Friday, November 29, 2013

Is Boeing Ready to Continue It’s Bull Run?

With shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) trading around $132, is BA an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let's analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Boeing is an aerospace company. It focuses primarily on engineering, information technology, research and development, test and evaluation, technology strategy development, environmental remediation management, and intellectual property management. The company operates in five segments: Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Military Aircraft, Network & Space Systems, Global Services & Support, and Boeing Capital Corp.

Boeing is working with the Washington government and labor unions to decide whether the production of its 777 jet will take place in the state or not. The state has offered Boeing a $8.7 billion package of incentives, including tax breaks and workforce support, according to the Wall Street Journal, in an attempt to convince Boeing to keep production of the jets local. Boeing's labor unions, however, are reportedly unhappy about the contract offered to them. Boeing said that if the unions don't approve the contract by Wednesday, the company will start considering other venues for the 777′s production.

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart Are Strong

Boeing stock has been surging higher in recent quarters. The stock is currently trading near all time high prices and looks like it may need time to consolidate before heading higher. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages. What are the key moving averages? The 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, Boeing is trading above its rising key averages, which signal neutral to bullish price action in the near-term.


(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of Boeing options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

Boeing Options




What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a small amount of call and put options contracts as compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

December Options



January Options



As of today, there is an average demand from call buyers or sellers and low demand by put buyers or high demand by put sellers, all neutral to bullish over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a smallt amount of call and put option contracts and are leaning neutral to bullish over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates and the conclusion.

E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. Also, the last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions help gauge investor sentiment on Boeing’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for Boeing look like and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2013 Q3

2013 Q2

2013 Q1

2012 Q4

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)





Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)





Earnings Reaction





Boeing has seen increasing earnings and revenue figures over the last four quarters. From these numbers, the markets have been pleased with Boeing’s recent earnings announcements.

P = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has Boeing stock done relative to its peers, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Spirit Aerosystems (NYSE:SPR), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), and sector?


Lockheed Martin

Sprint Aerosystems

Northrop Grumman


Year-to-Date Return






Boeing has been a relative performance leader, year-to-date.


Boeing is an aerospace company and provider of aircrafts and related products and services to corporations and governments worldwide. The company is working with the Washington government and labor unions to decide whether the production of its 777 jet will take place in the state or not. The stock has been surging higher and is now trading near all time high prices. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenue figures have increased, leaving investors happy. Relative to its peers and sector, Boeing has been a year-to-date performance leader. Look for Boeing to OUTPERFORM.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How entrepreneurs can balance work, life demands

Urgent client requests that arrive at 6 a.m. — as well as 10 p.m.

Employees calling and texting with business questions on a Saturday afternoon.

Customers commenting 24/7 on sites such as Yelp and Facebook.

There is little time for a business owner to turn off, and turn away, from work duties.

Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding, fulfilling — and all-encompassing — career path. If not kept in check, working too hard for too long can take a toll on a business owner's health, as well as affect his or her relationships with others.

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It's tough to find balance, says Katie Hellmuth Martin, co-founder of Tin Shingle, an online community and resource provider for small-business owners.

Entrepreneurs who put an excessive focus on business can inadvertently damage relationships with friends and family, as well as burn themselves out. In addition, those who answer e-mails and take calls during non-traditional business hours may broadcast the message that they are available to work day and night.

"If you're doing too much work, you might be creating false expectations about what you can do," she says.

Recent surveys show that small-business owners are toiling hard.

Nearly 4 in 10 are working more hours per week than they were five years ago, according to a survey from business management software provider Sage. Four in 10 are taking significantly or somewhat less vacation time compared with five years ago.

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Slightly fewer than half of small-business owners planned to take a vacation of at least one week this summer, down from 54% in 2012, according to the American Express OPEN Small Business Vacation Monitor survey from earlier this ye! ar.

This summer, business owner Ami Kassar felt the physical ramifications that can arise if an entrepreneur takes on too much. He felt dizzy and lightheaded, and headed to the emergency room. There was no definite diagnosis of what caused his symptoms, but he thinks stress was the culprit.

"Growth brings stress," says Kassar, CEO of MultiFunding, a firm that helps small-business owners figure out the best loan and working capital options.

As for his ailments, "I think I just fried my motherboard," he says. With too much work and not enough maintenance, devices such as laptops "can eventually fry out," he says, "and if we're not careful, we can do that, too."

He made some adjustments to get on a better track, such as delegating more work and unsubscribing from unnecessary e-mails that cluttered up his inbox.

He also "listens to his body" a bit more and knows when he should take some downtime or to go to bed.

"You've got to pick your priorities," he says — and sometimes sleep wins out.


Just like Kassar and other entrepreneurs, the participants in USA TODAY's Smart Small Business series have jam-packed personal and professional schedules. For instance:

•Ann Chung Mellman, co-founder of the We Rub You brand of Korean barbecue sauces, is nurturing a fledgling business as well as caring for a baby daughter.

•The Giacomini family, who run Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, sometimes have to focus on not talking about business when they get together for family time.

•Reuben Canada, founder of Canada Enterprises, is planning his upcoming wedding while also working on expansion plans for his beverage business.

•Brook Eddy is raising her 9-year-old twins — which means carpooling, laundry and making lunches, among other tasks — while also managing her Bhakti Chai tea company.

"As a single mother running a burgeoning company, there's no way around working at night, on the weekends and every possible mo! ment," sa! ys Eddy.

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She often tries to multitask, but that can mean delays when she takes on too much. Sometimes her kids say things such as, "Why are you always late? Why are you always rushed?" she says.

She is working on solutions, such as a two-hour "no phone sabbatical" while she's making dinner and doing homework with the kids.

"We need a few hours for decompressing," she says. "But as soon as they are tucked into bed and asleep, both my phone and laptop are back into action."

Canada, creator of a Jin+Ja-branded drink line, says that using his digital devices has actually helped him to achieve a better system for work/life balance.

"Technology has made it so much easier to stay connected," he says. "Instead of looking at it as a distraction from personal relationships, it can be a tool to stay more connected."

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Canada also offers this overall advice to overtaxed entrepreneurs who have limited resources: "Figure out what is important, and say no to everything else," he says. Focus on areas "that are going to have the most impact."

He has the same philosophy for the personal life side of things. "The relationships that matter should be attended to first and foremost," he says.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nissan recalling 150k SUVs for brake problem

2013 infiniti jx 35

The 2013 Infiniti JX35 and 2014 QX60 are among the crossover SUVs Nissan is recalling. The closely related Nissan JX35 is also being recalled.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Nissan is recalling approximately almost 152,000 Nissan and Infiniti SUVs due to a computer problem that could weaken brake performance.

In-car computers that control the anti-lock braking system may not respond correctly during light braking on rough surfaces. The result is that the vehicles can take slightly longer than expected to come to a full stop.

Anti-lock braking systems pump the brakes rapidly during hard braking to prevent the wheels from locking up, or skidding. When tires begin skidding across the pavement it becomes impossible to control a car so anti-lock braking systems are supposed to provide for safer, more controlled, stops.

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Gallery - 8 collectible SUVs

The vehicles involved in the recall are some Nissan Pathfinders from the 2013 and 2014 model years as well as 2013 Infiniti JX35 and 2014 QX60 SUVs. Infiniti is Nissan's luxury division.

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Nissan (NSANF) will ask owners of effected vehicles to bring their vehicles to a Nissan or Infiniti dealer to have the ABS computer chips reprogrammed. The service will be performed at no charge. No accidents or injuries have been reported due to the problem, Nissan said. To top of page

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nuveen, Incapital team up to offer new equity unit trust

unit trust, equity, bob doll, nuveen asset management

Two Chicago investment firms are linking together in a partnership aimed at helping both expand – starting with unit investment trusts.

