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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Global fundamentals suggest that this will not be a repeat of 2011's flame-out.

By Jim Cramer Jan 30, 2012 3:37PM

A year ago, we took off like a bat out of hell, and then we ran smack into what can only be called a bear market. We had the industrials crater, the banks give it up and the oils get crushed because of European woes, the latter being a total oddity, because oil never came in. The techs were awful, led by a faltering semiconductor group with a contagion that spread everywhere except for Apple (AAPL).

 

Once again, we have taken off with great gusto, the best rally since 1997, and it has been across the board, with the financials and techs leading the way and the industrials, such as Caterpillar (CAT) and Honeywell (HON), not that far behind.

 

A substantial number of subscribers are shifting from hybrid service to streaming only.

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 2:42PM
Image: Watching television (© Frare/Davis Photography/Brand X/Corbis)Netflix (NFLX) recently released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 results. As the company returned to growth in terms of net unique subscribers, the stock jumped significantly. We have raised our fair value for Netflix to $133, which now stands at a premium of about 15% to the market price.

The earnings highlighted a couple of things -- Netflix is back on growth track and DVD subscribers continue to decline substantially. A little confusing? The point is that customers are not leaving Netflix as much as before and a substantial decline is coming from subscribers dropping hybrid service and moving to streaming only.  

The world's leading aluminum producer is focusing on building high-quality engineered products that boost margins.

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 2:19PM
Image: Man checking car tire pressure © Tetra Images/Tetra images/Getty ImagesAlcoa (AA) is a business that is highly susceptible to global economic conditions. Decline in aluminum demand led to a fall in spot prices in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Consequently, the market has been quite harsh on the company's stock, pushing it down into single digits.  
Tags: AARIO

These master limited partnerships offer an average yield of 5.6%.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 30, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Elevated view of freight cars with coal © Joseph Sohm-Visions of America/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Stephen Leeb, The Complete Investor

In my view, master limited partnerships (MLPs) are probably the best hedge against rising energy prices.

Three favorites are Penn Virginia Resource Partners (PVR), ONEOK Partners (OKS), and Plains All American Pipeline (PAA). 

BlackRock says fast-growing economies could decouple as the developed world struggles, but a global recession is still possible.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 30, 2012 1:33PM
financial predictionBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

 Do you feel lucky this year? 

If so, you might want to bet on the optimistic side of the theoretical coin toss that the strategy team at BlackRock Investment Institute proposed in its investment outlook analysis, The Year of Living Divergently.  

Commercial aviation business wins new orders, while defense business looks resilient despite US government cuts.

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 12:42PM
Image: Airline (© Christie & Cole/Corbis)Boeing's (BA) 2011 fourth-quarter earnings, announced last week, have given investors cause for cheer. The aerospace company's fundamentals are quite strong and it's poised for solid gains in 2012, in our view.

Boeing tackled the uncertainties of global economic growth, defense budget pressures and contraction in cargo volumes in an admirable way.  

A Fox reporter says the social network is furious over Morgan Stanley's claims of trumping Goldman Sachs as the lead underwriter.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 30, 2012 12:08PM
As the frenzy leading up to Facebook's initial public offering heats up, a rumor is rumbling that the social network is angry with Morgan Stanley (MS).

According to Fox business reporter Charlie Gasparino, Facebook is upset that the bank was allegedly blabbing that it was close to securing the lead underwriting role in the social network's much-anticipated IPO, a spot that many pundits figured would go to rival Goldman Sachs (GS). Gasparino isn't revealing his source, and a spokesman for Morgan Stanley couldn't be be reached. 
Tags: GS

Goldman upgrades Citigroup and Morgan Stanley but downgrades Bank of America and JP Morgan.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 30, 2012 11:56AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Citigroup (C) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Zimmer (ZMH) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
  • AutoZone (AZO) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities
  • Regeneron (REGN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
  • Motorola Solutions (MSI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
 

For these supermarket giants, paying more attention to prices would better support stock valuations -- if it's not too late.

By Minyanville Jan 30, 2012 11:37AM

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesBy Ronald Thomas, CFA

I have always thought that too many investment analysts, at least where the consumer sector is concerned, do not pay enough attention to marketing and marketing strategy, and spend too much time playing with financial ratios. Many analysts overlook the relative prices companies charge consumers versus their competitors. They then do not sound an alarm for potential future market share losses and the effect that will have on stock valuations. In the food retailing area, Safeway (SWY) and SurperValu (SVU) are examples.


