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.


It's now more common than Twitter's tweet button on the Web's largest sites.

By Kim Peterson Jul 13, 2011 1:19PM
Another day, another piece of evidence showing the advances Google (GOOG) is making in its social-media efforts.

A study has found that Google's +1 button is now more common than Twitter's tweet button on the home pages of the 10,000 largest sites. In fact, the +1 button is now on 4.4% of those sites' front pages -- a 33% increase from a month ago, according to search-engine optimization company BrightEdge.

Don't get this +1 button confused with the Google+ social service the company is testing publicly. Clicking the +1 button on a website shows that you like it -- similar to Facebook's Like button -- and your opinion shows up when your friends run Google searches. The company says it's a way to collect things you like on the Web. 

Investors favored brewers like Anheuser-Busch for their safety and yields. But the group is technically weak, so shareholders may soon feel like drowning their sorrows.

By MoneyShow.com Jul 13, 2011 12:29PM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

As part of my nightly review of the day's market action, I generally review more than 150 charts, which always includes looking for unusual volume patterns. Recently the volume in Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) was four times larger than normal.

After looking at the chart for BUD, I moved on to the chart for the S&P 500 Brewers index, as well as those of all of the large brewers. I wanted to determine whether the action in BUD was an isolated event or part of an industry-wide pattern.

The stocks of beer companies like BUD have recently been touted for their attractive dividends, with industry leader Companhia de Bebidas das Americas (ABV), better known as Ambev, a Brazilian brewery giant, yielding more than 4%. Though the chart of ABV looks the strongest of the group, the other major beer company stocks look vulnerable to at least a 5% decline. That would make those yields much less attractive.

This fund's strength lies in its diversified portfolio, which could help investors weather potentially disappointing results from banks.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 13, 2011 11:05AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


While it can be an exciting time for stock pickers, earnings season is also an alluring period for those with a focus on ETFs. Many of the top components of popular indexes will report their earnings and provide outlooks in coming weeks.


On Monday, Alcoa (AA) kicked things off, reporting that its profit more than doubled during the most recent three-month period. While its numbers set a positive tone, investors must continue to exercise caution under current market conditions.


Next up will be Wall Street giants JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C). As investors have witnessed throughout the opening half of 2011, the markets have not been kind to the financial industry.


Coinstar stands to benefit as Netflix raises subscription rates, an analyst says.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 13, 2011 10:54AM

Image: Movies (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Coinstar's (CSTR) Redbox DVD kiosks could turn out to be the big winner from Netflix's (NFLX) subscription rate hike.


On Tuesday, Netflix announced that it is separating its DVD and streaming subscriptions, charging $16 per month for access to both forms of content. This is a 60% increase from the prior rate of $9.99 per month. Users can gain access to each individual subscription for $7.99 per month.


While Wall Street has been praising the move from Netflix, customers are enraged, with many claiming they will cancel their memberships completely as a result.


This could benefit Coinstar, which has been trying to ramp up its offerings to better compete with Netflix.


Staffing services and for-profit education stand to gain in this difficult job market.

By InvestorPlace Jul 13, 2011 9:48AM
Image: Construction workers (© image100/Corbis)By Jamie Dlugosch, InvestorPlace.com

June's job numbers were a big disappointment to Americans hoping for a respite from high unemployment. While some expected or hoped for the creation of 100,000 to 200,000 jobs, the economy delivered a putrid 18,000.

This week it was reported that tech giant Cisco (CSCO) could cut as many as 10,000 workers, showing that things aren't getting any better. The sad reality is that the unemployment rate will stay at 9% or higher for some time.

So where do investors turn in these times? Here are three picks to consider:


Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal are joining forces to make a bid for an Australian coal producer.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 12, 2011 10:17PM
Jim JubakThe big boys are back.

A little more than a year after MacArthur Coal (MACDY) rejected a A$15.00 a share bid from Peabody Energy (BTU), and three years after the company ended acquisition talks with ArcelorMittal (MT), the biggest U.S. coal company and the world’s largest steelmaker have teamed up on a A$15.50 bid for the Australian coal producer.