Fund manager Nuveen Asset Management and investment bank Incapital announced Monday a new stock-based unit investment trust developed with famous stock picker Robert C. Doll. The unit trust, which will debut in early 2014, is the first in a series of offerings to come from the partnership, Incapital's chief executive said on Monday.

Unit investment trusts are a twist on the traditional mutual fund. Shareholders own a pool of investments that the portfolio manager buys and holds until a termination date, when the trust is dissolved and the proceeds are paid out. The underlying securities are not actively traded.

Unit trusts have been regaining popularity. There was nearly $72 billion in 5,787 unit trusts in 2012, up from about $60 billion in 2011, according to the Investment Company Institute. That is the highest asset level the product has seen, in absolute terms, since 2000. Stock-based trusts draw the lion's share, or 92%, of new deposits.

In an interview, Incapital chief executive John Radtke said the unit trusts would be the first in a series of offerings by the partnership, which will take advantage of Nuveen's investment management expertise and Incapital's distribution network, as well as their trading and reporting website for issuers and broker-dealers.

“There's more opportunities to grow this pie in the future,” Mr. Radtke said. “Our customer base was looking to move away from fixed income to alternative asset classes including equities.”

Mr. Doll's career in the asset management industry has spanned more than three decades. The equity strategist retired from BlackRock Inc. last year after it was revealed that his proprietary quantitative methods actually were third-party models that he had tweaked and customized. Months later, he emerged in a new role at Nuveen.

Nuveen, which historically has focused on local government debt, has been working to develop its offerings across asset classes since some of its bond offerings became unredeemable when credit markets seized up in 2008. The firm, which merged with U.S. Bancorp's long-term asset business after a 2010 acquisition, managed $118 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.

Incapital is a boutique investment bank that specializes in bonds and complex debt products like structured notes — a hybrid derivative that might, for instance, combine the characteristics of a bond with those of an option to alter the risk-and-return profile of the investment.

The chairman of Incapital is Thomas S. Ricketts, the son of TD Ameritrade Inc. founder J. Joseph Ricketts. The family purchased the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise in! 2009. Like what you

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Does KFC’s new snack cup work in cars’ cupholders?

There are many things we're not supposed to do while driving: texting, talking on a cellphone and eating top most lists. Headsets and multimedia systems with voice recognition help alleviate the dangers of texting and cellphones, and now fast-food containers that fit in a cupholder are here to help.

KFC has a new item called the Go Cup, a container that houses chicken and fries and fits in your car's cupholder. Or at least it "will fit into 83 percent of cupholders out there," according to our story here last week. Challenge accepted. I put on my lab coatand went to work.

KFC says the Go Cup portions are snack sized, so don't expect to get a bucket of drumsticks and a vat of mashed potatoes and gravy. I ordered the Original Recipe Boneless Tenders (two large tenders) and the Chicken Little (a small sandwich with two nuggets, pickles and mayo). All chicken items come with potato wedges. These were good-sized portions — I ate one for lunch — KFC doesn't skimp on the amount of food for something labeled a snack. But what's required of the cup to accommodate all this food creates a headache.

The lower third of the Go Cup is smaller in order to fit in your car's cupholder. The cup is wider toward the top to fit the chicken strips and potato wedges, which are segregated into their own cardboard container within the Go Cup. This makes the Go Cup top-heavy and likely to spill.

I needed to find a sweet spot to keep the Go Cup from toppling over. If you have side-by-side cupholders and get a beverage with your snack, the rims rub together. It's the same problem if you get two Go Cups and your cupholders are in close proximity to each other as mine were in the 2014 Audi Q5.

A hiccup also occurs if you have two sets of drinks and Go Cups. Unless you have lots cupholders in your car, something will probably have to go in your lap to be truly hands free. This reviewer also recommends avoiding dipping sauces or ketchup. It's just too much to work with, people!

KFC is certainly pr! oud of its groundbreaking packaging. Cupholders are such wily creatures, and accommodating 83 percent of them is no small feat. However, the Go Cup feels a bit overengineered.

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Sonic also has a cupholder-sized container. It's a simple cylindrical cardboard container for its finger food. In-N-Out will put your order in a box instead of a bag if you're eating in the car, though it's best to do this when parked.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014

Green Dot Corporation (GDOT) will host a conference call to discuss third quarter 2013 financial results on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 4:30pm ET. A press release with third quarter 2013 financial results will be issued after the market closes that same day.

Wall Street anticipates that the Business Services provider will make a profit of $0.21 per share for the quarter. iStock expects GDOT to top Wall Street's consensus number. The iEstimate is $0.22, too.

Green Dot operates as a technology-centric, pro-consumer bank holding company that provides personal banking for the masses. It offers prepaid debit card products and prepaid card reloading services in the United States, as well as mobile banking services with its GoBank mobile bank account offering.

It will be fascinating to see how Green Dot fares considering dueling research opinions. On October 19th, Janney Capital downgraded Green Dot to a "Sell" from "Neutral" rating. The firm says increased competition, specifically from American Express (AXP), and new entrants will make life more difficult for the business pre-paid card company. Janney believes GDOT is a $15 stock.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: Nuveen California Select Quality Municipal Fund Inc.(NVC)

Nuveen California Select Quality Municipal Fund, Inc. is a closed-ended fixed income mutual fund launched by Nuveen Investments, Inc. The fund is managed by Nuveen Asset Management. It invests in the fixed income markets of California. The fund invests primarily in municipal securities rated Baa/BBB or better. It invests in securities that provide income exempt from federal and California income tax. The fund employs fundamental analysis with bottom-up stock picking approach to create its portfolio. It benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the S&P California Municipal Bond Index and the S&P National Municipal Bond Index. Nuveen California Select Quality Municipal Fund, Inc. was formed on April 3, 1991 and is domiciled in the United States.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: Westwood Holdings Group Inc(WHG)

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. manages investment assets and provides services for its clients. It operates through two subsidiaries, Westwood Management Corp. and Westwood Trust. The Westwood Management Corp. provides investment advisory services to corporate retirement plans, public retirement plans, endowments and foundations, mutual funds, individuals, and clients of Westwood Trust. The Westwood Trust provides trust and custodial services to institutions and high net worth individuals, and participates in common trust funds that it sponsors. The company was founded in 1983 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

Top 10 Stock Investments For 2014: ARMOUR Residential REIT Inc (ARR)

ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc.( ARMOUR), incorporated on February 5, 2008, is an externally-managed Maryland corporation managed by ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. The Company invests primarily in hybrid adjustable rate, adjustable rate and fixed rate residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS). These securities are issued or guaranteed by a United States Government-sponsored entity (GSE), such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), or are guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Administration (Ginnie Mae) collectively, Agency Securities. From time to time, a portion of its portfolio may be invested in unsecured notes and bonds issued by United States Government-chartered entities, collectively, Agency Debt. As of December 31, 2012, Agency Securities account for 100% of its portfolio.

The Company seeks long-term investment returns by investing its equity capital and borrowed funds in its targeted asset class of Agency Securities. The Company�� assets have been invested in Agency Securities or money market instruments, primarily deposits at federally chartered banks. The Company borrows against its Agency Securities using repurchase agreements. Its borrowings generally have maturities that may range from one month or less, up to one year, although occasionally it may enter into longer dated borrowing agreements to more closely match the rate adjustment period of its Agency Securities.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Thomas Bradshaw]

    Armour Residential REIT (ARR) is an interesting REIT that was set up to invest in Agency residential mortgage backed securities. It seems like quite a simple model: buy mortgages that are primarily guaranteed by Fannie Mae (even throw in some Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) and hold those to maturity, collecting coupons on the way. Since the assets would be held to maturity, no need to worry about the market value of the securities because we know what the fixed income stream will be and the face value of the securities won't change over time.

