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.

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E-Trade is downgraded to 'neutral' at Goldman.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 26, 2012 12:15PM
Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, and to Hold from Sell at Gabelli
  • Life Technologies (LIFE) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink
  • Textron (TXT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at EarlyBirdCapital
  • Equity Residential (EQR) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Consolidated Edison (ED) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
  • Illinois Tool Works (ITW) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
 

The company's diverse portfolio and strategic deals in emerging markets are advantageous for the company.

By Trefis Jan 26, 2012 11:04AM
PepsiCo's (PEP) diverse portfolio ranging from sodas to snacks and juices, combined with its ability to innovate and launch products suited to the requirements of the localized markets, will go a long way in the growth of the company. At the same time, key acquisitions in developing markets over the last few years will give the company an opportunity to be a part of these fast-growing economies.

We believe the company is in a transitional phase, which makes the market undervalue the stock. PepsiCo competes with leading food & beverage companies around the world including Kraft Food (KFT), Coca Cola Co (KO) and Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS). 

We are encouraged by Grainger's successful market share strategy and retain our 'outperform' recommendation.

By Zacks.com Jan 26, 2012 10:35AM

‎By: Zacks Equity Research

 

W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) reported Wednesday earnings of $2.13 per share for the fourth quarter 2011, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents. The result was 19% above the year-ago earnings of $1.79. The improvement stemmed largely from strong sales across all segments.


Quarterly EPS excluded a 16 cent per share charge related to U.S. branch closures and a gain on the sale of Grainger's 49% ownership in MRO Korea. Including these items, EPS in the quarter was $2.04. The prior-year EPS excluded a gain of 4 cents per share pertaining to a change in paid time off policy. Including this, EPS was $1.83 in the year-earlier period.

 
Tags: GWW

The fast-food chain makes a push into morning sales, but can it compete with heavyweight McDonald's?

By InvestorPlace Jan 26, 2012 9:46AM

By Jeff Reeves


Taco Bell is largely responsible for the late-night snacking push across the fast-food world as one of the first major chains to stay open into the wee hours -- as late as 4 a.m. at most locations with its Fourthmeal menu.

 

Now the Mexican-style restaurant is looking to stay open so late that it'll actually open early. Taco Bell is introducing a breakfast menu at almost 800 restaurants.

 

Not the typical turnaround pick, this company has a problem with investor perceptions.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 26, 2012 9:30AM
By George Putnam, The Turnaround Letter

Founded in 1886 by three brothers to produce first aid kits, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has grown into one of the largest healthcare products companies in the world, with one of the strongest balance sheets in American industry.

So how can we feature this as our latest turnaround stock? Because the stock price has gone essentially nowhere for about ten years. The stock traded at 65 in 2002 and it trades around 65 today. 
Tags: JNJ

The pharmaceutical company thinks Illumina is a good fit with its business strategy.

By Benzinga Jan 25, 2012 8:00PM

Image: Medical doctor (© tetra images/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Jay Wong, Benzinga Staff Writer


Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche (RHHBY) announced Wednesday a hostile takeover bid for Illumina (ILMN) worth $5.7 billion in cash, or $44.50 per share. 


Many financial analysts believed the offer to be light, and speculation about an increased offer prompted Illumina shares to rise 46% Wednesday to close at $55.15. In a note to clients, Wedbush analyst Zarak Khurshid stated that Roche would likely sweeten its offer. Wedbush raised its price target on Illumina to $50 from $35.

 

Company posts better-than-expected results and shows that, despite all the drama, subscriber levels have stabilized.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 25, 2012 6:14PM
Shares of Netflix (NFLX) are soaring in late trading after the company rebounded from a series of embarrassing blunders last year and posted fourth-quarter results that were better than expected. 

Profit at the Los Gatos, Calif., company fell 13% to $40.7 million, or 73 cents a share, from $47.1 million, or 87 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose 47% to $875.6 million as the company was able to quell a customer revolt over an unpopular fee hike. Analysts expected profit of 55 cents on revenue of $857.89 million. 
Tags: NFLX

The search giant isn't getting nearly the share of the tablet market for its apps that it thought it would from Amazon.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 25, 2012 4:30PM
Image: young woman reading from Kindle (© Reggie Casagrande/Photographer)Some analysts and investors who read Apple's (AAPL) December quarter earnings report Tuesday are now anticipating the big fight in the tablet market between Apple's iPad and Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire.

