Brent crude oil climbed to $108.04 at 5:17 GMT on Thursday morning after the spread between Brent and WTI widened to more than $13 on Wednesday. US crude prices have been on the decline since data showed that the nation’s inventories had risen more than expected.
CNBC reported that the US Energy Information Administration released data which showed that crude stockpiles had grown by 24 million barrels in the past month all while refining capacity was reduced by nearly 1.3 million barrels per day due to maintenance.
Related: Market Primer: Thursday, October 24: Investors Switch Focus To Earnings
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Daktronics Inc.(DAKT)
Daktronics, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and sells various electronic display systems and related products, as well as provides related maintenance and professional services worldwide. The company offers scoring and timing products, such as indoor and outdoor scoreboards, digit displays, scoring and timing controllers, statistics software, and other related products; timing systems for sports events, primarily aquatics and track competitions; and audio systems integrated into a solution that include scoring, timing, message display, and/or video capability for sports venues, as well as related control systems. It also provides automated rigging and hoist products, which comprise of arena center-hung scoreboard/display systems for small and large sporting facilities; automated rigging for theatre applications, including high schools; and video display systems, such as displays to show various levels of video, graphics, and animation, as well as controllers to manage the operation of the display. In addition, the company provides architectural lighting and display products, which include freeform video elements; message display systems for commercial applications; digital billboards that offer digital display solutions for the outdoor advertising industry; Visiconn system, a primary software application for controlling content and playback loops for digital billboard applications; and digit and price displays consisting of outdoor time and temperature displays, as well as Fuelight digit displays designed for the petroleum industry. Further, it offers transportation products comprising various light emitting diodes-based displays for road management, parking, mass transit, and aviation applications; and rents its display equipment. The company sells its products through its direct sales force, as well as through resellers. Daktronics, Inc. was founded in 1968 and is based in Brookings, South Dakota.
- [By John Udovich]
Large cap glass and ceramics technology stock Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) has put in a good performance since announcing a deal with Samsung back in October, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at the stock along with the performance of potential peers (either upstream or downstream on the OLED and liquid crystal display side of the glass business) like small cap players like Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT), SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED). I should note that we have recently added Corning Incorporated to our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio because we believe the company’s position as it relates to glass and ceramics puts it in a sweet spot for the next generation flexible screens and mobile wearables. But that’s not all there is to like about this stock.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap flat panel display stock Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED) was hit by bearish news in late November and the trend lines on its technical charts appear to be confused as to what direction the stock will head, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at the situation along with the stock’s performance verses that of flat panel display peers like large cap Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and small cap players like Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT) and SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC)
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Plum Creek Timber Company Inc.(PCL)
Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. is a publicly owned real estate investment trust (REIT). The trust owns and manages timberlands in the United States. Its products include lumber products, plywood, medium density fiberboard, and related by-products, such as wood chips. The trust also focuses on mineral extraction and natural gas production, communication, and transportation. Plum Creek Timber Company was founded in 1989 and is based in Seattle, Washington.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Among stocks in the S&P 500, CBRE Group (CBG) has dropped 5.5% to $23.05 after it reported a profit of 30 cents a share, missing forecasts for 33 cents. Aflac (AFL), meanwhile, has fallen 3% to $65 after it reported a profit of $1.47, missing estimates for $1.48 on weakness in Japan. Plum Creek Timber (PCL) has dropped 1.3% to $45.76 after announcing that it would sell 12.1 million shares of stock at $45.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Rayonier have plunged 15% to $46.97 at 12.36 p.m., but its fall doesn’t seem to have damaged other timber companies. Weyerhaeuser (WY) has gained 3.7% to $31.43 after it reported a profit of 27 cents today, beating estimates of 21 cents. Plum Creek Timber (PCL) is little changed at $49.47 and Boise Cascade (BCC) has risen 1.1% to $27.83.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Ordinarily, price pressure might lead to decreased demand for housing, which could send Weyerhaeuser’s cyclical prospects downward. But so far, that hasn’t materialized, and Plum Creek Timber (NYSE: PCL ) has seen greater investment in mills as well as expanded work-shifts at existing facilities. Furthermore, logging capacity has been under pressure, which could continue to support prices.
