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.


Kraft is downgraded to 'hold,' Express Scripts is upgraded to 'outperform,' and Altera is initiated with a 'reduce.'

By MSN Money Partner Mar 7, 2012 11:55AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Express Scripts (ESRX) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • Dick's Sporting (DKS) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee
  • Tesoro (TSO) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill

The wireless network company could change on its own, but a buyout is also possible.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 7, 2012 11:51AM
By Paul McWilliams, Next Inning

We were recently asked whether Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) could be a viable buyout candidate. Here's our assessment of the stock's outlook and its buyout potential.

Central to ALU's challenge is its high fixed cost structure. Current management has addressed that more effectively than what we saw previously, but there is still progress that needs to be made before ALU can realize the cost flexibility it needs to optimize its model. 
Tags: ALU

As it rapidly loses ground to Facebook and Google, Yahoo is reportedly taking severe measures to restructure.

By TheWeek.com Mar 7, 2012 11:14AM
Yahoo (YHOO) is preparing to lay off "thousands" from its 14,000-strong workforce, reports Kara Swisher at All Things D. The move is part of a "massive restructuring" being launched by chief executive Scott Thompson, who took the reins in January.

Thompson was brought in to shake things up at the hobbled search giant, which continues to lose ground to Google (GOOG) and Facebook in the battle for online advertising dollars. Yahoo is now the third most popular search engine, behind Google and Bing, and its revenues have declined for three straight years. Yahoo says it has not made any "final decisions" on layoffs, but analysts are already reading the tea leaves.  

The iPad maker is expected to introduce an upgraded tablet computer, while the online video company meets with cable providers to discuss streaming opportunities.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 7, 2012 8:53AM

By Silvia Davi


Updated at 9 a.m. ET


Apple (AAPL) is expected to introduce an upgraded version of its iPad tablet Wednesday. The company is holding a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where it will likely launch the new iPad. It won't be called the iPad 3 but rather the iPad HD, as Apple highlights the device's high-definition screen, according to reports.


Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings has been meeting with some of the largest U.S. cable companies to discuss adding the online movie streaming service to their cable offerings, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with matter. The talks could lead to Netflix becoming available as another on-demand option for cable subscribers through their set-top boxes, according to three people familiar with the talks, Reuters said. A partnership with a cable company would help Netflix's compete with HBO, Reuters noted.


The satellite provider has plans to build a nationwide wireless network, but needs to clear some regulatory hurdles first.

By Benzinga Mar 7, 2012 12:19AM

By Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer

Can Dish Network (DISH) make it as a wireless provider? The company hopes so. It's sitting on valuable wireless spectrum, and has ambitions to build a nationwide high-speed wireless network.

It's unclear whether the company intends to launch a full mobile-phone service. But after a speculated venture with T-Mobile and other rumored plans never came to fruition, Dish is now mulling at least a fresh wireless network of its own. It won't be easy. Federal regulators have decided to address the issue in formal deliberations that could last all year, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. 

After months of feverish speculation, Apple is expected to unveil its latest gadget Wednesday, and critics worry it won't live up to the hype.

By TheWeek.com Mar 6, 2012 6:30PM
Apple (AAPL) wants to blow us all away with the next version of the iPad, says Roger Cheng at CNET. "But it probably won't." Whether it's called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD, most of the details surrounding the new tablet's best features will have leaked before the curtains are at last raised for an unveiling in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Apple hasn't specified what it will announce, but the new iPad is widely expected to be the focus of the day. 

Later this year, Android smartphones will reportedly feature a robotic assistant that can talk its way through Gmail and Google Maps.

By TheWeek.com Mar 6, 2012 6:25PM
Image: Worried Man (© John Howard/Getty Images/Getty Images)Android smartphones are about to get more chummy. To take on Siri, Apple's (AAPL) popular virtual assistant, Google (GOOG) is reportedly working on a Siri clone of its own, set to debut in the fourth quarter.

While Android devices can already handle voice commands (a dramatically undersold feature), the new project, simply dubbed "Assistant," would be integrated into apps and websites like Gmail and YouTube.