  • [By David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer]

    One of the biggest movers today is Armour Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR  ) , falling over 6% at one point. Two mREITs run by Gary Kain, American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) and American Capital Mortgage (NASDAQ: MTGE  ) , were also trading lower.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    Blood immediately began to flow in the mREIT sector, with Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY  ) dropping by 2.77%, while fellow agency player Armour Residential (NYSE: ARR  ) fell by 3.30%. Despite staying high on the day it announced a dividend cut, American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) took a plunge, too, registering a share price loss of 3.55% by the close of trading. Even hybrid Two Harbors (NYSE: TWO  ) suffered a sizable dent in its share price, experiencing a plunge of 3.23%.

  • [By Zain Zafar]

    In terms of book value loss, Hatteras' performance can be compared to that of ARMOUR Residential (NYSE: ARR  ) , whose book value per share declined by 19% from the previous quarter. However, ARMOUR Residential follows a strategy of investing primarily in long-duration fixed-rate MBSes, which can carry much larger interest rate risk.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: Cape Bancorp Inc.(CBNJ)

Cape Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for the Cape Bank that provides a line of business and personal banking products to retail customers and small and mid-sized businesses primarily in Cape May and Atlantic Counties, New Jersey. Its deposit products include non-interest-bearing demand deposits, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts, including NOW and money market accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposit. The company?s loan products portfolio comprises commercial mortgage loans, one-to-four family residential mortgage loans, commercial business loans, construction loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, and other consumer loans. It operates through its 16 full service branch offices located in Atlantic and Cape May counties in southern New Jersey; and a loan production office in Burlington County. The company was founded in 1923 and is based in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Tim Melvin]

    Right now I know that silver miners like Pan American Silver (PAAS) and Coeur Mining (CDE) are very cheap on an asset basis. I know that oil and gas producers like Swift Energy (SFY) and WPX Energy (WPX) are priced as if no one will ever use the stuff again. I know that small banks like Cape Bancorp (CBNJ) and Essa Bancorp (ESSA) are crazy-cheap — and if the world does not end, those stocks will be a lot higher in a few years.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: Mayflower Bancorp Inc.(MFLR)

Mayflower Bancorp, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Mayflower Co-operative Bank that provides various banking products in southeastern Massachusetts. Its deposit products include regular savings, NOW, and commercial checking accounts; money market and demand deposits; and term certificates of deposit. The company?s loan portfolio comprises conventional residential mortgage loans, second mortgages and equity lines of credit on residential properties, commercial real estate mortgages, and loans for the construction of residential and commercial properties, as well as commercial business loans, including demand loans, time loans, term loans, and commercial lines of credit; and consumer loans comprising secured and unsecured personal, automobile, boat, short-term, and overdraft protection loans. It also offers online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, and automatic teller machine services, as well as debit cards. Mayflower Bancorp provides its services thr ough its main office in Middleboro; and seven full-service offices in Plymouth, Wareham, Rochester, Bridgewater, and Lakeville, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1889 and is based in Middleboro, Massachusetts.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: Gulf & Pacific Equities Corp. (GUF.V)

Gulf & Pacific Equities Corp. invests in commercial real estate properties in western Canada. It primarily focuses on the acquisition, management, and development of grocery-anchored shopping centers. The company owns grocery-anchored shopping centers located in Whitecourt, Alberta, and St. Paul, Alberta. Gulf & Pacific Equities was incorporated in 1998 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: Nexgenrx Inc (NXG.V)

NexgenRx Inc. provides administration and health benefit claims adjudication services in Canada. It administers, adjudicates, and pays drug, dental, and other extended health-care claims for the beneficiaries of health benefit plans underwritten by its customers. The company�s services include prescription drug claims adjudication; dental claims adjudication; and claims adjudication for extended health benefits, including paramedical services, such as chiropractors, podiatrists, and massage therapists. It also provides retrospective and prospective claims data analysis; individual and aggregate stop loss products; emergency out of province/country travel benefits; and medical concierge services. The company offers its services to various organizations who manage health benefit plans on behalf of various plan sponsors, as well as directly to Canadian plan sponsors who wish to provide an administrative services only health benefit plan to their plan members. NexgenRx Inc. w as founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Top Financial Companies To Buy For 2014: The Blackstone Group L.P.(BX)

The Blackstone Group, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions, Credit Businesses, and Financial Advisory. The Private Equity segment involves in private equity investing through five general private equity funds and one specialized fund focusing on communications-related investments. This segment engages in various transactions comprising leveraged buyout acquisitions of seasoned companies, transactions involving growth equity or start-up businesses in established industries, minority investments, corporate partnerships, distressed debt, structured securities, and industry consolidations. The Real Estate segment manages general opportunistic real estate funds and internationally focused opportunistic real estate funds. This segment also has debt investment funds targeting non-controlling real estate debt-rel ated investment opportunities in the public and private markets, primarily in the United States and Europe. The Hedge Fund Solutions segment manages funds of hedge funds, and Indian-focused and Asian-focused closed-end mutual funds. The Credit Businesses segment manages credit-oriented funds, CLOs, credit-focused separately managed accounts, and publicly registered debt-focused investment companies. The Financial Advisory segment offers financial and strategic advisory, including corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions advice; restructuring and reorganization advisory; and fund placement services for alternative investment funds. Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. operates as the general partner of the company. The Blackstone Group, L.P. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    The Wall Street Journal calls Carlsbad, Calif.-based Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE  ) an $11 billion "company you never heard of." As the Journal reports, a buyout group including private-equity powerhouses Blackstone (NYSE: BX  ) , Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG  ) , and KKR (NYSE: KKR  ) is putting together an $11 billion bid to acquire the lab research equipment manufacturer. But as it turns out, Life is doing a bit of acquiring itself.

  • [By Morgan Housel]

    Stephen Schwarzman, CEO, Blackstone� (NYSE: BX  ) :

    So you're seeing a lot of strength in housing, and it's coming from almost every place geographically ... So that's sort of the big winner. Auto and that whole complex is a big winner. They're doing over 15 million cars this year, up from 8.5 at the bottom. And then you have the energy complex, which is really, really a revolution. This is hard to underestimate the impact of energy and all the natural gas that's being produced and all the subsidiary types of things that come from that activity. And if you add on top of that, technology which is still a very big pocket of strength and quite robust in the United States, you've got some really good stuff happening.

  • [By David Carey]

    Blackstone Group LP (BX), Centerbridge Partners LP and Paulson & Co. are poised to almost triple their investment when Extended Stay America Inc. goes public, three years after the firms bought the hotel chain out of bankruptcy.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    A distant, watery threat?
    Rising prices may not be the end of bad news for the company. Last week, the New York Public Service Commission approved a new 1,000 MW transmission line from Quebec to New York City. The 335-mile line will be built by a subsidiary of The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX  ) for $2.2 billion and carry electricity sourced from hydro plants.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stocks gain for 7th week; S&P ends above 1,800

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 index closing above 1,800 for the first time and extending gains into a seventh consecutive week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also notched a record close above 16,000.

The S&P 500 (SPX) climbed 8.91 points, or 0.5%, to close at 1,804.76, notching a gain of 0.4% for the week. Health care and industrials led gainers among the S&P's 10 major sectors.

Click to Play Pandora, Intel are stocks to watch

Barron's columnist Brendan Conway outlines key stocks to watch on Friday, including Pandora and Intel. Photo: Getty Images

The Nasdaq Composite (COMP)  rose 22.49 points, or 0.6%, to 3,991.65, posting a gain of 0.1% for the week.

The Dow (DJIA)  gained 54.78 points, or 0.3%, to end at 16,064.77, leaving it up 0.7% for the week. On Thursday, the blue-chip index closed above 16,000 for the first time.

U.S. stocks have had a record-breaking rally this year, buoyed by the improving economy, low inflation and the Federal Reserve's accommodative monetary policy. The Fed has vowed to keep interest rates low for an extended period and has also been pumping $85 billion a month into the economy via its bond-buying program.

