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The retailer will put kiosks in its Pennsylvania stores by working around strict state laws.

By Kim Peterson Dec 9, 2010 4:52PM

Wine © Stockbyte/PhotolibraryWine bottles from a vending machine? Interesting idea. And Wal-Mart (WMT) is all over this one, at least in parts of Pennsylvania.

The retailer has received a green light from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to put wine kiosks in stores across the state, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

The machines will reportedly have more than 50 varieties of wine. But before you buy, you'll need to swipe your driver's license and puff into a Breathalyzer.

The machines are already drawing some fairly ridiculous concerns, according to CBS Pittsburgh.

 

Copper stocks have soared to 52-week highs. One stock, however, may be the last deal standing.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 9, 2010 4:10PM

JIm JubakIt's not like you you're going sneak up on an undiscovered bargain in a copper mining stock these days. 


Copper has been selling near record highs this year on an anticipated shortfall in supply in 2011 and on increased demand from commodity investors. On Tuesday, copper closed at $4.05 a pound. The close marked a retreat from a new all-time high but was still the highest price for the metal since July 2008. 


And copper stocks such as Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) and Southern Copper (SCCO) have responded by moving up to 52-week highs.

 

The maker of Tide and Olay finds daytime dramas no longer the best place to reach women.

By Kim Peterson Dec 9, 2010 3:07PM
Credit: (© Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Caption: Twitter homepageProcter & Gamble (PG) produced 20 soap operas over the decades, thinking that daytime drama was the best place to advertise detergent and skin cream. No more.

The company is done with soap operas after its last one, "As the World Turns," whimpered to a finish in September, losing two-thirds of its audience over the years, The Associated Press reports.

Women aren't chained to the ironing board anymore, and P&G has changed its media focus to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Although the company still buys some commercial spots on daytime soaps, it has backed off of production. 

This nimble niche player is riding the smart-phone wave.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 9, 2010 1:38PM
There are growth investors, and there are value investors. And then there are the GARPers -- those in the middle looking for "growth at a reasonable price." Foolish tech specialist Eric Bleeker believes he's found a candidate in Cirrus Logic

  

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor

 

Investors looking for growth at a reasonable price seem to be finding fewer opportunities these days, especially in the tech world. However, one continuing trend -- the growth of smartphones -- is presenting fantastic opportunities. Chief among these is audio products whiz kid Cirrus Logic (CRUS).

 

Funds focusing on consumers in developing nations may be among the key investments 'of our lifetime.'

By TheStreet Staff Dec 9, 2010 1:26PM

Tools for your stock portfolio © CorbisBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Emerging-market ETFs continue to be wildly attractive options for investors seeking growth opportunities outside of the United States.

 

Evidence of the developing world's popularity can be seen in November's flow data compiled by the Nation Stock Exchange. During the month, the Vanguard Emerging Market ETF (VWO) scored the No. 1 position among all exchange-traded products, pulling in $1.7 billion.

 

This week, Jim O'Neill, the man responsible for making the BRIC acronym a household word within the investing world, offered a promising forecast for this quartet and other emerging markets. In an interview with Bloomberg, O'Neill fingered emerging-market consumers as a key investment "of our lifetime."

 

The satellite radio service renews its contract with host Howard Stern, and investors reward the move.

By Kim Peterson Dec 9, 2010 1:11PM
Credit: (© Evan Agostini/AP)
Caption: Howare SternAfter making a lot of noise about ditching Sirius XM (SIRI), radio shock jock Howard Sternnow says he's staying. Guess it's hard to turn down hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sirius confirmed that it signed a new five-year contract with Stern and said Stern's programs will go to mobile devices for the first time. Sirius investors were pleased, pushing up shares more than 6% Thursday to $1.40 in midday trading.

Stern's original five-year, $500 million contract was set to expire in less than a month. We still don't know how much the new deal is worth -- both sides aren't saying. 

Semiconductor-maker ASML has boosted guidance across the board. Given its diverse clientele, this is huge for the sector.

By Jim Cramer Dec 9, 2010 10:07AM

stock picks and insights from jim cramerWhen ASML (ASML) moves, when it says things are good, that ends the debate in semiconductor land. ASML has spoken, and it has spoken loudly: It's lifting guidance for orders across the board, for just about all important equipment, including flash, memory and logic chips.

 

The stock has led a semiconductor jailbreak over in Europe, moving up 8% and taking every stock along with it.

 

As someone who's extremely bullish on semiconductors, I would have been happy just hearing how companies that make chips for Apple (AAPL) are strong. But ASML makes products that give you a read on companies as varied as SanDisk (SNDK), Micron (MU), Broadcom (BRCM), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Nvidia (NVDA) and all the rest of the gang.

 

MarketWatch gives the Apple chief the award, citing Jobs' revolutionary leadership and drive.

By Kim Peterson Dec 8, 2010 4:22PM
Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Apple CEO Steve JobsForget the award for CEO of the year. Too easy. How about CEO of the decade? MarketWatch hands that title to none other than Steve Jobs of Apple (AAPL).

"Steve Jobs is known as both mercurial and visionary, part rock-star CEO and part master salesman, a meticulous micromanager who can drive his employees to distraction -- and one of the most important figures in American industry in the past half-century," writes Russ Britt.

It's hard to argue with his choice, even though Apple shares were in the basement for the full first half of the decade in question. But what a remarkable climb they started in 2006, eventually making Apple the single most important company in the sector, with a market cap of $294 billion. 

