Get ready for a flood of IPOs
Flood of IPOs land this week

If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Amid the Japan crisis, US dealerships are getting warnings about parts that may be hard to find. And certain colors for new models are off-limits, too. With video updates.

By Kim Peterson Mar 29, 2011 1:30PM
Toyota (TM) dealerships might have a tough time fixing cars as a result of the Japan earthquake.

The company has warned dealers about a shortage of some parts it sends worldwide for repairs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Toyota is already up and running with most replacement parts, but a small fraction -- about 233 -- are in short supply.

That's because those 233 parts are from Japanese suppliers who were hit hard in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Those suppliers won't resume production for at least a month, the Journal reports, and it could be longer. Toyota now says those parts, which include shock absorbers, oil seals, radiator supports and fender parts, are on "controlled allocation."

You wouldn't expect paint to be a problem coming out of the Japan quake, but it is. Chrysler and Ford (F) are running into shortages with specific colors that use pigment from Japanese suppliers.

Post continues after this video analyzing the parts shortage: 

As emerging markets fall back into favor, several funds offer exposure to this growing region.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 29, 2011 10:27AM

Image: Singapore (© Bill Lai/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Many emerging nations got off to a rough start this year as issues such as the political protests sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa and rapidly rising food prices tested investor nerves and drove many traders into the comfort of the developed world.

 

Now, however, as we head into the second quarter, some of these recently unloved countries have begun to fall back into favor. In the weeks ahead, investors may want to keep on their radar ETFs designed to track these nations. In the event that strength continues, they may present attractive investment opportunities.

 

Southeast Asian countries have become an area of focus as investors take cautious steps back into emerging markets. The Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (IDX) and the iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (THD) are two funds that risk-tolerant investors may want to keep a close watch on. Both have staged impressive rallies in recent weeks, recovering back to levels seen prior to their drops early in the year.

 

Phillips-Van Heusen has the strong names and clever management needed to overcome rising raw costs.

By Jim Cramer Mar 29, 2011 9:42AM

the streetjim cramerNike (NKE) cut a wide swath of negativity in the apparel world with its poor quarter. Let's see if Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) can stitch it back.

 

Last night, I spoke with the always fabulous Manny Chirico, who delivered an oh-so-solid quarter in the face of all of the headwinds that felled Nike. But unlike Nike, PVH made some changes to fabric, sourced better -- in less expensive countries than China -- and raised prices for its best stuff, notably Tommy Hilfiger.

 

What happened? Sales went up, but costs held steady. That gave PVH the confidence to raise its guidance for the full year (even though the current quarter wasn't raised because of some one-off promotions) and made me feel that PVH, like VF Corp. (VFC) and Polo Ralph Lauren (RL), is in charge of its destiny.

 

The retailer will begin selling Apple's newest iPad, and investors take notice.

By Kim Peterson Mar 28, 2011 3:59PM
Credit: (© 2011 Apple)
Caption: ipad 2Is RadioShack (RSH) becoming relevant again?

The retailer will start selling the iPad 2 tomorrow -- welcome news for RadioShack investors. The stock jumped more than 5% today to $15.04 on the news.

The iPad 2 will only be available at about 500 RadioShack locations, but hey, that's a start. And it could help shoppers who have looked everywhere for the new device. Even Apple (AAPL) can't keep enough supply on hand, telling online customers to expect a wait of between three and four weeks.

Apple has expanded its distribution channels for the iPad 2. It's already being sold at Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT), and at Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) retail stores. 

Major cinemas have hired lobbyists to ward off a proposed rule requiring them to disclose nutritional secrets of one of their biggest profit generators. With video updates.

By Kim Peterson Mar 28, 2011 1:46PM
A large container of movie theater popcorn can contain 1,000 calories. Add a few hundred more for the "butter" topping.

If theater chains told customers this dirty little secret, sales would fall. Popcorn is one of their biggest profit generators -- a $6 tub costs about 15 cents for ingredients. So cinema operators are fighting proposed rules that would require them to disclose the calories in concession food, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The controversy comes out of the federal healthcare law, which says restaurants with at least 20 locations in the U.S. must come clean about calorie counts, the Times reports. OK, but what does that have to do with the movies? The Food and Drug Administration said it wants to enforce the rule at movie theater concession stands, as well as at grocery stores.