Janet Yellen, nominated to succeed Ben Bernanke as head of the Fed early next year, is expected to continue the central bank's efforts to boost the economy and lower unemployment.

Bloomberg Enlarge Image Intel is Dow's biggest decliner after chip maker says revenue will be flat in 2014.

As a result, the S&P 500 has gained nearly 27% this year and has soared around 166% from its bear-market low of 676.53 hit in 2009. The Dow closed above 16,000 on Thursday, notching its 40th record close this year. It took the 30-stock index 139 trading days to climb 1,000 points from its first close at the 15,000 level on May 7, making it the sixth fastest 1,000-point gain for the Dow.

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"We've set a new record close on the Dow. We're doing it in a fashion that's not an explosion; it's kind of a grind," said Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets.

The market's gains have been underpinned by the belief that third-quarter earnings were better than expected, the global economy is getting better and the Federal Reserve will keep its accommodative monetary policy, according to Hogan. "That doesn't mean they won't taper [bond buying], but they won't raise interest rates any time soon," he said, referring to the Fed.

Investors got several encouraging economic reports this week, including a sharp drop in weekly jobless claims, a 0.4% rise in October retail sales and a 0.1% decline in October consumer prices.

Wall Street's strong run has spurred discussion of whether a bubble is forming in the market. Hogan said the S&P 500 is not in bubble territory based on stock valuations.

"I don't think we are overvalued [overall], but you can find pockets of a bubble" in equity sectors such as social media, cloud computing and biotechnology, he said.

Billionaire David Tepper, who runs hedge fund Appaloosa Management LP, also believes there is no bubble in the stock market, telling Bloomberg TV that major economies such as China and the U.S. are on "firm ground." Read: 10 views on asset bubbles.

"Our big play versus the market is airlines. We're the biggest holder of all these different airlines," Tepper also said. Shares of United Continental Holdings (UAL)  rose nearly 4% and the NYSE Arca Airline index (XX:XAL)  gained nearly 2%.

Boeing Co. (BA)  was the top gainer in the Dow, with its shares up 2.3%. Nike Inc. (NKE)  shares gained 1% after the company raised its quarterly dividend by 14%.

Intel Corp. was the Dow's biggest decliner. Shares of Intel (INTC)  fell 5.4% after the chip maker said its revenue and operating profit will be flat in 2014 due to the slump in its PC business.

Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB)  was the top gainer in the S&P 500. Its shares rallied 13% after the biotech company said Friday that the European Medicines Agency has determined that dimethyl fumarate in its multiple-sclerosis treatment Tecfidera qualifies as a new active substance. This designation will provide 10 years of regulatory exclusivity for the treatment in the European Union.

Ross Stores Inc. (ROST)  was the top decliner in the S&P 500, with its shares down 5.7%. The discount retailer said late Thursday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 7.6%, but its forecast for the current quarter was below market expectations.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mini not quite as mini for 2014

LOS ANGELES -- A bigger body and frame, more power and more-or-less the same price. That's the 2014 Mini Cooper two-door hardtop, on sale first quarter next year.

It's the first model to use a newly developed, front-wheel-drive chassis that will flow into other Mini models, such as the convertible and the Countryman SUV, as those current generation models are due for replacement. The chassis also will be used by BMW, which owns Mini.

"We hope to hold close to the current pricing," Patrick McKenna, manager of product planning, says.

The current Mini Cooper hardtops start at about $20,000 to $25,000, depending on engine, transmission.

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The car's still small, but the 2014 is 4 inches longer than the current model, rides on a wheelbase about 1 in. longer and is about 1 in. wider. Rear legroom -- always in short supply in the base Mini Cooper two-door -- grows about 2 in.

Part of the size difference is because Mini pulled the front bodywork ahead 2.4 inches for a bigger crush zone that softens the impact if a pedestrian is hit. Regulations in some markets require that.


•Mini Cooper hardtop, the base model, has a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder, turbocharged gasoline engine rated 134 horsepower and 162 pounds-feet of torque. It replaces a 1.5-liter, 121-hp 4-cyl. in the current model.expects a federal highway mileage rating of more than 40 mpg.

•Mini Cooper S, the higher-performance model, has a 2-liter 4-cyl., rated 189 hp, 207 lbs.-ft. It replaces a 181-hp 4-cyl.

A 3-cyl. engine, intended to save fuel and still uncommon in the U.S., shouldn't be a hard sell, says McKenna.

"What doesn't come across on paper is that the 3-cyl. sounds great. It has a real grunt," he says.

Both engines are available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

New features include:

•Standard backup camera.

•Optional automatic parking, to do most of the work in parallel parking. McKenna: "it constantly searches for any spot about 3 ft. bigger than the car." The system will back the car into the spot with little help from the driver.

•Selectable driving mode. It's standard and, besides the normal setting, provides a sport" setting that firms the suspension and steering and improves throttle response, as well as a "comfort" setting that provides softer ride, easier steering and slower-to-respond throttle that can improve driving smoothness.

•Big center panel in the dashboard, a signature feature, becomes an information screen that can show navigation, fuel-economy driving coaching, and other data related to the card.

•Power-window switches moving to logical site on the door panels, instead of being operated by toggle switches below the center of the dashboard. The row of toggles beloved by Mini fans remains, but the switches control other functions, including starting the car.

•Optional LED headlights.

•Updated telecommunications connectivity.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Seaspan, voxeljet, and Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3x Plunged Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The stock market suffered another up-and-down day, again finishing on the losing end as investors saw their fear levels rise dramatically after the Fed's latest minutes were released. With less clarity than ever about the Fed's eventual plans to end its quantitative easing program, investors are justifiably concerned. But big losses for Seaspan (NYSE: SSW  ) , voxeljet (NYSE: VJET  ) , and Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3x (NYSEMKT: NUGT  ) showed how vulnerable some investments are to the uncertainty. Let's look more closely at what happened to push these share prices down.

Seaspan fell 10% as the shipping company announced a secondary offering of 3.5 million shares, raising $77 million. The company said it would use the proceeds for purposes that could include acquiring vessels. After a long period of terrible conditions in the shipping industry, Seaspan has started to rebound recently as investors get more optimistic, but it's still too early to tell whether better conditions will last.

For voxeljet, a 32% plunge was the latest in a long series of big moves in both directions since the 3-D printing company came public just last month. Some traders attributed the big move to a report from Citron Research, which included its "realistic price target" for voxeljet of just above $12 per share. With Citron having been involved in several other high-profile short-selling campaigns, momentum investors apparently took the report seriously, although the stock remains above its first-day closing price even after losing more than 40% from its peak levels just two days ago.

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3x fell 10%, as the Fed minutes prompted a $30-per-ounce drop in the price of gold. For mining stocks, gold's poor performance earlier this year was already enough to create problems, with even major producers Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX  ) and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG  ) suspending operations or exploration efforts at key properties due to poor market conditions. Precious-metals investors have worried that higher interest rates resulting from the Fed's easing back from its bond purchases could draw investors away from gold, and the leveraged Direxion ETF's performance only magnifies the impact of gold's drop had today.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Will Obamacare increase my insurance tab?

Obamacare out-of-pocket cost confusion   Obamacare out-of-pocket cost confusion NEW YORK (CNNMoney) There are many assumptions about what the effects of Obamacare will be. This series aims to separate myths from realities and answer questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

Myth: My health insurance premiums will increase under Obamacare.

Reality: Some people may pay more, and some people may pay less. It really depends on who you are and where you live.

For those buying their own insurance, we won't know the full array of premium prices until the state-based insurance exchanges open for enrollment on Oct. 1.

But here's what's clear:

People who currently pay little for a bare bones policy with a very high deductible will likely see their monthly insurance tab rise. Young men, who often pay little for insurance since they rarely go to the doctor, will also likely see a bump in their premiums.

