Image: Bank Vault (© Corbis/Corbis)
Up next: Biggest bank IPO ever

It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

These funds will give you a stake in other great tech names as well.

By InvestorPlace Jan 31, 2012 11:43AM
 Christian Zachariasen/JupiterimagesBy Will Ashworth, InvestorPlace.com


How can you tell that exchange-traded funds, despite their rise in popularity, have a long way to go to catch mutual funds? Check out the number of ETFs with Microsoft (MSFT) as a top 10 holding compared with mutual funds. According to Morningstar, 66 ETFs count the tech giant among their top holdings, compared with 2,416 mutual funds. Clearly, a lot of portfolio managers feel Microsoft is a necessary component of any portfolio.


If you're thinking about owning Microsoft stock, why not contemplate an ETF instead. You'll get a stake in Microsoft as well as some other great tech companies. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, and MSN Money site.)

 

With low valuations and no debt, this drug maker earn top scores in a Ben Graham value screen.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 31, 2012 11:29AM
 Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesBy John Reese, Validea

We select stocks based on a variety of screens that are each based on the investment strategy of long-standing "legendary" investors.

Forest Laboratories (FRX) scores a 100% rating in our Value Investor screen that is based on Benjamin Graham. The company develops ethical drug products; its principal products include Lexapro, Namenda, Bystolic, Savella and Teflaro. 
Tags: FRX

Can the social-media giant generate the kind of outsized growth that investors expect?

By The Fiscal Times Jan 31, 2012 11:21AM
Facebook IPOBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

At last, the IPO the investment world has been awaiting with varying degrees of impatience appears likely to make its debut. And if those who have had an early peek at Facebook's pending IPO filing are right, the deal could value the social networking giant at $100 billion -- more than four times the valuation that Google (GOOG) commanded when it went public not quite a decade ago.

But while there will be a lot of buzz surrounding Facebook as the road show gets under way and eager investment bankers talk up the company's unparalleled ability to bring people together -- have dinner, organize a high school reunion, plan a revolution in the Middle East -- it's important not to forget that what is more important than where Facebook has been is where it is going next.

 

Earnings surprises translate into price appreciation.

By Zacks.com Jan 31, 2012 10:27AM

UpperCut Images/UpperCut Images/Getty ImagesBy Brian Bolan

 

Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) sees earnings surprises translate into price appreciation. With estimates moving higher, this stock is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

 

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. provides bankcard payment processing services. It facilitates the exchange of information and funds between merchants and cardholder's financial institutions and offers electronic payment processing services to merchants.

 
Tags: HPY

Despite a tough economy, the managed-care industry leader continues to gain members and boost profits.

By Gene Marcial Jan 31, 2012 9:43AM
Andersen Ross/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesManaged-care companies aren't on Wall Street's favored list, so shares of the group remain on the ropes. Even industry leader UnitedHealth Group (UNH), which hit a 52-week high of $54 a share on Jan. 18, has been under pressure. The stock slipped to $50 on Jan. 26.

 

Even so, some investment pros see the stock's slippage as an opportunity to buy more shares. Some bulls see the stock, which had climbed to an all-time high of $63 in 2005, hitting $65 or more in 2012.

 
Tags: UNH

Social media will steal the spotlight this weekend.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 30, 2012 6:00PM
By Sean Williams

 

The Super Bowl is the mecca of all holidays for me. OK, so it's not an actual holiday, but you couldn't drag me out of my house kicking and screaming if the Super Bowl is on TV.

 

It's also the mecca of all days for networking company NBC, owned by Comcast (CMCSA), because it will be raking in an average of $3.5 million per 30 seconds for the rights to advertise during the Super Bowl. Advertising prices have risen 50% in just the past 10 years, and ads are expected to generate in the neighborhood of $250 million just from this one game.

 

U.S. clearance is a major milestone, but Bydureon faces stiff competition from its fast-selling rival.

By Minyanville Jan 30, 2012 5:22PM
Image: Insurance Money (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)By Brett Chase

Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) climbed Monday after the biotech company won U.S. approval of its Bydureon diabetes drug.

Amylin shares rose over 17% to close at $14.26. The company's development partner, Alkermes (ALKS), didn't fare as well, ending the day slightly down. 
Tags: AMLNLLY

Global fundamentals suggest that this will not be a repeat of 2011's flame-out.

