The market got a helping hand from Europe -- of all places -- today, while positive news on the domestic front combined to send stocks higher. The European Central Bank's decision to cut rates to historic lows in just a few days put equities on firmer ground, coupled with rising consumer spending and a jump in real estate sales. When all was said and done, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) ended up 106 points, or 0.7%, at 14,818.
But as much as those macroeconomic developments were responsible for the rise of the blue chips, it was tech stocks that really lifted the index. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) was one notable beneficiary of tech's popularity surge Monday, adding 2.6%. Since HP has seen its stock slip at the expense of a move to tablets from PCs, today's report showing an uptick in consumer spending doesn't hurt things.�
Although also heavily reliant on the declining PC market, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) tacked on 2.6% as well. While Microsoft's Surface tablet has had some trouble gaining traction and its new Windows 8 operating system hasn't blown anybody away, the company is making legitimate progress in the cloud computing landscape. Its Azure business division just crossed the $1 billion annual sales mark, with subscriptions to its service rising nearly 50% in the last six months alone.
Hot Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Visa Inc.(V)
Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By DailyFinance Staff]
Stocks rallied again on Friday, completing one of the market's best weeks of the year. This rally is tied to growing signs that the pace of U.S. economic growth is finally picking up. The government reported a 4.1 percent jump in GDP over the summer. That was much stronger than expected, and substantially higher than the previous estimate. That came on top of strong reports this month on jobs, manufacturing and housing. At a news conference, President Obama said 2014 could be "a breakthrough year" for the U-S economy. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 42 points, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 9 -- both ending at record highs yet again. The Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rallied 46 points. For the week, the Dow was up about 3 percent. Some retail stocks bounced higher as stores brace for the final weekend before Christmas. J.C. Penney (JCP) rose 4.5 percent, Urban Outfitters (URBN) gained 2 percent and American Eagle (AEO) gained 1.5 percent. And Target (TGT) edged higher, one day after acknowledging a massive security breach that exposed the personal information of millions of customers to hackers. It was also a good day for online retailers. Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) both rose by about 2 percent and Overstock.com (OSTK) gained 3 percent. And how do we pay for all of those last minute gifts? Credit cards, of course. MasterCard (MA) and American Express (AXP) each gained 1.5 percent, and Visa (V) edged higher. One of the day's best gainers was Blackberry (BBRY). It shares soared 15 percent even though the smartphone maker posted a bigger loss than expected. But the company's new CEO forecast a profit by 2016 and announced a partnership with the Taiwanese phone maker Foxconn. A big green arrow for software maker Red Hat (RHT). It rallied 14 percent as earnings jumped, easily beating expectations. Textron (TXT) gained 10 percent. The Financial Times reports the company is on the verge of buying the a
- [By David Hanson]
In the following video, Motley Fool financial analyst David Hanson takes a question from a Fool reader, who writes, "Bought Visa (NYSE: V ) on a 'Hold' report at $178.54. Wish I would have picked it up when in the $140-$145 range. What is your opinion going forward on this stock?"
- [By Dan Burrows]
VeriFone has 60% of the global market share of EMV-enabled payment terminals — EMV stands for Europay, Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) — and has wide reach on the web with VeriShield protect, among other products and services. But competition has eaten away at its business, while fast-growth mobile payments services have attracted attention from behemoths like Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG).
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks bucked their recent Monday weakness today as Visa (V), International Business Machines (IBM), United Technologies (UTX), Micron Technology (MU) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) gained. But your view of today likely depended on the index you were watching.Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 1,872.34, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% to 16.457.66. Those benchmarks were trumped by the Nasdaq Composite, which advanced 1% to 4,198.99, and the small-cap Russell 2000, which finished up 1.8% at 1,173.04.
The price-weighted Dow was given a boost by its big weightings in Visa, which rose 1.8% to $215.86, International Business Machines, which advanced 1.1% to $192.49 after Morgan Stanley named it a top alpha generator among mega-cap stocks, and United Technologies, which gained 1.8% to $116.83. United Technologies’ Sikorsky division agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle claims that it charged too much for spare parts. Micron Technology gained 8% to $23.66 after a positive report at RBC Capital Markets and Drexel, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) rose 4.3% to $70.72.
