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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McDonald's doesn't sell as many kids' meals anymore. Has the company moved on?

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2010 3:11PM
Credit: (© Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Caption: McDonald's restaurantTo hear McDonald's (MCD) talk about it, the Happy Meal doesn't seem like a big deal.

The Happy Meal accounts for less than 10% of the company's U.S. business, a spokeswoman told Ad Age. McDonald's won't say much else about its Happy Meal sales and won't give specific numbers.

San Francisco doesn't think much about the Happy Meal. Its board of supervisors has now officially banned the Happy Meal -- in its current form, at least -- starting Dec. 1, 2011. (By the way, a dietitian has created Happy Meal ideas that would be acceptable under the ban. Turkey burgers, baked fries and steamed broccoli sound good to me.) 

How messed-up market expectations can work in your favor.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 30, 2010 12:40PM

For our pick of the day we turn to Fool Jim Mueller, who employs the "expectations investing" strategy of Michael Mauboussin. Here, Jim shows us why Transocean's low expectations are providing us with a buy opportunity.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor

 

I think Transocean (RIG) is a buy right now because of Mr. Market's messed-up expectations. Let me explain.

 

Retailers used promotions and free shipping to lure shoppers. Sales of luxury goods and jewelry drove the increase.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 30, 2010 11:47AM

Online Christmas © BilderLounge/SuperStock By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Online sales on Cyber Monday climbed 19.4% from a year earlier, helped by demand for jewelry and luxury goods.

 

The average order value grew 8.3% to $194.89 from $180.03, according to Coremetrics, a unit of IBM (IBM).

 

Shoppers have been increasingly turning to the Web for holiday gifts in recent years. Retailers, battling a sluggish economy for a third straight year, rolled out special online-only promotions and shipping deals to draw consumers.

 

The user experience keeps getting better in this rebellion against cable. No wonder people are buying the service -- and the stock.

By Jim Cramer Nov 30, 2010 10:00AM

jim cramerMaybe it all comes down to whether or not you use Netflix (NFLX). Because if you do, you understand why it is so terrific and why it could rally 7 more points. If you don't, then you are in Nowheresville.

 

I have been cribbing off my kids' Netflix ID, since in a roundabout way, I pay for them. But I decided to open my own account this weekend because they don't want me messing with the queue anymore.

 

I am still in the mail-order game, getting the DVD I want to watch when I want it. I do that because even though I have FIOS and DirecTV (DTV) (hopeless football fan) and have had Comcast (CMCSA), I frequently find there's nothing on the dial I want to watch when I want it.

 

The January effect is coming sooner than you think. Capitalize on the upside with these ETFs.

By InvestorPlace Nov 29, 2010 5:16PM
We got blindsided by external events last week. Ireland’s cry for help followed by hostilities in Korea conspired against the market.

 

I would not be deterred. Our Top ETF Buys for last week made money versus a loss for the overall market. I’m expecting the same this week.

 

My favorite top buy for the coming week is the ProShares Russell 2000 (IWM).

 

The January effect is coming earlier and earlier. I expect small cap stocks to do well in December.

 

Stores sold nearly nine iPads per hour.

By Kim Peterson Nov 29, 2010 3:09PM
Credit: (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Caption: Apple iPadA team of analysts from Piper Jaffray spent Black Friday sitting in Apple (AAPL) stores around the country. Why? To count the number of products being sold.

This shoe-leather research is useful for Gene Munster, the main Apple analyst at Piper Jaffray. He has predicted that Apple will sell 5.5 million iPads this quarter, and he wanted to see how that was holding up.

He thinks the number is still correct. Here's what his team saw on Black Friday, according to Fortune

The success of Amazon's Prime loyalty program has caught the attention of other retailers.

By Kim Peterson Nov 29, 2010 2:32PM
Reginald Armstead, Jr., of Phoenix, sends a package on its way after packing it at the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. Amazon.com Inc (©Ross D. Franklin/AP)Are you in the cult of Amazon (AMZN) Prime? The endless parade of brown boxes showing up at your door would be the first sign.

You've broken up with other stores. After all, you've paid $79 annually to join Amazon Prime, so you might as well get your money's worth, with two-day shipping to boot.

Newsweek says Amazon Prime "may be the most ingenious and effective customer loyalty program in all of e-commerce, if not retail in general." It's such a cult, in fact, that other stores are rushing to copy it. 
Tags: internet

Consider these exchange-traded funds if you don't expect a bear market but wish to skirt the European debt crisis.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 29, 2010 1:08PM

ETF investment advice from thestreetGlobal economy © Comstock / SuperStockBy Gary Gordon, TheStreet

 

Notre Dame's Fighting Irish may have fans singing its football praises for pounding an Army squad 27-3. Yet the third weekend of November brought little cheer for Ireland itself as the country conceded its need for a financial bailout.

 

Meanwhile, the European Union and the world at large have been desperately trying to keep the dreaded debt scare from spreading. The problem is the sovereign debt crisis has been highly publicized for a full year.

