Apple is a market darling again
Apple is a market darling again

The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.


Since assets topped $1 trillion at the start of 2011, the selection has continued to grow.

By TheStreet Staff May 5, 2011 11:01AM

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


As evidenced by the National Stock Exchange's monthly fund-flow data, April proved popular for ETF investors. Since ETF assets initially broke through the $1 trillion mark at the start of 2011, the universe has continued to grow at an impressive stride. At the close of April, total assets stood near $1.12 trillion.


Additionally, the industry welcomed 23 new funds. This lifted the total product count to 1,030.


On top of market appreciation, strong investor inflows played a major role in boosting assets. During the opening weeks of the second quarter, the ETFs saw net inflows totaling more than $21 million. This represents the largest single-month inflow of the year.


The sector has emerged as a leader, and an impending pullback should present a golden buying opportunity.

By May 5, 2011 10:58AM
By Tom Aspray,

With stocks under pressure this week, there has been increased interest in consumer staples, and Ralcorp’s (RAH) rejection of ConAgra Foods’ (CAG) bid has stoked the fires.

The disappointing ADP jobs report on Wednesday has renewed concerns over the economic recovery, and the focus on Friday’s monthly employment report is now even more intense. If the economy does soften or the recovery stalls, the goods that consumer staples companies sell should remain on the must-have list.

This quarter, the Select Sector SPDR - Consumer Staples (XLP) is up 5.6% versus 1.6% for the S&P 500. The technical action of XLP suggests that a pullback is likely in the next few weeks.

The major breakouts in some of the big-name consumer staples stocks should allow for some excellent opportunities to buy on a pullback.

There is one in particular that I want to bring to your attention, and I will also update the stocks featured recently in “7 Ways to Profit from Consumer Staples.”

Value investor David Einhorn and Credit Suisse believe the out-of-favor electronics retailer represents a contrarian value pick. With video on April chain-store sales.

By TheStreet Staff May 5, 2011 10:25AM

By Jake Lynch, TheStreet


Value investor David Einhorn, who runs the hedge fund firm Greenlight Capital, disclosed a position in out-of-favor electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY) in his latest quarterly letter, ahead of his firm's official 13-F filing. Best Buy's stock has fallen 30% in 12 months, underperforming U.S. stock indices. Because of that, Einhorn's pick merits attention.


Best Buy has fallen 8.9% this year, and Einhorn, who established his position at an average price of $33.33, is in the red on this bet. Still, he makes a compelling argument for the down-but-not-out security.


Of note: Greenlight's long-run annualized return since 1996 is close to 25%. It ranks as one of the best-performing U.S. hedge funds, despite a focus on mainly domestic equities. Also, unlike its peers, Greenlight has a small staff and rarely trades. Its operations are focused on researching and then owning, or shorting, stocks, not vacillating on its investments.


In his quarterly letter, Einhorn stressed that investors are far too concerned that Best Buy has reached its growth limit and will suffer declining sales in the future. In particular, he views Best Buy's holiday dip as a fleeting issue rather than a signal of looming obsolescence.


The automaker posts its fifth consecutive quarterly profit -- an impressive $3.2 billion -- but the news may not be as good as investors and consumers think. Includes video.

By InvestorPlace May 5, 2011 9:30AM

By Jeff Reeves, editor of

investorplace logoIn November, General Motors Co (GM) emerged from bankruptcy and raised more than $20 billion re-entering the stock market at $33 a share. But there haven't been a lot of fireworks since then. Almost six months later, the stock price is largely unchanged.


But there was good news Thursday for investors looking for growth and consumers worried about their favorite brands like the iconic Corvette. The company just reported great sales for first quarter of 2011, marking the fifth consecutive quarterly profit.


So what does this mean for General Motors cars, customers and investors? Well, unfortunately, the news may not be as good as you think.


As the overheated crude market begins to resemble reality, is there a level at which consumer stocks and oil companies both win?

By Jim Cramer May 5, 2011 9:04AM

jim cramerthe streetGoing into this week, the national average gasoline price hit $3.99. Right now it looks like it will NOT take out that $4 mark that was so devastating to demand last time, especially after this morning's collapse in crude.


At last we are seeing a semblance of reality in this overheated market -- one that, anytime you say might be inaccurate or overstated, is defended by the "free marketeers" who actually try to explain that the market is an honest one that correctly prices crude.


