A stock market graph trending down © jmiks/Getty Images
Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

These heavyweights provide great exposure to various segments of the oil industry.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 21, 2011 2:05PM

Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)If you think the demand for oil is going to dry up soon, this article is probably not for you. If you're in the majority, however, you should read on as Jordan DiPietro makes the case for buying a basket of energy.


Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor

 

If you believe, like I do, that rising oil and gas prices will continue into the near and distant future, then having a basket of energy stocks in your portfolio is a great way to play the rising tide.


In fact, the Energy Information Administration is forecasting 2011 oil prices to average $93 per barrel, $14 more than last year. Prices, according to the EIA, should top out close to $100 by 2012. As demand continues and the incentive for energy companies to add reserves intensifies, oil companies in all facets of the game should stand to benefit. That's why I'm adding a $2,000 position that includes four energy companies to my Motley Fool real-money portfolio.

 

Shares of the highflying tech stock plummeted 20% Thursday on a weak sales forecast, providing investors with an attractive entry point, analysts say.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 21, 2011 2:04PM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreet

 

F5 Networks' (FFIV) shares shredded investors' portfolios after falling by a fifth Thursday, even though the company missed analysts' revenue estimates by less than 1%.

 

That's the danger of investing in highflying tech stocks -- today as it was a decade ago, during the first Nasdaq ($COMPX) bull market.

 

Still, analysts and investors are saying now's the time to buy more shares in the maker of cloud-computing software, including Catharine Trebnick, a senior research analyst with Avian Securities; Credit Suisse's Paul Silverstein; Piper Jaffray's Troy Jensen; and Mark Schultz, the manager of the MTB Mid-Cap Growth Fund.

 

By some accounts, he was looking to jump but was also pushed out.

By Kim Peterson Jan 21, 2011 1:54PM
Credit: Eric Schmidt (©Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

 Was Eric Schmidt fired from Google (GOOG)? That's what The New Yorker's Ken Auletta is reporting.

Schmidt "lost some energy and focus" after Google decided to pull out of China, sources tell Auletta. Schmidt wanted to Google to stay in China and was overruled by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Schmidt was pushed out, Auletta reports. But he wanted to jump as well, having felt the strain of numerous business complications. Google has gone nowhere in social networking, getting outmaneuvered by Facebook at every turn.

Google is also a point of controversy in some countries, facing challenges over privacy and size issues, Auletta reports. Finally, Page and Brin were "restive." Auletta interviewed Schmidt 11 times for his book "Googled" and knows the company better than just about any other journalist, so I'm guessing there's basis to his reporting. 

Jeffrey Immelt will advise a council that aims to get US companies hiring again.

By Kim Peterson Jan 21, 2011 12:47PM
Credit: (© Charles Dharapak/AP)
Caption: File photo of General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. ImmeltIs Jeffrey Immelt the right man to get the country's jobs situation back on track? President Barack Obama thinks so and has named Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric (GE), to a new economic advisory panel.

Immelt is essentially the new Paul Volcker, as his panel replaces one previously led by the former Federal Reserve chairman. Immelt's immediate job is to figure out how to get U.S. companies to start hiring.

The pick certainly says a lot about Obama's thinking heading into the 2012 election. He needs to make significant headway with big business -- it doesn't get much bigger than GE -- and he must turn the employment picture around.

Immelt, a lifelong Republican, is entirely qualified for the job. He's already on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and he spent two years on the economic recovery board that Volcker chaired.  

Starbucks supersizes its coffee. Goldman's Facebook missteps. Ener1 re-cracks the Chinese market. Toyota incurs the NFL's wrath.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 21, 2011 11:37AM

By TheStreet Staff, TheStreet

 

Here is this week's roundup of the dumbest actions in business.

 

5. UBS restyles its standards

Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had a few rules about the appearance of his players, mainly no beards or shaggy hair. He wanted his boys to be clean cut. But he has nothing on UBS (UBS).


The Swiss bank has a more than 40-page tome detailing precisely how their employees should look, act and even eat when reporting for duty, according to the Associated Press. The helpful guide says underwear should be skin-colored and that employees shouldn't eat garlic or onions. It even offers makeup and perfume tips for women.

 

Though its earnings are disappointing, consumer lending is on the mend. In the long run, that's a very bullish sign.

