The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.

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These companies have built customer loyalty, so they can pass along rising food costs without losing business.

By Jim Cramer Feb 15, 2011 10:14AM

jim cramerthestreetWhole Foods(WFMI), Hain Celestial(HAIN), Panera Bread(PNRA), Chipotle Mexican Grill(CMG) -- these are all about the same theme: healthful eating.

 

Wall Street, which was blindsided by the performance of all four, seems not to understand that these are not traditional supermarkets like Safeway(SWY), not traditional food purveyors like ConAgra(CAG) or Kraft(KFT), and not regular restaurant chains like Brinker International (EAT) or Darden Restaurants(DRI) or McDonald's(MCD) or Wendy's(WEN). They defy easy characterizations and simple price-to-earnings-multiple analyses.

 

Jack Hartung, the CFO of Chipotle, came out and said it on my show Friday. The company's healthful-eating Food With Integrity program allows it more than enough leeway to keep sales strong without raising prices. These companies aren't nearly as levered to commodity pricing -- though bearish investors endlessly try to force those concerns onto them -- as they are to loyalty.

 

The iPad and iPhone are old news. Patent filings and other buzz hint at some innovative new projects in the works.

By InvestorPlace Feb 15, 2011 10:02AM
By Anthony John Agnello, InvestorPlace.com

Apple Inc.
(AAPL) is off to a roaring start in 2011. The long-awaited iPhone 4 for the Verizon (VZ) network in the U.S. is making waves. The iPad 2 is all but confirmed for a late spring release. But in the fast-moving world of consumer tech, the iPad and Verizon iPhone are already old news.

The question everyone is asking now is "What's next?"


Recently revealed Apple patents, compelling hints buried in the code of beta software releases and industry rumors paint a portrait of Apple's new efforts due in 2012 and beyond. Here are five big ideas that could be the next consumer technology craze:

 

World economies are likely to hike interest rates by the end of the year. Here's when to expect the changes.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 14, 2011 7:02PM

Jim JubakHere's an interest rate calendar for the economies of the developed world that you can put up on your office wall -- but it is subject to revision. (I know it's shocking, but markets do get this stuff wrong from time to time.)


Right now, the futures markets are priced for expectations that the United Kingdom will start raising short-term interest rates, now at a low 0.5%, in June. By the end of 2011, the markets say, the Bank of England will have raised short-term rates to 1.25%.


The European Central Bank will go next with its first rate increase expected in September. Short-term rates, now at 1.0%, will be at 1.5% by the end of 2011.


Last up will be the United States, which the markets now say won't move until December. The Fed funds rate, now at an effective 0.13%, will climb to 0.5% by the end of 2011. The driver in all this isn't a rapid rise in inflation expectations, but expectations for a gradual return to normal economic times.

 

Students compete in a contest with $100,000 simulated portfolios.

By Jim Van Meerten Feb 14, 2011 3:29PM

Twice a year, the Foundation for Investor Education holds a stock market game for students across the country.  The students open portfolios online and can invest in a $100,000 simulated portfolio. They have 2 goals over the 10 week competition:  1 - beat the S&P 500 and 2- of course beat all the other schools that have entered.  For several years I've mentored the Senior Economics class at my daughter's Alma Mater - Charlotte Latin.  Mr. Gregory the instructor breaks the class up in teams of 3 and they are  in charge of their own portfolios.

I spend some time exposing the class to all the free websites that they can use to research stocks, we meet in the Library's computer lab to make trades and at the end of the 10 weeks each team makes a report on how they did and what they learned.  I also give them a homework assignment to complete with their parents.  I ask them to watch Jim Cramer's Mad Money and also Fast Money with their parents.  They are to discuss as a family if they think the shows are valid investment advice that could be followed or just a form of "reality show" and just pure entertainment.  Boy do we have a lot of diverse opinions on that assignment.

I'm going out on a limb and substituting my picks on our competition on the Wall Street Survivor.  I'll pick my own portfolio but instead of trading, I'll buy and hold for the entire 10 week period. Over the next 10 weeks I'll write a series of posts to tell you how the students are doing and how my portfolio is progressing.

 

Wunderlich Securities raises its price target on the satellite radio company stock to $2 from $1.75. The company will report fourth-quarter results tomorrow.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 14, 2011 3:22PM

By Theresa McCabe, TheStreet

 

Sirius XM (SIRI) reached a 52-week high of $1.88 early Monday after Wunderlich Securities raised its price target on the satellite radio company stock to $2 from $1.75.

