A stock market graph trending down © jmiks/Getty Images
Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Noted value investor Leon Cooperman shares his thoughts at this year's Value Investing Congress.

By Benzinga Oct 18, 2011 7:19PM
By Jonathan Chen, Benzinga Staff Writer

Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors spoke today at the Value Investing Congress. Here are some of his thoughts from today's speech, including some of the stocks he believes have the greatest upside potential.
 

The country's economic growth rate slid to 9.1% last quarter, but that's not necessarily bad.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 18, 2011 6:33PM
Asian stock markets weren’t amused, but if you’re waiting for evidence that the People’s Bank of China is about to stop raising interest rates -- and maybe even start cutting them -- then the third-quarter drop in China’s economic growth rate to 9.1% is good news.

A slower growth rate brings the central bank closer to saying it's done with increasing interest rates to slow the economy and lower inflation. That announcement, in my opinion, would set off big rallies in Hong Kong and Shanghai. (The People's Bank has raised its benchmark interest rate five times in the last 12 months.)

That's the future. For today, investors are worried about slower growth becoming too-slow growth. Economists had projected a drop to 9.3% for the quarter, from 9.5% in the second quarter and 9.7% in the first quarter.
 

A surge of buying interest has formed a rare phenomenon.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 18, 2011 4:50PM

Volatility has returned to Wall Street this week as traders react to every murmuring, rumor and media report coming out of the eurozone. On Monday and in early Tuesday, investors were in a sour mood after German finance minister and frequent party pooper Schaeuble tried to dampen expectations by saying the upcoming Oct. 23 eurozone summit would not reveal a "definitive solution" to the crisis. This was a case of being overly honest and precise at a time when nerves are raw and markets jumpy.

 

That is, until late in Tuesday's trading session when the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper reported that French and German officials are close to expanding Europe's bailout fund from €440 billion to €2 trillion by turning it into an insurance vehicle for private investors.  Shares surged in response.

 

The United Automobile Workers union is voting on whether to approve new contracts that focus on bonuses instead of raises.

By Kim Peterson Oct 18, 2011 3:59PM
Wages for an auto worker in Mexico? About $10 an hour.

Full wages for a member of the United Automobile Workers? About $28 an hour. Is it any wonder, then, that automakers are increasingly looking to shift work to Mexico and China?

Wages are the central issue of new agreements the union is trying to forge with Detroit's automakers. About 62% of Ford (F) workers voted this week to support a new four-year contract, and balloting is expected to end Tuesday. 
Tags: gm

CEO Dick Costolo says the site's recent $800 million round of funding values the company at $8 billion.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 18, 2011 3:33PM

TheStreetBy Olivia Oran, TheStreet

 

Micro-blogging site Twitter is now valued at $8 billion, CEO Dick Costolo said Monday night at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

 

That valuation is based on the company recently raising $800 million in a two-stage funding round, Costolo said, adding that Twitter is not looking towards a near-term IPO.

 

"We don't want to be beholden to an IPO window," he said. "I want the company to go public when the company is ready and prepared to be a public company, and not at the whim of some window."

 

These semiconductor stocks show bullish chart patterns. Here are risk-controlled entry points to watch for each.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 18, 2011 3:11PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

The strength seen in the Nasdaq 100 and in many technology stocks since the August lows continues to suggest that tech will be one of the strongest industry groups as we head into the end of the year.

As is often the case, the technical outlook and some of the fundamental forecasts are not in agreement. One semiconductor industry leader, Morris Chang, who is the chairman and CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. (TSM), just recently painted a very dismal outlook not only for the economy but for the semiconductor industry.

In fact, many semiconductor companies have already cut their sales and margin estimates for the fourth quarter. Still, there are several stocks in this group that are leading the market higher.

 

Is the coffee company intentionally failing to disclose its financial information?

By Benzinga Oct 18, 2011 2:40PM

By Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) was falling again Tuesday, unable to recover after a legendary hedge fund manager criticized the coffee maker at an investor event.


David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital has numerous issues with the K-Cup maker, but his biggest complaint surrounds the company's lack of disclosure. According to Bloomberg, he thinks it's time for the company to become more transparent.

 

Green Mountain isn't as frothy as you may think.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 18, 2011 2:03PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

 

Legendary hedge fund manager David Einhorn has gone from bashing Florida real estate to bashing coffee beans.

 

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) tumbled 10% Monday after Einhorn detailed his bearish thesis for shorting the company behind the Keurig single-cup coffeemaker.

 

There isn't really anything new in Einhorn's argument. He's pointing to the same patent expirations, accounting concerns, and frothy valuations that have burned Green Mountain bears in recent years.

 

Even though the motorcycle maker had a solid quarter, concerns about margins hit the stock hard.

By Kim Peterson Oct 18, 2011 1:07PM

Updated: 6 p.m. ET

 

Blame the $8,000 SuperLow for whacking Harley-Davidson (HOG) stock Tuesday.