By InvestorPlace Jan 21, 2011 10:32AM

Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com


Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings before the bell today that weren't exactly earnings at all. The company tallied a loss of $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 as bad mortgages continued to eat away at profits. The shortfall equaled a negative 16 cents a share, and the stock's revenue rolled back to $22.4 billion from $25.1 in the same quarter of the previous year.


The news is certainly disappointing -- and not just to me personally, since I own Bank of America stock. These earnings are the latest bad report this week from a financial sector that seemed on the mend but now doesn't look so hot.


But there are still big reasons to be optimistic.

 

The company's board shake-up is akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. It's just not going to help.

By Jim Cramer Jan 21, 2011 10:11AM
jim cramerPatricia Russo added to the Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) board? Well, for heaven's sake, why not just add Carly Fiorina, too, while we're at it. Is this company unimpressive or what?

It seems to me that Hewlett-Packard is shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, trying to get the new guy, Leo Apotheker, a more agreeable team to work with. Either that or there is yet another back story that this once-pristine paragon of corporate governance just isn't telling anyone.

It's not the only thing that's difficult to fathom. Like what happened at Google (GOOG), where Eric Schmidt did such a terrific job as CEO before stepping aside to let Larry Page run the joint. Hey, Page founded it, he can run it for certain. I just hope Schmidt stays around to help do the job, unless, perhaps, he's moving to Washington, where he would be a fabulous addition to the Obama team.

 

An executive shake-up breaks up the three-way decision team at Google, as co-founder Larry Page replaces Eric Schmidt as CEO.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 20, 2011 6:27PM

thestreetBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Google (GOOG) is breaking up the band.

 

The company says its unique and somewhat clunky executive triad will be streamlined in April. According to the plan, CEO Eric Schmidt will be replaced by Google co-founder Larry Page.

 

Schmidt, who was long thought of as the seasoned hand and management talent at the search giant, will take the executive chairman title.

 

The restructuring also includes the departure of Sergey Brin from the management team. Brin's new role will be far less central to Google's core operations and he will have the title of "co-founder."

 

We could see a 5% drop in U.S. stocks, but there's still a strong investing story in the U.S. this year.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 20, 2011 5:47PM
Jim JubakI think we're looking at a pullback in U.S. stocks. A pullback in my book is about 5%. It's less than a correction, which is a drop of 10%. (Please note I'm talking about U.S. stocks only in this post.)

The reasons for this are numerous:
  • An overbought market ripe for profit-taking after a long rally.
  • Worries about a slowdown in China as it struggles to get inflation under control
  • More squabbles among Eurozone members over how to fix the continuing euro crisis
  • Good but not great earnings reports (and therefore disappointments) in the financial sector
  • A weak report on housing starts reminding investors the sector isn’t out of its slump yet.
I don’t see anything there that signals the end of the world, do you?
 

Analysts and investors have their expectations set to high for this industry.

By Jim Van Meerten Jan 20, 2011 3:57PM

Image: Jim Van MeertenAm I the only one who is having butterflies about the solar industry? Is there a market for this resource, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?


Using Barchart, I found 4 solar stocks that on average are up over 20% in the last month alone. The brokerages have fantastic projections and there is very high investor sentiment, but my intuition is holding me back from making a recommendation.  Here's what others think. Let me hear your opinions.

 

Jinko Solar (JKS)

  • Barchart Trend Spotter technical buy signal
  • 9 new highs and up 29.13% in the last month
  • Relative Strength Index 64.33% and rising
  • Trades around 28.16 with a 50 day moving average of 24.63
  • Wall Street brokerages have 4 buy, 1 hold and 2 under perform recommendations
  • Revenue projected to increase 177.40% this year and 43.10% next year
  • EPS estimated to increase 1,302.30 this year and increase annually 15.00% for at least 5 years
  • Motley Fool CAPS members vote 75 to 22 and All Stars vote 14 to 8 that the stock will beat the market
 

Wendy's/Arby's Group says that focusing on Wendy's is a better bet. Will Arby's find any bidders?

By Kim Peterson Jan 20, 2011 3:56PM
Credit: Arby’s (© Reuters)If you have piles of cash and want to buy a beloved but struggling fast-food chain, this is your week. First, Long John Silver's and A&W went up for sale. Now we're learning that Arby's might be available as well.

Wendy's/Arby's Group (WEN) plans to put the Arby's chain up for sale, The Wall Street Journal reported. Arby's doesn't have the two things it takes to succeed as a fast-food chain these days: The ability to expand overseas or steal business from the competition.

