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This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.

1. Don't pull the plug 
Things are looking up for Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG  ) , and shares soared 50% on Thursday after an upbeat order update.

Plug Power announced that it closed out the fourth quarter with $32 million in orders, and that the new quarter will meet or exceed that performance. Many of Plug Power's existing customers placed additional orders during the quarter, validating the model. Plug Power also expects to generate healthy recurring revenue in hydrogen and service.

It didn't take long for Plug Power to set itself up as a frontrunner for the best-performing stock of 2014.

2. Disney isn't Goofy
Disney  (NYSE: DIS  ) is looking a bit brighter in the eyes of Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris. He is upgrading the family entertainment giant from neutral to buy. He's propping up his price target from $77 to $87. 

Morris is encouraged by the performance of Disney's latest theatrical releases and what the future holds in the coming years as the House of Mouse milks its acquired Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm properties. 

3. Cheering on the Cheerios 
General Mills
(NYSE: GIS  ) has become the latest company to stamp out genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a flagship product. The cereal giant's signature Cheerios will now be free of GMOs. The move doesn't apply to all of its brands, but it's naturally a step that's being applauded by activists arguing that introducing modified harvest enhancers into crops are hurtful in the long run.

Are GMOs really bad for you? That debate is beyond the scope of this weekly column. The point here is merely that a growing number of people are rallying against GMOs, and that makes it a smart move by General Mills to sidestep the rage of activists. 

4. Baidu bows
Baidu  (NASDAQ: BIDU  ) has had an unfortunate knack for being on the wrong end of piracy issues over the years, and this time the National Copyright Administration of China has fined the company for unofficial copies of movies and TV shows that show up in the search giant's query results. 

Baidu quickly agreed to play nice, promising to ramp up its filtering technology to stamp out the links to pirated videos. It's the smart response on Baidu's part, and it also opens the door for legitimate video companies in China that pay up for licensed content. 

There will never be a perfect cure for rampant piracy. This problem is not limited to China. However, it should provide a boost to China's video providers, and that ultimately includes Baidu itself.

5. Pandora ads it up
  (NYSE: P  ) got a boost when Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham issued a bullish note on the streaming-music leader. 

Sticking to his earlier buy rating, Graham's encouragement stems from trends in advertising revenue. His taste test found that December treated listeners to a marginally lower number of ads -- and a larger mix of shorter 15-second spots -- than earlier in the quarter. However, he still sees revenue per hour improving.

Investors have already seen this trend in play. Pandora's revenue grew roughly three times faster than the number of listener hours it served in its previous quarter. Graham is modeling $198 million in revenue for its latest quarter, well ahead of the $187.9 million in revenue that is the average forecast of his peers. 

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Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 6:46 AM, volgin wrote:

    Pandora is down this week. Is this a paid advertisement for Pandora?!

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2014, at 2:54 AM, Mayssa wrote:

    $BIDU has today been upgrated to buy on DSS daily stock select ..this is usally indicaled good fundamental in addition to back tests and technical analysis..I would buy now with (stop-loss 174.76$)and (target price 190.87$) !

  • Report this Comment On January 08, 2014, at 6:40 AM, Mayssa wrote:

    I'm still optimistic for the longer term, $BIDU has been selected today also on DSS Daily Stock Select as a very good target price with (limit price 190.61)USD (stop-loss 175.22)USD ..does this sound reasonable ?

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Rick Munarriz

Rick has been writing for Motley Fool since 1995 where he's a Consumer and Tech Stocks Specialist. Yes, that's a long time. He's been an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a portfolio lead analyst for Motley Fool Supernova since each newsletter service's inception. He earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Miami, and he now lives a block from his alma mater.

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8/28/2015 4:00 PM
BIDU $152.13 Up +0.07 +0.05%
Baidu CAPS Rating: ****
DIS $102.48 Up +0.31 +0.30%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
GIS $57.13 Up +0.17 +0.30%
General Mills, Inc… CAPS Rating: *****
P $18.10 Up +0.61 +3.49%
Pandora Media CAPS Rating: *
PLUG $1.76 Up +0.01 +0.57%
Plug Power, Inc. CAPS Rating: *