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.

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Sales are down for 3 years in a row, while alcoholic spirits are seeing renewed interest.

By Kim Peterson Oct 19, 2011 2:41PM
The beer industry is in a slump. Sales will likely drop this year for third year in a row.

And now the industry is in a bit of a panic. One reason? The old ways of doing business just don't cut it anymore. Jokey Super Bowl commercials don't resonate like they used to. Weak, watery beer is falling out of favor.

Consumer attention has especially turned to alcoholic spirits lately. Spirit volume sales rose 3.2% for the year ended in mid-September, Ad Age reports. Beer sales fell 1.5%. How can beer compete when Captain Morgan, Johnnie Walker and Skinnygirl cocktails have all the momentum? 

Launching the iPhone 4S in October cut into quarterly sales but also allowed the company to raise guidance for the current quarter.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 19, 2011 1:31PM
Serves Apple (AAPL) right for selling 4 million iPhone 4S handsets last weekend.

After the market closed Tuesday, Apple announced that anticipation for the new phone cut into sales for the fiscal quarter ended in September and held the company to a 54% gain in earnings.

That kept earnings per share to just $7.05, well below the $7.38 Wall Street had expected (but up from the $4.64 a share reported in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2010). Revenue climbed 39% to $28.3 billion. Wall Street projections had called for revenue of $29.7 billion.
 
Tags: AAPL

Management reportedly cancels a meeting wtih an activist investor in a stunning move that smacks of arrogance.

By Benzinga Oct 19, 2011 1:12PM

By Jonathan Chen, Benzinga


Research In Motion (RIMM) has been called the headless horseman before.


Now it appears that management has gone to a new level of cluelessness, reportedly canceling a meeting between an activist investor and two board members.


Company lawyers nixed the meeting that Jaguar Financial had scheduled with two of RIM's independent directors, according to reports. Jaguar was supposedly going to talk about corporate governance. It appears to be a safe bet that RIM's co-chief executives, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, had something to do with the cancellation.

 

The coffee chain is introducing its lightest and mildest roast yet in an effort to reach more customers.

By Kim Peterson Oct 19, 2011 12:45PM
Many people have complained that Starbucks (SBUX) coffee tastes bitter or burned.

The coffee chain is trying to change that perception with Blonde, its lightest roast ever, and one it says is milder and less acidic. It's an attempt to reach that 40% of the U.S. coffee-drinking crowd that prefers a lighter roast, Reuters reports.

The move amounts to a land grab in the coffee market. Starbucks wants new customers and is breaking its Italian-inspired tradition of darker, heartier roasts to get them. "This is a significant opportunity for Starbucks to gain a greater share of the brewed-coffe market," the company said. 
Tags: SBUX

The channel will push local news in California as a test for a nationwide rollout.

By InvestorPlace Oct 19, 2011 11:35AM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


investorplaceWant some Little League scores with your Big Mac?


McDonald's (MCD) is adding TV to its menu with a new in-store channel that will feature original content including local news, youth sports and entertainment stories.


McTV will be introduced at select restaurants in California during the next few months, eventually reaching 800 locations. If successful, it could roll out nationwide soon after.

 

Be prepared to buy strong stocks on corrections.

By MoneyShow.com Oct 19, 2011 11:28AM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


Monday’s sharp decline took many stocks in the strong sectors back to first good support, while the market averages held well above their first retracement levels. With Monday’s drop, many called an end to the rally from the October lows and expected stocks to go much lower.


This view was supported by the weaker-than-expected earnings from Goldman Sachs (GS), but instead of dropping, the stock moved higher. Tuesday’s sharp gains are characteristic of a stock market that is internally strong and can go much higher.

 

Shares sink after a rare earnings miss, but the dip will be a mere bump in the road.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 19, 2011 11:20AM

By James Rogers, TheStreetTheStreet


Apple (AAPL) sent shock waves through Silicon Valley when the company reported a rare miss after markets closed on Tuesday, falling short of the consensus profit view for just the third time since 2002.

 

Investors were shaken by the fourth-quarter numbers, particularly the gadget maker's weaker-than-anticipated iPhone sales, pushing Apple's stock down by as much as 5% in early trading Wednesday.

 

The fourth-quarter results, however, should be little more than a bump in the road for Apple and its new CEO, Tim Cook, who stepped up to replace his iconic predecessor, Steve Jobs, in August.

 

Here are 4 ways to profit and how to protect your finances.

