The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
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Sears Holdings is losing sales to Wal-Mart and other competitors. So why is its stock so hot?
Sears gets no respect. So why, after taking a tremendous hit in May and June, is the stock at $75 and trending up? Why is the company's forecast beating expectations even as sales drop and the competition continues to steal business?
For that answer, you need to take apart the stock a little bit. Sears is one of the most interesting stocks out there, and you'll see why in a minute. Let's get into the financials:
Here are the most promising plays from last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.
Yes, you've been inundated with CES stories over the past several days, but we beg your attention for just one more. Today, Tim Beyers does us all a big favor by providing a clear and concise wrap-up of the most promising investing ideas from Las Vegas.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
By the end of last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I had a budding sore throat and a bad case of tech overload.
This fund provides exposure to the biggest names in the semiconductor industry.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Intel (INTC) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results Thursday. It's the world's largest chip-maker, and analysts keep a close watch on its performance in hopes of gaining insight into the state of not only the semiconductor industry but the broader tech sector as well.
Intel saw success in the first three quarters of 2010, marked by a dividend increase in November and a bold statement from CEO Paul Otellini, saying the company was on track to see its best year ever.
As investors begin 2011, Intel looks to remain strong and promising as a leader in the industry. However, the company still faces challenges. One major hurdle this year will likely be growing pressure from leading competitors.
Vermont takes issue with the word 'maple' in the menu item, saying the product must contain real syrup.
McDonald's (MCD) is the undisputed king of fast-food breakfast, with almost a quarter of the company's revenue generated during the early hours before its typical Big Mac and McNugget menu is in full swing.
Thanks to a steady stable of old favorites like the Egg McMuffin and recent innovations like McCafe premium coffees, consumers see the Golden Arches as a breakfast joint almost as much as a burger joint.
In order to maintain its dominance, McDonald's continues a steady line of promotions and new products rolling out. One of its most recent items, Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, saw big success in regional markets recently and is going national this month.
Investors who avoid this misunderstood conglomerate might miss out on rising dividends and profits as the economy rebounds.
Certain stocks are telling you that demand exists even though the numbers might say otherwise.
I'm talking about global demand, such as for engines and transportation equipment for expensive infrastructure projects and power plants and the need to finance them.
Kind of like the stuff General Electric (GE) makes. (I both work for GE and own shares in the company.)
The online travel portal enjoys a surge on hopes of an ownership change – but could pay off even if Barry Diller stays in charge.
Priceline.com (PCLN) has the $430 shares, the name-your-own-price goldmine and William Shatner’s endearingly shameless antics. But it wasn’t the darling of call option buyers Tuesday.
That distinction went to online travel rival Expedia (EXPE), which saw its highest option-trading volume in more than a year. Bullish calls swamped bearish puts by a ratio of 27 to 1, according to Bloomberg.
The aircraft maker's deliveries are coming in stronger than many analysts expected.
Eurozone nations are all fighting to raise cash -- threatening to push interest rates higher and forcing Portugal closer to a bailout.
Investors watched in horror on Monday as bond yields on eurozone bonds initially moved higher, led by Portugal which is seen as the next in line for a bailout after Greece and Ireland.
But then the European Central Bank stepped in to support prices. The situation was further calmed on Tuesday by word that Japan was joining China in its explicit support of euro bonds and that European leaders were considering an expansion of their bailout fund as reported by the folks at Trade The News.
This is merely a temporary reprieve. Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain will all tap the capital markets this week -- putting additional pressure on yields and bringing the likes of Portugal, Spain, and even Belgium closer to fiscal insolvency. And more is coming.
The rapper tells millions of followers to buy a penny stock in which he has a large stake -- and scores $8.7 million.
Who says you can't make money on Twitter? Rapper 50 Cent just raked in millions.
The rapper had plenty to say over the weekend about a penny stock named H&H Imports (HNHI), a tiny operation out of Florida. Why? Because 50 Cent invested $750,000 in shares and warrants in the company last fall. Some of those shares can be cashed in only as the stock rises to 15 cents, 25 cents and, yes, 50 cents.
What better way to pump up the stock than to promote it to your 3.8 million Twitter followers? That's what the rapper did -- and the stock rose 240% to close at 39 cents Monday.
GulfMark is poised to ride the new old energy trend of the coming years.
Alternative energy is the future, but do you really think oil and gas is slowing down anytime soon? Are even the next decade? Then you'll want to hear what Jason Moser has to say.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
This month, my portfolio buy combines two of my favorite things: small caps and global opportunity. GulfMark Offshore (GLF) helps oil and gas companies not only find and extract new supplies, but also stay safe in the process.
Whose network is better for iPhone users? The 2 carriers have plenty to say about that.
Now AT&T (T) no longer has the exclusive on iPhones in the U.S. And it didn't take long for both carriers to start bashing each other with taunts normally found at grade-school recess.
Let's start with AT&T. "I'm not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane," a company spokesman said in a statement to Business Insider. That's rich. AT&T's sluggish network has been nothing but a slow lane to iPhone users I know.
Trends like cloud computing are good news for companies that sell high-tech gear.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
Trends such as cloud computing, which delivers a host of services over the Internet, spell good news for companies that sell networking gear, such as switches and routers.
"If you believe in the cloud story and if you believe in Apple (AAPL) moving its base to on-demand and hosting services, you have to buy into the growth of networking," Avi Cohen, an analyst at Avian Securities, told TheStreet.
The company has relied on brand recognition, low fees and aggressiveness for its success.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Vanguard's ascension through the ranks of ETF providers has been one of the more closely watched developments in this industry, leading some people to wonder what it has done to achieve such success.
Although the company is still considered relatively new to the ETF market, Vanguard has seen its business grow and expand dramatically over the years. In December, the company saw the largest inflows, beating out industry leader BlackRock (BLK).
Prior to the company's foray into ETFs, Vanguard had generated an immense following as a leader in indexed mutual funds. One of Vanguard's biggest strengths comes from the familiarity of its lineup of ETFs.
The discount chain joins a list of retailers that have changed their branding in the past year.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
The change comes as the discount retailer looks to make a foray into markets dominated by rival Wal-Mart (WMT). The company has been beefing up its grocery offerings, and in October it introduced its 5% loyalty program.
Target joins a list of retailers that have changed their branding strategies this year, with mixed reaction. Retailers say they're trying to make themselves more identifiable in key international markets.
New products and consumer demand have made technology companies major players.
For the past decade, we didn't have enough new products in tech, so we didn't have enough new product cycles.
We tended to look at tech as an economic play -- a weak economic play at that -- and when tech stocks moved up, we sold them, figuring that, like steel or aluminum, the moment that inventories rose was the moment that you sold.
The research reflected that, and you had constant downgrades and lids on stocks that seemed logical and necessary.
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Chipotle is an extremely well-run company in the midst of robust growth. But its stock, like Wal-Mart's a decade ago, may nonetheless be hitting its peak.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages remain near their early lows with the Nasdaq (-0.6%) seeing the largest decline.
The index lags amid weakness in technology (-0.6%) and biotech. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 257.50, -1.43) trades lower by 0.5%. Similar to the biotech ETF, the health care sector holds a loss of 0.5%.
With stocks on the defensive, traditional safe-haven assets remain in demand. Gold futures trade up 1.5% at $1366.60/ozt while Treasuries sit ... More
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