There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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The tablet goes on sale today, and analysts expect it to sell faster than the original.
The lines are growing outside of Apple stores. One woman grabbed the first spot in line at Apple's flagship store in New York City, and after 41 hours of waiting sold her spot for $900, Mashable reports. She plans to buy Lady Gaga concert tickets with the money.
Apple has been through this before. It sold 300,000 of its first iPad in 24 hours, and the device went on to become the fastest-selling technology gadget in history, from a revenue standpoint, Bloomberg reports. Analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. expects 600,000 iPad 2s to be sold this weekend. If his prediction proves true, the iPad 2 would smash the record set by its predecessor.
Funds linked to the world's most prevalent industrial metal can often predict mood shifts.
By Gary Gordon, TheStreet
The worldwide bull market for stocks turned two years old on March 9, 2011. And so far, there have been two meaningful corrections -- one in 2009 and one in 2010.
Some in the media have suggested that the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) might not experience any significant pullback, like the way U.S. stocks behaved in 1995. Others believe that stock assets will get knocked for a major headache, but eventually stake a claim to new heights.
There is a third possibility. Commodity price inflation, real estate struggles, Middle East uncertainty, eurozone debt, rising interest rates and U.S. deficit woes collectively undermine faith in the toddling bull market. After all, they don't call it the "terrible twos" for nothing!
If you were expecting Japan's disastrous temblor to rock US markets, consider what some economics professors discovered 20 years ago.
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch
The U.S. stock market appears to be largely shrugging off news this morning of the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in more than 100 years.
That surprises many observers, especially those old timers who remember a nightmare scenario that haunted many in the early 1980s. That's when the Japanese economy was riding high and Tokyo real estate was the most expensive in the world.
Analysts worried about what would happen if a major earthquake hit Japan, triggering huge claims against insurance companies, which in turn would have to liquidate major portions of their stock and bond holdings in the United States. Cover stories in some financial magazines were devoted to the stock market crash that would result. Still, from a different perspective, the market's reaction Friday morning does not come as a particular surprise.
Toyota, Sony and other Japanese ADRs trading on U.S. exchanges fall in the aftermath of Friday's earthquake.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
The offshore earthquake hit Japan Friday afternoon with a magnitude of 8.9 and triggered a tsunami. Video footage showed tsunami waves that swept over towns, fields, and even airports. Effects of the tsunami were felt along the coast of Hawaii hours later.
Asian stock exchanges dropped in reaction, with the Nikkei tumbling 1.7% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 1.5%.
The Oracle of Omaha is expecting a decade dividend double.
By Motley Fool contributor Chris Baines.
"In 2011," he wrote, "we [Berkshire Hathaway] will almost certainly receive $376 million from Coke, up $24 million from last year. Within 10 years, I would expect that $376 million to double."
Say what, Buffett? You expect Coke's dividend to double in a decade's time? My math reveals that Coke would have to grow its dividend by at least 7% per year for that to happen. This is interesting, since Wall Street rarely expects a 7%-plus growth rate from a mature consumer staple like Coke.
Rising oil prices could create a short-term problem for the miner. There are long-term production issues as well.
Seek safety in Hershey, Smucker and other companies that produce consumer staples.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
With crude oil trading around $100 a barrel, the Middle East region on the brink and the Federal Reserve ending its bond-buying program soon, investor sentiment has turned. Thursday, the S&P 500 ($INX) fell 1.9% after rallying 24% since September. The following consumer-staples stocks -- shares of companies that produce goods needed to live -- are ranked highest by TheStreet's quantitative equity model.
Of note: Several represent food-products companies, which are subject to higher costs due to the recent rise in commodity prices. Their ability to pass on increased prices to consumers without affecting demand varies.
TheStreet's stock model incorporates both fundamental and technical factors. The stocks are ordered by net score, from good to great.
American Apparel's chief lawsuit officer. Talks about tapping the country's oil reserves. Radient's relationship issues.
5. American Apparel's chief lawsuit officer
American Apparel's (APP) eccentric CEO Dov Charney is once again in the hot seat -- this time with a former employee, who says he forced her to perform sexual acts while she was working at the company as a teenager.
This isn't the first lawsuit filed against Charney, who has made a name for himself more for his alleged indiscretions than his flailing t-shirt business. Maybe there's an argument that Charney's eclectic persona helped lift American Apparel up the retail ranks. But for a public company, Charney's reputation has become more of a liability then an asset. So why is he still allowed to hold a position of power?
The disaster dovetails with the current end-of-the-world thesis.
In a testament to how quickly this market has turned bad, we don't see any positive action in any of the usual suspects that are needed to rebuild a rich country's infrastructure after a terrible natural disaster like Japan suffered last night.
Normally you would expect to see companies that supply timber, copper and earth-moving equipment to go up, as we initially saw when Australia, another place that can afford to rebuild, got hit by natural disasters.
