The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

The shipping company sees big international volume, surprising analysts with profit gains.

By Kim Peterson Apr 15, 2010 1:53PM
UPS (UPS) shares are flying today, up some 6% to surpass $69 after the company reported blowout quarterly numbers.

The news should cheer investors across the board, even those who don't own shares of UPS. The stock is considered a bellwether, Bloomberg reports, since UPS transports a wide range of goods across the globe.

"UPS is hitting number I didn't expect to see from them until 2011," one analyst told Bloomberg. 
Tags: UPS

These wasteful government spending initiatives could leave already-reluctant tax filers grumbling.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 15, 2010 11:21AM

MainStreetBy Althea Chang, MainStreet

 

American tax dollars are paying for some surprisingly wasteful government projects, according to one watchdog group.

 

Just as last-minute tax filers rush to complete their returns, taxpayers wait on delayed refunds and the federal deficit grows, Citizens Against Government Waste has published a list of wasteful government initiatives sapping funds from the federal budget.

 

In addition to being somewhat vague, descriptions of some of the pork-barrel spending get pretty strange, says CAGW, which calls itself a nonpartisan watchdog group. For instance, more than $4.8 million has been set aside for “wood utilization research,” according to the CAGW Pig Book.

 

 

The manager of the Jensen Portfolio gives his best stock ideas.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 15, 2010 10:08AM

 By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Rob McIver, manager of the Jensen Portfolio (JENSX), says investors should consider drug stocks now that the government has passed the health care reform bill.

 

The $2.6 billion fund, which is rated five stars by Morningstar (MORN), has returned 42% during the past year, beating 62% of its large-cap value peers. The fund has gained 1% annually, on average, during the past three years, outperforming 85% of rival funds.

 

Welcome to TheStreet's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views on the market in a five-question format.

 

The naysayers doubt everything that's good about this market, but that's been the case for a year.

By Jim Cramer Apr 15, 2010 8:07AM
Jim CramerSure, we gained more than 100 points on the Dow. But only a 1% gain on the S&P? Despite great numbers from a rail, a bank and a semiconductor, or should I say, the rail, the bank and the semiconductor companies that define this economy?

 

As a bull, I am willing to admit that I thought this trio was worth more to the market. But you know what? I like the skepticism. I didn't hear a good word from a bear about Intel (INTC). No conversions. I heard more about derivative legislation and how it would hurt bank profits than about JPMorgan's (JPM) earnings (although I see that Mike Mayo upgraded it, which bothered me). CSX (CSX)? Let's see, that one had some impact, but I think you won't see the real impact until we get UPS (UPS) open today.

 

Just 7% of Indians brush their teeth once a day, meaning big sales on the horizon for oral care companies there.

By InvestorPlace Apr 15, 2010 7:24AM

tooth care colgate palmolive india stockConsider this: Just 7% of all Indians brush their teeth at least once a day. If you’re thinking about personal hygiene, you’re probably grossed out.

But if you’re thinking about global investing you’re seeing dollar signs. It means more than a billion Indians haven’t yet begun a daily ritual that is already commonplace around the world!


There is one stock out there right now that has the Indian oral care business essentially cornered, with a whopping 50% market share. That means 600 million Indians are using this company’s toothpaste right now -- almost double the entire population of the U.S.!

 

The increase in gross margins was a key piece of news in Intel's quarterly report.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 14, 2010 8:12PM

Jim JubakBlow out quarter. Stunning increase in guidance. A totally justified 4.3% gain in the after-hours market on the day it announced earnings.


Now we'll see if Intel (INTC) can juice the rest of the technology sector. Look to see how Microsoft (MSFT) reacts, for example.


After the market closed on Tuesday, Intel announced earnings of 43 cents a share. That was 5 cents above Wall Street projections. 

 

As online viewing options grow more varied and plentiful, it will become easier to say goodbye to cable.

By Kim Peterson Apr 14, 2010 2:37PM
Television © image100/CorbisTired of pricey cable bills? Perhaps you should cut the cable cord, as a surprising number of U.S. households have done.

One research firm estimates that 800,000 U.S. homes have cut cable altogether over the past two years, TechCrunch reports. By the end of next year, that number could rise to 1.6 million.

And here's a fact that Comcast (CMCSA) and Cablevision (CVC) would rather you didn't know: It's easier than ever to banish cable with all the Internet video offerings out there. 

The fast-food chain is trying to look less like a burger joint and more like a coffee house.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 14, 2010 2:18PM

MainStreetBig Mac © McDonald’sBy Seth Fiegerman, MainStreet

 

Get ready for a McDonald's (MCD) makeover. The golden arches are looking to class things up a bit this decade.

 

The fast-food franchise is planning to spend as much as $5 billion to remodel thousands of its restaurants during the next few years, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. These fixes will go beyond sprucing up the bathrooms or renaming menu items.

