A simple way to make money on stocks
An easy way to profit on stocks

Do your research. There's a reason it's the No. 1 rule in the book.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

It's been a rough road for the car-rental company. Analysts downgrade the stock after the news.

By MSN Money Partner 29 minutes ago
Credit: © Oliver Berg/EPA

Caption: A Hertz service counter at Cologne/Bonn airportBy Nathan Vardi, Forbes

Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ) shares fell sharply on Wednesday after the rental car company withdrew its financial guidance for 2014. 

The company said earnings would be "well below the low end of its 2014 guidance" because of  "operational challenges" and costs related to its accounting review.

In other words, things are a mess at Hertz. The company's stock has been a favorite among prominent hedge fund managers like Glenview Capital Management's Larry Robbins, York Capital Management's James Dinan and Fir Tree Partners' Jeffrey Tannenbaum.


Shares of Hertz plunged by more than 11 percent in Wednesday morning trading to $27.95, but recovered to a 9.5 percent loss in the afternoon. The stock had previously risen in August to a 52-week high of $31.61.

 
Tags: HTZ

The Nasdaq is booming, but some of the biggest names in technology haven't recovered.

By MSN Money Partner 51 minutes ago
Credit: © Kris Tripplaar/Rex Features

Caption: The headquarters of Cisco Systems, Inc., in Silicon Valley, San Jose, Calif.By Tomi Kilgore, MarketWatch

While the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) has finally made it back to levels seen around the time the technology bubble popped more than 14 years ago, a number of tech-heavyweights that helped fuel the madness are still languishing at less than half their peak levels.


The tech-friendly Nasdaq Composite closed Tuesday at 4527.51, the highest level seen since March 31, 2000. 


The Nasdaq has soared more than four-fold since bottoming out at 1114.11 on Oct. 9, 2002, but is still an 11 percent rally away from its all-time closing peak of 5046.86 reached on March 9, 2000.

 

A 4.8% yield is drawing attention to this bundle of dividend stocks from Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.

By InvestorPlace 1 hour ago

Caption: Illustration of a businessman standing on stock prices looking up at line graphs over globe
Credit: © Roy Scott/Getty ImagesBy Kyle Woodley


If you're a dividend investor, chances are you're holding many of the space's stalwarts -- big, blue-chip American companies with rock-solid financials and gobs of cash that you can ride through thick and thin.


That's good. Don't stop doing that.


But if you're truly looking to diversify your holdings, that also means protecting yourself against a slump in the U.S. And one of the best ways to do that is to target the same types of big, blue-chip dividend companies you like here in the States . . . but elsewhere on the map.


One of the best ways to hunker down internationally is the iShares International Select Dividend ETF (IDV), a bundle of high-yielding dividend stocks from Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.

 
Tags: DVYIDVSDY

Low interest rates are supposed to get money circulating, but instead investors are hoarding cash.

By MSN Money Partner 1 hour ago
Image: Money with lock © Ingram Publishing, SuperStock​By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

The conventional wisdom says the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates so low that it doesn't pay to play it safe and that it's encouraging investors to do all sorts of crazy things to earn a higher yield.


Supposedly, the central bank is prompting investors to pump up stocks, junk bonds, farm land and all the other bubbles you've been reading about.


It's a nice story, but the data show that U.S. investors are still conservative about where they put their money.


Just how conservative are they?

 

The heavy-machine maker is getting killed in Asia. Its performance may say a lot about the world economy.

By MSN Money Partner 2 hours ago
Credit: © Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters
Caption: The CAT logo is seen on the side of a Caterpillar machineBy Myles Udland, Business Insider

Caterpillar's (CAT) sales keep falling.

The heavy-machine maker just released its latest three-month rolling retail sales stats, which showed that sales, particularly in its Asia/Pacific segment, keep falling. 


Worldwide, total machine retail sales were down 12 percent in May, 10 percent in June and 9 percent in July when compared to the prior year period. 


These declines compare to year-on-year declines of 8 percent, 12 percent and 13 percent in February, March and April. 


In its Asia/Pacific segment, total machine sales were down 30 percent, 30 percent and 29 percent for the months of May, June, and July, respectively. 

 
Tags: CAT

The dollar is down, the Gaza truce is off, the Fed's minutes come out today, and company news is all bad.

