SmartMoney Blogs

Real-Time Advice
Our real-time advice on how market shifts and news impact you and your money

stocks - All posts tagged stocks

  • Mar 2, 2012
    1:22 PM ET

    How to Invest in Twitter Now

    Those itching to invest in Twitter don’t need to wait for the company’s IPO.

    The social-media site likely won’t go public for at least a year or more, because management wants to wait until they have steady earnings growth, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

    But there are a few ways for individual investors to get a stake in companies like Twitter before they go public.

  • Feb 28, 2012
    10:33 AM ET

    Labor Unions Clobber Stocks

    Speaking to Michigan conservatives ahead of Tuesday’s primary vote, Mitt Romney placed much of the blame for the 2009 bankruptcy of Chrysler and General motors on the United Auto Workers union, saying it made excessive demands.

    Republicans and Democrats may have different beliefs on the matter. But stock investors should put politics aside and take a cue from Mr. Romney’s private equity savvy. Unions and investor returns often don’t mix well, and a new study measures the relationship with striking results.

  • Feb 24, 2012
    1:56 PM ET

    Shopping for Big Box Stocks

    Investors in big-box retailers may be growing as cautious as the shoppers inside the stores.

    The $87 million loss J.C. Penney’s (JCP) reported today was just the latest piece of bad news from big-name retailers this earnings season. Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT), Kohl’s (KSS) and Sears (SHLD) all delivered mixed or negative news in recent days. Experts say that despite a slowly improving economy, big-box retailers are still anything but a safe bet.

  • Feb 23, 2012
    2:24 PM ET

    How to Bet on Europe’s Recession

    Europe expects to be in a recession this year, and the continent’s Central Bank isn’t budging on the need for severe austerity measures for the worst-hit countries. But some advisers and fund managers see opportunity in this continuing gloom.

    The European Commission released fresh economic projections on Thursday that showed the euro-zone’s economy contracting in 2012, a sign that conditions have worsened since November, when the region was expected to show slight growth for the full year. Also Thursday, the president of the European Central Bank said countries like Greece should stick to their strict deficit targets, recession or no recession.  The EU now projects Greece’s economy will shrink by 4.4% this year, worse than the 2.8% contraction projected in November, and Italy and Spain are now projected to see contractions for the year. Like the euro-zone itself, they had previously been expected to grow slightly.

  • Feb 13, 2012
    9:18 AM ET

    The Portfolio That’s Up 39% This Year

    The S&P 500-stock index is off to a an excellent start in 2012, up 6.8%. But the 10 worst performers from 2011 are up an average of 28.5%.

    Investors who bought one share each of these 10, thereby weighting their portfolios by stock price, are up 39.4%, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P.

  • Feb 2, 2012
    11:24 AM ET

    How IPO Cash May Rewrite Facebook

    As Facebook prepares for one of the biggest IPOs of all time, analysts say the company’s biggest problem is an enviable one: What do with all that extra cash?

    The social networking giant filed for an initial public offering Wednesday, and hopes to raise as much as $10 billion when it begins selling shares this spring. But as Facebook’s expansion continues, some say Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will likely use the new money to invest moreheavily in technicians and infrastructure to safeguard against the kind of hacking scandals that hit companies like Sony. “Facebook is one of the most targeted social media sites, which means it will be difficult for them to ever eliminate the problem,” says Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, an online security consultancy.

  • Jan 30, 2012
    10:06 AM ET

    Stock Earnings Are Losing Steam

    More than half of companies that have earnings for the December quarter have beaten Wall Street estimates. But that’s less of a sign of strength than it sounds.

    With numbers out for 196 of the S&P 500 index members, 105 of them, or 54%, have beaten estimates. But as has reported in the past, upside earnings “surprises” have become commonplace, with companies and analysts consistently forecasting low.

  • Jan 23, 2012
    10:49 AM ET

    Can RIM Win Back Consumers?

    Research In Motion bowed to pressure from investors by appointing Thorsten Heins, the company’s former co-chief operating officer, as CEO. But analysts say the company needs a superior tablet to rival the iPad, a game-changing BlackBerry 10 and a more charismatic leader to inspire customers.

    Stock analysts who follow RIM say consumers will be harder to win over than investors, given recent events. Last year was something of a perfect storm for the embattled company: the Blackberry — regarded for years as the quintessential phone for American executives — lost further ground to Apple’s iPhone 4S, and the Playbook, its stab at a tablet computer, didn’t sellwell. Another blow to the company’s reputation came in October when an outage of its network cut the service of millions of people around the globe.

  • Dec 12, 2011
    11:43 AM ET

    Diamond Shares: Tasty or Nuts?

    A June column in this space warned readers about Diamond Foods (DMND) shares.  Its business looked attractive but the shares had simply gotten too expensive.  Since then, they have lost more than half their value — but the plunge is related to questions over the company’s accounting.

    Is this an opportunity for bargain hunters, or a trap?

  • Nov 29, 2011
    10:02 AM ET

    Are Europe Debt Fears Finally Easing?

    Stocks jumped again this morning, following yesterday’s big gain on good news out of Europe, but financial advisers are warning clients against making too much of the bounce.

    Following reports that European leaders were nearing a new agreement that would give central authorities more control over countries’ budgets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 300 points. The rally comes after an unusually bad Thanksgiving week, in which the Dow lost nearly 5%. With yesterday’s lift, the major stocks indices are still in the red for the year but are inching toward break even, with the Dow down about 1%.

About Real-Time Advice

  • How breaking news — in the markets, Washington, and around the world — affects you and your money. Have a question about how current events may change your financial future? Email us at