Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?
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As regulations tighten around coal, these natural gas and oil producers stand to benefit.
By Karen Riccio
The Environmental Protection Agency just announced plans to further stiffen regulations on coal-fired power plants and the emission of carbons.
This can only mean bad news for companies with profits tied to coal, and good news for profits tied to natural gas and oil. The EPA's move will ultimately increase the need for cleaner, more efficient producers of energy.
While solar and wind may have a purpose and contribution to the cause, the immediate beneficiary will be the explorers and developers of natural gas and oil. Natural gas reserves in the U.S. have increased two-fold over the past 14 years; and shale and tight gas production has more than doubled in the last four years. According to the International Energy Association (IEA), we are sitting on a 2.2 quadrillion cubic feet of proven and recoverable oil.
The company is growing, but it needs to grow fast enough for the uber-excited bulls.
By Jeff Reeves
Facebook (FB) has had a busy start to 2014. Earnings blew the doors off in January, the stock is up 8 percent despite a small loss for the broader S&P 500 Index ($INX) and the company has rattled off a bunch of big-time acquisitions.
But for the next few weeks, Facebook shareholders will be most concerned about the balance sheet instead of the drumbeat of headlines and daily FB stock charts.
That's because the biggest catalyst for FB stock performance lately has been its blowout earnings and revenue growth posted at the end of January; FB stock gapped up by double-digits the next day as a result and has stayed strong ever since.
So what's in store this time when Facebook earnings hit Wednesday?
Netflix and Halliburton plainly illustrate what's justifying this broad-market run.
When you listen to a Netflix (NFLX) call, you are sitting there thinking, "How can these guys be that good?"
Then you listen to a Halliburton (HAL) call and you say, "How can these guys be that good?"
Two calls. Two subjects. Two tours de force.
Netflix is a plain-English company that has figured out that conference calls shouldn't be just about analysts trying to get help on their models. This is a much bigger-thinking company than that. Netflix is trying to explain why if you offer a superior product, be it Time Warner's (TWX) HBO or Amazon (AMZN) or anyone else, even Comcast (CMCSA), people will take it. But it has to be genuinely superior.
I love that Netflix goes into the viewing habits of customers. This company has actually thought about customers like good retailers do. It recognizes that people prefer to have all the content at once if they would like that content. Netflix also knows the foreign markets will work, because, well, they already work. Witness the comments about how "The Mentalist" is the No. 1 show in France. I'm surprised Netflix didn't mention that the French always loved Jerry Lewis. My favorite line: "The total addressable market over time are human beings that enjoy TV shows and movies, because everybody is going to be on the Internet."
All of these could one day be among the world's best income producers.
Because no one can predict the future with 100 percent accuracy, spotting tomorrow's best income-producing blue-chip stocks today is extremely difficult.
However, I recently profiled one company I strongly believe is well on its way to achieving blue-chip status -- filtration technologies manufacturer Pall Corp. (PLL) -- and there are several others I think have the same type of potential.
Aside from being in retail, these three companies aren't much alike. One is a sodium bicarbonate maker best known for the Arm & Hammer brand, and the second is a leading discount clothing chain based in California. The third has carved out a profitable niche as a provider of farm and ranch supplies in rural areas.
Analysts at Jefferies made a list of picks that have the potential to soar in price.
Except for the fact that analysts from Jefferies think all five could see their stocks double over the next two years.
An activist investor and corporate acquirer may be teaming up to make an offer for Allergan.
William Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) are teaming up to try to buy wrinkle-treatment Botox maker Allergan (AGN), according to people familiar with the matter, in a unorthodox alliance between an activist investor and corporate acquirer.
Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP has built a nearly 10 percent stake in Allergan, according to people familiar with the matter, worth about $4 billion and representing his biggest investment ever, the people said.
The two companies, both midsize in the pharmaceutical industry, have market capitalizations of more than $40 billion. Any offer for Allergan would likely come with a premium above $116 a share, the price Allergan traded at before Pershing Square began rapidly building its stake, said one of the people.
If you want targeted exposure to the world's best companies, add these to your portfolio.
Over the past half decade, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) industry has caught the mutual fund industry off-guard. The assets being managed by ETFs have more than doubled in size since 2009, compared with flat growth for their more mature counterparts (though mutual funds still manage more assets overall).
ETFs have proved to be especially popular with investors seeking global exposure. There are now a few hundred country- and region-specific stock and bond ETFs, enabling investors to glean very targeted exposure. For example, as I wrote recently, I think Chile and Vietnam represent sound investment environments.
The appeal of country ETFs is self-evident: They are much cheaper to own than comparable mutual funds, and lower expense ratios can add up to big savings over the short or long haul.
Experts discounted the potential for the sector coming into 2014, but large caps have been soaring.
By David Fabian
The energy sector has been trading sharply higher as rising oil and natural gas prices create a sturdy tailwind for many integrated service and exploration companies.
After a frightening dip in January that tested the 200-day moving average, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) has rocketed to new all-time highs. In fact, XLE has now gained over 4 percent in the month of April and more than 13 percent since its February low.
This ETF is the largest and most heavily traded large-cap energy index, which encapsulates 44 companies and over $10 billion in total assets.
Many experts discounted the potential for the energy sector coming into 2014 as skepticism about the future of commodity prices weighed on revenue growth prospects.
If you believe that the economy will keep recovering, then this is the sector to own.
