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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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In 5 hours of questioning at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, the Oracle tries to set the record straight on David Sokol.

By Kim Peterson May 2, 2011 1:08PM
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) annual meetings are usually festive, high-spirited events. But this weekend's meeting was a little different, as Warren Buffett endured five hours of questions and repeatedly condemned the actions of a former lieutenant brought down in a stock-trading scandal.

Buffett grabbed the controversy by the horns, jumping right into the matter on everyone's minds: David Sokol, the former Berkshire executive who had traded stock in a company he urged Buffett to buy.

Buffett said Sokol's failure to tell him the whole story about Lubrizol was inexcusable, according to The Wall Street Journal, which sent reporters to the meeting. The whole affair, he said, was "a situation that's sad for Berkshire, sad for Dave and inexplicable."

Post continues after this video interview with Warren Buffett about the Sokol affair
Tags: gold

Bullish chart patterns and the potential for upside earnings surprises this week mean that investors should be looking to play the long side on these four energy stocks.

By MoneyShow.com May 2, 2011 12:05PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

This is a big week for oil company earnings, and there are four companies I think should be bought—not sold. Most of them announce earnings on Monday, May 2. 

As part of my analysis, I keep a close eye on the short interest data, as it often can help uncover good trading or investing ideas.

A couple months ago, in “Four Stocks You Shouldn’t Short,” I took a look at four stocks that had reported an increase in the number of shares sold short and also showed positive chart patterns. With the recent strong stock market, it is no surprise that all of these stocks now show nice gains.

In utilizing the short interest data, one can look for a large percentage increase in the number of shares sold short, or the short interest ratio, which tells the number of trading days that would be needed to cover the short position.

Sometimes these numbers reach astounding levels, and the most recent data, as of April 27, lists several stocks with a short interest ratio of over 50. That means using the stock’s average volume, it would take 50 days of normal-volume trading to cover the positions.

Over the years, I have found that even a short interest ratio as low as 5, when combined with a positive technical pattern, can set up a good trading opportunity.
 

KIT digital is in the sweet spot of a burgeoning industry.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day May 2, 2011 11:11AM

By Sean Sun

 

KIT digital (KITD) is the kind of company that you expect to find headquartered in New York, Los Angeles, or at the very least, Paris. Instead, the company and its namesake, the entrepreneur-cum-turnaround artist Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, can instead by found in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. From there, Tuzman has transformed the company from a headless chicken into what might become the salesforce.com (CRM) of the burgeoning video asset management software (VAMS) industry.

 

As its name suggests, KIT digital's particular expertise in this $10 billion-$15 billion market is in dealing with digital and Internet video. The company's solutions allow customers like MTV, Verizon, and CNN to create, manage, and distribute the increasing number of videos that are now popping up all over the Internet.

 

It's a simple thesis, really. Video content is going to increase: everything from more handheld electronic "access points" (tablets and smartphones, for instance) to cheaper and faster bandwidth point to this upward trend in video volume. As it increases, it will become increasingly less efficient for companies to handle all the necessary functions in-house.

 

These well-known companies are still finding more ways to grow.

By TheStreet Staff May 2, 2011 10:32AM

By Scott Rothbort, StockPickr

 

The other day a good friend -- whom I refer to in my writings on TheStreet.com as "Craig the Jeweler" -- and I were discussing the difference between stocks and commodities. My opinion is that stocks have earnings, accumulate assets and pay dividends, whereas commodities have either industrial applications or social value. Craig asked me why companies such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) perform poorly. After all, he hypothesized, they are all making good money. I told him it's all about growth.

 

Investors tend to seek one or more of the following: value, growth, income. Growth is the furtherance of a company's sales and net worth. Income represents the dividends that the company pays shareholders. Valuation looks at the worth of a company versus its market price.

 

One of the classic models of stock valuation is the discounted cash flow model, or DCF, a growth-based model that considers the present value of a company's future earnings. Another model, the dividend discount model, or DDM, values companies based on dividends per share divided by the discount rate less the dividend growth rate.

 

The question isn't whether to hold AmBev but what the stock will do for you.

By Jim J. Jubak May 2, 2011 10:19AM
Jim Jubak
Considering all the headwinds, shares of Companhia de Bebidas das Americas -- better known as AmBev (ABV) -- have done just fine this year.

