Apple is a market darling again
Apple is a market darling again

The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.


Pipeline owners are making big profits on oil coming from North Dakota's Bakken fields. But a lot of natural gas continues to be flared due to low prices.

By Staff 20 hours ago

A pump jack pulls crude oil from the Bakken region of the Northern Plains near Bainville, Mont. © Matthew Brown/AP PhotoBy Dana Blankenhorn, TheStreet

The Bakken oil and gas shale play in North Dakota delivered over 1 million barrels of oil per day in May, the state says, and the number is still heading up.

But producers aren't getting anything like the prices, or margins, of foreign suppliers, due to a shortage of pipeline capacity, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Pipelines would deliver oil to refiners for $5/barrel but producers are paying $10 to $20 per barrel to move it out by rail.  Rail is more flexible, with shorter contracts. Rail is also faster, meaning faster payments. Rail currently has over 60 percent of the market, according to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

But the cost differences are driving a move toward pipelines.


Investors need to be aware of the downward trend for sales of carbonated beverages.

By Benzinga 20 hours ago

Cans of Pepsi and Coke on display
© Mark Lennihan/APBy Nelson Hem

The earnings crunch is well underway, and leading soft drink producers Coca-Cola (KO), Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) and PepsiCo (PEP) will be taking the earnings stage this week.

Investors have to be aware of the downward trend for sales of carbonated soft-drink beverages -- last year soda consumption fell for the ninth consecutive year. 

Both Coke and Pepsi continue to build their portfolios of alternative beverage brands, but Pepsi also has its snack foods business. It has so far resisted the urging of activist investor Nelson Peltz to unlock value by breaking up the company.


Analysts on average predict that this Atlanta-based company will report Tuesday before the opening bell that its revenue for the second quarter rose fractionally year-over-year to $12.83 billion. Earnings are expected to be flat as well, coming in at $0.63 per share, the same as in the year-ago period.


The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.

By MSN Money Partner 21 hours ago
Credit: © Stephen Lam/Reuters
Caption: File photo of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 2013By Jay Yarow, Business Insider

Apple (AAPL) reports earnings on Tuesday.

A lot has changed since the company's last reported earnings at the end of April. 

  • Apple split its stock 7-for-1.
  • Apple paid $3 billion for headphones company Beats.
  • Apple hosted WWDW, its big developers conference, where it announced new Mac software, iOS 8, and a programming language called Swift.
  • Apple introduced a new lower-cost iMac at a $1,099 price point.

Prices have been falling for weeks, signaling an end to a record run for the sector.

By MSN Money Partner 21 hours ago
Image: Stock investor © CorbisBy Ben Eisen, MarketWatch

Weeks of falling junk bond prices have started to spook some bond investors, signaling that the record run for the riskiest part of corporate debt may be ending.

Bond investors have been piling into high-yield debt for years as they search for income in a low-rate environment, but yields had dropped so much that even the Federal Reserve, normally not one to comment on asset prices, has raised concerns.

"Those valuations are very, very lofty right now. We're talking to clients about taking everything they own and paring back credit risk from the weakest part of the credit universe," said Richard Sega, chief investment officer at investment manager Conning, which manages $92 billion in assets.


5 signs generally indicate when stocks are peaking. None are apparent now, says an Oppenheimer analyst.

By MSN Money Partner 22 hours ago
Credit: © Image Source/Corbis
Caption: Bull and Bear MarketsBy Myles Udland, Business Insider

Ari Wald, a technical analyst with Oppenheimer, is out with a note Monday that outlines five signals that indicate a bull market top.

"As it stands," Wald writes, "we think the absence of these signals argue against an imminent end to the cycle."

The signals, per Wald, are:

  • Moderation in the S&P 500's uptrend.
  • Signs of distribution and narrowing participation.

So far, 2014 has been unusual in many ways. The data suggests the bull market is not over yet.

By MSN Money Partner 22 hours ago
Credit: © Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Caption: Trader Anthony Rinaldi is reflected on a screen as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday in New YorkBy Tim Clift, MarketWatch

For years, we've expected interest rates to rise. That day is now in view. 

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve said it will wind down its quantitative-easing program and cease buying Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities as soon as October. In the past, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has testified that she would consider raising rates as soon as six months after the end of quantitative easing.