Deutsche Bank’s David Bianco notes that small-caps and non-mega caps need interest rates to stay low…
On 2014E EPS, Russell 2000 (R2000) PE is 23.6 and S&P 500 PE is 15.6. The relative forward PE of the R2000 vs. the S&P at 1.5x is amongst the highest since 1995. Within the S&P, the PE at non-mega caps is also demanding vs. history. The median trailing PE of S&P 500 stocks at 18.5x is 2 points higher than its average since 1983 and is well into the late 1990s range. EPS growth, while expected to accelerate, is unlikely to reach the mid to low teens pace of the last two cycles. Hence, we think small and non mega-cap stocks are more dependent on interest rates staying below historical norms to justify current valuations and are more susceptible to moderation in growth expectations.
Hot Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Chevron Corporation(CVX)
Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Carroll]
Outside the defense sector, Chevron's (NYSE: CVX ) among the only Dow stocks making any headway today: The oil giant's shares are up about 0.2%. Chevron agreed to sell its retail network in Egypt to French competitor Total (NYSE: TOT ) in a deal announced by the latter today. With more than 1.4 million tons of annual sales in a network consisting�of 66 service stations and other assorted infrastructure, it's a big move for Total as it looks to develop its reach outside of Europe.
- [By Matt Thalman]
Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) are down 1% today as the price of crude sinks. Just yesterday the stock was up 1.1% for the session, and I commented on how even at their current price, shares look rather cheap. The company is trading at less than 10 times earnings and pays a healthy 3.2% dividend yield. When we look at the company from a growth perspective, it doesn't look like a big winner with a market cap of $245 billion, so it's unlikely the stock will more than double in the coming years. But the strong dividend, combined with increasing worldwide demand for oil and energy, will make Chevron a stable winner for the years to come.
- [By Travis Hoium]
Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) are up 1.6% despite a 1% drop in the price of oil today. Competitors BP and Statoil were raided by EU regulators over possible oil-price fixing today. Chevron hasn't been implicated yet, so that's a good sign for now. Another factor in the pop today is that Chevron's stock goes ex-dividend tomorrow, meaning that if you hold the stock after the market closes tonight, you'll receive the $1 dividend. This can cause abnormal short-term moves in stocks.
Top 5 Recreation Stocks To Watch Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)
Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Alamy The market may have rallied remarkably this year, but there are plenty of stocks that never got the memo. Dozens of stocks are hitting fresh 52-week lows these days, and some of them aren't as bad as their low stock prices would seem to suggest. Last week, I took a look at five stocks that didn't deserve to be hitting new 52-week highs. Now it's time to flip things around and look at five stocks that hit new 52-week lows last week that are prime candidates to bounce back. Dice Holdings (DHX) 52-Week Range: $6.83-$10.43 Dice operates several industry-specific career and employment websites, including the namesake Dice.com for tech jobs, ClearanceJobs.com for jobs that require security clearance, and Rigzone.com for jobs in the oil industry. It's a novel approach to helping folks in specific sectors network, and naturally this is magnetic to potential employers. The success of LinkedIn (LNKD) may have taken some of the shine off Dice, but the company's still finding ways to grow. Analysts see revenue climbing at a slightly better than 6 percent clip this year and again in 2014. Kinder Morgan (KMI) 52-Week Range: $32.30-$41.49 Kinder Morgan watches over the country's largest network of natural gas pipelines. Thanks to its reputation as a cleaner energy source than coal or petroleum (and the massive upsurge in U.S. production thanks to the fracking boom), natural gas is a growing source of domestic energy. Even commercial vehicles are starting to be powered by liquefied natural gas. Kinder Morgan is growing, but it has missed Wall Street's profit targets in each of the three past quarters. That's been enough to scare off some investors. However, the falling share price has also made Kinder Morgan's healthy dividend that much more compelling. The stock's yield of 4.6 percent is too rich to ignore here. Liquidity Services (LQDT) 52-Week Range: $20.37-$44.40 Liquidity Services prides itself as a problem solver. It runs a marketplace for items that need to b
- [By Rahul Chattaraj]
The mighty Apple (AAPL) has greatly reaped benefits from its epic innovation ��Phone. Smartphones have been around us in various forms since early 2000. But, right from its introduction in 2007, till the present day Apple has made millions by revolutionizing the smartphone experience, the latest and the greatest contribution being made by the iPhone 5S.
- [By Evan Niu, CFA]
Well, Samsung has released a new ad again targeting Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) directly, showcasing some of these new features while demonstrating two indisputable instances where the Galaxy S4 will always triumph over the iPhone 5.
- [By Sue Chang]
Icahn took to Twitter recently to renew his campaign to push for a bigger stock repurchase program despite a lack of positive response from the company. In a series of tweets that simultaneously talked up the company but criticized the board for its ��isservice��to shareholders, Icahn continued to apply pressure in his bid to get Apple (AAPL) �to use more of its cash hoard to boost shareholder value.
