You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.

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The oil-drilling giant's future is beginning to look rosier than it has since the Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion in the Gulf.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 29, 2012 12:27PM
Oil DrillingBy Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 13,000 level -- an event last recorded before the financial crisis struck in 2008 -- and among the stocks participating in the celebration was Transocean (RIG).

At first glance, you might wonder how the world's biggest offshore oil drilling company managed to pull of this feat, given that it is still mired in legal issues arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (it owned the rig that exploded and sank, causing the worst offshore oil spill on record in the United States and killing 11 people). 

Williams is upgraded to 'conviction buy' at Goldman, and ONEOK Partners is downgraded to 'sell' Goldman.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 29, 2012 12:27PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Chevron (CVX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Cablevision (CVC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak
  • Williams (WMB) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
  • Plains All American (PAA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • NuStar Energy (NS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Enbridge Energy (EEP) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
 

Home-improvement stocks already look strong, and continued weakness in home sales can only make them stronger.

By InvestorPlace Feb 29, 2012 11:59AM

Digital Vision/PhotolibraryBy Beth Gaston Moon


The current environment is bad news if you're trying to sell your home -- prices haven't been this low since the first season of "American Idol." (That's 2002 for you non-Ryan Seacrest fans.)

 

The Case-Shiller national home price index reported a 4% drop in Q4 2011, marking the biggest decline since 2008. Since the market peaked in Q2 2006, home prices have dropped 33.8%.

 

When a company is capable of moving entire stock indices by itself, it deserves the endless attention.

By Jim Cramer Feb 29, 2012 11:52AM

the streetHow important is Apple (AAPL) to this market? Honestly, I think at this point it's so powerful that it can move whole indices. It is capable of driving the entire Nasdaq ($COMPX) and it even turns around stocks that have nothing great going on, like Amazon (AMZN) or Google (GOOG).

 

Someone asked me on Twitter (@jimcramer) whether we talk about Apple too much. Frankly, given its size and dominance, I don't think so. I have seen many stocks capture the imagination of people at given times, but I have NEVER seen a stock actually hijack whole indices with its own heft.

 

The warehouse store chain posts impressive gains.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 29, 2012 11:35AM

Costco Wholesale (COST), whose stock has barely budged this year, has defied the skeptics yet again.

Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 12 was $394 million, or 90 cents per share, up 13% from $348 million, or 79 cents, a year earlier. Sales at the Issaquah, Wash., company rose 10% to $22.51 billion, fueled by gains in gasoline sales. The results topped Wall Street's expectations of profit of 87 cents on revenue of $22.83 billion.

 

Mobile web and apps usage on the iPhone is increasing thanks to its immense popularity.

By Trefis Feb 29, 2012 10:22AM
The iPhone 4S has boosted Apple's (AAPL) fortunes. The stock has recently hit all-time highs and was hovering Wednesday morning at nearly $542, up from around $400 in October last year when the iPhone 4S was launched.

Not only has the iPhone 4S helped Apple become the No. 1 global smartphone maker, but it has also helped narrow the gap with Google's (GOOG) Android operating system in the U.S. in the last quarter. 

Progress in treating myelofibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis is boosting the outlook - and takeover prospects - for this biotech.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 29, 2012 9:57AM
By John McCamant, The Medical Technology Stock Letter

Incyte (INCY) is poised for a very productive year, as the company will continue the launch of Jakafi -- the first FDA-approved treatment for myelofibrosis a rare bone marrow disorder.

The company will also prepare to present very important rheumatoid arthritis data for INCB28050, the JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor partnered with Lilly, whose Phase IIb trial in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is nearing completion. 
Tags: INCY

With the economy continuing to mend, several capital-goods stocks look attractive right now.

By John Reese Feb 28, 2012 7:44PM

Image: Semi trucks (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)Last summer, with the U.S. debt ceiling debate turning into a debacle, the European debt crisis lingering, and growth slowing, many believed the U.S. economy was headed for a big tumble.

 

But just when things looked so bleak, the economy staged an impressive turnaround. Numerous reports -- from unemployment claims numbers to manufacturing data to retail sales -- have shown that the economy hasn't just weathered last summer's storm; it has actually made some of the most significant improvement we've seen in quite some time.


