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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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Despite the headwinds from the eurozone crisis, and an emerging slowdown in Asia, the U.S. economy is surprising to the upside. Can it last?

By Anthony Mirhaydari Dec 16, 2011 5:34PM

Image: Gift (© Brian Hagiwara/Brand X/Corbis)Stocks have been above the waterline over the last two days, thanks to some deceivingly positive economic data. Regional factory activity surveys have crushed expectations. And weekly jobless claims dropped to levels last seen when President Bush was in the White House.

 

At first glance, it seems as though the United States could, just maybe, shrug off the darkness of malaise descending on Europe and Asia as the eurozone tips into a deep new recession, pulling down the Asian exporters like China and South Korea. Call it a Santa rally for a downtrodden economy.

 

The company plans to eventually exit subsidized solar markets completely.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 16, 2011 5:00PM
Image: Solar energy (© Mick Roessler/Corbis)Woof! First Solar (FSLR) delivered a gut-wrenching conference call Wednesday.

The big item wasn’t the reduction in projected earnings for the year ending in December to $5.75 to $6 a share from the previous estimate of $6.50 to $7.50.

It wasn’t even the shocking reduction in projected 2012 earnings per share to $3.75 to $4.25 from the Wall Street consensus of $7.20.
 
Tags: FSLR

It's been an outstanding turnaround story, but the best days for the chain are likely behind it.

By InvestorPlace Dec 16, 2011 3:34PM
By Daniel Putnam


Talk about a recipe for success. Apologize for a bad product, launch a brilliant marketing campaign to support a change, then watch your stock soar to an all-time high.


It's not the traditional route to riches, but it has certainly worked for Domino's Pizza (DPZ). The stock closed at $33.42 on Thursday, up from $15.95 at the start of the year and $2.61 in late 2008.

 

Even as Michael Kors and Zynga go public, all eyes are on a bigger offering.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 16, 2011 2:54PM

By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times


The last two days have seen the much-anticipated IPOs of two companies, Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) and Zynga (ZNGA), but an even larger one looms on the horizon -- Facebook.


Fashion design franchise Michael Kors made its debut Thursday after being priced late Wednesday night. So far, so good: The company’s ability to boost sales in the midst of a sluggish economy impressed investors. The stock had a solid first-day pop of 21% and closed at $24.20 a share, well above its $20 IPO price. 

The sector has surprisingly outperformed all others this year, and recent market action indicates more upside.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 16, 2011 1:46PM

(© Digital Vision)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


With only a couple weeks left in the year, there is little debate that it has been a rough year for most stock investors -- and virtually no one expected that utilities would be the strongest sector for the year.


As of Thursday’s close, the Select Sector SPDR - Utilities (XLU) was up 10.47% compared to the 2.73% decline in the Spyder Trust (SPY), which tracks the S&P 500. In total, XLU has outperformed SPY by 13%.

 
Tags: etfSPY

This David Dreman-based investment screen uncovered 10 diamonds in the rough.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 16, 2011 1:20PM
By John Reese, Validea

The most successful gurus I follow share one striking similarity: they are contrarians. When the rest of Wall Street is zigging, they are zagging; when Wall Street zags, they zig.

One guru in particular is known for being, well, the most contrarian: David Dreman. Throughout his long career, Dreman sifted through the market's dregs in order to find hidden gems. Indeed, his Kemper-Dreman High Return Fund was one of the best-performing mutual funds ever. 

Perhaps the IPO was not as highly anticipated as we thought. Investors didn't think the stock was worth more than its IPO price.

By Kim Peterson Dec 16, 2011 12:54PM
Updated 4:10 p.m. ET

Zynga
(ZNGA) began trading Friday morning after pricing its IPO at $10 a share Thursday. But for investors, that $10 price was a little too rich.

Within the first few minutes of trading, Zynga's stock quickly fell below $10 -- and it would close the day there as well. Despite all the hype leading up to the IPO, investors could not be swayed to jump in. The company originally had hoped to sell shares at $20. 

Safeway is initiated with a 'sell,' while Carnival is upgraded.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 16, 2011 12:11PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Liberty Global (LBTYA) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
  • Linear Technology (LLTC) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
  • Amgen (AMGN) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Carnival (CCL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak
 

Despite an ugly chart and deflation worries, the ultimate chaos we are headed for in Europe is the best thing that can happen to gold.