Hot Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Moreover, it's starting to appear that Clorox has weathered a tough part of its business cycle. Throughout the industry, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) , Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL ) , and Clorox all had to deal with rising costs for the inputs they needed to make their respective products. The companies responded by implementing price-cutting measures and passing on part of their higher costs to their customers. For its part, Clorox was able to expand its gross margins by a full percentage point, with a worse-than-normal flu season contributing to sales. Now that input-cost inflation is easing, P&G and Clorox expect to see better profitability, with growth starting to approach the faster rates that Colgate has enjoyed.
- [By Travis Hoium]
Toothpaste and toothbrushes may not be exciting business, but it's consistent and consumers tend to develop habits they rarely break. Once they find a toothpaste brand they like, it could be years before they try another one. That leads to another incredibly consistent business for Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL ) , one that has paid back investors with a dividend since 1895. �
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Lately, Johnson & Johnson has presented two different faces to investors. On one hand, the company has faced the challenge of dealing with a weak consumer-products business, as multiple recalls and close regulatory oversight of its production facilities have exacerbated J&J's problems. With its more focused consumer-goods business, Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL ) has worked harder at taking advantage of international growth opportunities than many of its rivals, and Colgate's strong overseas sales, in comparison to J&J's international weakness, show the effectiveness of that strategy. In particular, Asia has been a focus point for Colgate, with revenue from the region having risen 9% year over year compared with less than 3% growth overall. Moreover, Latin America represents Colgate's biggest region for sales, with more than half again the revenue its U.S. segment produces.
- [By Kashafa Investment Research]
What works in P&G�� advantage is the fact that the company is already ahead of its peers in the emerging markets. As of 2012, P&G had sales of $33 billion in developing markets as compared to $24 billion for Unilever (UL) and $10 billion for Colgate (CL). This competitive edge over peers will sustain as P&G has product quality, innovation and has a significant marketing budget given its comfortable cash position.
Hot Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)
Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
The name change reflected the company's wish to have consumers and investors see beyond its tobacco business, which at the time was plagued by more substantial legal battles with billions in potential liability hanging in the balance. Shareholders approved the name change in 2002. The irony, of course, is that Altria has since spun off both Kraft and its Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM ) global tobacco divisions, leaving Altria holding the old core Philip Morris USA division.
- [By Editor , Dividend Growth Investor]
Philip Morris (PM), through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. The company has paid and consistently increased dividends every year since being spun-off from Altria Group (MO) in 2008. The last dividend increase was in September 2013, when the Board of Directors approved a 10.60% dividend increase in the quarterly distribution to 94 cents/share.
- [By Fede Zaldua]
Imperial trades cheaply and pays a great, sustainable and for-ever-growing 4.5% cash dividend yield. The company's 2014 10.4 times P/E multiple represents a 40% discount to what most European consumer staples sell for. Besides, the owner of brands such as Davidoff and Gauloises, trades at a much more conservative level than its direct tobacco peers. Philip Morris International (PM) and British American Tobacco (BTI) sell for 2014 15 and 14.2 times earnings, respectively.
Hot Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: McDonald's Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alex Planes]
Mcdonald's (NYSE: MCD ) is a 27-year veteran of the Dow and is based in Southern California. It's the world's largest publicly traded restaurateur, with more than 34,000 restaurants staffed by more than 1.8 million employees, serving 69 million people in 119 countries every single day. It is the only restaurateur to ever gain a place on the Dow, and this status is reflected by its incredible brand recognition overseas. The company's first grand openings in Russia and China were attended by thousands, and those restaurants remained among the entire company's top producers for many years afterwards.
Hot Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is based in Armonk, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks are surging today following a benign inflation reading that has helped soothe investor worries over imminent Fed rate hikes. E.I. Dupont de Nemours (DD), ExxonMobil (XOM), Home Depot (HD), International Business Machines (IBM) and Caterpillar (CAT) gained.
- [By Trustamind]
��y own preference -- and you knew this was coming -- is our third category: investment in productive assets, whether businesses, farms, or real estate. Ideally, these assets should have the ability in inflationary times to deliver output that will retain its purchasing-power value while requiring a minimum of new capital investment. Farms, real estate, and many businesses such as Coca-Cola (KO), IBM (IBM), and our own See's Candy meet that double-barreled test. Certain other companies -- think of our regulated utilities, for example -- fail it because inflation places heavy capital requirements on them. To earn more, their owners must invest more. Even so, these investments will remain superior to nonproductive or currency-based assets.��/p>