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.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Large anchor spots have been losing department stores, and Costco is looking to move in.

By InvestorPlace Aug 25, 2010 9:34AM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


Almost everyone feels a bit overwhelmed when experiencing a Costco (COST) store for the first time. The size, the crush of people, the bizarre variety of items.


And that's just the view from the parking lot.


Well, if Costco has its way, the mob scene taking place at its cavernous stores will soon be on the move -- to the oversized mall spaces known as "anchor" positions, which have long been the turf of big-box retailers and department stores.

 

The issue isn't foreclosures, gluts or average home prices. It's jobs and the economy.

By Jim Cramer Aug 25, 2010 8:23AM

jim cramer of thestreet.comBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Thank you, Bob Toll, for once again telling the truth.

 

The executive chairman of homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL) has been spot on during this housing crisis, being the first to tell you the good and the bad. He basically told you to sell housing stocks a couple of months ago when he didn't like the trends he saw. He is a straight shooter, and sometimes it can be painful.

 

His comments this morning really say it all for the part of the market that wasn't dominated by the tax credit, which basically gave buyers a free year of interest payments (the average price of a home's mortgage interest in year one is what buyers got with the credit).

 

McDonald's is now a familiar brand name in China, and used that status to sell bonds there.

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 24, 2010 5:42PM
Jim JubakOn Thursday, McDonald’s (MCD) became the first foreign, non-financial company to sell yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong.

The US company sold 200 million yuan (about $30 million) of 3% notes due in September 2013.

The sale marks another step in China’s plan to create a financial system on a par with the markets in Tokyo and New York. That will eventually require China to turn the yuan into a freely exchangeable currency, and China is certainly not willing to go there yet. But in February, foreign companies became eligible for the first time to sell yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong.
 

Will investors take a leap on so-called century bonds? Some bankers think so.

By Kim Peterson Aug 24, 2010 3:38PM
Crystal ball © Thinkstock/JupiterimagesThe bond market is so hot that some bankers are betting people will snap up 100-year bonds.

These ultra-long-term bonds are risky because the investor must believe that the companies issuing them will still exist in 100 years, according to The Wall Street Journal. But they're attractive because companies pay investors a premium for them.

"Such bonds won't pay off their principal until 2110, a date so far that the people doing today's buying and selling will all be dead," writes Katy Burne. 

Apple's popular tablets are being tested by half of the companies in the Fortune 100.

By Kim Peterson Aug 24, 2010 3:18PM

Credit: (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Caption: Apple iPadApple (AAPL) is finally getting a toehold in the corporate world, thanks to the iPad.

Companies that have historically resisted Apple products are snapping up iPads, The Wall Street Journal reports. Half of the companies in the Fortune 100 are buying or testing them, and at least 500 iPad applications are specifically for use by businesses.

"Everyone in IT is jumping on this one," an analyst told the Journal. "Rather than wait for people to start complaining, they're saying, 'Why don't we get a few of them in and see what they are good for?'"

 

The agency says sales of 2 orthopedic products violated federal rules.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 24, 2010 2:15PM

TheStreetBy Andrea Tse, TheStreet

 

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for allegedly violating FDA rules by marketing two orthopedic products without approval, the agency said.

 

The products in question are the TruMatch Personalized Solutions System, a knee replacement device, and the Corail Hip System.

 

"A review of our records reveals that you have not obtained marketing approval or clearance before you began offering the TruMatch Personalized Solutions System for sale," the FDA said in the letter to J&J. The agency said the Corail Hip System was also being marketed for "unapproved uses."

 

The chain has the potential to triple in size, but can it maintain its neighborhood-store vibe?

By Kim Peterson Aug 24, 2010 1:50PM
Credit: (© Ric Francis/AP)
Caption: Trader Joe's storeTrader Joe's seems like a quirky little store with a fun wine selection and lots of organic products, but this chain is actually a well-run, smart operation.

It's sales were about $8 billion last year, Fortune reports, the same amount as Whole Foods (WFMI). But Trader Joe's sells about $1,750 in goods per square foot, which is more than double what "Whole Paycheck" can do.

Trader Joe's has no debt, and it pays for all growth on its own. And it has something other supermarket chains desperately crave: A fierce and loyal fan following.

It's perfectly normal for a TJ's shopper to  

A study shows IPOs don't hurt the shares of other companies in the same industry.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 24, 2010 12:26PM

TheStreet© 2010 Ford Motor CompanyBy Ted Reed, TheStreet

 

Worried that the General Motors IPO will diminish the value of Ford (F) shares?

 

Don't be, UBS (UBS) analyst Colin Langan said in a report that looks at the impact on the stock price of a company's No. 1 competitor in the months after an IPO. Historically, competing stocks are not hurt by large IPOs in the sector, Langan wrote.

 

"We found that on average, during the three and one months preceding an IPO, the main competitor experienced above-market returns," he said. "Our findings are in contrast to investor concerns and highlight that markets are more efficient than some investors anticipate."

 

Owner Pepsico vows to take the mushy feel out of its breakfast staple and roll out healthful new products.