By Jim Cramer Dec 16, 2011 10:40AM

more investment tips and market commentary from the streetIs everyone who follows gold just a chartist? Doesn't it seem that way?

 

How many times did I hear Thursday that gold fell below key support so it must be all over? How many times did I hear that gold is finished and kaput and the gigantic move is over? If people pronounced stocks dead as often as they pronounced gold dead, the world would be betting against equities.

 

I come here to defend gold. First, it will be up for 11 straight years if it finishes 2011 anywhere near here. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) started the year at $138, and while it did go up to as high as $184, it's still been a terrific year for the precious metal.

 

The global media and entertainment company offers sound finances, a rising payout and strong management.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 16, 2011 8:46AM
By Glenn Rogers, Internet Wealth Builder

Walt Disney (DIS) recently announced a big 50% hike in its dividend. While the yield is still only 1.6%, the move shows the confidence of the board of directors in the company's future and that has added to my good feelings about this business.

The long-term payout for Disney is only about 20% of the 2011 free cash flow. So the company could continue to raise dividends over the next few years without any difficulty. 
Tags: DIS

With unexercised options, the company could be worth as much as $8.9 billion. But the $10 price in its initial public offering is lower than Street chatter of $12 a share.

By Charley Blaine Dec 15, 2011 7:36PM

Charley BlaineTwo weeks ago, Zynga projected it would sell 100 million shares in its initial public offering for $8.50 to $10 a share. 

It did. That translates into a market capitalization of $7 billion. With unexercised options, the market cap rises nearly to $8.9  billion.

But the results of Thursday's IPO had to be something of a disappointment. There was chatter on CNBC that the IPO would price at $12 a share. And Zynga originally thought it would sell its shares at $20.

A better gauge of investor sentiment about the company will come Friday when shares open for trading on Nasdaq under the ticker ZNGA.

 

The rising popularity of gold exchange-traded funds has come at the expense of gold-mining shares.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 15, 2011 5:11PM
Image: Birds nest with golden eggs © Rob Casey/Brand X/Getty ImagesGold mining companies are getting the dividend religion too.

They’re adding dividend payouts in an effort to close the "attractiveness gap" with gold ETFs.

On Nov. 25, I wrote about the general resurgence of dividends. Given the lack of any capital appreciation in the current market and an increasing cynicism among investors about stock buybacks, companies have started to increase dividend yields as a way to support share prices and keep on the good side of capital markets.
 
Tags: ABXGGgold

A bearish analyst note sends shares lower, but questions linger.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 15, 2011 4:54PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

 

Maybe Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) won't have such a rosy holiday season after all. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Astrachan issued a bearish note on the java giant, sending the stock sharply lower yesterday. Shares have tumbled over 20% in the last three days.

 

Astrachan's channel checks show that Keurig brewer shipments from China have declined in recent months. The news contrasts with Green Mountain's conference call last month, when the company behind the Keurig single-cup brewers and the K-Cup portion packs that fuel the caffeinated sips indicated that sales are holding up well. It stuck to its near-term guidance calling for 60% to 65% in net sales growth for the entire fiscal year.

 

Expedia’s coming spinoff of TripAdvisor offers a great play on social media at a bargain price.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 15, 2011 3:52PM

Image: Couple reading guidebook in Rome © SIMON WATSON/Lifesize/Getty ImagesBy Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


I’m not on Facebook all that often anymore.


Partly it’s because I’ve turned into a heavy professional user of Twitter, and partly because, well, it’s no longer 2009. That was the year I joined, when Facebook had roughly half of the 800 million members it has today.


That means tens of millions of people have likely made the same journey from discovery, excitement, and engagement to a bit of exhaustion and boredom setting in.

 

With the fighter jet eventually expected to account for 20% of revenue, any further production delays will push up the company's aeronautics backlog and reduce earnings

By Trefis Dec 15, 2011 3:46PM
Image: Navy ship (© Corbis)Lockheed Martin (LMT) may consider slowing production of its flagship F-35 fighter jet in the wake of remarks by Vice Admiral David Venlet, the Pentagon's F-35 program director.

Highlighting the structural glitches which have plagued the program, Venlet told AOL Defense that tempering production rates may now be necessary. His remarks draw into question Lockheed's "concurrency strategy," which seeks to maximize unit production before test flights are completed with a view to retrofitting any necessary repairs. 
Tags: BALMT

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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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