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Consumer Reports scores MCD last out of 18 restaurants. Should the company be worried? And who ranks No. 1?
By Burke Speaker, InvestorPlace
McDonald’s (MCD) may be the No. 1 burger brand in the world, but it also has the dubious honor of having the worst-tasting burger in a new Consumer Reports ranking.
The poll of 28,000 online subscribers to the independent consumer advocacy magazine asked respondents to rate the burgers they had eaten on their most recent restaurant visits.
So who won the survey?
Finding 100% profits in 12 months isn't out of the question if the cards fall right -- either via huge growth or buyouts.
Finding stocks to buy is simple on paper. It's all well and good to say a stock posting improving earnings is a good buy with upside potential. But how much upside?
The truth is that picking investments capable of dramatic gains -- potentially as much as doubling your money -- is much harder. That's because charts don't offer much support for big moves like this, and efficient market theory argues against such short-term performance.
But finding doublers, while difficult, is not impossible.
The movie-rental company joins forces with Nu Image and Millennium Films.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Netflix (NFLX) announced a deal on Wednesday that will expand its streaming library.
The movie-rental company will partner with Nu Image and Millennium Films, which will give Netflix rights to stream first-run theatrical films distributed through the studio during the "pay TV window." The films typically have been licensed to premium TV channels.
Netflix has been expanding its content library in recent months through agreements with Fox, MTV Networks and Warner Television.
If there's another bank-related slowdown, watch for a shift out of value shares like Bank of America and into these discounted growth stocks.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why these two pairs? Because I think they represent the cheapest to growth and the cheapest to value. And if things really are slowing badly again, after we determined last week that they weren't, and if value stocks are losing value while growth is coming to the fore, then Teva and MHS -- both of which bucked the downward trend Tuesday -- will get more legs.
I like these two growth stocks because they are selling at the biggest discounts to their growth in their histories.
Equipment maker Joy Global bumps up guidance as a backlog of orders climbs.
Investors who bid up the price of construction machinery and mining equipment stocks before Joy Global (JOYG) announced earnings on Sept. 1 should be happy with the company's report (For more on the sector, see my post).
Joy Global announced July-quarter (the fiscal third quarter for the company) earnings per share of $1.13, 10 cents ahead of the Wall Street consensus. Revenue came in a little light at $850 million, versus the analysts' projection of $877 million.
But the big deal was the company's increased guidance for fiscal 2010, which since Joy Global's fiscal year ends in October means a big bump in guidance for the fourth quarter of 2010.
The search giant gives more details about its new 'Google TV' service, which it plans to launch this fall.
Google (GOOG) said it will launch a free service this fall that lets people browse the Web on their televisions, joining a growing crowd of companies fighting for a piece of the living room.
The company is working with television-set makers to add "Google TV" to new sets, and has so far signed Sony (SNE) as a partner, Reuters reported. Samsung is also considering the plan.
"Once you have Google television, you're going to be very busy," said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt Tuesday as he demonstrated the product in Berlin, according to Wired. "It's going to ruin your evening."
A quick and easy guide to deflation.
For the answer to that question, check out the "visual guide to deflation" at the Mint blog. It's a really nice overview of deflation, what causes it, what does it do to the economy and how do we fix it.
The guide is actually a little dated, but it's being resurrected by some financial types this week because deflation concerns are weighing heavily on economists' minds lately.
Morningstar unveils the top stock sales from its 'ultimate stock-pickers' team.
Morningstar reported the second-quarter holdings of its 'Ultimate Stock-Pickers' this week, and for the most part, few of the top 10 had changed. The stock-pickers still like stability, choosing companies with solid revenue, sound balance sheets and a growing cash pile, writes analyst Greggory Warren.
All the usual suspects were on the list, including Coca-Cola (KO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Microsoft (MSFT). Note: Microsoft publishes MSN Money.
But the list of top sales is where it gets interesting.
Our northern neighbor has big opportunities in banks, railroads and more because of strong financial footing and natural resources.
By Richard Young, InvestorPlace.com
Canadian stocks are coming into favor as the specter of inflation rears its ugly head and the fate of the recovery is anything but certain. That’s because Canada’s financial system is stable and because the nation is rich with natural resources and can keep plugging along even if consumers don’t open up their wallets again anytime soon.
