Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gold Prices See New High

Gold prices reached a record high today as concerns involving US debt caused investors to buy precious metals to hedge their risk. Gold rose to above $1,625 today which is a record high. Gold bullion has increased more than 8% in July and has seen six all-time highs in the past ten sessions. Other metals also followed gold’s path as silver saw a new month high at $41.42.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lenovo to Buy Medion AG for $900 million

Lenovo, the Chinese computer maker, was granted EU approval on Tuesday to buy German electronics retailer Medion AG. Lenovo is hoping to make a stance in the European market and strengthen their presence there. This acquisition as valued at $900 million and is the biggest deal Lenovo has been involved in since their purchase of IBM’s PC division. After this deal Lenovo will have roughly a 7.5% share of the Western Europe PC market. Their share price increased 4 cents or 0.78% to $5.19 this morning.

Monday, July 25, 2011

RIM to Layoff 2,000 Employees (NASDAQ: RIMM) (TSE: RIM)

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) announced today that they will lay off 2,000 employees, or approximately 10% of their total workforce and move around senior management in an effort to lower costs and improve their positioning against Google and Apple. Research in Motion warned on June 16th that layoffs were likely. They currently have 19,000 employees, but will soon have 17,000 worldwide. RIM also announced that COO Don Morrison will retire from the company after 10 years. The COO will now be split between Thorsten Heins and Jim Rowan. RIM’s share of the US smartphone OS market decreased 4.2% to 24.7% in last quarter. Google led the field with a 38.1% market share, Apple was second with 26.6% and RIM was third. RIM shares fell 2.08% this morning.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Better Than Expected Results for Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS)

Morgan Stanley announced their Q2 earnings results today, which shocked investors with better than expected results. They outperformed Goldman Sachs and other big banks as they gained market share. Their net income was helped by sales trading, strong equity, strong fixed income, currency and commodity trading and by also being a lead underwriter for numerous big technology IPO’s. Morgan Stanley reported a loss of 38 cents a share, but analysts expected a loss of 62 cents a share. They reported a drop in revenue of 9% to $2.1 billion, where Goldman had a 53% decline. Overall, it was a good day for Morgan Stanley as they shocked investors with their results. Hopefully in the next quarter the results will be even better and maybe they can have positive net income. Shares increased $1.25 or 5.76% to $22.97.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

U.S. Bancorp Posts Good Q2 Results (NYSE: USB)

U.S. Bancorp announced their Q2 earnings today, which increased 35% beating Wall Street’s expectations. The bank chopped their credit-loss provision by half and also forecasted future credit improvement in the current quarter. They had net income of $1.17 billion or 60 cents a share, compared to $862 million or 45 cents a share in the same quarter last year. Analysts predicted earnings of 53 cents a share. These results are good news for the banking sector as yesterday’s banks did not post stellar results. Their share price increased $1.13 or 4.51% to $26.16 today.

Media General Releases Disappointing Earnings (NYSE: MEG)

Media General Inc., (NYSE: MEG) the owner of The Tampa Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other newspapers, announced today that their second quarter loss increased as advertising declined in paper and on the air. Their net loss for the quarter was $15.4 million or 68 cents a share. At this time last year they had a loss of $4.3 million or 19 cents a share. Revenue also fell 6.8% to $154.8 million from $166.2 million. Their publishing revenue decreased 9.6% to $74.8 million and National print advertising fell 30% from last year. Their share price fell 41 cents or 12.82% to $2.76 this morning.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wynn Up On Earnings

Wynn resorts reported an excellent quarter last night. The stock shot up to a 52-week high. the casino stock has been on a tear over the past year and has outperformed the other casino stocks in it peer group, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dividend Stocks: SGL, AIR, APA

Strategic Global Income Fund Inc (NYSE: SGL) has an ex-dividend expiration date tomorrow. To receive the dividend, the stock must be owned the day prior to the ex-dividend date. The current yield is 5.1%, which is equivalent to $0.57 for the year.

AAR Corporation (NYSE: AIR) has an ex-dividend expiration date on Wednesday, July 20. To receive the dividend, the stock must be owned the day prior to the ex-dividend date. The current yield is 1.0%, which is $0.3 for the year.

Apache Corp (NYSE: APA)'s ex-dividend date is on Wednesday, July 20. To receive the dividend, the stock must be owned the day prior to the ex-dividend date. The current yield is 0.5%, which comes out to be about $0.6 for the year.

