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.


Some experts believe the micro-blogging site has a point. Investors aren't worried -- yet.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 11, 2012 5:38PM

Image: Man with laptop (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Google (GOOG) and Twitter are at odds over the search engine giant's plan to offer more personalized results.  


The micro-blogging site, which may go public this year, argues that Google is unfairly promoting its Google+ social network at Twitter's expense through its Google Search Plus Your World feature.  A leading search engine industry observer wrote today that Twitter may have a point.


The country is one of the luxury retailer's key growth drivers, and holiday sales there were disappointing.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 11, 2012 4:45PM
Image: Credit card (© Burke/Triolo Productions/BrandX/Getty Images)Bad news for the entire luxury retail sector from Tiffany & Co. (TIF) Tuesday in the company’s update of holiday sales.

I’d look to cut my short-term exposure to the sector -- and that includes shares of companies such as Coach (COH) that aren’t luxury retailers in the United States but are in their fastest growing market, China.

As of Wednesday, I’m selling Coach out of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio with a gain of 80.47% since I added to that portfolio on Nov. 20, 2009.

After seeing their parents' portfolios get hammered, they're turning to low-risk, low-reward options.

By Kim Peterson Jan 11, 2012 3:04PM
Image: Woman with computer (© Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images/Getty Images)After the market madness of the past few years, it's easy to see why a growing number of Americans want nothing to do with stocks.

But what's particularly striking is that younger investors are steering clear of the market. After watching their parents' fortunes evaporate, they're avoiding equities altogether.

A recent investing survey by MFS Investment Management found that 29% of investors said they would never be comfortable in stocks, Reuters reported. That feeling rose to 52% of investors younger than 31. 

With the eurozone crisis threatening to pull down the US economy, some members of the Federal Reserve are discussing another round of quantitative easing.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 11, 2012 2:57PM

Image: Inflation (© Nick Koudis/Getty Images)We've got problems. A number of structural issues -- from Europe's woes to the federal debt problem to stagnant job growth and still-falling home prices -- will likely push the American economy dangerously close to a new recession in 2012.

Much of Europe and Asia are already there. Indeed, a coalition of Europe's major economic institutions said Wednesday that the eurozone is already in a recession.


It's probably not surprising, then, given the activist nature of our central bank, that the Federal Reserve -- which is already in the midst of Operation Twist to pull down long-term interest rates and has committed to holding short-term rates near zero through 2013 -- is starting to fidget. A chorus of officials have hit the speaking circuit over the past week, talking up the potential for more policy easing.


Natural gas fuels this MLP's attractive dividend growth.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 11, 2012 2:47PM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Carla Pasternak, High-Yield Investing

ONEOK Partners LP (OKS) -- my top income idea for 2012 -- has three major businesses: natural gas gathering and processing, natural gas pipelines, and natural gas liquids (NGLs).  
Tags: OKS

A sharp correction could hit these red-hot stocks soon. Investors who wait to buy should be rewarded.

By Jan 11, 2012 2:39PM
Image: Bank Vault (© Corbis/Corbis)By Tom Aspray,

All of a sudden, regional bank stocks seem to be the flavor of the week, which is not surprising considering they have done so well since the October lows. Though the chart formations suggest that they can move even higher in 2012, now may not be the time to buy.

Most regional banks have a level of strong resistance not far above current levels, which is likely to cause a sharp setback for late buyers. As I have discussed frequently, a poor entry level is the root cause of many losing trades.


The stock has usually traded on subscriber growth and we expect international expansion to generate positive news flow this year.

By Trefis Jan 11, 2012 2:07PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)Netflix's (NFLX) stock took a pleasant turn and gained about 22% in the first trading week of 2012. Investors responded to some positive news items, even though more competition has emerged and a Needham & Co. analyst cut his estimates for 2012.

Netflix primarily competes with streaming services such as those by Amazon Amazon (AMZN) and Dish Network's (DISH) Blockbuster, as well as DVD rental companies such as Redbox. 

Stricter lending requirements have led to a marked improvement in the bank's credit quality.

By Trefis Jan 11, 2012 2:01PM

We have revisited our analysis of Capital One (COF) in light of economic conditions and the company's performance. Capital One is the fifth largest bank in the U.S. and competes with American Express (AXP), Discover Financial (DFS), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

In October, Capital One reported a strong third quarter net income of $865 million, which was up 5.7% from the same period in the prior year, but down 8.5% from the prior quarter (we've excluded income from discontinued operations in our analysis). Our updated price estimate for Capital One of $48 is about 5% ahead of the current market price.


They may look cheap, but don’t let that fool you.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 11, 2012 1:49PM

By Sean Williams


Well, here we are yet again, folks. With Alcoa reporting quarterly results earlier this week, earnings season is officially upon us, which can mean only one thing: Volatility is about to rear its ugly face once again.


I took some time last week to scour the tech sector in the hopes of finding some potential winners and losers for the first-quarter of 2012. What I found was a disturbing number of potential losers. So without further ado, I give you three tech names that I'm not going near this earnings season.


Investors earning next to nothing in cash have many choices when looking for better returns.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 11, 2012 1:03PM

Image: Stock market (© Zurbar/age fotostock)This post is one in a series in which more than 50 newsletter advisers share their Top Picks for 2012.

 By Jack Bowers, Fidelity Monitor

What are the best income funds for 2012? Following are the Fidelity funds we think are well-positioned for the year, listed in increasing order of risk.


General Motors is upgraded to 'overweight.'

By MSN Money Partner Jan 11, 2012 12:39PM
Information provided by

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • General Motors (GM) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
  • Accenture (ACN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • DirectTV (DTV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
  • Marriott (MAR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman

Trying to find a stock I like simply because the S&P 500 is breaking out just isn’t my style.

By Jim Cramer Jan 11, 2012 12:33PM

By Jim Cramer


The S&P 500 ($INX) has hit the levels that everyone can call breakout at the exact same time that I am struggling to find stocks to buy.


I know that sounds counterintuitive, but here's the deal. In an ETF-dominated world, the technicians rule. If the fundamentals mattered, you wouldn't want to own the ETF, you would want to own the best of breed in the sector. But if the technicals are in charge, you just wait to see that breakout and you plow in.


As production ramps up in Mexico, this miner offers investors an opportunity to profit from rising silver prices.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 11, 2012 11:26AM
Image: Jewelry store (© Baerbel Schmidt/Getty Images/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Tyler Laundon, Small Cap Investor

The Fed's move in early December to essentially backstop the entire global financial system by becoming the lender of last resort is bullish for precious metals over the long term. My favorite way to play this trend is to purchase emerging gold and silver producers. Accordingly, my favorite stock for 2012 is Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM). 
Tags: FSM

The second rescue since 2004 will be tough to pull off.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 11, 2012 10:52AM

Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs, filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time since 2004 in the face of mounting debt, skyrocketing prices for ingredients and the adoption of more healthful lifestyles.

The company, which has about $860 million in debt, sought protection from creditors after failing to reach an agreement with workers on pensions and benefits, according to Reuters. The company has arranged for $75 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from a group of its existing first-lien lenders, led by Silver Point Capital.  


The US presidential election, the growing euro crisis and higher consumer confidence will influence markets this year.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 11, 2012 10:16AM

Investing TrendsBy Anne Brennan, The Fiscal Times

Investors are looking ahead for 2012, but many will be hoping history repeats itself. They're placing bets not on a repeat of 2011 but on U.S. presidential history.

Since the end of WWII, the second half of a president's term and the period leading up to a presidential election have tended to coincide with economic growth and better business conditions.



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[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


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