 

Wunderlich analyst Matthew Harrigan maintained his "buy" rating on Sirius and raised his price target one day before the company reports its fourth-quarter performance. Harrigan said car sales, subscriber growth and trends in Internet radio, such as Pandora's plan to go public, will influence Sirius' growth.  

 

"Pandora is apt to get even more notoriety after having just filed for an IPO," Harrigan said in a research note.

 

After pulling its Super Bowl ads amid mounting criticism, Groupon flubs a Valentine's Day deal with FTD.

By Kim Peterson Feb 14, 2011 3:15PM
Credit: (© Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Caption: A sign at the Groupon headquarters in ChicagoIt seemed Groupon could do no wrong last year. The company was so hot that it turned down a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google (GOOG).

But the discount-deals company is stumbling in 2011. Its latest headache started off as a fairly typical promotion. In a bid to get more Valentine's Day sales, FTD offered a $20 discount on $40 worth of flowers.

That sounded good to the 3,000 people who bought the deal and were directed to a specific FTD website for purchase. But some users found that the flowers on that site were marked up. In fact, some of the very same flowers could be found elsewhere on FTD's site for less, Consumerist reports.

A rash of complaints followed. FTD responded by saying that while some flowers were indeed marked down by $5 or $10 elsewhere on the site, Groupon's users were still getting the better deal with a $20 discount. And anyway, FTD said, it was clear that the Groupon deal didn't apply to sale items. 

With the Egyptian markets in flux, investors should avoid this fund or understand the implications of short-term trading.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 14, 2011 3:09PM

By Carolyn Dion, TheStreet

 

The Market Vectors Egypt ETF (EGPT), which became an overnight success since the country's crisis began in late January, could become even more bloated with cash this week as further delays in Egypt combine with an existing creation halt. Investors should avoid this fund or understand the implications of short-term trading.

 

Since Jan. 28, Egypt's stock markets have been at a standstill after protest sent shares tumbling. Soon after, EGPT managers halted the creation of new shares of the ETF, citing the inability of authorized participants and fund managers to take incoming cash, buy EGPT's underlying components and release new shares of the ETF into the market to sate demand. While the redemption process remained untouched, both creation and redemption are needed in order to provide accurate pricing and trading of an ETF.

 

This tech player leads in all the right areas.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 14, 2011 3:09PM

Fittingly, Fool analyst Sean Sun draws on Sun Tzu for investing inspiration. Today Sean is all about knowing yourself, knowing your enemy, and knowing your business. If you know what I mean.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor

 

At the Dada Portfolio, we invest in a broad spectrum of high-return opportunities. We combine our aggressive stock picking with conservative portfolio management, because at the end of the day, we want each of our holdings to have a significant impact on our portfolio's upside -- but only a limited impact on its downside.

 

Today we're going to open up a 5% initial position, or $800, on a new stock that's been on my radar screen for quite a while now.

 

Drumroll, please
Qlik Technologies (QLIK)
makes business intelligence (BI) software. Sun Tzu said that "if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." That's what BI is all about.

 

As yields rise, investors are wary. The smart money is moving into niche fixed-income investments.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 14, 2011 12:54PM

Image: Chess (© Photographers Choice RF/Getty Images)By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet

 

The spike in long-term U.S. Treasury yields has many investors believing the bond bubble has finally popped. But there's still money to be made in bonds and bond ETFs.

 

TheStreet searched for the best bond ETF ideas with Tom Lydon, the editor of ETF Trends, and Christian Magoon, the CEO of Magoon Capital.

 

1.  SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK)

 

High-yield, or junk, bonds are a good place to find steady yield during a low-interest-rate environment. Lydon says the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF is a good place for investors seeking those elevated yields, provided they can handle the extra risk. The fund normally invests at least 80% of total assets in securities that comprise its benchmark index. At last check, the yield on JNK was 9.7%.

 

A mini-iPhone may be in the works as Apple combats Google's growing share of the smart-phone market.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 14, 2011 12:37PM

Steve Jobs (©Paul Sakuma/AP)By Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Apple (AAPL) is gearing up a mini-iPhone and free network storage service for the next stage of the Google (GOOG) Android war.

 

A smaller, cheaper, all-screen iPhone is in the works, according to The Wall Street Journal. If the report is true, the move would imitate Apple's expansion of the iPod by shrinking new iPhones.

