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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The new approach should boost the company's margins.

By Trefis Mar 16, 2012 5:48PM
In the past year, ArcelorMittal's (MT) stock has plunged about 40% as the world's largest steel company struggled with a slowdown in European steel demand and rising input costs.

The company has begun to focus more on its mining operations in order to offset those rising input costs, and we believe that this focus, coupled with its restructuring efforts, will help the company improve its margins, going forward. 
Tags: AAMTRIOX

Investors are racing to get a piece of the social network before it launches its feverishly anticipated IPO.

By TheWeek.com Mar 16, 2012 5:30PM

Image: Man with magnifying-glass (© Jupiterimages/Jupiterimages)Facebook has the hottest stock around -- and it's not even public yet.


Shares of the social network are highly coveted in the booming "secondary" market, an "illiquid, opaque bazaar populated by shady characters" that bears all the hallmarks of a black market, says Mark Gongloff at The Huffington Post.


Through these less-than-upstanding transactions, investors can buy into privately held companies before they go public. Because Facebook shares are expected to soar in value once the company launches its IPO, people are clamoring for them.

 
Tags: IPO

Brewers have been cutting the alcohol percentage in beer to save money on taxes.

By Kim Peterson Mar 16, 2012 5:11PM
Image: Beer (© Corbis)Big brewers have taken the unusual step of watering down their beer in Britain, and they're hoping customers won't notice.

The reason comes down to taxes. The "beer duty" is incredibly steep; about a third of a pint's total price goes to taxes, the BBC reports.

But there's a twist: The stronger the beer, the more taxes brewers have to pay. So the brewing industry is hoping to cut its tax burden with weaker beer, but not so weak as to lose customers. 
Tags: BUD

The company will need to raise capital eventually; might as well take advantage of the recent spike in the stock price.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 16, 2012 4:35PM
Can't say I like being on this end of the news for Oncogenex (OGXI) Friday.

The company announced Friday morning that it will sell 4.2 million shares of stock at $12 a share to raise approximately $47 million in capital. The offering is expected to close on March 21.

The stock closed Thursday at $17.43 -- quite a bit above the $12 price of the offering -- and on the news fell nearly 21% Friday afternoon to $13.81.
 
Tags: OGXITEVA

The company's market value beats out the entire sector. How long until it's worth more than every other stock combined?

By Kim Peterson Mar 16, 2012 4:01PM
Image: Apple logo © BECK DIEFENBACH//ReutersWe know Apple (AAPL) is huge, but try to wrap your head around this one: The company is now worth more than the entire U.S. retail sector.

ZeroHedge noted this earlier this week when Apple's market value was about $542 billion. It had just edged by the total market cap of the U.S. retail sector, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500.

Apple's market cap has increased since then, and on Friday afternoon stood at about $545.2 billion. 
Tags: AAPL

Complacency is a risky proposition, but there are some ways to hedge your risk.

By Stock Traders Daily Mar 16, 2012 2:03PM

Image: Stock index © Image Source/Getty ImagesAs better economic data has streamed across the news wires over the past two months, and Europe has -- for the moment, at least -- put a ring-fence around its sovereign debt issues, the stock market has developed a troubling case of complacency. 


There is little-to-no fear in the market, which to me is a blaring warning sign. 

 

After 2 months in the doldrums, smaller, more sensitive shares are charging higher.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Mar 16, 2012 1:50PM

Wall Street denizens love to use battlefield metaphors. I guess it makes staring at trading screens a little more exciting. Over the past two months, despite the rise of huge glamour issues like Apple (AAPL), the majority of the market, especially small-cap stocks, has been stuck in a sideways crawl.

 

Interpretation: The generals were marching without the support of their infantry. You don't have to be a West Point graduate to know that behavior won't win wars.

 

Things are changing as bonds come under pressure (from higher inflation expectations, mainly) and commodities come under pressure from newfound strength in the U.S. dollar, sending hot money into stocks. But unlike what was happening back in February and early March, investors are changing their focus. Even as economic storm clouds gather over the horizon, this sets the stage for impressive gains for a few select sector groups in the weeks to come.