The headwinds include:
  • Rising prices for the raw materials that go into the company’s beer.
  • Rumors that a big international competitor, such as SABMiller, will buy Brazil’s second largest brewer, Primo Schincaril Industria de Cervejas e Refrigerantes, and put big money into taking some of AmBev's 70% market share in Brazil.
The biggest headwind of all is fears that the government of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is losing the fight against inflation. That last fear has pushed Brazil’s Bovespa down 5.2% this year.
 

Investors should monitor the impact the Nasdaq's rebalancing will have on PowerShares QQQ. With video.

By TheStreet Staff May 2, 2011 10:09AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

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

 

1. PowerShares QQQ (QQQ)

 

Investors holding QQQ will want to stay vigilant at the start of the week when the Nasdaq ($COMPX)’s well-documented and anxiously awaited rebalance goes into effect.

 

A number of companies including Google (GOOG), Oracle (ORCL) and Microsoft (MSFT) will see their weightings change.

 

The firm, however, that most investors will likely have their eyes on will be Apple (AAPL). After the rebalance, the tech goliath will remain the index's largest component. However, its weighting will be dropped by 8 percentage points to 12.5%.

 

Company executives bowed for several seconds Sunday to apologize, saying they will make amends.

By Kim Peterson May 2, 2011 10:03AM
Ten million credit card numbers. That's an enormous security breach that Sony (SNE) is trying to recover from this week.

The company said hackers stole the names, addresses and birth dates of account holders in its online gaming, movie and music services, The Wall Street Journal reported. We don't know for sure whether the hackers got credit card numbers as well. Sony said it can't rule out the possibility that 10 million customers may have had their card information compromised -- but it knows the hackers didn't get the security codes for those cards.

Post continues after this video about Sony's cyberattack: 

The company's business seems to be growing faster than expected, putting it on course for a $100 billion valuation.

By Kim Peterson May 2, 2011 10:02AM
Facebook's business is on fire, and people who have seen the company's financial information say an initial public offering could take place next spring, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This year, Facebook could rake in $2 billion in earnings before taking out interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, sources tell the Journal. And the way that profit is going, the company could be valued at at least $100 billion when it goes public.

That's more than Amazon's (AMZN) current valuation of $88.5 billion and three times the size of phone giant Nokia (NOK).

Take this information with a grain of salt, however. 

Big gains over the past 2 weeks call for conservative picks this week.

By Jamie Dlugosch May 2, 2011 9:42AM

It was another gangbuster week for stocks. The S&P 500 powered to multi-year highs with a gain of nearly 2% for the week. Pushing stocks higher were strong earnings results and strong leadership from the Federal Reserve.

 

Speaking to reporters in an effort of greater transparency the Fed Chairman confirmed that QE 2 was winding down. More importantly interest rates were set to be held low for the foreseeable future.

 

The central bank wants risk taking and the markets are obliging. Interest rates are on the rise as bond holders sell positions. Cash then rotates to equity markets hence the nice gains in stocks of late.

 

It is not sustainable in my opinion. As May begins, look for stocks to take a breather as investors sell in May and go away. I’m quite happy to take a more neutral position with my ETF trades for this week.

 

Leading the way will be the ProShares Short Russell 2,000 (RWM).

 
Tags: etf

The death of the terrorist mastermind is a plus for the US and the world, while China's manufacturing slowdown means good things for stocks.

By Jim Cramer May 2, 2011 9:06AM

jim cramerthe streetThe short term is different from the real short term, which is different from the real real short term. The short term is also different from the near term and the long term. All have been on display in the last 12 hours.

 

That's how I look at this Osama bin Laden news. As you may have seen, when the special press conference story was about to happen last night, the S&P 500 ($INX) futures were up a couple of points. The extreme mystery of the "national security event," which is all we knew at 10:30 p.m. ET, didn't budge them down -- and that was pretty accurate, somehow, given that you had to believe the news could have been bad or good.

 

Then those futures flew up a quick 9 the moment the real news broke but before the speech occurred, and they landed at 11 points up. That's the real short-term impact, the anticipation of a euphoria rally driven by retail investors entering the market with a feel-good vengeance.  

