5 Best Electric Utility Stocks To Invest In 2014

For many of my readers, helping the grandkids is a high priority after ensuring their own financial independence. There are so many ways to help beyond making cash gifts and setting up Uniform Gifts/Trusts to Minors Accounts. In fact, those two widely-used methods often are far from the best ways to help, as I’ve discussed in past issues of Retirement Watch.

Most people, when they help the grandchildren, have two additional goals. They want as many tax benefits as possible, and they want to ensure the money isn’t wasted. Here’s a review of the best ways to help grandkids that meet all those goals.

529 plans. College savings plans authorized under section 529 of the tax code are one of the best giving vehicles. Most states now offer multiple 529 plan options, and any person can set up an account and contribute to it for the benefit of someone else. Contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion ($14,000 per year per person in both 2013 and 2014). In addition, in 529 plans up to five years’ worth of exclusions can be used in one year for a tax-free lump sum contribution of up to $70,000 ($14,000 times five) per beneficiary. The gift is excluded from the donor’s estate unless he dies within five years of making the gift. Under many state plans the owner has some choice over how the account is invested or can select a plan managed by the plan management or an outside firm.

5 Best Electric Utility Stocks To Invest In 2014: Vimicro International Cor poration(VIMC)

Vimicro International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, designs, develops, and markets mixed-signal semiconductor products and system-level solutions for the consumer electronics, communications, and surveillance markets in Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. It provides mixed-signal multimedia processors for personal computer and embedded notebook cameras, as well as for mobile phones. The company also offers system-level solutions that include integrated semiconductors, customizable firmware and software, software development tools, reference designs, and applications support. In addition, it provides security and surveillance products comprising video capturing, compression, transmission, storage, processing, display, and video analysis products. Further, the company involves in packaging, testing, and reselling third party image sensors. It sells its multimedia processor products through direct sales force and distributors to original design manuf acturers, original equipment manufacturers, design houses, and module manufacturers, as well as its security and surveillance products to government entities, telecommunications operators, schools, banks, railway companies, supermarkets, and theaters. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Beijing-based Vimicro International Corp. (NASDAQ: VIMC) was up about 33% after the company raised its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. The company is a fabless designer and marketer of mixed-signal processors and other products for the consumer, communications and surveillance markets in China and Hong Kong. Shares trade at around $4.00 in a 52-week range of $1.10 to $4.64, and that high was set earlier today. About 1.4 million shares had traded hands, more than 10 times the daily average of around 100,000.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap security and surveillance stocks like Vimicro International Corporation (NASDAQ: VIMC), TASER International, Inc (NASDAQ: TASR), Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc (NASDAQ: KTOS) and View Systems Inc (OTCBB: VSYM) have been producing a steady stream of news lately for investors and traders alike to digest. After all, the entire security and surveillance industry is pretty vast as it would include everything from airport scanners to security cameras or monitoring equipment to actual weapons for domestic or national defense to software securing everyone’s personal or online data to the technology groups like the NSA and other “Big Brother” agencies use to spy on us. With that in mind, here is a look at the latest news from important small cap security and surveillance stocks:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap security and surveillance stocks OSI Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: OSIS), Vimicro International Corporation (NASDAQ: VIMC), Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ: ALOG), Lifelock Inc (NYSE: LOCK) and View Systems Inc (OTCBB: VSYM) have been producing a steady flow of news lately that investors might want to take a closer look at. After all, the whole security and surveillance industry is pretty vast as it would include everything from airport scanners to security cameras to software securing everyone’s personal or online data. With that in mind, here is a look at the latest news from important small cap security and surveillance stocks:

5 Best Electric Utility Stocks To Invest In 2014: Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd (NAK)

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (Northern Dynasty) is engaged in the exploration of mineral properties. The Company holds 650 square miles of mineral claims in southwest Alaska, United States. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned 50% interest in the Pebble Limited Partnership (the Pebble Partnership). The Pebble Partnership owns the Pebble Copper-Gold-Molybdenum Project (the Pebble Project). Its principal mineral property interest is located in Alaska, United States. The Pebble property (Pebble) is located in southwest Alaska, 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the villages of Iliamna and Newhalen, and approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of the city of Anchorage. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries include 3537137 Canada Inc., Northern Dynasty Partnership and U5 Resources Inc. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed the re-acquired 100% ownership and control of the Pebble Partnership. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Canadian mineral exploration and development company Northern Dynasty Minerals (NYSEMKT: NAK  ) has approved an $80 million budget for 2013 to advance its Pebble project in Alaska.

  • [By Ben Kramer-Miller]

    This article is about Northern Dynasty Minerals (NAK). Northern Dynasty Minerals has a market capitalization of $190 million. It is a 50% owner of the Pebble Mine in Alaska.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Stocks on the move: Boise Inc. (NYSE: BZ) is up 26% at $12.55 following the company’s acquisition by Packaging Corporation of America Inc. (NYSE: PKG) for $12.55 a share ($1.28 billion). Omeros Corp. (NASDAQ: OMER) is up 68.2% at $8.56 following an analyst upgrade. Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NYSEArca: NAK) is down 33.3% at $1.48 following an announcement from Anglo American plc that it was withdrawing from a massive copper mining project in Alaska.

