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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?

By TheWeek.com Oct 4, 2012 10:07AM

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.

By Melly Alazraki Oct 4, 2012 9:18AM
stock marketLast updated 12:01 p.m. ET

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.

By Jim Cramer Oct 4, 2012 9:07AM

TheStreet.com logoJoseph Sohm-Visions of America, Photodisc, Getty ImagesWhat if Romney wins? I tried to give a running commentary about which stocks would change, how the line would change, so to speak, if Romney were to win.

 

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.

By Kim Peterson Oct 3, 2012 5:33PM
A business man looking out of a glass elevator -- Stella, fStop, Getty ImagesOK, so it's a slow news week and Business Insider has decided to publish a list of the 50 sexiest CEOs. I took the bait, clicking through the photos to see what sexy looks like in the business world.

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 TheStreet Staff Oct 3, 2012 4:12PM

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.

By Jason Notte Oct 3, 2012 3:41PM

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.

By Bruce Kennedy Oct 3, 2012 3:06PM

 Men with toy guns --Leander Baerenz/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesShares 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."

 
Tags: RGRSWHC

The expanding peanut butter recall now affects products sold at Target, Whole Foods and Safeway.

By Jason Notte Oct 3, 2012 2:32PM

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.

 
Tags: SWYTGTWFM

Even as the sports footwear giant is buffeted by cooling demand in China, its stock has plenty of stamina.

By Gene Marcial Oct 3, 2012 2:20PM

Credit: HANDOUT/Newscom/RTR/Reuters
Caption: Handout photo of the LeBron X shoeWall 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 MSN Money Partner Oct 3, 2012 1:36PM
Image Wall Street sign copyright Corbis, SuperStockInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

MetroPCS (PCS) shares gave back some of Tuesday's gains, falling over 8% after the expected merger deal with T-Mobile USA, a Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) subsidiary, was approved and announced by the boards of both companies.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares slipped over 6% as CEO Meg Whitman, speaking at an analyst event, said the company's turnaround will take time.

Among companies reporting earnings, Monsanto (MON) fell nearly 2% after its fourth-quarter results missed expectations and the company lowered its guidance for the upcoming year, while Family Dollar (FDO) advanced over 3% following its in-line report.
 

By thinking in terms of obsolescence, investors can make short selling work.

By Minyanville.com Oct 3, 2012 12:22PM
Image Stocks circled in newspaper copyright Digital Vision Getty ImagesBy Chris Stuart 

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?  

It's an easy idea for our brains to process -- especially if we follow in the steps of famous investors such as Peter Lynch, who once said that he would never invest in any idea he couldn't illustrate with a crayon.  

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?

By Benzinga Oct 3, 2012 11:53AM
Image, Beer copyright CorbisBy Joe Young

Beer sales have increased nationally for the first time since 2008, according to the Beer Institute, possibly signaling a recession recovery at last.


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.'

By MSN Money Partner Oct 3, 2012 11:47AM

fly logoInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com


Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:

  • CSX (CSX) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Bernstein
  • Norfolk Southern (NSC) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Bernstein
 

These 4 stocks and 2 ETFs will benefit from rising commodity prices.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 3, 2012 10:55AM
 Fotog Tetra Images CorbisBy Mike Cintolo, Cabot Market Letter

Both the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve have announced open-ended bond-buying programs; it's unprecedented! The market as a whole has reacted well to that news and is concluding that inflation will be the order of the day.

We're not talking about consumer inflation, but the price of core commodities -- gold, oil, copper and the like. We're not interested in the commodities themselves, but in the stocks that will benefit from higher prices. And on that front, there are now many enticing options in the space.

What's most encouraging is that many commodity-related stocks have etched multi-month (and in some cases multi-year) consolidations, and the push higher over the past month has many names attacking their highs.  

The video gaming company's stock is still impressive.

By Zacks.com Oct 3, 2012 9:54AM

Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy, Cultura, Getty ImagesBy Zacks Equity Research

 

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) beat the Zacks consensus estimate by 63.6% in the second quarter of 2012, continuing its impressive record of outperforming expectations. In the past four quarters, this leading provider of online and console games surprised by nearly 218% on average. ATVI also raised its fiscal 2012 guidance. 


Moreover, this Zacks No. 2 Rank, equivalent to a "buy" rating, has a forward price-to-book ratio of 1.19, which is lower than the industry average and attractive for value investors.


Activision reported second quarter results on August 2, with earnings of 18 cents surpassing the Zacks consensus estimate by 7 cents. Revenue of $1.05 billion surged 50.8% from last year and was well above the Zacks consensus estimate, due to strength in retail and digital online revenues, improved productivity and solid contribution across geographies.

 
Tags: ATVI

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new trading week on the defensive note with small-cap stocks pacing the retreat. The Russell 2000 (-1.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%) displayed relative weakness, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8% with all ten sectors ending in the red.

Global equities began showing some cracks overnight after China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei poured cold water on hopes for new stimulus measures. Specifically, Mr. Lou said the government has no plans to change ... More


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