A Mexican wave for Big Oil?
Mexico opens way for Big Oil

New legislation is allowing foreign companies to finally invest in the country's vast oil reserves.


A continued dispute with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts may cause Walgreen to lose prescriptions and sales.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 3, 2012 4:13PM
Image: Prescription medicine expenses © Don Farrall/Photodisc/Getty ImagesGood news for CVS Caremark (CVS) in the Dec. 21 bad news from Walgreen (WAG), the largest U.S. drugstore chain. (CVS Caremark is a member of my Jubak’s Picks 12-18 month portfolio.)

Walgreen reported earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 of 63 cents a share. That was below the 67 cents a share expected by analysts. The bad news from Walgreen dropped the company’s share price by about 0.3% on Dec. 21.

The biggest factors in the miss were a delay in the onset of flu season -- which cut flu shots administered by the chain to 5 million through November from 5.6 million in the same period in 2010 -- and Walgreen’s continued dispute with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX).
Tags: WAG

In a move that hints at a renewed focus on merchandising, the company picks a Brookstone exec.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 3, 2012 3:51PM
Sears Holdings (SHLD) chairman Edward Lampert has finally figured out that the way to turn around the ailing chain is to hire people who know the retail business. It's a long-overdue step in the right direction.

The company said Tueday it has hired away the CEO of Brookstone, Ron Boire, as its chief merchandising officer. Boire will report to CEO Lou D'Ambrosio, whom Lampert hired last year despite a lack of retail experience. Brookstone, long a fixture in America's malls, is holding its own financially -- which is more than can be said for Sears, where sales have declined for 18 straight quarters. 

Dreamliner launch should help profits soar at this aerospace industry supplier.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 3, 2012 3:31PM
Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.  

 By Geoffrey Seiler, BullMarket.com

Our top stock pick for 2012 is Titanium Metals (TIE), or TIMET for short. 

Janney Capital Markets is concerned with the company's inflated margins and ability to sustain sales growth.

By Kim Peterson Jan 3, 2012 3:10PM
Image: Home kitchen (© Tim Pannell/Corbis/Corbis)Williams Sonoma (WSM) is a great company. But a great company doesn't always make for a great stock.

That's the message behind Janney Capital Markets' downgrade Tuesday of Williams Sonoma to "sell" from "neutral." The stock fell more than 3% to $37.19 as a result.

Williams Sonoma owns its namesake brand of home goods stores as well as the Pottery Barn and West Elm names. 

Despite the recent slump in share price, Amazon's valuation remains sky-high.

By InvestorPlace Jan 3, 2012 3:01PM
Credit: Amazon
Caption: Kindle FireBy Dan Burrows

The nattering and chattering over Amazon's (AMZN) foray into the tablet field with the Kindle Fire -- a product that costs more to produce than the company is selling it for -- is ultimately just a lot of smoke.

Yes, absolutely, Amazon is risking short-term profits and margins. So what? CEO Jeff Bezos always has managed the company beyond the quarterly demands of Wall Street's expectations. Amazon's razor-thin margins always have been under close scrutiny, and any time they come up short, investors punish the stock.


The company's fuel-efficient car batteries should help generate rapid growth.

By Trefis Jan 3, 2012 2:42PM
Image: Man working on car © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty ImagesJohnson Controls (JCI), a diversified technology and industrial company, generates nearly 49% of its revenues from automotive interiors systems and another 36% from heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and solutions. The company is also a leader in the production of lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Johnson Controls competes with major players such as Honeywell International (HON) and Siemens Building Technologies (SI) in the HVAC industry; Lear Corporation (LEA), Faurecia and Magna (MGA) in the automotive interior systems industry; and Exide Technologies (XIDE) and GS Yuasa in the automotive batteries industry. 

Akamai, Verizon and Williams-Sonoma receive downgrades.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 3, 2012 2:12PM

Theflyonthewall.com on MSN MoneyInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com


Tuesday's noteworthy analyst upgrades include:
Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan

American Eagle (AEO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank


Satellite television, railroads and beverage packagers should be early beneficiaries of any recovery.

By Gene Marcial Jan 3, 2012 1:41PM

Image: Railroad Crossing with Train (© Edmond Van Hoorick/Photodisc/Getty Images)The market could have done better in 2011, but, frankly, it didn’t do too badly either, considering the tumultuous challenges it had to overcome. Rather than collapse under numerous burdens -- including a wayward Europe, a tsunami in Japan and discombobulated leadership in the U.S. Congress -- it still ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) up 5.5%.

