Archives for April 2011

April 2011 - Page 7 of 9 - Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From

President Obama Tackles Deficit Reduction and Debt Ceiling as Budget Battle Continues

Washington's heated budget battle will continue this week when U.S. President Barack Obama presents a deficit reduction plan on Wednesday.

The latest federal budget proposal will come less than a week after President Obama and Congress reached an eleventh-hour agreement for the 2011 budget to prevent a government shutdown. They reached the deal shortly before midnight Friday, when the shutdown would have gone into effect.

Lawmakers agreed to slash around $38.5 billion in spending from this fiscal year's budget. Republicans were able to push for more cuts; Democrats won a fight to keep funding for Planned Parenthood.

Many analysts say the 2011 budget battle was just a warm-up for Washington's upcoming funding issues: the 2012 budget and the debt ceiling.

While details of Obama's plan are still vague, David Plouffe, a senior White House advisor, said Sunday on Fox News that the president will name a dollar amount for deficit reduction goals. Obama is expected to present a 2012 plan that includes cuts to entitlement programs Medicare and Medicaid, changes to Social Security, reduced military spending and support for tax increases for America's richest taxpayers.

"Every corner of the federal government has to be looked at here," said Plouffe. "We're going to have a big debate."

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Post-PC Era Poses Challenge to Techs: Adapt or Face the Consequences

The accelerating transition to mobile computing devices – such as smartphones and tablets – will drive tech companies to adapt to shifting consumer preferences or risk getting left behind.
Although they haven't yet tossed out their desktop or laptop PCs, more and more people are adopting mobile devices for such activities as checking e-mail, browsing the Web, playing games and interacting with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Indeed, the recent success of Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad, for instance, is just the one example of an ongoing paradigm shift that has come to be known as the "Post-PC Era."

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Buy, Sell or Hold: Suncor (NYSE: SU) Energy Inc. Is an Oil Gusher with Limited Risk

If you are looking for a mining company that generates energy with its own diversified refinery division, wholly owned pipelines, and a retail gas station network, then Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) should be at the top of your list.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Suncor offers diverse and reliable production at a time when civil unrest in the Middle East has increased uncertainty in the energy market.
  • It's leveraged to higher oil prices.
  • It's transparent
  • And it's reducing its debt.

There's no question about it: Suncor Energy Inc. is a "Buy" (**).

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Music Streaming First Salvo in Battle to Dominate Cloud-Based Computing

Cloud-based computing is shaping up to be a major battleground in the U.S. high-tech sector for the rest of this year, as companies compete to deliver such services as music streaming to consumer-based mobile devices.

And it figures to be a true clash of titans, with such high-tech heavyweights as Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) serving among the major combatants.

And music is just the beginning.

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Even on the Brink of a Government Shutdown, Congress Still Doesn't Get it

At the risk of sounding trite, let me just say that "here we go again."

Overnight budget talks failed to lead to a federal budget agreement, and now we're just a few hours from the first U.S. government shutdown in 15 years. The shutdown could put 800,000 federal employees out of work, while creating a nightmare for U.S. taxpayers who are regular users of government services.

As bad as that all sounds, the shutdown threat isn't the worst thing I see here – not by a longshot.

The worst thing is that – with a $14.2 trillion national debt – the part of the budget the two sides are squabbling over is miniscule. Democrats have agreed to $34.5 billion in spending cuts, while the Republicans have agreed to $39 billion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

It's a rounding error.

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Money Morning's Fitz-Gerald on Where Silver Prices are Headed

Silver continued its hot streak this year to top $40 an ounce Friday, hitting its highest level since 1980 and pushing its weekly gain to 7.2%.

Investors priced out of gold are flocking to its lower priced alternative. Silver prices are up 31% for the year, with gold climbing only 3.5%. The impressive price climb has many wondering if this run is over or if silver will soar even higher.

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Cotton Prices Skyrocket: Don't Miss Out On 123% Gains

You could have just banked 123% gains on cotton. That's what Money Morning readers are sitting on right now. A few months ago, I told our readers to buy cotton. And if they bought when I advised, they already more than doubled their original investment. When I recommended cotton, it was trading at roughly a […]

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Second Quarter Forecast: Three Predictions, Three Ways to Profit

With the first quarter of 2011 behind us, there's a lot to take away and learn from – especially when it comes to the direction of oil prices, interest rates and stocks.

Granted, we're right now navigating one of the most uncertain periods in modern global history. But if you're a trader or an investor, knowing how markets have been reacting to recent news and events provides you with some valuable insights that you can use going forward.

And after we address each of these three topics – oil prices, interest rates and stocks – we'll be able to recommend some specific moves that investors should consider.

So let's look at each topic more closely.

For three ways to profit from these trends, please read on…

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Rising Natural Gas Demand Turns Investors on to Shale Gas

Natural gas will become more important as the world slowly transitions to renewable energy sources, making shale gas reserves a hot topic in the energy industry.

A recent report from Canadian investment bank AltaCorp Capital Inc. said natural gas use could increase nearly 80% over current levels by 2050.

"In the move towards increasing use of renewables, natural gas will play a much bigger role than just 'bridge fuel,' we believe it will become the largest source of energy on the planet," AltaCorp analyst John Mawdsley wrote in the report. "We expect companies levered to natural gas, especially those with long-term unconventional resources, will see significant share price appreciation as natural gas demand increases."

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