That means Canada investments could be big in 2011. Why Canadian stocks? Well, there are a few reasons:
While US vehicle sales slumped in August, sales grew in China.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
The report, by the China Passenger Car Association, a research group, said August passenger car sales totaled 1.02 million and vehicle sales totaled 1.21 million.
In the U.S., August vehicle sales totaled 997,465, according to AutoData Corp. Overall, U.S. sales dipped by 21%, reflecting weak comparisons with a month when Cash for Clunkers was in full swing.
September and October have dark and stormy histories.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
Strap yourselves in. Autumn is upon us.
Both the 1929 and 1987 stock market crashes occurred in October, and don't forget the Dow Jones Industrial Average's ($INDU) 554-point drop in October 1997. The market suffered back-to-back "massacres" in fall 1978 and 1979. And who can forget the panic in autumn 2008, when Lehman Bros. failed in September, followed by equities' biggest monthly point drop ever in October?
Yes, there is good reason to fear the fall. And in case those are not enough, here are a few more.
The charts show a market set to break out, with some shares hitting definitive bottoms and others already taking off.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Is this the bearish investors' last stand? Or just too much enthusiasm in a holiday-addled week?
After an exhaustive look at every chart in the S&P Trendline's Daily Action Charts, my takeaway is that bearish investors will have to push the market back this week, because soon we'll see so many breakouts that the bears will be like Custer. Then it could be all over, and the market could rally 10%.
There's so much on the line for bearish investors who have mauled us every time it looked like we would break out. Right now, given good recent economic data, those bears look surrounded.
A buyout frenzy on Wall Street makes these picks very desirable.
By Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com
A 21-month run of rock-bottom interest rates has created a perfect environment for corporate bonds, and as bond yields fall, bond prices rise and investors and companies have made out like bandits.
This has put so much cash in corporate coffers that cash (as a percentage of S&P 500 market capitalization and excluding financials) has soared from just 3% of market value back in 1999 to more than 12.5% today.
This cash is burning a hole in the pockets of many companies, and they are starting to use it to make bids for other companies so they can grab market share and expand on the cheap.
Some of the market's top minds are finding big values in big, high-quality blue chips.
Individual investors remain quite bearish, with the American Association of Individual Investors' latest sentiment survey showing 42% of respondents to be bearish on stocks over the next six months, well above the 30% historical average. But some of the world's most successful investors are finding plenty of value -- and a couple gurus are finding it in the same place: big, high-quality blue chips.
One of them is Whitney Tilson, the money manager and columnist who was one of the few to warn about the housing bubble before it hit. Tilson this week told CNBC that he's seeing some of the best opportunities he's ever seen in big, high-quality blue chip equities. At the same time, he says, a bubble is forming in high-quality bonds. Investors are "seemingly willing to accept any yield no matter how low on safe bonds, like treasuries, for example, and yet they have no interest in the safest blue-chip companies, with the strongest balance sheets," he says. "And the companies are doing quite well, so that's where we're steering our portfolio."
Investors continue to add to their gold positions, and miners like Newmont are outperforming.
At some point in every gold rally, the market flips a switch and gold mining stocks start to outperform gold itself. I think we're at that inflection point now.
Analysts on Wall Street are calling for gold to hit $1,500 an ounce by December 2011. That would be roughly 18% above the record $1,266.50 reached on June 21.
But I think you can do even better in gold stocks during that time, because the operating leverage of gold miners gives you more upside than the metal does. At this point, I'd be looking at the majors such as Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG), and Newmont Mining (NEM), because they have a heavy weighting in the gold ETFs that are a big favorite of investors right now. My pick of the three would be Newmont Mining. (I already own shares of Goldcorp in Jubak's Picks.)
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In this installment of Investor Beat: The Fed chief tells Congress that it's too soon to end the stimulus program.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 settled lower by 0.8% after early strength turned into afternoon weakness.
Today's headline event came in the form of Ben Bernanke's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. During his remarks, Chairman Bernanke said premature tightening of monetary policy could stall the pace of recovery. This followed weeks of conflicting remarks from FOMC members, which sparked speculation regarding possible changes to the Fed's policy course.
However, ... More
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