You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.


Here are some ETFs that investors can get into to get exposure to alternative energy.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 7, 2011 5:04PM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


Warren Buffett's recent investment in the wind energy industry has taken center stage and stolen headlines. Using ETFs, investors can follow Buffett's lead and gain exposure to companies which work to harness and profit from the power of wind.


Energy is not a new venture for Buffett. On the contrary, through a number of his investments and subsidiaries, Warren Buffett has expanded his investment reach into various corners of the energy industry. Boasting exposure to companies including Exxon Mobil (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the famous investor has for years held direct and indirect exposure to various traditional fuel sources, including oil and coal.


The alternative energy industry is not excluded from Buffett's portfolio, either. Well known components of the Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) portfolio, including General Electric (GE) and BYD have been major players in the growth of clean tech and energy industries such as wind, solar, and battery power in recent years


Big revenue and profit generators go hand in hand, but does that mean stocks of companies with big brands are moneymakers for investors?

By TheStreet Staff Jan 7, 2011 4:54PM

StockpickrBy James Dlugosch, Stockpickr

These companies have some of the most recognizable brands in the market, allowing them to generate big profits. The two go hand in hand, but does that mean stocks of companies with big brands are moneymakers for investors?


Making money for a company and making money for an investor are two different things. If the stock of a company with a well-known brand has already been fully priced, buying that investment today may not be such a smart thing.


Then again, if the stock of a big-brand company lags the market and is not priced at fair value, investors may want to consider that stock for their portfolio. Let’s take a look at some of these names to see if their stocks are as big as their brands


Companies stopped buying trucks as the recession lingered, but expect orders to rebound with the economy.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 7, 2011 4:25PM
Jim JubakThe heavy-truck replacement cycle continues to play out exactly as Cummins (CMI) has outlined it over the last year.

The pent-up demand created during the Great Recession when truck owners put off replacing aging trucks will turn into new orders as the economy recovers, with the big pickup in orders due for the first half of 2011, the company has repeatedly said.

If there’s indeed any problem with Cummins’ projections, it may be that the company underestimated the increase in orders and was conservative on timing.

Shares haven't moved lower like this since August.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 7, 2011 2:54PM

Share prices were dropping hard Friday, and the evidence suggests this is just the beginning. The catalysts were a disappointing December jobs report, ongoing woes in the eurozone and a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court against Wells Fargo (WFC) and US Bancorp (USB) concerning treatment of mortgage securitization by the banks.


This has revived concerns that banks will face increased losses from mortgage "put backs" from investors. It also called into question the banks' ability to foreclose on mortgages that have been securitized.


As a result, small-cap stocks are struggling, the dollar is moving higher and commodity prices are sliding. What's worse, there is evidence that this is just that start of a protracted decline as we enter a period of seasonal weakness. If true, it would mean the bull market faces a few weeks of losses before the long-term uptrend can resume.


Brink's stock is almost as solid as its armored cars.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 7, 2011 2:46PM

Investors are always looking for a dominant business with a large moat at a low price, even if they never expect to find one. Fool analyst Dan Dzombak believes he has.


Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor


I'm excited to recommend and open a position in Brink's (BCO).


The business
You've probably seen Brink's armored cars driving around your neighborhood at some point, but you probably didn't realize that Brink's trucks are seen globally. Only 30% of Brink's business comes from North America. The rest comes from around the world.


Goldman Sachs invests in a company your financial adviser wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. Apple makes iPhones that fail to ring when required. Insurance companies sue Toyota.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 7, 2011 12:31PM on MSN MoneyBy TheStreet Staff, TheStreet


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


5. Goldman joins Facebook investors

What do you get when you combine a company your financial adviser wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole, a Russian "oligarch" and mind-blowing fees? You have an investment opportunity.


That, at least, is what Goldman Sachs (GS) is telling well-heeled clients about plans to invest in the social-networking site Facebook.


Money manager, author and blogger Vitaliy Katsenelson explains the malaise.

By V.N. Katsenelson Jan 7, 2011 12:28PM
Let's talk a bit about China, because you have written a lot about that country.  What is your overall outlook for the Chinese economy?  How will it affect the US economy and US investors?

China is extremely important to the global economy.  China to some degree helped to pull the global economy out of recession with its enormous stimulus.  However, I expect China’s economy to get worse at some point in the not too distant future

The Chinese economy grew at a very fast rate for long period of time.  The Chinese government is extremely concerned that if the growth rate of its economy slows down it is going to have high unemployment.  Ironically, though, this country that is supposed to be communist has less socialism than we have in the United States. 


Shares of Bank of America, Citigroup and other major financials are too cheap to pass up.

By Jim Cramer Jan 7, 2011 12:03PM

TheStreet's Jim CramerYou want to know which banks to buy?


How about Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), PNC (PNC), JPMorgan (JPM) and Huntington Bancshares (HBAN)? How about U.S. Bancorp (USB)?


You know what these stocks have in common? Their prices are ridiculously low, kept down by rumor, innuendo, disbelieving analysts and lies.


Money manager, author and blogger Vitaliy Katsenelson explains the malaise.

