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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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Verizon's rumored to be interested, but it may not be alone.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Dec 13, 2011 4:30PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

 

Can you buy me now?

 

Rumors of Verizon (VZ) eyeing an acquisition of Netflix (NFLX) were enough to send the beleaguered video buffet operator 6% higher Monday on an otherwise dreary market day, but let's not run out to see what's on the bridal registry just yet.

 

Southwest Airlines will become the launch customer for the aircraft maker's new 737 Max.

By Kim Peterson Dec 13, 2011 3:42PM
Boeing (BA) continues to get interest from customers for its fuel-efficient jets. The company said Tuesday it won a huge order from Southwest Airlines (LUV) for 208 planes.

The order includes 58 of Boeing's current 737s. The rest of the order will be filled with the new 737 Max, a single-aisle jet that promises to be 10% to 11% more fuel efficient than current models. If the plane fulfills expectations, it could become the new workhorse in Boeing's single-aisle 737 lineup. 
Tags: BALUV

Constant innovation in genetics and agronomics will help biotech sustain its growth curve in the long term.

By Trefis Dec 13, 2011 3:05PM
(© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)DuPont (DD) recently expanded its research partnership with Evogene to increase its product offerings for soybean farmers. The biotech giant also unveiled new product improvements that should support continued growth in corn and soybean yield through its seeds business in the U.S.

The agriculture and nutrition-based products division accounts for 32% of DuPont's stock value by our estimates, and we believe that continued expansion of its product line portends solid long-term growth in its agriculture business. DuPont competes with other giants such as Syngenta AG (SYT), Monsanto (MON) and Dow AgroSciences (DOW). 

A seasonal period of strength for the metal is right around the corner.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 13, 2011 2:26PM

 (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Once again, the European debt crisis hit global stock markets on Monday, but share prices were trying to stabilize Tuesday.


The major U.S. stock market averages lost less than 1%. The gold market, however, was hit harder, with the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) dropping 2.2% and February Comex gold futures tumbling by over $48 per ounce.


The stronger U.S. dollar got the majority of the credit for gold’s decline, while raising cash at any price to protect against the euro’s demise was also a popular explanation.

 

The third quarter of this year was the worst on record for the industry since the height of the financial crisis.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 13, 2011 1:21PM
Wall StreetBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Investment banks and other financial industry participants involved in stock trading and market making just can't seem to catch a break.

Firms like Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and the beleaguered Jefferies Group (JEF) have already reported dismal results for the third quarter. Now comes news from the New York Stock Exchange that all of its member firms -- those broker-dealers that make up the exchange -- appeared to share the pain. 

Ignoring fundamentals, here are some stocks that could bounce due to tax selling and window dressing.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 13, 2011 1:12PM
Photodisc/SuperStockBy George Putnam, The Turnaround Letter

At this time of year, we often see artificial selling pressures that may result in buying opportunities almost regardless of stock fundamentals or market conditions.

These selling pressures come from two sources: tax-loss selling and portfolio window dressing. The extreme volatility this year has produced a particularly interesting crop of year-end bounce candidates. 

Best Buy is downgraded, while Panera Bread is upgraded.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 13, 2011 12:02PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Murphy Oil (MUR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Hess Corp. (HES) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Marathon Oil (MRO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Panera Bread (PNRA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • Union Pacific (UNP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
 

Recent ambition should fuel this energy company for years to come.

By InvestorPlace Dec 13, 2011 11:27AM
Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostockBy Aaron Levitt


It's no secret that the world is witnessing a natural gas boom. New advances in drilling technology have allowed E&P firms the capability to access gas trapped within various shale rock formations across the world. Billions of dollars worth of new investment have flown into the sector, and the newly found abundant supplies have the International Energy Agency calling this the "golden age of gas."


Overall, the group estimates that global consumption of natural gas will rise by more than 50% during the next 25 years. To that end, most of the major integrated energy firms have been expanding into shale and natural gas assets at record paces. One such major energy firm, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), could rise to the top of the pyramid after some recent strategic investments.

 

The retailer's shares tank as razor-thin margins result in a 13% profit drop.

By InvestorPlace Dec 13, 2011 11:24AM

Kyu Oh/Photodisc/GettyJeff Reeves


Best Buy (BBY) had high hopes for this holiday shopping season. Black Friday sales numbers hinted that Best Buy was a winner, going big on discounts and exclusive in-store deals after a rather lackluster showing last year.


