LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) may open down by 0.21% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) may open 0.17% lower. The CNN Fear & Greed Index has continued its rise, closing up at 85 yesterday, suggesting that investors remain bullish.
European markets edged lower this morning as mining shares weakened after JPMorgan downgraded its growth forecast for China. In London, the FTSE 100 was 0.1% lower at 7:10 a.m. EDT. Among the biggest fallers were silver-miner Fresnillo, down 3.6%, and Anglo American, which was down 3.5%. Heading the other way was water utility Severn Trent, which soared 14.9% after the firm reported a takeover offer from a consortium including the Kuwait Investment Authority.
Today's U.S. economic reports are limited to the NFIB small-business survey for April, which is expected to have risen to 91 from 89.5 in March, and April's import prices, which are expected to have fallen 0.5% after dropping 0.5% in March.
Best Japanese Companies For 2015: CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO)
CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, marketing, and administration of health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The company markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; Medicare advantage plans through a distribution arrangement with Humana Inc.; and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through a distribution and reinsurance arrangement with Coventry Health Care. It also markets and distributes supplemental health, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance to middle-income consumers at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. In addition, the company markets primarily graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance products directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, Internet, and telemarketing. It sells its products through career agents, independent producers, direct marketing, and sales managers. CNO Financial Group, Inc. has strategic alliances with Coventry and Humana. The company was formerly known as Conseco, Inc. and changed its name to CNO Financial Group, Inc. in May 2010. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Up first is CNO Financial Group (CNO), a mid-cap financial stock that's rocketed close to 60% higher since the calendar flipped over to January. Yup, it's been a great year for the market, but it's been a far better one for investors who own CNO. But that strong performance isn't showing any signs of slowing yet. In fact, CNO looks primed for even more upside in the fourth quarter.
That's because CNO is currently forming a bullish pattern called an ascending triangle. The ascending triangle pattern is formed by a horizontal resistance level above shares -- in this case at $14.75 -- and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as CNO bounces in between those two technical price levels, it's getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above that $14.75 resistance level. When that breakout happens, it's time to become a buyer.
ACCO's price action isn't exactly textbook. After all, the pattern is coming in at the bottom of a downtrend, not after an uptrend. But ultimately, that doesn't change the trading implications of a move through that $7.50 level.
Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Ascending triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what's going on in a stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That $7.50 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes a breakout above it so significant. The move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
Don't be early on this trade.
- [By Vanin Aegea]
I have heard many people comment about the insurance policies for cars, houses, life, assets, etc. The arguments always revolve around the same issue: Is it really necessary? What are the chances to be hit by a Hurricane, or to meet a sudden death? Well, nobody really knows. Some individuals however, sleep better when they know a policy backs their life investments. Here, I will look into three insurance companies that concentrate on different policies, or geographies. These are: China Life (LFC), and Conseco (CNO).
- [By David Fried, Editor, The Buyback Letter]
Insurance holding company CNO Financial Group (CNO) and its insurance subsidiaries��rincipally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington National, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company��erve pre-retiree and retired Americans.
Top 10 Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Carroll]
If you're looking for a hot stock to buy in the health-care industry, few have garnered the attention that Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) has lately. The medical robotics maker has drawn in both bullish and bearish opinion aplenty as it pushes its surgical robots, although the company's shares have fallen more than 13% over the past year, and now sit far off its 52-week high. Earnings season is a chance for redemption, however -- but did Intuitive Surgical make the cut, and is it worth your investment?
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Arguably, though, the worst news for MAKO came from competitor Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) , which faces controversy over its da Vinci surgical system. The FDA recently announced it would investigate Intuitive's device in light of lawsuits filed by patients alleging injuries and deaths as well as comments from medical experts that the devices add expense without corresponding medical benefits. Although the two companies don't overlap as much as you might think in terms of medical procedures, MAKO is likely to suffer from any fallout from Intuitive's problems.
- [By Rick Munarriz]
1. Intuitive Surgical will close higher on the week
One of the more intriguing companies reporting this week will be Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) . The company behind the da Vinci surgical robotics system took a hit a few days ago, after revealing soft sales in its latest quarter. Posting revenue and earnings growth in the single digits is not the norm for Intuitive Surgical, and the news even included a decline in the sale of the actual systems.
- [By Sue Chang]
Biotechnology stocks which also have had a strong run-up in recent months��uch as Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) �and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) ��ere also some of the biggest losers.
Top 10 Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: MEDIFAST INC(MED)
Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
Medifast (NYSE: MED) is expected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $80.83 million.
Full House Resorts (NASDAQ: FLL) is estimated to post a Q4 loss at $0.06 per share on revenue of $33.24 million.
- [By Robert Hanley]
Consumer-goods marketer Blyth (NYSE: BTH ) , owner of weight-loss upstart ViSalus, has been in the doghouse lately, sitting near a 52-week low due to poor results in its weight-loss unit.� Despite a large potential customer base of overweight people worldwide, the industry has had difficulty generating growth lately, with data provider Marketdata Enterprises estimating that industry sales rose only 1.7% in 2012.� However, Blyth caught a bid in late October from a proposed combination with marketing-services provider CVSL, indicating that some people see incremental value in Blyth's businesses.�So, should small investors bet on this small cap or should they focus their attention on Weight watchers International (NYSE: WTW ) and Medifast (NYSE: MED ) instead?
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Medifast Inc. (NYSE: MED) saw its stock down 5% in evening trading on Tuesday after the weight loss player had soft sales and guided expectations lower. Shares were still indicated down about 5%, but volume has not yet started.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Nutrisystem have gained 20% to $18.05 at 1:34 p.m., while Weight Watchers (WTW) has risen 3.6% to $39.42. Medifast (MED), however, has dropped 1.9% to $24.94.
Top 10 Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap Checkpoint Systems, Inc (NYSE: CKP) fights shoplifting or retail theft and other forms of�"shrink��that costs retailers over $112 billion worldwide last year (according to a study funded by the company), meaning it might be an interesting stock to take a closer look at and to compare its performance with that of SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR). Just how bad can shoplifting or shrink be for a retailer? Troubled retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP) has just reported that shoplifting took a full percentage point off the department store chain's profit margins during the quarter. Moreover and given that tens of millions of Americans are now facing higher health insurance costs thanks to Obamacare (which will likely impact consumer discretionary spending),�retailers�will need to find ways to shore up their margins and bottom lines by preventing�retail theft with solutions from company�� like Checkpoint Systems.
Top 10 Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Crocs Inc.(CROX)
Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Suravi Thacker]
Some of the prominent players in the industry are Crocs (CROX), Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DECK) and Wolverine World Wide (WWW). Each of the players has adopted a variety of ways to attract customers and boost its revenue.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Getty Images/Scott Olson The demise of Crocs (CROX), it seems, may have been greatly exaggerated. Remember the company's signature product? Close to a decade ago, those colorful, clunky resin clogs were all the rage. The company that made them couldn't sell the things fast enough, at one point reaching sales of 50 million pairs in 2007. Then fashion moved on, as it always does, and the economic slowdown started to bite into sales. Crocs plunged from a $168 million net profit in 2007 to a $185 million loss in 2008. In 2009, the company nearly ran out of cash and had a hard time making payroll. But Crocs' fortunes have improved. In its most recent quarter, the firm posted a loss, but it was narrower than the market was expecting. And it's found an investor that believes in its future -- private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX), which recently provided a $200 million cash investment in return for a block of preferred shares eventually convertible into a stake of around 13 percent of the company. Perhaps the time has come to take those old clogs out of the closet, dust them off, and slip them on for a stroll. Stepping It Up Fashion is highly susceptible to consumer whim. The hot item is never hot for very long, and once consumers move on, it can be hard for the company to recover. In Crocs' case, this was exacerbated by its limited product line -- almost exclusively the clogs. The company learned from its mistakes. Since consumer tastes moved out of clog-land, Crocs has significantly broadened its product line to 300 styles. It now offers boots, flip-flops, deck shoes and slip-ons akin to the casuals from VF Corp.'s (VFC) Vans subsidiary. In terms of profitability, Crocs recovered quickly from its time in the fashion wilderness. From that 2008 bottom-line deficit of $185 million, the company sliced its loss to $42 million the following year, then stepped back into the black in 2010 (to the tune of $68 million). After two straight years of declines, revenue
- [By Dividends4Life]
Memberships and Peers: NKE is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers��Index. The company's peer group includes: Crocs Inc. (CROX) with a 0.0% yield, Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DECK) with a 0.0% yield and Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) with a 0.4% yield.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX) surged 5.40% to $16.78. The volume of Crocs shares traded was 191% higher than normal. Monness Crespi Hardt upgraded Crocs from Neutral to Buy.
Top 10 Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Mick Weinstein]
��The bull case for Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) .
Top 10 Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: TrueBlue Inc.(TBI)
TrueBlue, Inc. provides temporary blue-collar staffing services in the United States. It supplies on demand general labor to various industries under the Labor Ready brand; skilled labor to manufacturing and logistics industries under the Spartan Staffing brand; and trades people for commercial, industrial, and residential construction, and building and plant maintenance industries under the CLP Resources brand. The company also provides mechanics and technicians to the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul, aerospace manufacturing, and assembly industries, as well as to other transportation industries under the Plane Techs brand; and temporary drivers to the transportation and distribution industries under the Centerline brand. It primarily serves small and medium-size businesses. The company was formerly known as Labor Ready, Inc. and changed its name to TrueBlue, Inc. in December 2007. TrueBlue, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Yates]
Even though the stock market rallied on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) and Standard & Poor's 500 Index (NYSE: SPY) surging, the long term winners will be stocks in the staffing industry such as Paychex(NASDAQ: PAYX), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), and Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC).
- [By Jonathan Yates]
When looking at small cap stocks, it is useful to compare the company with others that have expanded in both share price and size. For those considering investing in the $100 billion staffing industry, the growth of TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) shows what could be the potential path for Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC), as both operate in the $29 billion demand labor sector. Other firms have done well in the staffing industry include Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX) and ManPower Group (NYSE: MAN).