Why stocks are in for a rough ride this week
Stocks in for a rough ride this week

Longtime market bull Jeremy Siegel says investors could realize the market is behind the curve on interest rates.


The long-term positive impact of the company’s spinoff plan is still unappreciated.

By Gene Marcial Mar 30, 2012 9:39AM

Last December, Covidien (COV) announced its plan to spin off its pharmaceutical division. Since then, shares have advanced 25% to $54 a share as investors have supported the move. But now, some say the hefty gain suggests the spinoff's potential impact is fully reflected in the stock price and would inhibit any further upside move.


Don't bet on it.


Although details of the proposed spinoff have yet to be announced, some investment pros who focus on spinoffs believe the stock, which has now climbed close to its 52-week high of $57.65 hit back in May 2011, has a lot more upside potential.

Tags: COV

High oil prices hurt virtually every corner of the market -- so it makes no sense for stocks to follow crude lower.

By Jim Cramer Mar 30, 2012 9:02AM

the streetBe careful what you wish for. That's what I keep thinking as this market has gone down because of weak oil. Don't kid yourself for a moment. With a couple of weeks till quarter's end, you started seeing people equate the industrials with the oils again, all ETF-like, taking down the industrials if oil ticked down even a tad.

That's the kind of moronic hedge fund linkage action we saw in 2008.


For every argument that the bulls make to support their belief that the market's runup is for real, a counter-argument is readily presented by skeptics.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 29, 2012 7:15PM
Stock MarketsBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Has March Madness infected the stock market? The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) had raced past the 1,400 level before dropping back below that mark early Thursday.

Even with the latest pullback, the index has more than doubled in value since hitting bottom during the financial crisis three years ago. Given that the average annual market gain, according to the folks who make a living tracking these things, is closer to 7%, that's a great feat. 

One of Apple's main Chinese suppliers promises to improve worker conditions after an investigation.

By Kim Peterson Mar 29, 2012 6:31PM
Apple (AAPL) has acknowledged labor issues at its factories in China, and a report out Thursday from the Fair Labor Association backs up the company's findings.

There isn't a whole lot of new information here. The association audited three factories belonging to Foxconn, the company that makes electronics for Apple, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL) and others. The report said some workers were putting in as many as 60 hours a week, and Foxconn said it will cap that time at 49 hours a week by July of next year. 

Research In Motion suspends guidance as global market share continues to drop.

By Kim Peterson Mar 29, 2012 5:49PM
Hear that hammering sound? It's another nail going into the coffin of Research In Motion (RIMM), the BlackBerry maker that once held the business world in the palm of its hand.

Now, the company's outlook grows darker by the day. And investors were turning on the stock Thursday after RIM failed to meet analysts' already low expectations for fourth-quarter profit and revenue.

The good news is that RIM will no longer be disappointing investors with guidance. 

The country's economy is likely worse off than previously thought.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 29, 2012 5:22PM
It's only Portugal, true, but the trend is ominous for all the eurozone countries trying to meet austerity budget deficit targets in 2012.

Thursday, the Bank of Portugal cut its forecast for the country's economic growth to a 3.4% drop in gross domestic product in 2012 from the central bank's January forecast of a 3.1% decline. The Portuguese economy contracted by 1.6% in 2011.

The central bank also cut its already barely positive forecast for 2013 from growth of 0.3% to a projection of zero growth for next year.

The company has done nothing with the specialty retailer it bought in 2002.

By Kim Peterson Mar 29, 2012 4:21PM
Image: Sears sign© Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty ImagesSears Holdings (SHLD), desperate for cash, is hoping to sell its Lands' End brand for as much as $2 billion, The New York Post reports.

It's about time. The bizarre marriage made no sense when Sears bought Lands' End in 2002 for $1.86 billion. The fact that Sears wants to sell it a decade later for about the same price -- and bankers think the actual price will be far less -- shows how little Sears brought to the brand.

Sears shares fell more than 2% Thursday afternoon to $67.55. 

The news comes two days after a pilot meltdown midair, which raises many questions.

By Melly Alazraki Mar 29, 2012 2:20PM

Image: Mother and daughter watching in-plane movie © Ron Levine/Photodisc/Getty ImagesShares of JetBlue Airways (JBLU) were down about 7% in early afternoon trading after Deutsche Lufthansa said it would effectively sell its stake in the airline, currently around 16%, by issuing a corporate bond exchangeable into shares of JetBlue.