By V.N. Katsenelson Jan 6, 2011 5:21PM

To paraphrase Nassim Taleb, "Giving interviews is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing." With the new book out, I have the pleasure and the opportunity to perfect that art. My latest interview, with my friend Bob Huebscher of Adviser Perspectives, is below; and here are links to my interviews with John Mihalijevic of Manual of Ideas (John is co-organizer of ValueEx; see below), Elliot Turner of Wall Street Cheat Sheet, and an audio interview with Jim Puplava of Financal Sense.  I tried very hard to offer new perspectives in each interview, even when we discussed the same subjects.  I tried.


After an epic 22% rally out of the August low, small-cap stocks start to falter.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 6, 2011 5:01PM

The stock market has stalled over the past three days, and the main driver appears to be a surge in the U.S. dollar -- a sign of haven buying by investors looking to reduce risk. As a result, commodities like crude oil are under pressure. But there is other evidence of risk coming off the table.


The Risk Appetite Indicator maintained by UBS declined to 0.57 last week from 0.85 the week before and is down from a recent high of 1 on December 22. The primary driver has been the increase in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which in turn is driven by option traders purchasing "insurance" option contracts on the S&P 500 index.


Rising inflation isn't sitting well with the European Central Bank. But there isn't much it can do.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 6, 2011 4:42PM
Jim JubakTalk about getting caught between a rock and rocking the entire European Union.

Inflation kicked up to an annual rate of 2.2% in December in the European Union. That’s well above the European Central Bank’s oft-stated target of an annual rate "close but below" 2%.

In normal times, the European Central Bank, drawing on the remaining DNA from its ancestors at Germany’s Bundesbank, would raise interest rates to clamp down on inflation faster than you can say "Johannes Robinson."

These big military contractors are sporting historically small multiples.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 6, 2011 2:30PM

Military © Stockbyte/SuperStockFool analyst Anand Chokkavelu loves trolling around in beaten-down sectors. Today's stop on his incessant search for value: the defense sector.


Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor


When a sector is beaten down, I get interested. When a sector is beaten down and nothing has fundamentally changed, I get really interested.


I believe that's the case in the defense industry.


The bakery spent a lot of money to modernize, but savings are small, losses are mounting, and debt is crippling.

By InvestorPlace Jan 6, 2011 1:09PM

Bankrupt © Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty ImagesBy Jeff Reeves, editor of

After bleeding red ink like the jelly out of a freshly bitten Krimpet, the makers of Tastykake snacks face a serious question: whether to sell the company at a fire-sale price or whether to just cry uncle under the crippling weight of its debt.

It's a sad development for the Pennsylvania sweets powerhouse that was born almost a century ago in Philadelphia. But what's perhaps most tragic is that the biggest reason pushing parent Tasty Baking (TSTY) to the brink of bankruptcy is a development that was intended to turn the company's battered finances around.


Though it will be an older model, users can get Apple's flagship smart phone -- and AT&T will get more data-hungry subscribers.

By InvestorPlace Jan 6, 2011 9:55AM

Credit: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up iPhone 4 as he talks about the Apple iPhone 4 at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Friday, July 16, 2010 (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
 By Jeff Reeves, editor of

If there's one thing Apple Inc. (AAPL) knows, it's the importance of staying on top of the personal-electronics game via constant refining. The iPhone is in its fourth incarnation since its launch, almost four years ago to the day, and a fifth version is expected soon. Consumers are already looking ahead to the iPad 2, even though the groundbreaking tablet PC is just 8 months old.

But it appears that someone at AT&T (T) didn't get the memo on this, despite the telecom's close ties with Apple on the iPhone. In a surprising move, AT&T has decided to push an already outdated Apple smart phone model with its latest scheme: a $49 iPhone 3GS, as long as customers sign a two-year contract. The deal starts Friday.

The move is puzzling on the surface, since most consumers won't be thrilled about the prospects of a nearly 2-year-old phone -- coupled with a contract that lasts until that phone almost turns 4. But a closer look at AT&T's books shows that it may be a very wise move in the long run -- both for consumers and the telecom giant.


The move in this group of stocks reveals the truth: Residential real estate has hit bottom and is on its way higher.

By Jim Cramer Jan 6, 2011 9:29AM

more market commentary and stock picks from jim cramerIt's not a question of when the housing recovery will occur but of how big it will be. That's how I have felt watching the stock market action since the year began.


I use a couple of classic tells to forecast housing sales and values, and they are flashing bright green, really defying gravity in their obvious way of saying, "Housing's back in 2011." This despite the universal "Housing's the same mess it has always been" rap, as well as the downbeat projections, mostly from the noisy folks at Zillow, many of which do not reflect the hard macro data kept by other entities.


Look at these breakouts we have seen just this year: Whirlpool (WHR), Lowe's (LOW), Sherwin Williams (SHW),Pier 1 (PIR), Ethan Allen (ETH), Masco (MAS), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) and even Williams-Sonoma (WSM) after that disappointing outlook. That's incredible. These stocks are screaming that sales for homes are going higher and that the value of homes is going higher, or people wouldn't be throwing good money after bad.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market hasn't lacked bullish catalysts today, yet buyers nonetheless have been a reluctant bunch.

  • There were no major geopolitical flare ups over the weekend
  • M&A activity continued afoot
    • Dollar General (DG 64.38, +0.39) raised its all-cash offer for Family Dollar Stores (FDO 80.27, +0.44) to $80 per share
    • Compuware (CPWR 10.51, +1.16) agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for approximately $2.5 billion or $10.92 per ... More


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