Friday, July 15, 2011

PetroHawk TC Bid (HK)

Preto Hawk Energy received a 62% premium to its closing share price yesterday, as a takeover bid from BHP. BHP, which has failed to buy Potash Corp in the passed is investing heavily in natural gas. Earlier this year they purchased a large chunk of assets from Chesapeake Energy (CHK). This could be a big bet on the future of natural gas. earlier this week, Chespeake pledged over a billion dollars to advance the ove to natural gas cars in the United States.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fitch To Stop Rating Sino-Forest (TSE: TRE)

News became worse for Sino-Forest today as Fitch announced that they will no longer rate Sino-Forest bonds because they aren’t getting enough information from the company. Fitch is one of the world’s largest ratings agencies and them dropping a company like this is a huge blow to Sino-Forest. Fitch asked Sino for a regular update on offshore cash balances and they also wanted to know how management intends to deal with the structure of the business. They were not receiving valid and straight forward answers to either of these questions. Sino-Forest is trying to get themselves back on the right track, but this is another step in the wrong direction.

TSE Falls This Morning

The TSE was falling late Thursday morning, eliminating early gains, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that he was not yet ready to take new action to ease monetary policy. On Wednesday Bernanke said the Fed could put more monetary stimulus into play if the economic recovery doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. These comments moved the markets forward, but his comments on not being ready to make it happen at the moment pulled the market back as commodities such as copper and oil reversed their strong gains.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

EA Games Purchases PopCan (NASDAQ: ERTS)

Electronic Arts Inc. announced yesterday that they have agreed to purchased PopCap Games Inc. in a deal which i worth up to $1.3 billion. PopCap Games makes games for phones, tablets, social networking sites and computers. They are most known for developing the games “Plants vs. Zombies” and “Bejeweled”. The base of the deal has EA paying $650 million in cash and $100 in shares. The rest of the $1.3 billion comes in performance payouts. After this acquisition we may be seeing EA developing games for social networking sites which we haven’t seen before from EA.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fortis Dropps Bid for Central Vermont. Gaz Metro Steps In (TSE: FTS) (NYSE: CV)

Fortis Inc. dropped their bid for Central Vermont Public Services Inc. after the board of directors of Central Vermont preferred the offer from Quebec’s Gaz Metro. Fortis is based in St. Johns, Newfoundland and is Canada’s biggest investor owned distribution utility. They had the right to negotiate with Vermont a better offer than Gaz over five days. They waived this right for a payment from Central Vermont of $17.5 million plus $2 million in expenses. Gaz Metro will pay $35.25 per share and will fund this deal with $230 million in debt.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nortel Patents Sold to Six Major Tech Companies (NASDAQ: RIMM) (NASDQ: AAPL) (NASDQ: MSFT) (NYSE: SNE) (NYSE: EMC)

Bankruptcy courts in the United States and Canada announced on Monday that they have approved the sale of 6,000 patents owned by Nortel Networks Corp. to a partnership of six technology companies in a deal more $4.5 billion US. This means the group of six companies will now have complete access to Nortel patents and applications in the wireless and internet technology. This is especially important for Microsoft because it will help them compete with Google and their Android. Companies included in the purchase group are Microsoft, Research in Motion, Apple, Sony, EMC corp. and Ericsson.

TSX Falls as Economic Worries Make Headlines (TSX: SU) (TSX: CNQ)

The Toronto stock market sold off today which was led by a drop in resource stocks, as economic worries in the United States and Europe were making headlines again. The TSX composite indeix fell 185.54 points to 13,186.16 while the TSX Venture Exchange dropped 29.02 points to 1,955.79. Markets have been falling since Friday after a job report was released stating only 18,000 jobs were created in June. Markets were in worse shape today as news came out saying the debt crisis in Europe may go beyond Greece and into Ireland and Portugal. One of the biggest losing sectors today was the TSX energy sector which fell 2.49% as crude oil fell $1.95 to $94.25 a barrel. Suncor energy fell 98 cents to C$38.31 and Canadian Natural Resources dropped $1.30 to $39.06.

