Energy boom makes oil a safe haven
Oil becomes a surprising haven

The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.


Now that the video giant has filed for bankruptcy, will it emerge a stronger company or fall into oblivion?

By TheStreet Staff Sep 23, 2010 12:56PM

thestreetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet


Now that Blockbuster (BLOKA) has finally filed for bankruptcy, what will become of the video giant?


Blockbuster said business will go on as usual as it whips out its $900 million in debt. This means that Blockbuster's 3,000 stores and kiosks and its by-mail and digital business will all continue to serve customers.


More than 80% of the company's senior note holders have agreed to support the plan and provide $125 million in debtor-in-possession financing to help support Blockbuster's operations while it undergoes the restructure. Under the Chapter 11, bonds will be converted into equity.


The company behind Olive Garden, Red Lobster and The Capital Grille is a favorite value pick among analysts.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 23, 2010 12:51PM

By Jake Lynch, TheStreet


Darden Restaurants (DRI) ranks among analysts' favorite restaurant stocks.


But unlike Panera (PNRA) and Chipotle (CMG), Darden is a value stock rather than a growth stock. Darden owns Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52 and high-end steakhouse The Capital Grille. Yesterday, it announced fiscal-first-quarter results, beating analysts' earnings consensus by 3%.


The billionaire investor has his own definition of the word and does not agree that the downturn ended more than a year ago.

By Money Staff Sep 23, 2010 11:21AM
Warren Buffett. Credit: (© Paul White/AP)Reuters

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said the U.S. economy remains in a recession, disputing an assessment by a leading arbiter of economic activity that the downturn ended more than a year ago.

"We're still in a recession," Buffett told CNBC TV in an interview broadcast today. "We're not gonna be out of it for a while, but we will get out."

On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research said the world's largest economy ended an 18-month recession in June 2009 but cautioned that its assessment does not mean normal activity has resumed.


Despite being a cleaner fuel than oil or coal, it has few supporters in Washington, making it a risky investment.

By Jim Cramer Sep 23, 2010 8:59AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


The Senate is at it again. Harry Reid is trying to get the Clean Energy Fuels Subsidy Act passed, this time in a new, stand-alone bill filed Wednesday. Oops, excuse me for being so obvious, but this bill is about giving money back to people who buy truck engines that burn natural gas -- engines made typically with technology from Westport Innovations (WPRT) with its partner Cummins (CMI), an name.


Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) is the nifty little company that owns a huge chain of natural-gas filling stations, a decent business that would go into hyperdrive if this bill passes.


But "if" is the big operative word here. Clean Energy and natural-gas backers have tried strenuously to get these tax breaks through, but the subsidies have been trapped within larger unpopular and controversial energy bills. The hope is that this stand-alone bill will be able to slip through without the baggage of environmental regulation.


The company's recently released Q2 results show great growth.

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Sep 22, 2010 4:00PM

Written by Douglas Estadt International (CTRP) is a web-based, travel service provider that caters to all aspects of a traveler’s needs, from hotel accommodations to flights.  The company’s recently released 2010 Q2 results were more than impressive.  

From our own travel experiences, we have witnessed Ctrip’s presence in kiosks and offices in China’s airports. This company is one among many that stand to profit from China’s booming economy.  

The facts below reiterate why we invested in CTRP today:


Brazil's Gerdau is moving ahead with expansion plans in the US and in its home country.

By Jim J. Jubak Sep 22, 2010 3:59PM

Jim JubakBrazilian steel maker Gerdau (GGB) is on the march in the U.S. steel market and back home in Brazil. 

In August, the company acquired the remainder of the shares of its 66%-owned U.S. subsidiary Gerdau Ameristeel. That gives Gerdau a wholly owned platform for expanding in the U.S. market. (The acquisition of the remainder of Gerdau Ameristeel will also reduce that company's cost of capital, since parent Gerdau pays only half as much as the subsidiary in the capital markets.)  

The company didn't let much moss grow on that deal: On Sept. 15, Gerdau announced it would acquire TAMCO, a California mini-mill that produces long-steel products, such as rebar, used in construction. 


One investment firm blames its poor earnings on low trading volume. Are other firms susceptible as well?

By Kim Peterson Sep 22, 2010 3:46PM
trader © Comstock/SuperStockStock trading always slows in the summer, but this summer it was especially dead. Blame the rush out of stocks, the poor economy, the newfound interest in saving and a host of other factors.

For Wall Street firms that make significant income from these trades, the summer slowdown is translating into ugly third-quarter earnings. Case in point: The investment banking firm Jefferies Group (JEF), whose quarterly profit was nearly cut in half (shares are down 5% Wednesday in response).

Revenue fell by 22%, mainly due to a steep drop in principal transactions, the Associated Press reported. Needless to say, Jefferies did not meet analysts' expectations. The chief executive said that "trading volumes across the board were painfully slow." 

Some advice for dealing with the sudden price changes that can hit a stock.

By Kim Peterson Sep 22, 2010 2:57PM
Gaps are always interesting on a stock price chart. For whatever reason, something happens that causes a price to suddenly jump up or down.

Often, that occurs when a company announces good or bad news after the bell. The next day's trading opens with a gap, and some investors strategize around it.

Investopedia has a nice breakdown on how to play the gap, and describes the four gaps that are often seen. Some show up at the end of a price pattern, before a new trend breaks or in a last-gasp attempt to jump higher or lower. 