According to Dow Jones, the notes will be exchangeable into 46.7 million shares in JetBlue, though the airline has an option to redeem the bonds in cash instead. Shares of JetBlue closed Wednesday at $5.22. Lufthansa bought its stake in January 2009 for about $7.27 per share. JBLU shares traded around $4.86 Thursday afternoon.


This company has the chance to go where no one has gone before.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 29, 2012 2:03PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz


Even on a down day like yesterday, Apple (AAPL) continues to inch toward fresh all-time highs. There's clearly no lack of love for what has become the country's most valuable company. Are we getting too euphoric?


CNBC had Eric Jackson -- hedge fund manager of Ironfire Capital -- on yesterday. As a Forbes contributor, Jackson wrote a column last week suggesting that Apple could be worth $1,650 by the end of 2015.


Despite near-term roadblocks, this play on natural gas fuel for trucks has a bright future.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 29, 2012 12:46PM
Image: Semi trucks (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)By Lou Gagliardi, editor Cabot Global Energy Investor

I see compelling long-term fundamentals behind Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE). The company has excellent vertical integration and strong prospects for a leadership position in providing natural gas to long-haul truckers across America.

Currently priced significantly less than diesel or gasoline, American natural gas produces up to 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions in light-duty vehicles and 23% lower emissions in medium to heavy-duty vehicles. According to EPA data, replacing just 10% of diesel engines used in heavy-duty transportation with clean-burning natural gas engines could cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by as much as 200,000 tons per year, reducing air pollution. 
Tags: CLNE

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change our nation's fortunes is passing us by as Congress ignores an abundant domestic fuel source.

By Jim Cramer Mar 29, 2012 12:22PM

The natural gas collapse is happening too fast.


It is beginning to wreak havoc on the economy because there's such a dramatic ratcheting back of drilling at the same time that we haven't been able to harness the fuel in any way to bring down gasoline prices or compete against OPEC oil.


The debut of the search giant's long-awaited challenger to Dropbox, the leading 'cloud' provider, may be just around the corner. But will people actually use it?

By TheWeek.com Mar 29, 2012 12:22PM

Image: Google © Bloomberg, Getty ImagesGoogle Drive, the search company's online storage service, is reportedly set to debut in April. Google's (GOOG) reach already extends to nearly every corner of the online experience -- from Gmail to Chrome to YouTube. Can the search giant also defeat Dropbox, which has long dominated cloud storage with its 50 million users?

Here's what we know so far about Google Drive:


The News Corp. CEO will need to spend big to take on the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports.'

By Jonathan Berr Mar 29, 2012 11:53AM
mage: Man changing TV channels with remote control (© Flying Colours/Digital Vision/Getty Images)News Corp. (NWS) CEO Rupert Murdoch is ready to spend big bucks -- perhaps billions -- to enable his so-far theoretical all-sports cable network to catch up to Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) ESPN. 

His timing is curious, given the struggles of the cable industry lately, including ESPN's declining ratings.

Nordstrom is upgraded to 'buy' at Goldman, while AT&T and Verizon are downgraded to 'neutral' at RW Baird.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 29, 2012 11:05AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Alliance Data Systems (ADS) upgraded to Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
  • Delphi Automotive (DLPH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Nordstrom (JWN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Wells Fargo (WFC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
  • Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA

The ailing electronics retailer's plan to shut 50 US locations may be wise financially, but giving up on 'customer experience' is very risky.

By InvestorPlace Mar 29, 2012 10:19AM
By Jeff Reeves

Retailer Best Buy (BBY) was at the heart of the home electronics revolution that swept America in the 1990s. Computers became staples of businesses, video games became big business, and TVs boasted bigger and better pictures.

But the technological revolution that delivered tremendous sales to Best Buy kept churning along after Y2K and ultimately left the brick-and-mortar retailer behind. A failure to adapt to online competitors that sold more at lower prices has been weighing on the big-box store's sales for some time.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The Federal Open Market Committee has just released its latest policy directive, which announced another $10 billion taper, lowering the pace of asset purchases to $15 billion per month. As expected, the Federal Reserve maintained the "considerable time" language in its forward guidance, suggesting the first rate hike remains somewhat distant. On that note, the economic projections that were also released indicate the Fed sees the fed funds rate at 1.375% at the end of 2015. ... More


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