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.


This quartet of laggards could take off again with better management.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 17, 2010 10:57AM

thestreet.comBy Stockpickr at TheStreet


Two "old world" companies recently reported great earnings. I am talking about Macy's (M) and Walt Disney (DIS). Both supposedly "didn't get it" a few years ago.


They were assumed to be dying and soon to be dead. Digitalization of media and e-commerce were supposed to be their death knell. Both companies depend highly on discretionary consumer spending. Disney relies on vacation travel, both domestic and international. Macy's is neither luxury nor discount, left with a diminishing consumer base in the middle.


Not so fast.


No one wants to say it out loud, but many investors see a silver lining in all the negative economic stats: changes in Washington.

By Jim Cramer Aug 17, 2010 8:37AM

the streetBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


Has "bad" turned good? Are we now rooting for crummy housing numbers, weaker consumer confidence and, yes, unfathomably horrible employment numbers? Do we now secretly lust for negative numbers?


Maybe that depends on who "we" is. If you are an American business person, no, absolutely not. You're not rooting for negative numbers. You want your business to thrive. Of course you want to make more money. It's what you do.


But if you are an owner of stock, any stock, if you are using the stock market for retirement or for savings to put your kid through school or to augment your paycheck, I think you are now beginning to see the silver lining of the miserable economic news: change in Washington.


Is it another bad sign for the markets -- or just hocus pocus?

By Jamie Dlugosch Aug 16, 2010 4:28PM

It turns out I'm not the only one predicting doom and gloom for the markets in September.


The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the Hindenburg Omen, a technical gauge said to be predictive of a stock market crash.


Developed by a blind mathematician in 1995 and named after the horrific dirigible crash of the early 1900s, the Hindenburg Omen uses a confluence of data including 52-week market highs and lows to predict activity.

The indicator has a 25% success rate in predicting market crashes. We should all be concerned then when the signal flashes red lights, as it did last week.


Will the Hindenburg result in the market bursting into flames this go-around?

Tags: ETF

The company wants to fly people from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2010 4:06PM

Boeing (BA) is getting into the taxi business -- space taxis, that is.

The company wants to fly space taxis from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station by 2015, according to USA Today. The spacecraft may even fly to a commercial space station that a company named Bigelow Aerospace is developing.

Boeing is seizing the opportunity created after NASA said it would shut down its shuttle program next year. When that program goes, an estimated 20,000 total jobs are expected to be lost -- including 8,000 at the Kennedy Space Center, USA Today reports.


Research In Motion shares drop after analyst checks show the new Torch isn't selling out.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2010 2:37PM

BlackBerry Torch. Credit: © 2010 Research In Motion LimitedUpdated at 7:23 p.m. ET


Shares of Research In Motion (RIMM) were down 4.8% today after news that the company's newest weapon in the smart-phone wars may not be selling well.

The BlackBerry Torch began selling last Thursday, and the response has been underwhelming, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. Calls to retailers found that most stores had not sold out.

Compare that to Apple's newest iPhone and the recently released Droid X, which sold out immediately after launch. Another problem that the analysts found is that most of the people who did buy the Torch were already BlackBerry users.


The mega-retailer has been raising prices faster than mainstream grocery stores, losing some of its discount lead.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2010 2:00PM

Wal-Mart logo © WalmartWal-Mart (WMT) has been quietly raising its prices, giving little weight to fears that shoppers may have less spending money if deflation takes hold.

A recent study by JPMorgan Securities found that the mega-retailer has upped prices by nearly 6% over the last six weeks, according to The New York Post.

Analysts studied pricing at a Wal-Mart supercenter in Virginia, and found that a 32-ounce bottle of Windex, for example, saw an increase from $1.97 to $2.97. A 12-ounce box of Quaker Oats saw a 65% increase, and the price of a container of Tide detergent jumped 50%.


The $1.15 billion acquisition might open the door to new cloud computing revenue.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2010 10:52AM

business news from the streetBy James Rogers, TheStreet


Dell's (DELL) $1.15 billion acquisition of digital storage specialist 3Par (PAR) could be a shrewd move, opening the door to new cloud computing revenue.


Long touted as attractive acquisition bait, 3Par is seen as well-positioned for the shift toward cloud computing, which will force users to drive more efficiency out of their servers and storage. 3Par is a pioneer in thin provisioning technology, which allocates storage only when it is needed in an attempt to boost utilization rates.


The Fremont, Calif., storage specialist, which competes with EMC (EMC) and IBM (IBM), lists Verizon (VZ), Savvis (SVVS), Credit Suisse (CS) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) among its customers.


Semiconductors may make the best bounce this week, but investors will also be watching the currency, gold and Treasury markets.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2010 10:22AM

the streetBy Don Dion, TheStreet


ETF investors will be waiting anxiously to see which way the currency, microchip, gold and Treasury markets bounce. Here are five exchange-traded funds that should react to those movements in the days ahead.


1. Currencyshares Euro Trust (FXE)


The clock may be ticking for Europe. Sovereign and banking debt still looms over the continent, despite the efforts of the European Central Bank to shore up the system. Much of the recent optimism was tied to the rally in the euro, but as the currency slid lower, talk of Europe's problems starting popping up again.


On a weekly basis, only the declines in the first two weeks of May were larger than last week's selloff in FXE, during 2010.