Anheuser-Busch will offer free samples at trendy bars and restaurants in hopes of gaining younger fans.

By Kim Peterson Sep 22, 2010 1:17PM
Beer © CorbisAt one time, Budweiser may have held the title "king of beers." But no longer.

Consumer loyalty has plummeted. Sales are alarmingly low. The under-30 crowd has simply ignored the brand, USA Today reports. When you can't get noticed by one of biggest beer-drinking age groups, you have a problem.

So Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is using the ultimate attention-getting weapon: free beer. Starting next week, Budweiser will begin offering free samples at trendy bars and restaurants, writes USA Today's Bruce Horovitz. 

It might not make sense, but there is no denying the attraction of the yellow metal.

By Jamie Dlugosch Sep 22, 2010 12:10PM

Gold © Comstock Images/JupiterimagesIn 2008, I suggested one stock that investors must own in their portfolios.


No matter what was transpiring in the overall economy or market, this particular company knew how to make money and would continue doing so for many, many years.


The name of that stock was Apple (AAPL). At the time, shares traded for less than $100 each.

Now you can buy the stock for just under $300 per share. Is there a similar investment story today?


You bet, and the answer may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

Tags: ETFgold

Graphic chip-maker Nvidia may not be a long-term winner, but it's just beginning a short-term climb.

By Jim Cramer Sep 22, 2010 9:01AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet


In any given year, you can make a lot of bonehead calls, but sometimes the biggest boneheads come back to life in a spectacular fashion. Right now I am looking darned good on a pick I was roundly criticized for: Nvidia (NVDA).


If you recall, I focused on Nvidia because it was the worst performer in the S&P 500 ($INX) for the first half of the year. I said the graphic chip-maker, which was at $10 and change at the time, would have a miserable quarter and then you would have to jump and jump fast when it reported.


Of course, people then bought it aggressively ahead of the quarter, no doubt because they figured that I knew something and they should buy it immediately. Totally wrong.


Companies are taking advantage of low stock prices and cheap financing to buy back shares.

By Kim Peterson Sep 21, 2010 2:55PM
Save Money © CorbisMore and more companies are distributing money to shareholders in the form of share buybacks, Bloomberg reports.

And why not? As one analyst notes, shares are cheap and financing is cheap. After sitting on piles of cash as the recession hit, companies are finally relenting and spending money on share repurchases. The moves show that companies are generally feeling better about where the economy is headed.

Companies in the U.S. have repurchased about $55 billion in shares since June, Bloomberg reports. That brings this year's total to about $260 billion so far, up from $125 billion in all of 2009. 

The company is announcing new products this week, keeping momentum after shares hit a 9-year high.

By Kim Peterson Sep 21, 2010 1:44PM
Oracle (ORCL) shares were down a bit Tuesday as enthusiasm subsided after the company's stellar earnings report last week. The stock hit a nine-year high Friday.

But we'll still hear plenty about Oracle this week: The company is unveiling new products to developers and other fans at its annual Oracle OpenWorld show in San Francisco. Some 41,000 people are expected to attend.

And while an unbreakable Linux kernel and elastic clouds may not mean much to most of us, Oracle's announcements are ginning up enthusiasm within a devoted user base. The company has been on a tear lately, and it shows no signs of slowing down. 

The US has not been receptive to previous buyout attempts.

By InvestorPlace Sep 21, 2010 11:08AM

By Paul Ausick

As General Motors prepares for an IPO, the company's majority owner, the U.S. government, is trying to figure out the best way to recover the $43 billion still outstanding from its loan to GM. The roster of potential investors includes everyone and everything, from individual investors to pension funds.

Well, maybe not quite everyone. GM's partner in its Chinese joint ventures, SAIC Motor Corp., may be interested in buying a stake in the U.S. automaker. GM is not commenting on the possibility, and the U.S. government's official statement on access to investors is "We expect that potential investors will be sought across multiple geographies with a focus on North American investors, in line with what is typical in similar transactions."


Economist Nouriel Roubini, famous for his pessimistic outlook, has hope for the US economy after all. That's why you should get your 'buy' list ready.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 21, 2010 10:54AM

business news and investment advice from the street

By Gary Gordon, TheStreet


Is it just me, or has the permanently glum Nouriel Roubini become a softy? The good professor has received more accolades than any other analyst or economist for predicting the demise of market-based securities in 2008, never mind the horrific calls he made the following year:

  • In April 2009, near Dow 7,950, Roubini predicted the markets would retest the March lows of Dow 6,500. They never did.
  • In July 2009, near Dow 8,100, he described the market's run as nothing more than a bear rally. Yet the Dow rose 38% over the next nine months.
  • In October, near Dow 9,700, Roubini called for a bearish 10% to 20% pullback. Not only was he six months early, but the market's sell-off went to 9,700 from 11,200. The current cyclical low is essentially at the same spot where Roubini made his bearish call . . . six months earlier. You can't be much more off than that.


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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (+0.1%) hovers right above its flat line with seven sectors sporting gains.

Market participants received just one economic data point today (June Pending Home Sales -1.1%), but the rest of the week will bring a full slate of data. Tomorrow, the Case-Shiller 20-city Index ( consensus 10.0%) will be released at 9:00 ET, while the July Consumer Confidence report (consensus 85.6) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

As the week progresses, ... More


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