Energy boom makes oil a safe haven
Oil becomes a surprising haven

The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.

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The EU needs to unify its stock markets, create a common banking system, and issue European bonds that can absorb all the fractured debt.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 5, 2012 11:53AM

By Sheldon Liber


Ever since the creation of the European Economic Community and the European Union, there hasn't been much sense of community or union.


The adoption of the euro helped. However, it has been a major flaw that countries can't print currency but everyone can issue debt -- and they did, as much as they wanted. The biggest problem in Europe is the people are not united and this keeps the markets separate, including their stock markets: the DAX, FTSE, CAC, and Athens Exchange to name a few.

 
Tags: FFIATYgm

Marvell Technology is upgraded to 'market perform,' and Brocade is downgraded to 'hold.'

By MSN Money Partner Jun 5, 2012 11:05AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Fusion-io (FIO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
  • Marvell Technology (MRVL) upgraded to Market Perform at JMP Securities
  • Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
  • Mead Johnson (MJN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak
 

That is, if the Supreme Court upholds the health care reform law.

By InvestorPlace Jun 5, 2012 10:43AM

By Susan J. Aluise

 

As the U.S. Supreme Court mulls the fate of President Barack Obama's signature health reform law, the way these six men and three women eventually rule could have a significant impact on the stocks of managed care companies. And in almost every scenario but one, managed care companies could come out winners.

 

If the entire Affordable Care Act wins the constitutional challenge, managed care companies and insurers win big because they get to divvy up as many as 32 million new customers who'll be required by law to buy health insurance -- many of them young and healthy. That should more than offset any losses incurred by the requirement that the companies accept those with preexisting conditions or health risk factors.

 

The luxury apparel and accessories brand is new to the market but is already rated a 'strong buy.'

By Zacks.com Jun 5, 2012 10:23AM

By Brian Bolan
 

Michael Kors (KORS) is new to the market but has already become a Zacks No. 1 rank ("strong buy").

 

Michael Kors sells branded women's apparel and accessories, as well as men's apparel. The company sells its products primarily under the names of Michael Kors, MICHAEL Michael Kors and KORS Michael Kors. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

 
Tags: KORS

The company is looking to increase its production capacity in both regions to boost sales.

By Trefis Jun 5, 2012 9:41AM
TrefisKraft Foods (KFT) is hoping to capitalize on the increasing opportunities offered by the Middle East and China to boost the sales of its snacks division, which consists of Oreo cookies, Nabisco Planters nuts, Ritz crackers and LU biscuits.

The company has announced the expansion of its Nabisco Arabia biscuit plant in Saudi Arabia to double production capacity. In China, the company plans to introduce new products, step up marketing and widen its distribution channels. 
Tags: KFT

It was up to the bankers and the execs to figure out a stock price where everyone won. In the end, the little guy got the shaft.

By Jim Cramer Jun 5, 2012 9:38AM

Facebook (FB) is moving in on that key 13-and-under demo! Business must be really rocking there to reach down to that cohort, right?

 

I don't know about yours, but I have to tell you that the sour taste of the Facebook deal hasn't left my mouth yet.

 

If you go back just a couple of weeks, we were at a crucial moment in time. Individual investors have been crushed for so long now that it was almost impossible to think about what could bring them back to stocks.

 

The Oracle says gold is useless, but precious metals are shining in a downward stock market.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Jun 5, 2012 9:27AM

"Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head." -- Warren Buffett


When it comes to bashing gold, few do it as publicly and as extremely as the crew at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B).


The company's CEO and largest shareholder, Warren Buffett, has provided many analogies over the years involving the precious metal. In a Fortune article earlier this year, the Oracle of Omaha cited gold's limited industrial demand and placed it in a category of assets that "will remain lifeless forever."

 

Chesapeake reaches an agreement with Icahn. Exxon considers exporting liquefied natural gas.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 5, 2012 9:02AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) has settled a campaign raised by activist investor Carl Icahn to give shareholders of the struggling oil and gas company four board seats. Chesapeake said after "extensive discussions" with its two largest shareholders, Southeastern Asset Management and Icahn, it has agreed to add four new independent directors to replace four existing independent directors who will resign from Chesapeake's board. Three of the new independent directors will be proposed by Southeastern, and the fourth will be proposed by Icahn. 

The company is spending $100 million on a San Francisco chain of casual restaurants serving sandwiches and salads.

By Kim Peterson Jun 4, 2012 6:28PM
Image: Starbucks © Bloomberg, Getty ImagesStarbucks (SBUX) is spending a whole lot of money on a new baker.