Prospects of a fall IPO mean the company needs to boost profits with either more advertising or a subscription fee.

By InvestorPlace Aug 16, 2010 9:02AM

Online shopping © John Lund/JupiterimagesBy Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

Fans of "Glee," "Family Guy" and "30 Rock"haveflocked to online TV portal Hulu to watch the latest episodes whenever they please. But if grumblings in the investment world are true, that access will come with a bigger price very soon.


Hulu appears to be working its way toward a public offering of stock according to The New York Times,and industry experts speculate the push to raise nearly $2 billion as early as this fall isn't to beef up programming or boost bandwidth. Rather, the move is likely to fund one of two things -- the implementation of a subscription service that charges the Internet audience, or a push to put more ads in content to boost profits.


Getting serious about new employment will mean compromising the agenda.

By Jim Cramer Aug 16, 2010 8:58AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


No urgency. We never hear any urgency from this president when it comes to jobs. You want to know how to get those jobless claims down? Here we go:


1. President Barack Obama needs to go to the Gulf and say: OK, we need some compromise here. We know that we had an outlier in BP (BP), but we need to keep America on the move and hire people.


2. We need to get domestic in our fuel, and that doesn’t just mean coal. We have abundant natural gas; we just have to get it to the right places. So we need to put people to work building pipelines, just like in the 1930s. We need to allow fracking and encourage drilling safely, because it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. We have to accept that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and as much as we like solar and wind and conservation, we need to compromise.


The economy may be in recovery, but the stock market isn't.

By Jim Van Meerten Aug 13, 2010 6:53PM
This week as the talking heads kept telling us how strong the economy was recovering, the market went down almost every session. Time to step back, ignore the hype and go to Barchart for just the facts. We will still use our three standard yard sticks, because we know that no single indicator works 100% of the time.

Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 unweighted stocks so I think it better represents the market than the narrow S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- Down for both the week and the last month
  • Down by 4.66% for the week
  • Down by 3.11% for the last month
  • 14 day Relative Strength Index is at 39.85% and falling
  • Barchart only has 1 buy on its 13 technical indicators for a 40% short term sell and a 64% overall sell signal
  • Index closed Friday below its 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages at 2287.87 which is 2.4% below its 50 day moving average of 2343.52

Barchart Market Momentum -- Contains approximately 6000 stocks -- Percentage of stocks closing above their Daily Moving Averages for various time periods -- above 50% is good --Worse than last week


Vale's pulling in profits as iron ore prices spike. What will it do with the money?

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 13, 2010 3:00PM

Jim JubakWhat was most interesting about Vale's (VALE) recent second-quarter earnings report wasn't how much money the mining company made -- although it made a metric ton -- but what it's doing with it.  

For the quarter, net income surged to $3.71 billion, or 70 cents a share, from $790 million, or 15 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2009.  

That really wasn't a surprise: Wall Street analysts had pegged earnings at 70 cents a share for the quarter on a doubling in iron ore prices from the second quarter of 2009 and an increase in production at the company. Vale sold 670 million tons of ore and ore pellets in the second quarter, a 29% increase from the second quarter of 2009. (Vale is the world's largest producer of iron ore.) 


The slowing of the recovery has led many folks to flee the market. But a top investor says the fear is helping certain stocks.

By John Reese Aug 13, 2010 2:44PM

With the economic recovery slowing a bit and fears of a double-dip recession growing, many investors have been fleeing stocks in recent days. But could the double-dip fears actually help stocks?

For emerging markets, the answer is yes, says Mark Mobius, the executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group. Mobius told CNBC this week that the double-dip fears -- and the Federal Reserve's decision to reinvest mortgage-backed security funds into Treasuries -- are bullish signs for emerging markets.  "The fear has been a very good thing," he said, "because it means that the Fed, European Central Bank, all these banks around the world, are afraid of a recession, and therefore will continue to supply money to the markets and liquidity."


Mobius also says he's increasing his exposure to riskier markets like Thailand, Pakistan, and Russia, which offer higher potential returns than other more developed markets.


Other gurus I keep an eye on are finding opportunities at home, however.



Some experts say America must export more products to stay resilient in shaky economic times.

By Kim Peterson Aug 13, 2010 2:25PM
Container shipping © Image Source/CorbisAnd the city of the future is ... Wichita?

That's what some people are saying after a study published last month highlighted Wichita's rising export business. Wichita has a huge aviation cluster that makes Cessnas and other small planes.

Thanks to those planes, about 28% of Wichita's "gross metropolitan product" is exported to other countries, the Financial Times writes. Some people think that's where America should be headed. Instead of an economy overly reliant on consumer spending and housing, we should build up a business in exports and investments. 

Income taxes are going up, and the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 are to blame.

By Kim Peterson Aug 13, 2010 1:48PM

Tax protest © Brian Hagiwara/Brand X/CorbisOur tax system is a disaster, and something has to be done quickly, writes Floyd Norris in The New York Times.

Everyone will pay higher income taxes if the law is not changed, he writes. And the tax rate on corporate dividends could rise as high as 39.6% next year, from 15% currently, he adds.

Blame tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 for this ridiculous situation. A law in 2001 required income taxes to return to their pre-2001 levels by the end of 2010, Norris writes.



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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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