The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.
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These heavyweights provide great exposure to various segments of the oil industry.
If you think the demand for oil is going to dry up soon, this article is probably not for you. If you're in the majority, however, you should read on as Jordan DiPietro makes the case for buying a basket of energy.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
If you believe, like I do, that rising oil and gas prices will continue into the near and distant future, then having a basket of energy stocks in your portfolio is a great way to play the rising tide.
In fact, the Energy Information Administration is forecasting 2011 oil prices to average $93 per barrel, $14 more than last year. Prices, according to the EIA, should top out close to $100 by 2012. As demand continues and the incentive for energy companies to add reserves intensifies, oil companies in all facets of the game should stand to benefit. That's why I'm adding a $2,000 position that includes four energy companies to my Motley Fool real-money portfolio.
Shares of the highflying tech stock plummeted 20% Thursday on a weak sales forecast, providing investors with an attractive entry point, analysts say.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Still, analysts and investors are saying now's the time to buy more shares in the maker of cloud-computing software, including Catharine Trebnick, a senior research analyst with Avian Securities; Credit Suisse's Paul Silverstein; Piper Jaffray's Troy Jensen; and Mark Schultz, the manager of the MTB Mid-Cap Growth Fund.
By some accounts, he was looking to jump but was also pushed out.
Schmidt "lost some energy and focus" after Google decided to pull out of China, sources tell Auletta. Schmidt wanted to Google to stay in China and was overruled by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Schmidt was pushed out, Auletta reports. But he wanted to jump as well, having felt the strain of numerous business complications. Google has gone nowhere in social networking, getting outmaneuvered by Facebook at every turn.
Google is also a point of controversy in some countries, facing challenges over privacy and size issues, Auletta reports. Finally, Page and Brin were "restive." Auletta interviewed Schmidt 11 times for his book "Googled" and knows the company better than just about any other journalist, so I'm guessing there's basis to his reporting.
Jeffrey Immelt will advise a council that aims to get US companies hiring again.
Immelt is essentially the new Paul Volcker, as his panel replaces one previously led by the former Federal Reserve chairman. Immelt's immediate job is to figure out how to get U.S. companies to start hiring.
The pick certainly says a lot about Obama's thinking heading into the 2012 election. He needs to make significant headway with big business -- it doesn't get much bigger than GE -- and he must turn the employment picture around.
Immelt, a lifelong Republican, is entirely qualified for the job. He's already on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and he spent two years on the economic recovery board that Volcker chaired.
Starbucks supersizes its coffee. Goldman's Facebook missteps. Ener1 re-cracks the Chinese market. Toyota incurs the NFL's wrath.
By TheStreet Staff, TheStreet
Here is this week's roundup of the dumbest actions in business.
5. UBS restyles its standards
Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had a few rules about the appearance of his players, mainly no beards or shaggy hair. He wanted his boys to be clean cut. But he has nothing on UBS (UBS).
The Swiss bank has a more than 40-page tome detailing precisely how their employees should look, act and even eat when reporting for duty, according to the Associated Press. The helpful guide says underwear should be skin-colored and that employees shouldn't eat garlic or onions. It even offers makeup and perfume tips for women.
Though its earnings are disappointing, consumer lending is on the mend. In the long run, that's a very bullish sign.
Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings before the bell today that weren't exactly earnings at all. The company tallied a loss of $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 as bad mortgages continued to eat away at profits. The shortfall equaled a negative 16 cents a share, and the stock's revenue rolled back to $22.4 billion from $25.1 in the same quarter of the previous year.
The news is certainly disappointing -- and not just to me personally, since I own Bank of America stock. These earnings are the latest bad report this week from a financial sector that seemed on the mend but now doesn't look so hot.
But there are still big reasons to be optimistic.
The company's board shake-up is akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. It's just not going to help.
It seems to me that Hewlett-Packard is shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, trying to get the new guy, Leo Apotheker, a more agreeable team to work with. Either that or there is yet another back story that this once-pristine paragon of corporate governance just isn't telling anyone.
It's not the only thing that's difficult to fathom. Like what happened at Google (GOOG), where Eric Schmidt did such a terrific job as CEO before stepping aside to let Larry Page run the joint. Hey, Page founded it, he can run it for certain. I just hope Schmidt stays around to help do the job, unless, perhaps, he's moving to Washington, where he would be a fabulous addition to the Obama team.
An executive shake-up breaks up the three-way decision team at Google, as co-founder Larry Page replaces Eric Schmidt as CEO.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Google (GOOG) is breaking up the band.
Schmidt, who was long thought of as the seasoned hand and management talent at the search giant, will take the executive chairman title.
The restructuring also includes the departure of Sergey Brin from the management team. Brin's new role will be far less central to Google's core operations and he will have the title of "co-founder."
We could see a 5% drop in U.S. stocks, but there's still a strong investing story in the U.S. this year.
- An overbought market ripe for profit-taking after a long rally.