But many older Americans will probably end up paying less. That's because Obamacare mandates that older enrollees can't pay more than three times the amount of younger participants. Nowadays, it's typical for them to pay five times more than younger members.

People with chronic conditions are also paying through the roof today, if they can even get coverage at all. Their rates will go down because younger, healthier residents will enter the risk pool. And lower-income Americans will be entitled to federal subsidies that could greatly lower their monthly burden.

Where you live will also have an impact on rates. In New York, for instance, average premiums for 2014 will fall by half since the state already requires many of the Obamacare provisions, which keeps insurance pricey in the Empire State today.

But in lightly-regulated states, such as Ohio ! and Florida, premiums will likely soar since insurers there will no longer be able to exclude the sick and will have to offer more comprehensive policies.

While few insurers have revealed their full selection of plans and prices, CNNMoney took a look at the plans provided by one insurer, Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana, to give consumers a better idea of how things will change.

Our analysis found that 21-year-old men will pay a lot more for an exchange plan, but 42-year-old women and 62-year-old men will shell out less for a silver-level plan that comes with a $2,500 deductible and a roughly $25 co-pay for office visits.

Under this scenario, a young man's monthly rate will rise to $214 on the exchange next year, up 63% from today. The woman, however, will pay $284, a drop of more than 7%, while the older man will be charged $615, a nearly 6% decrease. This is because Obamacare requires that women pay the same amount as men and limits rate hikes on older participants.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report of 18 state exchanges found that premiums were running lower than the Congressional Budget Office had predicted. But since there's a wide variation of what people pay for individual insurance today, it's hard to know how Obamacare will affect you until you sign up.

It's a little more complicated if you get your insurance through your job. The law doesn't actually call for any changes to existing employer-based plans for 2014. But some big companies are choosing to make changes to their plans as a result of increasing costs under Obamacare, such as extra taxes and fees. Some are dropping coverage for spouses who can get insurance elsewhere. Others are funneling part-timers to the exchanges.

As for employee premiums, Obamacare is not having a direct effect right now. Employees are contributing nearly 6% more for health insurance for their families in 2013, according to the annual survey conducted by the Kaiser Family F! oundation! and the Health Research & Educational Trust. But the rate of growth has actually been slowing in recent years. To top of page

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ace Hotel chain co-founder dies in London at 47

SEATTLE (AP) — Alex Calderwood, the Seattle co-founder of the hip Ace Hotel chain, has died in London at age 47.

His company, Atelier Ace, said on its website that he passed away Thursday but released no information about the cause. The statement calls Calderwood "our teacher, mentor, guru and most importantly our dear friend."

In 1999, he and two friends launched Seattle's Ace Hotel in a flophouse that formerly served maritime workers. It's renowned for its much-imitated style, with vintage and repurposed furniture, record players and guestroom art by Shepard Fairey — who later became famous for creating the "HOPE" poster that came to symbolize Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

Ace Hotels later opened in Portland, Ore.; New York; Palm Springs, Calif.; and London, with others scheduled to open late this year or early next year in Panama City, Panama, and Los Angeles. Ace describes itself on its website as "a collection of individuals — multiple and inclusive, held together by an affinity for the soulful."

"We try to do unexpected things from a design standpoint," Calderwood told The New York Times in 2008. "We want to celebrate the everyday with utilitarian objects."

Calderwood grew up in Seattle's eastside suburbs. Just out of high school, he began managing a Seattle clothing store called International News. He used material from a Boeing Co. surplus store to create fixtures, desks and other parts of a showroom, Amit Shah, who hired him, told The Seattle Times.

"He saw what you could do with material that nobody else wanted," Shah said. "He always had a desire to come up with something new that gave consumers value for their money. He was an entrepreneur and knew how to entertain, but more than that, he was always willing to talk about what the new thing was."

In 1993, Calderwood and two partners started a Seattle chain of rock-themed barbershops called Rudy's. The stores were a hit, and there are now eight of them in Seattle and nine others sprea! d through in Portland, New York and Los Angeles.

He went on to open a popular Seattle nightclub before becoming a hotelier.

Ryan Bukstein, Ace's director of public relations and marketing, said he had been working for the company for 14 years, since starting as an intern while in college. Calderwood was his friend and mentor, he said.

"His humility, spirit of collaboration and tireless work ethic has influenced our family at Atelier Ace and creatives across the globe," Bukstein wrote in an email Sunday. "We all plan to continue moving forward with the ideals Alex championed so naturally."

Calderwood is survived by his parents, Thomas and Kathleen Calderwood of Seattle; two sisters, Donna Roberts and Tahnee Ferry; and a brother, Tim Calderwood.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jim Cramer's Top Stock Picks: PIR DAL BA NOC LMT IGT UTX

Best High Tech Companies To Own For 2014

Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are some of the hot stocks Jim Cramer talked about on Thursday's "Mad Money" on CNBC:

PIR ChartPIR data by YCharts

Pier 1 Imports (PIR): Cramer said if anyone can buck the slowing retail trend, it'll be Pier 1.

DAL ChartDAL data by YCharts

Delta Airlines (DAL), Boeing (BA), Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Lockheed Martin (LMT): Cramer said these industrial plays should be strong performers going into the end of 2013.

IGT ChartIGT data by YCharts

International Game Technology (IGT): While the analysts view IGT as only a casino game maker, Cramer said this company's social and online gambling prospects make it a very intriguing story.

UTX ChartUTX data by YCharts

United Technologies (UTX): Looking for a stock that can win no matter what the Federal Reserve does next? Cramer said to consider this one, which is levered to China and not the ailing U.S. economy.

To read a full recap of "Mad Money" on CNBC, click here.

To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here. To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC. -- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C. To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in stocks mentioned. Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money." None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser. Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Outerwall's Stock Tanks: Time To Buy?

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Outerwall (Nasdaq:OUTR), the maker of Redbox and Coinstar automated kiosks, seriously reduced its third quarter and full-year revenue and earnings outlook September 16. Its stock tanked the next day on the news. Although it gained back some of its early losses, it still finished September 17 down 11.6%, very close to its 52-week low.

Is this a falling knife or a time to buy? I'll have a look.

The Bad News

On July 25 as part of its Q2 earnings release it projected 2013 full-year core diluted earnings of at least $5.76 per share. Less than two months later it reduced its 2013 outlook; it now expects full-year core earnings of $4.72 per share, an 18% cut to its number. Never a good thing, CEO J. Scott Di Valerio said the following: "Although both rentals and revenue for Redbox increased significantly in July and August over 2012 levels, they were not to expectations. In addition, heightened promotional discount activity, which added new customers during the quarter, had an adverse impact on the expected average transaction size and we believe drove consumers toward more single night rentals."

Translation—they gave away the store in order to gain market share. It's no different then a clothing store ramping up discounts to boost sales; something has to give and it's usually gross margins.

Normally, if you discount heavily, revenues should increase. That's not happening here. Outerwall expects revenues at the low-end to be $2.27 billion, down $100 million from its July outlook. How could this happen? Well, as the CEO mentioned, its discounting brought in lots of single-night rentals but not nearly enough multi-night customers reducing the size of the average transaction. It's simple mathematics.

Outerwall's definitely got some side bets going on: Rubi, its automated coffee machine serving Seattle's Best Coffee, Starbucks' (Nasdaq:SBUX) other coffee brand; Crisp Market, its self-serve food kiosk; Redbox Instant by Verizon (NYSE:VZ), its own version of Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX) or Amazon's (Nasdaq:AMZN) Prime; and ecoATM, the automated kiosk that trades used cell phones for cash. That last one it paid $263 million for the remaining 67% it didn't already own. The potential for one of these to be bigger than Coinstar is certainly possible.

However, its Redbox kiosks still represent 86% of its overall revenue. If that doesn't go right—the entire company's on faulty ground.

