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The Fed chief may not have everything figured out, but after 2 years of great stewardship, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

By Jim Cramer Apr 25, 2011 9:14AM

thestreetthestreetYou have to like a market that makes sense, that does what it is supposed to when big macro events occur that are good for earnings.

 

Which is why I liked last week. We have a dollar that is going down so fast that the big international companies will be able to beat numbers year over year so strongly that it makes you want to buy everything from United Technologies (UTX) and Ingersoll Rand (IR) to Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and IBM (IBM).

 

Last year at this time the euro was falling apart, taking with it the chances for companies like Eaton (ETN) and Honeywell (HON) -- which had expanded aggressively overseas, especially in Europe -- to beat the numbers. Now only those companies with no international winds at their back -- read the banks and the retailers -- are going to be laggards.

 

The style queen launches a spring pet line, offering items such as a belted trench coat and a windbreaker. Seriously.

By InvestorPlace Apr 25, 2011 9:07AM

investorplace logoImage: Dog in purse (© Corbis)Just because it's raining cats and dogs doesn't mean your cats and dogs have to get wet. The "pet apparel" industry has been going strong for years now, and a new spring line at PetSmart (PETM) includes a host of waterproof rain gear for the pampered pooch in your life.

 

But these aren't just silly hats or sweaters knitted by Grandma. For the first time, Martha Stewart Pets will get in on the act. The chic line includes a belted trench coat in tan cotton poplin (complete with shoulder cape) and an "athletic-style" windbreaker with pockets and Velcro closures.

 

According to a PetSmart marketer, "dogs love their walks, rain or shine," and owners just can't stay inside just because of a little bad weather in spring. But perhaps a better lesson from this product line is that pet owners remain one of the most free-spending groups, despite overcast skies for consumers in general, a trend that both PetSmart and Martha Stewart Living (MSO) hope to cash in on.

 

The technical readings indicate that the US and many foreign markets can still move significantly higher as we head into May.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 22, 2011 5:01PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Every time I sit down to write next week’s column, I take a look at my analysis from the week before, and what I concluded. I’ve been a professional technical analyst for almost 30 years, so I’ve had my share of mistakes and missed opportunities.

So when the E-mini S&P futures were down almost 30 points in the first hour Monday, last week's headline—"The Week Ahead: Stocks to Rally Despite the Short Week"—seemed to be dead wrong.

The markets teach us all painful lessons. Two that I learned early were:
  • When the market does what you don't expect, take another look at the evidence;
  • Have risk management in place, so when you’re wrong you can limit the damage.
So I looked at the evidence again. By early Tuesday morning, the data that led me to expect higher prices had not changed significantly after Monday's plunge. Therefore, I concluded that the market panic had, in fact, created a buying opportunity.

And with all of the major averages closing higher for the week, the technical readings indicate that the US and many foreign markets can still move significantly higher as we head into May.
 

The Donald says that his net worth changes from day to day, depending on his attitude.

By Kim Peterson Apr 22, 2011 3:55PM
Donald Trump takes the phrase "feel like a million dollars" seriously. Or, in his case, it's feel like a billion dollars.

That's because The Donald says that his net worth is, well, whatever he feels it is on any given day. "My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with the markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings," he said in a legal deposition from 2007. CNN obtained a copy of the deposition recently.

Post continues after this video interview with Trump: 

Standout earnings in the sector could fuel a new uptrend. Here are 3 ideas for how to play it.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 22, 2011 10:52AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Just a few weeks ago, headlines like "Chip stocks weigh down tech" were common with the sentiment on the sector so negative. 

The failure of the tech sector to surpass the early-March highs while other sectors were breaking out in early April made many investors cautious about the overall market, and especially so for the tech sector.

That all changed this week as impressive earnings from many of the tech giants, including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Qualcomm (QCOM), and Western Digital Corp. (WDC), have given the entire sector a boost, which I feel is the start of a major new uptrend.
 

