Businessman blowing bubbles (© GSO Images/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
Take bubble talk with a grain of salt

Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?


Both companies post lower-than-expected shipments and margins for Q1 2012.

By Trefis Jul 9, 2012 2:18PM
TrefisImage: Solar energy (© Mick Roessler/Corbis)LDK Solar (LDK) and Trina Solar (TSL) have had a rough few quarters, posting lower-than-expected shipments and margins in the first quarter of 2012 due to seasonal and industry weakness.

LDK posted another operating loss in the first quarter, with margins at -65.5%. Sales declined by about 52% over the previous quarter to touch $200.1 million. The company's cash position continues to be precarious, saddled with high debt in tough industry conditions. And its performance was also hit by high production costs for polysilicon. LDK has ramped up its polysilicon output over the past year, which has coincided with a steep fall in polysilicon prices.  

The conflicts of interest that exist at investment management divisions of big financial firms are pretty apparent -- and have been for some time.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 9, 2012 2:07PM
By Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

When JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reports its second-quarter earnings on Friday, investors will finally get more details about the size of the trading loss incurred by the London Whale. But before that multi-billion-dollar goof returns to the spotlight, the bank already finds itself facing heat for another alleged misstep.

As The New York Times reported last week, JPMorgan's team of financial advisers are being asked to steer their clients to invest in the bank's own proprietary funds even when they're more costly than those offered by other firms or their performance isn't quite up to snuff. 

Not to be outdone by a chief rival, the tech giant nabs a patent for its own set of futuristic glasses.

By Jul 9, 2012 1:51PM

Apple logo copyright Beck Diefenbach /ReutersGoogle (GOOG) hopes that its Project Glass -- computerized specs that, come 2014, will reportedly allow a wearer to use vocal commands to send instant messages, look up directions, snap photos, and video chat with friends -- will reinvent the way we use computers and be hugely profitable for Android. But Google isn't alone. Earlier this week, Apple (AAPL) was granted patent approval for a "peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays," which sounds an awful lot like Google's own computerized specs, but with a few twists. 

Here is a brief guide to what bloggers are dubbing everything from "iGlass" to "iShades":


The move is the latest in a round of consolidation that has swept the health care industry since the passage of Obamacare.

By Benzinga Jul 9, 2012 1:13PM
Image: Medical doctor (© tetra images/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Ilir Shkurti, Benzinga

Health benefit provider WellPoint (WLP) announced Monday it is acquiring managed health care company Amerigroup (AGP) for approximately $4.9 billion in cash, or $92 for each share outstanding.

Both companies jointly stated that they have entered into a definitive agreement of acquisition to create better health care at prices that are more affordable.


Stocks head lower as investors remain cautious after a disappointing jobs report Friday and news of higher bond yields in both Spain and Italy.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 9, 2012 12:37PM
Information provided by

Amerigroup (AGP) shares rose 38% to $88.80 in morning trading on news it will be acquired by WellPoint (WLP) for $92 per share, or about $4.9 billion. Shares of the acquirer WellPoint rose as well, adding $1.88, or about 3%.

In other M&A news, Campbell Soup (CPB) announced plans to acquire Bolthouse Farms, a maker of super-premium refrigerated beverages, from a private equity firm for $1.55 billion in cash. 

News of a strong second quarter comes as CEO Mel Karmazin clashes with Liberty Media over control of the satellite radio comapny.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 9, 2012 12:18PM
Image: Woman driving car (© Pixland/Jupiterimages)Shares of Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) surged early Monday after the satellite-radio operator raised its revenue and subscriber guidance. The stock has since pared most of its gains and was up less than 1% at midday.

The New York company, which was rescued from bankruptcy in 2009 by John Malone's Liberty Media (LMCA), expects revenue to hit $3.4 billion this year, slightly better than the $3.36 billion that Wall Street had forecast, and up from a previous estimate of $3.3 million.

MasterCard and Visa are downgraded to 'sell,' and Wells Fargo is initiated with a 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Jul 9, 2012 11:26AM
Information provided by

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • LyondellBasell (LYB) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • Westlake Chemical (WLK) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • Thompson Creek (TC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Weyerhaeuser (WY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup

Investors looking for a winning lottery ticket face long odds.

By InvestorPlace Jul 9, 2012 10:52AM

By Daniel Putnam


Few ETFs have caused wealth destruction on the scale of the Barclays Bank PLC iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX). Since its inception on Jan. 29, 2009, VXX has declined an astounding 96%. This year alone it's down more than 57%.


