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Major drugmakers are jumping into the potentially lucrative business of treating canine influenza.

By Kim Peterson Dec 20, 2011 3:13PM
Humans aren't the only ones suffering from the flu this time of year. Dogs get it, too, and drugmakers are busy spreading the word about canine flu vaccines.

Many dog owners aren't aware of the dog flu. Experts say it's a relatively new phenomenon. But after apparently spreading from horses in 2004, dog flu has popped up in 38 states, according to Merck (MRK). Dog flu does not transmit to people. 
Tags: MRKPFE

The region is seen as one of the last remaining frontiers for large oil finds.

By Trefis Dec 20, 2011 2:50PM
 (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)ExxonMobil (XOM) may be looking to acquire Kurdistan-focused Gulf Keystone Petroleum, according to The Independent,a British newspaper. While neither of the companies commented on the news, the development indicates Exxon's deepening interest in the semi-autonomous region of Iraq.

Kurdistan is believed to hold around 40 billion barrels of oil, and the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) willingness to negotiate lucrative production-sharing contracts is attracting large companies to start exploration there. Competing oil giant Chevron (CVX) is also rumored to be in negotiations with the KRG to begin operations in the future.  
Tags: CVXXOM

Despite doubling in recent years, shares are a bargain by many metrics.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 20, 2011 2:22PM
By Richard Moroney, Dow Theory Forecasts

Apple (AAPL) stock is cheap from nearly every angle. At 13.5 times trailing earnings, Apple hasn’t been this inexpensive in at least a decade.

The shares are trading 48% below their five-year average price-to-earnings ratio. Shares also trade below five-year averages for price to sales (17% discount), enterprise ratio (34% discount), price to operating cash flow (62% discount), and price to book value (29% discount). 
Tags: AAPL

BofA technical analyst doesn't put much hope in a Santa Claus rally.

By The Fiscal Times Dec 20, 2011 1:48PM
Bank of America StockBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Mary Ann Bartels, head of technical analysis at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, warned investors Monday that the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell below its 50-day moving average last week and is now about to start testing the lows last seen in October, around 1,074 to 1,100.

Bertels gives even odds that those levels might not hold either, and that the S&P 500 might fall further, potentially dipping as low as 935 to 985. The index lost 1.2% on Monday to close at 1,205.35, but Bartels' forecast lows would mean a drop of another 22.5%. 

Higher commodity costs are only part of the problem.

By Jonathan Berr Dec 20, 2011 1:27PM
 (© David Arky/Corbis)Shares of General Mills (GIS) slid 2.5% in midday trading Tuesday after the maker of Cheerios reported disappointing quarterly earnings with costs rising faster than sales.

Though higher commodity prices are being blamed, there is another less well-known reason: People are eating less cereal.

Though nutritionists have said for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is also the most rushed. Research from the NPD Group shows that the average American spends about 13 minutes each day preparing and consuming breakfast.  
Tags: GISKMCD

Nevada attorney general accuses the company of document fraud and illegal fee-splitting. Shares are likely to continue to decline.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 20, 2011 12:11PM

PhotoAlto/Eric Audras/PhotoAlto Agency RF/Getty ImagesBy: Abigail Field


The shares of Lender Processing Services (LPS) came under fire Friday, dropping nearly 20% on unusually high volume after Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto filed fraud charges against the company.


Although LPS, a billion dollar company by market capitalization, has several business lines, the fraud charges relate to its largest (by revenue) default services division. Given the nature of the charges and the mound of evidence AG Masto cites in the complaint, Friday’s fall in share price is likely only the beginning.

 

The 2011 flop was overdone, so buy CAT for the New Year.

By InvestorPlace Dec 20, 2011 12:05PM

Photodisc Green/Getty ImagesBy Dan Burrows, CBS MoneyWatch columnist


After nearly quintupling from the bear-market bottom of 2009, shares in Caterpillar (CAT) have had a lousy run in 2011. That's great news for investors looking to build a position in this high-quality stock on the cheap.

 

Caterpillar is the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, and it's trading at bargain-basement levels with fears of a global economic slowdown more than baked into its share price.

