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Big events this week by Apple and Salesforce should ignite the sector.

By Jim Cramer Feb 28, 2011 10:07AM

jim cramerthestreetThis week we have something to talk about in tech, something big. Two things, actually, and they can propel tech stocks higher than it already climbed on Friday. They can ignite the sector because they are at the heart of what we like most in tech: the Apple(AAPL) iPad, and the cloud as brought to you by Salesforce.com (CRM).

 

First, the iPad 2 launches on Wednesday. This will be a great opportunity for Apple to showboat and for the Apple ancillary plays -- Arm Holdings(ARMH), Micron(MU), Skyworks(SWKS), OmniVision Technologies(OVTI) (look at that one!) -- to rock, too.

 

I can't stress how important Apple is to this market. Apple is the most high-profile stock in the world, but it is an event stock, and without events there is not much to say. This week is a big one.

 

I screened 6,000 stocks to find the top 3 that had what I'm looking for.

By Jim Van Meerten Feb 26, 2011 1:26PM
My definition of growth stocks may be different from yours. 

I look for four things: increasing sales, increasing earnings, increasing prices and a volume that allows me to get in and out quite easily.  This morning I used Barchart to screen 6,000 stocks and came up with these three gems:

DirecTV (DTV): a satellite television provider in the United States and Latin America that mainly competes with cable and Dish Network (DISH).

DirecTV's share price has been on a solid run over the last three months and Monday was at about $46.
 

Thinking of fleeing stocks because of the Middle East turmoil? Think about some defensive plays instead

By John Reese Feb 25, 2011 7:25PM

Getting jittery?

 

If you're like most investors, you probably are, thanks to all of the turmoil in the Middle East. Tunisia and Egypt were one thing, but now with Libya -- and its 1.5 million daily barrels of oil exports -- in chaos, investors are feeling the heat.

 

I for one am not overly concerned. Yes, the situation in the Middle East bears watching. But keep in mind that the U.S. imports only about 80,000 barrels of oil a day from Libya, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration; by comparison, we get almost 2 million barrels a day from Canada.

More importantly, I believe in sticking to a disciplined investing system. History has shown time and time again that ditching stocks when times get tough will often leave you selling low and buying high. Sticking to a long-term strategy is key to generating solid long-term returns.

 

This underappreciated insurer is guided by solid principles.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 25, 2011 4:32PM

Sometimes short-term fluctuations can provide nice opportunities for long-term investors. Fool analyst Jason Moser thinks he's found one in White Mountains, which is trading at the low end of its historical book-value range.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor

 

When most people think insurance, it's usually the bill for automobile coverage or renewing the homeowner's policy. But there's a nicer side to the insurance gig: the investing side. The catch is that you need to find the ones that will stand the test of time, through good markets and bad. And White Mountains Insurance Group (WTM) is one of them.

 

Shunned over the past 6 months, US Treasury bonds are rallying again on Mideast fears and worries that higher energy prices could derail the recovery.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Feb 25, 2011 3:45PM

If you wondered how fleeting popularity can be on Wall Street, just look at how fast U.S. Treasury bonds have gone from hot to not and back over the past year. Bonds were the go-to investment last summer as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis raged. Between early April and late August, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) gained nearly 27%.

 

Things got so out of hand that, by September, many observers, including me, busily warned of a nascent bond bubble. Investors had become too pessimistic and weren't adequately discounting for the risk of higher inflation and improved economic growth. You know what happened next. Bonds got hammered in the months that followed as the Fed pledged to pump $600 billion into the financial system. The TLT lost nearly 18% as a result.

 

Now things are reversing as the rise of popular revolutions throughout North Africa and the Middle East send shock waves through the energy market. There is concern that higher fuel prices will slow economic growth -- a potentially deflationary scenario that favors fixed-income investments. The question is: Can the T-bond rally continue?

 

A small California city approves a medical-marijuana nursery -- and will likely see its fortunes improve dramatically.

