A stock market graph trending down © jmiks/Getty Images
Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.


If history is any indicator, this morning's slump will follow through with mild losses. Accept the decline, buy the dips and follow the usual suspects for signs of an intraday turnaround.

By Jim Cramer Jan 5, 2011 10:08AM

jim cramerAt least there's nothing new about this morning's sell-off. Portuguese bonds look terrible. The euro is weak, ignoring great German production numbers. Oil is now "swooning."


Well, we have some research to fuel the narrative: Alcoa (AA), the hottest stock in the Dow ($INDU), is downgraded by Citigroup, and Goldman goes positive on General Mills (GIS)!


 So it goes.


What's been the follow-through on days like this? Typically we have everything go down, then one of the futures ticks up -- oil because of inventories (announced today); copper, perhaps because of short-covering; or the euro, because Portugal was just a fire drill -- and we settle into a down-1%-or-less day. We basically give up what we have made.


Storms in Australia are creating an extreme scarcity with worldwide implications. At least 1 stock could profit.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 4, 2011 4:28PM
Jim JubakLocal officials are saying the floods in the northern Australian state of Queensland have reached "biblical proportions." The floods, a result of the wettest spring on record, have struck an area bigger than France and Germany combined. Flooding from six rivers in the area has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

The flooding is hitting coal mines, too. "Some open-cut pits are now looking more like dams than mines," Michael Roche, the head of the Queensland Resources Council, told Bloomberg. With railroads underwater, there wouldn't be any way to get the coal to ships for transport to markets in Asia even if companies could get it out of the ground.

Which is a big deal for Asia's steelmakers.

The bookseller faces a potential liquidity crisis, which could lead to a Chapter 11 filing.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 4, 2011 3:58PM

thestreetBankrupt © Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty ImagesBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Is Borders (BGP) eyeing a bankruptcy filing? If the bookseller's latest moves are any indication, the company could be headed precisely in that direction, according to James V. McTevia, a turnaround expert and managing member of McTevia & Associates.


On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that one of Borders' major suppliers, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, is temporarily halting the shipment of books to the retailer. The publisher's CEO told the Journal that his company will not ship to Borders until it receives more information on the bookstore's payment plans.


Asbury Automotive has its foot on the pedal, ready for an uptick in American car buying.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 4, 2011 12:48PM

U.S. auto sales must recover. An auto retailer is priced as if that will never happen. Read on in amazement as Fool analyst Michael Olsen turns this simple equation into a detailed buy case for Asbury Automotive.


Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor


Despite its boring veneer, my purchase of Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) -- a humdrum retailer of new and used cars -- might just put a little excitement into my Rising Star portfolio's returns. I'm investing $750, or 4.4% of my first year's capital.


Here's an update on some interesting funds launched in 2010.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 4, 2011 12:01PM

Mining metal © CorbisBy Don Dion, TheStreet


Precious and base metals proved to be popular themes for ETF investors during the past year. While some companies launched products that tapped into previously unexplored corners of the industry, others offered up new ways to gain exposure to old favorites.


Here are some of the most interesting metals-related products introduced in 2010.


1. ETFS Physical Palladium Shares  (PALL) and ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT)


Palladium was one of the best-performing commodities in 2010. ETF Securities, a relative newcomer to the U.S. ETF industry, enjoyed a lot of success last year with the launch of PALL and PPLT.


Stock sales and bond purchases have been slowing in recent weeks, suggesting a trend that may continue in 2011.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 4, 2011 11:51AM

Find hot stocks © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesBy Jeff Kleintop, TheStreet


About $90 billion has been pulled from U.S. stock mutual funds since the flash crash on May 6, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. On that day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) experienced the biggest intraday point decline, 998.5 points, in its 114-year history.


During every week since the crash, investors have been withdrawing more money from U.S. stock mutual funds than they have been adding, while strongly favoring bonds with their investment dollars. This net selling took place despite strong gains over the past six months in the major stock market indexes.


Investors' recent period of selling U.S. stock funds while the stock market posted more than a 10% gain is unprecedented, and it follows two years of net selling in 2008 and 2009.


Take advantage of the lull, because the metal has yet to peak.

By Jim Cramer Jan 4, 2011 9:40AM

more investment tips and market commentary from jim cramer at thestreetTime for a break for gold? After still one more astonishing performance, in keeping with the 10-year outperformance of the precious metal, it seems reasonable to think that gold can cool off for a bit. The gold stocks themselves are saying the same thing, taking a real breather for the past few weeks.


To which I say: Take advantage of the weakness if you haven't already, as we are hardly done with the run. Why? Because the one thing we know about 2011 is that currencies are suspect. Paper is suspect. There's too much being printed here. There's too much that's going to be printed in Europe. The stuff's worth less and less.


That means gold will be worth more and more.


As blue chips battle, this IT powerhouse will be the first place companies turn to for an edge.

By InvestorPlace Jan 3, 2011 10:51PM

By Jon Markman, InvestorPlace.com


investorplace top 10 stocksIf the first year of this decade was all about building a firm base of recovery, the second year will be about leveraging that success and fighting off newly resurgent competitors. That's why one of the best stocks to buy and hold in 2011 is tech stock pick Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH).


