Businessman blowing bubbles (© GSO Images/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
Take bubble talk with a grain of salt

Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?


Is Qualcomm trying to prop up a sinking share price with its actions?

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 25, 2010 6:18PM

Jim JubakNow I don't wish to sound ungrateful for Thursday's pop in Qualcomm's (QCOM) stock, but I do have to ask: Was this trip necessary?

Thursday, Qualcomm raised its outlook for fiscal second-quarter sales and earnings. The company said it was shipping more chipsets for CDMA cell phones than it had expected.

Expected when? Why, all the way back in January, when the company, after reporting its results for the fiscal first quarter (and badly missing Wall Street estimates), told analysts to expect lower sales and earnings for the fiscal second quarter. That guidance tanked the stock.


New restaurant mimics stock market, lets customers set prices by bidding menu items up or down.

By Kim Peterson Mar 25, 2010 4:23PM

Hamburger © BananaStock / Jupiter ImagesA new restaurant in Manhattan is using the stock market as a model for how it sets menu prices.

The restaurant, appropriately called the Exchange Bar & Grill, even has a ticker tape flashing the changing menu prices in red lettering, according to Reuters.

A particularly popular dish will start to move up in price by 25-cent increments as people order it. The hot wings, for example, start at $7 but could jump to $8 or $9 as the evening went along.


One investment firm writes about why it decided to dump half its holdings in the company.

By Kim Peterson Mar 25, 2010 3:31PM
Warren Buffett. Image credit: © Chip East/ReutersDumping a big chunk of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) is a bold move, and one investment firm decided to write a lengthy explanation about it.

The firm, Reed Conner & Birdwell, says it manages about $1.7 billion for wealthy clients. Berkshire was one of its larger holdings going back to 2000, but last month it sold half its position.

Why? The investors there think Berkshire is at best worth around $83 per share (it was trading just under $82 Thursday). Here are some of RCB's concerns about the stock, and the company: 

Top executives received more cash last year, but lost out on overall compensation as stock awards and options were cut.

By Kim Peterson Mar 25, 2010 2:21PM
Debt collector © Rubberball / Getty ImagesTop bosses at companies made a grab for cash last year, taking home more than before even as executive pay packages were being closely scrutinized.

The cash earnings that chief executives received last year rose by 8.3%, according to an analysis by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. This is exactly the opposite of what the Obama administration would like to see.

But overall, average compensation fell by 8.6% to $9.8 million, at least for the 81 CEOs included in the analysis. That's because companies cut the stock awards and options that the CEOs received. 

When you travel you can only stay at one hotel at a time but what do you do when investing?

By Jim Van Meerten Mar 25, 2010 1:38PM
Finding travel deals © Corbis
For my Financial Tides portfolios I was using Barchart to screen for some new stocks and on the top of my screens came 2 hotels: Host Hotels & Resorts (HST) and Starwoods Hotels & Resorts (HOT).

If I'm on Bing and trying to make a travel reservation I have to pick one or the other but how about when I'm investing? How do I choose?

Let's take them one at a time with my normal analysis:

Host Hotel's & Resorts had a price appreciation in the last 30 days of 27.32%. It hit new highs on 17 of the last 20 trading sessions and was 4 for 5 recently. On Barchart 13 of the 13 technical indicators signal buy for a 100% technical rating.

Voice-over-broadband programs prove that mobile apps and 3G data networks can do all the cell can -- and more.

By InvestorPlace Mar 25, 2010 11:39AM

Cell phone stocksApple (AAPL) might as well drop the “phone” from iPhone, the way the industry is going. It appears that the Internet is slowly but surely turning the telephone into one of those technological fossils akin to Betamax tapes, 8-tracks and laser discs.


Apple’s App Store recently began offering Line2, a program that turns the iPhone into a dual-mode phone complete with a second number for just $1. That’s nice for those who want an extra line to keep business calls free from personal ones.

But the real appeal is that Line2 can make and receive calls any time you’re in a wireless hot spot, sending voice over Wi-Fi and not the iPhone's voice plan. The service costs just $15 a month, and is a hit among those who are frustrated by the spotty network of AT&T (T).


Prices will range from $1.75 to $6 for the items.

By Elizabeth Strott Mar 25, 2010 11:27AM

File photo of a Subway restaurant in Chicago (© Tim Boyle/Getty Images)In an effort to compete with the likes of fast-food chains McDonald's (MCD) and Burger King (BKC), Subway will start serving breakfast sandwiches in more than 25,000 North American stores on April 5.


The breakfast market has grown tremendously in recent years, fueled by increased competition and frequent deals. In the five years leading up to the recession, breakfast sales grew 65%, according to NPD Group, and restaurants added more than 460 new breakfast products last year, according to research group Mintel.


While sales have been slow in recent months because of the recession, Mintel expects the industry to pick up again in the next few years, forecasting sales to grow 13% between 2009 and 2014.


