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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Superstar collections fail to bring in the crowds as the deparment store continues to struggle.

By Gene Marcial Dec 1, 2011 9:58AM

Image Source/Getty ImagesKim Kardashian became a world sensation almost overnight. The celebrity has her own reality show and millions of fans. So you would think the fashionably chic Kardashian Kollection would have been besieged by shoppers and sold out during the Black Friday rush. After all, practically all major retail stores, including Macy’s (M) and Target (TGT), were swamped by tens of thousands of eager shoppers.

 

But that wasn't the case at Sears (SHLD), where the Kardashian Kollection held sway and was among the elegant products displayed for sale. In fact, Sears was betting the Kardashian name and collection of fashion products would stir up consumer excitement.

 
Tags: MSHLDTGT

Privatization is a growing trend in the water sector; here's how to play this theme.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 30, 2011 5:20PM
By Stewart Scharf, S&P's The Outlook

As budget-strapped municipalities seek funding to clean up their decaying water and wastewater systems, privatization is a word that keeps popping up.

With the EPA estimating that it will cost more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years to maintain the current water infrastructure system, privatizing the systems may be an attractive solution. 
Tags: etfPNRWTR

The glass maker recently increased its dividend by 50% -- a sign it expects long-term improvement in its business.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 30, 2011 5:02PM
Image: Watching television (© image100/Corbis)When I last visited Corning (GLW) on Oct. 14 I said that the stock, then trading at $13.49, was cheap enough to buy but might get even cheaper. (Corning is a member of my long-term Jubak Picks 50 portfolio.)

Well, it has. The stock was trading Wednesday afternoon at $13.21. And it might be headed even lower.

Tuesday morning at a Credit Suisse conference, the company announced the bad news that everybody was more than half expecting from the LCD glass business.
 
Tags: GLW

Builders get upgraded at Raymond James, as do several energy stocks at Barclays.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 30, 2011 4:51PM
Noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Anadarko (APC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Nexen (NXY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Cenovus Energy (CVE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
  • Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Hold from Trim at Tudor Pickering
  • Navistar (NAV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Toll Brothers (TOL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
  • D.R. Horton (DHI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
  • Lennar (LEN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
 

The tobacco company expects significant market share gains in Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.

By Trefis Nov 30, 2011 4:47PM
Image: Man smoking (© Steve Mason/Photodisc Blue/Getty Images)Philip Morris International (PM), the leading international tobacco company outside the U.S. and China, recently provided more optimistic estimates of global cigarette industry volume trends at a Morgan Stanley conference in New York.

PMI expects cigarette volume (outside the U.S.) to increase as much as 1.3% a year over the next five years -- an improved outlook compared with previous forecasts. Philip Morris International competes with British American Tobacco (BTI), Japan Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) in its various geographical segments. 
Tags: BTIIMTPM

Investors are cheering a decision by the Federal Reserve to pump cheaper dollars into eurozone banks. Yet this merely treats a symptom, not the disease. And it won't save the euro.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Nov 30, 2011 4:27PM

Image: Hand hiding banknotes under vest, studio shot (© Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Getty Images)All week, the U.S. stock market was curiously buoyant as the eurozone crisis deepened. Wednesday morning, we learned why: The Federal Reserve, in cooperation with major central banks around the world, reduced the cost of providing dollar liquidity to banks in need from 1% over the rate set in the market to 0.5% over.

 

This unleashed a surge of buying, short covering, and cheerfulness as initial scans of the headlines seemed to suggest the Fed was riding to Europe's rescue. Not quite.

 

The Fed is merely postponing the inevitable, treating a symptom (bank funding problem) not the disease (a solvency crisis amongst eurozone governments).

 

The stock is downgraded to 'underperform' by a prominent analyst who says the company is broken.

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2011 3:55PM
Updated 4:35 p.m. ET

On a day when stocks soared, Netflix's (NFLX) drop was particularly jarring.

The stock just can't catch a break after passing $300 in July. Its plunge since then has been breathtaking, with shares closing at $64.53 Wednesday.

The day's fall was triggered largely by a downgrade from one of the more prominent analysts covering the stock. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan said in a research note to investors that the company is broken. 
Tags: NFLX

Increasing competition in its core business has forced the company to offer value-add services to augment its product portfolio and protect margins.

By Trefis Nov 30, 2011 3:11PM
Akamai (AKAM) may be planning to buy software company Cotendo for more than $300 million, according to a report published in the Calcalist Financial daily Sunday.

