Apple is a market darling again
Apple is a market darling again

The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.

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AnnTaylor swings to profit in the third quarter, ending a positive week for women's retailers.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 20, 2009 11:36AM

TheStreet.comBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet.com

 

AnnTaylor Stores ends a calm week for women’s clothing retailers by swinging to a profit in its third quarter.

 

Still, the retailer issued a sluggish holiday outlook, sending shares tumbling 5.9% to $13 in pre-market trading.

 

During the quarter, the company earned $2.07 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $13.4 million, or 24 cents, in the year-earlier period.

 

Excluding restructuring charges of 17 cents a share, AnnTaylor said it would have earned 20 cents a share, easily topping analysts' estimates of 7 cents.

 

Bing: More on AnnTaylor

 

The market has calmed down since introducing Top Stocks to Sell for 2009. How do those stocks look now?

By InvestorPlace Nov 20, 2009 11:36AM

The beginning of 2009 wasn't exactly a time of comfort for investors. Mitigating risk was top of mind, as former blue chip stalwarts took nosedives, many even becoming penny stocks at the time.

  The 5 Best Performing Stocks of the Decade

That's why my approach in naming my top stocks to sell was to follow an absolute return strategy. There is no sense in guessing where the market will be down the road.


Instead, buy cheap stocks, and sell stocks that are expensive. Then blend the two approaches together in one portfolio, and chances are you will make money.

 

Shareholders forgot who tripled the value of the stock

By 247 wallst Nov 20, 2009 8:05AM

Some large Goldman Sachs (GS) shareholders would like to see the firm’s profits in their pockets and not the bank accounts of the Goldman partners.

 

The Wall Street Journal reports that many institutions that hold Goldman shares are upset that the firm’s profit will be down this year even though the investment bank will post record sales.


A great deal of this drop is because Goldman issued 100 million shares to improve its balance sheet. Cutting compensation would rebuild earnings-per-share figures, which should help drive up the value of the stock.

 

The second in a 3-part series on the steroidization of our economy.

By V.N. Katsenelson Nov 19, 2009 11:27PM

By Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA

 

This presentation covers the main concepts discussed in the series and shows how we are positioning for this very different economy. 

 

Our economy suffered severe injuries last year, and to keep it going massive amounts of steroids were and are being injected – they’re what economists call stimulus (or government intervention).


Let’s take a closer look at the extent of the steroidization (to coin a new word) of our economy, and its side effects. 

 

 I’ll focus on the US economy, but similar arguments to varying degrees are true for many countries around the world.  In the US, things appear to be stabilizing and improving on the surface, but beware, there is a giant IV hooked up to the veins of the economy, through which billions of dollars are constantly being pumped in. 

 

Equities show signs of exhaustion as volume, breadth and other indicators weaken.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Nov 19, 2009 7:59PM

MirhaydariSince stocks bottomed on November 2, the S&P 500 has gone on to gain 6%. But there are troubles beneath the surface. Volume and breadth trends remain lackluster. Volatility is creeping higher. Entire segments of the market are lagging the advance.

 

These are all signs that we could be looking at another end-of-month correction similar to the ones seen in late August, September, and October. All of these declines took stocks down to their short-term moving average. The last one was the most severe, resulting in a decline of 6.5% for the S&P 500.

 

In fact, my research suggests a deeper decline in line with the drop earlier this summer could be ahead. Sound crazy? Japanese stocks have already tumbled beneath their October lows. And we've yet to see a painful yet healthy correction among the largest blue-chip stocks that would clear out speculative excess. Here's why.

 

Wisconsin company banks on military contracts to defend itself against the recession.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 19, 2009 4:19PM

TheStreet.comBy Scott Eden, TheStreet.com

 

When Defense Secretary William Gates paid a visit last week to the corporate headquarters of the commercial and military truck maker Oshkosh, in Wisconsin, he lauded the company's new bomb-busting all-terrain fighting vehicle, which the Pentagon has fast-tracked into service as the war in Afghanistan intensifies.

 

To an audience of Oshkosh workers, Gates intoned, "With every vehicle you complete, you are saving American lives."

 

What the secretary didn't mention was that the truck -- and the multibillion-dollar Army contract to produce them -- might have saved Oshkosh's life as well.

 

Bing: More on Oshkosh

 

Peak gold isn't nearly the force some might lead you to believe. That doesn't mean it isn't real, however.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 19, 2009 4:15PM

Jim JubakPeak gold?


You may have heard of peak oil, the theory that at some point -- ranging from 2005 to 2025 -- the world will have found all the easy oil there is to find and that after that, new finds won't be able to keep up with the global rate of consumption.


But peak gold? That never even crossed the mind of most investors who, by and large, are still getting used to the idea that they should have some exposure to gold in their portfolios.


Get familiar with the idea.

 
Tags: gold

Don't knock the 401k yet. The real culprit might be our issues with saving and investing.

By Kim Peterson Nov 19, 2009 3:05PM
Retirement planning © CorbisPeople are pooh-poohing the 401k and other plans as vehicles for retirement investing, but James Kwak says the problem is more basic: We don't save enough and we don't invest very well.

The savings rate is higher this year than in the recent past, but it's still only 3.6% for the first three quarters of 2009, writes Kwak (who runs The Baseline Scenario blog).

Add to that the fact that people are not smart about investing. For example, he writes, most people invest in stock mutual funds, which do worse than the overall market.

