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


The major indexes saw a dip just as the ruling was being read. Coincidence?

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 1:02PM
Was Wall Street watching the Casey Anthony trial?

That's what one website is wondering after seeing an interesting drop in the markets just after the verdict was read Tuesday.

The lead-up to the verdict began building at 2 p.m., with the televised proceedings starting at around 2:17 p.m., Mogulite reports. Between 2 p.m. and 2:34 p.m., there was a dip in the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes. 

MSN Money columnist Anthony Mirhaydari explains why the economic recovery is too young to die -- and how investors can still get in on it.

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 12:43PM

The economic recovery will continue, says Anthony Mirhaydari, a columnist for MSN Money.

Calling the recovery, "just too young to die," he notes many positives happening still. Corporate earnings are improving, and some short-term drags, such as high energy prices, are beginning to fade.

Mirhaydari also answers Facebook questions from MSN Money readers about stocks, the debt ceiling and investor mentality. You can check out his comments in the following video.

Post continues after video:


The video service, which is reportedly up for sale, announces some key numbers.

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 12:27PM
Hulu is going for the hard sell.

The online video service says it's getting paid subscribers faster than it had expected and is on track to hit 1 million by the end of summer.

In a blog post this week, chief executive Jason Kilar said Hulu Plus added more subscribers in June than in April and May combined. The site now has 875,000 members paying the $8 monthly subscription fee. That fee allows users to watch a vast library of television shows on their computers, iPads, phones and other devices. (The free version of Hulu is available only via computer and doesn't have as many videos.)

Finally, Kilar said, Hulu is profitable and on track to bring in nearly $500 million in revenue this year, up from $263 million last year. 

After just 3 weeks on the market, Chromebooks grab 4 of the top 17 spots on Amazon's best-seller list.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 7, 2011 12:11PM

By Anton Wahlman, TheStreet


Hey, Microsoft (MSFT), if you're in the car, check the rearview mirror and move into the right lane. It looks like there is a laptop freight train called Google (GOOG) that's about to pass you in sales. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)


I just checked Amazon's laptop bestseller-list, and among the top 17 best-selling models, there are four Google laptops, including the No. 2 seller. No. 1 is Apple's (AAPL) 13-inch MacBook Pro. Four out of the top 17 isn't a bad showing for Google after being on the market for only three weeks.


These Google laptops are the so-called Chromebooks, based on the Chrome OS, and they cost between $350 and $500. I have written about these devices extensively since early December 2010, including this article in March.


The stock has historically outperformed the market, but technical indicators suggest that relationship may be changing.

By Jul 7, 2011 11:25AM
By Tom Aspray,

Technology bellwether Apple (AAPL) has closed higher for the past five days in a row, and with Wednesday’s close at $351.76, the stock is up 13.2% from the June lows. Though this performance is pretty impressive, is it good enough to keep AAPL as a market-leading stock?

Identifying and monitoring the market leaders can help you to spot short-term turning points. For example, if several market-leading stocks are close to the weekly Starc+ bands (a high-risk buying zone) it will suggest that the overall market is also due for a rest.
Though AAPL has had nice gains from recent lows, how does it compare with other market bellwethers?

A new fund designed to track cloud computing turns heads by including the video-streaming service as a top holding.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 7, 2011 11:17AM

By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreet


The launch of the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY) is the latest micro-niche fund to hit the market. Some investors will scoff at the fund, some will trade it actively, and some will find genuine investment merit.


The U.S. fund will have 40 holdings, most of which are technology related, will rebalance quarterly, and will charge a 0.60% expense ratio. At the industry level, the fund is dominated by software (32% of holdings), Internet services (22%) and communications equipment (16%). One other industry in there that might be a surprise is Internet and catalog retail at 7.75%, with the largest name from that segment being Netflix (NFLX).


Netflix's inclusion means the fund provides logical access not only to companies building and servicing the cloud but also to a couple of companies using the cloud. Netflix is the largest holding in the fund, at 4.5%, and it seems like everyone has an opinion about the name. Investors who are bullish on Netflix believe the company's growth is scalable because of how good the service is, while others argue the stock should fall by pointing to valuations and increasing costs for content.


Even for less-than-bullish analysts, the automaker's stock is indisputably cheap.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 7, 2011 10:46AM

the streetBy Jake Lynch, TheStreet


General Motors' (GM) stock has rebounded 11% from its 52-week low but remains in deep-discount territory, even as analysts boost their earnings forecasts.


BusinessWeek and Bloomberg on Tuesday reported about the company's channel stuffing, or flooding of dealers' inventory to goose profits. Betting on a strong rally in SAAR, or the seasonally adjusted annual rate, for cars, some dealers now have excess inventory, presenting risk to GM, which may have difficulty maintaining its sales and profit levels.


For investors, or potential investors, in GM, this isn't news. Bearish traders have been touting this practice for months as a reason to avoid the stock. Along with souring economic data, channel stuffing is a relevant counterargument to the bullish case. Nevertheless, savvy investors know to build positions amid negative news flow because once it dissipates, stocks tend to rise.


The Wall Street Journal says a September release is pretty certain for a thinner, lighter model with an upgraded camera.

By InvestorPlace Jul 7, 2011 10:29AM

By Jeff Reeves,

It's official, iPhone fans. You will get your shot at a shiny new iPhone 5 by the end of September.

OK, well, it's not official official. Apple CEO Steve Jobs plays his cards notoriously close to his vest on product launches, and Apple hasn't formally set a date. But after a host of similar rumors swirling around tech blogs, the latest report of a September launch comes from a highly respected source, The Wall Street Journal.