McDonald's is passing on the higher costs of beef, cheese and other ingredients to its customers

By InvestorPlace Apr 22, 2011 8:43AM

investorplace logoImage: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)Americans are already feeling the impact of higher gas prices. But the next time they have a Big Mac attack, consumers may have to suffer the same sticker shock they now get when they pull up to the pump.

 

That's because McDonalds Corp.'s (MCD) is seeing inflation push up the costs of ingredients like Big Mac beef, cheeseburger cheese and McCafe coffee beans.

 

As a result, the world's largest fast-food chain said it will raise prices to keep up with food inflation.

 

The price increases won't be steep, at least not in the United States. Sensitive to the higher prices that Americans are facing at the gasoline pump, grocery store and everywhere else they have to open their wallets, McDonalds says it will absorb some of the initial costs by gradually raising prices to recoup the 4% to 4.5% cost of food increases.  

 

The miner uncovers a higher grade of ore in Indonesia, accelerating production and giving some relief to worries about rising costs.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 21, 2011 5:04PM
Jim JubakOn Wednesday, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share. This was 28 cents a share above the Wall Street analyst consensus, and 57% above the $1 a share reported in the first quarter of 2010.

Revenue increased by almost 31% from the first quarter of 2010, to $5.71 billion, beating the Wall Street projection of $5.31 billion.

Copper sales for the first quarter totaled 926 million pounds. That was down from sales of 960 million pounds in the first quarter of 2010, but well above the company’s own January estimate of 840 million pounds.

Sales of gold and molybdenum, however, climbed from the year-ago quarter. Gold totals increased from 478,000 to 480,000 ounces, and 20 million pounds of molybdenum moved, up from 17 million.
 

The Bratz line, which has deeply hurt Barbie sales, does not belong to Mattel, a jury decides.

By Kim Peterson Apr 21, 2011 3:19PM
Barbie just can't catch a break when it comes to those sassy Bratz dolls.

Barbie maker Mattel (MAT) got smacked down by a federal jury today, and was ordered to pay $88.5 million to rival MGA Entertainment in a dispute over the Bratz line.

In what's being called a stunning decision, the jury told Mattel that it does not own the Bratz dolls. The legal battle has been going since 2004, and one analyst said today that Mattel's failure to settle was a "tremendously bad decision" by management.

Post continues after this news report about the jury's decision: 

As inflation takes its toll on consumers and the trade balance, GDP growth could be disappointing.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Apr 21, 2011 1:04PM

One year ago, all was right in the world. Jobs were being created. Annualized GDP growth averaged an impressive 4.4% between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. The Federal Reserve even felt confident enough to allow its first round of quantitative easing to expire.

 

Then we had a growth scare as risky assets tumbled in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis and the Greek bailout. As a result, GDP growth slowed to just 1.7% in the second quarter amid talk of a double-dip recession.

 

History is repeating itself. The Fed's QE2 program is about to end. The eurozone crisis is heating up, with Greece on the verge of a debt default/restructuring. And now we have fiscal austerity and inflationary pressure -- side effects of all the stimuli used to juice the economy. I think the stage is set for another slowdown in the months to come. Indeed, by some estimates, the economy may already be shrinking.

 

This company has growth in sales and earnings, so I'm adding its stock to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio.

By Jim Van Meerten Apr 21, 2011 1:02PM
Once in awhile you run across a stock that makes you wonder why you've never heard of it. 

I was looking at stocks that have had and are expected to have double-digit growth in sales and earnings and are currently having positive price momentum as measured by Barchart technical indicators.

I found Gildan Activewear (GIL), a company that has over 60% market share in its niche. It makes the blank T-shirts and sweat shirts that all the other companies print on. The sales, earnings and price appreciation have been great. 

Nearly all of the purchases from our recent Buffett-style portfolio are paying off nicely. Now it's time to adjust stops to lock in profits.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 21, 2011 11:44AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

On March 10, in my column "5 Stocks Buffett Would Love," I recommended five large industrial stocks that had market values over $5 billion, as well as fundamentals that could make them attractive for acquisition by Warren Buffett.
  