- Worries about a slowdown in China as it struggles to get inflation under control
- More squabbles among Eurozone members over how to fix the continuing euro crisis
- Good but not great earnings reports (and therefore disappointments) in the financial sector
- A weak report on housing starts reminding investors the sector isn’t out of its slump yet.
Analysts and investors have their expectations set to high for this industry.
Am I the only one who is having butterflies about the solar industry? Is there a market for this resource, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?
Using Barchart, I found 4 solar stocks that on average are up over 20% in the last month alone. The brokerages have fantastic projections and there is very high investor sentiment, but my intuition is holding me back from making a recommendation. Here's what others think. Let me hear your opinions.
- Barchart Trend Spotter technical buy signal
- 9 new highs and up 29.13% in the last month
- Relative Strength Index 64.33% and rising
- Trades around 28.16 with a 50 day moving average of 24.63
- Wall Street brokerages have 4 buy, 1 hold and 2 under perform recommendations
- Revenue projected to increase 177.40% this year and 43.10% next year
- EPS estimated to increase 1,302.30 this year and increase annually 15.00% for at least 5 years
- Motley Fool CAPS members vote 75 to 22 and All Stars vote 14 to 8 that the stock will beat the market
Wendy's/Arby's Group says that focusing on Wendy's is a better bet. Will Arby's find any bidders?
Wendy's/Arby's Group (WEN) plans to put the Arby's chain up for sale, The Wall Street Journal reported. Arby's doesn't have the two things it takes to succeed as a fast-food chain these days: The ability to expand overseas or steal business from the competition.
The company now wants to focus entirely on Wendy's. "The reality is that the Wendy's brand, given its relative size and scope, is the key driver of shareholder return," said Wendy's/Arby's chairman Nelson Peltz in a statement to the Journal.
Shares of the company soared Thursday on the news, rising by more than 8% to $4.85.
The pros are professing newfound love for these funds, but you should tune them out.
By Gary Gordon, TheStreet
Goldman Sachs (GS) reported weak revenue, Citigroup (C) missed profit forecasts and Wells Fargo (WFC) merely matched estimates. In truth, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is the only major financial institution that has reported inspirational numbers, but even "J.P." has problems in its mortgage division.
Herein lies an ongoing dilemma. You can improve your balance sheet by offloading troubled assets and/or writing off low-quality loans. You can ensure a measure of profitability by limiting your employee overhead, maintaining double-digit credit card rates, having some success in trading volume and/or offering next-to-zero savings rates to depositors. Yet financial stocks will still see "fits" without a more potent level of lending to small businesses and individuals.
Lately, many readers have been devouring rapturous reports on the incredible prospects for the financial sector. Hypothetically, economic expansion should encourage greater demand on the part of consumers and businesses alike.
The company makes it harder to add to the DVD queue from streaming devices, igniting a firestorm of controversy.
Netflix is removing the "Add to DVD queue" option for people who use Xbox 360s and other devices that stream Netflix videos. Those users must now go directly to Netflix's website to add movies to the DVD queue (you can still add to the "instant" queue from anywhere).
Talk about inconvenient. The move has ignited a firestorm of resentment among users, and the blog post has received 4,500 mostly negative comments. Why would Netflix do this? The explanation is, well, a little bit murky.
"We're doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly," the company says on its blog.
With world markets recovering and developing, the prospects for the power industry appear promising.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Rising commodity prices have been the talk of the Street for weeks, leading investors to seek out new and promising ways to gain access to wheat, coal, copper and other hard assets.
Energy, in particular, has gained a great deal of investor interest as improving economic conditions around the globe help lift crude prices back toward $100. This week, looking ahead to the new year, the International Energy Agency offered a promising outlook, raising its 2011 global oil demand forecast.
Targeting oil and other facets of the energy sector has become a simple endeavor, thanks to the advent of exchange-traded funds. Using products such as the United States Oil Fund (USO) or the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund (IEZ), investors can directly capture the price action of this fuel source through futures contracts, or take an indirect approach to the industry and play the effect of rising prices on producers.
With Steve Jobs on medical leave, all eyes are on his No. 2.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
Investors listening to Apple's (AAPL)first-quarter conference call Tuesday hoping for some Steve Jobs-style showboating and fiery rhetoric were surely disappointed. A soft-spoken, somewhat reserved Southerner is now center stage at the world's biggest technology company.
With Jobs on medical leave, all eyes are now focused on his No. 2, COO Tim Cook. Whereas his flamboyant boss spiced up press events and analyst calls with the occasional dig at fellow Silicon Valley companies like Adobe (ADBE), Cook's conference call comments (save for one swipe at rival tablet makers) were much more restrained. The Alabama native instead made vague references to the "magic of Apple" while giving little away about the company's broader strategy and its succession plan.
Cook, of course, is familiar with this role. He has already taken the company's reins on two prior occasions: for two months in 2004 when Jobs was receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, and again for six months in 2009.
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Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
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