Valeant Buys Dermik for $425 million (TSE: VRX.TO)

Canadian drug maket Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. announced Monday that they are purchasing Dermik, a skin-treatment division of Sanofi, for approximately $425 million in cash. They deal inclues $18 million of available inventories and Dermik’s manufacturing facility which is located in Canada. The facility currently makes 70 formulations and more than 200 tablets, capsules, ointments and non-sterile liquids for Sanofi and third parties. These formulations are used in the acne treatment medicine BenzaClin and Sculptra. The deal is subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is scheduled to close this year.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Apple Releasing Lion OS Next Week (NASDAQ: AAPL)

Apple is expected to release their new OS next week which is called “Lion”. Apple has told their stores to prepare computers for the upgrade by this Sunday, so a release can be expected as soon as next week. The upgrade will cost $29.99 and will require at least 2GB of RAM and will run on most new Intel CPU’s. The Lion OS has a number of changes which have been brought over from the iOS operating system which is used on the iPad and iPhone. One of these changes is the optional reverse scrolling and there are bigger changes also. In other Apple news, Apple may also release their new MacBook Air slimline as early as Tuesday. Apple is releasing many new products before earnings season, which may imply very good forecasts when earnings are announced.

RIM Adds 1 Million Subscribers In 3 Weeks (NASDAQ: RIMM) (TSE: RIM)

Research in Motion announced Friday that it has added more than 1 million subscribers to their company in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in less than 3 weeks. This area is known as the EMEA and is a large part of RIM’s success. The BlackBerry is the number one smartphone brand in Holland, the UK and Saudi Arabia. Even know the BlackBerry is lagging behind other phones in NA, it is a very strong competitor in other countries which is a good sign for investors. If RIM can maintain this control of the EMEA markets, they could once again be number one in the smartphone market.

Stocks Fall on Job Report

American stocks dropped at today’s open as Wall Street reacted negatively to a jobs report that showed there was barely any hiring last month. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 90 points, or 0.7%, the S&P 500 dropped 12 points or 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 22 points or 0.8%. The report said the US economy created only 18,000 jobs last month which is very little compared to the 120,000 jobs that were forecasted by economists. Yesterday a report came out saying the private sector added 157,000 jobs in June and not that many people filed claims for unemployment benefit. Considering this news, it was a shock to investors that today’s report was very poor.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Apple Breaking Out

Apple stock (NASDAQ: AAPL) is powering higher after the fir released data that over 1 billion apps had been dowloaded this month from the company's app store. apple stock is showing bullish technicals, and could continue going higher. On a fundamental basis, the company's earnings are growing much faster than is reflected by its PE ratio.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RIM Now Third in Smartphone Market Behind Apple and Google (NASDAQ: RIMM) (NASDAQ: AAPL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)

Research in Motion is now third place according to market share information for smartphones. They are behind Apple and Google in terms of market share. Research in Motions market share fell quickly during a three month period ending in February. Their market share fell 4% percent. RIM has 24% of the market, behind Apple and Google who have 26% and 38% respectively. RIM held over half of the smartphone market a few years ago, but now barely has 1/4th. RIM has been facing criticism from every angle for failing to answer market competition. They are trying to answer these critics by using a new operating system on all devices in the future. This will allow them to have android applications on their phones and it will also be easier for developers to create applications.

New iPad a Possibility This Year (NASDAQ: AAPL)

Apple may release a new iPad this year which would be a high-end model with a larger pixel density display rather than a new 3G model. Analyst Craig Berger of FBR Capital Markets said that Apple could release a iPad 2 Plus later this year. He was told that the makers of components received requests for prices from Apple. No production schedule has been confirmed yet. The analyst said the information is interesting, but he would have to have more information before fully believing that a new iPad will be released this year. A new higher-end model being released this year would push Apple farther ahead of their competition, and make them a tough target to reach for competition.

Sino-Forest Delays Tour. Shares Fall (TSE: TRE)

Sino-Forest announced today that they will postpone a tour of their forestry assets because a lot of analysts have stopped covering their company. Dundee Capital Markets analyst Richard Kelertas and RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn are just a few of the analysts who have suspended coverage of the company. Other analysts have put their ratings under review. Investors reacted negatively to the postponing of the tour. TRE shares dipped more than 20% to C$4.16 during the morning.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RIM Will Use New Operating System Soon (NASDAQ: RIMM) (TSE: T.RIM)

Research in Motion will change the operating system on future BlackBerry devices after the acquisition of software company QNX. Research in Motion is looking to grow their market in smartphones. The QNX operating system will make it easier for developers to create more applications as QNX is easier to work with than the usual BlackBerry operating system. This new operating system will allow for Android applications to work on the BlackBerry.

