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Be wary of dire market forecasts

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These picks are as close as you can get in an imperfect market.

By MoneyShow.com May 2, 2012 1:02PM

By Richard Moroney, Dow Theory Forecasts


The search for the perfect stock is a bit like the search for spiritual enlightenment -- tough to achieve on this earth, but almost certainly worth the effort.


Relentlessly looking for the best available stock will keep you engaged in the trends driving the economy and corporate profits, and force you to consider the merits of stocks you already own. Even if you keep all your money in index funds, your market outlook will be better informed if you regularly appraise the prospects of the best-positioned stocks.

 

Inside Wall Street looks at how the largest US drugstore chain is a smart investment for a baby's future.

By Gene Marcial May 2, 2012 12:53PM
Credit: © Steven Senne/AP
Caption: A CVS drugstore, in Coventry, R.I. One in a special Top Stocks series on buying stocks for newborns.
 
CVS Caremark (CVS) isn't just for the sick anymore. As the largest drugstore company and pharmacy benefits manager, it has become a provider of necessary products and services for practically everyone -- sick or not.
 
From the moment a child is born to the time he or she retires, CVS is the go-to store for medical supplies and even services. So CVS is a good stock to start investing and stay with.  
Tags: CVS

Stocks slide on disappointing jobs data at home and abroad.

By MSN Money Partner May 2, 2012 12:51PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

A number of media companies reported better than expected results on both the top and bottom lines, including Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner (TWX) and CBS (CBS), but only CBS saw its shares move up following its announcement.

CBS shares gained more than 3%, while Comcast fell 1.5% and Time Warner moved almost 2% lower.
 

This leading Internet search company is growing at twice the speed of its US competitor.

By TheStockAdvisors May 2, 2012 12:23PM
By Timothy Lutts, Cabot Market Letter

Yandex (YNDX) is the leading search engine in Russia and therefore has earned the right to be called "The Google of Russia."

The first contextual advertising appeared on the site in 1998, the year Google (GOOG) was founded. In 2000, Yandex became a stand-alone company. And in every year since then, the company's revenues have grown. In most years, its share of the Russian search market has grown, too; currently, Yandex's market share is around 60%. Google is in second place, with a Russian market share of 26%. 

TripAdvisor is upgraded to 'buy,' and defense companies initiated with a 'sell' at CRT Capital.

By MSN Money Partner May 2, 2012 11:12AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Edwards Lifesciences (EW) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
  • Flextronics (FLEX) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
  • Genworth (GNW) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
  • TripAdvisor (TRIP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
 

The coffee giant's comparable sales jump 20% in the China/Asia-Pacific region.

By Trefis May 2, 2012 10:32AM
Starbucks (SBUX) announced its Q2 earnings last Thursday. Revenue jumped 15% to $3.2 billion year over year, helped by a 57% increase in channel development revenue.

Operating profit improved slightly as declines in store operating expenses (as a percentage of revenue) were negatively offset by an increase in store operating expenses. Net income stood at $309.9 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with 34 cents a share in Q2 2011. 

Jeff Auxier bought Baxter, Becton Dickinson and Carnival in the first quarter.

By MSN Money Partner May 2, 2012 10:18AM

By GuruFocus


Value-oriented money manager Jeff Auxier, who oversees the Auxier Focus Fund, is seeing significant opportunity in the markets right now. In the first quarter, he bought 10 new stocks for his portfolio, which now contains 140 companies, and did not sell out of any positions.


The fund had been harboring more cash than usual, believing "recoveries following balance sheet recessions historically are more susceptible to outside shocks," both as a precaution and to be ready to spend at the right time.

 
Tags: BAXBDXCCL

Let earnings be your guide, not your gamble.

By InvestorPlace May 2, 2012 9:30AM

By Kyle Woodley

 

I find no small amount of irony in the fact that shares of Groupon (GRPN) -- a business centered around "daily deals," which provide exorbitant discounts on everything from dinners to spa treatments to scuba-diving lessons -- are themselves drastically slashed and priced to buy.

 

But unlike 80%-off-sushi-Tuesday coupons, don't feel compelled to pounce on GRPN just because you might risk losing out on a boffo bargain.

 

If you want to buy shares as your kid's inheritance, this chip-maker is perfect for your chip off the old block.

By InvestorPlace May 2, 2012 9:03AM

Image: Dollar sign on keyboard (© Corbis)One in a special Top Stocks series on buying stocks for newborns.