Cotendo, a smaller Israeli rival which competes with Akamai for value-added services, was founded in 2008 and launched in March of last year. The company has raised more than $36 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital and other investors, and also has the backing of strategic partners such as Citrix, Juniper (JNPR), Google (GOOG) and AT&T (T). 

But a few are more likely to sell than others. Here are some names.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 30, 2011 3:08PM

Image: Pills (© Corbis)By Brian Orelli

 

Another day, another buyout rumor. Monday, it was Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) that jumped after Bloomberg said the company was in the early stages of exploring the possibility of putting itself up for sale. Before that it wasAchillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN). And BioSante Pharmaceuticals (BPAX) before that. The rumor list is a mile long.

 

Here's a news flash for you: Every public biotech could be sold at any point.

 

New credit downgrades to a number of banks by S&P and still-negative chart patterns mean Bank of America and Citigroup are still very much out of favor.

By MoneyShow.com Nov 30, 2011 2:43PM

Image: bank ATM (© Image Source/Corbis/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


After the stock market close on Tuesday, S&P downgraded 15 big banks to reflect the results of its new credit criteria. Though many of the banks had been prepared for a downgrade, others immediately wondered about the impact on a fragile stock market.


The low-volume decline last week followed by Monday’s strong surge has kept the rally from the October lows intact, but it order to reverse the negative momentum, a strong weekly close is needed.

 

Bargain-shopping will never save us, and spending isn't as strong as some would believe.

By InvestorPlace Nov 30, 2011 1:46PM

Image: Santa Claus (© Corbis)By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


A lot of hay has been made lately about the return of American consumers and the resurgence of retail. Yes, holiday sales got off to a bang as shoppers spent a record $52.4 billion over the Black Friday weekend -- up 16.4% from 2010. Yes, Cyber Monday sales also blew the virtual doors off, if early projections of $1.2 billion hold true.


But let's not fool ourselves. Unemployment remains above 9%. Serious debt woes continue to plague America and Europe. And the broader economic troubles lurk like an unrepentant Scrooge.

 

The much-awaited offering of the online gaming company may not be as overpriced as you might expect.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 30, 2011 1:21PM

Image: Couple with laptop (© Daly and Newton/OJO Images/Getty Images)By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times


Got an avid FarmVille player among your family members or Facebook friends? The much-ballyhooed initial public offering of online gaming company Zynga (which counts FarmVille among its offerings) is apparently finally on track for the week before Christmas.


You might want to consider giving shares in the company in the hopes that the FarmVille players on your list will recoup some of what they've paid to Zynga for "gold" and other virtual items.

 
Tags: IPO

The increases show that the shipping company is confident in its business and its per-package revenue growth.

By Trefis Nov 30, 2011 1:06PM
UPS (UPS) has outlined details of its 2012 rate hike, which includes a net increase of 4.9% on all domestic and international packages.

The higher rates incorporate a reduction in fuel surcharges, which will fall by one percentage point for ground packages and two percentage points for domestic and international air mail. Freight charges are also set to rise, with next-day air freight and two-day air freight facing an increase of 5.9%. Three-day freight charges will remain unchanged. 
Tags: FDXups

If the Supreme Court says yes, it could cost the industry billions.

By Melly Alazraki Nov 30, 2011 12:59PM

Labor disputes are common in the auto and airline industries but not so much in the pharmaceutical sector. Yet a dispute between pharmaceutical companies and their drug reps could have such serious implications for the entire industry that both sides petitioned the Supreme Court to take on a current case. On Monday the petition was granted.

The court is now set to decide whether GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has to pay overtime benefits to its sales representatives. What the court decides will have ramifications for similar cases against other Big Pharmas, including Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to name a few.

 

Could the social-networking site handle a massive offering all by itself?

By Jonathan Berr Nov 30, 2011 12:40PM
Image: Stock market Traders (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Facebook's $10 billion initial public offering, expected next year, is the among the most eagerly anticipated deals in recent memory. Wall Street bankers, though, may be sitting on the sidelines.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman "has told bankers he is skeptical about the value bankers could bring to such a deal." That nugget, courtesy of anonymous sources, was designed to make the masters of the universe who arrange multi-billion dollar deals quake in their $695 Gucci loafers. It probably worked. 
Tags: GRPNIPO

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on an upbeat note with blue chips showing relative strength for the second consecutive day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%) settled ahead of the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%). It is worth mentioning the benchmark index posted its fourth consecutive gain, registering a new record closing high at 1992.38.

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