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.

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Entertainment research firm Fizziology expects the new flick to earn big.

By Benzinga Jul 19, 2012 3:28PM
By Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer

Time Warner's (TWX) "The Dark Knight Rises" is expected to bank hundreds of millions of dollars this weekend, potentially becoming the No. 2 domestic opening of all time.


Disney (DIS) scored the No. 1 spot this summer with "The Avengers," which earned $207 million in its opening. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" -- another Time Warner property -- is currently in second place with $169 million, while the last Batman film, "The Dark Knight," holds steady at No. 3 with $158 million.

 

Crude and gas stocks are breaking into a new uptrend on a mix of hope and worry.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jul 19, 2012 2:10PM

While the overall market oscillates slowly higher out of its early June low, there's plenty of action if you know where to look. Commodities in particular have been red hot, with crude oil, which dipped below $78 a barrel a few times last month, closing in on $93 a barrel.

 

A combination of Middle East tensions, a trough in economic data disappointments and hopes of new economic stimulus has pushed crude oil into a solid new uptrend for the first time since February. Energy stocks are following close behind, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) attacking its 200-day moving average. Here's why and how to participate.

 

The stock remains risky as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill continues to impact the energy company's performance.

By Gene Marcial Jul 19, 2012 1:51PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)It's difficult to understand why some Wall Street analysts stick with their "buy" or "sell" recommendations, even when faced with obvious odds against such decisions.


For the professional contrarians, it's reasonable to expect against-the-mainstream thinking. Otherwise, downplaying or going against visible problems confronting a stock is, at best, irresponsible. Some analysts' continued bullishness on BP (BP) is one example that's hard to accept.

 
Tags: bp

Stocks rise amidst a wealth of economic data and big-name earnings reports.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 19, 2012 1:29PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Walgreen (WAG) and Express Scripts (ESRX) both advanced after the companies reached a new, multi-year pharmacy network deal, though Walgreen's move up was more significant. Walgreen shares jumped over 10% and Express Scripts rose a bit more than 2%, while CVS (CVS), which is a peer to both and had been materially gaining from their stand-off, slumped over 5%.

IBM (IBM) rallied after its quarterly profits beat Wall Street's view and the company boosted its full-year earnings view. Among other Dow components reporting, Travelers (TRV) slid a bit lower after its earnings missed expectations and Verizon (VZ) traded down despite earnings and revenues being generally in line with consensus. 

A new survey suggests members are increasingly unhappy with big changes to Mark Zuckerberg's social network, while rival Google+ is pleasing its fans.

By TheWeek.com Jul 19, 2012 1:02PM

Image: Man with computer (© Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis)In a worrisome sign for Facebook (FB), which is set to release its first quarterly earnings report as a public company next week, a new poll suggests that user satisfaction on the social network may be in a downward spiral.


According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), users are increasingly dissatisfied with Mark Zuckerberg's social network, while competitors such as Twitter and, remarkably, Google+ fared better.

 

Here's what you should know:

 
Tags: FBGOOG

Hot, dry weather across the country has ruined crops. Is it time to rethink the ethanol mandate?

By Kim Peterson Jul 19, 2012 12:47PM
Blistering summer weather has damaged fields across the Midwest, sending corn prices soaring to all-time highs. You'll see the impact on food prices across the board.

This year's expected corn crop is dropping by the week, and corn prices have shot up incredibly fast as a result. Corn futures hit record highs Thursday, with September futures prices up about 50% from last month, The Wall Street Journal reports

With this sale, the US energy company exits the European market.

By Zacks.com Jul 19, 2012 12:31PM

Image: Power lines (© Digital Vision)By Zacks Equity Research
 

Diversified power provider NRG Energy Inc.'s (NRG) subsidiary, Saale Energie GmbH (SEG), sold its 41.9% ownership stake in Schkopau, a 900 megawatt coal-fueled power station, situated near Halle, Germany, to Czech Republic-based coal mining and electricity company, Energeticky A Prumyslovy Holding (EPH).


The plant, Kraftwerk Schkopau GbR, was collectively owned by SEG and its German partner E.ON Kraftwerke GmBh. SEG also held 44.4% of Kraftwerk Schkopau Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, the facility's operating company.

 
Tags: aesNRG

The stock market may be rallying after a months-long swoon, but many of the results released by blue-chip companies offer little reason for enthusiasm.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 19, 2012 12:08PM
Image: Businessman reading newspaper © A. Chederros/ONOKY/Getty ImagesBy Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

Is the stock market finally recovering from its months-long swoon? On the surface, at least, it seems so: In trading yesterday, a nine-point gain in the S&P 500 was enough to propel the bellwether index to 1,372.78, the highest level recorded since early May.

