Get ready for a flood of IPOs
Flood of IPOs land this week

If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.

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GM will opt for killing the Saab brand, even if it costs the company more in the short term.

By Louis Navellier Dec 1, 2009 3:25PM

Louis NavellierWill GM kill Saab rather than hand over technical knowledge from any of its related brands to a foreign competitor?

 

Today we'll get our answer, but as for me, my money is on an announcement that the Swedish auto company is doomed for the junkyard. General Motors will likely send Saab down the same road taken by Pontiac, Oldsmobile and other dead GM brands in an effort to shed underperforming brands but still hold on to proprietary technologies. Competitors are eager to pop the hood and check out GM's auto secrets, and I think GM will elect to unwind Saab on its own at considerable expense rather than sell it and let go of some trade secrets.

 

Some investors stay away from bad banks, even with help from the government

By Kim Peterson Dec 1, 2009 2:43PM
Banker © Radius Images/Jupiterimages Banks are collapsing just about every week, it seems. And they're such financial train wrecks that some potential buyers are staying away -- even after the government promises to cover the losses on any bad loans, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The problem goes beyond bad loans. Many of these banks don't have much in the way of assets. They're tiny, and don't hold much hope of growth. They have expensive deposits.

Nearly 125 banks have failed so far in 2009, and experts tell the Journal that many of them "are of very poor quality."

It's too bad, because people complain on this site and others about the ill treatment they get from Bank of America (BAC) and other megabanks.  

Car sales and other purchases help lift economy in third quarter.

By Kim Peterson Dec 1, 2009 2:19PM
Canada looks like it's moving out of a recession, helped along by a spike in consumer spending.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1% in the third quarter (or 0.4% on an annualized basis), according to AFP. Still, that growth was less than many analysts had expected, with the general analyst forecast at about 0.6% annualized.

The second quarter saw GDP shrink by 3.1%.

Is this new expansion a blip or a trend? 

As bankers at Goldman Sachs arm themselves with handguns, it just might be one more reason to take a look at gun stocks.

By InvestorPlace Dec 1, 2009 2:17PM

Jamie DlugoschThis article is by InvestorPlace's Jamie Dlugosch.

 

If you believe a somewhat thin Bloomberg report out today, bankers at Goldman Sachs are arming themselves in preparation for a populist uprising against outrageous bonuses and bailouts.

 

That they'd be getting ready would hardly be a surprise, given the level of rage over compensation and taxpayer bailouts for the rich the news should not be a shock.

 

Of course, if any nut job does indeed decide to take matters to such an extreme, a handgun is unlikely to provide any real protection. It provides only an illusory peace of mind.

 

Something tells me, though, it might provide another reason to take a look at gun stocks. If brokers and bankers are arming themselves, they might very well chase the stocks, too.

 

Somali pirates set up their own stock exchange, seek investors to fund hijackings.

By Kim Peterson Dec 1, 2009 2:09PM
There's a brand-new "stock exchange" in the world, if this incredible Reuters story is to be believed.

Somali pirates have created a new exchange in Haradheere, Somalia, to fund their hijackings offshore, Reuters reports. The pirates have made tens of millions of dollars so far, and their stock exchange offers shares for anybody to buy.

"Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 'maritime companies' and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking,"  said one pirate.

The exchange, the pirates said, have "made piracy a community activity." 

Best Buy, Apple and Wal-Mart stores attracted massive crowds on Friday with discounts on consumer electronics.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 1, 2009 1:21PM

TheStreet.comSale © Image Source/CorbisBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet.com

 

While Black Friday shouldn't serve as the sole gauge of holiday spending, it has revealed some possible winners and losers for the season.

 

Electronics were the most popular purchases last weekend, specifically flat-panel televisions.

 

"Despite the media hype surrounding Black Friday, the weekend is critical to the holiday season only for one major merchandise category -- consumer electronics -- which will see some 20% of Christmas sales over the three-day weekend," Craig Johnson, president at Customer Growth Partners, said in a statement.

 

Bing: More on Black Friday

 

IBM, Hewlett-Packard and McAfee are turning lemons into lemonade this year, and their prospects are strong for 2010.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 1, 2009 12:53PM
high tech © Corbis

TheStreet.comBy James Rogers, TheStreet.com

 

The U.S. economy has struggled this year, but the following tech stocks weathered the storm and look like good bets for 2010.

 

IBM (IBM): "No one ever got fired for buying IBM," so the old adage goes, something the tech giant hopes will hold true in a future full of software, services and cloud computing.

 

The numbers: IBM, which recently posted third-quarter results, has been one of the recession's big success stories, thanks to its shift toward higher-margin technologies.

 

Bing: More about IBM

 

Jos. A Bank just seems to have done everything correctly during the recession.

By Jim Van Meerten Dec 1, 2009 12:10PM
Retail has always been fascinating to me. Whenever I see a new store open, I always go in and look at the inventory and try to decide if it will make it. I'm more often wrong than I am right, but I keep doing it anyway.

Back in business school, we had guest speakers, and Pop Essermann, who owned the local department store, was my favorite. He played the same lame joke on each class of freshmen. He'd say, "When things get rough, I always sell the socks that cost me a dollar for 75 cents." And always a first-year accounting major would ask, "But aren't you losing 25 cents a pair?" Pops always answered," Yes, but I make it up on volume."