After Tuesday's earnings report for the third quarter, however, Best Buy investors might be getting a lump of coal under the tree. The big-box electronics retailer saw profit slump 13%, predicted weak margins and stuck with its previously conservative sales forecast.

 

Without Europe, it can't be great. But with so many bullish signs, it can't be that bad either.

By Jim Cramer Dec 13, 2011 11:01AM

the streetWhat is the truth about tech? What is really going on?

 

Are the problems macro related, as in weakness in Europe, the way Texas Instruments (TXN) described? Are the problems related to the secular decline in personal computers, a decline that has accelerated if you just look at Intel's (INTC) numbers? Or does the problem really have more to do with the Thai tragedy and personal computers will get back on track soon enough, as Intel tried to explain to us?

 

Is the problem slowing smartphone sales? Or just slowing smartphone sales from non-Apple (AAPL) vendors? Slowing television sales? Or just slowing sales from the Korean customer who wouldn't take the Corning glass? Is the problem a dramatic decline in telecom spending, or is telecom spending just frozen by ATT's (T) flailing attempt to buy T-Mobile?

 

A Texas money manager likes Time Warner, Honda and Garmin.

By Gene Marcial Dec 13, 2011 11:00AM

Tetra Images/Tetra images RF/Getty ImagesJeanie Wyatt is a true-blue value investor. But she is more particular about the term value than many of her peers. She loves to see a hoard of greenbacks on a company's balance sheet. If a company doesn’t have plenty of cash, she won’t tag it as a value play.

 

Most investment managers identify value stocks as companies with underappreciated and undervalued assets that have yet to be reflected in the price of their stock. In other words, investors haven’t yet paid up for their intrinsic worth.

 

In this Q&A, a leading tech guru reviews the chipmaker's lowered guidance.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 13, 2011 10:08AM
Angel Muniz/JupiterimagesBy Paul McWilliams, Next Inning

Intel (INTC) lowered its fourth quarter guidance from its original range of $14.2 billion to $15.2 billion to a range of $13.4 to $14.0. At the midpoint, this represents a 6.8% lower forecast.

However, the chip maker stated very clearly this lower forecast is solely attributable to the shortage of hard disk drives (HDD), and is not at all related to the demand for its products. With that, let's address some of the questions I've received from investors. 
Tags: INTC

Even though heightened regulatory requirements could put more pressure on the bank's trading margins, the stock is worth more than its current price.

By Trefis Dec 12, 2011 6:03PM
Credit Suisse (CS) shares fell more than 4% Monday to $23.69 -– almost half the $47 per share commanded in February. The progressive deterioration of the debt situation in Europe and the ensuing economic slowdown have hammered the value of all major global banking institutions.

New tax agreements between Switzerland and other countries like the U.K. and Germany -- with more countries likely to be added to the list -- are also expected to hit the secrecy afforded by the Swiss banking system, directly affecting Credit Suisse and its larger Swiss competitor UBS (UBS). And don't forget the ongoing issues between Credit Suisse and the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly aiding tax evasion, or the mortgage-backed securities related lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Housing Financing Agency. 
Tags: CSubs

Markets were not impressed by a meeting of European leaders that didn't produce the hoped-for results.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 12, 2011 5:27PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Given a weekend to mull the results of the European summit, the markets blew a big raspberry Monday to the most recent plan to rescue the euro.

In Europe, the German DAX Index finished the day down 34%, the French CAC Index was down 3.4%, and the Spanish IBEX 35 Index was down 2.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closed down 1.3% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 ($INX) closed down 1.5%.

Actually, given the extent of the negative reaction, it’s surprising that the damage wasn’t worse.
 

Financial pundits are once again gazing into their crystal balls to come up with forecasts for the year ahead. Here’s how to read those prognostications.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 12, 2011 5:01PM
Image: Crystal ball (© Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Big name pundits do it; mutual fund managers do it; economists and wannabe CNBC talking heads do it.


"It," of course, is peering in their crystal balls at the end of each year to come up with forecasts for the year ahead. The never-ending frenzy of financial market prognostication seems to reach fever pitch every December, as money managers know they will be judged on their ability to pick ideas that will perform best for clients in the coming months.

 
Tags: AAPL

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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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