Outlook 2013

Energy Investing

2013 Oil Prices: Where We Go From Here

There's been movement in crude oil prices in 2013 that investors should be watching…

Global oil prices diverged yesterday (Tuesday) as market factors both in the U.S. and abroad painted a very distinct picture for energy costs.

Options for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery fell $2.14 to settle at $104.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


New Glass-Steagall Act Key to Ending Too Big to Fail

Last week, four senators that include Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, as it's called, would bring back many of the provisions of the former law and strengthen language to limit financial speculation by the big banks, reduce risk, and attempt to end "Too Big to Fail" once and for all.

The original legislation, called The Banking Act of 1933 but commonly referred to as Glass-Steagall, was partly repealed by Congress in 1999 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. But by the time Glass-Steagall was repealed, the law had already been watered down and full of loopholes that left the U.S. economy highly vulnerable to a financial crisis.

Many economists believe that the partial repeal of this law was responsible for the recent financial crisis.

But the reintroduction of a Glass-Steagall law would do one critical thing that should provide comfort to any American.

It would make it impossible for the Big Banks to access FDIC-insured savings and deposits, and then speculate with ordinary Americans' money. In addition, it would aim to end Too Big to Fail and reduce the size of the mega-banks, in essence break them up.

Hot Stocks

Stocks to Buy in 2013: Don't Miss the New Developed Market Leaders

When looking for stocks to buy in 2013, many investors turn to the markets that outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index in 2012.

For example, they might like Germany. The MSCI iShares Germany Index Fund (NYSE: EWG) soared more than 32% in 2012.

That's far better than the 15% gain from the S&P 500. It's also much stronger than the 15% gain from the iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (NYSE: EFA), which tracks developed-market equities in Europe, Australia, Asia and the Far East.

But amid slowing growth and frothy equity valuations, German stocks appear unlikely to continue such performance in 2013.

That's why investors should check out these other developed market players ready to soar in 2013. They're all expected to deliver gains that could rival Germany's explosive 2012 profits.

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