Warren Buffett Is Still Buying Stocks: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Warren Buffett after the billionaire investor appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Monday and said Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) is still buying stocks, despite increasing prices.

Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average is near an all-time high, Buffett said he's still buying stocks because they are a good value.

Buffet gave credit to Berkshire's new portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who he said outperformed the S&P 500 by "double digits" last year. Buffett announced he'll be giving the stock-pickers another $1 billion to invest. Buffett said while Combs and Weschler make bets from "a couple hundred million" dollars to $1 billion, he himself still oversees the largest investments in the company's portfolio.

In terms of the automatic government spending cuts that went into effect on Friday, Buffett said he is not too concerned about the sequester's effects on the economy. Buffett said the economy's improvement will not be reversed by the sequester.

Buffett said while stocks may be hurt by higher rates, the best things to buy right now are equities.

HSBC ( HBC) is trending after the European bank posted a 5.6% decline in full-year profit after incurring a record fine penalizing the company for compliance failures.

HSBC faced a fine of $1.9 billion to settle U.S. money-laundering allegations and also spent an additional $500 million on compliance.

The company reported pretax profit for 2012 that dropped to $20.65 billion, falling short of analysts' expectations of $23.49 billion. HSBC also took a $5.2 billion charge for revaluing its own debt.

HSBC agreed to settle U.S. charges that it aided groups like Mexican drug cartels launder millions of dollars in December.

President Barack Obama is another popular search. As a way of ending automatic spending cuts that went into effect on Friday, Obama proposed cutting entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.

Obama made calls to Democrats and Republicans on Saturday to discuss reforming entitlement programs. Republicans have long called for slowing the cost of social safety net programs in order to bring down the budget deficits. In addition to saving on entitlement programs, Obama has said new tax revenue should be incorporated, which Republicans oppose.

The White House's top economic adviser, Gene Sperling, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that effects of the cuts will be felt over time, not necessarily all at once.

"Nobody ever suggested that this... was going to have all its impact in the first few days," he said. "It is a slow grind."

A total of $85 billion in federal spending cuts, otherwise known as the "sequester," went into effect on Friday when lawmakers could not come to terms on how to avoid them. Obama has warned that sequestration could have a damaging effect on an already fragile economy. The spending cuts must be carried out by Sept. 30 if no other solution is found. Congress agreed to the sequester in 2011 after disagreeing on reductions to domestic and defense spending.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.