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.

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The payoff for CEO Reed Hastings' international push may take a long time.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 9, 2012 1:24PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings, whose blunders in 2011 will be dissected in business schools for generations to come, may be laying the groundwork for another whopper with his expansion into the U.K. and Ireland. The downside risk is huge.

For example, business leaders in the U.K. expect the country's economy to get worse in 2012, according to a poll released Monday.  A recent Goldman Sachs survey forecast that the U.K.'s gross domestic product (GDP) will rise 0.7% this year, down from 0.9% in 2011.  
Tags: AMZNNFLX

The retailer sends mixed signals regarding the future of the e-reader.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 9, 2012 12:57PM
NookBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

What on earth is Barnes & Noble (BKS) doing pondering the spin-off of the division that makes its Nook e-readers and tablets? It’s hard to find a way to "spin" that news into anything resembling an upbeat signal for either Barnes & Noble or its stock.

William Lynch, the bookseller’s CEO, dropped the possibility of a spin-off into a discussion of the company’s prospects last week, even as he revealed that year-end results are likely to fall short of investors’ hopes and analysts’ forecasts. 

Pipelines and processing plants put this MLP in the sweet spot as US gas production ramps up.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 9, 2012 12:17PM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)This post is one in a series in which more than 50 newsletter advisers share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Amy Calistri, The Daily Paycheck

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD), a Houston-based master limited partnership (MLP), operates over 50,000 miles of gas, crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and petrochemical pipelines. 
Tags: EDPEPD

Travelers is upgraded to 'conviction buy' at Goldman, while Akamai is downgraded to 'sell' at Citigroup.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 9, 2012 12:01PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Broadcom (BRCM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Comcast (CMCSA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • Hartford Financial (HIG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • MetLife (MET) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Travelers (TRV) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
  • Akamai (AKAM) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
 

The company's generics business is poised to grow after it recorded revenue of nearly $10 billion in 2010.

By Trefis Jan 9, 2012 10:10AM
CorbisPfizer (PFE) is the world's biggest pharmaceutical company and operates in two main segments: biopharmaceutical and diversified.

Biopharmaceutical includes primary care, specialty care, established products, emerging markets and oncology units that focus on treatment and prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, central nervous system disorders, arthritis and pain, respiratory diseases, urogenital conditions, cancer, eye disease and endocrine disorders, among others. Its diversified unit includes animal health, consumer health and nutritional products such as nutritional supplements and toddler formula products. 
Tags: PFE

Booming foreign interest in domestic reserves creates big opportunity.

By InvestorPlace Jan 9, 2012 9:56AM
Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostockBy Aaron Levitt

The U.S. and Canada are sitting on one of the biggest energy booms ever. An oil and gas production renaissance is under way, thanks to improved hydraulic fracturing and advances in drilling techniques. Though not without controversy, shale formations like the Marcellus, Utica and Eagle Ford have become hotbeds of North American drilling activity because these advances have made it possible to extract the plethora of fossil fuels trapped between the rocks.


With billions of dollars in revenue at stake, these regions have witnessed a land grab not seen since the California Gold Rush of the 1800s. While the usual suspects like Exxon (XOM) are staking their claims, North America's shale interests are getting plenty of attention from overseas sources as well.

 

Positive action on new drugs by FDA in 2011 bodes well for biopharmaceuticals in 2012, and Celgene can offer long-term growth.

By Gene Marcial Jan 9, 2012 9:37AM
SuperStockIs the Food and Drug Administration becoming more of an ally than an obstacle to young biotech companies? Some analysts are starting to believe so. The FDA last year approved 30 new drugs, the highest yearly total since 2004, which industry watchers say represents very positive news for biotech companies.

 

"We see the FDA's modestly raised fiscal 2012 budget supporting continued improvement in the approval of new drugs on first review cycle," says Steven Silver, a biotech analyst at Standard & Poor's. The FDA's approval of new drugs in 2011 jumped 63% after an increase of about 50% in 2010, indicating a much-improved dedication by the FDA in supporting biotech and pharmaceutical companies in their quest for badly needed new drugs, Silver argues.