 

Containment to Greece and Ireland hasn't been simple, as investors have been almost as unwilling to risk investing in the poor credit of Spain, Italy and Portugal.

 

Here are 3 great ones to watch, plus 3 companies you won't want to miss.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 29, 2010 1:00PM

Find hot stocks © Digital Vision / Getty ImagesYou're getting a lot for your money today, as our pick of the day had triplets. Roger Friedman has been chatting with some of the smartest analysts at The Motley Fool and has come up with three stocks to watch and three to buy.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor

 

Which companies are tomorrow's big winners? In our ongoing series, I'm chatting with Fool analysts and advisers to find out the stocks on their watch lists and the catalysts that would induce them to buy.


By the end of today's article, you'll get three companies that the man in charge of training our analysts thinks you should be watching and three that he recently bought for his personal portfolio.

 

Jewelry could be this holiday season's biggest winner.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 29, 2010 12:50PM

Diamond ring © Lew Robertson/CorbisBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

It's poised to be a glitzy holiday for jewelry retailers.

 

According to the National Retail Federation, the number of shoppers who purchased jewelry over the Black Friday weekend rose substantially, from 11.7% in 2009 to 14.3% this year.

 

Both comScore and Coremetrics also indicated improved growth in the jewelry category, up in the 15% to 20% range.

 

A survey says consumer electronics spending is up, with laptops surging and the iPad topping holiday wish lists.

By InvestorPlace Nov 29, 2010 11:31AM

Credit: (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)By Jeff Reeves, Editor of InvestorPlace.com

 

Good news, boys and girls. That box under the tree may not be a pair of feety pajamas after all.


According to a November survey, consumers are spending big on electronics again and laptops are paving the way, with a dramatic increase in projected sales. And as is no surprise, the flashy new by Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad and is on the top of many wish lists.


Though Apple is projected to be a big winner, other tablets and gadgets are seeing strong demand, too. And that's a good sign for store managers as well as people opening presents in a few weeks. Here are the details:

 

Holiday sales and turbulent events in Europe and Asia will be on investors' minds.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 29, 2010 10:24AM

Tools for your stock portfolio © CorbisBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY)

 

The Korea ETF saw roller-coaster-like performance last week as tensions between North and South Korea came to a head. There is a strong chance that this type of wild performance will continue as long as strains remain high between these two nations.

 

The Korea crisis once again serves as a reminder of the risks in investing in emerging markets. When venturing into EWY or any other fund focused on the developing world, you must keep a close eye on the macro picture as well as the state of the fund's underlying holdings.

 

Despite worries from overseas, history points to a solid finish to 2010. We might even discover that the US economy is in the midst of a robust rebound.

By Jim Cramer Nov 29, 2010 9:58AM

jim cramerWhat happens if this is the week when we start thinking about the U.S. as a comeback country? What happens if the economic data this week -- the employment and supply-chain management reports -- kick into higher gear?

 

What happens if we are about to see an extension of the unemployment benefits that are about to expire, an extension that is incredibly important to the lower-end retailers that keep powering higher?

 

All of these possibilities are playing in my head and should be playing in yours. As Barclays put it so eloquently in a recent note, since 1961 there have been 28 times when the market was up 5% or more between Jan. 1 and October, and of those years the market has been down only twice in November and December. That statistic alone should buoy you even as it antagonizes the morbidly negative.

 

The debt crisis in the eurozone shows no signs of ending as politicians clash and investors cash out.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Nov 27, 2010 7:52AM

Despite some positive developments over in Europe on Friday, with the Portuguese parliament formally approving its 2011 budget and word that Ireland's bailout could be finished over the weekend, traders were in the mood to sell. And sell they did.

 

As they sold Spanish bonds, the interest rate surged to highs not seen since 2002. The cost to protect against the default of debt issued by Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and even Belgium all jumped substantially. The euro plunged.

 

The catalyst was chatter that parts of the Irish bailout package being put together by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund could result in defaults on Irish bank debt as soon as early next week. Adding to concerns were rumors Portugal is being pressured to take bailout money. The situation is quickly going from bad to worse.

 

The automaker plans 66 dealerships in emerging cities.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 26, 2010 12:39PM

Credit: © Ford Motor Company
Caption: 2009 Ford F-150 XLTBy Eric Rosenbaum, TheStreet

 

Ford (F) plans to add 66 dealerships in China before the end of the year, according to a Ford document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The 25% expansion of Ford's China sales effort will focus on what are considered the tier-two and tier-three cities in western and northern China.

 

In all, Ford will have added approximately 100 dealerships in China with its partner, Changan Automobile, by the end of the year. The total number of Ford dealerships in China will be roughly 340 by year's end, according to the Ford statement reviewed by the Journal.

 

The tier-two and tier-three cities in China include Nanning, Shijazhuang, Harbin and Anyang, cities with populations of more than 1 million. Car demand isn't the only consumer trend being tapped in the Chinese tier-two and tier-three cities. It's part of a much larger trend in China, including education, health care and real estate, as the tier-one cities become saturated.

 

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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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