And businesses are indicating we'll see continued growth. New orders for capital goods -- machinery and other equipment companies buy to make products -- jumped 5.1% in December after having risen 8% in November, according to Commerce Department data.

 

The TV licensing business makes up 16% of the value of CBS shares. What happens if streaming takes off?

By Trefis Feb 28, 2012 6:11PM
Image: Watching television (© Klaus Tiedge/Getty Images/Getty Images)Licensing television shows to Netflix (NFLX) and other streaming companies is a potential cash cow that could boost shares of CBS Corporation (CBS).

The licensing business helps television companies earn money when their shows run on other networks. Additionally, there is significant growth potential from streaming companies, including Netflix, Amazon (AMZN) and Blockbuster owner Dish Network (DISH), depending upon how this market develops. We estimate that the streaming-license business constitutes about 16% of CBS' value. This could increase, and CBS shares could grow further, if streaming picks up in the next few years.  

The country is running a larger deficit than it expected, creating new headaches for eurozone finance ministers.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 28, 2012 5:46PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)The euro debt crisis isn't over. It's just changed its address.

Spain has officially informed the European Union that it will miss its deficit reduction target for 2011. And not by just a bit, either. The budget deficit came to 8.5% of GDP for 2011. That's above the government's previous estimate of an 8% budget deficit and way above the country's target of 6%.

The shortfall is even more discouraging than those numbers make it sound. Spain's governments -- national and state -- spent 91.34 billion euros more than they took in during 2011.
 

Hormel Foods is launching a new advertising campaign around its iconic canned meat product, which turns 75 this year.

By Kim Peterson Feb 28, 2012 5:15PM
Credit: © Matt Rourke/AP
Caption: A can of SPAMSpam turns 75 on July 5 and, well, it might be feeling a little old.

It's hard to keep up with those youngsters on the grocery shelves. Campbell Soup (CPB) is getting a Thai tomato coconut flavor. Kraft (KFT) has new breakfast crisps. Ben & Jerry's now has Greek frozen yogurt.

But Spam? Well, Spam is just Spam, and it doesn't get a lot of love with health-conscious shoppers. Hormel Foods (HRL) has tried to keep Spam fresh in consumers' minds, but the canned pork just doesn't have enough buzz. 
Tags: CPBHRLKFT

Pre-announcing sales didn't lessen the angst.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 28, 2012 4:49PM

By Brian Orelli

 

You'd think that after pre-announcing gross sales of "approximately $82 million," Dendreon's (DNDN) fourth-quarter earnings wouldn't have much effect on the stock price. Net sales of its prostate-cancer treatment, Provenge, came in at $77 million after the expected $5 million in rebates and chargebacks.

 

But shares traded down 20%. What gives?

 
Tags: DNDNJNJ

A spate of companies such as Visa and Vodafone are jumping in, leaving Google Wallet behind.

By Minyanville Feb 28, 2012 3:08PM
minyanville mediaImage: Wallet with money (© Creatas Images/Jupiterimages)Smartphones relieved our pockets and briefcases of the clutter of a separate MP3 player, cell phone, palm computer, phonebook, notebook, digital camera, video camera, portable video game, Zagat guide, novel, and newspaper. 

Soon, you might even be able to leave your wallet at home as well.
 

After the tech giant's astonishing fourth-quarter results, how could its stock possibly be a 'sell'?

By Stock Traders Daily Feb 28, 2012 2:37PM

Image: Stock market Bear (© Hemera Technologies/Jupiterimages)In a nearly unabated fashion, shares of Apple (AAPL) have continued to charge higher to new all-time levels following its blow-out fourth-quarter results.


Without question, it is the most-adored stock by investors and the darling of Wall Street. So, a roll of the eyes is the typical reaction when the rare pundit or analyst does come out with a negative opinion on AAPL. However, as we discuss here, there is a legitimate bearish argument, other than just "the stock has run too far, too fast."

 

With yields from 7% to 15%, these master limited partnerships can help turn high oil prices into high returns.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 28, 2012 2:12PM
Image: Stock market report (© Corbis)By Ian Wyatt, Daily Profit

Now is the time for investors to turn skyrocketing oil prices into income. One of the best ways for income investors to earn a hefty paycheck is through master limited partnerships (MLPs).

Here, we look at four MLPs that offer yields of at least 7%: Linn Energy (LINE), Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP), Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Inergy (NRGY).
 

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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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