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Investors know what's working and what's not. Jim Cramer says these stocks could power higher through the end of the year.

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With the sale of the struggling roast beef chain officially behind it, Wendy's sheds the Arby's name while keeping a small stock interest in the company.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 5, 2011 2:15PM

By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet

 

Wendy's (WEN) is once again a solo fast-food name brand -- dropping Arby's from its name now that its sale of the struggling roast beef chain is complete -- and the company is forging ahead with new menu items, an updated logo and a focus on global growth.

 

Wendy's said early Tuesday that it completed the sale of Arby's to private equity firm Roark Capital Management, a long-anticipated divestiture announced in June. Effective immediately, its corporate name was changed to The Wendy's Company, and its common stock will continue to trade under the ticker WEN.

 

The sale of its struggling Arby's chain showed that Wendy's was looking to deleverage its balance sheet and finally divest a brand that's been dragging on its financials for years.

 

Lawmakers have less than a month to set aside the political rhetoric and finally work out a deal.

By Kim Peterson Jul 5, 2011 2:03PM
We're less than a month from the point where the U.S. government risks defaulting on its debt. Can Congress put aside the hot air and actually hammer out a solution before then?

At this point, negotiations stand pretty much exactly where they were two weeks ago, when House Republicans pulled out, The Washington Post reports. And we've heard plenty of bluster from both sides of the aisle since then.

Congress is in full debate over whether to lift the country's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2. If the impasse continues after that point, we could very well see a plunge back into recession, a crumbling stock market and a financial ripple effect across the globe.

Check out the following analysis of the debt ceiling drama from CNBC.

Post continues below: 

After one of the best 5-day performances in years, stocks have more upside progress yet to come.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jul 5, 2011 1:09PM

Equities enjoyed one of their best performances of all time last week on signs of renewed economic vigor and progress by European leaders to quell the latest round of the Greek debt crisis. The "re-recovery" I've been writing about in my columns and blogs posts has arrived, and investors are crawling over themselves to participate after stocks fell to their most oversold levels since the late 1990s by some measures.

 

It was only the 10th time in the history of the S&P 500 since 1928 that it gained at least 0.75% for five straight days. History also suggests Tuesday's slight weakness was to be expected: Seven of the other nine examples dipped the next day. But in eight of those nine examples, buying the dip resulted in gains two weeks later.

 

I think a similar performance is in store for us now, thanks to cautious sentiment, impressive market breadth and strengthening economic fundamentals. But above all, the Federal Reserve's "stealth stimulus" -- a subject I've touched on frequently -- will keep funneling easy money into risky assets like stocks as the same dynamic that powered the housing bubble is at work again.

 

Funds tracking the Japanese economy, corn prices and the euro will be in the spotlight for the next few days.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 5, 2011 10:26AM

Image: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Here are five exchange-traded funds to keep an eye on this week.

 

1. iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)

 

The Japan-tracking EWJ spent much of the month of June treading water, subdued below its 50-day moving average. At the close of the month, however, the fund caught a break. Thanks to a three-day ascent during the middle of last week, shares of EWJ managed to recapture levels seen at the start of May.

 

In the coming days, as we take our first steps into the second half of 2011, it will be interesting to see if EWJ can capitalize on last week's strength. The Japanese markets still have ample ground to cover before the fund regains the highs witnessed before the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Along the road to recovery, expect headwinds to persist.

 

An impressive rally last week may just be the start of something bigger.

By Jamie Dlugosch Jul 5, 2011 10:12AM

The Fourth of July holiday came early for the stock market last week as stocks exploded to their best weekly gain in many moons.

 

Powered by solid economic numbers and optimism for the forthcoming second-quarter earnings season, bulls pushed the S&P 500 to a gain of more than 5% for the week.

 

It is amazing watching the wall of worry crumble. The bear argument for a double dip or stock market armageddon never did hold much water. The three-month pause in the market was just that, a pause.

 

Despite the big gains, many stocks trade for relatively low valuations. As long as profits come in as forecast, we can expect more gains in July. It will be a tremendous summer rally if corporate earnings beat analyst estimates.

 

I’m staying long and strong with my ETFs to buy this week. Keep an eye on the iShares S&P North America Technology and Multimedia Fund (IGN).