Jos. A Bank (JOSB) almost seems to be following Pop's business plan. This morning it advertised that if you buy a sport coat at regular price it will throw in two pairs of pants and two sport shirts for free. Is the store losing money on every sale but making it up in volume like Pops? 

American National Insurance has been hitting new highs almost every day.

By Jim Van Meerten Nov 30, 2009 7:24PM
Find hot stocks © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesThis week I've decided to add American National Insurance (ANAT) to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio. The carrier offers life, health, annuities, property and causality insurance plus mutual funds in its bag of products.

It came into my view when I used BarChart to screen for stocks hitting new highs and trading more than 100,000 shares per day. ANAT hit 16 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and in three of the last five days. It has had a 36% price appreciation in the last 65 days.

BarChart has 13 technical indicators, and this stock has buy signals on all 13 for a 100% buy rating.

The stock doesn't have a Wall Street following, but there also isn't any bad news on the Internet.
 

After watching Lynas gain 24%, Jim plans to sell it out of his portfolio.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 30, 2009 5:35PM

Jim JubakLynas (LYSCY) isn't set to produce revenues from its rare earth mine at Mount Weld in Western Australia and from its advanced materials plant in Malaysia until the fiscal year that ends in June 2011. 


And even then, the Wall Street consensus calls for revenue of just $13.3 million (US) and a loss of about 90 cents a share.


Because the company still hasn't started production, the lack of basic information -- what will it cost to mine, ship and then process rare earths? -- makes it very difficult to put any kind of price tag on the stock that's based on fundamentals. In their absence, I have to pay more attention to market sentiment and momentum.

 

A decline in the shares of Wall Street's golden boy suggests trouble for us all

By Anthony Mirhaydari Nov 30, 2009 5:11PM

MirhaydariWhile market sectors remain in healthy up-trends for now, the action in bank stocks continues to worry me: They've rolled over and skittered sideways since summer. This is strange since investment banks should be generating healthy trading revenue and money-center banks should be making huge profits thanks to ultra-low interest rates.

 

Firms like Goldman Sachs (GS) -- which are intricately tied to the global financial system and depend on rising stock and bond markets -- led the broad market's initial rebound as traders sniffed out the beginning of a new bull cycle early this year. Goldman bottomed in November before rising sentiment and cheap money powered shares to a gain of 310%. Morgan Stanley (MS) rose 450%.

 

But all that changed in October when the big Wall Street banks failed to follow the broad market to new highs. Last week, golden boy Goldman Sachs fell under its intermediate-term trend line

 

If the market has taught us anything, it's that many of the traditional seasonal effects can't be counted on anymore.

By Louis Navellier Nov 30, 2009 4:02PM

Louis NavellierThe "January Effect" holds that small-cap stocks typically rally in the first month of the New Year. The numbers support this trend all the way back to 1925, with smaller stocks outperforming the broader market most years, and most of the gains occurring in the first two weeks of the month.

 

This is not an urban legend. Historically, the NASDAQ Composite has closed January higher than it started nearly 80% of the time across its 38-year history. It's hard to argue with data like that.

 

The jury's still out on what causes this turn-of-the-year surge. Some folks think this seasonal occurrence is caused by institutional managers taking more risk in the beginning of the year. Others think it's caused by new pension funding and surging trading volume after the holidays.

 

He blew the whistle on shady practices at UBS -- and went to jail. Should he get billions?

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2009 3:10PM
I'm fascinated by the case of Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS banker who helped rich people avoid taxes by stashing their money offshore.

Birkenfeld blew the whistle on UBS, voluntarily approaching federal prosecutors with lots of details on how the bank diverted money. Birkenfeld wasn't given immunity for his story, however, and so he was charged and pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government.

Now, in jail for several more years, Birkenfeld is trying to get several billion dollars in reward money for his whistle-blowing, The New York Times reports.

And experts tell the Times that he's got a pretty good case.  

Ruling in favor of New York couple who faced foreclosure after failing to pay mortgage bill.

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2009 2:24PM
auction © MedioImagesA New York judge is fed up with a California bank called OneWest, calling its aggressive moves to foreclose on customers "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive."

And just to make sure the bank understood him, Judge Jeffrey Spinner has erased the $525,000 in mortgage debt one couple owed to the firm.

OneWest received nearly $815 million in federal bailout money, according to The New York Post. Yet the bank has a record of sending customers into foreclosure when they can't make mortgage payments. 

The university's well-heeled endowment got into big trouble when the economy turned.

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2009 1:44PM
Bubble © Kyu Oh/Getty ImagesHarvard has many annual rituals, but most of us didn't know about this one: The top finance guy stomps around the room, screams bloody murder at the amount of cash the school is investing -- and gets roundly ignored.

That happened for years, as the school's head of endowment argued with its president that Harvard should hold on to some cash, according to The Boston Globe.

But Larry Summers -- Harvard's president from 2001 to 2006 -- was extremely aggressive with the school's billions in cash. That risky strategy made oodles of money for the school in the first half of the decade.

It also helped bring the school to its knees in the financial crisis.  

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Tuesday session on a lower note after generally upbeat earnings took the back seat to geopolitical concerns. The S&P 500 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) ended on their lows, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) displayed relative strength.

Once again, market participants were focused on quarterly reports in the early going, but geopolitical worries overshadowed the impact of mostly better than expected earnings. Specifically, equities ... More


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