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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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The online portal reports earnings Tuesday, and analysts are looking for flat growth.

By Benzinga Mon 2:38 PM

Caption: Yahoo! Headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Credit: © SiliconValleyStock/AlamyBy Nelson Hem


Yahoo (YHOO), which announced that its most popular sites were promptly updated after the 'Heartbleed' bug was revealed last week, is scheduled to share its first-quarter 2014 results Tuesday after the closing bell.


Investors and analysts will still be looking for updates on the Alibaba initial public offering. Yahoo owns a 24 percent stake in the China-based e-commerce company. Also in focus: Yahoo's television programming efforts. Investors also will have an eye on such metrics as display revenue, ads sold, paid clicks and price-per click.


Analysts on average predict that Yahoo will say its revenue for the quarter totaled $1.08 billion, which would be about the same as in the year-ago period. Earnings of 37 cents per share are also in the consensus forecast. That would be down year-over-year from to a reported profit of 38 cents per share.

 

The Internet's giants are adding technology to get more of the world's population online.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 2:23 PM
A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission at the Naval Air Station Nov. 8, 2011, in Corpus Christi, Texas (© Eric Gay/AP Photo)By Alistair Barr and Reed Albergotti, The Wall Street Journal

Google (GOOG) said Monday it agreed to buy Titan Aerospace, a startup maker of high-altitude drones, as the Internet search giant adds more aerial technology to collect images and get more of the world's population online.

Google didn't disclose a purchase price for Titan, of Moriarty, N.M., whose solar-powered drones are intended to fly for years.


Earlier this year, Facebook (FBhad been in talks to buy Titan. But Facebook later said it was buying Ascenta, a U.K.-based aerospace company that has also been working on solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles, for $20 million.

 

The company says the safety burden unfairly falls on retailers rather than on manufacturers.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 2:05 PM
Credit: © Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Caption: A Wal-Mart supermarket in Loudi, Hunan Province, China
By Laurie Burkitt and Shelly Banjo, The Wall Street Journal

Over the past three years, Chinese authorities have fined Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) $9.8 million, sanctioning the retailer for using misleading pricing, selling poor-quality products and even peddling donkey meat that turned out to be fox.


Wal-Mart has increased testing and inspections. Food testers at Wal-Mart distribution centers in China check more than 600 products daily to catch flaws before the food is sent out to stores. After Wal-Mart found the fox meat labeled as donkey in January, the company said it would start testing its products' DNA.


But Wal-Mart is also doing something rare for a Western company: Telling Chinese authorities they need to clean up their own act.

 
Tags: WMT

Tha bank wins Wall Street's earnings game this quarter, but is it strong enough to invest in yet?

By Motley Fool Investor Beat Mon 1:40 PM
Shares of Citigroup (C) were up nearly 5 percent Monday, beating analysts' expectations for both the top and bottom line. Non-adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.30 compared with consensus estimates of $1.14, and revenue for the quarter was $20.1 billion, compared to an estimated $19.7 billion.

While this is definitely good news for the bank, Citigroup hasn't had an easy time of things lately. In this year's round of banking stress tests conducted by the Federal Reserve, Citigroup passed in terms of its capital ratios, but the Fed came down hard on the bank for its approach to managing risk, and denied the bank's requests to return more capital to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks. 
Tags: C

In a match of Wall Street swagger vs. Midwestern sensibility, a clear winner is emerging.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 1:26 PM
Caption: The J.P. Morgan headquarter in Canary Wharf in London. Credit: © Piero Cruciatti/Demotix/Corbis
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage center in Pittsburgh
© Gene J. Puskar/APBy David Weidner, MarketWatch

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) had a great quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) had a lousy one.

There are fundamental financial reasons why two of the biggest U.S. banks turned in such equally opposite results Friday. Wells Fargo is enjoying improving credit in its mortgage portfolio. JPMorgan suffered from lower trading revenue in its fixed-income, currency and commodities arm.


But in this post-crisis environment, there is a deeper division between the institutions that’s driving the bottom line. Culturally, these institutions could hardly be further apart. JPMorgan and its brash, risk-taking Wall Street swagger, Wells Fargo and its West Coast cool with roots in Midwestern sensibility.

