Why stocks are in for a rough ride this week
Stocks in for a rough ride this week

Longtime market bull Jeremy Siegel says investors could realize the market is behind the curve on interest rates.

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Did management pass on possible acquisition talks?

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 23, 2011 12:47PM
Image: Arrow Down Red (© Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty)ByEvan Niu

 

There's really no way to sugarcoat it: Research In Motion (RIMM) is rapidly spiraling the drain toward irrelevance.

 

There are plenty of ways it could have avoided its current quandary, starting by taking the advice of shareholders and employees instead of allowing co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to blindly charge ahead with their misaligned strategy. Reports are now surfacing that there could have been another outcome; it didn't have to be this way.

 

Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto and Accenture are a few names that could benefit if these events come to pass.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 23, 2011 11:18AM

Image: Woman reading newspaper in livingroom © Tetra images/Getty ImagesBy Peter Leeds, guest columnist

 

The coming year will see major events play out, such as the presidential election, continued turmoil in Libya, and the potential fall of the euro.  Each of these will create some key investment opportunities.  Based on analysis I conduct for my  financial newsletter, I'm expecting the following events to occur in 2012. I normally focus on penny stocks, but here I list some larger stocks I think will enjoy strong performances as a result of these events.

 

1.  Obama will be re-elected

Based on percentages coming in from 9 battle ground states, and the number of electoral college votes from each, it appears that Obama would win if the election were held today.  I expect his lead to increase as the campaign enters full swing.

 

The list includes names poised for capital appreciation over the next year.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 23, 2011 10:36AM
Image: Bull figurine on ascending line graph and list of share prices (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Standard & Poor's The Outlook

A dynamic, actively managed portfolio, the S&P Top Ten Portfolio is comprised of stocks that S&P Equity Research believes to be well positioned for solid capital appreciation over the next 12 months.

Stocks must have our highest five-stars ranking to enter the portfolio. If the ranking drops below four stars, the stock will be removed.

In addition, any stock in the portfolio may be replaced with a five-star stock at any time. 

Will the card giant be able to reinvent itself in 2012?

By Benzinga Dec 22, 2011 6:57PM

Image: Birthday (© Simon Jarratt/Corbis/Corbis)By Jay Wong, Benzinga Staff Writer


American Greetings (AM) shares plunged Thursday after the company said that third-quarter earnings fell almost 40% as sales and marketing costs rose. With those expenses eating into the bottom line, the company sharply cut its forecast for 2012.


Quarterly profit of 50 cents a share severely missed analyst estimates of 81 cents a share. The company further irritated investors by refusing to answer many analyst questions on its conference call, instead opting for "no comment" responses.

 

There are so few banking and tech stocks that buck the economy's headwinds, so why bother with them?

By Jim Cramer Dec 22, 2011 5:20PM

Image: Bank Vault (© Radius Images/Jupiterimages)There's good tech and then there's bad tech. There are good banks and then there are bad banks. These are huge sectors and they can't be regarded as unified or uniformed. Yet that's what people do.


There has always been a sector pull to these two, but it's never been as great as now because of the ETF-ization of everything, making it so that stocks that shouldn't trade together trade together, and it causes someone like me, who wants to endorse particular stocks, to be tarred as changing his mind and flip-flopping like "Jim, you hate tech, how can you like Google (GOOG)?"

 

The restaurant chain, which saw shares hit a new 52-week high Thursday, has strategies for both good times and bad.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 22, 2011 4:38PM
Image: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)McDonald's (MCD) is the ideal stock for investors worried about the prospects of a double-dip recession next year -- and for those who think the economic recovery will continue.

The world's largest restaurant chain appeals to the budget-conscious consumer through its dollar menu and its value meals. People with more money to spend are buying more expensive items such as coffee drinks and premium chicken sandwiches. This dual strategy is working like a charm for the Oak Brook, Ill. company. 
Tags: MCD

If Europe slumps to recession levels next year, the company could see sales growth stall.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 22, 2011 4:13PM
I’ve been looking for an exit on Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) for a couple of weeks now. I was hoping for something closer to $18, but after repeated drops to $14.95 (on Dec. 19) and $14.77 (on Dec. 14), the $16.09 close on Dec. 21 looks to be about as good as I’m going to get in a market that isn’t treating anything that smacks of technology or China too kindly. 

Maxwell was trading at $16.39 on Thursday afternoon.
 
Tags: MXWL

In a year that saw stunning underperformance by some big-name stocks, one indicator proved most useful.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 22, 2011 4:00PM

Image: Stocks circled in newspaper (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


No matter what happens in the last few days, this trading year has been an especially rough one for stock investors. While the S&P 500 is still down for the year, the Dow Industrials are actually up almost 5% (at time of writing).


