You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Take out currency gains and gas inflation, and Costco sales gain 4%.

By InvestorPlace Jan 7, 2010 2:39PM

Jamie DlugoschBy Jamie Dlugosch, InvestorPlace.com

 

I've been writing about Costco (COST) quite a bit over the past year. All of my thoughts and views are directly related to the company and its stock price.

 

I do not opine as to the joy of shopping at Costco or the lack thereof. I care only about results, managerial leadership and operating performance. Ultimately that is all that matters with respect to stock value, not whether or not you like the store.

 

To that end we received more data with respect to Costco's operating performance with the release of December sales. On the surface the results appeared to be rather pleasing, but a closer look at the numbers raises a few questions.

 

This fund could see immediate gains once the Chinese government adjusts its currency rate against the US dollar.

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Jan 7, 2010 2:26PM
Written by Douglas Estadt
 
My brilliant friend Jim Gobetz manages $1.7 billion for the Wallingford Trust. He's highly respected for finding flaws in two prominent leveraged exchange-traded funds and leading many people to big profits in shorting both.
 
He recently made news again by being two weeks ahead of CNBC in his call on the Dubai bailout. He joins me on video today to discuss what we feel is a low-risk, longer-term way to profitably invest in China. (Click the Read More link below to find the video.)
 
Jim explains that in July 2008 China repegged its currency, the yuan, to the U.S. dollar. Since then, the United States, Europe and other countries have been pressing China to unpeg the yuan and let it rise. That spells investment opportunity, and Jim has found one.
 

The retiring senator leaves a legacy blackened by cozy ties to the financial industries he was supposed to oversee.

By Kim Peterson Jan 7, 2010 1:58PM
Caption: Sen. Christopher Dodd. Credit: (© Harry Hamburg/AP)Now that Sen. Chris Dodd is retiring, we can say goodbye to one of the most broken politicians in Washington.

Dodd begins his final year in Congress not with great fanfare or adulation -- his popularity rating has plummeted -- but as a symbol of power gone bad, of back-scratching of the worst order, and of a political establishment that enabled the downfall of our economy.

To be sure, Dodd isn't the only one to blame for the too-cozy relationship between Wall Street and Washington. But he nestled himself comfortably under the wing of a corrupt system, and allowed the corruption to flourish.

Perhaps the biggest stain on Dodd's career was 
Tags: AIG

If not for traders' emotions, returns from stocks would be identical to their earnings growth.

By V.N. Katsenelson Jan 7, 2010 1:35PM

I did a Q&A with FT readers in November. Because of its length, I’ve abbreviated it and broken it into three parts. Here is part two:

 

The exit strategy from a range-bound market


Will my observations continue to play out? In my book "Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets," I inadvertently created a framework that explains the mechanism behind stock market cycles.


As things change over time one thing remains the same: Our emotions will make us overexcited about stocks,

 

Why be a slave to foreign oil interest when we have oil and natural gas here at home?

By Jim Van Meerten Jan 7, 2010 11:22AM
Natural gas © Kevin Burke/CorbisTalking heads and politicians love to harp about finding new ways to make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil and energy. Others say that oil isn't the answer and that natural gas is the way of the future.

My new favorite stock to add to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio is Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR).

The stock came up on my radar while I was using Barchart to screen for stocks hitting the most frequent new highs, and this one hit the top of my list, with 17 new price advances in the past 20 trading sessions and four new highs in the past five days. The stock has had a 44.32% price appreciation in the past 65 days and has buy signals on 12 of Barchart's 13 technical indicators for a 96% buy rating.

What made me fall in love with this stock is
 

If you listened to the naysayers, you would have missed out on stellar earnings at the home-goods retailer.

By Jim Cramer Jan 7, 2010 9:33AM
TheStreetBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

Starting this week, TheStreet's Jim Cramer will bring his investment insights to Top Stocks readers each day.


Sure, focus on China and lending. Sell everything if you want to. I am focused on Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY).


Here's the largest domestic furnishings company in the country, and it reports earnings of $2.11 a share instead of the $1.92 the Street was looking for.

 

This is the "magnitude" of having sales that are good and bottom-line numbers that are amazing. This is what I was talking about when I said that you will be amazed when you see the numbers from these retailers.

 

Video: Paul Larson of Morningstar announces the company's choice.

By MSN Money Jan 6, 2010 3:05PM

The nominees are Lonnie Smith, Intuitive Surgical (ISRG); Mark Miller, Stericycle (SRCL); Hunter Harrison, Canadian National Railway (CNI); and Jim Skinner, McDonald's (MCD).

 

And the winner announced on CNBC is . . .

 

You're hearing a lot about the brewing smart-phone war between Apple and Google, but the applications fight has higher stakes.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 6, 2010 2:42PM

Jim JubakThere are two fronts in the increasingly bitter war being fought between Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG)


And while the contest between the iPhone and Google's Nexus One (and other Android phones) is getting most of the ink, it's the applications (apps) battle that comes with the biggest stakes. (For another potential winner in the smart-phone wars, see my post on Qualcomm (QCOM).)

The most recent salvo in that fight was fired on Tuesday, when Apple acquired mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless for $300 million. That deal followed Google's acquisition of AdMob, another mobile advertising network, back in November for $750 million.


