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.


After taking a beating last year, SunPower is ready to shine in 2011.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 18, 2011 12:37PM

Image: Solar panel (© Russell Illig/PhotoDisc/Getty Images)For today's pick of the day, we turn to Alyce Lomax. Alyce is running a real-money socially responsible portfolio for us, which so far is making money while also making us feel good about ourselves. Which making money tends to do anyway, but I digress.


Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor


Renewable-energy stocks are solid contenders for a socially responsible portfolio. And while many stocks rallied in 2010, solar stocks took a real beating. This presents an opportunity to profit off others' pessimism and buy a promising green-energy stock at a low, low price for my SRI-focused Rising Stars portfolio.


After weighing alternatives like low-price solar leader First Solar, I settled on one choice: SunPower (SPWRA).


The business
San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower, a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor until late 2008, has a holistic approach to the solar-panel business. It targets the entire gamut of customers seeking green-energy alternatives: governments, corporations, utilities, homebuilders and even homeowners.


Delivery, originally scheduled for May 2008, is now put off until later this year.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 18, 2011 12:03PM

Image: Airplane (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)By Ted Reed, TheStreet


Boeing (BA) has once again delayed delivery of the 787.


First delivery is now expected in the third quarter. Most recently, first delivery was scheduled for the current quarter. The original date for first delivery was May 2008, so the plane is now more than three years behind schedule.


The new date reflects the impact on an in-flight fire during testing in November. It includes time required to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power-distribution panels in the flight-test and production airplanes, Boeing said.


"This revised time line for first delivery accommodates the work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the 787," said Scott Fancher, the vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We've also restored some margin in the schedule to allow for any additional time that may be needed to complete certification activities."


The iPhone maker's succession plan and product road map may not be enough to allay investors' concerns.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 18, 2011 11:40AM

TheStreetCredit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Apple CEO Steve JobsBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet


Apple (AAPL) shares slid as much as 6.5% today as investors braced for more information about Steve Jobs' illness.


The Apple chief said Monday that he would take a medical leave for an unspecified reason and that COO Tim Cook would head the company as the day-to-day manager in the interim. The shares were trading at $341, down 2%, this afternoon.

The move comes as Apple gets set to release its quarterly results later today. While analysts expect Apple to post blowout numbers on strong sales of iPads, iPhones and Macs, the stellar financial performance will likely be overshadowed by worries about the extent of Jobs' illness.


The financial industry will be front and center during this shortened trading week.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 18, 2011 11:04AM

Find ETFs © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesBy Don Dion, TheStreet


Here are the five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.



The financial industry will be front and center during this shortened trading week as a combination of Wall Street giants and smaller regional players release their quarterly earnings reports. Notable names on tap include Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC).


KBE is an ideal product for investors looking to take a broad approach to tracking the financial industry. The fund is topped by industry leaders but sets aside a considerable portion of its portfolio for smaller, more volatile regional institutions.


In 2010, financials faced pressure from Washington as lawmakers sought to construct sweeping reform legislation. With the bill completed and passed, it will be interesting to watch how banks react in the new year.


If you're afraid to get into the market after its big run, consider these high-quality underperformers.

By Jim Cramer Jan 18, 2011 10:08AM

Image: Jim CramerThis market is driven by fear. It's the fear that everyone has of being the last guy in the pool, of looking ridiculous to customers, friends or relatives. They just can't come in "up here," and that's why we don't have a lot of noninstitutional participation.


Worse, judging by the horror stories, many people seemed to have been hiding in leveraged municipal bond funds or tax-exempts of the dubious variety because they were so afraid of stocks. They are "all in," but they are in the wrong pool!


By the time they give up and get in, the water will most certainly not be fine.


The company's COO has been running operations since 2007 and is the obvious choice to become its next chief executive.

By Kim Peterson Jan 17, 2011 3:48PM
Credit: Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook ((C) Chris Hondros/Getty Images)Steve Jobs is handing operations at Apple (AAPL) to Tim Cook, his top lieutenant and the man who may become the next chief executive at the company. Jobs trusts Cook to steer the ship during his medical leave of absence, and shareholders should, too.

Why? Cook has been running the day-to-day business at Apple since 2007 and has made some important changes. He has also served as Apple's chief executive twice -- in 2004, after Jobs had pancreatic-cancer surgery, and in 2009, when Jobs took a five-month leave to recover from a liver transplant.

Cook is in the spotlight today after Jobs announced he is taking another medical leave. The odds are increasing that Cook will be the anointed one if Jobs ever steps down as chief executive. So who is this guy, anyway? 

Venti too small? The mondo 31-ounce Trenta will help the coffee king compete with McDonald's and convenience stores.

By Kim Peterson Jan 17, 2011 1:54PM
File photo of Starbucks barista (© Anthony Bolante/Reuters)Starbucks (SBUX) is rolling out an even bigger drink size. The 31-ounce Trenta will be available in all of its coffee stores by May 3, Reuters reports.

At first the Trenta will be available only for iced coffee and iced tea. It's a monstrously large serving, about 7 ounces larger than the Venti already available for iced drinks. It'll cost about 50 cents more.

"Trenta" is the number 30 in Italian, so it's full speed ahead for Starbucks to Quaranta (40) and Cinquanta (50). Just an FYI: The average adult human bladder can hold about 17 ounces

The tech giant's CEO is taking another medical leave. But this time, the company seems well-prepared to march on.

