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.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

A move into real-money Internet gambling would be a natural fit for the world's largest social gaming company.

By Trefis Mar 6, 2012 2:17PM
Image: Four aces (© Image Source/Corbis)Zynga (ZNGA) CEO Mark Pincus added more fuel to the speculation that the online gaming developer plans to enter the gambling space by stating that he sees "mind blowing" possibilities in online gambling. 

Zynga is the world's largest social gaming company, with more than 240 million active users. A Zynga spokesman had earlier expressed interest in online gambling, but with the recent statement by its CEO, Zynga's move into the space is almost a certainty.

Zynga competes primarily with Electronic Arts (EA), Playdom, which was recently acquired by Disney (DIS), and other independent social gaming studios.
 

Dieters are discovering they can lose weight for free using apps.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 6, 2012 12:50PM
Image: Woman and refrigerator (© Photos.com/Jupiterimages)When my doctor urged me to lose weight, I was overwhelmed by the plethora of dieting options. Then I discovered an easy-to-use free app called Lose It that made it simple for me to track my calorie intake. It worked like a charm and I have lost 20 pounds since the start of the year. 

While this is great news for me -- and my wife who has shed 30 pounds -- this is a worrying trend for shareholders of Nutrisystem (NTRI) and Weight Watchers International  (WTW).
 

Lululemon is downgraded to 'hold,' and Yahoo is initiated with a 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 6, 2012 12:18PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Sanofi (SNY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
  • Akzo Nobel (AKZOY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale
  • Monster Worldwide (MWW) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore
  • Tyson Foods (TSN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Davenport
 

General Motors' Chevy truck may become a necessity for businesses looking to save on fuel costs.

By Jim Cramer Mar 6, 2012 12:06PM

General Motors (GM) gets it. It gets the moment. The company recognizes that natural gas is the way of the future because we have way too much of it and because diesel is super expensive and will get more expensive, given the price of Brent and the lack of refining capacity.

 

Not only that, but GM has figured out that it doesn't matter how much the government subsidizes all electric cars, which are going to be losers -- and not just because of the technology problems of the Volt. Put simply, we have not developed a way to be able to make electric cars pay for themselves, because they can't go far and they can't be serviced effectively and because there is no way to dispose of the battery without developing the equivalent of Superfund sites to do so.

 

The reports of impending layoffs still don't clarify just what strategy the new CEO will take to fix the ailing Internet giant.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 6, 2012 11:54AM
YahooBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times The Fiscal Times

Scott Thompson, the former PayPal president who took on the top job at Yahoo (YHOO) early this year, seems to be eager to show the company's competitors and its investors -- indeed, the market as a whole -- just what he's going to do. The problem? Those actions may be decisive and sweeping, but so far, it's not clear that they are going to be enough to revive Yahoo's fading fortunes.

AllThingsD reported Monday morning that big layoffs are in the works -- part of a widespread restructuring plan -- and could be announced before the end of the month. Parts of the business that don't contribute directly to its bottom line or aren't core, ranging from research to public relations, may well bear the brunt of those changes and the associated layoffs.

 

The market may be turning.

By Stock Traders Daily Mar 6, 2012 11:10AM

Zurbar/age fotostockSigns that a trader's market may soon be upon us surfaced once again last week. The market pulled back temporarily following comments from Ben Bernanke, which showed no indications the Federal Reserve is prepared to take additional measures to prop up a sluggish economy.

 

Despite a brilliant run in the broader equity markets since the start of the year, not everyone is convinced of the sustainability. "We are at the tail end of this rally," Tom Kee Jr., President and CEO of Stock Traders Daily, wrote in a recent trading alert to paid subscribers. "Yes, it can go a little higher, but the market is much more likely to turn down sooner rather than later."

 

All meet the investing criteria of legendary investors.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 6, 2012 11:03AM
Medioimages/Getty ImagesBy John Reese, Validea

Our approach is to build portfolios based on the known investment criteria of a variety of "legendary" stock market investors with proven, long-term stock-picking strategies.

Based on these assessments, we've recently added four newcomers to our list of current favorites: Big Lots (BIG), CACI International (CACI), Coinstar (CSTR) and Northrop Grumman (NOC). 

At issue is a chemical used in caramel color. The claim: It can cause cancer.

By InvestorPlace Mar 6, 2012 10:19AM
By Jonathan Berr

Coca-Cola
(KO), PepsiCo (PEP) and the rest of the carbonated beverage industry have become public enemy No. 1 for the nation's self-appointed food police, and the battle is far from over.


