Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?
Did Alibaba IPO signal a market top?

Some investment advisers are entertaining that possibility, especially in light of Monday's triple-digit loss in the Dow.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Despite buoyant consumer sentiment, the data suggests the good vibes won't last.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 27, 2012 4:40PM

Markets were mildly disappointed Friday by the 2.8% annualized growth rate the economy managed in the fourth quarter. Growth missed expectations slightly, but it was still the best result in over a year. What's worrying is that the details suggest growth will drag in the months to come as a temporary boost from a drop in the savings rate and an increase in inventories fade. The fact that manufacturers cut investment last quarter and that final sales came in at only 0.8%, suggest it's time for caution.

 

That's not how most people feel. The latest survey of consumer sentiment by the University of Michigan surged for the fifth straight month and has returned to levels not seen since last January. A rising stock market no doubt has a lot to do with that.

 

Then, like now, shares were rising in a low-volume, low-volatility crawl powered by central bank largesse. But then, like now, the fundamentals suggested trouble lurks beneath. Here's why.

 

Analysts' expectations are much too high, and the company must say so.

By Jim Cramer Jan 27, 2012 4:08PM

Can Ford Motor (F) ever get it together? I know a lot of people are thinking that this company has gone from being the comeback kid to a serial underperformer and that the story is finished, kaput and never coming back.


I think that's wrong. In fact I think that what happened here is that the company over-promised and under-delivered. Here's why... 

 

The company may seek to raise as much as $10 billion, The Wall Street Journal says, with a market cap of $75 billion to $100 billion. That would make the company more valuable than Amazon.com.

By Charley Blaine Jan 27, 2012 3:54PM
Charley BlaineUpdated:  4:07 p.m. ET

Facebook
, the colossus of social networking, is expected to file papers for an initial public offering next week.

The indications are that the IPO will suggest the company is worth $75 billion to $100 billion, The Wall Street Journal said.

Facebook's IPO could raise as much as $10 billion, the Journal said. The offering has been hotly anticipated as a defining moment for the latest Web investing boom.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., has more than 800 million members around the world and has dramatically changed the way people interact with each other and share information on the Internet. 

MSN Money's Jim Jubak answers Facebook users' questions about his 10-year portfolio.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 27, 2012 3:10PM

With the economy in flux and trading volatile, investors can't really buy and hold a portfolio of stocks for 10 years. But MSN Money columnst Jim Jubak believes they can "buy and review" a portfolio of 10 stocks for the next 10 years

 

In this video, he explains his 10-year strategy while fielding questions from MSN Money's Facebook community. He discusses why commodities make sense and why Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) isn't his favorite stock these days.

 
Tags: ADM

The iconic motorcycle maker benfits from refocused product development and revamped dealership network.

By Trefis Jan 27, 2012 2:40PM
Image: Highway through prairie (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Harley Davidson's (HOG) worldwide motorcycle retail sales increased by 10.9% in the fourth quarter, compared to the same quarter the year before. In the U.S., sales climbed 11.8%. The company's income from continuing operations in the quarter was $54.6 million, compared to a loss of $42.1 million for the same period last year. Its gross margins rose from 29.6% to 31.2%, while operating income posted an increase of $42.3 million.

All this has been possible because of Harley's commitment to refocusing its product development, reducing inefficiencies, and speeding time to market. 

 
Tags: HMCHOG

A market historian reviews the long-term pattern of stock prices and the Presidential election cycle.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 27, 2012 2:38PM
By Jim Stack, Investech Market Analyst

What lies ahead in 2012? That’s the big question, and the fact that we’re approaching a Presidential Election likely improves the chances that this will be a good year for the stock market.

Historically, there has been a clear visible link between the Presidential election cycle and Wall Street. Below, we look at the correlation between cycles in the stock market and the 4-year election cycle. 

The push for healthier food has prompted the Golden Arches to stop using ammonium hydroxide in its burgers. Will the move hurt the company's bottom line?

By InvestorPlace Jan 27, 2012 2:10PM

By Kyle Woodley


McDonald's (MCD) clientele can finally rest easy, as "dog food" is coming off the menu at the Golden Arches.


In the wake of an outcry by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, McDonald's said on Thursday said it will stop using ammonium hydroxide, a common ingredient in cleaning solutions that's dubiously dubbed "pink slime," in its beef patties.

 

Some of the biggest and highest-yielding drug stocks are declining near attractive buy levels.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 27, 2012 1:53PM

Image: Pills (© Sean Justice/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The early strength in the stock market on Thursday was later hit with selling as stock index futures declined for most of the day. This is consistent with a loss of upside momentum, but there are no signs of a short-term top.