But we are in one-way mode now in that a natural disaster is viewed as just one more compounding event to dovetail with the end-of-the-world thesis that has now taken center stage.
Reviewers hate the new cameras but say the iPad 2, which goes on sale Friday, is still the best on the market.
The device isn't perfect, the reviews say, but the iPad 2 is better than anything else out there.
Apple will kick off iPad 2 sales Friday on its website at 4 a.m. EST, giving online shoppers a head start. Then at 5 p.m. local time, the device will be available at Apple stores, as well as at Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Best Buy (BBY).
The iPad 2 is a third thinner and up to 15% lighter than the original. It has the same 9.7-inch diagonal screen as its predecessor, but it adds two cameras -- one in front and another in back. Inside, it has a new processor, called the A5, and the ability to run programs and display websites faster.
Bears focus their pressure on the stocks that led the post-September rally, signaling that the market correction is far from over.
Over the last few weeks, a curious stalemate had developed in the stock market. The bears, encouraged by soaring oil prices, political turmoil in the Middle East and Africa, and fresh worries over European debt problem, have come out of hibernation in a big way for the first time since the seven-month market uptrend started last September. They've viciously defended the 2,800 level on the Nasdaq Composite.
The bulls continue to believe that the Fed's easy money will win the day and literally paper over the world's problems with cheap dollars. They've defended the Nasdaq's 50-day moving average.
But on Thursday, the stalemate was broken as the bears eviscerated stocks in leading sector groups like semiconductors, materials and energy. The rotation out of cyclical, high-beta sectors suggests the bulls are now in full retreat. And that means there is more downside movement yet to come.
There's more growth left in this Chinese firm than you'd think.
Fool analyst Jim Mueller is back with another stock for his my Messed-Up Expectations (MUE) portfolio. His idea this time comes from a company that's been able to keep its head above water even in the raging rapids of the credit crisis.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor
If you like gadgets, then you probably like Nam Tai Electronics (NTE), or at least have used its products. It's a Chinese maker of components used in putting together cell phones, notebook computers, digital cameras, and other electronic gadgets. While it doesn't sell directly to consumers, it is affected by the success of those that do.
As you might imagine, it was hit pretty hard by the last recession, with revenue dropping 20% and 34% in 2008 and 2009, respectively, while net income fell 56% and 95% for those two years. Even in the depth of the recession, however, it managed to eke out a profit, something that its two major competitors, Jabil Circuit (JBL) and Flextronics International (FLEX), can't say.
After ending an exclusive deal to supply coffee to Kraft's Tassimo machines, Starbucks partners with Green Mountain.
The company is finally offering its coffee in the single-serve K-cups used by the Keurig machines from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). Investors were ecstatic at the news, sending Green Mountain shares up more than 30% Thursday to $57.09. Starbucks shares rose nearly 8% to $37.23.
For now, it looks like Starbucks has taken the sensible route. Some observers had speculated that the company would debut its own line of single-serve brewers, eating into the market now dominated by Green Mountain.
But instead of opening that can of worms, Starbucks chose to partner with Green Mountain. The Starbucks-branded K-cups should be out this fall.
These companies are expanding at rates not yet reflected in their shares.
By James Dlugosch, Stockpickr
There are many ways to make money in the stock market. Some investors prefer to buy stocks and hold for the long term. Others like to trade stocks for short-term profits.
Whatever your preference, investing or trading, you need to pick stocks that can be bought or traded for a profit. The many methods at your disposal in finding opportunities include value, growth, technical analysis or some hybrid style of investing.
It has been my experience that the hybrid approach generates the biggest bang for the buck. Specifically, I like to find stocks that are growing faster than the market currently values shares.
Over the past decade or more, I have used this growth-at-a-reasonable-price approach to generate big gains for my stock picks. It may sound simplistic, but when a stock is growing its earnings at a rate of, say, 20%, yet trades for only 10 times forward earnings, the result is fairly easy to predict: The stock price will go up.
Chinese growth is slowing, European countries are struggling to emerge from debt, and expensive gasoline could damage the US economy. If oil doesn't sink soon, we could be in for trouble.
Binary situations make for some tough investing, and this binary situation -- oil going higher, oil going lower -- may be one of the tougher predicaments this bull market has faced.
That's because, despite the incredible resilience of the restaurants and retailers that I wrote about Wednesday, the creaks that come from higher oil prices are setting in. They just aren't settling in the places we thought they would. And as long as oil prices stay elevated, the stakes will keep being raised.
First, the gospel has become, in the past 48 hours, that China has been hit hard by a government-mandated slowdown that is now being exacerbated by the cost of oil. The trade numbers last night -- the $7.3 billion trade deficit -- gave us concrete evidence that China's economy is already being hurt by oil. The numbers were surprisingly weak. The inputs from China reverberate from steel and copper and coal imports -- the entire universe of resource companies is being pummeled -- to the auto and tech markets.
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These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
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] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
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