The Conference Board has released its index of leading economic indicators (LEI). While the name sounds like much a of a preview, it is a July number and we would caution that many of the components inside the total tally are already known and visible before this was released. July’s leading indicators were up by 0.6%, and Bloomberg was calling for a consensus reading of 0.5%, from a range of 0.2% to 0.7%. June’s reading was flat at 0.0% after May was up 0.2% and April was up 0.8%. The overall tone is very positive with widespread gains.
The Conference Board indicated that this is now pointing to a gradually strengthening expansion through the end of the year. Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board, said:
The improvement in the LEI, and pick up in the six-month growth rate, suggest better economic and job growth in the second half of 2013. However, the biggest uncertainties remain the pace of business spending and the impact of slower global growth on U.S. exports.
5 Best Beverage Stocks To Own For 2015: Ecotality Inc.(ECTY)
ECOtality, INC., through its subsidiaries, provides clean electric transportation and storage technologies in the United States and internationally. It offers electric vehicle supply equipment for on-road vehicular applications under the Blink name; and advanced fast-charge systems for material handling, airport ground support equipment, and various motive applications under the Minit-Charger name, as well as engages in the development, manufacture, assembly, and sale of specialty solar products, advanced battery systems, and hydrogen and fuel cell systems. The company also provides testing, engineering, and consulting services, including the advanced vehicle testing activities; the EV Micro-Climate process, a planning and consulting program for municipal planning organizations and utilities; bridge power manager systems; and EV network management and software solutions. In addition, it offers energy engineering services comprising hydrogen, solar, battery, coal gasificati on, and energy delivery infrastructure; hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle conversions; industrial battery systems; specialty solar solutions; specialty thin-sealed lead battery products; and third-party hydrogen and education related products. Further, the company operates an online retail store that provides a range of fuel cell products, such as fuel cell stacks, systems, component parts, and educational materials. It serves commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, and utility sector consumers. The company was formerly known as Alchemy Enterprises, Ltd. and changed its name to ECOtality, Inc. in November 2006. ECOtality, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By CRWE]
ECOtality, Inc. (Nasdaq:ECTY), headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels. For more information about ECOtality, please visit www.ecotality.com.
Hot US Companies To Invest In Right Now: ConocoPhillips(COP)
ConocoPhillips operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. The company?s Exploration and Production (E&P) segment explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Its Midstream segment gathers, processes, and markets natural gas; and fractionates and markets natural gas liquids in the United States and Trinidad. The company?s Refining and Marketing (R&M) segment purchases, refines, markets, and transports crude oil and petroleum products, such as gasolines, distillates, and aviation fuels. Its Chemicals segment manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics. This segment offers olefins and polyolefins, including ethylene, propylene, and other olefin products; aromatics products, such as benzene, styrene, paraxylene, and cyclohexane, as well as polystyrene and styrene-butadiene copolymers; and various specialty chemical products comprising organosulfur chemicals, solvents, catalyst s, drilling chemicals, mining chemicals, and engineering plastics and compounds. The company?s Emerging Businesses segment develops new technologies and businesses. It focuses on power generation; and technologies related to conventional and nonconventional hydrocarbon recovery, refining, alternative energy, biofuels, and the environment. This segment also offers E-Gas, a gasification technology producing high-value synthetic gas. ConocoPhillips was founded in 1917 and is based in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Claudia Assis]
Major oil companies, however, declined, with shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) �down 0.1%. Chevron Corp. (CVX) �shares were off 0.3%, while shares of ConocoPhillips (COP) �fell 0.4%.
- [By Matt DiLallo]
With tax day fast approaching, it's possible that you'll need to make a fairly large deposit in your IRA. While I'm not so lucky this year, if I were adding capital to my retirement account,�ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) would be the first stock I'd buy. Let's drill down into this energy giant and see why it gets top billing.
Hot US Companies To Invest In Right Now: Vanguard Energy Index ETF (VDE)
Vanguard Energy ETF, formerly known as Vanguard Energy VIPERs, is an exchange-traded share class of Vanguard Energy Index Fund (the Fund). The Fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Investable Market Energy Index (the Index), an index of stocks of large, medium and small United States companies in the energy sector, as classified under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS).
This GICS sector is made up of companies whose businesses are dominated by activities, such as the construction or provision of oil rigs, drilling equipment, and other energy-related service and equipment (such as seismic data collection), or companies engaged in the exploration, production, marketing, refining and/or transportation of oil and gas products. The Fund seeks to replicate the Index by investing all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
I like the idea of investing in a group of the largest integrated energy companies, oil and gas explorers/producers, and energy equipment and services. It's like a call option on energy with no expiry date. One of the best alternatives in this sector is the Vanguard Energy ETF (NYSE: VDE).
