You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

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Wendy's, LSI and SandRidge have the right stuff for big returns on small investments.

By InvestorPlace Jan 23, 2012 10:10AM

Image Source/PhotolibraryBy Jeff Reeves


In the stock market, sometimes you get what you pay for. High-priced stocks like Apple (AAPL) have paid off nicely for investors in the past several years, and cheap financials like Bank of America (BAC) remain volatile and risky, even if financials seem to have some spring in their step to start 2012.


But not all cheap stocks are ugly investments that have been rightfully beaten down. Some low-priced shares are screaming bargains that are worth your cash.

 

Qualcomm has scored a number of design wins due to its huge portfolio of Snapdragon chips.

By Trefis Jan 23, 2012 9:54AM
Qualcomm (QCOM) is a leading developer and supplier of wireless products and services with a dominant position in the CDMA chipset market. FY 2011 saw the company post 36% revenue growth while profits rose 31% over FY 2010, in spite of growing competition in the mobile chips market from old foes such as Samsung as well as new entrants Nvidia (NVDA) and Intel (INTC).

A strong performance throughout the year meant Qualcomm's stock outperformed the overall market, growing by almost 9% over the past year even as U.S. economic recovery came under threat from the European debt crisis. 

Here are 3 companies providing enticingly generous yields.

By Gene Marcial Jan 23, 2012 9:30AM

Bob Jacobson/CorbisIt might surprise many investors to know that when it comes to paying generous dividends, U.S. equities don't top the list. Companies in Europe, the U.K. and even in some emerging nations provide significantly better yields, according to some Wall Street pros.

 

The practices and policies of paying dividends vary by region, but yields from companies outside the U.S. are on average generally much higher.

 
Tags: GSKUL

The company has struggled against the iPhone and phones using Google's Android. Shares have dropped nearly 90% since peaking in 2008, falling 75% in 2011 alone.

By Charley Blaine Jan 23, 2012 2:46AM
Updated at 11:22 a.m. Monday

What was clear late Sunday was that Research In Motion's (RIMM) co-CEOs bowed to the inevitable and stepped aside.

What wasn't clear was whether the management change will give investors, who have seen the stock fall nearly 90% since 2008, any hope that the company can mount a comeback from years of losing market share and just plain coolness to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and iPad and mobile phones and tablets built on Google's (GOOG) Android.

If it's any indication, Rim's shares were down $1.10 Monday at $15.90.  

Shares of the nation's largest retailer are getting closer to their 10-year high.

By Kim Peterson Jan 20, 2012 5:04PM
Investors have come to expect three absolutes: death, taxes and Wal-Mart (WMT) shares never going anywhere. But one of those could soon change.

For the last decade, Wal-Mart shares have been mostly stuck in the $50 to $60 range even though its revenue and profits have seen predictable growth. It drove investors nuts.

But we may just be witnessing a breakout. 
Tags: WMT

Wall Street demands for more dollar debasement by the Federal Reserve is fueling a rebound in the precious metal.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 20, 2012 4:54PM

After months in the hinterlands, silver is on the rise in a big way thanks to central bank largesse, renewed weakness in the dollar, and a nagging feeling that the worst isn't over for the economy.

 

I know it seems like ages ago, but some nine months ago all anyone could talk about was silver. The more speculative, more dynamic of the two main precious metals screamed skyward as the Federal Reserve busily jumped another $600 billion in cheap cash into the financial system. Thanks to "quantitative easing" -- or "QE2" as Wall Street dubbed it -- and the fears over inflation and currency debasement that resulted, silver gained nearly 180% August 2010 and April 2011.

 

You won't find many box-office winners from last year on the company's streaming service. There's a reason for that.

By Kim Peterson Jan 20, 2012 4:11PM
Image: Watching television (© image100/Corbis)Where have all the Netflix (NFLX) hit movies gone?

Internet veteran Tristan Louis has an observation that should come as no surprise to a Netflix streaming subscriber: The biggest box-office winners aren't on the service.

Netflix streams only five of the top 100 box-office winners of 2011, Louis notes. That's down from 10 in 2010. You can, however, find most of those hits for rental or purchase on Amazon (AMZN) or iTunes from Apple (AAPL). 

As smartphones become ubiquitous, more searches will be performed on mobile devices and speech-controlled technology will become critical.

By Trefis Jan 20, 2012 3:38PM
Image: Businesswoman on cellphone (© Corbis)Speech recognition has long since promised a lot but delivered very little so far. The technology has been available in some form or another for years, but inadequacies on the hardware and software side -- causing user commands to be misunderstood or giving users limited choices -- have led to little adoption.

Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) have both given it a shot and tried to support voice controls on their operating systems that run on several smartphones and PCs, however neither has managed to gain traction. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)  

The Dow is lifting on the backs of shares that investors had written off.

By Jim Cramer Jan 20, 2012 2:55PM

Sure, this market should be going down already. Sure, this year has become too good to be true. You can sell now and take it all to the bank and no one will mind that you made it because you played the first few weeks of January.


There's still Greek uncertainty. Google's (GOOG) hammering. Downbeat commentary about Europe across the board. We should be in a tailspin.

 

Housing data this week points to a sector recovery -- but not as fast as investors want.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 20, 2012 2:39PM
Image: Home under construction (© Paul Burns/Photodisc/Getty Images)Investors looking for a breakout in housing sales are disappointed with the data on home sales and housing starts released this week. That's why shares of homebuilders such as Lennar (LEN) were down -- by 2% in this instance -- Friday. 

The recent huge rally in stocks in the sector has left them vulnerable to profit-taking on anything less than stellar news.

It’s not, however, that the news in the last two days is bad. It does indeed argue for a recovery in the sector.
 
Tags: LEN

Technical action in the popular ETF and rampant bearish sentiment suggest that a buying opportunity could be set up in coming weeks.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 20, 2012 2:37PM

Image: Small Stack of gold ingots (© Anthony Bradshaw/Photographer)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Gold futures and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) have edged higher over the past three weeks but have failed to keep pace with the rally in the stock market. As I noted in November, investor interest in gold seemed to be very low, and by December, bullish sentiment for gold dropped to extremely low levels.


Though the sentiment is likely less negative now, headlines like "Gold Sheds 'Can't Lose' Status" over the past month suggest to me that gold is still close to completing an intermediate-term low.

 

"If you're so rich, why aren't you so smart?"

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 20, 2012 2:33PM

By Morgan Housel

 

In his book Fooled By Randomness, Nassim Nickolas Taleb describes "luck disguised and perceived as nonluck (that is, skill)." He explains: "It manifests itself in the shape of the lucky fool, defined as a person who benefited from a disproportionate share of luck but attributes his success to some other, generally very precise, reason."

 

Are you listening, Wall Street?

 
Tags: BACCGSJPM

These northern companies offer excellent appreciation potential.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 20, 2012 2:17PM
Image: Canada (© Royalty-Free/Corbis)By J. Royden Ward, editor Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

We believe many outstanding buying opportunities exist among Canadian stocks. As such, we screened our Benjamin Graham database to find Canadian companies with rapidly growing earnings and strong balance sheets.

The six companies recommended below offer excellent appreciation potential during the next six to 12 months. 
Tags: GGgoldSLW

As traders push stocks slowly higher, blissfully ignoring all that's still wrong with the global economy, there's evidence that something is amiss.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 20, 2012 1:56PM

Stocks inched up Thursday for the 10th day out of 12 trading sessions in 2012, pushing various technical indicators deeper into oversold territory and reaching levels not seen in many cases since late last April, when stocks were putting in their bull market high. Volume and breadth were pathetic. Up volume accounted for only 65% of total volume on the NYSE.

 

All that matters, apparently, is that the European Central Bank dumped just over €200 billion in three-year money into the system a few weeks into a long-term refinancing operation to supply capital to banks. While not exactly like the quantitative easing done by the Federal Reserve a few times, this LTRO looks, smells and tastes just like the Fed's QE1 and QE2 to the Wall Street fat cats worried about their bonuses.

 

As in the past, bonus cuts are forcing traders to go out on their own.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 20, 2012 1:04PM
Hedge FundBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

The cost-cutting on Wall Street (particularly notable when it comes to initiatives aimed at limiting outsize bonuses) is about to spawn a brand new generation of hedge funds.

That is common sense. It has happened before in the wake of upheavals in global financial markets and the financial services industry. What is unclear this time is whether those next-generation hedgies will find investors quite as eager to back their new endeavors with cold hard cash. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 has surrendered its opening gain amid weakness in cyclical sectors like consumer discretionary (-0.2%), energy (-0.1%), and industrials (-0.2%).

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for August was revised up to 82.5 from 79.2 in the final reading, while the Briefing.com consensus expected the reading to be revised up to 80.0. Nasdaq +4.19 at 4561.88... NYSE Adv/Dec 1416/1270... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1129/1104.

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