A stock market graph trending down © jmiks/Getty Images
Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

US employees could get the same chance that UK staffers have to share in the company's success.

By InvestorPlace Dec 20, 2010 10:50AM

Credit: (© Michael Conroy/AP)
Caption: Customer in a Starbucks storeBy Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com


After a rough few years during the financial crisis and subsequent recession, Starbucks (SBUX) has been piping hot in 2010. Thanks to an innovative new line of Via instant coffee, a push into retail grocery sales and a number of successful promotions (including Starbucks' free holiday drink offer), the coffee giant is definitely on the upswing.


And it appears Starbucks is willing to share that success with workers in the new year via company stock. Not a bad Christmas present, considering SBUX is up 43% in 2010 -- about three times the broader stock market. 

 

Funds tracking commercial real estate and retail are likely to be active.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 20, 2010 10:41AM

Tools for your stock portfolio © CorbisBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT)

Retail has been an exciting region of the market to watch this holiday season. As we head into the final stretch, malls will likely be packed with shoppers seeking last-minute gifts.

 

The anticipation of the holidays will make XRT an interesting fund to watch. The fund could also see some earnings-related action. Throughout the middle of the week, index constituents including Carmax (KMX), Finish Line (FINL) and Walgreens (WAG) are scheduled to release their most recent quarterly earnings reports.

 

With the dollar deflated, major US brands are cheaper than ever -- and forward-thinking foreign companies realize it.

By Jim Cramer Dec 20, 2010 9:58AM

more investing tips and stock picks from jim cramer at thestreetNews flash: These minuscule moves in the euro-dollar trade are no longer what matter, as much as underperforming hedge funds like to call media thought-provokers and make it seem that way.

 

What matters is that some Brazilian meat producer no one has ever heard of wants to buy Sara Lee (SLE), despite how poorly it is run -- if it is run at all.

 

Why is this so important? Because Sara Lee is also Kimberly-Clark (KMB), which is also Clorox (CLX), which is also Heinz (HNZ), which is also Kellogg (K) -- big brands that need better homes than they have. And they can be bought because the dollar is weak and the people who don't think small want these brands as a way to move beyond their home markets.

 

Keep a neutral to slightly negative bias as we march toward 2011.

By Jamie Dlugosch Dec 19, 2010 6:17PM

Right idea, horrible execution as the market began its annual winding down of the year with slower volume and disinterested trade.

 

The market closed up fractionally. Within that construct my ETF picks ended up dropping ¾ of a percent. What happened?

 

Sometimes no matter how right your predictions Mr. Market can manage to punish even if you are trying to be conservative as I was last week. The loss can be solely attributed to big losses in China last week.

 

That won’t happen again. We’ll jettison that pick in favor of the SPDR Regional Bank ETF (KRE) as I keep a market neutral portfolio heading toward the end of the year.

 
Tags: oil

Broad measures of U.S. industrial production keep improving, but some stocks in the sector stand out above others

By John Reese Dec 17, 2010 6:37PM

As the U.S.'s recovery from the "Great Recession" has progressed, one big driver of the turnaround has been the industrial and manufacturing arena. Industrial production rose in November by 0.4%, according to a new Federal Reserve report, marking the 15th time in 17 months that production has increased. And since bottoming in July 2009, the manufacturing sector has expanded for 16 straight months, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

 

As a result, industrial and manufacturing stocks -- which were hammered during the recession and bear market -- have outpaced the broader market since the March 2009 low. But, just as there's still slack in U.S. production, so too are there still bargains in the industrial and manufacturing areas. And, with government stimulus continuing to flow into the economy, consumers regaining some of their confidence, and companies having cut a lot of fat during the downturn, some of these stocks are in good position to continue rebounding.

 

Keep in mind, however, that as we get deeper into the recovery, the rising tide that may have lifted a lot of industrial/manufacturing-type stocks should lessen, and investors will likely become more discriminating about which of these stocks they buy. That means you better pay attention to fundamentals on a stock-by-stock basis. With that in mind, I recently used my Guru Strategies, each of which is based on the approach of a different investing great, to uncover some of the industrials and manufacturers that have the best fundamentals. Here's a sampling of what I found. 

 

 

Potash of Saskatchewan thinks a 5% increase in grain production is needed in 2011 to keep up with consumption.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 17, 2010 6:08PM
Jim Jubak
Potash of Saskatchewan (POT), a stock in my Jubak Picks 50 portfolio, offered a modestly optimistic view on potash fertilizer demand for 2011 -- and a very bullish view for global agriculture -- in a presentation Wednesday at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Industries conference.

Potash first.

The company affirmed its guidance for 2011 of sales of 9.3 million metric tons. Working backward from Potash's share of the global market, that puts total global demand roughly at the low end of Merrill's projected 55 to 60 million metric tons in 2011.
 

Profit from Moody's recent downgrade of Ireland.

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Dec 17, 2010 5:43PM

Written by Douglas Estadt


Moody’s (MCO) downgraded Ireland Friday, which resulted in a mad rush to buy U.S. Treasuries. This reaction is startling due to the fact that the term PIIGS (describing doomed European countries) has been tossed around for some time.  


PIIGS is an acronym describing the struggling economies of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

 
Tags: etf

One firm has been killed on its short position, but it's sticking to its guns.

By Kim Peterson Dec 17, 2010 2:48PM
Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Netflix DVDNetflix (NFLX) has some dedicated bears, and fund manager Whitney Tilson is one of them. So far, shorting Netflix has been a disaster of an investment strategy for Tilson -- check out the one-year chart below -- but he's sticking with it.

