Businessman blowing bubbles (© GSO Images/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
Take bubble talk with a grain of salt

Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?


Shares of AIG are rising following a report that the US government may soon sell its stake.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 23, 2010 1:08PM

TheStreetBy Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet


The US government may soon cash in on the surge in American International Group (AIG) stock.


The Treasury Department owns $47 billion of preferred stock in AIG, which can be converted into common shares. The government holds an 80% stake in the insurer, whose market value is less than $6 billion.


Bloomberg reported today that the Treasury is forming plans to wind down its AIG stake over two years, citing unnamed sources. The process could begin as early as the fourth quarter.


A provision in US Airways' contract with its pilots halted merger talks between the airlines.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 23, 2010 11:36AM

TheStreetAir travel © Christie & Cole/Corbis By Ted Reed, TheStreet


Before US Airways (LCC) ended merger talks with United Airlines’ parent UAL (UAUA) on Thursday, the two airlines had talked for months and agreed on many key issues, including the selection of Glenn Tilton of chief executive of the merged company, say people familiar with the talks.


But United executives were uncomfortable with a change-of-control provision in the US Airways pilots’ contract that would require US Airways to acquire United, say the sources, who could not be named because they were not authorized to speak about the negotiations.


United executives were concerned about US Airways’ ability to assemble the financial resources needed to reward shareholders of United, whose market capitalization is three times larger.


With Apple gunning for Amazon in the reader market, few growth drivers remain to justify Amazon's lofty valuation.

By Jamie Dlugosch Apr 23, 2010 11:29AM

Amazon's Kindle. Credit: APAmazon shares are taking a hit today after a disappointing earning report. The problem, according to this report: The market wanted to see momentum picking up with the economy. Instead, investors see roadblocks.


To my mind, one of the big hurdles is a little Apple (AAPL) product called the iPad. Books are going digital, and Amazon is chasing that market with its Kindle. But more versatile iPad, which does a lot more than read books, threatens to become a category killer.

To me, Amazon’s (AMZN) decision to begin selling Kindle at Target beginning this Sunday is proof that it smells the danger. But can it fight back?


For 40 years I've tried to find the ideal investment strategy. Five years ago I put it to the test.

By Jim Van Meerten Apr 23, 2010 10:59AM
About five years ago -- after 35 years of investing in stocks, mutual funds, closed end funds and ETFs rated top picks by others -- I decided I could do a better job myself.

I was reading Forbes magazine's "Best of the Web" and decided to take their recommendations. In that issue they recommended Marketocracy as one of the top stock market simulation games and Barchart as one of the easiest stock screeners to use.

Soon my funds were getting green stars from Marketocracy, meaning that they were beating at least 75% of the other 100,000 plus portfolios rated by Marketocracy. I begin asking questions in the forums and found the M100 guys -- those top 100 out of more than 100,000 -- to be very honest and giving of their time. 

MLB.TV is partnering with SNE to bring live out-of-market games directly to your video game console

By InvestorPlace Apr 23, 2010 7:29AM

sony sne baseball on playstation 3There’s a new chapter this week in the constant quest to make video game consoles about more than just video games: Sony (SNE) is rolling out technology that will stream Major League Baseball games live, directly to your PlayStation 3.


Sony and Major League Baseball are joining to offer out-of-market baseball games, streamed live to anyone who owns a PS3. Rumors have been circulating for a while that Microsoft (MSFT) is courting ESPN stations for access to content via its Xbox 360. But SNE appears to have beaten MSFT to the plate on this one.


The cost of the package for consumers is still unclear. MLB.TV, the league’s own streaming service that offers all 2,430 professional baseball games, charges $99.95 per year or $19.95 per month for its basic service. This is essentially the service that SNE will provide via its PlayStation. Enhanced playback controls and HD access cost extra.


Rising home prices and sales usually follow increased employment, but that's not what's happening now.

By Jim Cramer Apr 23, 2010 7:06AM
Jim Cramer

By Jim Cramer, TheStreet


When you get housing turning -- as we saw Thursday with the most stubborn markets in the country, Sarasota-Bradenton and Palm Beach, up 9 and 8%, when you get Hamptons rentals going up huge (thank you Bloomberg for that), when you get California mortgage foreclosures down gigantically, you begin to get a picture that the so-called shadow inventory is just one more canard that's being knocked down as we talk.


This rebound isn't supposed to be happening. It isn't supposed to happen until employment turns. That's just a given. But it's shifting and it's pretty stark. It's driving a lot of the retailers that sell home-related products (Home Depot (HD), TJX (TJX), Big Lots (BIG), Kohl's (KSS), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Macy's (M), Sears (SHLD)).


Health insurance company targeted policyholders who were diagnosed with breast cancer, federal investigators say.

By Kim Peterson Apr 22, 2010 3:14PM
Health insurance © Don Carstens/JupiterimagesThe best ally the Democrats have in pushing for healthcare reform is turning out to be WellPoint (WLP).

First, the company announced it will raise insurance premiums by as much as 39% -- giving President Barack Obama some solid ammunition in advocating for changes to the healthcare system.

Now, news has emerged that Wellpoint targets policyholders recently diagnosed with breast cancer and looks for some way to drop their accounts. Reuters broke the story Thursday, citing information from federal investigators. 