 

Eli Lilly is initiated with a 'sell,' while Cablevision is downgraded to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Dec 20, 2011 12:00PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • F5 Networks (FFIV) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
  • KLA-Tencor (KLAC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
  • Edwards Lifesciences (EW) upgraded to Top Pick from Outperform at RBC Capital
  • OGE Energy (OGE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • Life Technologies (LIFE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Maxim
 

This low-priced telecom stock could be set to outperform Wall Street's expectations.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 20, 2011 10:50AM
Maciej Frolow/Brand X/Getty ImagesBy Paul McWilliams, Next Inning

While I wouldn't yet call Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) a "value" play, my outlook for the company has improved and I think in the mid one dollar range it merits consideration as a speculative investment.

The price of ALU has declined for several reasons. While ALU has reported earnings above the consensus of the covering analysts during the first three quarters of 2011, it has done so while reporting revenues below the consensus estimates. 
Tags: ALU

We need some real signs that the Europe situation is under control.

By Jim Cramer Dec 20, 2011 10:20AM

TheStreetAh, so it's German business confidence that holds the key. That's how we can rally so convincingly. It took only one good confidence number, as well as a Spanish bond auction that wasn't a disaster, and all is well again with the CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) above 130 and the European stock markets rallying with alacrity. 


Oh, if only it were that simple. If only it were like the old days, with a garden-variety recession and a chance that we could come out of it with a couple of good indicators. Unfortunately, it isn't. 

 

With the youngest fleet of offshore supply vessels, this firm is seeing growing demand for its services.

By TheStockAdvisors Dec 19, 2011 5:30PM
 (© Scott Gibson/Corbis)By Brendan Coffey, Cabot Global Energy Investor

By the middle of this decade, oil drawn from the seabed more than 2,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface will double in volume compared to 2010 levels.

Hornbeck Offshore Services (HOS) provides technologically sophisticated offshore supply vessels (OSVs) and transport vessels for the oil and gas industry. It has the youngest fleet of OSVs in the industry, and its ships are designed from scratch. 
Tags: HOSoil

Investors are hoping for a smooth transition of power for Kim Jong Un, but questions abound.

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 19, 2011 5:16PM
I don’t remember asking for this in my Christmas stocking: More uncertainty -- this time from North Korea.

The death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il Saturday has thrown Asian markets into a tizzy. That’s what happens when a totally opaque country with a collapsing economy just happens to own nuclear weapons. The fear is that Kim Jong Un, the designated successor to the "Dear Leader," doesn’t have a very secure grip on power and will feel compelled to solidify his control with a bit of military adventurism such as a new nuclear test or a new shelling attack on South Korean territory. 
 

The aluminum producer is profitable, streamlined and ready to roll.

By InvestorPlace Dec 19, 2011 5:15PM

By Jeff Reeves


When Alcoa (AA) reported earnings in October, CEO Klaus Kleinfeld told investors, "Alcoa is a confident company in a nervous world. We are well prepared for whatever lies ahead, with more cash on hand, lower debt and continued focus on profitable growth."


It would be natural to write off those comments as mere platitudes for Wall Street's grumpy traders. But taking a closer look at Alcoa across the past several weeks has made me agree with Klaus -- and consider AA stock as a bargain buy to hang on to across 2012.

 

The outlook may be dimming for this fast-growing chain.

By Trefis Dec 19, 2011 4:45PM
(© Tara Moore/cultura/Corbis)Chipotle (CMG) has performed exceptionally well this year. The stock is up more than 50% year-to-date, significantly outperforming the market indices. In the last six months the stock climbed 25%, while the Dow Jones remained flat.

Investors are increasingly bullish about this restaurant chain. However, the current rally might have just pushed the envelope, and we expect this optimism will fade. Chipotle competes mostly with the quick service and casual dining companies such as Chili's, McDonald's (MCD), Burger King, Yum! Brands (YUM) and Papa John's, among others. 
Tags: CMGMCDYUM

Better growth in the US should help the Russell 2000 catch up to the larger-cap indices in the weeks ahead.

By MoneyShow.com Dec 19, 2011 4:11PM

By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


If the US economy falls into recession sometime next year as a result of the financial crisis in Europe and the slowdown in China, it won’t be for lack of effort.


Right now, the US is looking like the main global growth engine and, frankly, the only reason the remaining stock investors have to stay in the markets and not bury their money under a mattress.


Initial unemployment claims haven't been this low in three years, fueling hopes that the job market has finally turned the corner. 

 
Tags: EBIX

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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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