That has struck fear into the hearts of major theater chains like Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) and Cinemark (CNK), which can get up to a third of their revenue from snacks.

Post continues after this video about why theater chains are raising ticket prices: 

A mood of austerity requires some adjustment as Congress and the Obama administration wrangle over spending.

By MSNMoney partner Mar 28, 2011 12:48PM

Image: Washington, D.C. (© Corbis)Wall Street Journal on MSN MoneyBy Joe Light, The Wall Street Journal

 

Just as consumers begin to spend again, some companies are staring down almost certain belt tightening by their biggest customer, the federal government.


As Congress and President Barack Obama continue to wrangle over which federal spending to cut and by how much, companies such as Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and ITT Corp. (ITT) that rely on government contracts for large portions of their business are dialing back expectations or developing contingency plans should some funding fall through.


"There's no question that we're going to see austerity. What's not at all clear is what that austerity will look like," said Stan Soloway, the chief executive of the Professional Services Council, a trade association for the government-services sector.


In the 2010 fiscal year, federal agencies spent $535 billion on contractors, down from $550 billion the year before, the first drop in more than a decade, the Office of Management and Budget said last month. In March 2009, the Obama administration set a goal to cut $40 billion in contract spending annually by 2011.

 

The BlackBerry maker is falling painfully behind as the market for wireless devices moves toward an application-driven format.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 28, 2011 12:46PM

By Ali Meshkati, TheStreet

 

To keep your head in the financial markets, you must realize when situations are obvious to most investors. Case in point: Research In Motion (RIMM).

 

The maker of the popular but increasingly outdated BlackBerry line of phones is becoming painfully irrelevant as wireless devices move toward an application-driven format.

 

RIM has been slow to react to the lightning pace of technology evolution. This has cost RIM about $60 billion in market cap over the past two and a half years. More importantly, it may have cost it the opportunity to recover customers who have switched to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone or a Google (GOOG) Android device.

 

Investors who want an international portfolio but are daunted by world tensions should consider these 2 funds.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 28, 2011 12:33PM

Image: Mutual funds (© ThinkStock/SuperStock)By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreet

 

With markets disrupted by unsettling news from Japan and the Middle East, should you dump your foreign funds and bring assets back to the U.S.?

 

That's a hard question. If you don't feel equipped to decide, consider buying global funds. They pick stocks anywhere in the world. With a global fund, you can rely on a professional portfolio manager to set the allocation for each country.

 

Top managers have proved adept at deciding what to overweight. In recent years, many managers have emphasized hot emerging markets and avoided sluggish areas such as Japan. As a result, the funds have been able to consistently outdo their benchmarks. During the past 15 years, world stock funds have returned 7.0% annually, outpacing the MSCI World benchmark by 3 percentage points, according to Morningstar.

 

Keep an eye on funds in Egypt, Japan, energy and agriculture.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 28, 2011 11:12AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1.    Market Vectors Egypt ETF (EGPT)

 

The Egypt ETF has been one of the more interesting funds to watch this year. In late January, the nation's markets were closed because of sweeping political protests. With the stock market halted, share creation in EGPT was halted as well. With no new shares coming to market, the fund essentially became a closed-end fund. EGPT separated from its underlying index and a massive premium developed.

 

In the middle of last week, this premium was largely wiped out when share creation restarted, after the Egyptian stock market reopened. The fund has had some rocky sessions as it has reverted back to its underlying index. It will be interesting to see how it holds up this week.

 

Local microbrews and wines are available at several locations, with more to follow.

By InvestorPlace Mar 28, 2011 10:38AM
Image: Wineglass (© Stockbyte/Photolibrary)

investorplace logoWhole Foods Market (WFMI) is know for its local veggies and meats and has become a grocery powerhouse by focusing on high-quality foods that are good for you, even if they are a bit pricey.


It’s no shock that Whole Foods is building on this image by constantly expanding its lineup of products. But what may surprise you is that the next area of growth appears to be in the bartending business.


The retailer recently opened Bar Lamar in its flagship store in Austin, Texas, serving up locally produced wine and microbrews to thirsty shoppers. And it apparently was such a hit that several other locations quickly followed, with more than a dozen more stores building out their bars as we speak for a broader test.