Many analysts expect gold prices to stay close to $1,100, and the US dollar to keep gaining.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 25, 2010 11:27AM

TheStreetGold © Comstock Images/JupiterimagesBy Alix Steel, TheStreet


Gold prices were clawing their way back to $1,100 as the US dollar fell.


Gold for April delivery was falling $1.70 to $1,086.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have traded as high as $1,095.60 and as low as $1,085.50. The US dollar index was slipping 0.31% to $81.73. Gold's spot price was gaining more than $5, according to Kitco's gold index.


The euro was losing value on Thursday, bolstering gold prices. The currency hit a 10-month low on Wednesday as European sovereign debt fears boosted the dollar.


Despite recent gains, shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway are still cheap, says fund manager Glenn Tongue.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 25, 2010 11:00AM
Credit: (© Paul White/AP)

TheStreetBy Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet


Glenn Tongue, co-manager of the Tilson Focus Fund (TILFX), says Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) stock remains cheap despite recent gains. Shares of Warren Buffett's investment company could keep climbing, he says.


The $16 million fund, which garners three stars from Morningstar (MORN), has doubled during the past year, better than 98% of rival funds. The fund has climbed 5.7% annually, on average, during the past five years, outperforming 88% of competitors. Tongue recently shared his investment views with TheStreet.


Are you finding value in the market right now?


This booming travel stock is set for big growth as China becomes the #1 tourist destination in the coming years

By InvestorPlace Mar 25, 2010 8:52AM

China travel stocksA top exec at the United Nations World Tourism Organization recently said China will surpass France as the largest tourist destination by 2015, if not sooner. That means big profits for top China travel stocks.  


Consider that in the last ten years, the number of foreign tourists has increased from 8 million to 48 million and the number is expected to grow even more as this nation’s booming economy becomes truly Westernized -- including the travel industry.

One stock that has been riding this rising tide of tourism is a Chinese equivalent of breakout travel blue chip (PCLN). It was developed in 1999 by a former employee of Oracle (ORCL) and has brought an American business sense to the Chinese travel model.


Kaufman boosts its price target on Netflix, adding to the optimism. This market just won't quit.

By Jim Cramer Mar 25, 2010 7:52AM

Jim Cramer

By Jim Cramer, TheStreet


Have you noticed the latest sign of the power of this bull market? Increases in target prices that get stocks moving up.

This morning, Kaufman Bros. boosted its target price on the most unbelievable of bullish stocks, Netflix (NFLX). The firm expects the shares to rise to $76, a $7 bump to its target price.


If we have a good day, Netflix shares are going to react strongly to it. I have seen these infinitesimal price target moves ignite stocks for the last two weeks, and it is a beautiful thing, even when the analyst doesn't even like a stock much.



The price of sugar has plummeted on high prices and slow demand. It could drop even further.

By Kim Peterson Mar 24, 2010 5:46PM
sugar  © Geostock/Photodisc Green/Getty Images Never had an interest in sugar futures? Consider yourself lucky.

Sugar prices, which had hit a 29-year high on Feb. 1, have fallen 43% since then, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sugar prices had soared as investors feared a drop in production from Brazil and India.

But those worries were overblown, and the output from those two countries was better than expected, writes Holly Henschen. 

The beverage giant is in a period of transition, and the share price isn't moving.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 24, 2010 4:57PM

Jim JubakShares of PepsiCo (PEP) are inching toward my June target of $68 so slowly that I think it's time to sell and look for some place to redeploy the money. (It closed just below $67 Tuesday.)

With sales of sugared soft drinks stagnant in North America and with PepsiCo announcing that's it's going to try to grow sales of its "good for you" products in brands such as Tropicana and Tazo, I think investors are looking at a period of slow growth as the company lays the foundations for future growth. (For more on those challenges, see this post).

I'll be glad to buy these shares later when that work is further toward completion.


Google shares could tumble to IPO levels during the next 2 years as the company struggles to compete with Apple.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 24, 2010 1:19PM

TheStreetBy Jason Schwarz, TheStreet


Google's (GOOG) in trouble. I expect the stock to return to its initial-public-offering levels of $300 a share during the next two years. The Internet search giant has ruffled the wrong feathers.


When I hear Apple (AAPL) Chief Executive Steve Jobs mention that he feels betrayed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and when I see Apple go out and buy its own mobile advertising company, I begin to question Google's future growth prospects.


Apple's Quattro is coming. It's going to be revolutionary, but it will also be the most important contributor to Google's demise. It won't be the only factor. With Google, it's a matter of picking its poison.


Wall Street fighting to keep the little investor in the dark.

By Jamie Dlugosch Mar 24, 2010 1:12PM

Score another one for the big banks.


Last week a United States District Court in New York ruled in favor of large banks fighting to keep website from publishing analyst report headlines as quickly as they can.


You know Wall Street. The big players can’t simply make money on good ideas. They have to preserve their edge over the rest of us.



Simply said, analyst reports often move stocks in a predictable way.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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