By Kim Peterson Feb 25, 2011 3:38PM
Image: Marijuana (© Halfdark/fStop/Getty Images)Lawmakers in several states are struggling with how to craft policies to allow for the growing or selling of medical marijuana.

But while everyone else dithers over details, one tiny town jumped in and green-lit a large-scale indoor nursery for medical marijuana. And, as the video below shows, the city of Isleton, Calif., could end up raking in some badly needed revenue.

Isleton's financial state was so bad that some people wondered whether it had any future, reports NBC Bay Area News. Vacant storefronts are common, and revenue shortfalls were worrisome.

So the city has come to an agreement with a growers group to build the 4,000-square-foot nursery. In return, every month the city will get either 3% of the growers' profits or $25,000 -- whichever is greater, reports NBC's Garvin Thomas. That's at least $300,000 a year in new revenue, but estimates say it could end up being twice that much. 

After sitting out the Verizon iPhone 4, TriQuint has won a role supplying power amps for Apple's souped-up iPhone 5.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 25, 2011 2:53PM

thestreetBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

The upcoming Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5, due this summer, will pack some big wireless radio power.

 

While lacking Verizon's (VZ) 4G LTE capability, the Apple iPhone 5 will be a souped-up world phone equipped with "seven power amplifiers" to beef up wireless reception on the full array of WCDMA and EVDO radio frequencies in the U.S. and Europe, says Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.

 

This is particularly good news for power amp supplier TriQuint (TQNT), which was left out of the Verizon iPhone 4 this year.

 

These shares offer strong payouts, making them good names to own before the market takes another dive.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 25, 2011 2:27PM

StockpickrImage: Stocks circled in newspaper (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)By James Dlugosch, Stockpickr

 

The economy is recovering, and stocks have crossed key psychological barriers. Things are quite good, or at least that is the appearance. The S&P 500 ($INX) has doubled since bottoming in March 2009. Over the past six months, the gains have been growing.

 

It is only natural for investors to be concerned. Nothing goes up forever. Stocks will at some point take a pause. I think that moment has arrived and stocks will move sideways from here.

 

For such a market, investors should consider investing in dividend stocks. Rather than worrying about stocks going up or down, dividend stock investors can sit back and watch their corporations stack up piles of cash. Here are five dividend stocks to consider for your portfolio.

 

The pharmaceuticals company has a rough fourth quarter and faces continued uncertainty with 2 manufacturing plants.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 25, 2011 2:26PM
Jim JubakWhen a "buy" no longer enjoys the strengths that made it a buy, you should sell it.

I think that’s now the case with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA). I’m selling it out of my Jubak's Picks portfolio today.

The company’s recent earnings stumble -- fourth-quarter 2010 earnings came in 6.3% below fourth-quarter 2009 earnings -- and the continued uncertainty about when Teva’s Copaxone will see generic competition are certainty significant worries about the stock.

But what really bothers me -- what goes to the heart of why I bought Teva in the first place -- are the manufacturing problems the company has had with its Irvine, Calif., and Jerusalem plants. Teva voluntarily shut down the Irvine plant after receiving a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company is planning on reopening the plant in March.
 

Apple delays the LTE 4G iPhone until 2012. Banks use tax dollars to finance a luxury hotel. Sears finally hires a CEO -- with no retail experience.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 25, 2011 1:14PM

By TheStreet Staff, TheStreet

 

Here is this week's roundup of Wall Street business blunders.

 

5. Verizon's bad apple

 

There's no phone as cool as the next big phone. Just ask anyone who's been holding out for the 4G Verizon (VZ) iPhone. But don't ask this week, after Apple (AAPL) delayed the LTE 4G iPhone until 2012.

 

Apple's iPhone 5, due out this summer, will not be an LTE 4G iPhone, Telecom Pragmatics analyst Sam Greenholtz told TheStreet Thursday.

 

Some isolated shares got hammered this week despite good quarterly results. They deserve a look now.