- [By Jacob Roche]
Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY ) and Plum Creek Timber (NYSE: PCL ) have seen sales go up almost 20% in the past three years, and margins are strong. Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek both get a significant amount of their business from the sale of whole logs, manufactured wood, and pulp, making them key suppliers to the increasing demand from different industries. Plum Creek is in a particularly good position, as much of its assets are in the eastern half of the United States, which has been less affected by the beetle.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: PDF Solutions Inc.(PDFS)
PDF Solutions, Inc. provides infrastructure technologies and services for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits (IC) in Asia, the United States, and Europe. It offers manufacturing process solutions that include process research and development, and process integration and yield ramp; volume manufacturing solutions; and design-for-manufacturability (DFM) solutions, such as logic DFM, circuit level DFM, memory DFM, and pdBRIX Physical IP solutions. The company also offers characterization vehicle (CV) infrastructure, which includes CV test chips, pdCV analysis software, and pdFasTest electrical wafer test system; Yield Ramp Simulator software that analyzes an IC design to compute its systematic and random yield loss; and Circuit Surfer software, which estimates the parametric performance yield and manufacturability of analog/mixed-signal/RF blocks. In addition, it provides pdBRIX platform, which includes software for identifying and developing a set of physical IP building blocks that are tailored to a given manufacturing process and target product application; dataPOWER YMS platform that collects yield data, loads, and stores it in an integrated database and allows product engineers to identify and analyze production yield issues; FDC software, which provides fault detection and classification capabilities to identify sources of process variations and manufacturing excursions by monitoring equipment parameters; and YA-FDC service and software platform that allows online modeling to create real-time virtual measurements of final product attributes during processing. PDF Solutions sells its technologies and services through direct sales force, sales representatives, and strategic alliances to integrated device manufacturers, fabless semiconductor design companies, and foundries in the microprocessors, memory, graphics, image sensor solutions, and communications segments. The company was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in San Jo se, California.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
PDF Solutions (PDFS) provides infrastructure technologies and services to improve yield and optimize performance of integrated circuits. This stock closed up 2.6% at $21.51 in Friday’s trading session.
Friday’s Volume: 543,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 112,159
Volume % Change: 393%
From a technical perspective, PDFS trended up here right above some near-term support at $20.50 and into new 52-week-high territory with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $14.95 to its intraday high on Friday of $21.64. During that move, shares of PDFS have been consistently making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has also been accompanies by heavy upside volume flows since mid-July.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PDFS as long as it’s trending above some near-term support at $20.50 or above its 50-day at $19.06 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday’s high of $21.64 with volume that’s near or above 112,159 shares. If we get that move soon, then PDFS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $28.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (REFG.PK)
Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions, incorporated on December 1, 2005, is a provider of integrated supply and distribution technology. The Company’s Seed-to-Sale (S2S) integrated solution is a management and compliance technology for growers, caregivers and dispensaries in the market. The Company also works with public officials and government agencies to expand the acceptance of medicinal cannabis, and the adoption of a legal framework where maximum market expansion is possible. The Company solves the fragmentation problem by identifying tools that are important to dispensaries, and customizing those tools specifically catered to the industry. The Company’s solutions include Spark, Ghost and S2S.
The Company’s SPARK Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provides customers with enterprise-class hosted phone systems customized to fit customers’ needs. SPARK’s service is a fully-managed, cloud-based system. The Company offers the con venience of an online Internet Protocol (IP)-based telecommunications system while still delivering substantial savings to customers bottom line.
By offering customers a customized, tailored mobile solution, the Company’s Ghost Mobile Apps give a marketing tool with a texting and e-mail solution, keeping customers in constant contact with patients and clients. The Company creates an optimized experience in context to each device or screen size.
