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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P and Q preferred shares are a solid investment despite halt in dividend payments.
By Vivian Lewis, Global Investing
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has tripped over its kilt. Nevertheless, as our top idea for 2012, we recommend the bank's preferred shares, specifically the non-cumulative preferred Q (RBS-Q) issues. We also like the preferred P series (RBS-P), which we already own.
A company that lent money to the chain's suppliers will stop providing financial assistance.
One company that makes loans to small businesses, CIT Group (CIT), will no longer provide financial assistance to Sears' suppliers waiting to be paid.
Sears shares fell 3.5% to $31.75 in midday trading, and CIT Group shares were unchanged at $37.14.
In spite of natural disasters, the automaker forges ahead with its efforts to develop fuel-efficient technologies.
Toyota was able to post a modest 0.4% year-over-year growth in the U.S. last month, while its total year sales declined by around 7%. In comparison, General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Chrysler posted 13%, 11% and 26% growth, respectively, in the U.S. last year.
Improving global demand for aluminum bodes well for the battered stock.
Since April of last year, shares of Alcoa (AA), one of the world's largest manufacturers of aluminum and alumina, have been in a downspin. They tumbled from more than $18 a share in April, 2011, to a low of $8.52 on Dec. 28. But the stock's recent jump to $9.80 -- even after reporting a fourth quarter loss on Jan. 10 of 3 cents a share -- indicates to some pros that the negative sentiment towards Alcoa may be abating.
Is the timing right?
The chain, which raised its earnings outlook in November for the third time in six months, says the workers will help it maintain high levels of customer service as the public buys plants, gardening equipment and grills, along with other seasonal merchandise. Tim Crow, Home Depot's executive vice president of human resources, told Bloomberg News that the Atlanta, Ga., company is starting the hiring process earlier this year, beginning next month in South Florida.
The venerable company this week introduced the second generation of its scratch-resistant glass for tech gadgets.
Can a "gorilla" get the monkey off Corning's (GLW) back?
That's certainly what the manufacturer of glassware and related products is hoping, just as a decade ago it counted on fiber-optics to revive its fortunes. The gorilla in question is actually the second generation of Corning's Gorilla Glass. This tough and scratch-resistant glass is used by manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronic gadgets can use to make their own products more appealing to consumers.
Meanwhile, smaller rival ConocoPhillips is downgraded to 'hold.'
Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
If the restaurant reservation site's increasing spending outpaces revenue growth, margins will take a serious hit.
The company's shares are currently trading at around $40 apiece. This is not far from the $45 and $49 price targets with which Goldman Sachs (GS) and Credit Suisse (CS), respectively, initiated their coverage of the company recently. A few weeks ago, we presented our views on the extreme fluctuation witnessed in the online restaurant reservation company's stock price last year.
This bond fund acts like a large-cap stock in bull markets and a defensive stock when times are tough.
By Rick Pendergraft, ETF Master Portfolio
Given the current global economic uncertainty, I don't expect big things from the equity markets in 2012. With that in mind, my pick for 2012 is the SPDR Barclay's Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK).
Newly listed companies are often among the market’s best performers. Here are some small-cap names with solid support since their debuts.
By Kate Stalter, MoneyShow.com
I regularly track recent IPOs -- meaning any company that’s gone public within the first ten or 12 years of its existance -- for signs of fundamental and technical strength.
These newer companies often have products and services that are still hot and in demand, and company management often remains creative and enthusiastic. All together, that can be a recipe for healthy growth.
Some popular chains have become a little more palatable.
With so many concept restaurants to choose from, one has to wonder whether the market can sustain them all. The answer is simple: They are sufficiently different from each other and are healthy competitors -- so they can all make a buck. That's the American way, and three cheers for being able to chow down on any kind of meal you please.
While the food at each of these places may be good, are their stocks worth buying? In the past, I've found these stocks to be perpetually overvalued. Let's see if they still are.
The smarter tech companies have already moved away from the personal computer.
What would have happened if Microsoft (MSFT) had said something positive about personal computers this week instead of something negative? How much would the stock have moved? How much would the group have moved?
Maybe the issue, though, is that there isn't much of a group anymore. Remember the PC makers? How about the PC component makers? They've all kind of realized this day would come, when the personal computer wouldn't have growth, and they have all moved on, including Microsoft.
The beverage giant notified federal regulators that it detected a fungicide in some of its and a competitor's products.
It all started Dec. 28, when the Food and Drug Administration got notice that one of the major juice companies found low levels of a pesticide, carbendazim, in its and a competitor's juice products.
At first, Coke refused to admit that it was the company. ("Why does that matter?" a spokesman asked Dow Jones.)
The master limited partnership can offer cash distribution even in periods of losses.
The partnership has a long history of increasing distributions to unit holders. With this distribution, Plains has increased the quarterly distribution to limited partners in 29 of the last 31 quarters. Plains' consistent hike in distribution bespeaks the partnership's commitment to provide increasing returns to stakeholders, leveraging its profitable assets.
The shoe company has defied critics with annual sales that jumped 27% from 2010.
Shares of the footwear retailer jumped more than 16% in response to close at $18.56.
We'll get the official results for Crocs' fourth quarter and full year next month. But the company couldn't resist offering a little peek at what to expect. For the fourth quarter, revenue will be at the high end of the company's previous guidance of $200 million to $205 million.
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China's version of Twitter had to cut its offering size and raised a less-than-expected $286 million.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages remain near their flat lines as the final session of the week continues in quiet fashion. Interestingly, even though the key indices have spent the bulk of the trading day near their unchanged levels, the Treasury market has not behaved in the same fashion.
The 10-yr note currently trades at its lowest level of the session after a steady retreat. The benchmark 10-yr yield is now higher by seven basis points at 2.70%. It is worth mentioning that ... More
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