By Jim Cramer Feb 25, 2011 10:05AM

jim cramer of thestreetthestreetDid we bottom? Heard that a gazillion times. I find it valueless unless you are some sort of SPX futures trader. I believe many stocks have put in a bottom and can be bought because they have been hammered and will do fine in a higher-oil-price environment. I think those names have probably bottomed.

 

Others, not so fast.

 

I keep talking about commodities stocks that have bottomed, but let me broaden it. Medco Health(MHS) is a company that reported a terrific quarter and then, almost immediately, completed a 10% swoon right when its monster share buyback came into play -- and the company said it would have no problem beating estimates.

 

Medco Health has absolutely nothing to do with anything that is driving stocks. Nothing. It is a play on drugs going generic. Beginning six months from now, you will see more patented drugs going generic than at any other time in history.

 

These most-liked brands resonate with consumers, meaning free marketing and a loyal customer base.

By InvestorPlace Feb 25, 2011 9:59AM
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
   

A few years ago, there were still a lot of folks who thought social media was just another silly tech fad. But the rise of Facebook and Twitter as marketing tools and revenue streams has soundly squashed such talk.


Instead, it has been replaced by rumors of Google (GOOG) floating a $4 billion bid for Twitter and hints of Groupon going public with a value north of $10 billion.


But an important development worth noting is the power of social media to find loyal customers to be your brand advocate. Instead of just buying a product, they become a free marketing division and tell all their friends all over the world how great your business really is.

Such loyalty and brand advocacy can't be underestimated. And these top three Facebook-famous stocks have both qualities in spades: 

Newmont Mining has what no gold investors want: production costs that keep rising.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 24, 2011 5:48PM
Jim JubakI sold Newmont Mining (NEM) out of Jubak’s Picks. Two reasons.

First, gold is looking kind of toppy, with traders edging toward an exit just in case the violence in Libya shows any sign of resolution. The noon price for gold of $1,414 an ounce is only about $20 an ounce below the record of $1,437.50, set on Dec. 7.

Second, Newmont Mining hasn’t been as effective a hedge as I’d like. For example, on Feb. 22, when events in Libya sent fear through the financial markets and stocks tumbled, shares of Newmont moved in the same direction -- although they fell by just 0.6%, a much better performance than stocks as a whole.

Still, the best hedges zig when the market zags. Goldcorp (GG) climbed yesterday, even if just a tiny 0.4%.

Wednesday -- when most gold stocks are up -- Newmont isn’t keeping pace with, for example, Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM).
 
Tags: gold

China's future growth rate comes into question as key factory regions see a labor shortfall.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 24, 2011 5:34PM
Jim JubakThey went home for the spring festival holiday in early February and never came back.

Across China, factories are reporting millions of job slots left empty when migrant workers went home for the holiday and never returned to work.

Short-term problem or long-term trend? That’s the question for anyone trying to predict China’s growth rate over the next decade or two.

Before the holiday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security predicted that enough migrant workers would not return from their holiday trips to their home villages to create a 10% labor shortfall in China’s key factory provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Fujian.

That prediction may have been conservative. Guangdong, for example, reports 2 million unfilled job slots, according to Caixin Online.
 

Increased efficiency and pent-up demand should fuel the automaker forward.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 24, 2011 3:28PM

Fool analyst Jim Mueller looks for market mispricings for his Messed-Up Expectations portfolio. Today, he's keying on the market's misunderstanding of Ford. 

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor

 

When Ford Motor (F) landed on the watchlist for my Messed-Up Expectations portfolio, I was a bit surprised. With better than a dozen analysts following the company, I wouldn't expect the market to ever reach a point where growth in free cash flow (FCF) was expected to be so low as to pass my screen, but that's exactly what happened. And I, for one, am not going to let the opportunity to invest in this strong, and strengthening, company pass me by.

 

The catalyst to this opportunity, I believe, is Ford's recent earnings report, which wasn't quite what the market expected. 

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

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