If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.
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The discount-deal site goes from darling to dud after a series of ads that some viewers thought were in bad taste.
The company has suffered days of negative feedback after running three Super Bowl spots that appeared to make light of issues like human rights oppression in Tibet. "The people of Tibet are in trouble," actor Timothy Hutton said with apparent concern. "But they still whip up an amazing fish curry!" You can watch the spot here.
The ads triggered so much criticism that Groupon's founder, Andrew Mason, went online not to apologize for them but to explain them. He said the Super Bowl commercials that are truly offensive are ones built around "the crass objectification of women." Groupon's ads didn't do that.
Mason said the ads were mostly self-mocking, a takeoff on the shameless self-promotion that advertising is usually based on. "We would never have run these ads if we thought they trivialized the causes," Mason wrote. "Even if we didn't take them as seriously as we do, what type of company would go out of their way to be so antagonistic?"
Chrysler's 2-minute spot appears to have won the night, but there is still some debate over which commercials fared worst.
By Seth Fiegerman, MainStreet
The Green Bay Packers may have won the Super Bowl, but the competition for the best commercial from the big game is still being hashed out in homes and offices across the country, perhaps most noticeably on the web.
By the end of Sunday night, the winning company appeared to be Chrysler. Its powerful two-minute commercial garnered the most buzz during the Super Bowl, according to the Brand Bowl, an annual contest powered by advertising consultants Mullen and Radian6 that ranks Super Bowl ads by the amount of positive or negative feedback they receive on Twitter.
Chrysler's commercial attempted to revive the brand and the reputation of Detroit in general, following the painful collapse of the auto industry that left many people in Michigan without jobs. The cinematic commercial featured a cameo from Eminem, the popular rapper raised in Detroit, and debuted a poignant new slogan, "Imported from Detroit," that will be the center of Chrysler's new ad campaign.
The Tucson shootings rekindled fears of tighter firearms laws and triggered a surge in sales. What does this mean for gun makers and sellers?
By Jamie Dlugosch, Stockpickr
The shootings last month in Tucson reminded us once again that we live in dangerous world. As horrific as such events may be, there is no changing the fact that guns are a part of our history and will be part of our future.
Sure enough, in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy gun sales soared. In Arizona alone, the FBI reported 263 background check requests on Jan. 10, compared with 164 on the corresponding Monday a year prior. In Tucson a firearms dealer reported that high-capacity magazine sales jumped 500%.
The reason for the jump has little to do with protection or a race to bear arms in a violent society. Instead, the concern of those buying has more to do with the possibility that an event like Tucson will trigger some sort of gun control or worse. It is assumed that liberals will use the event to call for a repeal of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Coffee, oatmeal and European business drive the chain's results higher than expected.
The burger chain reported a 5.3% increase in same-store sales in January from a year ago, more than the 4.5% analysts were expecting. Europe was the star of the month, with sales up 7% and contributing 40% of revenue.
In the U.S., sales of coffee and the new oatmeal menu item helped sales grow 3.1% -- not bad considering the horrendous weather in January that kept people from visiting stores. And the whole picture was decidedly brighter than a year ago, when McDonald's said its same-store sales rose only 2.6%, and that U.S. sales were down 0.7%.
January also saw sales rise 5.2% in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Critics who claim the Fed chairman's policies have pushed food, cotton and oil prices higher know nothing about inflation. Bernanke deserves our praise, not our scorn.
I'm starting to hear way too much chatter about Ben Bernanke causing inflation. First, let's talk about what Bernanke has done unbelievably well: provide the liquidity to allow businesses to raise debt cheaply so they can get back on their feet. He has single-handedly kept thousands of companies alive. I think many, many businesses, particularly banks, would have failed. With cheap money, he just didn't let it happen.
Second, he has served as the grownup in Washington. Congress has done very, very little to help this country -- something every person who has ever run a business, small or large, knows. Bernanke has done amazing things to offset government-mandated slowdowns like Obamacare and the financial reform bill.
Third, he did all of this without creating anything near the chaos people predicted would result from his easy-money policies.
Still, the chatter is that Bernanke and his QE2 printing press should shut down because it is causing rampant inflation.
China's online ad market is projected to see major growth by 2014, and the online shopping market is just getting started.
A freelance editor entered a Web contest to create a fun Super Bowl ad -- and now gets $1 million for his work.
Burningham, a freelance editor and Web designer, made the ad with some friends and entered it in the "crash the Super Bowl" contest held by Doritos and Pepsi Max. It shows a pug dog knocking a glass door on top of a man who had been taunting it with Doritos. You can watch the ad here.
"This commercial was a last-ditch attempt to make things happen," Burningham told USA Today. The film world is "just a very difficult industry," he added.
Burningham got a $1 million payment from Frito-Lay, owned by PepsiCo (PEP), for creating a spot that hit No. 1 in USA Today's Ad Meter ranking.
One leaked ad says the new Xoom will cost $800 when it goes on sale on Feb. 24. Can the Xoom succeed at that price?
That's quite a hefty price tag, if the ad is to be believed. It means the Xoom costs 60% more than the $500 starting point for the Apple (AAPL) iPad. The Xoom looks good and has potential, but will it end up getting killed on price?