- [By Alan Brochstein]
Not too surprisingly, supply is starting to increase. We have seen some companies enter the space by expanding their own businesses, but there have been some reverse mergers lately too. I had mentioned Refill Energy (REFG.PK) recently (soon to be Medical Cannabis Financial Group), but earlier this month Promap (PMAP.OB) acquired 94% of Advanced Cannabis Solutions (link to 8-K). As an aside, I think that this company is worth considering given the management team and the business model. Investors should keep in the back of their mind that there are many companies that are quietly developing their business models and could become public over time, especially as the regulatory and legal landscapes improve.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Morgan Stanley Technology Etf (MTK)
SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology (ETF) (the Fund), formerly Morgan Stanley Technology ETF, seeks to replicate as closely as possible the performance of the Morgan Stanley Technology Index (the Index). The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing approach and attempts to approximate the investment performance of its benchmark Index, by investing in a portfolio of stocks intended to replicate the index.
The Fund’s industry breakdown includes communications equipment, software, computers and peripherals, semiconductors and semiconductor equipment, information technology (IT) services, Internet software and services, Internet and catalog retail, and electronic equipment and instruments. The Fund’s portfolio includes AMAZON.COM, INC, FIRST DATA CORP., JUNIPER NETWORKS, INC., APPLE, INC. and EMC CORP.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you’d like to add some tech-heavy stocks to your portfolio, but don’t have the time or expertise to hand-pick a few, the SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology ETF (NYSEMKT: MTK ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which companies will perform best, you can use this technology ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The technology ETF’s expense ratio — its annual fee — is a relatively low 0.50%. The fund is fairly small, too, so if you’re thinking of buying, beware of possibly large spreads between its bid and ask prices. Consider using a limit order if you want to buy in.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Spdr Nuveen Barclays Capital Short Term Municipal Bond Etf (SHM)
SPDR Nuveen Barclays Short Term Municipal Bond ETF (the Fund), formerly SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Short Term Municipal Bond ETF, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Barclays Capital Managed Money Municipal Short Term Index (the Index). The Fund uses a passive management strategy designed to track the Index. The Index tracks publicly traded municipal bonds that cover the United States dollar-denominated, short-term tax exempt bond market, including state and local general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, insured bonds and pre-refunded bonds. The Fund’s investment manager is SSgA Funds Management, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Todd Rosenbluth]
Fortunately, there are some short-term muni ETFs to choose from. The largest is SPDR Nuveen Barclays Short-Term Muni Bond (SHM). About 65% of the bonds inside have a AA rating, with most of the remaining ones having a AAA rating.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Zhone Technologies Inc.(ZHNE)
Zhone Technologies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, and manufactures communications network equipment for telecommunications, wireless, and cable operators worldwide. It offers single line multi-service (SLMS) architecture, which provides support for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and IP entertainment by integrating access, transport, customer premises equipment, and management functions in a standards-based system. Its SLMS products include broadband aggregation and service products that are deployed in central offices, remote offices, points of presence, curbsides, data and co-location centers, and enterprises to aggregate, concentrate, and optimize communications traffic from copper and fiber networks; customer premise equipment, which offers solution for combining analog voice and data services to the subscriber?s premises over a single platform; and Zhone Management System that provides optional software tools to manage aggregation and c ustomer premises network hardware. These products deliver voice, data, and video interface connectivity for broadcast and subscription television, Internet routers, and telephony equipment. The company also offers products that are deployed by service providers to support various voice and data services; and provides technical support, product repair, and education and support services. It sells its products to network service providers that offer voice, data, and video services to businesses, governments, utilities, and residential consumers; and telecommunications carriers through channel partners, which include distributors, resellers, system integrators, and service providers. Zhone Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Oakland, California.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Zhone Technologies (NASDAQ: ZHNE) dropped 20.94% to $4.91 on Q4 results.
Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC) dropped 14.43% to $37.74 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q1 results and lowered its outlook. The company also announced its restructuring program.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Comfort Systems USA Inc. (FIX)
Comfort Systems USA, Inc. provides installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement services for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the mechanical services industry in the United States. The company engages in the design, engineering, integration, installation, and start-up of HVAC, building automation controls, and related systems; and maintenance, repair, replacement, reconfiguration, and monitoring of HVAC systems and industrial process piping. It also provides specialized applications, such as building automation control systems, fire protection, process cooling, electronic monitoring, and process piping, as well as electrical and plumbing services. The company offers its services for office buildings, retail centers, apartment complexes, and manufacturing plants, as well as healthcare, education, and government facilities. It serves building owners and developers, general contractors, architects, consulting engineers, and property manag ers in the commercial, industrial and institutional HVAC markets. Comfort Systems USA, Inc. was founded in 1917 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of HVAC-service provider Comfort Systems USA (NYSE: FIX ) were heating up today, gaining as much as 13% on a promising earnings report.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Comfort Systems USA (NYSE: FIX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Skilled Healthcare Group Inc.(SKH)
Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospices, home health providers, and a rehabilitation therapy business. Its skilled nursing facilities provide specialty care, such as chemotherapy, enteral/parenteral nutrition, tracheotomy care, and ventilator care, as well as offers various services, including room and board, special nutritional programs, social services, recreational activities, and related healthcare and other services. These skilled nursing facilities include Express Recovery, a unit that provides skilled nursing care and rehabilitation therapy for patients recovering from conditions, such as joint replacement surgery, and cardiac and respiratory ailments. The company?s assisted living facilities provide residential accommodations, activities, meals, security, housekeeping, and assistance in the activities of daily living to seniors who are independent or who require some support , but not the level of nursing care provided in a skilled nursing facility. Skilled Healthcare Group also offers ancillary services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as rehabilitation therapy service to third-party skilled nursing operators. In addition, the company offers hospice services comprising palliative and clinical care, education, and counseling with a focus on the physical, spiritual, and psychosocial needs of terminally ill individuals and their families. As of December 31, 2010, it owned or leased 78 skilled nursing facilities and 22 assisted living facilities, together comprising 10,830 licensed beds in California, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico. The company has a joint venture with APS?Summit Care Pharmacy, LLC that operates a pharmacy in Austin, Texas. Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. is based in Foothill Ranch, California.
- [By Rich Smith]
Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based Skilled Healthcare (NYSE: SKH ) needs a new CEO.
On Monday, the assisted living facilities operator announced that Chief Executive Officer Boyd Hendrickson plans to retire from the company at the end of this year. A search for a replacement is now under way.
Top 10 Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Mobile Mini Inc.(MINI)
Mobile Mini, Inc. provides portable storage solutions in North America, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. It offers a range of portable storage products in varying lengths and widths with various features, such as its patented locking systems, premium doors, and electrical wiring and shelving. The company?s products include remanufactured and modified steel storage containers, steel security office/storage combination and security office units, wood mobile office units, and steel records storage containers, as well as non-core storage units consisting of van trailers and other manufactured storage products. Mobile Mini also provides its products on lease basis to its customers. Its customers use its products for a range of storage applications, including retail and manufacturing supplies, inventory and maintenance supplies, temporary offices, construction materials and equipment, documents and records, and household goods. The company serves large and small retaile rs, construction companies, medical centers, schools, utilities, manufacturers and distributors, the United States and the United Kingdom military, government agencies, hotels, restaurants, entertainment complexes, and households. As of December 31, 2011, it operated a lease fleet of approximately 237,600 portable storage units through 109 branches in the United States, 4 branches in Canada, 19 branches in the United Kingdom, and 1 branch in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of portable storage specialist Mobile Mini (NASDAQ: MINI ) climbed 10% today after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations.