During the week of Jan. 14, TheStreet.com readers searched for 10 stocks more than any others. This week, new entrants Yamana Gold (AUY) - Get Yamana Gold Inc. Report, Ambac Financial (ABK) and MBIA (MBI) - Get MBIA Inc. Report join the list. Every week, research associate Patrick Schultz makes the buy, sell or hold call on them below, in the order of their popularity.
Top 10 Most Searched Stocks on TheStreet.com, January 23
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: Investors were expecting shock and awe in Apple's earnings report. Instead, they got a nice dose of shock and panic as shares plunged in after-hours trading on disappointing iPod sales.
Given this panic selling, the stock looks attractively valued at 21x forward EPS. Don't be aggressive here. Instead, be patient as the stock will trade with heightened volatility post-earnings. Let all the alarmists finish their selling and use the weakness to your advantage. --
: The belated, but much needed, inter-meeting Fed rate cut is a good start (and I emphasize start) to help steer this financial train wreck onto the right track. As expected last week, Vikram Pandit and company reported ugly earnings, and the stock continued its descent. I am resisting the temptation to be overly negative now, because the stock is already down so far.
In a contrarian bent, I am looking for the positives (very difficult I know) as everybody already knows the problems. The current price quote is starting to reflect a better risk/reward and I would look to build a position if it traded down to the $20-$22 range. Until then, I am staying on the sidelines. --
3. Bank of America
: Even with the poor earnings results this week, it is all about interest rate cuts and the future of interest rates. If the financial stocks start getting the Fed at their back and not in their face, we could see some nice upside here. --
: The premier name in the semiconductor sector is offering a terrific entry level with the stock down over 30% in less than a month. Indiscriminate selling in the tech sector crushed this stock, and I would buy here. --
5. Sirius Satellite
: The holding pattern continues as we wait for merger approval news. I still like the risk/reward as the stock has dipped below $3. --
6. Yamana Gold
: A gold stock should be in every portfolio. It's a good hedge against many of the ills that our economy faces. Yamana has pulled back nicely and a price below $14 is attractive. --
: In three short months, the market shaved over 35% off this former titan of industry as the scare of recession has sent the automaker tumbling to new lows. The damage is already done as the stock price now reflects a deep recession in the U.S. economy. I would not put new money into this name, but it is too late to sell. --
8. Countrywide Financial
: Unless you are an arbitrage trader, there is no reason why you should be trading this stock. Why are you still trading this stock after the BAC deal? If BAC walks away from the deal, I believe CFC stock goes to zero, and I highly doubt any other financial institution is going to outbid BAC for this troubled franchise. --
9. and 10. Ambac and MBIA
--- I am combining the call on these two because they are a play on the same horror story and trade together. These two bond insurers are in the center of the credit storm. and they have absolutely collapsed in recent months.
Everything about these stocks is under scrutiny, including their ability to remain solvent. And there is the key word, solvency. Why would you want to get or be involved with any stock that has "solvency" as a primary concern? --
Patrick Schultz is a research associate at TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He has previously obtained Securities licenses under the NASD?s Series 7, Series 24, Series 52, and Series 63 exams and has worked in the financial markets on various trading desks in addition to trading for his own account. Schultz appreciates your feedback;
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