There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Even if Sprint gets ditched on a consolidation dance, it may end 2012 as the telecom sector prom queen.
Lost in the initial reaction to MetroPCS (PCS) and T-Mobile's decision to merge in a long-awaited blockbuster telecoms deal is the fact that struggling industry third player Sprint (S) remains on track to go from worst to first as a stock performer in the fast-moving sector.
In 2011, Sprint shed more ground than any telecom within the S&P 500 ($INX), losing over 44% in share value, according to Bloomberg data. The wireless carrier's financial condition deteriorated on billions spent to bring on Apple (AAPL) iPhone subscribers and upgrade its nationwide network to handle an expected surge in smartphone data use.
Which stocks could put on strong year-end performances?
By Jim Woods
If you look at the major averages this year, you can see that despite a host of strong headwinds -- a marked slowdown in China's GDP growth, recession in Europe, anemic U.S. GDP and employment growth -- stocks have been very, very good to the bulls.
The computer behemoth is struggling to catch up in the fast-moving mobile market. Is purchasing a flailing smartphone maker of yesteryear really the solution?
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) hired CEO Meg Whitman last year to turn the company around, but judging by HP's tumbling stock prices, she still has a long way to go.
With computer sales slumping as customers move to newer mobile devices, HP released a grim profit outlook for the coming year on Wednesday, sending its shares dropping 7%.
Whitman is getting a lot of free advice from armchair advisers, some of whom have urged her to buy BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) to gain instant access to the smartphone market, but she flatly says that's out of the question.
Jobless claims climb less than expected, and US factory orders fall less than forecast. The ECB holds rates steady as Draghi says the ECB is ready to buy bonds. Google warns of more cuts at Motorola. Facebook now has 1 billion active users.
U.S. stocks mostly added to gains Thursday after jobless claims rose less than expected and factory orders fell less forecast. Adding to optimism was the European Central Bank President comments the bank is primed to buy bonds when necessary. Investors also await the minutes from last month's Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Tech, however, lagged the general rally as Hewlett-Packard, Facebook shares declined.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 66 points at 13,561. The S&P 500 ($INX) was up 7 points at 1,458. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was up 1 point at 3,136.
Is Romney's strong performance driving futures higher?
Wall Street will also react to the first presidential debate Wednesday night, which ended with President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney discussing economic issues, including their views on Medicare, taxes, budget deficits and how to boost economic growth.
Coal-related stocks would get a boost, while alternative-energy names would likely become short candidates.
You'd get a nice boost in the American Electric Power (AEP)/Southern Company (SO) coal burners, maybe a bit of a bump in the CSX Corporation (CSX)/Norfolk Southern (NSC) coal luggers, and you would most certainly have to short Tesla Motors (TSLA) and lay out some First Solar (FSLR).
But I waffle on this. I waffle because even making the projections on these stocks requires a monster leap of faith, mainly that Romney is going to win, and I think the odds of that are so small that the exercise has a bit of a parlor game feel.
There are a few winners on the list of the 50 most attractive chief execs.
Frankly, you won't see many of these folks on the cover of People magazine. But yes, I'll give some sexy points to the No. 1 choice, Ben Rattray of Change.org, and even Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan (JPM) has a little va-va-voom left.
There aren't many CEOs of public companies on the list. Maybe that's because running a public company could make you go gray and develop worry lines overnight. Instead there are quite a few heads of fashion websites, lingerie companies, dance exercise companies and candy stores.
The investor's short trade took the market by surprise, causing Chipotle shares to drop nearly 5% in two days.
By Antoine Gara
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) shed as much as $1 billion in market cap in Tuesday trading, with shares falling more than 4% after famed short seller David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital unveiled the high-flying restaurant stock as a new short position, citing the company's high price-to-earnings multiple and a competitive landscape marked by a resurgent Taco Bell.
Shares dropped less than 1% Wednesday to trade at $301.52 in the afternoon.