Markets don't collapse like this if they are honest barometers of the price of the commodity. The price of oil should have been in free fall for a while but for the combination of momentum oil ETF buyers, fears about Libya that are dissipating post-Osama Bin Laden, and the small amount of capital required up front to control a lot of oil.


Green Mountain has another blowout quarter.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day May 4, 2011 2:37PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz


Can life get any better for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR)?


Analysts had set the bar high for the maker of Keurig brewers and java-loaded K-Cup refills. They figured that Green Mountain's net sales would soar 94% to $629.4 million, with adjusted profitability nearly doubling to $0.38 a share.


Slackers! Green Mountain's net sales more than doubled to $647.7 million, with non-GAAP earnings skyrocketing 131%, to $0.48 a share.


Remember the bears fretting about decelerating growth? Care to call up the worrywarts that were concerned that brewer sales were outpacing K-Cups, pointing to waning usage of these single-cup systems?


The highflying metals have been hit hard recently, but a look at the volume analysis and chart patterns shows they haven't yet completed major tops.

By May 4, 2011 12:07PM
By Tom Aspray,

CME Group (CME) smacked the silver market hard over the past week with three margin hikes, and silver traders finally got the message. The widely followed iShares Silver Trust (SLV) closed Tuesday 15% below last week’s highs following the heavy selling.

Gold also reversed after making convincing new highs on Monday, but the selling in gold has been muted, as the Spyder Gold Trust (GLD) is just 2.4% below its highs. Though silver and gold are generally lumped together, their trading characteristics are often quite different.

Though my long-term outlook for gold and silver are similar, I expect the trading in gold to be different than that in silver over the next couple months. The bottom line is that my monthly volume analysis suggests that neither gold nor silver have completed major tops. 

Let’s look at the evidence.
Tags: gold

Quarterly results from PetroHawk and SandRidge will provide additional clues into the current state and future prospects of natural gas.

By TheStreet Staff May 4, 2011 11:53AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


It has been a busy few weeks for energy-focused investors. On top of following oil's rise and seeing its effect on consumers at the pump, investors, commentators and market analysts have been closely monitoring the pack of energy producers that have stepped up to the earnings plate.


Oil was in the spotlight last week as international integrated energy majors, including Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP), released their quarterly numbers to the public. For the most part, the Goliaths witnessed impressive strength buoyed by crude oil's gains.


Throughout this week, natural gas has become the energy source to watch as major players from this sector release their earnings reports. So far, the numbers have been mixed.


On tap are a Chinese social-networking site, a US wireless company and a patent servicer.

By TheStreet Staff May 4, 2011 11:42AM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreet


Investors emboldened by the two-year bull market who are ready to take on more risk may find initial public offerings the best place to look.


Almost certain to see a run-up in their share prices over the next few days are three companies going public Wednesday: Chinese social-networking site Renren (whose ticker will be RENN), and U.S. companies RPX (RPXC), which buys patents from other companies to shield them from lawsuits, and Boingo Wireless (WIFI), a provider of mobile Internet access software.


The IPOs of all three are oversubscribed, which means demand exceeds supply at that level of issuance. Often the shares will jump in value once they hit the public market. Further ahead, Delphi Automotive, the world's largest auto-parts supplier, is expected to announce an IPO within the next few weeks that should also attract significant investor attention.


The iconic pastry and coffee company seeks funds to grow both at home and overseas.

By InvestorPlace May 4, 2011 11:23AM

By Jeff Reeves, editor of

Though named after its tasty pastries, Dunkin' Donuts is one of the most powerful beverage brands in America. Its coffee customers routinely rank the company at the top of the list for brand loyalty, and awards are a big driver behind the chain's $6 billion in annual revenue.

Dunkin' Donuts hopes investors share that kind of enthusiasm for the brand, with the Massachusetts company looking to offer stock in its operations sometime soon. Wednesday, it announced it has filed for an IPO that could raise up to $400 million and will create a stock that trades under the Nasdaq ticker DNKN.

After the market's recovery over the past year or so, some observers think the timing is right to sell stock in Dunkin' Donuts. But should individual investors buy it, and will it change anything for consumers?


So far, smaller, riskier stocks and commodities have led the move lower. Large caps are next as traders unwind anti-dollar carry trades.

By Anthony Mirhaydari May 4, 2011 11:16AM

It's been a tale of two markets this week as smaller, riskier stocks and commodities have screamed lower while defensive mega-cap stocks have remained buoyant and wondered, "What's all the fuss about?"


