A Mexican wave for Big Oil?
Mexico opens way for Big Oil

New legislation is allowing foreign companies to finally invest in the country's vast oil reserves.

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McDonald's, however, is still far out of reach for any of its rivals.

By Benzinga Mar 19, 2012 3:30PM

Image: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer


The fast-food industry was significantly shaken on Monday by news that Wendy's (WEN) has knocked Burger King from the No. 2 spot.


According to the Associated Press, an upcoming report by food research company Technomic shows that Wendy's knocked Burger King aside in U.S. sales volume for the first time since Wendy's was founded in 1969. McDonald's (MCD) continues to reign supreme at the top of the pile.

 

The sector will soon enter a period of seasonal strength, and two stocks in particular look like attractive buys on any upcoming pullbacks.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 19, 2012 3:01PM

Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Despite the stock market’s impressive performance so far in 2012, some industry groups are still flat or down for the year. These are the groups to keep an eye on, as we have seen new sector rotation that has continued to propel the major averages higher.


The materials sector has been lagging and is still below the February highs. A strong close this week in the Select Sector SPDR Materials (XLB) would turn the volume analysis positive and might be enough to make it a market leader.

 

Analysts are upping their price targets for Apple, catching the excitement from the latest iPad, a rumored TV and a just-announced dividend.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 19, 2012 2:54PM
Image: Arrow Up (© Nicholas Monu/iStock Exclusive/Getty Images)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Wall Street is calling it the "700 Club" -- the group of buy-side analysts who have gone public in recent days with projections that Apple’s (AAPL) stock will soar to $700 or more.

The stock has edged closer to that goal Monday, gaining more than 2% after the company's announcement that it will start paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and launch a $10 billion, three-year stock buyback program. 

One Silicon Valley entrepreneur says he will part with his Los Gatos mansion for a stake in the social-networking company.

By Kim Peterson Mar 19, 2012 2:33PM
Caption: Forrester Estate Exterior
License: PR 1yearThe pre-IPO excitement for Facebook shares is getting ridiculous.

One Silicon Valley enterpreneur wants to trade his 10,000-square-foot mansion in Los Gatos, Calif., for a chunk of Facebook stock. He'll take home a nice profit in the process.

Kenneth Raasch and his wife bought the property known as the "Forrester Estate" in 1997, and it was valued at $4.7 million in 2011, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. 
Tags: IPO

The CDC takes its gloves off and goes after Big Tobacco.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 19, 2012 2:21PM
By Sean Williams

 

The tobacco sector is a giant. It spends approximately $10.5 billion a year on marketing and advertising in order to keep 20% of the American public smoking. This isn't to say it doesn't acknowledge the harmful effects of smoking, or that it ignores the growing number of smoking dissidents campaigning against them; it's just that I equate this situation to poking a dinosaur with a twig.

 

Well, the twig just got a little bigger.

 
Tags: LOMOPMRAI

The stock will now have solid buying support during what is normally a summer slump.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 19, 2012 1:42PM
Image: Crystal ball (© Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)What's most interesting to me about Monday morning's dividend announcement by Apple (AAPL) is the schedule for the payout.

Apple will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share -- roughly a 1.75% yield -- beginning sometime in its fiscal third quarter, which starts July 1. That yield is in the ballpark of Wall Street expectations for something around 2%. Apple also said it will launch a share-buyback program sometime after the company's fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. 

Together, the two measures will cost the company $45 billion over the next three years. Apple finished calendar 2011 with $98 billion in cash. Analysts estimate that the company will generate $75 billion in cash in 2012.
 
Tags: AAPL

For starters, just look at the amazing performances of Starbucks and Whole Foods.

By Jim Cramer Mar 19, 2012 1:34PM

Amid a host of unbelievably good charts -- including almost every bank, homebuilder, real-estate investment trust and retail play -- comes a group that can be described only as the senior growth cohort, the stocks with both terrific earnings power and higher growth than the average stock that seems to have real staying power.

 

We are all blinded by the staying power of Apple (AAPL) -- and now Apple's cash -- but have you looked at Nike (NKE) lately? It's reporting this week. We should only hope it sells off! That's what we got on Ross Stores (ROST) on Friday, but I bet that's just a temporary stop as we saw with Bed Bath (BBBY) and Costco (COST) recently. Meanwhile, the breathtaking moves in Chipotle (CMG), Alexion Pharma (ALXN) and Monster (MWW) seem to know no stopping, as is the case with Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Priceline (PCLN) and F5 (FFIV). (All of the internet video plays seem to have come alive again, including Akamai (AKAM) and Level 3 (LVLT), of all things.)

 

There wasn't a huge investor reaction to word of the company's upcoming dividend and share buyback.

By Kim Peterson Mar 19, 2012 1:29PM
Image: Apple logo © BECK DIEFENBACH//ReutersUpdated 4:30 p.m. ET

Apple
(AAPL) shares rose 2.7% Monday to close at $601.10 after the company announced it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share.