 

The plan also calls for the $99 MobileMe service, a cloud-based media syncing system, to be offered for free.

 

Apple is expected to use the new MobileMe as a storage and delivery mechanism for songs, videos, photos and other user content that has typically been stored on computers and Apple devices. Apple watchers would call this the long-anticipated arrival of an iTunes streaming service that could be announced with the iPhone 5 this summer.

 

Funds tracking agriculture, retail, real estate and emerging markets look to continue rallying.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 14, 2011 11:41AM

Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Here are five exchange-traded funds to keep an eye on this week.

 

1. PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA)

 

The agriculture industry remains in vogue as rising demand and supply concerns fuel the industry, pushing the price of corn, wheat, sugar and other crops higher.

 

Last week, corn was in the spotlight after a report from the United States Department of Agriculture indicated that stockpiles are expected to fall, further constricting supply. This news proved beneficial for the corn-linked Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN), resulting in new all-time highs for the fund.

 

The Seattle giant jumps into the $500 million market for K-Cups, which could sink smaller rivals.

By InvestorPlace Feb 14, 2011 11:15AM

Credit: (© Toby Talbot/AP)
Caption: A single-serving coffee maker at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters outlet store in Waterbury, Vt.By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com


In December, there was big news as coffee giant Starbucks killed its contract with Kraft, scrapping a 12-year distribution deal to retail outlets and prompting speculation that Starbucks would make a bigger push into grocery aisles and even sparking a legal battle.


But now that a judge has ruled that Starbucks (SBUX) indeed is within its right to cancel its relationship with Kraft (KFT) as of March 1, the Seattle coffee behemoth is forging ahead with its new retail plans. Its first major change is a splash into the single-serve-coffee market for machines like the Keurig K-Cup brewing system.


That could mean tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for Starbucks and perhaps spell the end of the line for smaller single-serve companies that have seen big growth in the absence of a major competitor.

 

It's time to tap the brakes again by swapping out an earlier pick.

By Jamie Dlugosch Feb 14, 2011 10:38AM

Image: Stock charts in crystal ball © Fredrik Skold/Getty ImagesLiving in Minnesota, I learned many years ago to drive in icy conditions. The first thing you are taught is never to slam on the brakes. If you do, you will slide out of control.

 

Instead, the best way to stay safe on ice is to tap the brakes gently in order to slow to a gentle stop in complete control. That is the concept I suggest investors use with respect to the current market state.

 

Last week I hit the brakes a bit with my five ETF buys for the week.

 

I’ll tap the brakes again by suggesting traders swap out one of last weeks picks in favor of the ProShares Short Russell 2000 (RWM).

 
Tags: etf

JDS Uniphase is the right stock for the right time as people look beyond Qualcomm.

By Jim Cramer Feb 14, 2011 10:25AM

jim cramerLast week, I took a look at one of my favorite stocks, JDS Uniphase (JDSU), to ponder whether the deal is done and the stock had run. I came back with an unequivocal no, not yet, and backed it up with Ken Shreve's analysis (man, has he been hot).

 

You can always tell when a stock is under-owned, and that's what JDS Uniphase must be, as it gapped up and then just continued to ramp on top of the gap. I think people have been looking for 4G plays, trying to broaden beyond Qualcomm (QCOM), and have stumbled on JDS Uniphase as a company that you must use to test 4G systems. It looks like the company will be rolling out a new line this week at the big Barcelona telecom equipment conference.

 

I also think people are recognizing that JDS Uniphase powers a key portion of the Kinect, the cool-as-all-get-out Microsoft (MSFT) game system -- and you don't have to own the boring Microsoft stock to get the benefit. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

 

A recent investigation prompts layoffs of illegal immigrants, which will surely increase labor costs.

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Feb 11, 2011 6:05PM

Written by Douglas Estadt

 

Despite Chipotle Mexican Grill's (CMG) recently reported positive results and its all-too-tasty fajita burrito bowl, we believe shorting CMG will prove to be profitable.  The company's steady rise in stock value and its recent earnings report are trumped by its current labor issue and its overrated build-up by momentum players. A recent investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement prompted a major layoff of illegal immigrants that will surely increase the company's labor costs. We consider these facts before shorting the stock:

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on an upbeat note with blue chips showing relative strength for the second consecutive day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%) settled ahead of the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%). It is worth mentioning the benchmark index posted its fourth consecutive gain, registering a new record closing high at 1992.38.

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