But there’s an increasing wave of opinion that argues these investors are looking at the wrong war. (For my take on Apple’s earnings, see my post.)

Oh, there's going to be a battle, no doubt about it, but the first combat, this view says, will be between Amazon and Google (GOOG).
 

From pipelines to water, a panel of experts explains which buys make sense.

By Zacks.com Jan 25, 2012 4:07PM

Wondering what are the top stocks to invest in 2012?


The Zacks panel of experts gives its picks for pipelines, engines, rails and water in the following video. Plus, with earnings season in full swing, our roundtable of Zacks analysts and editors discusses the new Federal Reserve transparency and what it means for opportunities in the market. 

 

If the social gaming giant enables users to play its casino-themed games with real money, it could lead to a significant increase in revenue.

By Trefis Jan 25, 2012 3:13PM
Image: Ball on Roulette wheel , close-up (© Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Zynga (ZNGA) is the leader in social gaming and is charging forward in the mobile gaming sector by acquiring mobile gaming studios and launching new games on iOS and Android.

We recently posted about a significant new opportunity for Zynga -- online gambling -- which could potentially generate billions of dollars in additional revenue, if Zynga makes a move in the sector soon. Zynga has now confirmed that it is seeking partners to launch new online gambling initiatives. 
Tags: EAZNGA

Rig supplier and operator Helmerich & Payne is a promising play on the domestic drilling boom.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 25, 2012 2:54PM

Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


These are momentous times in the North American drilling industry.


On Monday, natural gas prices soared some 10% from a decade-low after key producer Chesapeake Energy (CHK) said it would cut its drilling of wells containing only natural gas by half, shifting resources to shale plays yielding the much more profitable crude and other liquids.

 

The Chinese New Year has given rise to the year of the Water Dragon, an excitingly positive period throughout history.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 25, 2012 2:32PM

Image: Bull (© Photographers Choice RF/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Last week, Asian brokerage firm CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets published its CLSA Feng Shui Index (CLSA FSI), a "Tongue-in-cheek look at what's in store for the Hang Seng, key market sectors" for the coming year.


I have had the pleasure of speaking in many of the Asian financial centers and have analyzed their markets for many years, and as such, I have always looked forward to this report. This year, it is of particular interest.

 

If you exclude the company's significant pile of cash, the stock trades at a strikingly low 10 times trailing earnings.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 25, 2012 2:18PM
Image: Money (© image100/SuperStock)Apple (AAPL) reported December quarter earnings Tuesday that blew away Wall Street estimates. And then the company raised guidance for the March 2012 quarter. 

The stock was up 6% at midday Wednesday in a generally lackluster U.S. market.

Should you buy? Well, the stock is still very cheap -- especially once you subtract the company’s nearly $100 billion in cash.
 

These companies have been buying back tons of their own stock, and the trend is likely to continue this year.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 25, 2012 2:14PM

By David Fried, The Buyback Letter


Our Buyback Premium Portfolio is beating the S&P 500 by more than 30% since its inception in 2000. Here's a look at four of our recent additions to this portfolio:


ConocoPhillips (COP) is one of the largest integrated energy companies in the U.S. and a worldwide leader in refining. It has extensive oil and gas reserves, which will increase in value as energy prices rise.

 

A $500 price target for the stock looks too low, given the company's strong sales of iPhones and iPads.

By Jim Cramer Jan 25, 2012 1:45PM

By Jim Cramer


The story arc is remarkable. Less than two years ago, Apple (AAPL) introduced a product that nobody initially seemed to be able to figure out what to do with, the iPad. It didn't take long for people to figure out that the iPad pretty much did everything anybody would ever want it to do, serving as a text tool, a movie screen, a tv screen, a records keeper, a teaching tool, you name it.


As soon as the other companies figured out how revolutionary the iPad was, they instantly copied it and offered what many critics said were superior products.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Thursday session on a higher note with the S&P 500 climbing 0.5%. The benchmark index registered an early high within the first 90 minutes and inched to a new session best during the final hour of the action.

Equities rallied out of the gate with the financial sector (+1.1%) providing noteworthy support for the second day in a row. The growth-oriented sector extended its September gain to 1.9% versus a more modest uptick of 0.4% for the ... More


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