By Jeff Reeves


As the father of two girls under age 3, I am no stranger to financial planning for your family's future.


And if I could buy one stock and put it in a coffee can for 20 or 30 years, I would buy Intel (INTC).

 

The consumer goods giant's emerging markets operations helped drive sales growth.

By Trefis May 2, 2012 8:50AM
Unilever (UL) announced its Q1 results last Thursday, posting a double digit sales growth, led by better volumes and higher pricing in emerging markets and the acquisitions of Alberto Culver personal care brands in Europe and North America and Concern Kalina in Russia.

Nonetheless, the consumer giant continues to face persistent headwinds from stubbornly high commodity costs, particularly crude oil and vegetable oil.  
Tags: PGUL

The credit card giant reports a healthy profit, and rival Visa is expected to do the same. The cable company beats expectations.

By TheStreet Staff May 2, 2012 8:47AM

By Alexandra Zendrian

 

Credit card giants MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) both report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Before the opening bell, MasterCard reported profits of $5.36 a share, beating estimates of $5.29 and up from $4.29 a year earlier. Visa is expected to post first-quarter earnings of $1.50 a share, up from $1.23 in the year-earlier period.

 

Comcast (CMCSA) reported first-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share on revenue of $14.88 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 42 cents a share on revenue of $14.44 billion.

 

The SEC is seen approving its prospectus soon. Then, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others will travel the country to sell investors on the stock. The IPO, expected to value the social-networking company at around $100 billion, may come in mid-May.

By Charley Blaine May 1, 2012 8:39PM
Charley BlaineCan't wait for the FacebookIPO? Well, it's coming.

At least three news organizations reported today that the social-networking company is near completion of the reviews of its prospectus, technically known as a Form S-1. There have been a number of amendments to the document, which describes the stock offering and includes lots and lots of financial data.

When everything is done, the Securities and Exchange Commission will declare the prospectus "effective" -- legaleze for approved -- and Facebook and its investment bankers can go on the road to talk to potential investors. After that comes pricing and initial sale of shares. If all goes well, the pricing will come after the close on May 17, and the stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq system on May 18 with the ticker FB.

The "roadshow," as it's known in Street parlance, is expected to make stops in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore and possibly Los Angeles, The New York Times said tonight. Once the road is done, the bankers will price the stock offering, which is expected to imply that Facebook is worth maybe as much as $100 billion.  

The private-equity firm buying the chain is having second thoughts after a disappointing quarter.

By Benzinga May 1, 2012 6:43PM

Image: Man working on car © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty ImagesBy Giovani Ortiz, Benzinga Staff Writer


Pep Boys' (PBY) first quarter was so bad that the company may have shot its upcoming merger in the foot.


On Tuesday, shares of the auto-parts retailer plunged after it announced disappointing early results for the quarter ended April 28. The stock closed down 22% to $11.62.


The company said its quarterly profit will be in the range of break even to 4 cents a share -- down sharply from 23 cents a share earned a year earlier. Sales, however, are expected to rise to between $524 million and $526 million from $513 million a year earlier.

 

The two former rivals are teaming up, and a sub-$200 tablet might just be on the horizon.

By TheWeek.com May 1, 2012 5:17PM
Image: young woman reading from Kindle (© Reggie Casagrande/Photographer)Microsoft (MSFT) announced Monday that it was investing $300 million in a partnership with Barnes & Noble (BKS) to form a subsidiary dubbed "NewCo."

The venture will house the bookseller's Nook products and higher-education business, and Barnes & Noble will reproduce the Nook's e-reader application and bookstore for Windows 8. Additionally, industry watchers speculate that in the next iteration of the Nook Tablet, Barnes & Noble will ditch its heavily modified version of the Android operating system in favor of Microsoft's highly praised Windows 8 OS, a move that would further differentiate the 7-inch tablet from its primary competitor, Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire. 

The company, which didn't raise its full-year guidance, sees weakness outside of North America.

By Jim J. Jubak May 1, 2012 5:09PM
Image: Semi trucks (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)Cummins (CMI) has sold off Tuesday -- shares were down 4.3% at the close -- after it reported first-quarter earnings of $2.38 a share and revenue of $4.47 billion.

Those earnings were 18 cents a share above the Wall Street consensus. Revenues were slightly above the Wall Street projection of $4.41 billion.

And the stock sold off?

Three reasons for that, I think.
 

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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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