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.

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Stifled Wednesday by its tech peers, Apple stock languished despite renewed rumors of a Verizon iPhone in the works. Don't expect it to sit still today.

By Jim Cramer Oct 7, 2010 8:57AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

How much would Apple (AAPL) have gone up Wednesday if it weren't for Equinix (EQIX), which plummeted 33% after the company lowered its revenue outlook and took the rest of cloud-computing tech -- Citrix (CTXS)/Red Hat (RHT), Rackspace (RAX), F5 Networks (FFIV) and VMWare (VMW) -- down with it?

 

How much do they not matter for Apple?

 

Tuesday night I was out with one of the best hedge fund managers in America, and he wanted to take issue with my endless support for Apple. He couldn't believe, given the service of AT&T (T), that I could ever in good conscience recommend the stock.

 

I said to watch what happens when Verizon (VZ) gets the iPhone. He said he would believe it when he sees it.

 

The partnership sees a drop from projected profits, but that isn't any reason to sell.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 6, 2010 6:36PM

Jim JubakAs bad news goes, this isn't a big dose, but it should be a reminder to investors looking for extra yield in today's ultra-low-yield environment that higher yields always come with higher risk.


Oneok Partners (OKS) is one of my favorites for getting a good deal more yield with only slightly more risk. The master limited partnership pays a yield of 5.96% versus the 2.34% yield on the 10-year Treasury.


But "only slightly more" risk doesn't mean no risk.

 

Confidence has reached extreme levels as leading indicators warn of trouble. Yes, we're headed for better days, but the road will be rough.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 6, 2010 4:46PM

Rewind a few months, to when Wall Street was deep in despair as concerns over Europe and the viability of the euro shook the markets. Add in concerns over financial regulatory reform, the government's case against Goldman Sachs (GS), the BP (BP) oil spill and the May 6 "flash crash." Investors had a lot to worry about.

 

But all that's changed now. Europe has bounced back, as I anticipated in this column, with the iShares Germany (EWG) up 28% from its May low. And the economy, thanks to the increase in business spending that I predicted back in August, is showing new signs of life.

 

All sunshine and lollipops, right? Well, not quite. While fundamentals determine the long-term trajectory of the market -- and still look good, as I discussed recently -- short-term movements are still driven by technical factors. And right now, they suggest caution is warranted.

 

Dozens of outlets nationwide lay down a new law: No teenagers without parents.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2010 3:18PM
Shopping for deals © Big Cheese Photo/SuperStockThe shopping mall may no longer be hangout central for the bored American teen -- and that could affect sales at Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), American Eagle (AEO) and other retailers.

Shopping centers across the country are considering ways to ban the teen mall rat, ABC News reports. Dozens of malls now have a "parental escort policy" on weekend nights, requiring people younger than 18 to have a parent or guardian nearby.

The policy is intended to remove the potential for trouble (shoplifting and fighting) that can erupt when kids get together without supervision. But does this also remove the potential for teen sales? 

Brought to its knees by a fierce discount battle, the grocery industry is starting to raise prices.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2010 2:25PM
Shopping for deals © CorbisGrocery stores have been fighting a tough war on prices, desperate to lure discount-hungry customers. But now it looks like that battle may be ending.

The price war was great for shoppers, many of whom cut their spending dramatically as the recession lingered. But was it good for grocery stores and food producers? Not so much.

Sales and promotions were everywhere, and as a result no company came out a winner, Reuters reported. In fact, the discounts were so deep that even the bump in sales couldn't restore the bottom line. 

The automaker may have underestimated what it would take to develop its mainstream electric car and the price it can sell for.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 12:46PM

thestreetCredit: (© Craig Ruttle/AP)
Caption: Tesla Roadster electric carBy Eric Jackson, TheStreet

 

Tesla Motors (TSLA) went public last June in one of the few IPOs of the year.

 

It had the support of high-profile underwriters Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), JP Morgan (JPM), and Deutsche Bank (DB), as well as many well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

 

It priced at $17, the top end of its range, and soared 41% on its first day of trading. It's still trading more than 24% above its IPO price three months later.

 

The comfort-food restaurant chain gets top marks from analysts who cover the casual-dining industry.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 12:15PM

thestreetCredit: (© Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Caption: Cracker Barrel storeBy Jake Lynch, TheStreet

 

Cracker Barrel (CBRL) is succeeding in the dog-eat-dog restaurant industry with old-fashioned American charm. The eatery has outperformed the closely watched Knapp-Track Index of comparable-store traffic for 16 consecutive quarters.

 

Analysts are bullish on Cracker Barrel, which is less sensitive to changes in the economy than its casual-dining competitors because of its lower-priced dishes. The southern chain serves comfort food, with a menu that includes Country Meat 'n' Biscuits and Apple Streusel French Toast. Breakfast is served all day, with separate lunch and dinner menus.

 

A retail store is attached to each restaurant, selling collectibles, old-fashioned toys and penny candy. This restaurant-retail concept is rarely used in the restaurant industry but seems to be succeeding. Cracker Barrel posted a comparable-restaurant sales gain of 2% and a comparable-retail-sales increase of 2.6% in the latest reporting period.

 

Hoping to smooth the checkout process on its Android Market, Google will roll out PayPal in 3 weeks.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 10:06AM

technology and business news from the streetCredit: (© Eric Risberg/AP)
Caption: Droid Incredible cell phoneBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Google (GOOG) has finally enlisted eBay's (EBAY)PayPal service and is preparing to launch the payment system on its Android OS later this month.

