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It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


The company is bulletproof and will be for a while. But be careful how you invest in it.

By InvestorPlace Jan 11, 2012 9:53AM

By James Brumley

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. That axiom seems to be especially true for stocks. Yet as much as I'd like to say Apple (AAPL) is too good to be true, it isn't.

Believe me. I looked for ways to find fault in Apple: flawed technology, unattainable expectations, weakening sales, anything. The company is bulletproof and will be for at least a couple of more years. That doesn't mean you should buy into Apple indiscriminately, though.


The division is coming off a year in which operating income dropped significantly.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 10, 2012 6:04PM
Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)Walt Disney’s (DIS) movie business didn't look like it was going to turn in a stunning 2011 before, but the well-publicized troubles of the studio's former marketing president MT Carney -- a Hollywood Reporter piece Monday quoted her departure e-mail -- is drawing new attention to just how bad the first half of 2012 could be for a business that accounts for 16% of the company’s revenue.

Credit Suisse forecasts revenue at the studio entertainment division to rise just 4% in fiscal 2012. That comes after a fiscal 2011 in which operating income dropped by 11%.

This ETF tracking smaller mining companies will follow precious metals higher as currencies lose purchasing power.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 10, 2012 5:13PM
Image: Gold Bars (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Gene Arensberg, Got Gold Report

With the smaller, less liquid and more speculative junior miners and explorers having been "clocked" by a fearful market, we think making space in one's portfolio for the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) makes sense.   
Tags: GDXJgold

The biopharmaceutical company has a bright outlook for 2012.

By Jan 10, 2012 5:05PM

Image: Pills (© Sean Justice/Corbis)By: ‎Zacks Equity Research

Celgene Corp. (CELG) announced preliminary fourth-quarter earnings of $1.05 a share, excluding stock-based compensation and other items, beating its year-ago performance by 46%.

The biopharmaceutical company also posted some strong full-year numbers, with earnings (excluding stock-based compensation and other items) climbing 36% to $3.79 a share.


The new year may be tougher for the chip maker after a solid 2011.

By Trefis Jan 10, 2012 5:03PM
Intel (INTC) continued to report record quarterly results last year and the stock gained approximately 20% despite macro headwinds and some unfavorable PC market trends in developed countries. The chip giant did not let rival AMD (AMD) gain ground, and invested further in the development of more competitive chips for the mobile market, which is currently dominated by Qualcomm (QCOM).

Our price estimate for Intel stands at $29, implying a premium of about 15% to the market price.


Early indication eases fears of a Dendreon-like flop.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 10, 2012 4:40PM

Minyanville on MSN MoneyBy Brett Chase


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) needed to give investors an early signal that its new eye drug can keep pace in a competitive market. So the company blew away Wall Street's fourth-quarter sales estimates.

Shares of Regeneron jumped Tuesday morning after the company said its drug Eylea recorded as much as $25 million in sales in its first six weeks on the market. Analysts expected a little more than $3 million in sales.


The biggest surprise of 2012 could be that the financials, the most hated group out there, can actually soar.

By Jim Cramer Jan 10, 2012 4:39PM

You get tech moving, you get banks moving, you get the market moving. We are in a weird juncture when the groups that had been laggards are providing leadership, especially when no one believes the earnings for any of these stocks, other than Wells Fargo (WFC), USBancorp (USB) and Apple (AAPL), will have good quarters.

But that doesn't matter. Expectations are incredibly low for this quarter and I think they will even get lower following Alcoa’s (AA) report.


Don't count the greenback out yet.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 10, 2012 4:27PM

By Dan Caplinger


In recent years, fears about the long-term prospects of the U.S. economy drove the dollar to historic lows against the local currencies of many countries around the world. Yet with the near-collapse of the euro and continuing problems with the impact that sovereign debt woes could have across the globe, Treasury bills have once again achieved safe-haven status, and the U.S. dollar is acting like the powerful reserve currency it once was.


On its face, that may sound like good news. But you may want to be careful what you wish for, because if dollar strength persists, it could have some serious consequences for prospects for economic growth in the U.S. as well as for your investments.