Thanks to a stronger Australian dollar, this year’s bid is worth about US$16.59 a share, compared to the May 2010 bid's value of US$13.47. That’s 23% higher.

The price was about 40% above the stock's closing price on the Sydney market yesterday, before the bid was announced. Shares were up a little more than 27% in New York trading. Today, the Sydney shares are playing catch
up and have climbed 37%.

The company's newest social-networking service is gaining users at such a clip that some observers are now talking 100 million.

By Kim Peterson Jul 12, 2011 3:15PM
It seems hardly possible that Google's (GOOG) newest attempt to kill Facebook, called Google+, has already hit 10 million users.

But that's what one fairly credible source is saying. If that's true, then Google+ is quickly turning from a Web oddity into something that could truly give Facebook a run for its money.

Paul Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com, says in a blog post that the number of Google+ users hit 7.3 million on July 10 and 9.5 million on July 11. With that rate of growth, it's easy to assume that the service will hit 10 million on Tuesday and perhaps 20 million by the weekend. (He explains his methodology here.) 

Rattled investors, worried about Europe and the U.S. debt ceiling, turn back to precious metals.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jul 12, 2011 3:05PM

Stocks snapped their recent uptrend in a big way this week on another bout of panic selling. The eurozone debt crisis -- which seemed ready to cool after Greek politicians approved a tough new austerity package late last month-- is once again at full boil. As a result, people sold early and sold often.


Significant price damage was done as stocks dropped away from what looks to be a potential triple-top pattern on the Nasdaq 100 or a head-and-shoulders reversal pattern on the S&P 500 and NYSE Composite indices. No matter what index you prefer, or which technical pattern you're looking at, the message was clear: The bears were dug in at a key level, and the bulls failed to break through.


Now, the counterattack is on. The average investor, which watched stocks get whacked over the last few months and Treasury bonds get whacked over the last few weeks, are stampeding into the last safe haven: Gold and silver.


The company will now offer a DVD-only plan with no streaming video access. It didn't anticipate that demand, it says.

By Kim Peterson Jul 12, 2011 2:27PM
Netflix (NFLX) customers will now have to pay at least $16 a month to get DVDs by mail plus streaming video -- up from the previous minimum of $10.

The company announced Tuesday what amounts to a price increase for customers who want unlimited streaming plus one by-mail DVD rental at a time. Previously, it cost $10 a month for that plan.

Now, Netflix is splitting that plan into two parts: Unlimited streaming for $8 a month, and unlimited DVDs (one at a time by mail) for $8 a month. You can subscribe to both, but you'll have to pay $16 a month with no bundling discount. Netflix shares were up more than 1% Tuesday to $295.55 in midday trading.

The following video news report has more details. Post continues after video: 

The social network's alliance with Spotify will turn up the heat on the Internet radio service.

By InvestorPlace Jul 12, 2011 1:26PM

Image: Guitar (© Corbis)By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace.com

InvestorplaceFacebook is an entertainment destination, with a massive global audience (the latest count: 750 million users).

While it has had much success allowing people to communicate, it looks like the company is gearing up for the next step: adding premium movies and music. Move over, Rupert Murdoch, and get ready for the next media network.

As should be no surprise, Facebook has big ambitions. Keep in mind that the company recently named Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hasting to its board.

But the company's first move into the media business may be music. Blogger Jeff Rose found that some of the code for the company's new video chat system has hooks to music downloading. Some of the keywords include "MusicDownload" and "vibes."


The automaker has endorsed a bill that would prohibit all US motorists from using handheld phones while driving.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 12, 2011 12:36PM

Image: Driver on cellphone (© BananaStock/Jupiterimages)By Ted Reed, TheStreet


Ford (F) has become the first U.S. automaker to back a nationwide ban on the use of handheld cellphones by drivers.


