Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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The move in this group of stocks reveals the truth: Residential real estate has hit bottom and is on its way higher.
It's not a question of when the housing recovery will occur but of how big it will be. That's how I have felt watching the stock market action since the year began.
I use a couple of classic tells to forecast housing sales and values, and they are flashing bright green, really defying gravity in their obvious way of saying, "Housing's back in 2011." This despite the universal "Housing's the same mess it has always been" rap, as well as the downbeat projections, mostly from the noisy folks at Zillow, many of which do not reflect the hard macro data kept by other entities.
Look at these breakouts we have seen just this year: Whirlpool (WHR), Lowe's (LOW), Sherwin Williams (SHW),Pier 1 (PIR), Ethan Allen (ETH), Masco (MAS), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) and even Williams-Sonoma (WSM) after that disappointing outlook. That's incredible. These stocks are screaming that sales for homes are going higher and that the value of homes is going higher, or people wouldn't be throwing good money after bad.
Short-term factors have been pushing up the price of copper, but there's plenty of volatility ahead.
The coffee chain will remove the outer ring around the siren image to give the brand more global appeal.
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Starbucks' streamlined logo removes the outer green circle that bears the Starbucks Coffee name, enlarging the inner siren, sometimes referred to as a sea nymph, in the company's signature green hue.
In a video posted on the Starbucks Web site, CEO Howard Schultz talked about the decision to update its emblematic logo on the 40th anniversary of the company in March.
The discount chain's stock falls after a disappointing first-quarter earnings report.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
During the quarter, the company earned $74.3 million, or 58 cents a share, from $67.8 million, or 49 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for a profit of 61 cents a share. By early afternoon, shares had fallen 8.5% to $45.12.
Family Dollar chairman Howard R. Levine said the company had its best first-quarter sales performance in more than 12 years. However, lower gross margins and higher freight costs hurt its profit. Its gross margin slipped to 36% from 36.1%.
This once-rotten business has taken an appealing turn.
Why, yes, that is a banana in Alex Pape's portfolio. It's a nice investment opportunity he found while peeling back the layers of the food industry. Read on to see if Chiquita Brands is ripe for you.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
I'm just going to put this out there: I love bananas. They are tasty. They are convenient. They can be used to slip up the Mario Kart character chasing you. Today, I'm putting my money where my mouth is and buying Chiquita Brands International (CQB), the leading banana seller in Europe and the runner-up in the U.S.
The telecom's already strong position in 3G and 4G technology gets a wireless boost from the acquisition of rival Atheros.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Typically, expensive deals like the $45-a-share cash offer from Qualcomm for Atheros would send the buyer's shares down on dilution worries. But this deal is getting only positive blowback, largely because it will give Qualcomm's already strong position in 3G and 4G technology a boost in areas like WiFi and GPS technology.
The move comes as Qualcomm announced Wednesday that its Snapdragon processors and LTE chips will be inside new 4G devices at Verizon (VZ). Verizon is expected to introduce some of those mobile devices Thursday at CES in Las Vegas.
The iPad stole the spotlight as the first on the scene, but these up-and-comers could take a piece of Apple's pie.
There's no denying that the release of Apple's iPad last April was the catalyst that changed tablet PCs from curios to consumer gold. That device is now the standard bearer for consumer and investor expectations, as iPad sales for 2010 are expected to exceed 14 million, and analysts like Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore now expect Apple to sell 28 million iPads through 2011.
But those projections could be sketchy, based on the idea that Apple is the only game in town. As three other tablets show, the iPad may have a tough time retaining dominance as competitors roll out innovative -- and sometimes flashier -- tablets.
If history is any indicator, this morning's slump will follow through with mild losses. Accept the decline, buy the dips and follow the usual suspects for signs of an intraday turnaround.
So it goes.
What's been the follow-through on days like this? Typically we have everything go down, then one of the futures ticks up -- oil because of inventories (announced today); copper, perhaps because of short-covering; or the euro, because Portugal was just a fire drill -- and we settle into a down-1%-or-less day. We basically give up what we have made.
Storms in Australia are creating an extreme scarcity with worldwide implications. At least 1 stock could profit.
The bookseller faces a potential liquidity crisis, which could lead to a Chapter 11 filing.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Is Borders (BGP) eyeing a bankruptcy filing? If the bookseller's latest moves are any indication, the company could be headed precisely in that direction, according to James V. McTevia, a turnaround expert and managing member of McTevia & Associates.
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that one of Borders' major suppliers, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, is temporarily halting the shipment of books to the retailer. The publisher's CEO told the Journal that his company will not ship to Borders until it receives more information on the bookstore's payment plans.
Asbury Automotive has its foot on the pedal, ready for an uptick in American car buying.
U.S. auto sales must recover. An auto retailer is priced as if that will never happen. Read on in amazement as Fool analyst Michael Olsen turns this simple equation into a detailed buy case for Asbury Automotive.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
Despite its boring veneer, my purchase of Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) -- a humdrum retailer of new and used cars -- might just put a little excitement into my Rising Star portfolio's returns. I'm investing $750, or 4.4% of my first year's capital.
Here's an update on some interesting funds launched in 2010.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Precious and base metals proved to be popular themes for ETF investors during the past year. While some companies launched products that tapped into previously unexplored corners of the industry, others offered up new ways to gain exposure to old favorites.
Here are some of the most interesting metals-related products introduced in 2010.
Palladium was one of the best-performing commodities in 2010. ETF Securities, a relative newcomer to the U.S. ETF industry, enjoyed a lot of success last year with the launch of PALL and PPLT.
Stock sales and bond purchases have been slowing in recent weeks, suggesting a trend that may continue in 2011.
By Jeff Kleintop, TheStreet
About $90 billion has been pulled from U.S. stock mutual funds since the flash crash on May 6, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. On that day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) experienced the biggest intraday point decline, 998.5 points, in its 114-year history.
During every week since the crash, investors have been withdrawing more money from U.S. stock mutual funds than they have been adding, while strongly favoring bonds with their investment dollars. This net selling took place despite strong gains over the past six months in the major stock market indexes.
Investors' recent period of selling U.S. stock funds while the stock market posted more than a 10% gain is unprecedented, and it follows two years of net selling in 2008 and 2009.
Take advantage of the lull, because the metal has yet to peak.
Time for a break for gold? After still one more astonishing performance, in keeping with the 10-year outperformance of the precious metal, it seems reasonable to think that gold can cool off for a bit. The gold stocks themselves are saying the same thing, taking a real breather for the past few weeks.
To which I say: Take advantage of the weakness if you haven't already, as we are hardly done with the run. Why? Because the one thing we know about 2011 is that currencies are suspect. Paper is suspect. There's too much being printed here. There's too much that's going to be printed in Europe. The stuff's worth less and less.
That means gold will be worth more and more.
As blue chips battle, this IT powerhouse will be the first place companies turn to for an edge.
By Jon Markman, InvestorPlace.com
If the first year of this decade was all about building a firm base of recovery, the second year will be about leveraging that success and fighting off newly resurgent competitors. That's why one of the best stocks to buy and hold in 2011 is tech stock pick Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH).
It's going to be a ground war in 2011. Companies that survived the financial crises and tech bust of the 2000s by addressing the needs of niche users in a unique and profitable way will now try to attract new customers by scratching, clawing and attacking their rivals. And here's how CTSH will make a difference:
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The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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