 
Tags: etf

Their solid chart patterns point to relative safety for investors.

By MoneyShow.com Jul 5, 2011 10:07AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Better-than-expected economic data, especially on the manufacturing side, added fuel to the impressive stock market rally last week. Short term, the major averages are clearly overbought, as most are at or above the daily Starc+ bands. 

On the plus side, the advance/decline lines on the broad NYSE Composite, S&P 500 and Dow industrials have all moved above their previous highs. This does favor new highs for the major averages, and the Dow transports surpassed the 2011 closing highs Friday.

This week, the focus will be on the unemployment situation, but there are still quite a few analysts favoring the double-dip scenario, as they are skeptical about last week's positive economic data. From a contrarian standpoint, the continued skepticism should be another positive for the market.

For nervous investors, stocks with high levels of cash often seem attractive. Many companies have instituted new buyback programs recently, and while most income investing experts prefer dividend increases, several companies have quite interesting charts.
 

Fortunes changed nearly overnight last week, and a rally took firm hold. So firm, in fact, that a coming correction could be a time to buy.

By MoneyShow.com Jul 1, 2011 11:27PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Just a week ago, the financial news was pretty dire, as stocks closed near their lows and everyone was piling into three-month T-Bills that had almost no yield.

Stocks started off last week on a positive note, but it took until Wednesday or so before most paid any attention. The fireworks came at the end of the week, when those short the market were forced to cover their positions.

Stocks put in their best weekly percentage performance in a year, and rates rose sharply, with the yield on the ten-year note rising from last week’s close at 2.87% to 3.20% on Friday. That is an 11.4% increase in a week.

The weekly yield chart shows that momentum has turned up from the most oversold levels since 2009.
 

The company is trying to sell a huge estate it foreclosed on. But the business magnate's cagey moves present a problem.

By Kim Peterson Jul 1, 2011 2:49PM
Credit: (© Richard Drew/AP)

Caption: Donald TrumpThis is one foreclosure that won't go Bank of America's (BAC) way.

Donald Trump is putting a huge squeeze on the bank as it tries to foreclose on a 24,000-square-foot estate in Virginia. Bank of America owns the house and is trying to sell it for $16 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Maybe the bank could sell a normal estate for that much, but not in this case. You see, Trump owns the backyard, the front yard and most of the driveway. He doesn't own the house itself, but he's willing to take it off the bank's hands for, oh, $3.6 million.

Ah, you gotta love the Donald. Here's how this nightmare for Bank of America came about: 

Gerdau exports more than a third of its Brazilian production, but an appreciating real has made exports more expensive.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 1, 2011 1:13PM
Jim JubakBrazilian-U.S. steelmaker Gerdau (GGB) is up nearly 3% in midday trading, and up 8% since Wednesday.

The spike follows calls from Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank for a possible third-quarter surprise in demand for steel, and for rising prices, with current levels forming a floor. (Gerdau is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.)

Shares of other steelmakers were up as well. Nucor (NUE), for example, gained 4% earlier this week.

I think it’s the positive change in sentiment toward emerging stock markets that has led to the relative outperformance by Gerdau as compared with the steel group.

Brazil’s major market index, the Bovespa, was up 1.6% from June 24 through 3 p.m. Thursday. That’s quite a contrast to the 4.1% loss recorded by the index from June 9 through June 16.
 

The ETFs that track fast-growing Indonesia and Malaysia look poised to outperform, and with a pullback in the week ahead, favorable buy set-ups may be presented for both.

By MoneyShow.com Jul 1, 2011 12:29PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Most of the emerging markets have rallied alongside developed markets this week and have bounced sharply from their lows. Still, it is a very split picture, as the outlook for the emerging markets as a group looks less attractive than that of the US market.

Clearly, the move out of higher-risk assets that began with silver’s plunge in early May has hurt many of the emerging market ETFs. Many of those funds had already peaked in April and were declining.

While the BRIC markets are still well below the prior highs, there are two country ETFs that are breaking out to the upside and in my view have the best potential for the rest of the year. I do expect a slight pullback in these ETFs over the next week, which should be a buying opportunity.
 