 

These stocks pass a screen based on the value-investing criteria of guru investors Ben Graham and Warren Buffett.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 16, 2012 1:35PM
Image: Construction (© Photodisc Green/Getty Images)By J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

Benjamin Graham has been recognized for decades as the father of value investing. Warren Buffett was a student of Graham at Columbia University and later worked for him for several years.

Here, I combined the criteria of both men for choosing stocks. Over the past seven years, my Graham-Buffett picks have risen 55.7% versus 10.3% for the S&P500. I believe these high-quality stocks sell at sensible prices, offer reasonable appreciation potential and provide solid dividends. I am confident they will fare very well during the next six months. 

High-volume gains in this sector suggest the group may start rolling higher again soon.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 16, 2012 12:57PM

Image: Railroad Crossing with Train (© Edmond Van Hoorick/Photodisc/Getty Images)By Tom Aspray


In early February, the relative performance analysis on iShares Dow Jones Transportation ETF (IYT) violated support, suggesting a correction was under way. The uptrend in IYT was broken on Feb. 10, which was consistent with a further decline.


It was expected that the deterioration in the transports was a warning of an eventual correction in the overall market, which is often the case. For example, the weakening technical picture last July warned of the decline in the overall market that took place last August. 

 

The world's dominant search engine is going to try to actually answer your questions.

By TheWeek.com Mar 16, 2012 12:41PM

Google (GOOG) powers two-thirds of the world's internet searches, so when it announces big changes, people pay attention. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is giving its "tried-and-true Web-search formula" a makeover that's "among the biggest in the company's history." Instead of just spitting back a page of keyword-driven blue links, Google is aiming for something closer to artificial intelligence, trying to understand what Web searchers are asking for and providing actual answers. When the changes kick in, Google's Amit Singhal tells The Journal, the experience will be more like "how humans understand the world."


Here's a look at the "dramatic" overhaul Google has planned:

 

Are some firms that specialize in trading shares of still-private companies playing fast and loose?

By The Fiscal Times Mar 16, 2012 12:20PM
Image: Dishonest man (© Halfdark/fStop/Getty Images)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

The stock market may be at its highest level since the financial crisis, but this year's euphoria-inducing returns are not enough to keep some investors happy. They want in on the ground floor of still-private companies that they believe will go public with lots of fanfare and a big "pop" in the stock price on the first day of trading.

Turns out that this is a potentially perilous business, or so the Securities and Exchange Commission believes.  

Declining TV ratings may be bad news for CBS and Time Warner.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 16, 2012 11:50AM
TV viewers are not so mad about March Madness this year, at least not so far.

Ratings for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which is being shown on CBS (CBS) and Time Warner's (TWX) Turner Networks, have been lackluster.    

Buffalo Wild Wings is downgraded to 'neutral,' and Dick's Sporting is initiated with a 'market perform.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2012 11:22AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Wabtec (WAB) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
  • Lear (LEA) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
  • Shire (SHPGY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
  • Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
  • State Street (STT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Rochdale
  • Dell (DELL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Standpoint Research
 

Builders have been showing technical strength, and companies from related industries are rebounding from prior lows.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 16, 2012 10:39AM

By Kate Stalter, MoneyShow.com


As the housing sector has been in rally mode lately, it's not only builders that have shown gains but also stocks from related industries.


One low-priced micro-cap stock that showed up on my scans is US Home Systems (USHS), which makes kitchen, bath, garage and closet products, sold through Home Depot (HD) and other retail channels.

 

MSN Money's Anthony Mirhaydari answers Facebook users' questions about the employment market.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2012 10:25AM
The job market is on everybody's mind. In this video, MSN Money columnist Anthony Mirhaydari explains why, despite recent figures pointing to an improvement, many Americans still don't think the labor market is recovering.

 

As he answers questions from MSN Money's Facebook community, Mirhaydari also explains how tax policy affects jobs.  

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages punctuated a solid week with a subdued Friday session. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% to narrow its weekly gain to 1.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) displayed relative strength. The tech-heavy index finished the week in line with the benchmark average.

Market participants went into today's session expecting to hear some new insight from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who delivered the keynote address at this year's Jackson Hole Symposium. Unfortunately, the ... More


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