So where are these Whole Foods beer and wine vendors?

 

Expect the market to pause as the quarter ends.

By Jamie Dlugosch Mar 28, 2011 9:36AM

The market had a very nice recovery rally last week. The S&P 500 recouped losses from the prior week with nearly a 3% gain for the week.

 

External disturbances abated, and investors looked to stocks for potential growth. The bet for sure is that the U.S. and global economies are on much better footing and likely to perform well over the next two years.

 

Noted investor Laszlo Birinyi was quoted last week as saying the bull run is only half complete. That is logical, considering the average bull market lasts four years and we are only two years from the bottom of the market.

 

I’m a bit more cautious in the short term. As such, the ETF pick to click this week is the ProShares Credit Suisse 130/30 (CSM). The ETF provides exposure to stocks but with its short position provides protection in the event of a short-term correction.

 
Tags: etf

While AT&T deals with its T-Mobile acquisition, Verizon will get a free ride competing against 2 distracted rivals.

By Jim Cramer Mar 28, 2011 9:10AM

jim cramer of thestreetthestreetAnd the winner of the cellphone wars? It just might be Verizon (VZ). Hear me out on this.

 

I think the AT&T (T) move is brilliant, just brilliant. It has the two key constituencies in this country behind it: the unions, because the Communications Workers of America will support it, as they can unionize T-Mobile (AT&T is unionized), and the president, because the company has pledged to help the poor get cell service. That's game, set and match.

 

Once AT&T merges with T-Mobile, there will be very little incentive to cut prices, because the market will lose the deep-pocketed competitor. The other competitor, Sprint Nextel (S), needs to raise a lot of money to build out its network, and unless AT&T is told to subsidize Clearwire's (CLWR) build-out, which would help Sprint, then Sprint will not be as competitive.

 

Now, I like AT&T. Very much. Think it is terrific. Aggressive. Smart.

 

Sometimes the numbers won't tell you what a company's future is. In Apple, the answer is beyond the numbers.

By Jim Van Meerten Mar 26, 2011 4:47PM
Apple (APPL) reminds me of the kid everyone voted for in high school as valedictorian or most likely to succeed.  Those awards always seemed to be the kiss of death. That poor kid was all things to all people, and there was no way he or she could live up to the expectations.

Similarly, Apple is every one's darling. It's the most rated stock on Motley Fool, my barometer for general investor interest and sentiment, and one of the most widely followed stocks on Wall Street.

I hope you aren't looking to me to tell you what to do. This post is based on my memories of "Dragnet." When a witness would ramble on with all sorts of unrelated opinions, Joe Friday would say, "Just the facts, Ma'am."

That's what I'm going to attempt, just the facts. 

Nothing defined Alan Greenspan's tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank more than his wholehearted embrace of capitalism.

By V.N. Katsenelson Mar 25, 2011 2:25PM
By Vitaliy N. Katsenelson
There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen… the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil. –Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

Nothing defined Alan Greenspan's tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank more than his wholehearted embrace of capitalism. With early roots in his 30-year association with the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, that faith grew into an unconstrained confidence in the free market and deregulation to steer the economy and ward off crises.


According to a current Fed governor, however, both Greenspan’s Fed and the Fed today have not been the stalwarts of capitalism that the Maestro believed them to be.

 

The coffee giant expects sales from food stores and retail outlets to rival revenues from its coffee operations.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 25, 2011 2:08PM

By Miriam Marcus Reimer, TheStreet

 

Starbucks (SBUX) worked to hold on to the week's gains Friday after the coffee giant said Wednesday that it expects sales of its coffee and other products at grocery stores and retail outlets to one day rival its traditional coffee shop business -- meaning the operating segment would grow more than tenfold from its 2010 results.

 

On March 23 at Starbucks' annual shareholder meeting in Seattle, CEO Howard Schultz promised investors huge growth in the company's grocery business, less than a month after Starbucks' 12-year arrangement with Kraft Foods (KFT) ended.

 

Starbucks shares were trading 1% lower at $37.21 Friday afternoon, working to hold on to gains of 5% on Wednesday and 2.4% on Thursday.

 

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