 
Tags: JPMWFC

The company's tax rate of 37.5% could drop to 20% overseas. Some shareholders are pushing for a move.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 12:44 PM
People walk by a Walgreens in Boston, Mass., on April 30, 2013 (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)By Tim Rostan, MarketWatch

Drugstore chain Walgreen Co. (WAG) has come under intensifying shareholder pressure to use its large ownership stake in the Swiss-based Alliance Boots as a justification to re-domicile in Europe and reduce its U.S. tax bill, according to a Financial Times report.

Walgreen, headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, acquired 45 percent of Alliance Boots in 2012 and holds an option to purchase the remainder of the company. The first Walgreen’s opened in Chicago in 1901.


At a private meeting convened Friday in Paris, the FT reports, investors owning a nearly 5 percent aggregate stake in Walgreen pressed the case for shifting Walgreen's headquarters out of the U.S.

 
Tags: WAG

Many factors suggest the yield of Suburban Propane Partners will soon be headed south.

By StreetAuthority Mon 11:52 AM
Credit: © Andyqwe/Getty Images

Caption: Propane tanker truck being driven on highway.By Tim Begany

Like people, companies sometimes fail to adequately manage their finances for so long that something eventually has to give. And that's just what I think is happening with one well-known company with a reputation for safety, reliability and far-above-average dividend yields.

Right now, the company's payout is $3.50 a share, which is good for an 8.2 percent yield based on a recent stock price of around $42.50. The stock's yield has averaged 7.5 percent annually for a decade.

I wouldn't rush to invest just yet, though, because I strongly suspect this dividend party can't last much longer. Investors who buy now thinking they'll get yields north of 8 percent might soon be in for a nasty shock in the form of a major dividend cut. 

It's unnerving that almost every strong stock has a poorly performing company underneath it.

By Jim Cramer Mon 11:25 AM

Trader Anthony Rinaldi is reflected on a screen as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday in New York © Carlo Allegri/ReutersAlmost everyone I know has two emotions about this market: They hate it and they fear it.


They hate it because they can't figure it out. They fear it because if they can't figure it out, then something must be very wrong that they either can't see or can't get their arms around.


TheStreet.com logoSome of this fear comes from the fact that no one I know -- and I've canvassed the best desks -- has a clue why interest rates went down last week on some very strong U.S. data. The only plausible flight-to-quality provokers I heard were as follows:

 

iTunes Radio has attempted to use streaming to boost digital music sales, but streaming subscribers are paying not to make those purchases.

By TheStreet.com Staff Mon 10:53 AM

File photo of Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, introducing the new iTunes Radio © Eric Risberg/APBy Jason Notte, TheStreet


Apple (AAPL) is watching its iTunes Radio streaming service flounder because it doesn't understand the most fundamental truth about streaming music customers.


We're not listening to streaming music services so we can find the next song to buy. We're listening and subscribing to them so we don't have to buy songs anymore.


TheStreet.com logoThat is what nobody in the industry wants to talk about. Regardless of whether Pandora (P) manages to keep pace with competitors like Beats Music and Spotify, the streaming music subscription model is out there and isn't going away anytime soon. Oh, and it's making the a la carte, $1.25-a-song download model look foolish by comparison.

 

The stock rockets higher in its first day of trading. Everyone wants to find the next Chipotle.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 6:44 PM
Image: Zoёs Kitchen restaurant in Savannah, Ga. (© Zoёs Kitchen via Facebook, http://tinyurl.com/zoeipo)By Steve Schaefer, Forbes

If you're a restaurant adding stores and piling up profits, the last two years have been a great time to go public. 


Even with the broader market reeling and the demand for IPOs showing a few cracks, Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES) proved Friday that the hunt for growth stories is still on in some corners.


The small company raised $87.5 million, selling 5.8 million shares at $15 apiece, and the stock rocketed 73 percent higher in its debut, closing Friday at $24.72. Zoe's, which initially intended to sell shares for between $11 and $13 apiece, upped its price tag by two bucks earlier in the week and landed at the top of that range, indicating demand.

