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 time to end the media's fascination with the Oracle of Omaha, who, despite claims to the contrary, does love publicity.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 1, 2010 11:50AM

By Gary Weiss, TheStreet


Some people may call this Indian summer, but I call it Warren Buffett season.


It is the only season that lasts 12 months a year. You can't swing a cat around a financial news organization nowadays without snaring somebody writing about Warren Buffett's portfolio. Usually it's along the lines of "What is Warren buying?" But lately there is a hush, and a sad pang can be heard reverberating across the prairie. Warren Buffett is considering a successor!


So with reverence more appropriate for the papal succession than a glorified hedge fund, there is one article after another about the Apparent Chosen Successor, a Florida hedgie named Todd Combs.


Not all technology funds are the same. Some hold small caps, while others buy abroad.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 1, 2010 10:09AM

By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet


The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ), the biggest technology exchange-traded fund, has risen 20% since the end of August, almost twice as much as the broader S&P 500 Index ($INX), powered by an increase in the shares of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG).


But investors in tech ETFs could have gotten bigger gains elsewhere. PowerShares QQQ Trust's underlying index is the Nasdaq-100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial securities listed on the namesake exchange. Rival ETFs, for instance, load up on Internet stocks and Chinese shares. Some tech ETFs trailed the PowerShares QQQ Trust, which has more than $20 billion in assets.


TheStreet explored technology ETF alternatives with the help of experts Tom Lydon, editor of ETF Trends, and Christian Magoon, CEO of Magoon Capital.


Earnings and Tuesday's midterm elections will affect a number of exchange-traded funds.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 1, 2010 9:49AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


Here are five exchange-traded funds investors should watch this week.


1. PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio (PBS)


It's sweeps week for the media ETF as a number of firms hailing from the fund's index gear up to announce their quarterly earnings performance. Companies include Sirius XM (SIRI), Time Warner (TWX), News Corp (NWSA), and DIRECTV (DTV).


Technological developments such as the Apple (AAPL) iPad have helped various facets of the media universe expand their reach around the world as consumers increasingly seek out ways to receive constant exposure to both the printed word and visual media.


Time for a walk on the long side with gold and semiconductor funds.

By InvestorPlace Nov 1, 2010 9:34AM

By Jamie Dlugosch, InvestorPlace.com

Exchange-traded funds are the place to be.

This week is shaping up to be a very big week for investors. The election will set the tone, but probably more important will be news from the Federal Reserve.


The second round of quantitative easing is set to begin. Perhaps stocks have rallied in advance of the news, setting the table for a sell-the-news event. Then again, the infusion of new capital in the debt markets could push investors to take more risks in stocks.


Given positive earnings momentum and an easy-money central bank policy, the bias for stocks is upward, even if in the short run stocks may be a bit pricey. Add in a swing to the right politically, and the state is set for more gains.


The semiconductor sector is proving naysayers wrong, taking off on product cycles and worldwide economic strength.

By Jim Cramer Nov 1, 2010 8:47AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


Going into this quarter, one thing was pretty certain for the tech analysts: Semiconductor companies would disappoint. They would either fall prey to "the end of the restocking" angle or the "last good quarter" angle. They would disappoint, and numbers would have to go down.


Now, with the bulk of earnings behind us, we can see that, without a doubt, this most hated group has truly broken out. And in a way I haven't seen in many, many years. Not just quarters but years.


The move is taking everyone by surprise. In fact, it is doing more than that. It is upending a theme, one that has been with us for many years now: that the group is a cyclical nightmare, with a cycle that's never as strong as you can get from a Caterpillar (CAT) or a Freeport-McMoran (FCX) and therefore undeserving of any multiple. It's just a hated group.


Economic growth is weak, to be sure, but consumer spending is enough to keep the Fed cautious about quantitative easing.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 29, 2010 7:35PM

Jim JubakThe first estimate for third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth came in right on projections at 2%. That was up from the 1.7% growth rate in the second quarter, but below the 3% or so growth rate needed to cut significantly into unemployment.

Housing was the big drag on the economy. (Big surprise, right?) 

Residential investment -- home buying to most of us -- fell 29% in the quarter. That more than offset a 9.7% gain in nonresidential investment. Nonresidential structures -- commercial real estate -- grew by 3.9% in the quarter, up from a drop of 0.5% in the second quarter. That's good news for the still beleaguered commercial real estate market (and the banks with big loan portfolios in the sector). 


Yet another news publication says it has confirmation of a Verizon iPhone out early next year.

By Kim Peterson Oct 29, 2010 2:23PM
Credit: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up iPhone 4 as he talks about the Apple iPhone 4 at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Friday, July 16, 2010 (© Paul Sakuma/AP)Fortune has jumped onto the Verizon iPhone bandwagon, saying it has confirmed that the highly anticipated device will be released early next year.

Fortune doesn't say exactly how it got confirmation -- though, ahem, it did interview chief executive Ivan Seidenberg in the same article. "People familiar with its development say it is a fait accompli," writes Sarah Ellison.

Since its launch, Apple's (AAPL) iPhone has been the exclusive domain of carrier AT&T (T) in the U.S. And users have howled, bashing AT&T's network as slow and buggy, dropping calls and fouling data speeds. 

VXX shareholders will receive 1 share for every 4 held

By InvestorPlace Oct 29, 2010 1:57PM

By ETFguide.com

Exchange traded funds and exchange traded notes seem to be in the news everyday, and today is no different.