One powerful senator is reportedly trying to legalize online poker as part of the tax-cut deal.

By Kim Peterson Dec 8, 2010 1:49PM

Gambling © Jamie Grill/PhotolibraryWe've heard plenty about this messy tax-cut compromise that President Barack Obama and Republicans have been negotiating. But in the middle of this is an effort by Sen. Harry Reid to legalize online poker, Politico reports.

The Nevada Democrat is trying to get support for tucking the online poker legislation into the deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts. Politico even obtained a draft of the online poker bill.

Reid's bill says Internet gambling sites must be licensed in order to operate. The bill has big implications for companies like MGM Resorts International (MGM), which -- ahem -- contributed $192,000 to Reid's re-election campaign, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN).

 

Analysis: A very rare combination of market factors is in the works. Fortunately, playing this move is really easy.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 8, 2010 1:14PM

Oil © Scott Gibson/CorbisBy Daniel Dicker, TheStreet

 

Oil is looking like an unstoppable beast, recently trading above $90 a barrel. But there are three market factors telling me that this move is not temporary and will set the stage for a powerful follow-though, sending oil above $100 a barrel by the second quarter of 2011.

 

Now is the time to buy integrated oil stocks, still the best proxy for crude prices, despite how far many of them have run already in the past two months.

 

One rare market factor convincing me of the strength of this move is the action of the European Brent crude benchmark. While Brent is a sweet grade of crude, like the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate, it normally trades at a discount to its American counterpart.

 

The company partners with Disney to deliver TV programs, but its shares stall on news of CFO Barry McCarthy's departure.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 8, 2010 1:14PM

thestreetCredit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Netflix DVDBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Netflix (NFLX) announced on Wednesday that it will stream ABC television shows.

 

The Internet movie company entered into an agreement with Walt Disney (DIS) that will allow subscribers to access hundreds of episodes from ABC, Disney Channel and ABC Family 15 days after the show airs.

 

As part of the deal, Netflix will add old episodes of shows including "Grey's Anatomy," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Desperate Housewives." It will also make available episodes of series no longer on the air, such as "Lost" and "Ugly Betty."

 

Rising inflation expectations and strengthening economic fundamentals are causing investors to flee these popular assets.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Dec 8, 2010 1:00PM

In my last post I highlighted how investors are moving out of haven assets and into riskier securities. This comes as the economy revs up again, pushing inflation expectations higher.

 

This is forcing investors to up the scale of risk from U.S. Treasury bonds to investment-trade corporate bonds to junk bonds to large-cap stocks and eventually to small-cap stocks. Even gold, which is considered an inflation hedge, is coming under pressure as investors seek assets with both inflation protection and exposure to the economic recovery. Stocks offer that. Gold and bonds don't.

 

All of this has created an opportunity to profit from the decline of two of the most popular asset classes of the past two years: precious metals and bonds. Here's why.

 

Mr. Market is pricing the optical media maker to move.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 8, 2010 12:51PM

Unloved and ignored, it's something you might want to take a chance on. But enough about me: Here's Dan Dzombak with the story of an extremely undervalued stock.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor

 

I'm excited to recommend and open a position in Imation (IMN).

 

The business
Imation is a global developer and marketer of recordable optical media, magnetic tape media, flash products, and consumer electronics. It operates under the Memorex, Imation, TDK Life, and XtremeMac brands. At some point in your life, you've probably bought CD-R's, DVD-R's, or a flash drive of theirs. The company was spun off from 3M (MMM) in 1996 and has been a standalone entity ever since.

 

These blue chips have delivered the year's biggest gains, and they could continue to thrive in 2011.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 8, 2010 11:26AM

Find hot stocks © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesBy Jake Lynch, TheStreet

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), an index of the 30 largest publicly traded U.S. companies, has advanced 7.8% this year, lagging behind the S&P 500 Index ($INX) and Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX).

 

Still, several of its members have delivered outstanding gains, with less risk and volatility than small- and mid-cap stocks.

 

Here are the five best-performing Dow dividend stocks of 2010. They may continue to outperform the broader market in 2011. Below, the stocks are ordered by year-to-date return, from good to great:

 

Turns out the president's 'compromise' with the GOP is just a messy framework that leaves us in limbo.

By Jim Cramer Dec 8, 2010 9:49AM

more market commentary and stock picks from jim cramerWhat were we thinking? That's kind of how I felt getting up this morning. Did we really think President Barack Obama had any party -- his or theirs -- locked up with this "deal"? Did we really think that there wouldn't be dithering and horse trading and delay, delay, delay?

 

The answer is that "we" were those who believed the president represented his party. Judging by the sell-off after his press conference, those who believed joined those who didn't as we watched a president who doesn't have the juice to get this deal done, at least not within the time frame the market demands right now. Certainly not within the time frame needed to offset worries about further Chinese tightening -- something we'd better get used to, because it is going to happen fairly often until China re-creates a soft-landing scenario.

 

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  • Precious metals began pit trade in the red but rallied sharply into positive territory moments after equity markets opened.
  • June gold brushed a session low of $1268.50 per ounce in early morning action and popped to a session high of $1299.00 per ounce. It then consolidated near the $1290.00 per ounce level and settled with a 0.5% gain at $1290.80 per ounce.
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