 

“In the next five years, McDonald's plans to spend billions of dollars to remodel thousands of U.S. restaurants with new features such as plasma TVs, lounge chairs and electric fireplaces,” according to Crain’s. The company will also add free Wi-fi and “stone facades” to stores, and make practical improvements like widening drive-ins to two lanes.

 

Washington Mutual lenders partied hard in 2006, celebrating the toxic mortgages that would ultimately doom the bank.

By Kim Peterson Apr 14, 2010 1:43PM
Bling © Image Source/CorbisCould it get any more embarrassing than this?

The year was 2006. Right before the mortgage industry collapsed. Lenders from Washington Mutual were partying at a retreat on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Some of them broke into song, performing their own version of the 1992 hip-hop song "Baby Got Back."

"I like big bucks and I cannot lie," the WaMu rappers sang. "You mortgage brothers can't deny." 

A new online marketplace tracks buying habits and suggests new products, worrying some privacy advocates

By InvestorPlace Apr 14, 2010 7:22AM

mastercard shopping online computerIt’s a shopaholic’s dream and a privacy advocate’s nightmare -- a credit card that knows what you’ve been buying and can make recommendations on what to splurge on next.

 

Through a new partnership with an Internet company specializing in personalized shopping, MasterCard (MA) just rolled out a Web shopping mall call MasterCard Marketplace on Monday. The gimmick is that it can predict what MA cardholders are likely to purchase and make suggestions. Now that consumer spending is actually above it’s 2008 peak (really!), now is the perfect time for such a program.

 

This quarter points to a secular shift -- and it means there's more upside to come.

By Jim Cramer Apr 14, 2010 7:18AM
Jim Cramer

By Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Cyclical or secular? This is the question I always used to put to my team on any stock that just beat numbers so big that I have to ask if there is something larger than just a bump in sales that made things better.

 

And on Intel (INTC), I say "secular," meaning new product cycle that is unique to Intel. The reason so many analysts were lukewarm or negative on Intel was that all of the ordering was perceived to be restocking. That the inventories had gotten so low that there was simply a dearth of supply, not that demand had gotten more aggressive or that they had something new and compelling that could last.

 

 

This Chinese Pharmaceutical company is in a great position

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Apr 13, 2010 4:45PM

Written by Douglas Estadt

 

TPI is a Chinese Pharmaceutical Company that offers traditional Chinese medicine and prescription and over-the-counter medication. With now 39 drugs in their cabinet and 17 more in the pipeline learn why we bought this stock:

 

  • Company currently at $98 million market value and sitting on $12 million in cash.
  • ROTH China Healthcare investment banker left the company to become TPI’s new CFO.
  • Have low p/e ratio, pay 2.7% dividend, and growing 10% quarter over quarter.
  • Founder had started another company prior, which now has a one billion dollar market value.

To hear more about TPI, view the video below

 

Putting cost cutting in the rear-view mirror, Starbucks hopes to open thousands of stores in China over time.

By Jamie Dlugosch Apr 13, 2010 3:49PM

They say a tiger cannot change its stripes.

 

In the case of Starbucks (SBUX), it was only a matter of time before Chief Executive Howard Schultz would lose patience with the slower-growth, cost-cutting strategy that the company embarked upon in response to the global recession.

Starbucks is set to turn up the heat on the competition with a bold goal of opening thousands of stores in China.

 

 

I thought Starbucks ran into trouble by carpet-bombing markets with stores on every street corner. Apparently the company did not learn its lesson.

 

Or did it?

 

The market's reaction to Intel's earnings will speak volumes about investor sentiment.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 13, 2010 3:06PM

Jim JubakIntel (INTC) reports first-quarter earnings Tuesday after the close.


The market's reaction to Intel's numbers will tell us more about the market than about this technology stock. (For more on the prospects for earnings season as a whole, see this post).


I expect good numbers out of Intel. The company finished 2009 with gross margins at a record 65%, thanks to a shift towards more profitable products. With sales of more expensive and higher-margin chips for servers roaring ahead, I expect margins towards the top of the company's usual 50% to 60% range.

 

From actor Nicolas Cage to former Wall Street executives, the nation's wealthiest homeowners are seeing a wave of foreclosures.

By Kim Peterson Apr 13, 2010 2:42PM
Homes of the Rich  © CorbisIt took a while, but the foreclosure epidemic is finally reaching the rich and famous.

In February, there were 352 homes with loans of at least $5 million that were scheduled for foreclosure auction, The Wall Street Journal reports. In all of 2009, only 1,312 homes in that category went to auction.

It took longer for foreclosures to hit at this level because the wealthiest had more financial wiggle room as the economy tanked, the Journal reports. They had more savings, or could get more loans. 

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