It's been another harrowing week for investors, with all the major U.S. markets falling by about 1 percent between April 10 and 15. For the average investor, selloffs bring fears of another recession, but for more astute stock pickers, a market drop is often a chance to pick up stocks at a bargain.
There's one sector that investors should consider taking advantage of during a dip: U.S. industrials. If you believe that the economy will keep recovering, then this is the sector to own -- it always does better when the country's fortunes improve.
Just look at its post-recession returns for proof. Between Sept.19, 2008, and March 6, 2009, America's industrial sector, which accounts for about 11 percent of the market, fell by about 55 percent, compared with 45 percent for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX). Since the market bottomed on March 6, 2009, the S&P 500 is up 149 percent, compared with 230 percent for the S&P 500 Industrials Index.
The high yield behind this asset class earns it consideration as a core holding, but watch out for interest-rate movements.
By Daniel Putnam
Preferred stocks don't receive much attention, but maybe it's time that changed.
The asset class, which investors can access easily via the iShares U.S. Preferred Stock ETF (PFF), offers the compelling combination of competitive returns, low risk and an outstanding yield.
And yet, PFF has just $9 billion under management -- just a fraction of the $157 billion held in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
Based on a number of measures, it looks like investors are missing an opportunity.
The first benefit of preferred stocks is, of course, their yield. PFF currently offers an SEC yield of 5.8 percent, well above the 1.9 percent available on SPY.
Shares spike 44% after company gets the green light to file for approval of its experimental drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Five months after Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) lost 64 percent of its market value in one day, the company got the go-ahead to file for approval of its experimental drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Sarepta said Monday it received guidance from the Food and Drug Administration that will enable it to apply for regulatory approval of eteplirsen by the end of this year, before completing a larger scale, confirmatory clinical study.
The company will supplement its FDA filing with additional safety and efficacy data from an earlier trial as well as from a confirmatory study it plans to start in the third quarter, according to a statement.
The current earnings crop is expected to be the low point of this year's picture, however.
By Sheraz Mian
The first-quarter earnings season has gotten off to a relatively soft start.
Low expectations essentially guarantee that we are unlikely to get any major negative surprises. But as with economic data, the market has likely moved past the Q1 numbers and is looking ahead to the coming periods when earnings growth is expected to accelerate.
A big part of the reports thus far have been from the finance sector, with results from more than one-third the sector's total market capitalization are already out. Most of the finance sector results have been from the major banks, which alone account for more than 40 percent of the sector's total earnings.
Estimates for bank earnings had fallen ahead of the start of the earnings season as it became clear that weakness in the capital markets business will compound the existing mortgage banking woes.
Recent disclosures show that industry executives frequently consulted one another before recruiting workers or making strategic moves.
Some of tech's biggest names -- Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, Bill Campbell -- conferred and squabbled and made peace privately for years, documents in a current Silicon Valley antitrust case reveal. But they were unable to pull a new company into the club, the court documents show: Facebook (FB) declined their friend request.
In a trial set to begin later next month, some Silicon Valley giants -- Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC) and Adobe Systems (ADBE) -- are accused in a class-action suit of colluding to suppress wages between 2005 and 2009, by agreeing not to poach each other's employees, among other things.
The stakes behind the case are large, with some 64,000 employees seeking $3 billion in damages. But for now, a series of recently released documents are putting the spotlight on some potentially embarrassing details of an inner corporate circle.
We're in the gloomiest cycle in 55 years, so focus on high-quality companies with lots of cash. Here are some examples.
Taking the long-term view is probably the best course of action for investors, given the weakness of first-quarter results, as we head into the peak week of first-quarter earnings season with reports from heavyweights like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and AT&T (T).
Stocks ended the holiday-shortened week with their best weekly gain in nine months on mixed earnings in the tech and financials sectors. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) both finished up 2.4 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) gained 2.7 percent.
As we enter one of the weakest earnings seasons in several quarters, one encouraging sign for market history buffs is that the S&P 500 rallied to show a slight gain for the year just before Easter after starting last week in the red.
The fall in this sector has been so troubling that we are just one more big miss and one more ugly deal away from taking down a good portion of the S&P 500.
We are not out of the woods as long as we are hearing about possible IPO valuations for companies like Airbnb at $10 billion that aren't being laughed at or scorned. When Dropbox is being valued comfortably at $10 billion for IPO purposes on the basis of its 200 million users, this market will not be appeased, especially when Box, a rival more centered on enterprise that can easily move into the consumer market, is now being talked about at "only" $3 billion (although I am sure it is higher this red-hot minute).
These are the signs that we have yet to learn from the froth that has engulfed tech stocks from Concur (CNQR) and FireEye (FEYE) to Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) and everything in between. These are why the Amber Roads and Border Frees and A10s are always going to be considered like the also-rans of the years 1999 to 2000, until they go bust, get bought or get real profitable. It is why you need to beware of headlines that say "Tech Fall Isn't Seen as Sign of Trouble," because almost everyone knows that the tech fall has been so precipitous and lurking -- seen Google (GOOGL), anyone? -- that we are only one more big miss and one more ugly deal away from taking down a good portion of the S&P 500.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on a modestly lower note, but it is worth mentioning today's retreat took place after six consecutive gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.1%) and S&P 500 (-0.2%) settled not far below their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.8%) lagged throughout the session.
Equity indices started the day in the red, with the Nasdaq showing early weakness as large cap tech names and biotechnology weighed. The technology ... More
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