By Kim Peterson Jan 17, 2011 11:46AM
Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Apple CEO Steve JobsSteve Jobs delivered a devastating blow today: He's taking another unexplained medical leave of absence.

The message, sent by e-mail to Apple (AAPL) employees, said that although he's leaving to focus on his health, he will continue as chief executive. Chief operating officer Tim Cook will run day-to-day operations. "I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can," Jobs wrote.

Apple's shares are likely in for a significant drop when the markets reopen Tuesday. They're already falling overseas, down 7.5% today in Frankfurt. If the stock loses 7.5% when the markets open Tuesday, that would wipe out nearly all the 8% gain the stock saw in 2010. 

The market continues its ascent. Where will the action be this week?

By Jamie Dlugosch Jan 16, 2011 4:49PM

I’ve got news for you traders out there: buy and hold investing is making a comeback in a big way in 2011.


While moving in and out of positions can be profitable from time to time traders risk missing big moves by standing on the sidelines.


In my estimation investors will be best served by sticking to their guns. Stay in the market no matter the circumstance as one never knows when big returns will follow.


Case in point is the early action in 2011. While it would be easy to say a correction is due and as such reduce exposure to stocks, doing so would have been the wrong move.


Stocks as measured by the S&P 500 added another 1.7% to the upside last week. I bet there were many a traders that missed out on the gains.


Don’t make the same mistake. This week investors can ride the wave of the homebuilding sector with the SPDR S&P Homebuilder ETF (XHB).

Tags: etfoil

The recent pullback in gold is an opportunity to build a position in this stock.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 14, 2011 4:29PM
Jim JubakOn Thursday, Goldcorp (GG) announced production and cost guidance for 2011.

Let's just say that my investment thesis for Goldcorp -- that this is a low-cost producer of gold with rising production -- remains intact.

In 2010, the company said, gold production grew to a record 2.52 million ounces. For 2011, Goldcorp forecast production of 2.7 million ounces. Over the next five years, the company projected that gold production will increase by 60%.

The company hasn’t finished final accounting for 2010 operating costs (Goldcorp reports year-end results on Feb. 24), but Goldcorp expects that total cash costs will be about $285 an ounce (including revenue from by-products such as copper from mining gold), or less than $450 an ounce on a co-product basis (which allocates cost on a metal-by-metal basis.) Cash costs, the company projects, will continue a downward trend over the next five years.

China was supposed to restrain lending last year, but the numbers show huge loan blowouts.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 14, 2011 3:04PM
Jim JubakNothing in these numbers to suggest that inflation in China is headed anywhere but higher. Or that China’s government has a handle on the country’s runaway money-supply growth.

Chinese banks, as forecast, burst through the 2010 quota of 7.5 trillion yuan set by Beijing for new bank lending. For the year, new bank loans hit 7.95 trillion, thanks to a surge of new lending in December. With economists expecting a quota-busting 300 billion yuan in new lending, Chinese banks actually recorded 481 billion yuan in new loans for the month, overshooting their target by 60%.

And that was a huge 101 billion yuan more in new loans than in December 2009.

The famous billionaire firmly believes in long-term holdings, diversification and dividends.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 14, 2011 3:04PM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


During his multidecade career, Warren Buffett has captured the minds of followers through an interesting mix of wildly successful investments and down-home, folksy charm.


In the absence of self-penned autobiographies or memoirs, authors have spent countless hours attempting to uncover the characteristics that make the Omaha, Neb., native so successful in business.


An examination of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) empire reveals three notable qualities that, when internalized, can help investors benefit in times of economic prosperity and protect them in the event that the markets turn south.


The company played around with 2 key measurements, making one fund look more stable than it really was.

By Kim Peterson Jan 14, 2011 2:40PM
Fine print © JupiterimagesYou just don't expect bad behavior from Charles Schwab (SCHW). The guy even wrote a letter on his website saying, "I'm on the side of the investor." He's not vampire squid material, is he?

An investigation and charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission show an altogether different side of Schwab's company. Schwab did some bad things with one mutual fund, its YieldPlus, and two executives were charged with fraud and other securities violations.

The lesson from YieldPlus is a good one for any investor. Here's how Schwab went from "on our side" to misleading clients: 

Four catalysts should keep the apparel retailer growing strong for years.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 14, 2011 2:23PM

Mr. Market has been gaga over LULU for months, but many feel this yoga monster has overshot its true value. I disagree, and feel it's worth paying the premium for one of the next great worldwide brands.


Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor


This is a big day for my multivitamin portfolio, as I've finally settled on our first smaller company. I'll tell you more about why the other candidates didn't make the cut in my next article, but today I want to focus on the winner: Lululemon Athletica (LULU).


50 Cent uses Twitter to promote his stock ideas. Bill Gross opines about mindless mantises. The Kardashians are coming to Sears.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 14, 2011 1:57PM

TheStreet.com on MSN MoneyBy TheStreet Staff, TheStreet


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


5. Goldman's recommitment ceremony

Goldman Sachs (GS) dumped a 60-something page report on the public Tuesday after an extensive internal review by ts "business standards committee." The committee is made up mainly of Goldman Sachs executives, plus one or two people intended to add outside perspective, such as Wal-Mart (WMT) chairman Lee Scott.


The report was filled with cheap language like "The firm's culture has been the cornerstone of our performance for decades" and "The Committee believes all financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, bear responsibility for constantly improving practices and procedures relating to the marketing and distribution of structured products."


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[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


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