Safeway's prices are about 18% higher than Walmart's (WMT), and 11% higher than Kroger (KR).

 

The maker of Enfamil was cleared in a recent health scare, but it may be too late to prevent other pressures from biting at the stock.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 30, 2012 11:08AM

By Jim Jubak


Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, a penny above Wall Street estimates, and revenue of $911.3 million, above the Wall Street consensus of $894.04 million.

 

On the news, the stock closed up at $74.01. That $74 a share was the price I set for an exit in the aftermath of the death of a baby in Missouri that had consumed the company's Enfamil baby formula from a Cronobacter infection. 

 

To me, the stock is now a sell.

 
Tags: MJN

One analyst makes a case for boosting the stock's price target to $650.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 30, 2012 10:47AM
By Geoffrey Seiler, BullMarket.com

Apple (AAPL) has returned to its winning ways, reporting that it had more than doubled its profit and totally blowing away sales expectations for its iPhone and iPad and its Mac computers.

Revenue surged by 73% year over year. It was an absolute monster quarter. The results easily outdistanced the already heady expectations for holiday sales. The company sold 37.04 million iPhones worldwide, up 128% from a year ago. It sold 15.43 million iPads, 111% better than the year-earlier period. 

Down the road, you'll find it's worth the price.

By InvestorPlace Jan 30, 2012 10:25AM
Image: Dog in purse (© Corbis)By Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor

Ralph Lauren (RL), the iconic luxury brand with a host of top-flight apparel, has spent decades as a mainstay in high-end retail.


As it turns out, it's a spiffy stock, too.


RL shares are up 40% in the last year and have tripled since 2009 thanks to steady growth. The company's fiscal 2011 earnings of $568 million, or $5.75 per share, were up almost 20% from the year before -- on top of 20% growth in both 2009 to 2010 previously.

 

But can it control its marketing expenses?

By Trefis Jan 30, 2012 10:13AM
Image: shopping from home © Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesGroupon (GRPN) has benefited from the spike in daily deals during the holidays. According to daily-deal business intelligence firm Yipit, Groupon has been outperforming the overall industry in North America, growing its gross billings by 6%, compared with an industry growth of 2% from October to November 2011.

The big question when it reports earnings on Feb. 8 is whether Groupon has reined in its marketing expenses. Those costs stood at around 55% of its net revenues for January to September 2011. Groupon leads the daily-deal market and shares this space with players such as LivingSocial and Google (GOOG) Offers. 
Tags: GOOGGRPN

Experts say now is the ideal time for the social media giant to go public.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 27, 2012 4:57PM

the streetUpdated Monday, Jan. 30


By Olivia Oran

 

Facebook is edging closer to its eagerly anticipated IPO, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says the social networking phenomenon may file its IPO documents on Wednesday. Experts say now is the perfect time for Facebook to start out on its IPO path.

 

"We expected them to file in the third to fourth week of January because they closed their prior quarter Dec. 31," said Sam Hamadeh, the CEO of research firm PrivCo. "Now they get a full 120 days runway to take off with the IPO without showing any other quarterly numbers and filing any amendments."

 

Despite buoyant consumer sentiment, the data suggests the good vibes won't last.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 27, 2012 4:40PM

Markets were mildly disappointed Friday by the 2.8% annualized growth rate the economy managed in the fourth quarter. Growth missed expectations slightly, but it was still the best result in over a year. What's worrying is that the details suggest growth will drag in the months to come as a temporary boost from a drop in the savings rate and an increase in inventories fade. The fact that manufacturers cut investment last quarter and that final sales came in at only 0.8%, suggest it's time for caution.

 

That's not how most people feel. The latest survey of consumer sentiment by the University of Michigan surged for the fifth straight month and has returned to levels not seen since last January. A rising stock market no doubt has a lot to do with that.

 

Then, like now, shares were rising in a low-volume, low-volatility crawl powered by central bank largesse. But then, like now, the fundamentals suggested trouble lurks beneath. Here's why.

 

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  • Dec gold rose for the first time in six sessions as it gained support from Janet Yellen's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium. Ms. Yellen said the FOMC sees significant underutilization of labor resources and that the labor market has not fully recovered despite recent gains. The yellow metal advanced to a session high of $1282.80 per ounce and settled with a 0.4% gain at $1280.30 per ounce, booking a 2.0% loss for the week. 
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