Now, you might think that with Apple and Google both buying companies that specialize in selling ads on mobile devices, the two companies are facing off over advertising. Maybe Apple is even going after Google's headlock on search advertising?

 

The Japanese auto giant finishes 2009 on a high note, selling more cars to U.S. buyers than anyone else. Ford sees strong momentum as well.

By Kim Peterson Jan 6, 2010 2:31PM
Credit: © Ford Motor Company
Caption: 2009 Ford F-150 XLTLast year was absolutely brutal for carmakers, but Toyota (TM) and Ford (F) came out with some good news.

Toyota sold more cars to U.S. buyers than anyone else, and it passed General Motors in retail sales for the first time, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The "retail" sales don't include fleet sales to customers such as car-rental companies. GM is strong in that area and so was able to still top the charts in overall sales.
But Toyota clearly has seized new opportunities as the U.S. auto industry has tanked.
 

OESX provides environmentally friendly solutions for its corporate clients.

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Jan 6, 2010 2:06PM

My brilliant friend Todd Sullivan from ValuePlays.net spoke with the CEO of Orion Energy Systems, came away impressed with their solid CEO and joins me on today's video to discuss what we see as excellent prospects for this company and subsequently the stock -- OESX. (Click Read More to see the video.)

 

Orion has an incredible system in place in which they go into a company or government and save it huge amounts of money by cutting energy costs -- electricity bills -- and increase the quality of its lighting.

 

Most of the "green" ideas I see come with an Achilles heel whereby the end user suffers financially or must take some sort of pain in decreased quality or performance but Orion is able to eliminate these flaws, making it a huge win for all involved.

 

The stock closed above $16 Tuesday for the first time in weeks, stoking optimism that it might keep rising.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 6, 2010 2:03PM

TheStreetBy Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet

 

Bank of America (BAC) finished Tuesday above $16, offering hope for breakout bulls.

 

Financials were largely left out of the end-of-year rally. Though Bank of America shares topped $16 during three December trading sessions, they fell during two. The stock finished at $16.28 on Dec. 4 on news of its plan to repay $45 billion in TARP funds on Dec. 2, and then the strong pricing of its subsequent equity offering on Dec. 3.

 

The shares didn’t hold those gains as the year closed. The stock even briefly dropped to less than $15, the price of its offering, on Dec. 17. But the shares’ performance in recent months suggests they might get a boost during the coming weeks.

 

 

Investors must understand the dynamics of range-bound markets and the best ways of investing in such an environment.

By V.N. Katsenelson Jan 6, 2010 1:36PM

I did a Q&A with FT readers in November. Because of its length, I’ve abbreviated it and broken it into three parts. Here is Part 1:

 

In the bull market that preceded the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the financial crisis, equity valuations reached some very frothy levels.

 

The correction that followed lasted only until March, and since then the S&P 500 index and the FTSE Eurofirst 3000 have risen more than 60%.  Even in spite of the post-Lehman correction, equity markets have been in a secular range-bound phase since 2000.

 

The success of the company's Kindle e-reader gives Amazon a lot of sway over the future of the industry.

By Kim Peterson Jan 6, 2010 1:35PM
Amazon Kindle. Credit: (© Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Amazon (AMZN) sold more digital books than traditional books on Christmas Day. That was a first for the company, and it says a lot about where the book publishing industry is headed.

Is it any wonder, then, that publishers are having a collective freakout about Amazon and its Kindle e-reader? They know full well what Apple (AAPL) did to the music business with its iPod, and they don't want to see books go down that road.

Unfortunately for them, it's already happening.
Amazon has cut the price of some new digital books to
 

The automaker has shown impressive growth that could lead to huge gains in 2010.

By Louis Navellier Jan 6, 2010 1:33PM

Louis NavellierDon't get me wrong. Things are still bleak right now for some automakers. Detroit giants GM and Chrysler are on the verge of collapse after filing for bankruptcy protection and accepting billions in government aid. Just last week, the U.S. Treasury said it will inject an additional $3.8 billion into the troubled financial branch of General Motors, GMAC, on top of the $12.5 billion that the U.S. Treasury poured into the troubled company. Meanwhile, Chrysler announced it has no intention of repaying its $3.7 billion loan from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

 

But these problems at GM and Chrysler just prove the contrast between the weak automakers and the strong ones -- like Ford (F).

 

I know there's no shortage of opinions out there on this auto stock, so let me explain in detail why I think Ford is such a good buy.

 

GE's split personality may have kept the stock on the sidelines during two recent sector rallies.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 6, 2010 1:29PM

TheStreetBy Dan Freed, TheStreet

 

General Electric (GE) bulls can't catch a break. The company has been taking pains to get investors to view it as an industrial stock, but that strategy appears to be failing.

 

The stock has lost ground during the past three months, while the Industrial SPDR (XLI), an exchange traded fund that tracks industrial stocks, is up 10% -- more if you consider that GE represents more than 11% of the ETF's holdings.

 

GE's performance during that period mirrors that of the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), a widely followed financial ETF whose largest holdings are JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C).

 

What does that mean for investors?

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More


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