A smaller Apple tablet is reportedly in production, but it's still bigger than competing Google and Amazon products.
Already bored with the iPhone 5, and all screamed out after Tim Cook's Apple Maps apology, Apple (AAPL) acolytes now have something else to obsess about: The iPad Mini.
But can Apple call it Mini if it's not even the smallest tablet on the market? The Wall Street Journal dug up the details from unnamed sources Wednesday and found that the downsized tablet will likely have a 7.85-inch liquid crystal display. That's smaller than the current iPad's 9.7 inches (pictured) but still larger than the 7-inch Google (GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet and the similarly sized Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire HD.
Shares of Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger fell after an analyst report Wednesday, but overall gun sales remain higher for year.
Shares of gun manufacturers retreated slightly Wednesday after a report suggested that handgun sales may have slowed last month.
Shares of Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm Ruger & Company (RGR) were down following word from Benchmark analyst Mike Greene that the number of adjusted FBI background checks for handgun sales grew by just 14.7% in September. That's down from growth of more than 20% in past months.
Those background checks, Greene told CNBC, are made at retail locations before a person purchases a firearm. "You can adjust those checks to remove concealed-carry permits and get a very good proxy for firearm sales," he said. "Just this past June they were up 24.5%, off of a very strong count for the year before as well."
The expanding peanut butter recall now affects products sold at Target, Whole Foods and Safeway.
A salmonella outbreak that started with one brand of Trader Joe's peanut butter has led to more than 100 products being recalled at food retailers in 30 states.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers For Disease Control discovered last month that consumers were getting sick after eating Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. After contacting the product's manufacturer, New Mexico's Sunland, the FDA determined that other nut-based products from the same manufacturing line may also have been tainted.
Even as the sports footwear giant is buffeted by cooling demand in China, its stock has plenty of stamina.
Wall Street always tries to stay alert to changes in a company's fundamental performance, so it wasn't surprising that analysts quickly reversed gear on Nike (NKE) after it posted disappointing results for its fiscal first quarter.
The report caused the stock to stumble to $94 a share on Sept. 28, down from $96 the day before and $100 on Sept. 12. Nike's earnings fell to $1.23 a share from $1.36 a year ago, as lower gross margins, higher expenditures and a higher tax rate offset a 10% jump in revenue.
But Nike remains a sprinter and is expected to exceed its five-week high of $114, according to investors who look at the long-term growth prospects of the leading maker of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories.
Stocks rise as ADP's estimate of private-sector hiring came in better than expected.
By thinking in terms of obsolescence, investors can make short selling work.
As investors, we are taught from the beginning that in order to make money, we must buy a stock and watch it grow. How many times have we heard that XX dollars invested in Apple (AAPL) 10 years ago would have led to your early retirement?
But short-selling, on the other hand, is often seen as a scary endeavor, especially for those who grew up thinking that buy and hold is the only way to put money to work.
Is America's increasing thirst a sign of an improving economy?
In areas of the U.S. where the unemployment rate is low, beer sales have remained strong as the local and national economies have not prevented affluent consumers from enjoying a cold lager or flavorful microbrew.
Due to recent outperformance, Morgan Stanley downgraded Molson Coors (TAP) to "underweight" on Monday after the company reported an 18% rise in share value since its June 4 low, beating expectations that were for 7%. Molson Coors currently accounts for about one-quarter of the U.S. beer market.
Mosaic is also downgraded to 'neutral,' and Michael Kors is initiated with an 'outperform.'
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com
Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Investors know what's working and what's not. These stocks could power higher through the end of the year.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.
[BRIEFING.COM] The afternoon session wears on and there hasn't been a lot of change in today's tone. Things are mixed with blue-chip averages underperforming, although the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.1%) has been unable to hold an earlier gain that had it up as much as 0.6%.
Every sector is in the red at the moment, implying that relative strength at this point is couched more in terms of which sectors are down the least rather than which sectors are up the most.
The ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|