On top of that, the average mutual fund investor doesn't do as well as the average mutual fund. That's because people chase returns, he writes. They take money out of underperforming funds and put it in funds that are doing well.  

The maker of the Keurig coffee-brewing system tops the list.

By Kim Peterson Nov 19, 2009 2:32PM
Coffee shops © CorbisCrossingWallStreet.com has compiled a list of the top-performing stocks of the decade. At the top is one you might not expect: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), maker of the popular Keurig coffee-brewing system.

Green Mountain has seen its share price rise 7,895.4%, according to CrossingWallStreet's analysis.

Here are the rest of the top 10:

Hansen Natural (HANS) -- The beverage company known for its natural sodas and juices. Hansen also makes the Monster Energy drinks. Shares up 6,504.1% 

These options trades might make you even more gravy for the holiday.

By InvestorPlace Nov 19, 2009 1:59PM
By Chris Johnson, Jon Lewis and Michael Shulman

fistful of moneyThe current market rally is giving investors a lot to be thankful for this year.

In the spirit of the holidays, here are three trades to make now that can bring you a little more gravy. There are two stocks to buy call options on, and one turkey to short.

  6 options trades you can be thankful for

Here's wishing you some tasty profits to make the season even brighter. 

A summary of current leading economic indicators

By Jim Van Meerten Nov 19, 2009 1:49PM
Those of you who follow me know I like to keep things simple and disciplined. My background in accounting and law forces my thinking process to take data, analyze it and then try to decide on a course of action. Before I push the "buy" button, I need to know:
  • How is the economy doing?
  • How is the stock market doing?
  • What stocks have the most consistent price appreciation in the present economic and market environment?
  • Which individual stocks meet my minimum criteria to add to my portfolio?

There is just too much economic information out there, and the more I research, the more confused I get. Put two economist in a room and they will issue five different opinion papers.

 

The first in a 3-part series on the steroidization of our economy.

By V.N. Katsenelson Nov 19, 2009 1:19PM

By Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA

 

This presentation covers the main concepts discussed in the series and shows how we are positioning for this very different economy. 

 

Birds are singing, the sun is shining and life is beautiful again. On the surface, the vital signs of our economy are improving with every economic report.


In some areas, like unemployment, the rate of decline is decelerating; in others, like gross domestic product, decline is turning into growth. 

 

The stock market is behaving as if the history of the past 20 years is about to repeat itself: Recession will turn into a robust expansion.


Stock prices are discounting an expectation of robust earnings recovery to a level only slightly below the pre-financial crisis level, and risk taking is in vogue again as the performance of junky stocks trumps quality.

 

A well-known banking analyst says greed didn't cause the problem. Our reliance on China did.

By Kim Peterson Nov 19, 2009 1:05PM
Bubble © Kyu Oh/Getty ImagesGenerally, when people lay blame for the U.S. financial crash, they point to the greed and the make-money-at-all-costs attitude on Wall Street.

They're wrong, says noted banking analyst Richard Bove.

The real problem, he said, is that the U.S. was pouring money into China to buy goods instead of producing its own goods to sell globally.

"All explanations concerning how we got into this crisis are incorrect," he said, according to The Deal.com. "They dwell on the fact that there was too much greed, fraud and excess on Wall Street. Certainly, that occurred, but it wasn't the reason we got into the banking crisis." 

With JPMorgan and U.S. Bancorp back to business as usual, pressure is mounting on other companies to right the ship.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 19, 2009 12:56PM

TheStreet.comBy Laurie Kulikowski, TheStreet.com

 

The ouster of Alvaro de Molina as CEO of GMAC Financial Services earlier this week by a board reportedly frustrated with the pace of the company's recovery prompts the question: Is Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit next?

 

With rivals like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and large regional banks such as U.S. Bancorp closer to business as usual than survival mode, pressure is mounting on TARP-laden financial institutions like Citigroup and Bank of America, who are both still dealing with fallout from the financial crisis, to right the ship.

 

Citigroup's board is "probably grumbling," says Carter Burgess, a managing director and head of the board recruiting practice at RSR Partners. "I wouldn't doubt there is impatience because everyone feels like their reputation is at stake to get this thing right."

 

Bing: More on Vikram Pandit

 

UBS says Google's ad prices have rebounded. New target suggests shares undervalued by more than 20%.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 19, 2009 10:40AM

TheStreet.comBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet.com

 

It isn't Google's Android mobile phone success, nor its upcoming Chrome computer operating system. UBS put a $700 price target on the stock Thursday because of a rebound in Internet advertising prices, suggesting the shares are undervalued by more than 20%.

 

UBS analysts say October cost-per-click and keyword pricing improved from September. If true, this is a bullish sign that Google's core search ad business may be enjoying a recovery.

The note comes as Google's Android effort takes a big step up on the wireless stage, with seven phones selling at more than a dozen phone companies. Google (GOOG) is also set to release its Chrome operating system to developers, the boldest attack yet on Microsoft's PC software kingdom.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] As expected, the major averages began the session on a strong note with small caps in the lead. The Russell 2000 is higher by 0.6%, while the S&P 500 trades up 0.3% with eight sectors in the green.

Energy (+0.9%) and health care (+0.8%) have grabbed the early lead, while industrials (+0.6%) and technology (+0.6%) follow not far behind. On the flip side, countercyclical consumer staples (-0.3%) and telecom services (-0.3%) hold modest losses.

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