By InvestorPlace Aug 24, 2010 12:03PM

Pepsi may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of a healthful breakfast, but the soft drink giant hopes to change that with a makeover of its Quaker division.

 

Parent company PepsiCo (PEP) will revamp the morning meal offerings from Quaker with revised breakfast options. Reformulated instant oatmeal and two new types of cereal will be at the center of Quaker's new product push and a marketing campaign to capture an evolving consumer market increasingly concerned with eating well.

 

But this isn’t your mother’s oatmeal. The new instant oatmeal will address what Quaker President Jaya Kumar said is a concern: People report not wanting oatmeal to be "mushy."

 

Even stocks that have little to do with housing, like those of oil giants and drug companies, feel the impact of real-estate data.

By Jim Cramer Aug 24, 2010 8:32AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Since when did we become the United States of Housing? Housing has become pretty much the be all and end all of the market outside of employment claims. We literally dread these numbers because the estimates are way too high -- based on what? -- and when the figures come in, they are either horrible or really horrible.

 

Housing used to be supremely important in this country for Black & Decker (SWK) and Masco (MAS) and for Louisiana-Pacific (LPX), Georgia Pacific, Morgan Products, US Gypsum, U.S. Home and Republic Gypsum. We used to fret about what it would mean to Phelps Dodge and to some of the independent glass companies.

 

Most of those companies are now gone or have merged. We had some regional homebuilders, and they would have periodic cycles of good and bad. But they were regional, for heaven's sake, and often their regions would be strong when others would be weak.

 

There's no question that they're loving bonds. But are they really dumping equities?

By Kim Peterson Aug 23, 2010 5:06PM
Stock Market © Getty ImagesAre small investors ditching stocks, having had their fill of financial chaos?

That's what you might think if you read this New York Times article titled "In striking shift, small investors flee stock market."

But wait. On the same day, the Los Angeles Times published an article called "Still in stocks? You're hardly alone."

So are investors sticking with stocks or not? 

There's opportunity to profit now by making strategic oil plays

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Aug 23, 2010 4:23PM
Written by Douglas Estadt

Long story short -- we think oil is too cheap. 


Recent misguided market fear is overshadowing the current opportunity to profit by making strategic oil plays.  While reading "Of Permanent Value" on Warren Buffett, I noted the section in which he explains  how many of his best investments were made during the down days of the 1970s when people were behaving as if the world was going to end. 


This mindset to seek opportunity in times of fear resonates with us.  Oil is only ever going to be more in demand while supply shrinks and investors may wish to consider these facts:

 

The housing market has not recovered, and may not ever return to its glory days.

By Kim Peterson Aug 23, 2010 2:26PM

Home financing © CorbisA new reality is setting in for homeowners: A house will not make you money.

We're in a vastly different world from what we saw over the last three decades, when real home prices increased every year -- sometimes by as much as 4%, The New York Times reports.

That kind of appreciation made housing seem like a smart investment. A nest egg that would make money. Now, and for the foreseeable future, you'll be lucky just to get back the money you put into your house.

"People shouldn’t look at a home as a way to make money because it won’t,"

 

Why does it continue to have the largest volume on the exchanges?

By Jim Van Meerten Aug 23, 2010 1:41PM
Before you all jump all over me every time I call Citi (C) a penny stock, officially that's what it is. The SEC's official definition of a penny stock is any stock trading below $5 a share, and the Big C certainly qualifies.

Normally I don't fault others for recommending a penny stock, but in the case of Citi, I'll make an exception. I think there is a real lemming mentality when it comes to Citi.

On Motley Fool, the CAPS members think the stock will outperform the market, by a vote of 8868 to 1696, with the All Stars in step with a vote of 1583 to 345. There are 11 Wall Street brokerages that have Citi on their published buy list even though they predict that revenue will continue to shrink by an additional 1.70% this year.
 

After abandoning successive media businesses, the CEO has embraced magazines with the hiring of Fareed Zakaria

By TheWrap Aug 23, 2010 1:15PM
The coup that brought Newsweek star Fareed Zakaria to arch-rival Time Magazine this month signals a shift at the top of Time Warner: Could CEO Jeff Bewkes, media’s most un-mogul-like mogul, have finally discovered his mojo?

With the wooing of his close buddy and fellow Yale trustee Zakaria, Bewkes is firmly embracing a media business — magazines — after years of jettisoning one media segment after another.


That comes on the heels of other Bewkes initiatives, from installing former NBC star Conan O’Brien in late night at TNT to a new “Marketing Initiative,” a cross-company task force charged with maximizing content, products and talent across Time Warner’s vast breadth.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 remains near its flat line with one hour left in the trading day. This morning was relatively quiet with respect to quarterly earnings, but participants will have to deal with another heavy dose of reports as the week progresses.

Following today's closing bell, industrial names Jacobs (JEC 53.70, -0.29), Owens & Minor (OMI 34.94, +0.50), and Masco (MAS 20.27, -0.63) will headline the list of reporting companies, while tomorrow ... More


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