How to handle McDonald's shares? Holding them for now is a safe bet.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 22, 2010 2:21PM

Jim JubakWhat you want to do about McDonald's (MCD) in the short run -- say, the next six months or so -- depends on how optimistic you are about the economy and the stock markets.

The more optimistic you are, the less reason you have to hold McDonald's. The more you believe that the stock market might stall or correct slightly over the summer, and the more you're worried about economic growth slowing (but not stopping) in the second half, the more you'll want to hang on to your position. (For more on why you might want to hold onto this stock for the long run, see this post).

I fall, frankly, into the more pessimistic second camp. So, I'm going to keep these shares in Jubak's Picks.


Hulu's $10 subscription service could actually happen. . .and as soon as May.

By Money Staff Apr 22, 2010 2:16PM

By Chadwick Matlin, The Big Money


At this rate, whenever Hulu does announce a subscription plan, it’s going to be anticlimactic. Hulu’s CEO, Jason Kilar, has been dropping hints about it for months, and now we have even more detail about what it’s probably going to look like.


The Los Angeles Times is reporting that by late May Hulu is going to charge $10 bucks a month for the privilege of watching old videos. If you don’t pay the $10, you’ll still be able to watch the last five episodes of current shows, but nothing beyond that. No word on whether subscribers will still see ads.


Netflix adds 1.7 million subscribers, an 11-year record, sending shares to a new high.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 22, 2010 12:50PM

Netflix DVD. Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Netflix (NFLX) shares reached an all-time high on Thursday, a day after it said it added 1.7 million subscribers in its first quarter, its biggest gain in new users in its 11-year history.


The DVD-by-mail retailer had a stand-out first quarter, increasing earnings 44% to $32.3 million, or 59 cents a share, from $22.4 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. Analysts were calling for earnings of 54 cents a share. Revenue jumped 25% to $493.7 million from $444.5 million.


Netflix ended the quarter with almost 14 million subscribers. The company predicted it would add 1.2 million to 1.5 million subscribers during the quarter.


TM stock has seen a drop recently, and that may continue after a May earnings report and the recent recall

By Louis Navellier Apr 22, 2010 11:36AM

Toyota TM stock pick by louis navellierToyota (TM) has come under fire recently on continued coverage of its brake recall, big incentives to boost TM sales and rumors of a Toyota dividend cut.

Some investors are fleeing this stock like a rat from a sinking ship, while others want to buy Toyota while TM stock is cheap.

So what should you be doing? Well a look at the fundamentals behind Toyota shows that the smart thing to do is park this stock and walk away. Let’s look at some of the facts behind TM stock and what it means for investors:


Fund manager says the No. 2 company in an industry sometimes has more return potential than the market leader.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 22, 2010 9:52AM

TheStreetCrystal ball © Thinkstock/JupiterimagesBy Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet


Susan Kempler, manager of the TIAA-CREF Growth & Income Fund (TIIRX), says stock investors should look past industry leaders and consider companies right behind them, such as generic drugmaker Mylan (MYL) and shipping company UPS (UPS).


The $1.8 billion fund, which has earned five stars from Morningstar (MORN), has returned 6.8% annually during the past five years, better than 97% of its large-cap blend peers. The fund has climbed 8.2% this year, lagging half of its peers. Top holdings include Exxon Mobil (XOM), Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT).


Kempler recently shared some stock picks and investment views with TheStreet.


High priced jeans offer huge margins turbo charging an already big opportunity in the stock of red hot Joe's Jeans.

By Jamie Dlugosch Apr 22, 2010 8:42AM

Shopping for deals © CorbisApple (AAPL) blew away earnings this week and shares road upward. High-end retail, too, has been doing well of late as proof that people are spending money again on the hot stuff -- whether technology or clothing -- they really want.


That bodes well for companies catering to that highly lucrative segment of the market. One of my favorite names with tremendous growth potential right now is Joe’s Jeans (JOEZ). The purveyor of expensive jeans is just beginning to explode.


I discovered the stock last year and recommended shares when the company was trading for only $.67 per share. Since that time the stock has appreciated in value by more than 300% to a current price of $2.76 per share. (I recently made Joe's one of my Top Stocks for 2010)


That 300% appreciation is only the beginning.


Run screaming for the fire exit if you own Netflix stock, because it's about to tumble

By InvestorPlace Apr 22, 2010 7:34AM

By Ed Elfenbein, editor of Crossing Wall Street.

family watching netflix movie on tvLots of folks on Wall Street want to know which stock to buy. Today, I want to look at the absolute worst one to buy. My friends, that stock is Netflix (NFLX).

Now before anyone says that I’m being mean to the company, please bear in mind that I’m not offering a judgment on the managers or the employees. There’s a big difference between a good company and a good stock. Netflix has a business record that anyone should be proud of. The stock, however, is terribly, terribly overpriced.


We're beginning to see the hits these companies are going to take, and it's brutal.

By Jim Cramer Apr 22, 2010 7:03AM
Jim Cramer


By Jim Cramer, TheStreet


You mean health care reform is bad for health care stocks? You mean that they get hurt by it? You mean people will sell them because of it?


That's what I am hearing all over the health care world this week. This is revelation time.

We got all comfortable thinking that there were nothing but winners in the health care world. Instead, we start hearing from everyone that numbers are too high because of the reforms. Abbott (ABT) said that Wednesday and we heard it definitively from Lilly (LLY) on Monday -- 35 cents worth of definitive -- and that's just plain nasty.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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