The Xoom certainly has some advantages over the iPad, starting with front and rear-facing cameras for video chat, a camcorder and the ability to play Adobe's Flash format. The Xoom's 10.1-inch widescreen display is slightly larger than the iPad's. In fact, the iPad configuration that most resembles the Xoom is the 32-gigabyte version that costs $729, Time notes. So there really isn't that much price difference.
There is no way for the economy to rebound if steel stocks don't rebound. Here are three steel stocks that analysts expect to increase earnings by over 100% this year.
If the economy is to recover, steel is not an optional industry.
It's an essential industry right in the core of the auto, infrastructure and manufacturing industries. It's hard to think of an industry that does not use steel or metal products somewhere.
Luckily, this industry has shown signs of recovery.
Just look at the chart of the steel industry index price change vs, the 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages and Trend Spotter in the last 2 1/2 months:
Opinion: American companies are fundamentally undervalued and are ready to ride overseas profits.
By Peter Morici, TheStreet
The U.S. economy is growing only moderately and the job market remains sluggish, but stocks keep roaring ahead, as they should.
American companies are fundamentally undervalued, and unless upheavals in the Middle East or a European debt crisis derail global growth, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) is headed for 13,000.
Growth in the range of 3% to 3.5% in the United States and about 10% in China is great for U.S. equities. American companies may not add employees in large numbers, but they can boost profits with only moderately expanding domestic demand, thanks to breakneck productivity advances. And America's larger companies -- those of the S&P 500 ($INX) -- earn about half their profits abroad, where they are poised to win big.
Investors should rebalance toward U.S. equities. Don't abandon emerging markets, but put new money into U.S. companies with global reach.
The RF chip-maker is solidifying its position inside smart phones.
Apple continues to crank out iEverything devices at a furious pace, but many investors shy away from the company's lofty valuation. Foolish tech expert Eric Bleeker's advice? Try TriQuint.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
In early November, I recommended that readers buy Cirrus Logic (CRUS), as smart-phone designers increasingly adopted its audio-chip designs to save both power and space. But Cirrus isn't alone. Companies providing radio frequency components are also winning big, including RF Micro Devices (RFMD), Skyworks (SWKS), Anadigics (ANAD), and TriQuint (TQNT). I believe that several of these companies are solid buys, but today, I'm recommending TriQuint, and announcing my intent to buy its shares for my "Bits Portfolio."
In mobile devices, radio frequency chips ensure reliable connections to the towers streaming voice and data signals. TriQuint and the other companies making these RF chips face a huge opportunity as the mobile world shifts from old-fashioned feature phones to technologically advanced smart phones.
With AOL scooping up The Huffington Post and a big national news slot, Yahoo is expected to make a push with personalized news on mobile devices.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
AOL agreed to buy The Huffington Post for $300 million in cash and $15 million in stock early Monday in the online portal's boldest bid yet to expand its content offerings. AOL acquired TechCrunch late last year as part of an eager bid to get its traffic volume up and cash in on growth in online advertising.
The move comes as Yahoo struggles to reverse its revenue declines and prepares to announce a revamped focus on delivering personalized news on mobile devices.
The Yahoo project, called Deadeye, will take user preferences, locations, social-networking choices and topic interests to customize its customers' media content, according to a report Monday in The New York Times.
In the past 3 decades, has there ever been more bullish time?
Mind you, I am not predicting. I am simply pointing out that in 32 years of investing, I cannot recall a more bullish time, a time when as long as you don't own a food, drug or utility stock, you've been making money. No, make that coining money.
Two groups really stand out: semiconductors and oil and gas. I keep harping on these two sectors because, without owning some of them, you can't keep pace and there's no way you are going to beat the benchmarks. If you are overweighting them, you have to be thinking, even in February, that you might have to be defensive simply to protect your lead! Yes, the gains are that pronounced.
The lead rotates in these groups. Last week, thanks to JDS Uniphase (JDSU) and ARM Holdings (ARMH), you had anything broadband and Apple (AAPL)-related roaring, particularly around tablets and smart phones.
Keep an eye on funds tracking consumer-focused companies and Egypt.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
NYSE Euronext (NYX) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) are slated to report their earnings this week, providing further insight into the state of the broker-dealers industry. Together accounting for more than 10% of its index, these two companies' performance will influence the action of IAI in the coming days.
In the coming days, investors holding this fund will want to maintain a close watch. IAI is bumping against a level that has been a sufficient point of resistance since late 2009.
The online portal continues to revamp its editorial strategy, charging Arianna Huffington and her team with the daunting task of improving news content.
By Jeff Reeves, Editor, InvestorPlace.com
The move is interesting for a number of reasons. It's the latest move by AOL chief exec Tim Armstrong to right the struggling web-content arm of his company, and it's a deal that has some observers calling the politically active Arianna Huffington a sellout.
But perhaps most interesting is the fact a fledgling website like HuffPo was seen by AOL not just as a buyout target but as a strategic partner that can revitalize a company many times its size.
How? By keeping the feisty Huffington at the helm of content rather than forcing her to bend to the wills of her new corporate bosses.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Wednesday session on a mixed note with small caps displaying relative strength. The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and Russell 2000 (+0.4%) registered modest gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) and S&P 500 (+0.01%) underperformed.
Despite the mixed finish, the key indices traded higher across the board at the start of the session after the advance reading of second quarter GDP surpassed estimates (4.0% versus Briefing.com ... More
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