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It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


Financial stocks have been in unlimited supply since the financial crisis, which makes demand hard to come by. The Fed's stress tests will help change that.

By Jim Cramer Mar 15, 2012 8:37AM

the streetToo much supply, so no demand begetting. That's been the story for banks ever since the Great Recession. It's one thing to have enough supply for buyers to get full positions in -- supply that can beget demand. It's another thing to have unlimited supply. That makes demand an impossibility.


For the past few weeks, it's become clear that something has been changing about the banks. First JPMorgan (JPM) said it could see growth, actual growth, from net interest margin. Then we saw other banks starting to chatter about how construction lending might be coming back. BB&T (BBT) and First Horizon National (FHN) made that clear to me.


The Finnish handset maker says it's working on a tablet computer, while Cisco is in talks to buy a software developer for television networks.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 15, 2012 8:01AM

By Andrea Tse


Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET


Cisco (CSCO) announced Thursday it will acquire NDS, a developer of software for multi-channel television networks, for $5 billion. Cisco said the acquisition of NDS will deepen its reach in emerging markets and accelerate the delivery of Videoscape, Cisco's platform for enabling service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation entertainment experiences. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close during the second half of the year. Cisco said the acquisition will be accretive to earnings per share in the first full year on a non-GAAP basis. NDS was founded in Israel and is headquartered in London. The company, which operates a large development center in Jerusalem, is 51% owned by the Permira private-equity fund and 49% by News Corp (NWSA).


Nokia (NOK) is creating a tablet computer, the handset maker's design chief told a Finnish magazine. "We are working on it," said Marko Ahtisaari, according to Kauppalehti Optio. Ahtisaari said he is spending a third of his time working on the tablet. Reports have said Nokia planned to launch a tablet using Microsoft's Windows 8 software in 2012.


The online retailer is reportedly looking to expand its video production arm. Look out, Netflix.

By Trefis Mar 14, 2012 5:59PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)Should Amazon (AMZN) become a movie and television producer? The company already makes some small films through its Amazon Studios arm.

Now, it may be hiring people to help develop half-hour comedies. It's an interesting move and not all that unexpected as Amazon ratchets up the competition with Netflix (NFLX), which is busy producing its own original content. We wrote about this developing competition before.

Amazon already has some experience with its streaming service and has deep pockets to bolster its content.


The majority of the company's spending is slated for the U.S. and a part in Africa in 2012.

By Trefis Mar 14, 2012 5:41PM
Image: Oil Well Pumpjack © Roger Milley/Vetta/Getty ImagesAnadarko Petroleum (APC), one of the largest oil and gas producers in the country, is boosting its spending significantly this year in hopes of capturing new opportunities.

The company released its capital program for 2012 earlier this week, projecting a possible 13% increase in its capital spending for the year. About 55% of the projected $6.6 to 6.9 billion expenditure will be targeted at onshore U.S. opportunities such as the Wattenburg field and the Eagleford shale play. 
Tags: APCCOPoil

Economists and investing pros increasingly think the worst is behind us. If you agree, here are 3 big-picture ways to benefit.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 14, 2012 5:14PM

Image: Arrow Up (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)

 U.S. News & World Report on MSN MoneyA year ago, the economic recovery turned out to be a false dawn. This time, however, it's looking like things could keep getting brighter.


The economy has been adding jobs for 17 months in a row, with the pace of hiring accelerating so far this year. Layoffs are abating, the stock market is rising and Europe seems to be patching up its financial problems. There are countervailing trends, to be sure, such as continued gloom in the housing market and incoherent policymaking in Washington. But with every passing month, the damage from a painful downturn heals.


The company has changed its policy and now writes customers' names on cups. That crosses the line for some.

By Kim Peterson Mar 14, 2012 4:19PM
Credit: © Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
Caption: Jimmy Carr launches new stronger British Latte at Starbucks on March 14, 2012 in London, EnglandStarbucks (SBUX) baristas often ask American customers their names to write on order cups. It's an easy way to move orders fast, and Americans don't generally mind sharing -- even if the names get a little mangled along the way.

The British, however, are a different story. Starbucks has begun asking customers' names there in an effort to be warmer and friendlier, and some aren't thrilled by the policy change.

The controversy is brewing to the point where the BBC wonders if Starbucks should brace for a backlash. 
Tags: SBUX

The company is one of several racing to get treatments approved.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 14, 2012 2:55PM

Image: Senior man in wheelchair looking out window (© Tetra Images/Getty Images)Short of a market meltdown that sends every investor screaming out of anything with a bit of risk, biotechnology stocks tend to march to their own drummer, going up on the progress of drug trials and corporate partnerships independent of what the market does.