The Good News

It's not very fun when you have to admit to investors that your business model just went cockeyed. How else do you explain an 18% reduction in annual earnings? It's inexplicable, really. But it happens. It's better to know what's happening ahead of time than to find out when it normally releases its Q3 results—utilizing the "rip the band-aid off" solution. Take your lumps and move on.

There's a lot to like about the company despite the near-term problems. For instance, it still expects free cash flow in 2013 to be between $211 million and $227 million. At its September 17 closing price of $49.49, you're looking at a price-to-free-cash flow multiple of 6.4, which is lower than most, if not all, of its peer group. In addition, its net debt is just $471 million or less than one times' EBITDA and that's after accounting for the $100 million borrowed on its revolving line of credit as well as the use of $162 million in cash in order to pay for its acquisition of ecoATM. It's in a pretty enviable cash position. Not to mention it's seriously undervalued.

I've already mentioned that it trades at an extremely low multiple to free cash flow. Its enterprise value is currently $1.77 billion or 4 times EBITDA, which is also low. But take into account the ecoATM deal and its adjusted EBITDA guidance for 2013 and the multiple drops to 3.6. In addition, while its Coinstar business only generates about 13% of Outerwall's overall revenue, its operating margins are rock solid at 34% in Q2, 12 percentage points higher than Redbox. As a result of Coinstar's consistent profitability, it's virtually impossible for Outerwall to lose money, which provides some downside assurance for investors when Redbox isn't quite firing on all cylinders. It also allows the company to take some chances on its New Ventures division as it can afford to absorb a reasonable amount of losses. It's critical to its future success.

On only one occasion in the past decade has Outerwall suffered an operating loss; $13 million in 2007. During that year the mid-point between its high and low was $29.83. Today it trades just $20 higher yet its operating income is higher than its ever been and its revenues are four times greater. The last time it traded below $50 was December 2012 and January 2012 before that. It hasn't traded below $40 since April 2010; you'd have to go all the way back to December 2008 for a trade below $20.

Bottom Line

There are some definite red flags with its recent Q3 and full-year guidance. Fortunately for existing shareholders the damage September 17 was limited to an 11% haircut. It's possible that Outerwall continues its retreat in the days and weeks ahead. For deep value investors that's a very good thing. Personally, I've always liked its business—I just wish it had a normal name.

I'd buy some now and wait to see if you can get more below $40. I wouldn't characterize Outerwall's stock as a falling knife. Rather, I view it as a reasonably stable business that slipped up. All good companies get their comeuppance. Outerwall's turn just happens to be now.

Disclosure - At the time of writing, the author did not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Still A Good Buy?

Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) has been on a roll as 2013 has been a lucky year for shareholders. The electronics stores operator is up more than 250% on the year, making BBY one of the S&P 500's best buys of the year, so far.

Like one of those infomercials, but wait, there is more to come according to UBS. Analyst Michael Lasser upped his outlook on the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral." Which cliché do you prefer – better late than never or a little late to the party?

Anyway, Lasser says the stock is going to $49.  The analyst makes his case: "The move in BBY's share price this year has been all about multiple re-rating with the forward PE moving from 5x to 16x in 12 months. The next phase of appreciation for the stock will be driven by estimates marching higher with the current C'14 consensus likely to move from its current level of ~$2.75 to north of $3+ and the C'15 will probably go from $3.09 to $3.50+. Thus, the multiple can contract 10% over the next 12 months and BBY's shares can still return 20%. We think this skews the risk / reward to the upside and recommend buying."

[Related -Best Buy (BBY) Is Fighting Back -- But Is It A Buy?]

UBS now sees fiscal-year (FY) 2014 EPS estimates of $2.45 and FY 2015 EPS of $3.10 versus previous estimates of $2.30 and $2.60, respectively.

We'll find out soon enough if Lasser's hypothesis proves correct as earnings are due next Tuesday, November 19, 2013 (We'll have an EPS preview later – stay tuned.)

Since Lasser focuses on price-to-earnings (P/E) to justify his $49 price target, let's take a look at BBY's recent P/E history and UBS's new EPS estimates to see if we can make the case.

[Related -Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): CEO Dumping Shares After 224% Gain In 2013]

Best Buy's P/E topped out at 19.78, bottomed out at 5.64, and averaged 12.10 during the last half-decade. With FY 2015 earnings of $3.10, BBY has a potential price range of $17.48 to $61.32 with the five-year low and high P/Es. The electronics sel! ler's shares would trade at $37.51 using the average multiple. In order to hit UBS' $49, BBY needs to trade at 15.08 times Lasser's FY 2015 $3.10 estimate.

Overall: Considering 2015 EPS are expected to increase by 26.53% compared to 2014, according to Lasser, a P/E of 15.08 is more than reasonable, in our view. Keep in mind, however, that UBS' outlook is more aggressive than the current consensus 2014-2015 earnings growth of 14.17%. A 15.08 P/E is still in line with the more conservative view, which means $49 could prove to be conservative, too.

iStock does have one concern, though. Sales are expected to be stagnate year-over-year, which means BBY's earnings growth will have to come via expanding margins. We wonder if management's new policy of matching internet pricing will make it more likely that margins shrink. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

BlackBerry, CME, Kellogg: Stocks to watch Monday

Reuters/file 2013 Enlarge Image BlackBerry shares are expected to get a strong boost if a serious suitor emerges to buy the ailing company by the Monday deadline set by BlackBerry.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Among the companies whose shares are likely to see active trade in Monday's session are BlackBerry Ltd., CME Group Inc., and Kellogg Co.

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/quotes/zigman/19622165/delayed/quotes/nls/bbry BBRY 7.77, -0.16, -1.96% BlackBerry Ltd.,

BlackBerry (BBRY)  shares are expected to get a strong boost if a serious suitor emerges to buy the ailing company by the Monday deadline set by BlackBerry. Cerberus Capital Management LP is looking into a possible joint bid for BlackBerry with the smartphone maker's co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Shares of BlackBerry were up 1.4% in after-hours trading.

CME (CME)  is projected to report third-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share, according to a consensus survey by FactSet.

Kellogg (K)  is forecast to post earnings of 89 cents a share in the third quarter. Analysts at Deutsche Bank on Tuesday reiterated the stock's buy rating, noting its cost savings are on track and its 3% dividend yield.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC)  is likely to post earnings of 46 cents a share in the third quarter. The health-care services company recently completed its purchase of Vanguard Health Systems Inc. for about $4.3 billion.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC)  is expected to report earnings of $1.15 a share in the third quarter.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This "Spark" Could Help Fetch a 935% Gain

Editor's Note: Sid's new Small-Cap Rocket Alert is off to a terrific start. His first recommendation is up more than 35% in less than 30 days. And the shares he recommended this week could also climb quickly. Sid's projecting a 935% potential gain over the next 15 months. The move will be driven by a series of "sparks," or catalysts, like the one he's going to show you today...

We hear Wall Street's wizards pontificate, on and on, about the true value of a company all the time. They support their claims with a wide range of ratios.

Price-to-earnings, price-to-sales, price-to-book...

They reference operating margins, too. And book value. And return on equity...

The Street spends an enormous amount of energy trying to forecast a company's intrinsic value - and with good reason. We've all been trained, through the success of legendary investors like Warren Buffett and Jim Rogers, to seek out value.

And I don't disagree. I would much rather invest in a company that's on sale rather than overpay for a pipe dream. But I'd prefer not to wait 40 years for my investment thesis to pay off.

That's the major problem with simple "value" investing. Your favorite bargain stock may indeed be undervalued. But it can remain undervalued for a very long time before the market realizes your genius and pushes the price up.

To really leverage the power of value investing, we're much better off aligning ourselves with a sector rotation...

Best Small Cap Companies To Invest In 2014

Or something even more powerful...

Here's How Industry Rotation Delivers 1,181% Returns

That doesn't mean just investing in stocks from unloved industries in the hope that someday they will reverse and become darlings.

The trick is to get ahead of a tailwind that will drive an entire industry in the future.

