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Before the bell 10-12-06: AAPL, GE, TWX, WMT
Posted 2006-10-12 By : cialis soft buy on line
I can start this morning using my favorite pun -- oil might fuel stocks today. Oil prices have reached their lowest level of the year, dropping 25% since July. OPEC member-countries still want to cut production by 1 million barrels a day, yet the Saudis have yet to confirm this. Also today, the weekly crude inventory numbers will be reported and are expected to show gains of about 500,000 barrels.

After examining carefully the Fed minutes, today investors will be able to go through the Federal Reserve's Beige Book. The Beige Book is a snapshot account of business conditions compiled from the 12 regional Fed banks. Investors will look for indications as to the state of the U.S. economy, specifically, how the economy is reacting to lower oil prices and the state of the housing market.

Another economic indicator released today is the August trade balance. Economists forecast the gap fell to $66.5 billion from $68.0 billion in July.

Bond prices continued their decline yesterday as the Fed minutes indicated that policymakers are still concerned about inflation and gave little hope for a rate cut. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.78% from 4.76% late Tuesday. This morning, Treasury prices were slightly higher as the yield on the 10-year note edged lower to 4.77%.

In international markets, Asian stocks closed mixed but European stocks are generally up at the moment.
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Yahoo! after the bell 10-11-06: Patient or late in the game?
Posted 2006-10-12 By : cialis soft buy on line
It is interesting how a deal between two companies focused everybody's attention on a third. Yes, I am talking about the Google-YouTube deal that somehow put Yahoo! in the spotlight. Everybody's talking about Yahoo!.

I've said it twice already, Yahoo! is smart to be patient and not jump into any deals. However, this New York Times article [subscription required], suggests Yahoo! isn't patient, but rather late in the game.

While addressing most of the concerns my colleagues and I have mentioned from Yahoo!'s delayed advertising platform (Panama) to the risk of overpaying for Facebook, the article also points out a few serious problems with the company and management team. Not being able to close deals while being plagued with internal squabbling and bureaucracy doesn't spell good things for Yahoo!

Something definitely needs to be changed and improved. More focus, more punch, and more action.
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eBay after the bell 10-11-06: Trying to pacify sellers?
Posted 2006-10-12 By : cialis soft buy on line
It seems that eBay is trying to stay away from the headlines these days, happy to leave the brunt of the post Google-YouTube deal reaction to other companies, especially Yahoo!

Has eBay been up to anything these days? Why, of course. In an attempt to perhaps pacify somewhat those disgruntled merchants who were hit by the recent rate hike, or perhaps an attempt to simply boost listings, eBay is offering a Feature Packs promotion. For the next two days, sellers can save 33% when on Feature Packs that combine several listing upgrades.

The promotion started today at midnight, Pacific time, and will end Thursday, October 12, 2006 at one second to midnight PT. Even listings created before today and that are scheduled to start during the promotional period are eligible for the promotional rate.

Finally, an update on the latest auction I've been following, the Skycar, the price now stands at $1,753,150.00 with 31 bids.

ebay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) shares declined 48 cents today, or 1.62% to close at $29.10.
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Post GooTube deal - what should Yahoo! do now?
Posted 2006-10-12 By : cialis soft buy on line
Listening to analysts, bloggers, commentators and reporters in the past couple of days, one could have gotten the impression that Yahoo!, not Google, was recently involved in a major deal.

There have been just as many mentions (if not more) of what Yahoo! should or should not have done, or what Yahoo! should or should not do now and in the future, as there were mentions of the actual deal (and its affect on both companies involved). Even Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) share price, it seems, was affected more than Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) share price has.

Just examining what my colleagues and I here at Blogging Stocks have mentioned paints an interesting and complicated picture:

Brian White thinks that after the close battle in which Yahoo! lost YouTube to Google, the pressure is now on Yahoo! to close some sort of deal - Facebook perhaps? Douglas McIntyre thinks Yahoo! and AOL are both the losers in the Google, YouTube deal and therefore, in order to compete with Google, Yahoo! should buy AOL. But that's not all, Doug also thinks it might be time for Yahoo! CEO, Terry Semel, to retire. Jon Ogg warns that with this deal, Google may surpass Yahoo! as the number one combined destination on the web, or come close to what's been Yahoo!'s clenched position for a while now. Jon Ogg also tells us that Cramer thinks that the current sentiment may indicate that Yahoo! shares are at a bottom. He also brings an interesting rumor where Google could be interested in buying Facebook at a price of $2.3 billion. Yahoo! was considering this acquisition not too long ago, but for $1 billion. If the above rumors are true and Google and Yahoo! entered another bidding war over Facebook this time, Peter Cohan thinks Yahoo! shouldn't go for it. Price per registered user at Facebook is too high and Facebook is structured differently from other social sites, more restrictive, which could negatively affect advertising prospects. Sarah Gilbert also cautions of a hasty move on the part of Yahoo! Me? As I've mentioned yesterday, I don't think Yahoo! is the loser on the deal. First, investors would have reacted differently to the same deal had Yahoo! been the buyer and not Google. Not everything that Google can do, Yahoo! can, as not only the companies are different, but investor sentiment is different as well.