The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on Monday announced that it had found "high levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a known animal carcinogen" in samples of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi that the group analyzed. The chemical is a byproduct of the manufacturing process used to create the distinctive brown caramel color in these popular beverages.

 

Hint: It has everything to do with the iPhone and the iPad.

By Trefis Mar 5, 2012 6:26PM
Credit: © 2012 Apple Inc
Caption: iPhone 4sInvestors continue to lap up Apple (AAPL). 

In the five weeks since the company released its bumper first-quarter earnings, the stock has seen tremendous buying interest, rallying more than 30%. Apple reached the enviable milestone of a $500 billion market cap last Tuesday.

As the stock inches closer to our fair price estimate of $550, there is speculation as to whether Apple can become the world's first trillion-dollar company.
 

Banks follow the money, and you don't have it.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 5, 2012 5:27PM

Image: Credit card (© Fancy/Veer/Corbis/Corbis)By Dan Caplinger

 

Activist movements like Bank Transfer Day have been instrumental in getting ordinary people to take action when banks are taking advantage of them. But as much as banks claim to want everyone's business, the reality is that some business is a lot more lucrative than others. And when it comes down to it, banks will go to where the profit is -- even if it means treating its ordinary customers worse than they deserve.

 

One niche in which this emphasis on high-wealth customers is obvious is in the credit card industry. While everyday Americans worry about getting a low interest rate when they carry a balance or avoiding expensive fees, venerable Wall Street financial institutions are fighting tooth and nail for customers in what Occupy Wall Street would call the 1%.

 

The company sells a stake in AIA Group in efforts to raise $6 billion.

By Benzinga Mar 5, 2012 5:17PM

Image: Hand hiding banknotes under vest, studio shot (© Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Getty Images)By Jane Sanders, Benzinga Staff Writer


American International Group (AIG) has been steadily repaying its debt to the government after getting a $182 billion bailout in 2008. Now, it's trying to speed that along by selling a 14% stake in Hong Kong's AIA Group.


AIG is offering about 1.7 billion shares in AIA Group, each for between 27.15 to 27.50 Hong Kong dollars. That could raise as much as $6 billion.

 

The company prices its own gas lower in hopes it will increase shoppers' visits to its stores.

By Kim Peterson Mar 5, 2012 4:48PM
Image: Filling fuel tank (© Corbis)Rising prices at the pump make retailers' hearts sink. Wal-Mart (WMT) gets hit hard, for example, as shoppers make fewer trips to the store and have less room in their budgets.

But Costco (COST) is one of the few retailers that do better as gas prices rise, writes analyst Mark Miller at William Blair & Co.

"With the typical seasonal uplift in gas prices leading up to Memorial Day, and with uncertainties in the Middle East, we now believe that gas prices should be a neutral, or potential positive, factor to Costco's sales going forward," Miller writes in a report Monday. 
Tags: COSTWMT

Despite all the efforts of central bankers, the deep structural problems we face haven't gone away. Stocks are falling as investors begin to realize this.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Mar 5, 2012 4:27PM

If there was a theme song for the last few months, it would have to be Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy." All the issues I've been warning about -- the looming Greek default and possible eurozone exit, the unfinished deficit debate in Washington, and the West's $8 trillion excess debt load -- were swept under the rug, much to my surprise.

 

Why? Investors focused on one thing: Buckets of cheap cash out of the central banks. It started back in November when the Federal Reserve started shoveling cheap dollars into European banks. It continued when the European Central Bank shoveled cheap euros into European banks. And now, Wall Street is waiting for the Fed to unleash a third round of quantitative easing or "QE3" after the last $600 billion "QE2" program ended last summer.

 

That's all ending now as everyone realizes that, like Humpty Dumpty, all the cheap cash in the world can't put this economy back together. Stocks are suffering as a result. Here's why.

 

Addition by subtraction is paying off for the refocused industrial specialist.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 5, 2012 4:17PM

Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


"Telephones, hotels, insurance -- it's all the same. If you know the numbers inside out, you know the company inside out."


That's a quote attributed to Harold Geneen, the businessman who built ITT (ITT) into a global conglomerate during the 1960s. That was back in the day when spreadsheets were going to safeguard the Pax Americana, and when they failed, the CIA was ready to step in, subverting democracy in Brazil and Chile for ITT's benefit.

 

The government has plenty of tools to keep growth at the rate it desires.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 5, 2012 4:00PM
Image: (Shanghai, China © Yang Liu/Corbis)The news is very straightforward. China will cut its target for economic growth this year to 7.5% from the 8% goal that's been in place since 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao told the annual meeting of the National People's Congress today.

But what does it mean?

Financial markets have decided that a lower-growth target means China's leadership is forecasting lower growth.
 

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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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