Our recommended buy levels were hit in four of the five Buffett-style stocks, and four could still be bought for more aggressive accounts, while stops should be raised on the previously recommended positions to lock in some nice profits.

Since the August lows, the Select Sector SPDR - Industrial (XLI) is up 34%, versus 27% for the S&P 500. The powerful stock rally on Wednesday confirmed my view that Monday's panic selling was a buying opportunity, as the advancing issues swamped the declining issues by more than a four-to-one margin.
  
The Advance/Decline (A/D) lines on the major averages have turned sharply higher and surpassed last week’s highs, providing strong evidence that the market correction is indeed over.
 

The market hasn't quite caught up with this opportunity.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Apr 21, 2011 11:26AM

By Jim Mueller

 

The Messed-Up Expectation methodology I'm following with my Rising Star portfolio is working. In that portfolio, I'm looking for companies at prices reflecting growth expectations that are lower than what they're likely capable of, and getting high returns when the market corrects its mistake.

 

I believe I've found another candidate in Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ).

 

O.J. Simpson loved this company
Hertz is the second largest U.S. car rental company, behind privately held Enterprise Holdings (which includes Alamo, Enterprise, and National) and ahead of Avis Budget Group (CAR) and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG).

 

Retail is in recovery, so I'm adding BBBY to hlep my portfolio recover.

By Jim Van Meerten Apr 21, 2011 10:47AM
It's always nice when a store you like to shop in becomes a success. Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) is that kind of store.  I'm a kitchen gadget freak, so I love this store. 

I try not to be an impulse shopper, but as I wander the store I sometimes find bargains I didn't expect and can't pass up. Today I can't pass up the stock. 

Same-store sales are up 7% year over year.  The company is on target to add 40 new stores this year and another 40 to 50 next year. Margin squeezes have been offset by savings in SG&A so I think this looks like a well managed company. The price is on a roll.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is a nationwide operator of superstores selling predominantly high-quality domestics merchandise and home furnishings typically found in better department stores.
 

Berkshire Hathaway lacks a valuable revenue source now that Goldman Sachs has bought back $5.5 billion in preferred shares.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 21, 2011 10:18AM
TheStreetBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Warren Buffett made the news during this shortened week after it was announced that Goldman Sachs (GS) had bought back the $5.5 billion in preferred shares it sold to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) during the dire depths of the financial crisis.

 

In the midst of the credit mess, as Lehman Bros. was collapsing and Merrill Lynch was going through an emergency takeover, Goldman Sachs sought help from Buffett. Given his positive outlook for the U.S., the Oracle of Omaha was willing to step in and provide Goldman with a $5 billion fund to save the company from ruin.

 

The deal came with conditions. In return for the funding, Buffett received preferred shares that promised a 10% annual dividend and warrants to purchase $5 billion in Goldman common stock at $115 per share.

 

Why settle for streaming only 1 movie when you can watch multiple shows at once on your phone, TV and video game console?

By InvestorPlace Apr 21, 2011 9:03AM

Image: Film (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Anthony John Agnello, Consumer and Technology Writer

   

As Netflix (NFLX) has grown dramatically over the past two years, analysts and industry pundits have wondered repeatedly when the streaming video company would hit a glass ceiling: No way could Netflix shares pass $200. No way could the company's subscriber base reach 20 million. No way could it continue to sign new content partners.


Well, Netflix has met and surpassed all of those hurdles, but even now it is facing new challenges. How will it fend off new competitors and keep growing its membership at a breakneck pace?


The answer may have arrived. Netflix offered a preview of its future strategy earlier this week, announcing it will begin offering "family plan" subscription packages later this year.

 

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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.

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 remains near its flat line, while Treasuries hover on their lows (10-yr yield +4 bps at 2.44%) following the recent release of the FOMC minutes from the July meeting.

While the market has slipped from its high, sector standing has not changed much with respect to the S&P 500. Consumer discretionary (+0.3%), financials (+0.1%), and industrials (+0.9%) continue showing relative strength, while consumer staples (-0.2%), health care (-0.2%), and utilities ... More


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