5 Best Electric Utility Stocks To Invest In 2014: Western Copper and Gold Corp (WRN)

Western Copper and Gold Corporation (Western), formerly Western Copper Corporation, is an exploration-stage company. The Company is engaged in the development of the Casino mineral property located in Yukon, Canada. The Casino property contains gold, copper, and molybdenum. The Casino Project is an open-pit mine and concentrator complex located in the Yukon Territory of Canada. The Casino property consists of 705 full and partial active quartz mineral claims. The total area covered is 13,124 hectares. CRS Copper Resources Corp. (CRS), a 100% owned subsidiary of the Company, is the registered owner of all claims. On October 17, 2011, the Company completed a plan of arrangement (the Arrangement) involving the Company and two of its subsidiaries Copper North Mining Corp. (Copper North), and NorthIsle Copper and Gold Inc. (NorthIsle). Pursuant to the Arrangement, it transferred the Carmacks Copper Project and the Redstone Project to Copper North and the Island Copper property. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Hebba Investments]

    Therefore the situation is still very bullish for investors in physical gold and the gold ETFs (GLD, CEF, and PHYS). Investors interested in leveraging this situation into higher potential profits may also consider buying gold miners such as Randgold (GOLD), Goldcorp (GG), Yamana Gold (AUY), and any of the other gold miners. Finally, those willing to shoulder much larger risks may consider some of the exploration and micro-cap companies that offer significant profits at a high risk such as Chesapeake Gold (CHPGF.PK), Pretium Resources (PVG), Western Copper (WRN), or any other of the junior exploration companies. Though investors should keep in mind that gold mining companies and explorers do not always rise with a rising gold price – do your research before you invest in the miners.

5 Best Electric Utility Stocks To Invest In 2014: Nucor Corporation(NUE)

Nucor Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products in North America and internationally. It operates through three segments: Steel Mills, Steel Products, and Raw Materials. The Steel Mills segment produces hot and cold-rolled sheet steel; plate steel; structural steel comprising wide-flange beams, beam blanks, and sheet piling; and bar steel, such as blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing bar, merchant bar, and special bar quality products. The Steel Products segment offers steel joists and joist girders, steel deck, fabricated concrete reinforcing steel, cold finished steel, steel fasteners, metal building systems, light gauge steel framing, steel grating and expanded metal, and wire and wire mesh products. The Raw Materials segment produces direct reduced iron (DRI); brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron, hot briquetted iron, and DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal products. The company?s operations also include various international trading companies that buy and sell steel and steel products. It sells its hot-rolled steel and cold-rolled steel to steel service centers, fabricators, and manufacturers; steel joists and joist girders, and steel deck to general contractors and fabricators; and cold finished steel and steel fasteners to distributors and manufacturers. The company?s products are used by contractors in constructing highways, bridges, reservoirs, utilities, hospitals, schools, airports, stadiums, and high-rise buildings. Nucor Corporation was founded in 1940 and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Investors might have been steeling themselves for more losses in steel stocks after Nucor (NUE) offered disappointing guidance–but that was more than offset by price increases at ArcelorMittal (MT).


    Shares of Nucor have gained 0.6% to $49.75 at 2:43 p.m., while ArcelorMittal has risen 1.4% to $15.31, US Steel (X) has jumped 4.6% to $25.31, AK Steel (AKS) has climbed 4.4% to $6.39 and Steel Dynamics (STLD) has advanced 1.6% to $16.95.

    Nucor said it would earn 30 to 35 cents a share during the first quarter, below forecasts for 48 cents. Cowen’s Anthony B. Rizzuto and team explain what happened:

    Weather was the main culprit as the frigid temperatures disrupted customer demand, decreased the amount of railcar availability and exacerbated the already seasonally weak performance for [Nucor’s] fabricated constructions productions business. In addition, imports have negatively impacted pricing and margins at the company’s bar and sheet mills.

    Nomura’s Curt Woodworth and team lowered their first-quarter estimates but had some good news for steel stocks too:

    Ahead of mid-quarter updates from the mini-mills ([Nucor and Steel Dynamics]) and [AK Steel], which we expect within the coming week, we lower 1Q-14 estimates for our steel coverage, though we continue to have a positive view of equity performance going forward.

    Despite today’s gains, it’s been a tough year for steel stocks. Nucor is off 6.8%at $49.76, US Steel has fallen 14% to $25.31, AK Steel has plunged 22% to $6.38, Steel Dynamics has declined 13% to $16.95 and ArcelorMittal has dropped 14% to $15.31.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Ever have those moments where you read an analyst report and are left scratching your head? Well, Credit Suisse’s downgrades of US Steel (X) and Nucor (NUE) today fit the bill.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    US Steel has dropped 2.4% to $24.24 at 2:50 p.m., while AK Steel has fallen 0.9% to $6.26, Steel Dynamics has declined 3.4% to $17.11, and Nucor (NUE) is off 1.1% at $49.58. And yes, it’s for the same reason that iron miners are getting pounded: China.

5 Best Electric Utility Stocks To Invest In 2014: iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN)

iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Russell 2000 Value Index (the Index). The Index measures the performance of the small-capitalization value sector of the United States equity market. It is a subset of the Russell 2000 Index. The Index is a capitalization-weighted index and consists of those companies or portion of a company, with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth within the Russell 2000 Index. The Index represents approximately 50% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 2000 Index.

The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap custom carry and protective solutions stock Forward Industries, Inc (NASDAQ: FORD) jumped 22.51% earlier today as an apparent turnaround continues, meaning its worth taking a closer look at a stock that’s in a decidedly niche area plus look at the performance of potential investment benchmarks like the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IWM), iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IWO) and iShares Russell 2000 Value Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IWN).

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA), a rather unusual and innovative small cap stock, soared some 23.26% – meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with its performance verses the performance of small cap benchmarks like the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IWM), the iShares Russell 2000 Value Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IWN) or the iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IWO).