But for some reason, investors just aren't getting the message. VXX has logged an average daily trading volume of more than 51 million shares, which is more than all of the other 24 volatility ETFs combined.


Yet some are doing better than others.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Jul 9, 2012 10:21AM

By Eric McWhinnie


Major retailers posted weak sales figures last week, indicating that consumers are still struggling with high unemployment and overall weak economic conditions.

In June, same-store sales for 20 chains in the Thomson Reuters index edged up only 0.1%, well below analyst estimates of 0.5% and the 6.7% increase a year earlier. It was the worst June for retailers in three years.


This health care leader is a blue-chip buy for all long-term retirement portfolios.

By TheStockAdvisors Jul 9, 2012 9:31AM
By Jason Cimpl, Daily Profit

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is  a cheap stock in a recession-proof industry -- paying a 3.7% cash dividend. Those are the three strongest reasons why you should buy the shares today.

The company is a model of durability. It is the world's largest supplier of medical devices, sixth-largest consumer health company, and eighth-largest pharmaceutical company. 
Tags: JNJ

With net losses in 1Q and a bleak outlook, the handset maker needs all the financial support it can get.

By Trefis Jul 9, 2012 9:19AM
TrefisAfter Apple (AAPL) and Samsung, it is Nokia's (NOK) turn to engage in the patent wars. Two months ago, the Finnish handset maker sued rivals HTC and Research in Motion (RIMM) on multiple counts of patent infringement at several courts in the U.S. and Germany. And now it is mulling over dragging Google (GOOG)/Asus to court over their Nexus 7 tablet which Nokia claims is infringing on some of its Wi-Fi patents.

With its mobile phone sales flagging as Apple and Samsung run away with the smartphone market, Nokia is relying on its patents to draw in some licensing revenues and mitigate the impact of what is likely to be a long and painful Windows Phone transition process.


The health benefits company is acquiring Amerigroup, and the aluminum giant kicks off Q2 earnings season.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 9, 2012 8:52AM
By Joseph Woelfel,

Health benefits company WellPoint (WLP) said Monday it reached a deal to acquire managed health care firm Amerigroup (AGP). WellPoint agreed to pay $92 a share in cash for Amerigroup, or about $4.9 billion. Amerigroup shares closed Friday at $64.34, making the premium of the deal 43%. Shares of Amerigroup rose 39.88% in premarket trading Monday to $90.

Alcoa (AA) kicks off second-quarter earnings season after Monday's closing bell and analysts expect the aluminum giant to report profit of 5 cents a share on revenue of $5.83 billion. 

Wall Street thinks the dry conditions will put more money in farmers' pockets.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 6, 2012 5:57PM like bad weather in the U.S. farm belt to give a boost to fertilizer stocks -- at least according to Wall Street's logic. 

On July 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture slashed its rating for the condition of the U.S. corn crop to 48% good-to-excellent from 56% a week earlier. (The rating on the soybean crop went to 45% good-to-excellent from 53%.)

The logic goes like this: A bad drought in the Midwest that has shriveled the U.S. corn crop and driven up corn prices is good news for fertilizer makers.

By Kim Peterson Jul 6, 2012 5:39PM
It's just one disappointment after another for Groupon (GRPN) shareholders. The stock hit a new low Friday, and closed down more than 4% to $8.44.

Groupon is now 58% below its November IPO price. This is a bloodbath. Shareholders have lost all faith in the company.

The latest hit to the stock was a blog posting by chairman Eric Lefkofsky, who said he's going to turn his focus to his venture-capital firm, called Lightbank. The implication here is that Groupon's young CEO, Andrew Mason, will assume more of the management reins. 

The DVD and streaming-video company has the expertise and brand name to strike local deals and leverage content in new regions.

By Trefis Jul 6, 2012 3:52PM
TrefisImage: Globe with money (© PhotoAlto/SuperStock)We came across this article that makes an interesting point about how Netflix (NFLX) is doing well in the U.S., and that alone warrants a high price for the stock.

A Citigroup (C) analyst seems to be bullish on the price, citing as prime reasons its lucrative DVD subscriber base as well as large streaming base in the U.S.

While being bullish makes sense as far as we are concerned, we do not fully agree with the reasons.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on a modestly lower note, but it is worth mentioning today's retreat took place after six consecutive gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.1%) and S&P 500 (-0.2%) settled not far below their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.8%) lagged throughout the session.

Equity indices started the day in the red, with the Nasdaq showing early weakness as large cap tech names and biotechnology weighed. The technology ... More


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