If you are waiting for the major market averages to reach a certain corrective level before you buy, you may miss out. Sector rotation is how the market has been correcting recently, with the material stocks coming to the forefront early this week.

 

Gambling revenue from casinos in Macao soared last year to nearly $33 billion -- many times the revenue earned in gaming meccas like Las Vegas.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 27, 2012 1:44PM
Macau CasinoBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

The Year of the Dragon is off to an explosive start, as much of Asia and Chinese communities worldwide greeted the lunar new year with fireworks and festivities.

But the party atmosphere is nothing new for the casino business in Macau, the destination of choice for Chinese gamblers, a large and avid gaming community. 

3 writers weigh in on the search giant's sharing of user data.

By TheWeek.com Jan 27, 2012 1:30PM
Image: Man with laptop (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Google (GOOG) is changing its privacy policies to allow the sharing of a user's data across 60 of its web services, including Gmail, YouTube, and personalized search (but not Google Wallet, Google Books, or the Chrome browser). For example, says Brent Rose at Gizmodo, "If you searched for 'Furbies' on Google's homepage (for some freaky reason) and then later went to YouTube, you might see Furbies videos pop up. That's new. Previously, data was compartmentalized between applications."

Privacy advocates and many tech commentators aren't happy, especially because there's no way to opt out of the cross-Google data sharing. Does this change violate Google's "don't-be-evil" philosophy? 
Tags: GOOG

States and local municipalities are still barely getting their footing, but these companies will help them in their recovery.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 27, 2012 12:26PM

Image: Car Accident (© George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)By Benjamin Shepherd, Personal Finance


U.S. state and local governments shed about 244,000 jobs in 2011 and 249,000 jobs in 2010, according to government data. Since the height of the global credit crunch in mid-2008, almost 670,000 state and local government jobs have been eliminated.


But as the U.S. economy slowly heals, the outlook for state workers is beginning to improve. 

 
Tags: AIRMEGOV

Juniper and Wendy's are downgraded, while Transocean is upgraded.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 27, 2012 12:15PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
  • U.S. Bancorp (USB) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Atlantic Equities
  • Starbucks (SBUX) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA
  • Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Add from Neutral at Capital One
 

Ford shares slump on disappointing results.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 27, 2012 11:52AM
Ford Motor (F) is the only car company of the Big Three not to end 2011 on a high note. The only one of the three that didn't need a government bailout has stumbled as its rivals have gained.

Net income at the Dearborn, Michigan-based company reported net income of $13.6 billion, or $3.40 per share, versus $190 million, or 5 cents per share the year before.  Excluding one-time items, profit was $1.1 billion, or 20 cents per share, 5 cents below Wall Street consensus forecasts. Revenue rose to $34.6 billion. 
Tags: Fgm

Golar's speciality fleet is set to benefit from an expected boom in LNG shipping.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 27, 2012 11:12AM

Ron Chapple/JupiterimagesBy Harry Domash, Dividend Detective

Thanks to new techniques for getting natural gas out of shale rock formations, the U.S. is suddenly producing more natural gas than we need.

That's a good thing because many foreign countries are eager to import our surplus natural gas. Meanwhile, falling natural gas prices have opened up an opportunity for investors in Golar LNG (GLNG).

 
Tags: GLNG

The company stands to gain from the latest complex exploration methods.

By Trefis Jan 27, 2012 10:47AM
Scott Gibson/CorbisHigh oil prices and declining production from existing fields have been prompting oil companies to explore technically complex and remotely located reserves. As a result, oilfield services companies like Schlumberger (SLB) are positioning themselves to benefit from the long-term trends shaping the energy industry.

Already we see strong revenue and earnings growth because of the rising interest in shale exploration and increasing deepwater activity. We expect Schlumbeger to leverage its global presence and its technological edge to benefit from the current era of high energy prices. The company competes with other players in the field, such as Halliburton (HAL) and Baker Hughes (BHI). 
Tags: BHIHALSLB

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.5%) remains pressured as every uptick has been met with selling activity. This morning, the health care sector (-0.6%) was an early source of weakness in reaction to concerns about the impact of new rules on tax inversion deals.

Over the past 30 minutes, Bloomberg reported that Pfizer (PFE 30.01, -0.17) has approached Actavis (ACT 242.88, +7.02) about a potential acquisition. Actavis, which traded with a slim loss ahead of the reports, has ... More


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