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Get your defensive plan ready

Indexes might not be in correction territory, but they're getting closer. Now's the time to consider what moves to make.


These shares can expose your portfolio to big risks.

By InvestorPlace Jul 20, 2010 4:54PM

By Louis Navellier,

When it comes to penny stock investing and buying inexpensive stocks, sometimes investors think they can find bargains for just a few dollars a share. Sometimes they are right – but other times these penny stocks can expose your portfolio to big risk and lose you a bundle in a hurry.


But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for losers in your quest for big penny stocks that take off. Here are 5 penny stock losers to avoid:


Retailers gained ground as the Senate moved to extend unemployment benefits.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 20, 2010 4:45PM

thestreet.comBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Retailers were rallying as the Senate made moves to extend unemployment benefits, which could provide a boost to dwindling consumer confidence.


The S&P Retail Index was rising 1.9% to 399.46, led up by safety stock Wal-Mart (WMT).


Elsewhere in the discount sector, BJ's Wholesale (BJ) climbed on renewed takeover chatter. Shares of the company closed 2.5% higher to $44.91.


While bearishness rules the day, there are many signs right now that say investors should be buying instead of selling.

By unknownUser Jul 20, 2010 3:54PM

By Michael Brush

While investors seem focused on the negative headlines this earning season, there's actually plenty of positive news for the economy -- and some facts that outright dispute the negative headlines.


My key takeaway in all this: As I recently told readers of my Brush Up on Stocks newsletter, investors are overlooking some pretty bullish news on the economy that suggest it's better to be buying rather than selling on the big down days.


My favorite example of hidden good news so far: Headlines across the board Monday claimed International Business Machines (IBM) missed revenue expectations. This is flat-out misleading.


A failed gamble on derivatives hurt the company in the second quarter.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 20, 2010 1:29PM

thestreet.comBy Dan Freed, TheStreet


Goldman Sachs' (GS) second-quarter results provided a reminder that the bank doesn't exactly walk on water.


Goldman suggested the mediocre performance was driven by one-time items, including its $550 million settlement of fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a $600 million U.K. bank payroll tax. CFO David Viniar also referred repeatedly to low levels of customer activity on a conference call with the media today.


The poor fixed-income trading results were to be expected, as underwriters like Goldman have an unspoken obligation to buy back inventory from clients in the face of declining markets, says Bernstein Research analyst Brad Hintz.



Shares of the electronics retailer tumble as reports surface that a takeover may be off the table.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 20, 2010 1:09PM

By Jeanine Poggi,


RadioShack (RSH) fell 6.6% to $20.05 today after reports surfaced that at least two private-equity groups are withdrawing their interest in the electronics retailer.


Takeover rumors have been circling around RadioShack for months, sending the stock seesawing. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Blackstone Group (BX) and TPG Capital are unlikely to pursue a potential bid for the retailer, citing sources familiar with the matter.


Previously, Reuters said Bain Capital had also pulled out of the auction. targets guys with entertainment and eye candy. But will it make it without the nudity?

By InvestorPlace Jul 20, 2010 12:23PM

Checking out Playboy at work just became acceptable.


Playboy Enterprises (PLA) has launched PG-13 site for men called, billed as "a jukebox of cool" by Playboy's editorial director. There will be plenty of eye candy and guy-centric content -- just not the explicit images that made Playboy off-limits at the office.


There will most certainly be a buzz this week as cyberspace descends on the site. But the real question is whether the bunny brand can make a go of it without the nudity -- and whether the site will be profitable enough to save Playboy from collapse.


Playboy stock has seen quite a slump from its lofty perch of around $15 a share in 2001 to about $5 now. And $5 is generous, considering shares were languishing at $4 for months before Hugh Hefner announced his bid to take Playboy private and leaped up 20% just two weeks ago.


Shares of the motorcycle maker zoom higher as earnings roar past estimates.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 20, 2010 11:21AM

thestreet.comUpdated at 4:30 p.m. ET


By TheStreet


Shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG) zoomed higher after the motorcycle maker roared past earnings estimates Tuesday.


The Milwaukee icon posted second-quarter earnings of 59 cents a share, 18 cents more than what analysts were expecting.

Shares were up 13.6% to $26.83.


Harley had revenue of $1.135 billion versus the $1.1128 billion forecast. Harley saw a big turnaround in its financial services division, where it posted operating income of $61 million compared with a $91 million loss there a year ago. Gross margin came in at 35% compared to 34.1% in the year-ago period.


I'm trimming some losers and buying some solar.

By Jim Van Meerten Jul 20, 2010 10:57AM
I decided to sell three positions totally on  poor price performance:
  • Fastenal (FAST)
  • Large Cao 3x Bull ETF (BGU)
  • Small Cap 3X Bull ETF (TNA)


I replaced them with a solar energy play, Trina Solar Limited (TSL).


Everyone seems to want to get on the alternative energy bandwagon, so here is your chance. TSL is currently one of the few private manufactures who have developed a vertically integrated business model from the production of monocrystalline ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of high-quality modules. They have reached long-term partnerships with technology suppliers in Switzerland, Italy and Germany, which provide the technology for their production facilities in China.