The company is shelling out $100 million in cash for Bay Bread, the parent company of the La Boulange brand. Starbucks said it will start adding croissants and other French pastries to its menu early next year.

Why would Starbucks spend that kind of cash on better croissants? For the answer to that question, you only have to look at shares of Panera Bread (PNRA), which fell more than 1% Monday and were down another 1.6% in after-hours trading. 
Tags: PNRASBUX

US stocks are very oversold, but some significant upcoming events could stand in the way of a bounce.

By Jim J. Jubak Jun 4, 2012 5:59PM
As the week begins, I expect traders who have made big profits on the May decline to be weighing the risk/reward of letting their bets on further declines ride versus taking profits now. Their decision will determine whether an oversold market gets more oversold or whether we get an explosive bounce.

Stocks turned in their worst May performance this year since 1940 with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) falling 6.01% for the month. And that was before the plunge on June 1 that sent the S&P 500 down 2.5% for the day. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) fell 2.2% on Friday and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) dropped by 2.8%.
 

The compay is sending surveys to its sellers suggesting the possibility of a free-listing model.

By Kim Peterson Jun 4, 2012 5:47PM
It costs money just to list an item on eBay (EBAY), even if that item doesn't sell. The company compares its insertion fee to buying a newspaper ad: You pay for the space and the eyeballs, but there's no guarantee of success.

The insertion fee has been a touchy issue for some eBay sellers. But what if eBay were to do away with it altogether? How would unlimited free listings change the auction experience?

That's what avid eBay users are wondering after the company sent sellers a survey asking if they preferred a model with no listing fees but higher commission fees, according to EcommerceBytes. 
Tags: GOOG

If common ground is found, a strategic relationship could benefit both companies.

By Benzinga Jun 4, 2012 4:27PM
By Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer

Yahoo's (YHOO) new CEO may end his company's lawsuit against Facebook (FB), closing the book on one of the more controversial moves made by his predecessor.


Yahoo sued Facebook in March, claiming that the social network was infringing on its patents related to advertising, privacy controls and other technologies. Yahoo was widely criticized for the suit, particularly because it echoed a patent lawsuit it filed against Google (GOOG) before the search giant went public in 2004.


Now, Yahoo's patent conflict with Facebook could soon come to an end.

 

The stock drops after a research note questions the company's projections.

By Kim Peterson Jun 4, 2012 3:55PM
Credit: © Fred Prouser / Reuters
Caption: The Cheesecake Factory restaurantAre diners getting tired of the Cheesecake Factory (CAKE)?

The company's business may be slowing down. The stock dropped by as much as 5% Monday after an analyst at William Blair & Co. cut her rating to "market perform" from "outperform."

The stock's slide put the brakes on what had been a pretty nice year of growth. Shares fell below $25 last October, but climbed back to nearly $33 last week. Heading into the close Monday, the stock was down to $30.29. 
Tags: CAKEDRI

Rotten job numbers were the last straw for nervous stock market investors, but this just might be a unique buying opportunity.

By The Fiscal Times Jun 4, 2012 2:36PM
Image: Arrow Down Red (© Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty)By Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times

The economic numbers released late last week were downright ugly. First-quarter GDP growth at 1.9% wasn't quite as robust as everyone had assumed. A mere 69,000 jobs were created in May, the lowest level seen in the last year, and April's job creation numbers were revised downward.

The unemployment rate -- which already understates the real level of unemployment by excluding those disappointed workers who are no longer searching for jobs -- edged back up to 8.2%. And the weakness isn't confined to one or two industries, but is seen across the board. Those people who still do have jobs are seeing their employers cut back on the number of hours they work -- an early warning signal that those employers are worried about an actual or potential falloff in customer orders or demand. 

The food police want the controversial plan to serve as a national model.

By Jonathan Berr Jun 4, 2012 2:21PM
Image: Sugar cubes (© Geostock / Photodisc Green/Getty Images)McDonald's (MCD), Coca-Cola (KO) and Starbucks (SBUX) are among the companies that stand to lose from New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's crackdown on sales of sugary beverages, according to Advertising Age.

Market researcher Techmonic estimates that fast-food and fast-casual restaurants get about 10% of their sales from carbonated soft drinks, the consumption of which has been declining for years. The market is also an important one for Coca-Cola, which controls 70% of U.S. fountain sales, the publication says.

 
Tags: KOMCDSBUX

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the last week of July on a quiet note with the S&P 500 ending less than a point above its flat line. Like the benchmark index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) also posted a slim gain, while the Russell 2000 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) lagged throughout the session.

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