Barclays Bank is planning a 1-for-4 reverse share split of its iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX). The reverse split is scheduled for Nov. 9, 2010.

The reverse split means shareholders as of the Nov. 8 record date will receive one share of every four existing shares in the exchange-traded notes.


The studio accuses the billionaire investor of playing a 'doubles game' on support for a potential merger with MGM.

By MSNMoney partner Oct 29, 2010 1:24PM

Film © Comstock/SuperStockThis post comes from partner site TheWrap.

Lionsgate is suing Carl Icahn, accusing the billionaire investor of playing a "double game" in which he alternately claimed to support and oppose a potential merger between the studio and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The latest legal wrangling could influence a vote today by MGM debt holders over whether to accept a prepackaged bankruptcy plan that would see Spyglass take over the studio's management.

In a suit filed Thursday in New York federal court, Lionsgate claims Icahn was "secretly plotting" to use the merger as a way to amass a larger slice of MGM's debt and a bigger stake in the studio -- at a discount.


The company was written off not once but twice in 2 years. Now its time in purgatory is over, and it's approaching the breakout level.

By Jim Cramer Oct 29, 2010 8:43AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


Didn't Goldman Sachs (GS) have a light quarter? Wasn't it supposed to be hobbled by financial regulation? Isn't it undercapitalized post-Basel? What the heck is it doing breaking out here?


I think it's is because:

  1. Financial regulation means almost nothing to Goldman. It hasn't had to change any really important practices.
  2. Goldman Sachs has no mortgage exposure like the other banks, because it really never got into that line of business.
  3. The company has raised cash at an absurdly low price and will now not have a liquidity crisis again unless someone goes in and steals the darned money.
  4. The bearish crowd seems to have decided to leave it alone for whatever reason.

DuPont's known for chemicals, but the company is seeing big market share gains in its seed business.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 28, 2010 6:08PM

Jim JubakShares of DuPont (DD) have been in slow retreat since the company announced third-quarter earnings Tuesday -- not because of anything the company reported, in my opinion, but because in the last week or so, we've moved into a "sell the news" reaction to just about all good earnings reports. 

If that continues for a bit (and I'll try to define "a bit" at the end of this post), I think you'll get a chance to pick up the shares of a seed company that is taking advantage of troubles at competitor Monsanto (MON) for a very reasonable price. 

For the quarter, DuPont reported earnings of 40 cents a share -- 6 cents above Wall Street consensus. Revenue grew by 14% from the third quarter of 2009 to $7 billion. Wall Street had projected revenue of $6.76 billion.


The market just isn't moving much these days. But that doesn't hide the fact that weakness is developing.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 28, 2010 5:00PM

Although we've seen plenty of ups and downs, stocks really haven't gone anywhere for nearly three weeks.


Price volatility has plunged: Over the last six trading sessions, the S&P 500 has changed by less than 0.3%. Clearly, someone or something is purposefully keeping stock prices on a short leash.


My hunch is that Wall Street insiders, as they did in April, are holding the market up so they can exit their long trades -- something I discussed in my last post. But they can't hide the truth.


Here are top-performing picks for emerging-market investors.

By InvestorPlace Oct 28, 2010 3:18PM

By Jon Ogg

Exchange-traded funds in China offer great investment opportunities.

China's GDP may have slowed a bit, but it is still considered one of the top growth markets in the world -- and thus a great place for emerging-market investors. Things are good enough that debt ratings agencies are even considering raising the sovereign debt ratings of China at a time where it seems almost every other country is at risk of downgrades.

But when it comes to China investment, picking individual Chinese stocks is difficult for U.S. investors due to valuations and transparency concerns -- even if the IBD 100 is littered full of Chinese high-flyers each week. That leaves exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) as a top option outside mutual funds.


Investor sentiment turns upward in a recent survey, reflecting an expectation that stocks are on the march.

By Kim Peterson Oct 28, 2010 2:24PM
Crystal ball investing © Brand X Pictures/JupiterimagesThat was a fast turnaround. It seems like just the other day everyone was fleeing stocks for bonds. Investors were worried, scared and didn't trust the markets.

But now, apparently, people are going bullish. Investors are more optimistic than they've been in years, according to a recent survey by the American Association of Individual Investors.

The survey showed that the expectation that stocks will rise over the next six months has now hit 51.2%, an increase of 1.6 percentage points over the week before. 

Franklin Resources misses EPS estimates by 9 cents.

By InvestorPlace Oct 28, 2010 12:50PM

By Jon Ogg

Exchange traded funds like Franklin Resources have become quite popular during times when the market is volatile.

Franklin Resources (BEN), home of the Franklin Templeton funds, is taking it on the chin this morning as the earnings were lighter than estimates. Earnings came in at $1.65 EPS vs. Thomson Reuters $1.74 EPS. Despite a +23% revenue gain to $1.53 billion, analysts were expecting $1.56 billion.

Total assets under management grew to $644.9 billion at Sept. 30, 2010, versus $570.5 billion as of June 30, 2010 and versus $523.4 billion a year ago at Sept. 30, 2009.  Equity assets comprised 43% of total assets under management, fixed-income assets comprised 39%, and "hybrid and other assets" accounted for 18% of total managed assets.  Operating income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010 was $509.0 million, as compared to $521.6 million for the prior quarter and $384.7 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009.



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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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