Google develops the Android software for use in smartphones made by Samsung, Motorola Mobility (MMI), HTC and other manufacturers. 

Wendy's has launched a broad turnaround plan, which could pique the interest of private equity.

By InvestorPlace Mar 6, 2012 6:16PM

Image: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)By Lawrence Meyers

There's no doubt that the market loves McDonald's (MCD). The company benefited from an economic downturn that drove more customers to low-cost meals, and it introduced a broadside attack on Starbucks (SBUX) with its wildly successful coffee line.

But there's just not much room in investors' hearts for the other fast-food brand, Wendy's (WEN). No matter how you slice the burger, Wendy's is outgunned by the clown. That doesn’t mean it can't survive in the market, but it is struggling.


The markets are down, but is this a temporary bump? We'll know more later this week.

By Jim J. Jubak Mar 6, 2012 5:55PM
Image: Arrow Down (© Kyu Oh/Photodisc/Getty Images)Is this the correction that has been looming as a possibility for weeks?

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) closed down 1.5% Tuesday. The German Dax Index closed down 3.4%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.2% overnight. Tuesday's action followed on Monday's drop.

Sure looks like it, no?

Well, it depends. The markets are clearly down, but investors won't know until Thursday or Friday whether this goes from being a reaction to worries over the Greek debt swap to a true correction of 8% to 10% or so.

With Greece's new bailout plan in jeopardy, intense selling pressure triggers a number of warning signals.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Mar 6, 2012 4:13PM

Stocks fell early and often Tuesday as the situation in the eurozone continued to deteriorate. 

The Greek Bailout 2.0 plan is being jeopardized by weaker-than-expected participation in the country's debt swap offer and fears that its failure would result in €1 trillion in losses for European banks. Also adding to concerns is word that Ireland could require a second bailout package -- something that might not be forthcoming if the Irish reject a strict new fiscal austerity pact.


The result is what's set to be the worst market performance since December and the breaching of significant technical support levels. By all indications, the losses are just getting started.


Here's how you can profit from the emerging downtrend.


The online reviews site had a great first day of trading, but things have gone downhill since then.

By Kim Peterson Mar 6, 2012 3:25PM
Image: Businessman reading newspaper © A. Chederros/ONOKY/Getty ImagesYelp (YELP) took off like a rocket in its initial public offering last week, soaring more than 60% from the $15 offering price in the first day of trading.

The investor reaction put some wind back in the sails for tech IPOs. Forbes wondered if the IPO was priced too low; perhaps $20 to $22 would have been more appropriate.

But since then, shares of Yelp have fallen back to Earth. 

The food company delivers better-than-expected second quarter earnings of 45 cents per share.

By Zacks.com Mar 6, 2012 2:58PM

By Zacks Equity Research
United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) delivered better-than-expected second quarter 2012 earnings of 45 cents per share, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. The earnings also surpassed the prior-year earnings by 6 cents.


These specialty real estate trusts have healthy dividends and strong cash positions.

By MoneyShow.com Mar 6, 2012 2:41PM

Image: House with bills (© Creatas/age fotostock)By Tom Aspray

Stocks came under pressure overnight as Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped over 2% after the Chinese premier lowered the country's growth estimate for 2012 to 7.5%, down from 8% where it had been since 2005.

The technical readings for the U.S. stock market weakened Monday, even though the major averages closed well off the worst levels. A sharply lower close Tuesday -- below $135.80 in the Spyder Trust (SPY) -- will indicate that the long-awaited correction is underway.


Small pay can sometimes equal big success if you know what to look for.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 6, 2012 2:31PM

By Sean Williams


As fellow Fool Alyce Lomax has opined on countless occasions, CEO pay in this country is out of control. For the most part there tends to be a major disconnect between a company's performance and a CEO's pay, leading many investors to call for "pay-for-performance" packages for many of our nation's largest companies.


Whether you believe it or not, some of these CEOs are actually listening to their shareholders and have proactively reduced their base salaries to next to nothing -- and I mean that literally!


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.


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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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