By InvestorPlace Oct 19, 2011 10:33AM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


In early October, the Census Bureau released 2010 figures revealing American homeownership is at its lowest level since the Great Depression, with the homeownership rate falling to 65.1%. That's compared with a nearly 70% peak in 2005 and 2006 that might never again be achieved now that funny-money mortgages have evaporated.


You might think it’s an overreaction to call homeownership dead when more than half of Americans are still living in a property they own or are carrying a mortgage on. But a closer look at the numbers reveals the trend is serious indeed, pushing more Americans into rentals.

 

This market is driven by momentum, something Apple just lost and Intel just gained.

By Jim Cramer Oct 19, 2011 8:59AM

the streetBetween Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL) right now, with Intel up big and Apple down, I would rather take Intel.

 

I think people are going to be very worried about how there's nothing out there looming that could be positive in the out years for Apple.

 

But Intel? It's so cheap, who cares?

 

Which one, however, is really cheap? In reality, after you back out Apple's cash, it trades at pretty much the same price-to-earnings multiple, even though Apple's growth rate is much, much higher than Intel's.

 

These dividend-paying stocks appear undervalued relative to their long-term appreciation potential.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 19, 2011 8:43AM

By John Buckingham, The Prudent Speculator

It is nice to see the renewed interest in income, as we can’t forget that dividends and their reinvestment have long been substantial contributors to the total return on equities.

Here we highlight four dividend-paying stocks that we believe are undervalued relative to their long-term appreciation potential: Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK), Merck & Co. (MRK), Ship Finance International (SFL) and Whirlpool (WHR).

 

Noted value investor Leon Cooperman shares his thoughts at this year's Value Investing Congress.

By Benzinga Oct 18, 2011 7:19PM
By Jonathan Chen, Benzinga Staff Writer

Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors spoke today at the Value Investing Congress. Here are some of his thoughts from today's speech, including some of the stocks he believes have the greatest upside potential.
 

The country's economic growth rate slid to 9.1% last quarter, but that's not necessarily bad.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 18, 2011 6:33PM
Asian stock markets weren’t amused, but if you’re waiting for evidence that the People’s Bank of China is about to stop raising interest rates -- and maybe even start cutting them -- then the third-quarter drop in China’s economic growth rate to 9.1% is good news.

A slower growth rate brings the central bank closer to saying it's done with increasing interest rates to slow the economy and lower inflation. That announcement, in my opinion, would set off big rallies in Hong Kong and Shanghai. (The People's Bank has raised its benchmark interest rate five times in the last 12 months.)

That's the future. For today, investors are worried about slower growth becoming too-slow growth. Economists had projected a drop to 9.3% for the quarter, from 9.5% in the second quarter and 9.7% in the first quarter.
 

A surge of buying interest has formed a rare phenomenon.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 18, 2011 4:50PM

Volatility has returned to Wall Street this week as traders react to every murmuring, rumor and media report coming out of the eurozone. On Monday and in early Tuesday, investors were in a sour mood after German finance minister and frequent party pooper Schaeuble tried to dampen expectations by saying the upcoming Oct. 23 eurozone summit would not reveal a "definitive solution" to the crisis. This was a case of being overly honest and precise at a time when nerves are raw and markets jumpy.

 

That is, until late in Tuesday's trading session when the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper reported that French and German officials are close to expanding Europe's bailout fund from €440 billion to €2 trillion by turning it into an insurance vehicle for private investors.  Shares surged in response.

 

The United Automobile Workers union is voting on whether to approve new contracts that focus on bonuses instead of raises.

By Kim Peterson Oct 18, 2011 3:59PM
Wages for an auto worker in Mexico? About $10 an hour.

Full wages for a member of the United Automobile Workers? About $28 an hour. Is it any wonder, then, that automakers are increasingly looking to shift work to Mexico and China?

Wages are the central issue of new agreements the union is trying to forge with Detroit's automakers. About 62% of Ford (F) workers voted this week to support a new four-year contract, and balloting is expected to end Tuesday. 
Tags: gm

CEO Dick Costolo says the site's recent $800 million round of funding values the company at $8 billion.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 18, 2011 3:33PM

TheStreetBy Olivia Oran, TheStreet

 

Micro-blogging site Twitter is now valued at $8 billion, CEO Dick Costolo said Monday night at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

 

That valuation is based on the company recently raising $800 million in a two-stage funding round, Costolo said, adding that Twitter is not looking towards a near-term IPO.

 

"We don't want to be beholden to an IPO window," he said. "I want the company to go public when the company is ready and prepared to be a public company, and not at the whim of some window."

 

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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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