 
Tags: AMGNCELG

A recently launched oil and gas trust offers protected payouts and attractive yield.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 8, 2012 6:03PM
Image: Oil Well Pumpjack © Roger Milley/Vetta/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which more than 50 newsletter advisers share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Elliott Gue, The Energy Strategist

Chesapeake Granite Wash Trust (CHKR), the newest addition to the universe of U.S. oil and gas trusts, went public on Nov. 11.  It is also among the most promising and fastest-growing trusts in my coverage universe. 
Tags: CHKCHKR

Diversified holdings in utilities, commodities and transportation sectors offer stable cash flow.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 8, 2012 3:29PM
Image: Elevated view of freight cars with coal © Joseph Sohm-Visions of America/Photodisc/Getty ImagesThis post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Gordon Pape,
The Canada Report

This will be a year of uncertainty. Since I am a conservative investor by nature, I am selecting a security with limited downside risk, stable assets and good cash flow.  
Tags: BIP

The year has started off well, but some sectors and strategies have the potential to pay off even better in coming weeks.

By MoneyShow.com Jan 7, 2012 1:40AM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


The first week of the New Year has certainly been a good one for the stock market, as the S&P 500 finished the week up 1.3% and the Dow Industrials gained 1.1%. This was in contrast to the 3.4% gain in the Nasdaq-100.


There was little in the way of bad news from the eurozone (for a change), though yields on many of the euro bonds are still at dangerously high levels. Upcoming bond auctions in euro land will be watched closely.

 

Major oil producers saw output reduced because of the natural decline in production fields, asset sales and political issues.

By Trefis Jan 6, 2012 6:14PM
Image: Oil derricks (© Comstock/Corbis)Overall, 2011 was a strong year for the oil industry, with almost all companies showing revenue and profit growth as a result of high crude prices.

Brent prices remained above the $100 per barrel mark for most of the year, driven by an improved economic outlook in the first half of the year and supply concerns in the second half. The year also saw the announcement that ConocoPhillips (COP) would divest its downstream business and focus on upstream exploration and production and unconventional resources such as shale. 
Tags: bpCOPCVX

Gold miner has production volume, growth projects and seasonal factors in its favor.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 6, 2012 6:10PM
Image: Gold (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)This post is one in a series in which over 50 newsletter advisors share their Top Picks for 2012.

By Curtis Hesler, The Professional Timing Service

There was a study done in the 1970’s that revealed that gold stocks tended to bottom in the fourth quarter and rally strongly into the end of the first quarter of the next year. Thus, looking for seasonal bargains in the gold sector makes sense, especially now. 
Tags: goldIAG

After enjoying months of cheaper fuel, Americans will soon experience more pain at the pump because of oil speculation and market manipulation.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jan 6, 2012 5:19PM

Image: Gas station © Purestock/Purestock/Getty ImagesThere have been a lot of "funny" things happening in the market over the past two months. I chalk it up to a combination of end-of-year seasonality and a desire by the powers that be to keep the market together long enough to exit ahead of the fall. Something similar happened in 2008 before the most acute phase of the bear market got started.

 

Wall Street has apparently been using large-cap energy stocks Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) to hold the Dow Jones industrial Average aloft, ostensibly to keep retail investors placated so the heavy hitters can create the little upward flurries they need to exit their position. (This has to do with the fact the Dow is a price-weighted index that can be pushed around by the most expensive stocks.)

 

Pause a moment before you start building an investment strategy based on fourth-quarter reports.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 6, 2012 4:27PM
Image: Arrows (© Image Source Black/Getty)Fourth-quarter earnings season kicks off Monday with Alcoa (AA) reporting after the close.

This earnings season promises to be wild and very hard to interpret.

Let me start with the narrow Alcoa story and then expand to look at the earnings season as a whole.
 
Tags: AAaig

The storage market is rapidly changing in the age of big data and cloud computing.

By Trefis Jan 6, 2012 3:57PM
EMC (EMC) is the global leader in the disk storage system market as well as the storage software market. However, the stock has fallen from highs of around $30 during the middle of 2011 to trade Friday at $22.

Even NetApp (NTAP), EMC's only major pureplay storage competitor, saw its stock tumble in the second half of 2011 largely due to concerns of lower government and enterprise spending as the macroeconomic condition deteriorated in the U.S. and Europe. 
Tags: EMCHPQibm

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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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