Sometimes this takes a little courage, because it means stepping out ahead of the crowd - but when performed correctly it can lead to incredible gains - very quickly.

Case in point: Solar stocks, over the last 12 months.

Since November 2012, the solar industry, as a whole, has experienced one of the most powerful industry rotations in recent history.

Market Vectors Solar Energy (ETF) (NYSE Arca: KWT) has delivered gains in excess of 180% to astute investors in less than a year.

That's a fantastic return for an ETF - but the gains of select, individual solar stocks have been nothing short of spectacular over the same time period.

Companies such as Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: CSIQ), SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWR), Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE: TSL), JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd (NYSE: JKS), and Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) have seen their shares explode 1,181%, 755%, 637%, 628%, and 420%, respectively, over the same time frame.

Those gains wouldn't have been possible without the power of an entire industry rotation filling their sails.

But what led to the industry's turnaround?

After years of oversupply in the solar market, prices collapsed. Add to that the global recession and fears that key European and Chinese end users might mothball clean energy projects and you have a recipe for an industry-wide bear market.

But all of those conditions were only temporary.

World leaders are embracing alternative energy sources, so the rebound in the solar industry was merely a waiting game for supply to be reduced, technology to improve, and the economies of key countries around the world to pull out of recession (or at least show signs of improvement).

All three of those are in place now. In the last year, investors have put more than $205 billion into clean energy projects, according to Bloomberg.

Voilà! An industry turnaround - and a gigantic industry rotation spark.

I could easily roll out similar examples for Internet stocks in 2002, oil service stocks in March 2009, and housing stocks in the summer of 2011 - but I think it's more important to look ahead to where we might find the next industry rotation spark.

This "Hated" Asset Class Won't Stay That Way for Long

Right now, there is one asset class so hated that even mentioning it causes investors to get queasy.

I'm talking about gold mining stocks - especially junior gold mining stocks.

As I write this, Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE Arca: GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE Arca: GDXJ) are down 62.79% and 78.86%, respectively, from their multi-year highs.

Here's a great litmus test. Would you be embarrassed to tell your friends at a cocktail party that you're accumulating shares of gold miners? If the answer is yes, then you're probably on to a great trade - but only if the long-term fundamentals are still in place.

Central Bankers around the world have become net buyers of gold as a means of diversifying their respective reserves. That means there is literally hundreds of billions of dollars, over a multi-decade timeframe, providing tailwind for gold and gold miners.

And then there's China.

The Red Dragon's demand is approximately double its annual production capacity, which means it has to tap the global market to meet its demand. In fact, in the first eight months of 2013, Shanghai Gold Exchange Physical Delivery was nearly equal to the entire amount delivered in 2012.

Notice I said "physical delivery."

The Chinese, unlike U.S. speculators, are actually taking physical delivery of gold. That means they are taking supply out of the market and tucking it away.

The following chart from our friends at U.S. Global Investors sums it all up.

Gold shares are near a 30-year low when compared to the price of gold itself. This gives gold mining investors a huge statistical edge to pick up shares now, rather than after gold mining stocks have run up 100%... and the financial media are once again falling all over themselves to speculate on how high gold mining stocks can go.

rotation spark

Investors who want to invest in gold miners - and get in on what could be the next industry rotation spark - could just begin accumulating shares of GDX and GDXJ on a monthly basis using a dollar cost averaging strategy.

It's as easy as that.

The truly enormous gains, though, are going to come from individual companies that have a combination of the best fundamentals and the most depressed prices. That, of course, is why I track them so closely.

And next week I'll show you another powerful catalyst we use over at Small-Cap Rocket Alert. You'll be able to use this one, too...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

GM Falls Behind Japan in Customer Satisfaction

Despite strong new models like the Impala sedan, a new survey found that GM's Chevrolet brand still trails most rivals in customer satisfaction. Photo credit: General Motors.

A new survey released last week showed that the top Japanese automakers lead General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , Ford (NYSE: F  ) , and Chrysler in customer satisfaction -- and despite Detroit's recent quality gains, the gap may be widening.

What's going on, and is this something that could derail GM's turnaround? In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear digs into the survey and offers his view on the real reason GM still lags Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) and Honda (NYSE: HMC  ) in customer satisfaction.

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GM still has some work to do, but Ford's turnaround has already rewarded shareholders. But for Ford's stock to really soar, a few more critical things need to fall into place. In The Motley Fool's special free report titled "5 Secrets to Ford's Future" we outline the key factors every Ford investor needs to watch. Just click here now for your free report.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

'Great rotation' of bonds to stocks flawed: Bernstein

stocks, bonds, rotation, economy Bloomberg News

The idea of a “great rotation” from bonds to stocks is flawed and investors expecting that shift to boost equity prices may be disappointed, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

“A rotation mental model may stem from incomplete notions of supply, demand, pricing and flows in capital markets,” Luke Montgomery, an analyst at the New York-based firm covering asset managers, wrote Friday in a note to clients.

Montgomery cited misconceptions over what happens when one investment type appears to win favor at the expense of another, saying there's no automatic correlation between the migration of money and asset prices. He also disputed the notion that individual investors are holding less in stocks than they have historically, supposedly setting up a major shift.

Investment analysts have been debating whether a major move from bonds to stocks, coined the great rotation by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts in a January 2011 research report, is under way. Michael Hartnett, BofA Merrill Lynch's chief investment strategist in New York, wrote in an Aug. 15 note that the thesis has moved from controversial to consensus, joining analysts from UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG in recommending investment approaches based on the idea. Strategists from HSBC Holdings Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Jupiter Investment Management Plc. disputed the rotation.

In Friday's report, Mr. Montgomery questioned how much of a rotation can occur and what its impact would be. He took aim at the argument that high levels of bank deposits and bond mutual fund assets created by the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus efforts might suddenly pour into stocks.


“While quantitative easing floods investors with liquid financial assets and can inflate other asset values, this does not mean deposits in aggregate then become a latent source of funds for risk assets,” Mr. Montgomery wrote.

What's more, he said, bonds can drop in value without money flowing into other assets.

“Wealth destruction in bonds can be an independent event - - bond wealth can simply evaporate and need not be offset by wealth created in equities, or any other asset class,” he wrote. “Once the rate hike cycle begins, there is a far wider range of possibilities for the future market values of (and allocations to) cash, bonds, and equities than may be envisioned by the great rotation mental model.”

U.S. investors pulled $165 billion from equity mutual funds in the three years ended Sept. 30, according to data compiled by the Investment Company Institute in Washington. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index of U.S. stocks, which lost more than half its value in the 2007-2009 financial crisis, rose 57% in

Friday, November 8, 2013

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Watch Right Now

Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCQB: BLSP), �a company in the cleantech sector which develops waste-to-energy and other renewable energy projects has been attracting the attention of investors and media as they ramp up their innovative projects in the U.S. �The Company aspires to become a key player in the global waste-to-energy and renewable energy markets and CEO Shlomi Palas, took time to answer questions about his firm.

Q: Briefly explain to investors who may not be familiar with Blue Sphere, what your company does and why an investment in your company is a good opportunity right now?

Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: Blue Sphere develop-build and operate facilities which use organic waste to produce clean energy. Blue Sphere is positioned in a multibillion arena which is currently serviced by very few and small scale competitors. The endless supply of waste, which we call ��he new oil fields�� the new strict Federal and State legislation to divert organic waste from land fields, the already in force legislation to substitute fossil energy with renewable energy, the Federal and State incentives for the activities above, all these tectonic movements are the power behind Blue Sphere raison d���re. Blue sphere has an objective of building a portfolio of 60 Mw/h high yield assets with IRR greater than 15% with-in the next 5 years.�

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Watch Right Now: Great Pacific International Inc(GPI.V)

Great Pacific International Inc., a junior oil and gas company, engages in the exploration and development of oil and gas properties. It holds interests in properties located in Alberta, Canada; and Texas, the United States. The company was incorporated in 1993 and is based in Ladner, Canada.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Watch Right Now: PostRock Energy Corporation(PSTR)

PostRock Energy Corporation, an integrated independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in the United States. It operates in two segments, Oil and Gas Production, and Natural Gas Pipelines. The Oil and Gas Production segment primarily focuses on the development of coal bed methane in the Cherokee basin and the Marcellus Shale in Appalachian Basin, as well as has oil properties in Central Oklahoma. As of December 31, 2009, it had approximately 51.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of estimated net proved reserves; development rights to approximately 516,184 net acres; and operated approximately 2,849 gross wells in the Cherokee Basin. It also had approximately 44,507 net acres of oil and natural gas producing properties with estimated proved reserves of 18.9 Bcfe and approximately 498 gross wells in Appalachian Basin; and had 65 gross wells, development rights to approximately 1,4 80 net acres, and estimated net proved reserves, 3.9 Bcfe in Central Oklahoma. The Natural Gas Pipelines segment involves in transporting, gathering, treating, and processing natural gas. It owns and operates a natural gas gathering pipeline networks of approximately 2,173 miles in the Cherokee Basin and 183 miles in the Appalachian Basin; and a 1,120 mile interstate natural gas pipeline, which transports natural gas from northern Oklahoma and western Kansas to the metropolitan Wichita and Kansas City markets. The company is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Eric Volkman]

    LeBlanc is a veteran energy industry CFO. He has filled that role at East Resources -- now a unit of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A  ) -- as well as�PostRock Energy (NASDAQ: PSTR  ) , and Range Resources, among others.

Best Penny Companies To Invest In 2014: Twitter (TWTR)

Instantly connect to what's most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news. TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking ... Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Victor Reklaitis and Barbara Kollmeyer]

    Thursday marked a rough session for Wall Street, though Twitter Inc. (TWTR) �had a successful first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 index (SPX) fell 23.34 points, or 1.3%, to close at 1,747.15 ��its biggest point-drop since Aug. 27.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Watch Right Now: Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc.(THLD)

Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company, engages in the discovery and development of drugs targeting the microenvironment of solid tumors for patients living with cancer. The company?s products include TH-302, a novel drug candidate which is in Phase 1, Phase 1/2, and Phase 2 clinical trials for cancer. It has a license agreement with Eleison Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop and commercialize glufosfamide for the treatment of cancer in humans and animals. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Watch Right Now: Mercantile Bank Corporation(MBWM)

Mercantile Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for Mercantile Bank of Michigan that provides commercial and retail banking products and services primarily to small-to medium-sized businesses and individuals. The company primarily engages in generating deposits and originating loans. Its deposit products include checking accounts, savings accounts, time deposits, demand deposits, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and security repurchase agreements. Mercantile Bank Corporation also offers commercial loans, including loans and leases for working capital, accounts receivable financing, and machinery and equipment acquisition; commercial real estate loans for new construction and land development; single-family residential real estate loans; home equity line of credit programs; mortgage loans; and consumer loans, including loans for new and used automobiles, boat loans, credit cards, and overdraft protection. In addition, it provides telephone and onl ine banking, courier services, and safe deposit facilities; and private passenger automobile, homeowners, personal inland marine, boat owners, recreational vehicle, dwelling fire, umbrella policies, small business, and life insurance products. The company operates seven offices in Grand Rapids, Comstock Park, Wyoming, Kentwood, Holland, and East Lansing county areas in Michigan; and seven automated teller machines. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

5 Stocks Under $10 Spiking Higher

DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- At Stockpickr, we track daily portfolios of stocks that are the biggest percentage gainers and the biggest percentage losers.

>>5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings

Stocks that are making large moves like these are favorites among short-term traders because they can jump into these names and try to capture some of that massive volatility. Stocks that are making big-percentage moves either up or down are usually in play because their sector is becoming attractive or they have a major fundamental catalyst such as a recent earnings release. Sometimes stocks making big moves have been hit with an analyst upgrade or an analyst downgrade.

Regardless of the reason behind it, when a stock makes a large-percentage move, it is often just the start of a new major trend -- a trend that can lead to huge profits. If you time your trade correctly, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends, discipline and sound money management, you will be well on your way to investment success.

>>5 Stocks Ready to Break Out This Month

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at a several stocks under $10 that are making large moves to the upside today.


SGOCO Group (SGOC) is engaged in product design and brand development in the Chinese flat panel display market. This stock closed up 4.5% to $3.47 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Range: $3.35-$3.48

52-Week Range: $0.70-$4.57

Tuesday's Volume: 13,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 286,692

From a technical perspective, SGOC ripped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $3.22 with lighter-than-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SGOC within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if SGOC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.61 to $3.74 and $3.84 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGOC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $3.22 or above more support at $3 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 286,692 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SGOC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $4.57. Any high-volume move above $4.57 to $4.74 will then give SGOC a chance to tag $5 to $5.50.

Cleantech Solutions International

Cleantech Solutions International (CLNT) manufactures and sells high-precision forged rolled rings, yaw bearings and shafts. It also manufactures and sells textile dyeing and finishing machines. This stock closed up 0.16% to $6.36 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Range: $6.28-$6.50

52-Week Range: $2.03-$10.85

Tuesday's Volume: 106,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 758,917

From a technical perspective, CLNT traded modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $5.60 with lighter-than-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares moving higher from its low of $4.82 to its recent high of $7.04. During that move, shares of CLNT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of CLNT within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if CLNT manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $7.04 to $7.79 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLNT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $5.60 or above more support at $5 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 758,917 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CLNT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $9 to $10.


Roundy's (RNDY), a food retailer in the state of Wisconsin, owns and operates retail grocery stores. This stock closed up 2.7% to $9.49 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Range: $9.15-$9.50

52-Week Range: $3.69-$9.87

Tuesday's Volume: 297,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 349,700

From a technical perspective, RNDY jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $9.04 with lighter-than-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways for the last four months, with shares moving between $7.83 on the downside and $9.73 on the upside. This spike higher on Tuesday is starting to push shares of RNDY within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if RNDY manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $9.57 to $9.73, and then once it clears its 52-week high at $9.87 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RNDY as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $8.89 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 349,700 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then RNDY will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $11 to $12.

Tsakos Energy Navigation

Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP) is a provider of seaborne crude oil and petroleum product transportation services. This stock closed up 3.2% to $5.45 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Range: $5.27-$5.55

52-Week Range: $3.04-$5.75

Thursday's Volume: 378,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 197,545

From a technical perspective, TNP spiked higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $5.42 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways for the last three months, with shares moving between $4.50 on the downside and $5.69 on the upside. This spike on Tuesday is now starting to push shares of TNP within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TNP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $5.61 to $5.69, and then once it clears its 52-week high at $5.75 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TNP as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $5.08 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 197,545 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TNP will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $7 to $8.

Corporate Resource Services

Corporate Resource Services (CRRS) is a national provider of diversified staffing, recruiting and consulting services with a focus on delivering temporary staffing solutions for professional services, administrative and light industrial positions. This stock closed up 4.9% to $3.80 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Range: $3.57-$3.94

52-Week Range: $0.35-$5.62

Thursday's Volume: 355,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 74,013

From a technical perspective, CRRS jumped sharply higher here right off some near-term support at $3.50 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last month, with shares moving between $2.84 on the downside and $3.89 on the upside. This spike with volume on Tuesday is now starting to push shares of CRRS within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent range. That trade will hit if CRRS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.87 to $3.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRRS as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $3.50 or at $3.35 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 74,013 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CRRS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $4.78 to $5. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give CRRS a chance to tag its 52-week high at $5.62.

To see more stocks that are making notable moves higher today, check out the Stocks Under $10 Moving Higher portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.


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>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including and You can follow Pedone on Twitter at or @zerosum24.