Twinkie maker is in the fight for its life.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 10, 2012 3:50PM
Image: Close up of fresh sliced loaf of bread (© Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images)Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time since 2004 in the face of mounting debt and skyrocketing prices for ingredients, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As the Journal noted, times are tough for the privately held Irving, Tex. baker, which had been held up as a model of corporate restructuring since emerging from its first bankruptcy in 2009. Not only does the maker of Wonder Bread carry $860 million in debt, it owes "more than $50 million to vendors, which have been demanding payments on shortened time frames because of Hostess's financial condition," the paper said. 

Some investors brag on message boards about achieving great returns on earnings-based trades. That was just dumb luck.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 10, 2012 3:30PM

Image: Stock market (© Zurbar/age fotostock)By Thomas Kee, guest columnist


Thanks to Alcoa (AA), earnings season is off to a positive start. But I predict that this earnings season will still leave investors with lots of questions unanswered -- questions about future growth rates and current market multiples. 


In addition to Alcoa, I'm also looking for clues about the broader market's direction in results from Lennar (LEN), and JP Morgan Chase (JPM). In each case, I'll be looking to see if concerns about future growth come to the surface. I won't trade in these stocks, but I'll work the earnings news into my broader market thesis. 


The leader in private schooling benefits from China's one-child policy and emphasis on credentials.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 10, 2012 3:29PM
Image: High school students with arms raised in classroom (© Image Source/Getty Images)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Paul Goodwin, Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report

New Oriental Education (EDU) is the leader in the private education sector in China. The company specializes in teaching languages, especially English, and test preparation courses; it  also offers a varied curriculum that includes primary and secondary education.  
Tags: EDU

A spike in oil prices due to Iran's threats could divert traffic from trucks, but higher fuel costs would pressure railroad margins.

By Trefis Jan 10, 2012 3:18PM
Image: Railroad Crossing with Train (© Edmond Van Hoorick/Photodisc/Getty Images)Iran's threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost 35% of the world's seaborne oil shipments travel, could lead to a sharp increase in oil prices worldwide. This alone has kept oil prices above $100 per barrel in the last week.

Energy analysts have stated that Iranian action could lead to an increase of 50% or more in the price of oil. Rising fuel prices could help fuel-efficient railroads, such as Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC), CSX Corporation (CSX), and Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) as traffic would be diverted away from trucking. However, it could also put pressure on rail companies' margins as fuel represents a major portion of their operating costs. 
Tags: csxNSCUNP

Homebuilding stocks have recently rebounded strongly, and investors can now look to buy select stocks on future pullbacks.

By Jan 10, 2012 2:48PM

Image: Home under construction (© Corbis)By Tom Aspray,


As I noted in last week’s sector review, the weekly relative performance analysis of the Select Sector SPDR - Industrials (XLI) has turned positive and it is leading the S&P 500.

The homebuilding industry group is one of the stronger components of this sector, and it now appears that it completed a significant bottom in October. It has been a long time since the Dow Jones Home Construction Index completed a weekly head-and-shoulders top in 2006.


Overall, earnings growth is likely to slow this year, so investors should look to cash-rich, US-focused companies that might deliver upside surprises.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 10, 2012 2:29PM
AlcoaBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times
Fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a sorry start Monday when aluminum producer Alcoa (AA) reported results that were just as disappointing as the market had been expecting, including its first loss in more than a year.

But don't get too distracted by Alcoa's bleak results and outlook. True, it's the first company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report, but that doesn't mean it's a harbinger of bad news to come. Companies generally have been revising their earnings outlook downward, but that simply reflects the need for caution in turbulent times and leaves room for upside surprises.  

With monthly dividends and an attractive yield, this school bus operator is going for growth.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 10, 2012 1:52PM
Image: Student (© Stuart Pearce/age fotostock)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Roger Conrad, Canadian Edge

You won't have income for long without growth. Student Transportation (STB) has plenty of both, with monthly dividends that produce a yield of more than 8.5% and contracts in place to grow revenue 18% this fiscal year.  
Tags: STB


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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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