The dividend and stock buyback news was momentous, yet investors seemed to take it in stride. Did the market already know about the announcement?

That might be one reason shares didn't spike Monday. In fact, Apple shares dropped in early trading before climbing back at midday to a gain of more than 2%. 
Tags: AAPL

This biotech company shows strong fundamentals while technically poised to break out to new highs.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 19, 2012 12:59PM
By Leo Fasciocco, Ticker Tape Digest

Celgene (CELG) produces drugs to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory-related diseases. Its primary commercial-stage products include Revlimid, Vidaza, Thalomid and Abraxande.

Technically, the long-term chart shows the stock soaring from 5 back in 2003 to a peak of 77 in 2008. The stock has now regrouped and is pushing once again toward its breakout point.  
Tags: CELG

Sure, there were lines out the doors at stores worldwide, but some observers say the fervor was muted compared with the iHysteria of old.

By TheWeek.com Mar 19, 2012 12:35PM
© Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesIn what has become a bankable ritual of the digital era, Apple (AAPL) stores on Friday opened their gleaming glass doors to long lines of acolytes clamoring for the tech giant's latest gadget. 

New iPads flew off the shelves, and fans held their sleek toys triumphantly aloft as they exited stores to the applause of sales staffers. Yet some reports suggested that not all was right: The lines were distinctly shorter than in past years, some people whispered, the roll-out more subdued. Apple CEO Tim Cook says sales for the new iPad broke records, but he is keeping mum on details.
 
Tags: AAPL

The video game retailer, which is due to report earnings this week, has met or topped estimates over the last four quarters.

By Zacks.com Mar 19, 2012 12:24PM

Image: Teenage boys watching television with 3-D glasses © Robert Daly/OJO Images/Getty ImagesBy Zacks Equity Research
    ‎ 
GameStop Corp. (GME), a video game and entertainment software retailer, is slated to report its fourth-quarter 2011 financial results before the opening bell on March 22. 


The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter stands at $1.72 per share, representing an estimated year-over-year increase of about 10%. Revenue, as per the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is $3,709 million.

 
Tags: AMZNGME

The company makes its biggest move outside of coffee.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 19, 2012 12:01PM
Image: Pears with linen napkin (© Michael Grimm/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) acquired Evolution Fresh for $30 million last year and now seeks to capitalize on the fruit juice maker.

The coffee company has opened its first Evolution Fresh location in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. It will offer freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices along with wraps, salads and soups. Vegan and vegetarian options will be available as well. Previously, Evolution Fresh juices were available at grocery stores. If the pilot store is successful, as it probably will be, Starbucks will open others. This is a risk worth taking. 

Struggling to complete orders in time, the heavy equipment manufacturer is issuing its third dim sum bond offering.

By Trefis Mar 19, 2012 10:44AM
Caterpillar (CAT), the construction and mining equipment manufacturer, has had a stellar year with its stock up nearly 25% year-to-date after the company delivered record 2011 earnings. Now, the company is again looking to raise money in the Hong Kong bond market to fund its expansion in China.

The company has gathered a huge backlog and is struggling to raise capacity and complete orders in time, necessitating further investments in this market. This is especially exaggerated for mining equipment. Caterpillar said it won't be able to deliver on some orders for large mining trucks until 2014.  
Tags: CAT

This oil & gas firm continues to pump money into exploration, stock buybacks and dividends.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 19, 2012 10:34AM
By Nathan Slaughter, Energy & Income

As with any energy producer, Devon Energy (DVN) has no control over the descent in natural gas prices and can only take what the market is willing to pay. But the company does control its own destiny when it comes to production and reserve levels -- both of which have just reached new record highs.

Its past investments are now bearing fruit. Devon exited 2011 with average production of 680,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, up from 618,000 per day in 2010. In addition, Devon continues to invest heavily (but prudently) to fuel future growth opportunities.  
Tags: DVN

Federal Mogul's aftermarket spin-off is a green light for the sector.

By InvestorPlace Mar 19, 2012 10:12AM

By Susan J. Aluise

 

Two conflicting trends -- white-hot new auto sales and the increasing age of vehicles on the road -- are combining to create a sweet spot for auto parts manufacturers. And companies that straddle the original equipment (OE) and aftermarket businesses have the opportunity to cash in big at both ends of the auto parts lifecycle.

 

Auto parts imports rose 10.4% in January to $25.3 billion, according to Commerce Department data released last week. But U.S. auto and auto parts exports also rose during the month, hitting a record $12.7 billion.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on an upbeat note with blue chips showing relative strength for the second consecutive day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%) settled ahead of the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%). It is worth mentioning the benchmark index posted its fourth consecutive gain, registering a new record closing high at 1992.38.

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