 

The market is likely to remain climbing into May...but if you're just getting into stocks, this is no time to jump in with both feet.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 30, 2011 10:45AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

The markets seemed to breathe a sigh of relief after Ben Bernanke's widely anticipated press conference.

His comments seemed to calm the inflation fears for now—and surprisingly, a preliminary survey from the University of Michigan showed that expectations are for a 2.9% CPI for the next five years. Over the next year, a jump in inflation is expected.

The silver market dominated the news last week, as many are trying to pick a top. Though silver is likely to see a 10% to 20% decline in the next few months, trying to pick a top in any commodity market—as most experienced traders will tell you—is very hazardous to your economic health. Exemplifying this, those who sold gold were squeezed Friday, as it closed up $32 per ounce.

This week's gain in the stock market reinforced the positive intermediate term as the NYSE Composite A/D line made further new highs. However, in my view the bullish camp is starting to get a bit crowded. As I discussed Friday, there are also some early warning signs appearing that suggest a more defensive strategy is warranted as the market moves higher.
 
Tags: gold

At this value price, it's worth taking a shot at future growth.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Apr 29, 2011 2:32PM

By Anand Chokkavelu, CFA 

 

I love getting a growth story at a value price. Unfortunately, that's a very hard thing to find.

 

Today, I may have one for you in self-study foreign language software maker Rosetta Stone (RST) -- a company that is going through some tough times, but is selling for a value price.

 

Squeezing water from a Stone
In April 2009, during the darkest days of the stock market, Rosetta Stone IPO'd to a surprisingly warm reception. Its shares were priced at $18 (already above estimates) and went up from there, topping $30 a share.

 

But while the rest of the market has rallied mightily, Rosetta Stone has dipped below its IPO price and now sits below $14 a share.

 

The aerospace company wants to boost commercial jet production by 40%, which explains why shares are trading near a 3-year high.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 29, 2011 12:47PM

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

 

Perhaps the most telling comment by Boeing (BA) CEO Jim McNerney during the company's earnings call Wednesday was his promise to "increase our commercial airplane output by more than 40% during the next three years."

 

With the world hungry for modern, fuel-efficient large jets, which are available from just two manufacturers, it is no wonder that Boeing is trading close to its three-year high --- and that many analysts see it going even higher.

 

At midday Friday, shares were up $1.43 to $79.98 as investors seemed to shrug off reports that Boeing is not a finalist for a contract to supply 126 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force. For the year, shares in Boeing, a Dow component, are up 20%. That includes a 10% increase since April 14.

 

Sentiment is up, and the markets may continue rising in the short term. But investors must still be prepared to identify the signs of a correction and act quickly.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 29, 2011 12:19PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Since mid-March, there have been two distinct cases of what I called panic selling, as those who sold on the news quickly regretted their decision. 

Now that Ben Bernanke appears to have calmed investors, there are some early signs that we could be approaching a period of buying panic.

While the market internals for the broad market, such as the Advance/Decline (A/D) line, are still confirming the higher prices, some market sectors are starting to diverge on a short-term basis. These divergences could be resolved in just a few days of trading, however, and the major trend for the stock market remains positive.

Nevertheless, as we continue to move higher over the next few weeks and the major averages reach my next major price targets, investors would be prudent to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Typically, extremes in sentiment, both bullish and bearish, can build over several weeks, as was the case last summer when the number of bullish newsletter writers dropped below 30% by the end of August.

That number is now likely closer to 60%, and it sends a signal that investors should adopt a more risk-averse buying strategy: take some profits on longs when prices are moving higher, and be sure that protective stops are adjusted as prices move up.
 

Apple fixes problems that don't exist. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gives first press conference. Sony gets hacked.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 29, 2011 11:44AM

Here is this week's roundup of the dumbest actions on Wall Street.

 

5. Apple: There's no problem, but we fixed it

 

Apple (AAPL) is getting really good at fixing things it says aren't a problem.

 

This week, the company denied, confessed to and then said it will change its iPhone tracking practices that have created an outcry about potential privacy invasion.

 

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  • A stronger dollar index weighted on the commodities space today.
  • Dec gold and Dec silver fell deeper into negative territory, trading as low as $1263.10 per ounce and $19.11 per ounce, respectively.
  • Unable to gain momentum, both metals settled with 1.7% losses, with gold closing at $1264.90 per ounce and silver closing at $19.16 per ounce. 
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