Even though the company had a good third quarter, with profit more than doubling, a shift to producing cheaper bikes like the SuperLow worried investors. Those bikes aren't as profitable, and gross margin in the quarter narrowed to 33.7% from 34.9% a year earlier.

Gross margin was the main reason the stock ate dirt Tuesday even after solid quarterly earnings. Harley lowered its full-year guidance on gross margin to between 33.5% and 34.5%. That's a mere 0.5% less than before, but it was enough for shares to close at $34.59, down 7%.

 
Tags: HOG

For tax-efficient exposure to Kinder Morgan's $38 billion deal with El Paso, use these funds.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 18, 2011 11:27AM

Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet


The week began with news of a landmark M&A transaction in the natural gas pipeline and storage industry. As the overall impact of this deal gains clarity, ETF investors can position themselves to benefit.

 

Kinder Morgan's (KMI) decision to acquire El Paso (EP) is notable for a number of reasons. First, the deal, valued at $38 billion, marks the largest pipeline takeover in history.

 

In addition, the marriage of these two massive gas transporters represents another notable example of the consolidation that has been taking place in natural gas.

 

Facing a host of risks, including Wall Street protests and mortgage lawsuits, financials could see more downward pressure.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 18, 2011 10:59AM

the streetBy Robert Barone, TheStreet 


It appears that several factors are still not priced into the market. Continued downward pressure on financial stocks could be expected as events unfold, especially the potentially disruptive forces that Europe may unleash, or the conclusion that the foreclosure and mortgage lawsuits are larger and more significant than currently believed.

 

Here are the top seven reasons bank stocks may keep falling.

 

1. Occupy Wall Street. Although it's not a cohesive movement, at least part of its birth can be traced to outsized Wall Street salaries and bonuses, especially since taxpayers saved most of the Too Big to Fail banks.

 

The demonstrators could just as easily be targeting Congress, but the alienation in this country is palpable.

By Jim Cramer Oct 18, 2011 9:25AM

the streetOccupy Wall Street has, in a few short weeks, gone from a sideshow to the fulcrum of a national debate about wealth and jobs and a sense of despair that's palpable among many Americans. You can't be on the sidelines on this one; you are pro or con.

 

Which, frankly, is the problem, because I am not sure what being pro or con actually means in this case.

 

Am I pro justice for the people who got us into this mess -- chiefly the lenders who lent recklessly and should have known better, and the investment bankers who pooled their miserable loans into unfathomable tranches that have done so much to impair the American economy? You bet.

 

From the lenders to the processors to the robo-signers to those who took huge bonuses after being saved by TARP and yet were integral to this corrupt process, to the ratings agencies that checked off on it all, I've seen little or no justice at all.

 

There's too much uncertainty and fuzzy math in these profits.

By InvestorPlace Oct 18, 2011 7:52AM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


This morning we saw a seemingly impressive earnings report from Bank of America (BAC). Revenue was up. Profits beat expectations. Good news, right?


Not so much. A closer look at the numbers shows some  fuzzy math that only a contortionist could feel comfortable with. The real bottom line is that Bank of America earnings are still ugly and that the entire financial sector remains a very risky bet.

 

After crashing from $70 a share to just a buck, Crocs had been building a recovery - until Monday's ugly earnings report

By InvestorPlace Oct 17, 2011 9:41PM
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com

investorplace Crocs, Inc.
(CROX), the cult stock behind the cult footwear hit of the same name, is the quintessential fad investment. The stock raced up 400% after its IPO before flaming out spectacularly, going from a peak of around $70 to bottom out at $1 a share.

Investors should have learned their lesson after that ugly performance – and anyone who saw the ugly footwear knew the ride couldn’t last forever. But after a huge restructuring and rebranding effort, some on Wall Street were again duped in 2011 and started thinking Crocs had hit its stride once more. CROX stock regained the $30 mark just a few weeks ago.


But like everything else in the fashion industry, things changed fast for Crocs. An ugly profit report yesterday has prompted panic on Wall Street – and shares of CROX stock are set to open down as much as 35%.

 

At first glance, the financial giant had a knockout quarter. But there's more to the numbers than meets the eye.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 17, 2011 4:30PM
Just shows you should never believe the headlines when it comes to quarterly earnings -- especially for banks right now.

According to the headline numbers, third-quarter earnings at Citigroup (C) climbed by 74% to $3.8 billion. The headline number put Citigroup’s earnings per share at a huge $1.23.

So according to the headlines, Citigroup killed this quarter, since Wall Street had been projecting that the bank would earn just 82 cents a share for the period.
 
Tags: CJPM

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[BRIEFING.COM] The early advance for the market ran into some technical resistance with the S&P 500 pushing the 1871 level.  Now, the major indices are mixed as a wave of selling interest has flattened everything out in what has been termed a sloppy session so far.

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