Ford is endorsing a proposal by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D., N.Y.) for national legislation. While most states have imposed limitations on cellphone use by drivers, the federal government has not acted.


"Ford endorses Rep. McCarthy's legislation because it represents a practical, commonsense approach to a national problem," said Pete Lawson, Ford's vice president of government affairs. "Distracted driving is an important issue, and that's why Ford became the first automaker to support proposed legislation banning handheld texting while driving in 2009 and why we are proud to support Rep. McCarthy's legislation that will ban using handheld devices while driving."


One analyst sees hope for the BlackBerry maker if it were to divide into separate businesses for network and devices.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 12, 2011 12:10PM

By Scott Moritz, TheStreet


Management seems clueless, insiders are losing hope, and now analysts are calling for a split of Research In Motion (RIMM).


RBC analyst Mike Abramsky is the most recent RIM watcher to call for action. Abramsky, a die-hard RIM supporter, urged the company in a research note Tuesday to split into two businesses: network and devices.


"Acting now may target opportunities and unlock significant shareholder value," Abramsky wrote.


The restructuring call comes as RIM's stock continues its free fall this year, down 52% since January, while rivals Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) continue to sweep up BlackBerry market share.


The company's franchising strategy and expansion opportunities will make it a worthwhile investment after it goes public.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 12, 2011 11:07AM

By Jake Lynch, TheStreet


Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), the owner of the doughnut-and-coffee chain and ice-cream purveyor Baskin-Robbins, is set to go public. Millions of people in the Northeast can't get enough of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. So how will its stock fare?


First, the basics: The company, co-owned by private-equity investors Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Thomas Lee, is seeking to sell more than 22 million common shares for between $16 and $18 a share for net proceeds of up to $400 million. Dunkin' amended its S-1, an initial public offering request form to the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Monday. In it, Dunkin' indicated that it would have 126 million total common shares after the share sale.


That translates to a market value of more than $2 billion. Even after the IPO, the private-equity owners will retain more than half of the outstanding stock. Its profit stream is likely to enrich Bain, Carlyle and Lee for years to come.


The US stock correction is now under way, and global markets, gold and the dollar are on the move. Where are the next buying opportunities?

By MoneyShow.com Jul 12, 2011 10:43AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

It has been a rough start to the week and selling early Tuesday has been heavy overseas. 

The E-mini S&P 500 futures plunged below 1300 in early trading, but a couple hours before the market open, they were trading well above the early lows. A correction was expected last week, however, and the key levels are still holding.

Gold surged to new highs in euro, as the spreading fears about Italy’s debt crisis hit the single currency hard. Clearly, skittish investors are once again jumping out of riskier assets.

Interestingly, the dollar was also higher on the day, but it is still locked in its trading range. Rates also dropped again, and the low-yielding Treasury market is seen as a safe haven.

The apparent impasse over the debt ceiling is also starting to weigh heavily on the markets. It is too bad that most of our representatives failed to take Econ 101, as many apparently are not worried about the real consequences of a debt default.  Hopefully, both sides will come to their senses soon; otherwise, the Treasury market is unlikely to be a safe haven.

Technically, the decline in the stock market has not done any lasting damage, but the strength of the first rebound will be informative. The emerging markets, as well as gold and the dollar, will need to be watched closely as the week progresses.
Tags: etfgold

The bond guru will be more transparent, but investors hoping to use his fund as a blueprint will be out of luck.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 12, 2011 10:35AM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreet


Followers of bond fund maven Bill Gross of Pimco will be able to get a gander at his trading strategy once the firm launches its first exchange-traded fund later this year. But that doesn't mean investors can replicate Gross' big wins on their own.


That's because of a regulatory wrinkle that will preclude do-it-yourselfers from matching his moves trade for trade, at least for now.


Gross has built a reputation as a brilliant manager of the world's largest mutual fund, the $253 billion Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTAX), which has a five-year average annual return of 8.5%, more than twice that of the S&P 500 Index.



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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.

Equity indices climbed out of the gate thanks to early strength among ... More


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