amid resistance from cattle processors. Now, it wants to run a test on 250,000 animals.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 3:00PM
Credit: Jim Young/Reuters
Caption: A worker looks over cows feeding in a free-stall barnBy Jesse Newman, The Wall Street Journal

A sweeping effort by Merck & Co. (MRK) to revive a livestock drug it pulled from the U.S. market last year is stalling amid resistance from the nation's largest beef processors.

Merck for months has been preparing to conduct a large-scale study this summer to demonstrate the safety of its Zilmax product. 

The feed additive was widely used to promote weight gain in U.S. cattle before Merck suspended sales in August 2013 because of concerns in the beef industry that the drug made it difficult for some animals to walk.

The pharmaceutical company has said it wants to test Zilmax on about 250,000 cattle, in what Merck says would be the most extensive randomized, controlled study of any drug fed to cattle. 


The Oracle and the Beatle caused quite a stir in Omaha as they went to dinner and walked up the street to get ice cream.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 1:23PM
Credit: Courtesy of Tom White via Instagram, speeeeeeed_of_white

Caption: The By Alex Crippen, CNBC

A young man's photograph with Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney casually sitting on a bench in the background is getting a lot of attention on the Internet.

The selfie was posted on Instagram late Sunday by user "speeeeeed_of_white." The user's profile page identifies the person in the picture as Tom White, "making the world a better place since 1997."

The Omaha World-Herald, the daily newspaper owned by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), reports there were multiple sightings of Buffett and McCartney Sunday night in the Dundee section of Omaha.


Her 2-year anniversary at the helm of the struggling company is this week. It's a pivot point for any CEO.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 1:11PM
Credit: © Brian Ach/Getty Images

Caption: Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, May 7, 2014By Marek Fuchs, MarketWatch

Marriages may suffer from a seven-year itch, but for the media and the CEOs they lionize, the precise moment of reconsideration seems to come at two years.

That is why Yahoo's (YHOO) second-quarter earnings report, expected after the close of trading Tuesday, a day short of the two-year anniversary of Marissa Mayer's heralded appointment, is shaping up as the consummate pivot point.

You can already see the media seizing the two-year anniversary as the appropriate moment to take the first cold, hard look at Mayer's tenure, which has produced a lot of excitement, but only middling results.

Asked National Public Radio about Mayer, recently mocked for snoozing through a meeting: "So two years in, how's she doing?"


The market can do a very poor job of evaluating some picks, CNBC host Jim Cramer says.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 12:46PM
A model of a Boeing Co. 777-300 ER Dreamliner aircraft is displayed at the Singapore Airshow
© Seperi/Getty ImagesBy Lee Brodie, CNBC

CNBC host Jim Cramer always advocates doing your own research and drawing your own conclusions. This is why.

"There are times, such as now, when the market does a very poor job of valuing certain stocks", Cramer said. 

If you followed Street sentiment you might have avoided a number of stocks, and, in turn, missed out on opportunities to make money. 

"Let me give you some examples," he added.


Investors sense the industrial giant is fast becoming one of the biggest software firms on earth.

By TheStreet.com Staff Jul 15, 2014 12:43PM

The General Electric logo is displayed during the company's 2010 annual meeting in Houston © Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Marc Courtenay, TheStreet 

General Electric (GE) keeps surprising investors in ways it hopes will build excitement and loyalty. Most recently it won the energy business of French engineering conglomerate Alstom, a deal that GE snatched from the jaws of its German competitor Siemens (SI).

But CEO Jeff Immelt is looking beyond that. He wants to make good on his plan to transform GE from a finance-focused labyrinth into a heavyweight of the industrial equipment universe. The Alstom transaction is just one component of that transformation.

By spinning off its credit card business, Synchrony Financial, via an initial public offering later this year GE lowers its dependence on profits from its finance division to a target of less than 25 percent by the beginning of 2016 from 45 percent in 2013.


Fund managers are hoarding equities, overlooking what even they admit are fairly lofty valuations.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 15, 2014 12:07PM
Credit: © H-Gall/Getty Images

Caption: A fund managerBy Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

Just how bullish are fund managers these days? 

So much so that they are aggressively positioning for a second-half upturn in the global economy, according to the latest survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, out Tuesday.

Among those global asset allocators surveyed, a net 61 percent are now overweight equities. That difference between those who are overweight versus those that are underweight is the survey's highest reading since early 2011, and the second-strongest response ever for the bank's monthly report that takes the pulse of fund managers.

Investors are willing to overlook what even they see as fairly lofty valuations, along with tail risks.  A net 21 percent of managers in the July survey regard stocks as overvalued, the survey’s highest reading since 2000. 


The drug industry is primed for huge growth in the next few years, and Warren Buffett is already investing in the company best positioned to take advantage.

By StreetAuthority Jul 15, 2014 11:44AM

Insurance Money © Comstock Images, JupiterimagesBy Ian Floyd, StreetAuthority

The global pharmaceutical industry is worth roughly $1 trillion. And when you look at the major players in this space -- Merck (MRK), Bayer (BAYRY), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and so on -- it's hard to imagine the industry growing at any sort of rate for investors to get excited about.

But a wave of change is quietly sweeping this industry. And investors who are aware of these developments have an opportunity to position themselves to profit ahead of the crowd.

It's no secret that many of the companies I just mentioned are facing some challenges. Before I tell you more about the opportunity, it's important to understand what those challenges are.

Big Pharma seemed unstoppable until a few years ago -- when three these trends began pushing the industry in a new direction:


In the real investing world, the situation is simple. Facebook is making a fortune, while Twitter is losing one.

By Jim Cramer Jul 15, 2014 11:42AM

The Twitter bird logo is on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. © Richard Drew/AP PhotoIs Facebook's (FB) stock better than Twitter's (TWTR)? Here's a question that has become a real battleground, that isn't really even a contested situation in the real world.

That's because Facebook is making a fortune and Twitter is losing a fortune. In the world of stocks, that's pretty much the only real salient piece of information you need. But in the world of Twitter -- or at least my bizarre, sometimes ridiculously contested Twitter feed -- it is irrelevant.

This weekend I lit up a firestorm on Twitter, talking about how advertisers tell me they like Twitter because they get promoted without ever having to pay Twitter anything and they like Facebook because even though they have to pay Facebook and pay it handily the results are fantastic.


The offerings range from pet insurers to medical billing companies.

By Benzinga Jul 14, 2014 5:44PM

Image: Stock market © Digital Vision/SuperStockBy William Hubbard

Nine initial public offerings are scheduled for the week of July 14, including Medical Transcription Billing (MTBC), which was previously expected to open last Thursday.

The two largest IPOs for the week are TerraForm Power (the latest spinoff of SunEdison (SUNE), and Trupanion, a pet insurance provider.

TerraForm is issuing 20.1 million shares between $19 and $21 to raise just over $400 million in SunEdison's second spinoff following SunEdison Semiconductor (SEMI). 

SunEdison Semiconductor's May IPO rose 15 percent in its first day of trading and 34 percent since inception.



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Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Wednesday session on a mixed note. The tech-heavy Nasdaq displayed relative strength, climbing 0.4%, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% with five sectors settling in the green. For its part, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) spent the entire session below its flat line.

Equities started the midweek affair on a rather unassuming note in the absence of market-moving news or economic releases. With those pieces missing from the equation, ... More


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