The company now wants to focus entirely on Wendy's. "The reality is that the Wendy's brand, given its relative size and scope, is the key driver of shareholder return," said Wendy's/Arby's chairman Nelson Peltz in a statement to the Journal.

Shares of the company soared Thursday on the news, rising by more than 8% to $4.85. 

The pros are professing newfound love for these funds, but you should tune them out.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 20, 2011 2:35PM

Image: Financial (© Corbis)By Gary Gordon, TheStreet

 

Goldman Sachs (GS) reported weak revenue, Citigroup (C) missed profit forecasts and Wells Fargo (WFC) merely matched estimates. In truth, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is the only major financial institution that has reported inspirational numbers, but even "J.P." has problems in its mortgage division.

 

Herein lies an ongoing dilemma. You can improve your balance sheet by offloading troubled assets and/or writing off low-quality loans. You can ensure a measure of profitability by limiting your employee overhead, maintaining double-digit credit card rates, having some success in trading volume and/or offering next-to-zero savings rates to depositors. Yet financial stocks will still see "fits" without a more potent level of lending to small businesses and individuals.

 

Lately, many readers have been devouring rapturous reports on the incredible prospects for the financial sector. Hypothetically, economic expansion should encourage greater demand on the part of consumers and businesses alike.

 

The company makes it harder to add to the DVD queue from streaming devices, igniting a firestorm of controversy.

By Kim Peterson Jan 20, 2011 1:59PM
Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Netflix DVDIs Netflix (NFLX) trying to phase out the DVD? That's what some customers are saying after the company sent out a short message this week on the company blog.

Netflix is removing the "Add to DVD queue" option for people who use Xbox 360s and other devices that stream Netflix videos. Those users must now go directly to Netflix's website to add movies to the DVD queue (you can still add to the "instant" queue from anywhere).

Talk about inconvenient. The move has ignited a firestorm of resentment among users, and the blog post has received 4,500 mostly negative comments. Why would Netflix do this? The explanation is, well, a little bit murky.

"We're doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly," the company says on its blog. 

With world markets recovering and developing, the prospects for the power industry appear promising.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 20, 2011 12:56PM

Image: Globe (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Rising commodity prices have been the talk of the Street for weeks, leading investors to seek out new and promising ways to gain access to wheat, coal, copper and other hard assets.

 

Energy, in particular, has gained a great deal of investor interest as improving economic conditions around the globe help lift crude prices back toward $100. This week, looking ahead to the new year, the International Energy Agency offered a promising outlook, raising its 2011 global oil demand forecast.

 

Targeting oil and other facets of the energy sector has become a simple endeavor, thanks to the advent of exchange-traded funds. Using products such as the United States Oil Fund (USO) or the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund (IEZ), investors can directly capture the price action of this fuel source through futures contracts, or take an indirect approach to the industry and play the effect of rising prices on producers.

 

With Steve Jobs on medical leave, all eyes are on his No. 2.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 20, 2011 12:54PM

Credit: Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook ((C) Chris Hondros/Getty Images)By James Rogers, TheStreet

 

Investors listening to Apple's (AAPL)first-quarter conference call Tuesday hoping for some Steve Jobs-style showboating and fiery rhetoric were surely disappointed. A soft-spoken, somewhat reserved Southerner is now center stage at the world's biggest technology company.

 

With Jobs on medical leave, all eyes are now focused on his No. 2, COO Tim Cook. Whereas his flamboyant boss spiced up press events and analyst calls with the occasional dig at fellow Silicon Valley companies like Adobe (ADBE), Cook's conference call comments (save for one swipe at rival tablet makers) were much more restrained. The Alabama native instead made vague references to the "magic of Apple" while giving little away about the company's broader strategy and its succession plan.

 

Cook, of course, is familiar with this role. He has already taken the company's reins on two prior occasions: for two months in 2004 when Jobs was receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, and again for six months in 2009.

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

116
116 rated 1
265
265 rated 2
429
429 rated 3
612
612 rated 4
499
499 rated 5
525
525 rated 6
701
701 rated 7
533
533 rated 8
337
337 rated 9
131
131 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
UPLULTRA PETROLEUM Corp10
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
TAT&T Inc9
DVNDEVON ENERGY CORPORATION9
EOGEOG RESOURCES Inc9
More

Trending NOW

What’s this?

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min

ABOUT

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.

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.