By Jim Cramer 3 hours ago

A pedestrian carrying an umbrella passes a U.S. flag on Wall Street in front of the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange in New York © Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThe Germans and Russians were potentially working things out in Ukraine. Home Depot (HD) and some other retailers put up terrific numbers, and housing starts got stronger even as gasoline and mortgage rates went lower. Gaza was peaceful. The dollar was stable, and we seemed not to have all that much to worry about regarding the Federal Reserve.


Keep those circumstances in mind, because those were the thoughts that framed Tuesday's closing bell.


Now consider today.


TheStreet.com logoFirst, the dollar is soaring again, much harder than what we have seen of late. Why? Maybe because Ukraine wants more concessions and the Russians don't want to go quietly into the night? Second, at the Bank of England, the prior consensus to keep interest rates lower is unraveling as two members want higher rates. Third, the Gaza truce is off and the fighting is back on.

 

Do your research. There's a reason it's the No. 1 rule in the book.

By MSN Money Partner 23 hours ago
Credit: © Nati Harnik/AP

Caption: Warren Buffett
By Patrick Morris, The Motley Fool

Looking for how to make money in the stock market? A new paper reveals there's one easy way.


And it turns out it's one thing Warren Buffett (pictured) has admitted he does almost every day.


According to a recent paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, or NBER, entitled "Financial Knowledge and 401k Investment Performance," now, more than ever, the ability for an individual American to properly save and invest is critical.


The paper notes that as a result of the changes in how employers contribute to employee retirement accounts -- pension plans have become less common and things like 401k accounts, which require more decisions from individuals, have grown -- "the ability to invest wisely and earn better returns will therefore be increasingly critical for national retirement well-being in an aging world."

 

The market is setting itself up to hit new highs that should last through November.

By InvestorPlace 23 hours ago

Caption: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Credit: © Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBy Anthony Mirhaydari


Stocks continued to push higher Tuesday in response to a batch of "Goldilocks" economic data.


Consumer price inflation was softer than expected, providing the doves at the Federal Reserve with more ammunition to keep the hawks at bay. And housing looks set to get a lift as new construction starts jumped 8 percent, ending two months of declines.


The broad market looks ready for a Fed-fueled melt-up heading into Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. That likely will set up a push to new highs that should last through November. Helping in this has been the diminishing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Iraq.


In fact, after largely skidding sideways over the last few months, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) looks set for another move toward the 2,000 mark and new all-time highs. Here's why.

 

Sales at the retailer are plunging, leading executives to roll out some dramatic fixes. Shares rise 4% in response.

By MSN Money Partner 24 hours ago
Pedestrians walk past the Urban Outfitters Inc. store in San Francisco, Calif. (© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Hayley Peterson, Business Insider

Urban Outfitters' (URBN) namesake brand is struggling.

The brand's same-store sales plunged 10 percent in the second quarter over last year, marking the fourth straight quarter of comparable sales declines.


By comparison, same-store sales increased 21 percent at Free People and 6 percent at Anthropologie in the second quarter. 


The company blamed Urban Outfitters' poor performance on fashion misses and "what had become incessant promotional activity" in an earnings call with analysts Monday. 

 
Tags: URBN

The businesses reporting the largest increases in sales per share can help when picking stocks.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 2:28 PM
Caption: The 'Facebook' logo is seen on a tablet screen
Credit: © LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch

Now that second-quarter earnings season is nearly over, it's time to find out which companies moved up the ranks in their industry.


But how do we find out? Earnings results are so often affected by one-time items that comparisons have become essentially meaningless.


To address that problem, last week we looked at the 10 Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) stocks that had seen the greatest increases in consensus 2015 earnings estimates since June 30. Forward estimates don't include one-time items. 


We also listed the 10 S&P 500 stocks suffering the largest cuts in earnings estimates.

 

The beauty company's stock sinks 24% on a steep decline in sales of celebrity fragrances.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 2:09 PM
Credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Caption: Justin BieberBy Phil Wahba, Fortune

After years of great effort trying to become the pre-eminent purveyor of celebrity fragrances, troubled beauty company Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) has placed the blame for its collapsing business on two of its biggest stars.


Net sales for the quarter ended June 30 fell 28.4 percent to $191.7 million because it introduced fewer new fragrances. But it also said popular ones are fading fast.