Finally, Yahoo! has other problems to solve first, namely it needs to catch up Google on search technology and roll out Panama. Otherwise, any acquisition would simply go to waste. Distribution channels mean squat if a company has nothing to distribute.

So no, I'm not saying that a good tactical and strategic acquisition isn't in place. However, in its present state, Yahoo! is smart to be patient and weigh in all the consequences. Didn't someone once say that haste is of the devil?
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Daily Options Update: MO is option volume leader, MSFT volatility is low
Posted 2006-10-26 By : cialis soft buy on line
U.S. stocks were mixed today as traders and investors reacted to the Federal Open Market Committee deciding to leave rates unchanged at 5.25%. The S&P 500 was up .23%, NASDAQ 100 rallied .77% and 10-year bond rates declined to 4.84%. The CBOE VIX sold off .12 to 10.66.

Altria (MO) was the option volume leader after reporting solid EPS and the announcement MO will make finalized KFT spin off details on 1/31/07. MO traded 312,239 calls & 126,366 puts. Option implied volatility decreased on the expectations of less share price movement risk.

Amazon (AMZN) rallied 12% on a positive EPS surprise, AMZN option were on the most active list with AMZN implied volatility declining to 30 from a level of 58 yesterday.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) options were active into 10/26 EPS report. Call volume was heavy on 63,046 contracts & 38,977 puts. MSFT November option implied volatility of 18 is at the low end of its 26-week range, suggesting low risk.

Sprint-Nextel (S) is expected to report EPS of .33 cents on 10/26. S call volume was heavy on 93,767 calls with put volume of 149,048. S option implied volatility is elevated at 45, suggesting increased risk.
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Strong day for oil stocks
Posted 2006-10-26 By : cialis soft buy on line
We had a strong day for oil holders today as oil has popped back up above $61 a barrel to a current trading price of $61.44 gaining $2.04. A couple of factors were at play today helping push the precious crude higher.

One factor helping with today's move was the weekly inventory report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) which showed that inventories fell 3.3 million barrels last week. This comes after a couple of weeks where reports showed inventories have been on the rise lately, and greatly contradicted the consensus estimates of a 2.6 million barrel increase. Distillates used in heating fuels were also on the decline, falling 1.4 million barrels in a sign that maybe the winter heating months are finally being felt by inventories.

There are also some more troubles playing out in Nigeria, where rebels have forced the OPEC nation to cut about 25% of their current production. Nigeria has long been troubled with militants trying to gain more political power by attacking it's oil facilities, so today's moves aren't really anything new, but do remind us how fragile that nation's oil supply really is.

And speaking of OPEC, we have been watching the eleven nation group lately as the oil cartel has been promising production cuts which many think will never come. Today it seems like OPEC may actually be following through on the production pullbacks as Iran has stepped up and let their customers know that they will be reducing the country's output by 176,000 barrels a day beginning November 1. Saudi Arabia has already pledged to trim its production by 1.2 million barrels, but traders have been reluctant to buy into that news until they could tell if the other large OPEC countries would follow suit. With Iran getting on board we could be seeing more traders now buying into that scenario.

All eyes are going to be on ExxonMobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) as they announce their quarterly earnings tomorrow before the market opens. Analyst's are expecting XOM to come in with EPS of $1.59.

Here is a look at how the major oil companies closed out today's session:

Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN): +0.8% to $67.74 up $0.56

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO): +2.4% to $54.00 up $1.28

ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM): +1.6% to $71.01 up $1.12

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX): +1.0% to $67.58 up $0.69

BP p.l.s. ADR (NYSE:BP): +1.3% to $69.22 up $0.92

Oil Service Holders Trust (OIH): +2.4% to $137.75 up $3.25
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Before the bell 10-12-06: AAPL, GE, TWX, WMT
Yahoo! after the bell 10-11-06: Patient or late in the game?
eBay after the bell 10-11-06: Trying to pacify sellers?
Post GooTube deal - what should Yahoo! do now?
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Daily Options Update: MO is option volume leader, MSFT volatility is low
Strong day for oil stocks
 
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