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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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Amazon officially launches its new tablet today.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 15, 2011 4:12PM
By Evan Niu

 

Today is the day. Amazon.com's (AMZN) Kindle Fire officially launches, even if shipments got a little bit of a head start.

 

The tablet market feels like it's an old friend, when in reality it's still incredibly nascent. Apple (AAPL) kicked off the iPad in April 2010, so we're just barely past the one-and-a-half-year mark. The Kindle Fire has garnered mixed early reviews, with some praising its compelling value proposition for its impulsively tempting $199 price tag. Some see it as a viable threat to the iPad, while others put it in a category of its own.

 

Doug Kass says the company's portfolio is so massive that it will have to make larger deals just to move the needle.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2011 4:10PM
Famed investor Doug Kass has decided to close his position in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), suggesting that the stock's glory days are gone.

Take Monday's announcement by Warren Buffett that Berkshire had invested $10 billion in IBM (IBM), Kass wrote in a note. Berkshire's portfolio is so huge that it will have to make larger deals just to move the needle. He thinks the IBM deal shows that "more ordinary and plain vanilla" investments will be the core of Berkshire's portfolio strategy in the future. 

A phony Google+ site that appeared to belong to the bank has been taken down, creating embarrassment for B of A and Google.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2011 3:40PM
Bank of America (BAC) said what?

Pranksters created a fake website for the bank on the Google+ social network this month, posting unflattering pictures of executives and snarky status updates.

The site appeared to be legitimate, with the bank's logo and contact information. But a description that read "We took your bailout money and your mortgage rates are going up" and updates such as "Big company party in foreclosed house #2340087 tonight!" were dead giveaways that the bank had been punked.  

If market adages continue to prove true, perhaps a Santa Claus rally is in store for December.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2011 1:18PM

the streetBy Jeff Kleintop, TheStreet

 

It has been a textbook year. That is, if your textbook is the Stock Trader's Almanac. The old stock market chestnut "sell in May and go away" proved to be good advice this year. But that was not the only adage of Wall Street traders that worked in 2011 -- they all worked.

 

This has been the year of the stock market cliché in that all of the time-worn axioms based on the calendar actually were worth following this year:

 

Investors who think the forgotten BRIC nation can climb out of the doldrums should seek exposure through a geographically diversified fund.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2011 12:54PM

By Don Dion, TheStreet TheStreet

 

Clear hurdles persist, but as we approach the end of 2011 and prepare for the new year, it may be time to start looking at the forgotten member of the BRIC nations: India.

 

It has been a trying year for the Indian marketplace as issues such as inflation and corruption have weighed heavily on performance and led many to question the strength of the emerging economic growth engine.

 

The Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF has trounced the broader market and doesn't require a high initial investment.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2011 12:33PM

By John Defeo, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Some dividend investors may favor a reliable stream of dividend checks; others might prefer a single, lump-sum around the holidays. If you find yourself in the latter category, consider the Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC).

 

This Vanguard ETF is under the radar, but offers several compelling reasons to own it:

 

There's an intriguing gap between the price of crude oil and the price of oil-service stocks. But how do you exploit it?

By The Fiscal Times Nov 15, 2011 12:27PM

Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times


There's a mystery in the oil patch.


An intriguing valuation gap has opened up as the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has recovered to about $98 a barrel, only 2% below levels seen in July, while oil services stocks haven’t bounced back nearly as much.


The two investments are typically tightly linked, Canaccord Genuity analyst Scott Burk says, so that anomaly opens up the prospect that either crude oil is due for a selloff (of up to 16%) or oil services stocks are set to rally in order to close that gap.

 

Demand for the company's LCD glass should rise, led by increased panel utilization rates in Korea, as inventory contraction ends.

By Trefis Nov 15, 2011 12:19PM
Corning's (GLW) third-quarter results show that demand for LCDs will be better than its earlier pessimistic forecasts.

In the last quarter, Corning's display technologies sales witnessed a 7% sequential and 26% year-over-year increase while pricing pressures remained. The display industry faced an unusual market dynamic this year in which retail demand for LCD products was stronger than actual LCD glass demand. 
Tags: GLW

The carrier capitalizes on the federally-subsidized Lifeline service to attract prepaid customers.

By Trefis Nov 15, 2011 12:09PM
Sprint (S), seeking innovative ways to boost subscriber numbers, generally adds more than half of its wireless customers at any given time through a subsidized program for low-income Americans.

The federally-subsidized Lifeline program provides millions of low-income Americans with 250 free monthly cellphone minutes, and pays carriers such as Sprint as much as $10 per month per customer to offer free or discounted wireless plans to qualifying subscribers. 
Tags: STVZ

While the PC maker has increased revenue in the past four quarters, the growth rate has consistently declined.

By Trefis Nov 15, 2011 11:55AM
Dell (DELL) is set to report third-quarter earnings Tuesday. Here, we highlight a few key trends to watch for in the upcoming release.

The world's third-largest PC vendor offers a number of products and services to consumers and businesses, and competes with Apple (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), IBM (IBM) and others in broad information-technology sector. 

The office supply giant couldn't meet Wall Street expectations on revenue in its third quarter.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 15, 2011 11:13AM
Staples (SPLS) shares were getting hammered after the office supply giant's results failed to wow Wall Street yet again. The company increased a planned stock buyback, but that isn't fooling anyone.

The Framingham, Mass. company said net income for the third quarter increased 13% to $326 million, or 47 cents a share, up from $288.7 million, or 40 cents. Revenue rose to $6.57 billion, below the $6.71 billion Wall Street expected amid weakness in its international business. 
Tags: SPLS

This year's Turkey Day meal will cost you almost $6 more

By InvestorPlace Nov 15, 2011 9:37AM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


In a little more than a week, American families will gather around the table for traditional Thanksgiving meals. Classic dishes like turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie will be on millions of home menus nationwide.


Unfortunately, thanks to rapidly inflating food prices, there will either be a whole lot less food on the table or a much bigger price tag on the Turkey Day feast.

 

It's about time that sophisticated investors like Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban spoke up about dangerous financial instruments.

By Jim Cramer Nov 15, 2011 9:02AM

the streetWhenever you criticize arcane instruments like credit default swaps, with which you bet against countries and companies, or high-frequency trading and double- and triple-leveraged ETFs, you immediately hear from their creators that you don't know what you are talking about.

 

That's how they argue. They basically say: "You are stupid, we are not. We know more than you."

 

That's why I felt Monday's interviews with Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks who has made a fortune in stocks, two of the smartest billionaires in this country, were so eye-opening.

 

The retailer finally stops a slide in US revenue and is positioning itself for a strong holiday.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2011 9:01AM
Wal-Mart (WMT) can breathe a sigh of relief.

The retailing giant has finally ended nine straight quarters of falling U.S. sales. For the third quarter, same-store sales rose 1.3% -- more than analysts expected.

Even during the quarter, it was unclear whether Wal-Mart would be able to stop that slide. 
Tags: WMT

The discount chain's quarterly results fall short of expectations, while the home improvement retailer beats estimates.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2011 8:48AM

the streetBy Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet

 

Updated at 9:38 a.m. ET

 

Wal-Mart (WMT), the world's biggest retailer, posted a profit of $3.34 billion, or 97 cents a share, excluding certain items, for the quarter that ended in October. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the company to earn 98 cents.

 

Home Depot (HD) said its third-quarter net income rose 12% to $934 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $834 million, or 51 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Sales climbed 4.4 percent to $17.3 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $17.1 billion. The company also raised its dividend by 16 cents to 29 cents a share.

 

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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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