By Jim Cramer Jan 30, 2012 3:37PM

A year ago, we took off like a bat out of hell, and then we ran smack into what can only be called a bear market. We had the industrials crater, the banks give it up and the oils get crushed because of European woes, the latter being a total oddity, because oil never came in. The techs were awful, led by a faltering semiconductor group with a contagion that spread everywhere except for Apple (AAPL).

 

Once again, we have taken off with great gusto, the best rally since 1997, and it has been across the board, with the financials and techs leading the way and the industrials, such as Caterpillar (CAT) and Honeywell (HON), not that far behind.

 

A substantial number of subscribers are shifting from hybrid service to streaming only.

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 2:42PM
Image: Watching television (© Frare/Davis Photography/Brand X/Corbis)Netflix (NFLX) recently released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 results. As the company returned to growth in terms of net unique subscribers, the stock jumped significantly. We have raised our fair value for Netflix to $133, which now stands at a premium of about 15% to the market price.

The earnings highlighted a couple of things -- Netflix is back on growth track and DVD subscribers continue to decline substantially. A little confusing? The point is that customers are not leaving Netflix as much as before and a substantial decline is coming from subscribers dropping hybrid service and moving to streaming only.  

The world's leading aluminum producer is focusing on building high-quality engineered products that boost margins.

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 2:19PM
Image: Man checking car tire pressure © Tetra Images/Tetra images/Getty ImagesAlcoa (AA) is a business that is highly susceptible to global economic conditions. Decline in aluminum demand led to a fall in spot prices in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Consequently, the market has been quite harsh on the company's stock, pushing it down into single digits.  
Tags: AARIO

These master limited partnerships offer an average yield of 5.6%.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 30, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Elevated view of freight cars with coal © Joseph Sohm-Visions of America/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Stephen Leeb, The Complete Investor

In my view, master limited partnerships (MLPs) are probably the best hedge against rising energy prices.

Three favorites are Penn Virginia Resource Partners (PVR), ONEOK Partners (OKS), and Plains All American Pipeline (PAA). 

BlackRock says fast-growing economies could decouple as the developed world struggles, but a global recession is still possible.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 30, 2012 1:33PM
financial predictionBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

 Do you feel lucky this year? 

If so, you might want to bet on the optimistic side of the theoretical coin toss that the strategy team at BlackRock Investment Institute proposed in its investment outlook analysis, The Year of Living Divergently.  

Commercial aviation business wins new orders, while defense business looks resilient despite US government cuts.

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 12:42PM
Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)Boeing's (BA) 2011 fourth-quarter earnings, announced last week, have given investors cause for cheer. The aerospace company's fundamentals are quite strong and it's poised for solid gains in 2012, in our view.

Boeing tackled the uncertainties of global economic growth, defense budget pressures and contraction in cargo volumes in an admirable way.  

A Fox reporter says the social network is furious over Morgan Stanley's claims of trumping Goldman Sachs as the lead underwriter.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 30, 2012 12:08PM
As the frenzy leading up to Facebook's initial public offering heats up, a rumor is rumbling that the social network is angry with Morgan Stanley (MS).

According to Fox business reporter Charlie Gasparino, Facebook is upset that the bank was allegedly blabbing that it was close to securing the lead underwriting role in the social network's much-anticipated IPO, a spot that many pundits figured would go to rival Goldman Sachs (GS). Gasparino isn't revealing his source, and a spokesman for Morgan Stanley couldn't be be reached. 
Tags: GS

Goldman upgrades Citigroup and Morgan Stanley but downgrades Bank of America and JP Morgan.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 30, 2012 11:56AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Citigroup (C) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Zimmer (ZMH) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
  • AutoZone (AZO) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities
  • Regeneron (REGN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • Motorola Solutions (MSI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
 

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.

123
123 rated 1
266
266 rated 2
485
485 rated 3
660
660 rated 4
586
586 rated 5
652
652 rated 6
640
640 rated 7
504
504 rated 8
289
289 rated 9
159
159 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
TAT&T Inc9
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS8
CTLCENTURYLINK Inc8
EXCEXELON CORPORATION8
AAPLAPPLE Inc10
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 finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


Currencies

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