 

The two Internet giants have been moving closer to an agreement in recent weeks. Now sources familiar with the situation say the deal is all but sealed, with an announcement coming as early as Oct. 26 during the PayPal developers' conference in San Francisco.

 

The move would help smooth a bumpy checkout system on Android Market, and it would also bring Google closer to the type of seamless payment process that Apple (AAPL) manages at its iTunes and App Store.

 

The top prize is $1 million, though odds are slim. Meanwhile, the company will likely rake in big sales from the popular promotion.

By InvestorPlace Oct 6, 2010 9:59AM

Big Mac © McDonald’sIt's time forMcDonald's (MCD)customers to roll the dice and and play Monopoly again. And if they're lucky, they could collect more than $200 when they pass Go. The top prize is a cool $1 million.


The bigger prizes, including lots of cash and a muscle car, may seem extravagant, but the bottom line is that McDonald's always gets more than it gives with its yearly promotion. And cash-strapped consumers could be more likely than ever to join in the game. After all, unlike with a lottery ticket, you can eat your losing purchase.


Here's what you can win and how to play:

 

As stocks surge, insiders are cashing in big-time.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 9:43AM

stock market news and investment strategies from thestreettrader © Comstock/SuperStockBy Dan Freed, TheStreet

 

The stock market is rallying, but insiders aren't buying it.

 

Insider selling activity of late has been a flood, while insider buying is practically nonexistent, Bloomberg data show.

 

The companies that saw the biggest selling by insiders in the past week through Oct. 1 were Oracle (ORCL), Google (GOOG), Phillip Morris (PM), Nike (NKE) and CarMax (KMX). Oracle insiders alone sold $135 million worth in stock during the week.

 

The fallout from another round of quantitative easing will likely be destructive. But there is room to make money in the meantime.

By Jim Cramer Oct 6, 2010 9:03AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

It happened again Tuesday and last week, too: A couple of people on television saying I am a trader and they are investors, that I flit and they stay the course, that I go in and out, heedless of the future and the problems in store for our economy and our market from QE2 and the need to stimulate the economy in an unaffordable way.

 

I scorn these people. First, I have a portfolio -- you can look at it, it's Action Alerts PLUS -- where I try to pick stocks that can go up over time. More important, though, is that I am beginning to have contempt for the "pure" investors.

 

Demand for copper has helped drive its price to extraordinarily high levels.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 5, 2010 5:38PM

Jim JubakCopper, that other shiny golden metal, is just as hot as gold is right now. And I think the fundamentals for copper are better.


Which copper stocks? I'd favor Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)Southern Copper (SCCO), and Taseko Mines(TGB).


But after the extraordinary run on these stocks -- Freeport McMoRan and Taseko were up 37% from the August low through the close on Oct. 5 and Southern Copper, the laggard, was up 32% -- I'd look for earnings-season volatility to give me an opening for a buy or two.

 
Tags: gold

Google's mobile platform becomes the top choice for smart-phone buyers, a survey says.

By Kim Peterson Oct 5, 2010 3:22PM

Credit: (© Eric Risberg/AP)
Caption: Droid Incredible cell phoneGoogle's Android system is beating Apple's iPhone. Android became the most popular choice for smart-phone buyers in the last six months, according to research firm The Nielsen Co.

Apple's (AAPL) iPhone is tied for second place with the BlackBerry platform from Research In Motion (RIMM).

But before you start planning the iPhone's funeral, consider this: Nielsen looked at smart-phone purchases for six months of the year, but the iPhone 4 only became available on June 24. It's a sure bet that iPhone buying slowed dramatically in the spring as people waited for the new version.

 

This worldwide brand might make a great core holding.

By Jim Van Meerten Oct 5, 2010 2:44PM
PepsiCo (PEP) has a family of widely-known brands, including Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Quaker Oats and Gatorade. I can find all those brands in my pantry; they are among the best-known and are available throughout the world.

Pepsi's success is the result of superior products, high standards of performance and distinctive competitive strategies.

The company has been buying back some of their largest bottlers and hopes to see $400 million drop to the bottom line through integrated cost savings. That, plus a 10% growth rate in the Frito-Lay division, makes for a nice future. 

A little-known trader at a French bank is sentenced for making enormous unauthorized trades.

By Kim Peterson Oct 5, 2010 1:19PM
Credit: (© Laurent Cipriani/AP)
Caption: Jerome Kerviel, followed by his lawyer Olivier Metzner, arrives at the Paris courthouse, Tuesday Oct. 5, 2010. The Paris court will hand down a verdict in the case of the former French trader accused of masterminding one of history's biggest trading frauds and costing one of France's largest banks billions in lossesHow exactly does one come up with $6.7 billion?

That's the question that will haunt Jérôme Kerviel for the rest of his life. Kerviel, just 33 years old, was sentenced to at least three years in prison Tuesday for making rogue bets that almost collapsed French bank Société Générale.

He was also ordered to repay the amount the bank lost in the whole mess: $6.7 billion. Based on what he now makes as a computer consultant (he got canned from the bank long ago), it will take 178,000 years to pay what's owed, The Wall Street Journal calculates

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  • June gold slipped deeper into negative territory today as the dollar index erased earlier losses. The yellow metal pulled back from its session high of $1303.20 per ounce set in morning action and fell as low as $1292.80 per ounce. Unable to gain momentum, it settled 0.7% lower at $1294.20 per ounce. 
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