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Stocks - All posts in category Stocks

  • Jun 19, 2012
    9:51 AM ET

    Microsoft Tablet? Yawn. Microsoft Shares? Yes

    Microsoft (MSFT) seemed to do a karaoke cover of a two year-old Apple (AAPL) hit late Monday when it unveiled a tablet computer called the Surface.

    The device looks like an iPad with a kickstand and a cover that doubles as a keyboard. Pricing and availability weren’t announced.

  • Jun 14, 2012
    11:00 AM ET

    It’s Peak Travel Season — for Investors

    Travel stocks have taken flight. The median U.S. stock rose just 1% this year, but TripAdvisor (TRIP) is up 72%; Expedia (EXPE), 63%; and Priceline (PCLN), 38%.

    TripAdvisor, which was spun off from Expedia in December, specializes in user reviews of hotels and makes most of its money from click-based advertising. Expedia and Priceline book flights, hotel stays and car reservations in exchange for a cut that’s negotiated with the supplier.

  • Jun 13, 2012
    11:52 AM ET

    An Rx for Stock Portfolios

    New government projections call for health-care spending to rise steeply over the next decade. Investing pros say the forecasts particularly bode well for drug makers.

    Health spending could account for roughly a fifth of gross domestic product by 2021, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s up from 18% in 2010. Most of that growth, however, has little do with President Obama’s health care reform, which – depending on what the Supreme Court decides – will go into effect in 2014. In fact, just 0.1 percentage point of the annual growth is expected to be directly attributable to the law.  Still, advisers say the overall increased spending presents opportunities for investors. “The pharmaceutical industry will probably see a pretty significant tail wind starting in 2014,” says Damien Conover, director of pharmaceutical research for Morningstar.

  • Jun 6, 2012
    4:15 PM ET

    Does This Rally Have Legs?

    The market is poised to have its best day in weeks, but investing pros say one Wednesday’s gains don’t provide much clarity on where stocks are headed.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 287 points Wednesday, or 2.4%, one day after the index snapped a four-day losing streak. It also put the Dow back in positive territory for the year. Stocks, however, are likely to remain volatile as investors weigh the instability in Europe and concerns over slower economic growth in the U.S., says analyst and financial advisers. “One day doesn’t make a market,” says Donald DeMuth, president of Mighty Oak Strong America Investment Company, a registered investment adviser near Harrisburg, Pa. “Europe is still heading south.”

  • May 31, 2012
    9:18 AM ET

    The Hidden Appeal of Dinky Dividends

    Don’t scoff at stocks with dinky dividend yields of 1% or so. Some of them may hold the key to handsome total returns in coming years.

    The broad case for dividend-paying stocks rests on surging demand for yield, combined with a tight supply of it. Over the next 20 years, as the baby boomers retire, the percentage of the U.S. population the age of 65 and up will double, according to the Census Bureau. Many investors will look to convert savings into income by purchasing investments with cash yields.

  • May 29, 2012
    8:33 PM ET

    A Safe Price to Pay for Facebook

    Facebook shares plunged nearly 10% Tuesday to close at $28.84. They now sit 24% lower than the $38 price the company fetched in its initial stock offering earlier this month.

    Readers of this space found plenty of reasons to stay clear of the stock at its debut and shortly after (see “What Facebook’s IPO and Treasurys Have in Common” and “3 Reasons Facebook Stock Won’t Soar”). But at what price may shares safely be considered cheap?

  • May 25, 2012
    10:30 AM ET

    9 Stock Bargains From Europe

    European stocks have gotten significantly cheaper than American ones. The Stoxx Europe 600 index trades at 10.4 times projected earnings, versus 13 times for the S&P 500 index.

    Lower prices mean plump dividend yields. The European index pays around 4% at the moment, versus 2.1% for the U.S. one.

    Of course, Europe’s stocks are cheap for good reasons, including a fiscal crisis, political turmoil and the threat of a currency shake-up and bank losses.

  • May 23, 2012
    7:33 PM ET

    Facebook Lawsuit (Like IPO) May Disappoint Investors

    Even if the Facebook shareholders suing the social network and its underwriters over the handling of the initial public offering win a settlement, history suggests the payout could be small.

    Three investors filed a civil lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Wednesday alleging that the site and the banks handling the deal failed to disclose crucial information prior to the IPO. At issue are changes analysts at underwriters Morgan Stanley and other banks including Goldman Sachs made (but didn’t share) that downgraded their forecasts for Facebook’s revenue growth. The plaintiffs — who are seeking class-action status — could get a payout if they can demonstrate misstatements or omissions in the company’s offering documents, says Charles Whitehead, professor of law at Cornell University’s Law School, and a former Wall Street attorney. “If it’s a plausible claim, this is very likely to get settled,” he says.

  • May 22, 2012
    9:48 AM ET

    3 Reasons Facebook Stock Won’t Soar

    Facebook (FB) on Tuesday tumbled another 8.9% to $31 — well below last week’s $38 initial offering price. Shareholders who had bought the stock for a quick flip must now consider whether to defy all those Facebook skeptics and hold it longer.

    That has worked out beautifully for anyone who has held Google (GOOG) stock since its 2004 debut. It has multiplied six-fold in price.

  • May 18, 2012
    4:17 PM ET

    Facebook IPO Friends First-Time Investors

    Facebook’s IPO inspired scores of first-time investors to put their money where their status updates are.

    Many of those who bought shares of Facebook Friday appear to be new to stocks. ShareBuilder.com, which allows retail investors to make direct investments online, says 40% of all queries in the last 24 hours related to Facebook’s IPO and reported a 20-fold increase on the number of new client accounts opened in the last week. Max Wolff, an analyst at Greencrest Capital Management in New York, estimates that retail investors will make up around 20% of Facebook’s IPO – more than the usual 10% to 15% for an one of this kind. “A lot of Facebook members are turning into first-time investors,” he says. “For them it’s magical, it’s sentimental, it’s a global media event.”

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