 

A new report says the market for this type of technology could surpass 100 million units by 2018.

By Benzinga Fri 6:16 PM

A model displays the new Samsung Galaxy Gear after the presentation in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday Sept. 4, 2013 (© Gero Breloer/AP Photo)By Jim Probasco


Shipments of wearable computing, especially of the functional and stylish variety, will exceed 19 million units in 2014, according to research from International Data Corporation released Thursday. By 2018, the worldwide market would grow to nearly 112 million units.


Wearables have clearly moved out of "early adopter" status and, IDC said, into the pages of GQ and Shape -- not just Computerworld and Wired.


Among the most popular wearables are Nike's (NKE) Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP and Fitbit devices, all part a rapidly growing fitness and health space. These devices fall into a category referred to as complex accessories designed to operate partly independent of other devices. To make full use, however, they connect to smartphones, tablets or PCs to download and analyze data collected.

 

The tax burden on US corporations has fallen since the last major tax overhaul in 1986. Simply, it's a deal too good to give up.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 5:28 PM
Credit: © Garrian Manning/Getty Images

Caption: Uncle Sam shaking man to get tax moneyBy Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss, Fortune

The U.S. system for taxing corporate profits is outdated, ineffective at raising revenue, and creates perverse incentives for companies to shelter profits overseas.


It is also, for most U.S. companies most of the time, a pretty good deal, which is one of the big reasons why any serious overhaul will be so difficult to achieve.


The quick opposition that greeted the ambitious reform plan released a month ago by Republican Ways & Means Committee chairman Dave Camp, who last week announced he would retire from Congress, was chalked up to the usual array of special interests. But the broader problem is that U.S. companies, particularly those that compete in international markets, have adapted remarkably well to the current tax system.

 

The company goes against the grain of the Nasdaq's fall and gets an analyst upgrade. Could it finally see its day in the sun?

By Motley Fool Investor Beat Fri 3:59 PM
Shares of Zynga (ZNGA) were seeing a boost Friday after being upgraded to "equal weight" by Morgan Stanley. This has the game maker bucking the trend that has dogged the Nasdaq Composite index of other tech stocks, which has seen a considerable decline over the past few months.

In this video from Friday's Stock of the Day, Motley Fool analyst Jamal Carnette discusses why he likes some of the moves Zynga is making at the moment. The company just named David Lee as its new CFO, a sign that the company's new CEO, Don Mattrick, is steering the company in a new direction, away from where the company sat under the leadership of former CEO Mark Pincus. 
Tags: ZNGA

After a cold, hard winter, spending is heating up with the weather. Here are 4 investments for riding that trend.

By StreetAuthority Fri 3:48 PM
Shoppers walk around the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota on Feb. 25, 2012 (© Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By David Sterman

It's increasingly clear that the polar vortex created havoc for retailers. As the snow piled up and temperatures plunged, many consumers simply stayed away from the malls. You can expect to hear all about it as earnings season unfolds.

Investors have already responded, shunning consumer stocks, and the key ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that track consumer discretionary spending are all under water for the year. As Citigroup analysts noted, "The worst performing sector thus far in 2014 is Consumer Discretionary, with the retailing industry group plummeting nearly 8 percent this year."

But a late winter thaw may have set the stage for much better days to come. And this lagging sector could deliver much better news as coming quarters unfold. 

Is an airline a utility or a service? The ones who act like a utility have more financial success.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 2:59 PM
File photo of at Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 aircraft arriving at Denver International Airport on May 3, 2012 (© Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)By Justin Bachman, Businessweek

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) inspires a special kind of wrath among the American traveling public: It's the industry leader in customer complaints by a wide margin. 


Over the last five years, Spirit's rate of complaints to the Department of Transportation was three times higher than other U.S. airlines, according to a report (PDF) released Thursday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.


This is not the first time Spirit has been dinged for customer dissatisfaction. Last year it was the lowest-scoring carrier in a Consumer Reports survey of 16,000 readers. "Poor service, poor communication, poor quality," a commenter at airline-rating firm Skytrax wrote this week. "You couldn’t even make up how bad they are." The loathing has also inspired a dedicated Twitter (TWTR) feed: @hatespiritair.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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