Use these tools to trade stocks of companies set to report quarterly results.

By Jamie Dlugosch Jul 1, 2011 12:05PM

With the second quarter now finished, I'm gearing up for earnings season. While some folks shy away from trading stocks of companies set to release operating results, I use the opportunity to attack the market at its weakest and most inefficient point.

 

When a company reports results, the news will be greeted by overzealous buying or fearful selling almost immediately. The mad rush of buyers or sellers results in a stock that can move 5% to 10% higher or lower, depending on the company's success or failure at meeting Wall Street's expectations.

 

The beat-the-numbers game is alive and well. If you trade wisely, big profits can be had in a short period. The trick, of course, is to understand what is coming and position yourself accordingly.

 

I use several very effective tools to help guide my way to trading earnings successfully. On Monday, I gave a preview on 5 companies reporting earnings this week using these keys.

 

Romney and Cain are just the latest to spend their pizza money to get a bigger piece of the political pie.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 1, 2011 9:58AM

the streetBy Jason Notte, TheStreet

 

With pizza industry alumni using their dining and delivery experience to think outside the box, pizza has a rising political profile.

 

Two candidates in the field pursuing the Republican party's 2012 presidential nomination have long, stringy ties to the pizza industry and are just the latest pizza alumni to make their presence felt in American politics.


The pizza industry brought in $36 billion in 2009, the last full year for which complete statistics are available, and provides a nice resume item for candidates pushing for economic growth. But don't take the link too far. The industry declined 1% from 2008 to 2009 and has seen its share of struggles in the year and a half since, making relying on pizza for popularity at the polls look as dumb as calling it "'za."

 

Credit Suisse's CEO misses a massive divorce payment. Bill Miller's faith in film delivers him a huge loss. The Myspace fire sale and reports of a Zynga IPO add up to a big week in social media.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 1, 2011 8:15AM

the streetBy Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet 

 

Here are some of the dumbest actions in business this week.

 

5. Dougan's Dumbness

 

You wouldn't think someone as fiscally savvy as Credit Suisse (CS) CEO Brady Dougan would lose three-quarters of a million dollars because of a 12-day late divorce payment.

 

The Connecticut Supreme Court, the state's highest, ruled Monday that Dougan owes his ex-wife more than $750,000 in interest for being 12 days tardy with a $7.5 million divorce-related disbursement. Dougan argued he should owe interest only for the dozen days the payment was late and even threw in an extra $25,000, representing 12 days' worth of interest.  

 

Tempted to buy companies like Broadcom and Intel before earnings? Wait a couple of months.

By Jim Cramer Jul 1, 2011 7:05AM

jim cramerthe streetPeople are trying to get ahead of the second half's annual rally in tech stocks, and I think they are way too early.

 

You shouldn't buy Broadcom (BRCM) or Intel (INTC) or any company in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index right now. You have to wait to see the whites of their eyes, not just their eyes, and that won't happen until we get to late August.

 

Sure, you might want to take advantage of their underperformance and pick up some shares. But the ones you should pick up are the ones that are undervalued because their stocks are punk, not their earnings. That would be big data-center stocks, like IBM (IBM), EMC (EMC) and NetApp (NTAP), and you are seeing a big percentage gain in the latter. Or it would be cloud stocks, VMWare (VMW), Citrix Systems (CTXS) and Salesforce.com (CRM), although I would tell you that none of these are really down, per se.

 

Consumer Reports readers rank the chains. The results probably won't surprise you.

By Kim Peterson Jun 30, 2011 3:53PM
Image: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)The largest fast-food chains also have the worst food and service, according to a survey of Consumer Reports readers.

The magazine asked nearly 37,000 subscribers to rate 53 fast-food chains, and said the lowest marks went to McDonald's (MCD), Burger King, KFC and Taco Bell. All of those chains had uninspiring food and so-so service, Consumer Reports readers said.

"Chains like McDonald's and Taco Bell boast supersized values, but consumers don't necessarily think they offer much bang for the buck," an editor at Consumer Reports told Reuters.

Only 11% of subscribers said the food at those four chains was "excellent," but 15% to 19% described the food as fair, poor or very poor. McDonald's was last place in the hamburger category. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


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