Wall Street brokerage firms have found this company in a big way. They have 23 buy and four hold recommendations published based on estimates that sales will increase by 53.20% this year and 11.60% next year. Earnings are also expected to be stellar with a 25.60% increase this year, 8.50% next year and maintain a 5 year compounded annual EPS growth rate of 20.80%.

The trend is a sign that books' future is digital -- and that the iPad hasn't cornered the market just yet. With video updates.

By InvestorPlace Jul 20, 2010 10:51AM

It appears that reports of the death of the hardcover novel may not be exaggerated after all.


Amazon announced today that its electronic titles dramatically outsold hardcover titles last month, with 180 e-books sold for every 100 hardcovers. (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos points to the recently lowered price of the Kindle, from $259 to $189, as the catalyst for the recent explosion in sales.

The trend is interesting for two reasons. First, because it seems to indicate that e-books are connecting on a mass level and, second, because it shows that the much-vaunted iPad from Apple Inc. (AAPL) isn't the only show in town.


Net revenue falls to $8.84 billion from $13.7 billion a year earlier.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 20, 2010 9:09AM

the streetBy Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet


Updated at 12:44 p.m. ET


Goldman Sachs (GS) managed to top Wall Street's second-quarter profit view Tuesday, excluding items, but the bank fell short on the top line as all three of its main business units saw year-over-year revenue declines.


Excluding a total of $1.15 billion in expenses related to last week's settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a U.K. bank payroll tax, Goldman earned $1.6 billion, or $2.75 a share, in the latest three months.


Revenue fell to $8.84 billion for the June period from $13.7 billion a year earlier, and $12.8 billion in the first quarter.

The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of $2 per share on revenue of roughly $9 billion for the latest second quarter.


The key to a modest lift in home prices -- enough to cut foreclosures -- is a dramatic decline in new-home builds.

By Jim Cramer Jul 20, 2010 8:16AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


What do we expect of housing? That it will resume some sort of bizarre trend higher -- 12% a year, 15%? What do we want, for housing to become this great investment again?


Today, just as expected, we got some more crummy housing numbers -- I spoofed them last night on my "Mad Money" TV show. New housing starts were down 5% in June, to their lowest level since October. People will lament that a lot of home mortgages are "underwater."

Nobody likes a losing investment. It's a decent reason to abandon a home if you think it's never coming back, as I said would happen in 2007, when prices got out of control and no money was put down and everything was a flip.


The small second-quarter decline comes after an 8% drop in the first quarter, according to an industry trade group.

By TheWrap Jul 19, 2010 6:55PM
The home entertainment business's free fall appears to be slowing down.

Industry trade consortium the Digital Entertainment Group released figures Monday showing that revenue from sales and rentals of DVDs, Blu-ray discs and digital downloads dropped just 0.7% in the second quarter of this year after dropping 8% in the first quarter.

Overall, the business is down 3.3% at the midway point of this year to $8.8 billion.


These 3 high-yield 'dividend aristocrats' have been delivering payouts for over 80 years.

By InvestorPlace Jul 19, 2010 4:11PM

Dividend investing has always been a very popular way for shareholders to see a strong return on their investments. And high yield dividend stocks that consistently pay stipends to investors are very attractive in choppy markets.

While many companies today offer their shareholders lucrative dividends, these dividend aristocrats have been doing it for decades. The following companies all boast a dividend yield of at least 2.5% with several of them returning over 5% of their stock’s price to investors. And best of all, these high yield dividend stocks have delivered these payouts for many years – some of them for more than a century!


These exchange-traded funds are likely to react to upcoming earnings reports.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 19, 2010 11:49AM

more financial news from thestreet.comBy Don Dion, TheStreet


ETF investors this week will closely watch the earnings of such heavyweights as Apple (AAPL) and Goldman Sachs (GS). Here are seven exchange-traded funds that will react to the upcoming earnings action.


1. PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ)


Apple reports earnings Tuesday, and as in the first quarter, it comes in the wake of a post-earnings pop in Intel (INTC) and a drop in Google (GOOG) after its report. In April, Apple beat consensus estimates by 36%, and shares were up 10% over the course of a few days.


Apple comes into this earnings report slightly beaten down by reception problems with its new iPhone 4. This won't show up in earnings for the previous quarter, but it could impact the company's outlook. In terms of last quarter, investors will be focused on iPhone and iPad sales.


A report from TARP regulators says yes, but Treasury says millions of manufacturing jobs were saved.

By InvestorPlace Jul 19, 2010 11:22AM

auto dealer gm chryslerA report is out today from officials saying the government hurt American workers by forcing the closure of GM and Chrysler auto dealerships as part of the automakers' 2009 bailouts.

"The fact that Treasury was acting in part as an investor in GM and Chrysler does not insulate Treasury from its responsibility to the broader economy," said the special inspector general for TARP funds -- a kind of watchdog for the bailouts.


But Treasury and the White House were quick to counter, pointing out that the loss of dealership jobs was offset by the fact that thousands if not millions of manufacturing jobs were saved. The move was likened to layoffs at a company that hurt the individual workers who are fired but preserved the jobs of many more who remained on the payroll.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More


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