Moody's downgrades Portugal, S&P Dips

In early trading July 5th, investors were still wearing rose colored glasses from the July 4th parties and celebrations. Unfortunately, the economy is not so joyous as there are many problems still looming in Europe over the possibility of a Greek debt rollover. Essentially, a Greek debt rollover is the same thing as a default. Analysts claim that Greek will simply push their default date to a later time, but it is inevitable.

In late day trading July 5th, Moody's issued a downgrade on Portugal. The news caused the S&P to take a sharp dip as speculators quickly exited their long positions. Andy Kibbens continues to re-iterate that the market is now in a bull mode and should be bought on any dip. The market has broken through all long term resistance levels and is showing great resilience here. Many Wall Street analysts are calling for a pullback here as the market has run up so much in so little time. Only time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

Imperial Oil Delays Big Project (AMEX: IMO) (TSE: T.IMO)

A long dispute over the transportation of industrial equipment across a US mountain road is now causing problems for the oil sands big new project. There have been delays in shipping very important components to its Kearl oil sands mine, which has caused Imperial Oil to announce that it will have to build some elements in the winter rather than summer. Imperial still believes they can finish Kearl by 2012, but moving back to the date shows that the transportation dispute is affecting their $10.9 billion mine. Kearl is expected to produce 110,000 barrels per day of crude oil in its first phase, which shows how important Kearl is to Imperial. Investors, who have been valuing the stock with Kearl in mind, may have to reevaluate the stock.

PotashCorp New Environmentally Friendly Plant (NYSE: POT) (TSE: T.POT)

PotashCorp has added a new project that is good for their company and good for the planet. They implemented a new sulfuric acid plant that produces the acid and also generates power by efficiently recapturing heat in the form of steam. This drastically reduces greenhouse gas and sulfur dioxide emissions. This was a $255 million investment in Aurora’s new No. 7 Sulfuric Plant which has helped PotashCorp maintain their acid capacity without purchasing supply from other companies. This acid plant is now the largest of its kind of produces 900 tons a day, which is a 25% increase from the two plants it replaced. This news is definitely a good sign for PotasCorp because they are increasing their output while making their plants more environmentally friendly. Investors should be expecting more big things to come as PotashCorp gets ready for the future.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gold Bullion Season Approaching

Probably the best time to invest in gold bullion is coming soon. Thackray’s 2011 Investors Guide states that the best time to buy gold bullion is July 12th using a seasonal strategy that lasts until October 9th. During the past 25 periods, gold bullion has beaten the S&P 500 by 4.7%. Canadian investors have six options when investing in gold bullion which trades in Canadian dollars on the TSE. There is the Claymore Gold Bullion ETF, iShares COMEX, Horizons BetaPro COMEX Gold ETF, Horizons BetaPro Gold Bullion Bull + ETF, Horizons BetaPro Gold Bullion Bear + ETF, and the Horizons Gold Yield Fund. The Horizons BetaPro Gold Bullion Bull + ETF was developed to generative twice the daily upside performance of future contracts, and the Bear + ETF was developed to generate twice the daily downside performance of future contracts. When considering to invest into gold bullion, Canadian investors should definitely look into these funds.

Sino-Forest Rises! (TSE: TRE)

Shares of Sino-Forest are rising today after Wellington Management Company announced they had an 11.52% stake in Sino-Forest. Wellington is a US based investment firm which has more than $600 billion US under management. Investors are seeing my confidence in TRE from big investment firms, which is a good sign for TRE. Sino-Forest increased $1.29 or 40% to $4.48 this morning.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Stocks Continue To Rally On ISM Manufacturing PMI

The S&P rose sharply again for the 5th session in a row. Anyone who is short is feeling squished day by day as the bulls are pushing the markets higher and higher. The S&P500 is up over 5% in the past 5 days breaking through manjor resistance levels.

The ISM Manufacturing PMI number came in at 55.3 as compared to the expected 51.9. This positive number resulted in a surge in equities across the board. Later, ISM Manufacturing Prices and Constructing Spending month to month numbers came in slightly worse than expected, but they didn't seem to have any negative effect on the markets.