Tilson, the founder of investment firm T2 Partnerships, even put out a "Why we're short Netflix" presentation Thursday. You can download it here.

Netflix shares are up about 1% Friday to $183; a year ago they were at $53. "We've lost a lot of money betting against Netflix, which is currently our largest bearish bet," the presentation notes. Here are the main reasons Tilson continues to short the stock: 

Airlines turn to fees instead of service to boost profits. Gap slips up by selling 'Made in USA' bags made in China. Starbucks' tormented love-hate relationship with Kraft.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 17, 2010 2:36PM

TheStreetTheStreet.com on MSN MoneyHere's our weekly roundup of the dumbest news in business.

 

5. High-flying airline fees

According to a report released Monday from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. airlines collected about $4.3 billion in fee revenue during the first three quarters of 2010. That's $4.3 billion in fees added to the coffers without airlines having to improve service. It's roughly equivalent to the industry's anticipated total profits for the year.

 

The investor has a considerable interest in the company, which expects growth in its core business next year.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 17, 2010 12:48PM

Warren Buffett. Image credit: © Chip East/ReutersBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

General Electric (GE) looks promising. Upward action from this U.S.-based conglomerate will mean a nice payday for investors in 2011.

 

This week, GE CEO Jeff Immelt provided an optimistic forecast. In comments made to investors during the company's annual meeting, he explained that, though demanding, the steps taken after the global economic crisis have helped GE get back on track. He expects core businesses to grow in 2011.

 

Immelt pointed to China as a promising region for the company in the new year, saying the company expects to see high-double-digit growth.

 

After blowout reports from Oracle, RIM and Accenture, stock futures should be roaring today.

By Jim Cramer Dec 17, 2010 9:43AM

more stock market commentary and investing tips from jim cramerI don't like days when futures are up huge early and then we get a total slam-down, which seems to have happened nearly every time stock futures have risen abruptly in 2010.

 

Yet today they should be up. Having just read through the conference call and post-analyst notes on Oracle (ORCL), Research In Motion (RIMM) and Accenture (ACN), I am astounded at how these companies are doing.

 

"Everyone" knew that Oracle was doing well, but the growth the company is talking about is the kind you would expect from a much younger company. I am continually surprised when I read a call like that by how many companies don't already have Oracle or database management software. Or that so many are obviously not thinking of Salesforce.com (CRM).

 

While the big-box discounter is not a deeply discounted stock, it has goodness at its core.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 17, 2010 9:09AM

Green investing © Bob Jacobson/CorbisFool analyst Alyce Lomax believes it's perfectly possible to aim for above-average returns and social dividends when investing. If you agree, you might want to follow her socially responsible portfolio.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor

 

Believe it or not, a warehouse retailer with fluorescent lights and concrete floors has social responsibility at its heart. This month's pick for my socially responsible portfolio is Costco (COST).

 

A broad fund may be the best way to play a rocky period for the airline industry in 2011.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 16, 2010 4:19PM

Airline stocks © Christie & Cole/Corbis By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Analysts and market commentators had their sights set on FedEx (FDX) this week as the delivery company and economic bellwether missed earnings expectations for the most recent three-month period. 

 

After an early dip, however, FedEx shares bounced back, rising more than 2% to $94.36 in afternoon trading. The report came just days after FedEx announced that Dec. 13 was its busiest day ever in terms of deliveries, when it reportedly carried 16 million packages.

 

Any good news from FedEx bodes well for transportation heading into the new year. However, investing in the industry may prove tricky in 2011. Ultimately, the best way investors can take a long-term approach to this sector is through a broadly focused ETF such as the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT).

 

The mining-equipment maker beats expectations and raises guidance.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 16, 2010 4:08PM
Jim JubakJoy Global (JOYG) beat expectations by 23 cents a share in its fourth quarter, reporting quarterly earnings of $1.39 a share Wednesday. Revenue of $1.05 billion, up 9% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, beat projections of $920 million.

Moving to the world of "That’s nice, but what have you done for me lately?" the mining-equipment maker raised earnings guidance for the fiscal year ending in October 2011 to $5 to $5.30 per share, up from the previous guidance of $4.10 to $4.15. (The Wall Street consensus was at $4.79 before the report.) Joy Global raised its revenue to $3.9 billion to $4.1 billion from its previous projection of $3.86 billion.

Frankly, that guidance still sounds conservative to me. Bookings in the fourth quarter grew by 48%, and the order backlog climbed to $1.8 billion from $1.5 billion as of October 30, 2009.
 

Everyone's ditching bonds and their pitiful yields. So what should you do with your portfolio?

By Kim Peterson Dec 16, 2010 2:52PM
Smart ways to start investing © Creatas / PictureQuest For two years now, investors couldn't get enough of bonds, seeking them out as a haven from the ups and downs of stocks.

But that's all changed. Now investors are fleeing bonds, shaking their heads at 2% returns. It's time to go for the big bucks, apparently. About $400 million flowed out of taxable bond funds (on a net basis) during the first week of December, MarketWatch reports.

Some of that might be year-end profit taking, but bonds are clearly falling out of favor. OK, so what does that mean for your portfolios? Don't follow the trend and ditch bonds -- they should still be a big part of your investing strategy. 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

113
113 rated 1
268
268 rated 2
422
422 rated 3
632
632 rated 4
512
512 rated 5
518
518 rated 6
682
682 rated 7
523
523 rated 8
343
343 rated 9
124
124 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
KOGKODIAK OIL & GAS Corp10
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
TAT&T Inc9
DVNDEVON ENERGY CORPORATION9
EOGEOG RESOURCES Inc9
More

Trending NOW

What’s this?

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.