So how could investors have known to be in the SPDR Diamond Trust (DIA), which tracks the Dow, instead of the Spyder Trust (SPY), which tracks the S&P 500?

 

Cigarette sales by subsidiary Philip Morris underpin profitability, stock price.

By Trefis Dec 22, 2011 2:51PM
Image: Man smoking (© Steve Mason/Photodisc Blue/Getty Images)Philip Morris USA, Altria Group's (MO) subsidiary, has hiked its cigarette prices for the second time this year. The price increase of 5 cents per pack will affect all of its 14 brands.

Cigarette manufacturers across the country have continued to raise prices as they adjust to shrinking demand. Reynolds American (RAI) is also raising prices by 5 cents per pack, while Lorillard (LO) will increase prices by 6 cents per pack. 
Tags: LOMORAI

Deutsche Telekom will look to other suitors, including Sprint, or dispose of network operator piecemeal.

By Trefis Dec 22, 2011 2:31PM
Image: Silver globe with twinkling lights (© Tetra Images/Getty Images)After AT&T (T) finally pulled its bid for T-Mobile as a result of regulatory concerns related to market share, the mobile network operator is left looking for other suitors. As part of the agreement, AT&T will have to pay T-Mobile's parent, Deutsche Telekom, a breakup fee of $3 billion in cash and an additional $1 billion worth of spectrum and other assets.

While spectrum and roaming agreements will benefit T-Mobile from a network coverage standpoint, we do not expect that Deutsche Telekom will invest the $3 billion in the U.S. carrier, given its plans to exit the market. Although a portion will certainly be used to cover some of the struggling company's expenses.

 
Tags: S

A rumored device from Sony could raise the stakes in the smartphone market.

By Kim Peterson Dec 22, 2011 1:56PM
We're just weeks from the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the best new products for the coming year are often unveiled.

One hot subject undoubtedly will be the next generation in mobile phones: bigger and far more advanced. Sony (SNE) is thought to be making a splash in the U.S. soon with a device it calls its "superphone." 

Amazon's success could prompt a major redesign of the iPad.

By Trefis Dec 22, 2011 1:49PM
Credit: Amazon
Caption: Kindle FireIt seems Apple (AAPL) is coming under intense pressure from the runaway success of  Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet. Recently, Amazon announced that it is selling over 1 million Kindles (including Kindle eReaders) each week, which is on par with the 11 million iPads sold by Apple during the entire last quarter.

According to DigiTimes, Apple could come up with a 7.85-inch iPad next year in order to overcome the challenge posed by the 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets, even as other competitors such as Research in Motion (RIMM) and Motorola Mobility (MMI) continue to struggle in the tablet market.

 

A surge in buyback activity should help boost earnings per share just as more economic headwinds are expected.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 22, 2011 1:15PM
Stock marketsBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

If the economy fails to deliver higher earnings per share in the fourth quarter, companies may generate it themselves by using surplus cash on their balance sheets to buy back shares.

That's the message in the latest report on corporate stock buyback activity by Standard & Poor's. In the third quarter, buybacks totaled $118 billion, nearly 50% above year-earlier levels. But the big news, says Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P, is that companies are buying back more shares than they need in order to cover the dilutive impact of issuing options to employees. 

This emerging market play is outpacing its parent company.

By InvestorPlace Dec 22, 2011 12:22PM

CorbisBy Louis Navellier, Editor, Blue Chip Growth


Brazil-based Companhia De Bebidas Das Americas (ABV), more commonly known as AmBev, is Latin America's biggest brewer. The company also is majority-owned by the No. 1 American brewer, Anheuser-Busch (BUD), which truly is the "king of beers" after the European leader InBev took it over. So with AmBev, you invest in the higher-growth subsidiary of the largest brewing company in the world.


Since AmBev is growing faster than InBev, ABV shares trade at higher valuation multiples (7.1 price/book, 6.8 price/sales) than the parent (2.5 price/book, 2.4 price/sales). This has allowed for an interesting accounting anomaly where InBev sports a market cap (as of the time of this writing) of $94.09 billion, while AmBev has a market cap of $112.27 billion -- in the alchemy of finance, the subsidiary is worth more than its majority shareholder.

 

Boston Scientifc and First Solar are downgraded to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 22, 2011 11:58AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • CME Group (CME) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • Juniper (JNPR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • VMware (VMW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich
  • Zimmer (ZMH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho
  • Advance Auto Parts (AAP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
  • Potash (POT) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
  • Micron (MU) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush
 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%.

Equities spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the ... More


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