If you've ever wondered whether Wall Street is subject to manipulative forces, look at the Dow Jones chart from Tuesday. After trading in a 100-point range, the Dow closed within 1 point of its previous close -- for a change of zero. The Russell 2000 small-cap index lost 1.3%. Wall Street wanted to keep Main Street, which closely follows the Dow, placated for just one more day. Similar behavior was seen in the days after the May 6 "flash crash" ahead of a multi-month sell-off. 


The performance difference between large- and small-cap stocks is a sign that a corrective decline -- one that I predicted in my most recent column -- is still in its early stages. People just aren't scared enough yet. And there are other signs that downward momentum is accelerating.


Battery maker Polypore will be a major beneficiary as costly fuel spurs demand for electric vehicles.

By May 4, 2011 10:29AM
By Brendan Coffey, Cabot Green Investor
Special to

Polypore (PPO) makes high-tech filters used inside lithium-ion batteries (and lead-acid, of which it is the market leader), in the filtration and separation processes of manufacturing energy-storage products, as well as in pharmaceutical production and desalination.

Its lithium-ion battery products are currently used in Apple's (AAPL) wildly successful iPad tablet computer, and the company is also seeing a surge in automaker interest as that industry gears up to roll out new hybrids and electric vehicles in coming years.

Of all the villains in the home loan crisis, the Justice Department appears ready to target the least bad: Goldman Sachs.

By Jim Cramer May 4, 2011 8:40AM

jim cramerthe streetOf all the people who tricked Americans into terrible mortgages, all of those who encouraged out-and-out fraud to get a commission, all of those who made it so many people have lost their homes to foreclosure, you would think that the Justice Department would have at least one if not two or three of the top scalps involved.


Think of all of the people in the process who created, packaged and sold securities that they knew were worthless because they originated the mortgages. Think about all of the people who dissembled their exposure to trick companies into lending them money, so when the "collateral" of those mortgages unraveled, it led to trillions in bank losses and the destruction of some once-great American companies.


Think about all of that advertising you and I saw for no-money-down mortgages and home-equity loans that flowed hourly. Think about the rubber-stamping by those who should have known better, including the largest buyers of mortgages in the country who, for huge fees, packaged gigantic loans in bundles that they knew would lead to huge defaults.


The wireless industry continues to see more consolidation. But that won't knock out American Tower.

By Jim J. Jubak May 3, 2011 4:26PM
Jim JubakShares of American Tower (AMT) have been stalled since November. The stock traded at $51.79 on Nov. 1, and closed at $52.52 today.

Oh, there was the February rally to $56.73, which looked like it was going to bust the stock out of its rut -- but the
March 20 bid by AT&T (T) to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom (DT) killed that.

We've been here before with wireless tower stocks. Any deal combining one big wireless-service provider with another knocks all the stocks in the sector for a loop. The fear is that consolidating two providers means one less customer for space on those cellular towers, and one less bidder keeping prices up.

If history is any guide, though, the worry is overstated, the sell-off is overdone, and now is the time to buy stocks in the group -- especially American Tower. (American Tower has been a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio since May 2010.)

Materials are likely to underperform sector leaders like health care and consumer staples this summer. Here’s the latest chart action for the materials sector ETF and three of its key holdings.

By May 3, 2011 11:22AM
By Tom Aspray,

The stock market was not able to hold its early gains into the close on Monday as most of the major averages settled on their lows. 

For the broad market, this may signal the start of a short-term pullback that is needed to cool the overheated bullish sentiment. The fact that the NYSE McClellan Oscillator has turned down from +150 is consistent with a correction.

The bullishness is reflected in a newly released survey of Charles Schwab’s active traders, which revealed that technology was the favorite sector for 36% or respondents, followed by 26% for materials, and just 13% for financial stocks. From a contrary standpoint, these numbers do not offer much insight, but the lack of interest in energy (4%) was interesting.

I have been watching the action in the Select Sector SPDR - Materials (XLB) since the April highs, and the weak recent rally, combined with Monday’s poor close, has weakened the short-term outlook. 

By reviewing the largest holdings in XLB, there are three stocks that look vulnerable to a 5% to 10% correction.
Tags: etf


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on an upbeat note with small caps pacing the rally. The Russell 2000 advanced 0.8%, while the S&P 500 added 0.5% with eight sectors ending in the green.

Although geopolitical concerns factored into the modest retreat on Monday, the worries were cast aside today after separatist forces in eastern Ukraine handed over black boxes from MH17 to Malaysian authorities and Secretary of State John Kerry began working on brokering a ... More


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