"The decline in sales of celebrity fragrances, particularly the Justin Bieber (pictured) and Taylor Swift fragrances, was steeper than anticipated," the company said.

 
Tags: ELWMT

Excitement is growing about the company's new iPhone, expected this fall.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 1:30 PM
The Apple logo is seen on the facade of the Apple Store
 
© Maja Hitu/epa/Corbis
 Updated 5 p.m. ET

By CNBC.com staff

Apple (AAPL) hit $100 a share during midday trading on Tuesday for the first time since its seven-for-one split in June. The stock closed the day up 1.4 percent to $100.53.

The stock followed a general upward trend after the milestone, putting shares above their split-adjusted record close of $100.30 set on Sept. 19, 2012, just shy of the split-adjusted all-time high of $100.72 from Sept. 21, 2012.


At pre-split levels, individual shares traded just above $705 each in September 2012 and fell to trade near $600 in May of this year.


Shares have risen more than 8 percent since the split, when the stock opened near $92 a share. Apple shares had not traded below $100 each for five years.

 
Tags: AAPL

A decade ago, the offering did not get off to an auspicious start.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 12:48 PM
Credit: © Jose Sanchez/AP

Caption: A Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, CalifBy Bob Pisani, CNBC

Two things stick in my memory about the Google (GOOG) IPO: The Dutch auction was a disaster, and a lot people weren't sure what it did or how it would fly as a listed company. 


I know it sounds ridiculous, but explaining the concept of a search engine in 2004 was a stretch, even though it had been out for a few years. Even if you could explain it, no one could figure out how you could make a multibillion industry out of it.


Google went public on Aug. 19, 2004. It was not an auspicious start. It ended up pricing 19.6 million shares at $85, the low end of its revised price expectation of $85-$95.

 

The drama between Russia and Ukraine isn't over yet, and that's a terrific reason to stay short.

By Jim Cramer Tue 12:30 PM

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 18, 2014 in New York © Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesIt's so tough to judge hatred these days. I don't trust the put/call ratios, as there's so much behind-the-scenes basket weaving that it's become more of a vestige. Short-selling figures don't add up, for the same reason. The investors' intelligence polling has done nothing to indicate the contempt. Nor have the margin positions.


But I have to tell you that this market is despised. It is despised to the point that you can feel the pain of having to buy on days like Monday. You see the sea of green, and you know that even as the news reports were of "no progress" in talks between Ukraine and Russia, the fact is there are talks and that's enough to get shorts scared.


Remember we are playing by Gulf War One rules. That's when the bulls were always hoping for a diplomatic solution and we would get covering on Fridays fearing one, and shorting on Mondays after the failure to even have anything remotely like a sit-down between the two sides.

 

The bricks are coming off the market's shoulders, and biotechs are among the top beneficiaries.

By InvestorPlace Tue 12:27 PM

Image: Pills © Sean Justice/CorbisBy Anthony Mirhaydari


Stocks have rebounded strongly over the last couple of weeks as the geopolitical bugaboos that were bothering investors have ratcheted down a few notches.


ISIS is on its heels in Iraq thanks to U.S. airpower. Russia seems to be backing down as separatists in eastern Ukraine come under heavy pressure from an increasingly offensive Ukrainian military.


Even concerns about a sooner-than-expected interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve have fallen by the wayside.


Not all sectors have participated equally however, with biotech stocks leading the rest of the market to the upside over the last three weeks.


Here are three hot stocks in the group that are worth checking out:

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

112
112 rated 1
288
288 rated 2
479
479 rated 3
645
645 rated 4
644
644 rated 5
653
653 rated 6
638
638 rated 7
483
483 rated 8
288
288 rated 9
123
123 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
AAPLAPPLE Inc10
ATVIACTIVISION BLIZZARD Inc10
CTSHCOGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS10
FOXATWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX Inc CLASS A10
ITUBITAU UNIBANCO BANCO MULTIPLO S.A.10
More

Trending NOW

What’s this?

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 remains near its flat line, while Treasuries hover on their lows (10-yr yield +4 bps at 2.44%) following the recent release of the FOMC minutes from the July meeting.

While the market has slipped from its high, sector standing has not changed much with respect to the S&P 500. Consumer discretionary (+0.3%), financials (+0.1%), and industrials (+0.9%) continue showing relative strength, while consumer staples (-0.2%), health care (-0.2%), and utilities ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.