So how should investors be thinking about the second half of 2014? Is this a trial balloon for the markets? And how much of an effect is the end of easing likely to have on individuals' portfolios?


Conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East are growing concerns, yet the market doesn't seem too worried, former Pimco boss Mohamed El-Erian says.

By MSN Money Partner 23 hours ago
Image: Stock market © Zurbar/age fotostockBy Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

Investors should be paying more attention to the uncertainty being created by the turmoil in Ukraine and the Mideast, Mohamed El-Erian told CNBC on Monday.

The financial markets believe the two crises are containable, but that might be fleeting, the former Pimco co-CEO said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

As the world piles pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow's possible role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the U.N. Security Council is expected to vote Monday on a resolution demanding international access to the crash site in eastern Ukraine crash.

In the Mideast, Israeli ground forces advanced into Gaza's most densely populated city in the deadliest day of fighting for both sides since the conflict began two weeks ago. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Cairo to push for a cease-fire.


The online video-streaming company is expected to show a strong increase in new members, driven by its original programming.

By MSN Money Partner 23 hours ago
File photo of Netflix envelopes (© Paul Sakuma/AP)By Rex Crum, MarketWatch

Netflix (NFLX) will report its second-quarter results on Monday after the ball. Analysts expect the online video-streaming company to show strong growth in new subscribers, driven by its offering of popular original programs like "House of Cards."

Earnings: Analysts surveyed by FactSet estimate Netflix will earn $1.14 a share compared with 49 cents a share during the same period a year ago. Netflix itself had forecast a profit of $1.12 a share for the quarter.

Revenue: Analysts expect Netflix to report second-quarter sales of $1.34 billion, with $1.14 billion coming from video-streaming sales and the remainder from DVD rentals. Netflix has forecast streaming revenue of $1.14 billion for the quarter.

Stock performance: For the year, Netflix shares have risen almost 20 percent, to trade recently at around $440. However, the stock is down 7.5 percent since reaching a 52-week-high of $475.87 on July 2.

Tags: NFLX

These companies have one thing in common: optimism.

By Jim Cramer 23 hours ago

Jubilant investor in front of a display panel © Jan Mammey/Getty ImagesThe commonality of success is now coming through loud and clear. We are now seeing and refining what buyers are looking for before they are willing to pay up beyond the last sale. It's a convincing formula, and I will use four strong companies to lay it out: Alcoa (AA), Intel (INTC), PPG Industries (PPG) and Honeywell (HON).

First, the obvious. Each company in its earnings release makes it very clear that there was a clean beat on the top and bottom lines. The magnitude of the beat varies, but it is certainly better than what the high analyst was looking for. Unlike in previous earnings periods, you need both sales and earnings to surprise -- we have been content for a while with just earnings. Plus, you have to have a noticeable percentage of the sales increase that is above what the Street was looking for from an organic base -- meaning new products that didn't exist until very recently.


The Federal Reserve chair can spot pockets of risk or overvaluation as soon as they appear.

By The Fiscal Times 23 hours ago

Credit: © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Caption: Federal Reserve Chair Janet YellenBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Janet Yellen is taking a lot of flak for speaking her mind.

Last week, the Federal Reserve released a biannual policy report just as Yellen, the Fed's chair (pictured), began testifying to Congress on the state of the U.S. economic recovery, the outlook for inflation and what’s happening in financial markets these days.

What Yellen had to say on the last of those factors sent many folks into a tizzy.

The Fed views valuations in some parts of the market -- especially for smaller social media companies and biotech stocks -- as being "substantially stretched," even after a "notable downturn in equity prices for such firms early in the year."

In other words, in spite of all of Yellen's reassuring words to the contrary in recent months, there may be some kind of asset bubble taking shape in at least some corners of the financial market.


After going through a chilly period, sales of the frozen treat are poised to rebound, an analyst says.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 4:47 PM
Credit: © Chinatown Ice Cream Factory via Facebook at
Caption: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory ice cream conesBy Bo McMillan, CNBC

Ice cream sales may have cooled off in the past few years, but consumers are expected to be melting over the frozen treat once again.