The timing here is interesting, though. When the market faltered in May, it was just as the first-quarter earnings season was beginning to draw to a close; this week, the second-quarter earnings season is getting underway in earnest, with blue-chip companies like the big banks, Intel (INTC) and Honeywell (HON) reporting their results. For now, at least, investors are prepared to view those results through rose-tinted glasses, looking at the positive news and responding with a kind of relief rally. Perhaps they have been left exhausted by their own bearishness of late or perhaps they really do believe these corporate earnings announcements paint an upbeat picture of the fundamentals for the global economy

A prolonged dispute could mean permanently lost viewers and angry advertisers.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 19, 2012 11:42AM
Image: Watching television (© Frare/Davis Photography/Brand X/Corbis)Viacom (VIA) Chairman Sumner Redstone and CEO Philippe Dauman need to bury the hatchet with DirecTV (DTV) -- sooner rather than later.

Ratings for Nickelodeon have tumbled 20% in the week since the satellite TV company dropped the Viacom's children's channel and other networks, such as Comedy Central, after failing to reach an agreement over fees.
 

Skyworks is upgraded to 'buy,' and Quanta Services is downgraded to 'sell.'

By MSN Money Partner Jul 19, 2012 11:37AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Dominion (D) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
  • Dover (DOV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
  • FirstEnergy (FE) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
  • Hyatt Hotels (H) upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna
 

Highly principled strategist Jeremy Grantham's top holdings all offer higher-than-average yields.

By InvestorPlace Jul 19, 2012 10:54AM

By Charles Sizemore


If you don't know who Jeremy Grantham is, you should. In fact, once you finish reading this article, you should drop whatever else you are doing, go to his website and read his latest quarterly letter. Make it a habit to read every quarterly letter as they come out, as you'll be a better investor for it.

 

(While you're at it, make it a habit to read his colleague James Montier's work as well. Montier's writing on behavioral investing is some of the most insightful I've ever seen.)

 

A survey reveals that nearly 25% of people believe unethical or illegal conduct is required in order to get ahead in the banking world.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 19, 2012 10:33AM
The Fiscal Times

By Suzanne McGee

 

Bob Diamond, Barclays (BCS) and Libor. HSBC (HBC) and drug money laundering. JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Jamie Dimon and the "London Whale." Goldman Sachs (GS) and those Abacus trades and the related e-mails -- not to mention last spring's resignation letter from a London-based banker featuring a comment that his colleagues view their clients as "muppets."

 

Could this just be the tip of the iceberg? According to a survey of financial industry participants on Wall Street and in the City of London, it may well be.

 

Chartists, analysts and the public missed the boat on some key earnings. How else can we explain these market moves?

By Jim Cramer Jul 19, 2012 10:05AM

Maybe the holders know nothing. Maybe they are spooked at every turn. Maybe they are all micro guys turned macro. Maybe the research out there is so bad that they make decisions based on faulty information.

 

How else can we explain these post-market moves on OK earnings?

 

Despite several positives, the aluminum giant is not without risks.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Jul 19, 2012 9:57AM

By Robert Kohut

 

Alcoa (AA) is blessed, or cursed, with the honor of being the first Dow component to report earnings each quarter. The aluminum giant kicked off the summer earnings season with a modest beat on drastically lowered estimates, and the stock price fell to a new 52-week low during the trading week and closed at a share price not seen since the early 1990s.


Lowered guidance, commodity price jitters and general palpitations over the state of the global economy all serve as likely culprits. However, while CEO Klaus Kinsfield noted strong demand for aluminum from both the automotive and the aircraft sectors, not even an announcement of a $1.4 billion deal with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus could stem the flow of red.

 
Tags: AA

With the deal, the wine and spirits company adds 3 California pinot noir labels.

By Zacks.com Jul 19, 2012 9:20AM

By Zacks Equity Research

Constellation Brands (STZ) has recently completed the acquisition of Mark West wine brand from California-based Purple Wine Company, LLC. The wine and spirits company paid a total sum of $160 million to complete the acquisition. This strategic move expanded its hard beverage portfolio.

 

Per the agreement, the acquisition will include some grape supply contracts and wine inventories from three California labels, i.e. a California pinot noir, a Russian River reserve pinot noir and a Santa Lucia reserve pinot noir.

 

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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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