OncoGenex (OGXI) scores highly on both those metrics. Which is why I'm adding it to my Jubak's Picks portfolio Wednesday.

The company has two prostate-cancer drugs in Phase II and Phase III trials.


Though the market keeps raging to the upside, I keep seeing bearish signs in market sentiment.

By V.N. Katsenelson Mar 14, 2012 2:23PM

Though the market keeps raging to the upside, I keep seeing bearish signs in market sentiment.

The VIX is hitting multi-year lows, NYSE short interest is hitting a four-year low, the ratio of insider selling to buying is running at what John Hussman calls a "panic level" at 8 to 1 (for every share bought eight were sold).


What about Time Warner? A partnership with the cable company would be a good idea.

By Trefis Mar 14, 2012 2:19PM
Image: Businessman watching television (© Image Source/Corbis)Netflix's (NFLX) proposals for partnership with a pay-TV company have reportedly been turned down by some of the big names in the business, including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Comcast (CMCSA).

This is no surprise. We noted before that it was unlikely any of these companies would partner with Netflix. We pointed out that Time Warner Cable (TWC) was the only potential partner for Netflix among the major cable companies. But we have yet to see any developments between the two companies over the matter. Why? 


With the seasonal strong period for crude oil now upon us, consider any pullbacks in these refining stocks as a buying opportunity.

By Mar 14, 2012 1:53PM

Image: Oil refinery (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)By Tom Aspray

As we have noted before, crude oil typically bottoms in February. This year, the May crude oil contract hit a low of $96.26 on February 2, before rallying to $110.34 just over three weeks later.

The recent pullback in crude has merely taken prices back to the breakout level. This correction should be followed by a resumption of the weekly uptrend, and a move above the February highs. A close in the May crude oil contract above last week's high of $108.65 will indicate that the correction is over.


REITs should be on the radar of every income investor. Don't overlook them.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 14, 2012 1:39PM
By Stephen Leeb, editor Income Performance Letter

Digital Realty Trust (DLR), which owns and manages technology-related real estate, ended 2011 on a high note; it remains a safe income play with one of the best growth profiles in the REIT space.

The key for Digital last year was its foray into the Asian Pacific markets (34% of new leases in terms of footage, notably Singapore and Australia), where rates are substantially higher. 

Interest rates are headed higher in a big way as the market worries about inflation.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Mar 14, 2012 1:17PM

Image: Man Taking Money Out of Wallet © NULL/CorbisSoviet-style central planning is alive and well in the United States. A large chunk of the economy, specifically the market price for money, has been artificially depressed by the Federal Reserve. But now, there are signs the free market is reasserting itself.


Short-term rates have been held near 0% since 2008 and are likely to stay there through 2014, according to Fed policymakers. Long-term rates have been held down through two rounds of quantitative easing and the current "Operation Twist" policy that sees the central bank sell short-term bond holdings to actively push down borrowing rates for things like homes and cars.


Consulting firms are critical to government and corporate America, but this one remains an undiscovered prize.

By Gene Marcial Mar 14, 2012 1:16PM

Image: Financial adviser talking with clients © NULL/CorbisAs corporate America continues to slash fixed costs and governments persist in shrinking budgets, the use of consultants has increased significantly. They have become a critical part of management in both the public and private sectors.


Yet investors haven't caught up with the idea that consultants generate a lot of innovative ideas and execute strategic policies for government agencies and commercial enterprises -- and make good money in the process.


On his last day there, Greg Smith slams the company as a morally bankrupt place he is no longer proud of.

By Kim Peterson Mar 14, 2012 12:12PM
Greg Smith didn't just resign from Goldman Sachs (GS) on Wednesday. He brought a big match and torched the place on his way out the door.

The big match was Smith's devastating New York Times opinion piece that had Wall Street in a whirlwind. It's a revelatory piece about the Wall Street firm's moral decline in the nearly 12 years Smith worked there. Now he describes the environment as "toxic and destructive." 
Tags: GS

Shares of the satellite radio company are among the most overvalued in history.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 14, 2012 12:10PM
Image: Driving home (© gehringj/Vetta/Getty Images)More investors are betting that Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) will fail.

Short interest in the satellite broadcasting service was 285.8 million as of Feb. 29, up about 5% from the previous week. This represents a reversal from the Feb. 15 data, which showed short interest dropping more than 10% from the week before to 273 million -- its lowest level in about three months. 
Tags: SIRI


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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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