"I think we've reached the turning point where the industry is going to bounce back," said Andy Brennan, a market analyst for IBISWorld. "We're certainly forecasting a rebound."

Trends toward healthier eating as well as the growing popularity of frozen yogurt trimmed revenue at ice cream store franchises by 4 percent to $3.2 billion from 2008-13, according to an IBISWorld report.

"It's gone through a period of intense competition with frozen yogurt, which has grown at 20-30 percent per year," Brennan said.


A Chicago faucet company penalizes workers who spend more than the allotted minutes in the washroom outside their normal breaks.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 4:20 PM
Credit: © Christopher Stevenson/Getty Images

Caption: Restroom signBy Amy Langfield, CNBC

If you work at WaterSaver Faucet Co.,  when you gotta go, you might not want to go.

The Chicago company installed a new system that monitors bathroom breaks and penalizes employees who spend more than six minutes a day in the washroom outside their normal breaks.

"The HR woman literally goes through every person's bathroom use and either hands out a reward or discipline," said Nick Kreitman, an attorney for Teamsters Local 743, which represents 80 workers at the plant, which coincidentally manufactures taps and other sink fixtures.

Employees who don't use extra breaks get a dollar a day while others who exceed more than one hour in a 10-day period will get a warning, which can lead to termination, he said.


Shares rise more than 3% Friday after the company reported strong revenue growth.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 2:46 PM
Credit: © Paul Brown/Alamy
Caption: Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Silicon Valley, Calif.By Rolfe Winkler and Alistair Barr, The Wall Street Journal

Accelerating revenue growth in the second quarter pleased Google (GOOG) investors, who sent the search giant's shares higher in Friday trading despite rising expenses and the departure of a top executive.

The search giant said revenue for the quarter rose 22 percent to $16 billion from $13.1 billion a year earlier, excluding the Motorola Mobility business Google plans to sell to China's Lenovo Group.

The company surpassed analysts' revenue forecast of $15.6 billion on that basis, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Net income for the period, excluding Motorola, totaled $3.5 billion, or $5.09 a share, up 26 percent from the same period a year earlier.


The company has had a brutal time since its IPO in October.

By InvestorPlace Fri 2:25 PM
A Potbelly Corp. sandwich & drink cup in Washington, DC, on Friday (© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Tom Taulli

Potbelly (PBPB), an operator of sandwich shops, pulled off a huge IPO back in October, with the stock soaring 120 percent to $34 on its first day of trading.

But since then, life as a public company has been downright miserable. Lately, the stock's price has been hovering just above $11.

What's going on here? Well, the growth rate is slowing down.

Just look at the latest announcement from the company, which provided a warning for fiscal second-quarter earnings. Potbelly expects to post a meager 6.9 percent increase in sales to $83.6 million, which compares to the Wall Street estimate of $87 million.

And don't expect the situation to improve anytime soon. Potbelly also provided a revision of its full-year forecast. Earnings are now forecast at 18 cents to 21 cents per share, down from 43 cents to 46 cents per share. Oh, and comparable store sales are expected to be flat-to-negative low single digits. (Potbelly will report its official earnings on Aug. 5.)

Tags: PBPB

They have not let you down in this bizarre, contrary period.

By Jim Cramer Fri 2:16 PM

Road sign to bond market © vaeenma /Getty ImagesThe market has taken a benign view of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, I think perhaps because it is so chilling that both sides have to tread more carefully. A needless escalation is good for no one.

Meanwhile, while any casualties are bad, attempts by the Israelis to stop the rocket-launching are, so far at least, surprising people in their lack of Arab street outcry.

With all that said, the crosscurrents remain great and the opportunities constrained by what can happen over the weekend. logoJust keep in mind that we are back in the vise grip of the bond market. Anything that sends rates up is now somehow viewed as positive for the overall market, not just the financials, and that's coloring so much.



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market has padded its gain with the Russell 2000 maintaining the lead. The small cap index is now higher by 1.1%, while the S&P 500 trades up 0.5%.

Energy (+0.8%) and health care (+1.0%) opened in the lead, but the energy sector has slipped from its early high, giving way to the technology sector (+0.9%). The top-weighted S&P 500 group has benefitted from strength among influential components like IBM (IBM 193.82, +2.97) and Google (GOOGL ... More


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