It's going to be a ground war in 2011. Companies that survived the financial crises and tech bust of the 2000s by addressing the needs of niche users in a unique and profitable way will now try to attract new customers by scratching, clawing and attacking their rivals. And here's how CTSH will make a difference:


Aixtron could see the pace of installation double for its chemical vapor deposition machines.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 3, 2011 10:33PM
Jim JubakShares of Aixtron (AIXG) have moved up quite nicely since mid-December on reports that China’s LED industry will install 700 to 800 units of the metal organic chemical vapor deposition machines (known as MOCVD to their friends) that Aixtron makes. That, according to the unsourced report on Digitimes.com, would double the pace of installation in 2010.

The report gets specific about which Chinese companies will be doing the ordering. Sanan Optoelectronics, currently the largest LED chipmaker in China, will add 60 units in 2011 to the 40 it had installed at the end of 2010.

Evercore Partners is a Wall Street powerhouse that specializes in buyouts, which should be en vogue in 2011.

By InvestorPlace Jan 3, 2011 4:24PM

By Hilary Kramer, InvestorPlace.com

investorplace top 10After a number of high profile buyouts and mergers in 2010, including Intel-McAfee and HP-Palm among others, it’s very likely that cash-rich blue chips will see an M&A buying spree again as we enter a New Year. If you’re looking for the best stocks to buy in order to cash in on this craze, you can take a gamble on some small-caps that are likely buyout targets … or you can take a sure thing in an M&A powerhouse, Evercore Partners (EVR).

If you’ve never heard of EVR, you’re not alone. Evercore is an emerging powerhouse on Wall Street that specializes in three of the highest- margin businesses in the entire corporate spectrum: mergers & acquisitions (M&A), restructuring (bankruptcy work) and asset management. And while this stock never makes a lot of headlines, it is a power player behind the scenes.

Here are three big reasons that Evercore could break out in 2011 and why investors should expect a surge of merger activity:


China National Offshore Oil Corp. is benefitting from powerful demographic, inflationary and business trends overseas.

By InvestorPlace Jan 3, 2011 2:41PM

By Robert Hsu, InvestorPlace.com

top 10 investorplace stocksIn 2009 and 2010, the best stocks to buy were clearly in emerging markets. China's economic growth was unmatched as the world economy reeled from the financial crisis. And looking ahead to 2011, many people think China's run is over. While it's true some Chinese companies may fall away, many well-run and profitable China stocks exist out there.

The best one of all, and my top China pick for 2011, is China National Offshore Oil Company (CEO), China's offshore exploration and production energy company and the most dynamic of China's Big Three state-owned energy giants. Let me tell you why I am so bullish in the new year via three simple reasons:


A contract dispute with Orbitz and Expedia kicks off what may be a testy year for the industry.

By Kim Peterson Jan 3, 2011 2:33PM
Air travel © Christie & Cole/Corbis If you want to buy a ticket on American Airlines (AMR), don't visit Expedia (EXPE) or Orbitz Worldwide (OWW).

Those sites have stopped selling American's tickets. And the airline seems to be fine with that.

American has seen its contracts expire with Expedia and Orbitz and hasn't been able to renew the deals. That's because American wants to pay the sites less money and is asking them to connect directly to its own computers instead of going through intermediaries, the Financial Times reports.

But can American really do business when two of the largest travel websites are ignoring it? 

Computerized high-speed trading accounts for most trades, experts say.

By Kim Peterson Jan 3, 2011 1:58PM
trader © Comstock/SuperStockWhat, you bought a stock one whole hour ago? And you still own it? That stock is practically a dinosaur in Wall Street's new reality.

The average time a stock is held is 22 seconds. But that's an improvement from a year ago, when it was 20 seconds, according to analyst Michael Hudson, an economics professor at the University of Missouri.

It's all because of computerized split-second trading. "The financial sector is short term," Hudson said in an interview. "They talk as if they're long term." 

We're still a long way from clearing through the nation's supply of distressed homes.

By Kim Peterson Jan 3, 2011 1:24PM
Home insurance © Ingram Publishing/JupiterimagesMore bad news for homebuilding stocks today. It's going to take longer than we thought to clear through the nation's supply of distressed homes on the market.

Now it will take 44 months, according to Standard & Poor's. Previously, the firm had thought 40 months was enough time. Builders such as Toll Brothers (TOL), whose stock is down 15% since April 2010, are desperate to see that supply tighten up.

What changed? The housing picture worsened in the third quarter, S&P says. The volume of distressed properties continued to grow, and by the end, the principal balance of those homes surpassed $450 billion. 

The investment bank has reportedly pumped $450 million into the world's most visited website.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 3, 2011 1:14PM

Credit: © Paul Sakuma/AP
Caption: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the new email service at an announcement in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010By Scott Moritz, TheStreet


Here's how the rich get richer.


Using its Wall Street clout and $450 million, Goldman Sachs (GS) has acquired an ownership stake in Facebook, giving the social-networking shop a potential value of $50 billion, according to The New York Times' DealBook blog.


Goldman has teamed with Russian investors Digital Sky Technologies, which chipped in $50 million in the deal, according to the report. Previously, Digital Sky initially acquired a 2% stake of Facebook for $200 million in 2009.


The move gives Goldman a potential quintuple treat, should Facebook's value continue to rise.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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