To lend credibility, the Journal has based the date on supply chain interviews and managed to wrangle a few more details about the gadget out of its sources in the process.


A recent national audit of government loans might have missed a large chunk, adding to investor concerns about banks.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 6, 2011 4:21PM
Jim JubakChina's banks are in more trouble than investors thought.

That’s the message in the warning from Moody's Investors Service, and the decision by Temasek, Singapore's national investment fund, to sell shares in two of China’s biggest banks.

Tuesday, Moody's warned that the recently completed government audit of loans by local government financing platforms might have missed a few loans. Last week, China's first audit of local governments found that provinces, cities and counties owned about 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.65 trillion).

Moody’s calculates that the audit missed about 3.5 trillion yuan, or roughly $540 billion in loans. Most, according to Moody's, weren't included in the national audit, because they weren’t properly underwritten and thus couldn’t be classified as government loans.

Dealers have several months' worth of unsold trucks. Is the automaker trying to paint a better picture?

By Kim Peterson Jul 6, 2011 3:29PM
Something isn't quite right at General Motors (GM) dealerships. Unsold trucks are piling up.

One Atlanta dealer has more than six months' worth of Silverados on hand, a stockpile even the dealer's general manager describes as "a little scary," Bloomberg reports. In fact, GM's truck inventory has soared to 122 days' worth of average sales, compared with 79 days for Ford (F) and 78 days in past years for GM.

This dealer-stuffing could play right into GM's stock price. One analyst, Peter Nesvold of Jefferies, says the higher truck supply is ultimately pulling GM's 2012 earnings into this year.

"It's unbelievable that after this huge taxpayer bailout and the bankruptcy that we're right back to where we were," he told Bloomberg. "There's no credibility." 
Tags: gm

How to navigate among the reverse-mergers and other risky companies.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jul 6, 2011 2:30PM

By Matt Koppenheffer


When it comes to U.S.-listed Chinese companies, the shoes are dropping faster than at a barefoot marathon for octopuses. 


Last week, A-Power Energy (APWR) became the latest Chinese small cap to be halted. That came after the company's auditor and two independent directors resigned. The auditor had flagged certain transactions at the company for further investigation and told A-Power to talk to the hand when it didn't take any steps to investigate those deals.


Meanwhile, AutoChina endured a beating Friday after the company revealed it will be restating past financial statements and is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The former may not be much to freak out about -- it's the accounting for an earn-out agreement with management -- but it's hard not to be concerned about an SEC investigation.


A former broker shares an 11-point checklist.

By Kim Peterson Jul 6, 2011 2:12PM
With about 10,000 stocks to choose from, picking a winner can sometimes feel impossible.

But former stockbroker Kevin Matras says his checklist works. Matras, a contributing editor at Zacks Investment Research, shares his strategy in the following video. Before he buys a stock, he says, he puts it up against this basic set of building blocks. If a stock passes, he says, it has a high probability of success.

By the way, five stocks currently sail through his checklist. I'll go through those stocks after the following video.

Post continues below: 

The nation is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions.

By V.N. Katsenelson Jul 6, 2011 2:06PM
Party rulers in China are trapped in a position that chess players deeply fear -- zugzwang, where any move made puts you at disadvantage. In China, the potential cost of both action and inaction is economic collapse.


China is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions — loans grew by more than 30% a year over the past few years — and inflation is rising fast. Inflation in developed countries is unpleasant, but it is tolerable.  For a developing country — China, despite its size, is still a developing country — it can be catastrophic.  In developed countries, we spend two or three times less on food as a percentage of our income as do people in developing countries.  Therefore, though food inflation is unpleasant, we have a much greater tolerance (margin of safety) for it.  While food inflation the US can mean fewer trips to restaurants or no summer vacation, food inflation in China leads to hunger.


Here's the skinny on the video game company as it prepares to go public.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 6, 2011 11:50AM

By Eric Jackson, TheStreet


A lot has been written about Zynga in the past week since it filed its S-1 last week, revealing more details about its financials and future IPO plans.


Overall, most folks in the press have described the company positively because it appears to be making money compared with Groupon.


The company does have a number of strengths, but the general view of the business press is badly misinformed because of a lack of familiarity with the gaming sector.


Here are some myths and truths about Zynga:


There is substantial upside potential in minerals, and risk-controlled entry points are evident for 3 leading producers.

By Jul 6, 2011 11:48AM
By Tom Aspray,

Tuesday's announcement from the Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) found that China "Violated international trade law by artificially restricting exports of nine raw materials." These raw materials are critical to the production of aluminum, steel and chemicals.

Though rare-earth minerals were not included in the ruling, it is thought to set a precedent for an outstanding complaint against China for restricting the export of 17 rare-earth minerals. Last year, China temporarily halted exports of rare-earth minerals to Japan.

Over the weekend, it was also reported that Japanese experts have found a large deposit of rare-earth minerals on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The size of the mineral discovery is estimated to be 1,000 times more than the current proven reserves, which are mostly in China.

In an early June article, "Sweet Spot for Rare Earth Stocks," I was looking for a further decline in rare-earth stocks before a bottom could be completed. These stocks did drop into the middle of June but have since rallied sharply, and some rare-earth minerals recently doubled in price amid reports of apparent hoarding. But have the rare-earth stocks now completed a significant bottom?


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new trading week on the defensive note with small-cap stocks pacing the retreat. The Russell 2000 (-1.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%) displayed relative weakness, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8% with all ten sectors ending in the red.

Global equities began showing some cracks overnight after China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei poured cold water on hopes for new stimulus measures. Specifically, Mr. Lou said the government has no plans to change ... More


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