Taking a closer look at market activity, almost all of the brand-name stocks -- like McDonald's (MCD), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM) and Pfizer (PFE) -- excelled over the year. It might be time now to revisit the non-brand stocks, at least for the intermediate term.


Silicon Valley-based maker of electric cars powers up for the mass market.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 3, 2012 12:10PM
Image: Traffic (© Pixtal/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012

By Timothy Lutts, Cabot Stock of the Month

While Toyota has blanketed the U.S. with milquetoast hybrid Priuses, and the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are uninspiring "appliances," Tesla Motors (TSLA) has done something different. It has built electric cars that are thrilling to drive.  
Tags: TSLA

Bearish traders said consumers would run out of gas and Dow stocks were the place to be. They were wrong.

By Jim Cramer Jan 3, 2012 11:21AM

TheStreetImage: Shredding money (© RubberBall/SuperStock)Oh, to be part of the intelligentsia, the bearish think tanks that inspire so much of what passes for conventional wisdom that then gets passed on to the "news." I yearn for it because it is never wrong, always prescient and seems to make so much money when the truth is, of course, that it is often wrong, rarely prescient and costs you a fortune.

With that in mind, here are the 10 bearish myths, all conventional wisdom, that you read about over and over again and pretty much took for gospel:


The coffee shop isn't alone as food inflation drives up costs at every restaurant and grocery store.

By InvestorPlace Jan 3, 2012 10:18AM
Image: Coffee (© HD Connelly/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Jeff Reeves

If your New Year's resolution was to pinch a few more pennies, Starbucks (SBUX) has some bad news for you. The coffee king is hiking prices, thanks to the rising costs of coffee and milk, and passing its expenses on to java junkies.

Starbucks is raising prices about 1%, on average, in some of its most popular markets in the Northeast and South. Cities such as New York, Dallas and Atlanta are the big targets. For example, a 12-ounce cup of coffee will go up in cost by 10 cents, a Starbucks spokesman said.


Indian automaker sees strong growth at home and in China, though low-end Nano disappoints.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 2, 2012 10:19AM
Image: Los Angeles, Calif., traffic on Interstate 405 © VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.  

By Yiannis Mostrous, Global Investment Strategist

Tata Motors (TTM) is India's dominant producer of commercial vehicles and controls 60% of the market. It is also a leading manufacturer of passenger cars, and owns the Jaguar Land Rover brand of luxury cars and sport utility vehicles. 
Tags: FTTM

Spice maker shows earnings growth is always in season.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 1, 2012 9:39AM
Image: Parents and children eating at table © Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.  

By Steve Mauzy, High Yield Wealth

Sticking with a trend can be a good thing. The trend I'm sticking with in 2012 is dividend-growth investing -- buying shares in companies that continually increase their dividend year after year. 
Tags: MKC

Growing appetite for organic products makes Whole Foods supplier a healthy choice.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 30, 2011 5:09PM
Image: Grocery shopping (© IT Stock Free/Jupiterimages)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012

By Bernie Schaeffer, Schaeffer's Investment Research

Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) offers natural and organic products, which are found mostly in Whole Foods Market (WFM) stores. 

Most reports are spinning 2011 as a bad year, which is coloring Wall Street perception and putting shares under pressure.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 30, 2011 4:02PM

Minyanville on MSN MoneyBy Steve Birenberg


Media stocks had a quiet week, yet a few tidbits caught my interest.


At the movies: The box office saw a mixed year in 2011. Total domestic revenue finished down about 4%, but the international box office rose 5%. 2011 was the third largest on record for the domestic box office. In April, it was down 22% year to date. Summer was an all-time record. Early fall was up big. The holidays were weak, but the day after Christmas saw a surge, bringing the four-day weekend in up 3%.



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  • Dec gold rose for the first time in six sessions as it gained support from Janet Yellen's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium. Ms. Yellen said the FOMC sees significant underutilization of labor resources and that the labor market has not fully recovered despite recent gains. The yellow metal advanced to a session high of $1282.80 per ounce and settled with a 0.4% gain at $1280.30 per ounce, booking a 2.0% loss for the week. 
  • Sep silver touched a session high ... More


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