Hot US Companies To Invest In Right Now: Illinois Tool Works Inc.(ITW)
Illinois Tool Works Inc. manufactures a range of industrial products and equipment worldwide. The company?s Transportation segment offers metal and plastic components, fasteners, and assemblies; fluids and polymers; fillers and putties; polyester coatings, and patch and repair products; and truck remanufacturing and related parts and service. Its Industrial Packaging segment offers steel and plastic strapping and related tools and equipment; plastic stretch film and related equipment; paper and plastic products that protect goods in transit; and metal jacketing products. The company?s Food Equipment segment provides warewashing, cooking, refrigeration, and food processing equipment; and kitchen exhaust, ventilation, and pollution control systems. Its Power Systems & Electronics segment provides arc welding equipment; metal arc welding consumables; metal solder materials for PC board fabrication; equipment and services for microelectronics assembly; electronic components an d component packaging; and airport ground support equipment. The company?s Construction Products segment offers anchors, fasteners, and related fastening tools for wood, metal, and concrete applications; metal plate truss components, and related equipment and software; and packaged hardware and other products for retail. Its Polymers & Fluids segment provides adhesives, chemical fluids, epoxy and resin-based coating products, hand wipes and cleaners, and pressure-sensitive adhesives and components. The company?s Decorative Surfaces segment offers laminate for furniture, office and retail space, and countertops; and laminate flooring and worktops. In addition, the company offers plastic reclosable packages and bags, and consumables; plastic and metal fasteners, and components; foil and film products; product coding and marking, paint spray, and static and contamination control equipment; and swabs and mats. The company was founded in 1912 and is based in Glenview, Illinois. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dividends4Life]
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- [By Monica Gerson]
Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.92 per share on revenue of $3.59 billion.
United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.54 per share on revenue of $16.18 billion.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number MSFT is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 41.4% discount to its calculated fair value of $68.12. MSFT earned a Star in this section since it is trading at a fair value.Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% MSFT earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. MSFT earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 2003 and has increased its dividend payments for 12 consecutive years.Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA MSFT earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $14,663. This amount is in excess of the $2,300 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as MSFT has. If MSFT grows its dividend at 17.5% per year, it will take 2 years to
Hot US Companies To Invest In Right Now: iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF)
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Providers Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Health Care Providers Index (the Index). The Index measures the performance of the healthcare providers sector of the United States equity market. The Index includes companies that are healthcare providers, such as owners and operators of health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, dentists, opticians, nursing homes, rehabilitation and retirement centers.
The Fund will concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated. Since all of the securities included in the Index are issued by companies in the healthcare providers sector, the Fund will be concentrated in the healthcare providers industry. The Fund�� investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By WWW.INVESTMENTNEWS.COM]
Most advisers are quick to spell out uncorrelated returns as the primary benefit of alternatives but few understand how to conduct comparative analysis. The tendency is to look at the funds' return and volatility; which starts one off on the wrong path. With alternatives, it's a two part process in which the first is simply qualification and then the second is measuring the material benefit for your portfolio. The necessary condition is uncorrelated, or non-systemic, returns. Without this, the investor is better off simply selecting a traditional long-only fund with the highest risk-adjusted prospects. Once you have identified a group of uncorrelated funds, the second step involves the tradeoff between return and correlatio
Hot US Companies To Invest In Right Now: Agilent Technologies Inc (A)
Agilent Technologies, Inc. (Agilent), incorporated on May 5, 1999, is a measurement company providing bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions to the communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis industries. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), it had three business segments: electronic measurement business, chemical analysis business and life sciences business. Its electronic measurement business addresses the communications, electronics and other industries. Agilent�� chemical analysis business focuses on the petrochemical, environmental, forensics and food safety industries. Its life sciences business focuses on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic and Government, bio-agriculture and food safety industries. In addition to its three businesses, it conducts research through Agilent Technologies Laboratories (Agilent Labs). In fiscal 2011, the Company acquired A2 Technologies, Lab901 and Biocius Life Sciences Inc. On December 21, 2011, the Company acquired BioSystem Development business and P.V.R. s.r.l., a vacuum pump manufacturer. In February 2012, the Company acquired software solutions and technology for device-level modeling and validation from Accelicon Technologies. In June 2012, the Company acquired cancer diagnostics company, Dako. In August 2012, the Company acquired Aurora SFC Systems, Inc.
Electronic Measurement Business
The Company�� electronic measurement business provides electronic measurement instruments and systems, software design tools and related services that are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment, and microscopy products. Related services include start-up assistance, instrument productivity and application services and instrument calibration and repair. It also offers customization, consulting and optimization services throughout the customer's product lifecycle. It sells products and services applicable to a rang! e of communications networks and systems, including wireless communications and microwave networks, voice, broadband, data, and fiber optic networks. Test products include Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software, vector and signal analyzers, signal generators, vector network analyzers, one box testers, oscilloscopes, logic and protocol analyzers, and bit-error ratio testers.
The Company�� wireless communications and microwave network products include radio frequency and microwave test instruments and electronic design automation software tools. These products are required for the design and production of wireless network products, communications links, cellular handsets and base stations. It provides handheld products for the installation and maintenance of wireless networks. Its electronic design automation software tools and instruments are used by radio frequency integrated circuit design engineers to model, simulate and analyze communications product designs at the circuit and system levels.
The Company�� suite of fiber optic test products measure and analyze a range of optical and electrical parameters in fiber optic networks and their components. Components which can be tested with Agilent solutions include source lasers, optical amplifiers, filters and other passive components. Test products include optical component analyzers, optical power meters and optical spectrum analyzers. It sells the products into the general purpose test market, including general purpose instruments, modular instruments and test software, digital test products, semiconductor and board test solutions, electronics manufacturing test equipment, atomic force microscopes and radio frequency and network surveillance solutions. The Company�� general purpose products include spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, signal generators, logic analyzers, digitizing oscilloscopes, voltmeters, multimeters, frequency counters, bench and system power supplies, function generators and waveform synthesizers. Modular! instrume! nts and test software are used by the designers and manufacturers of electronic devices as the building blocks of systems that can be configured for a range of test applications.
The Company�� digital test products are used by research and development engineers across a range of industries to validate the function and performance of their digital product and system designs. These designs include a range of products from digital control circuits to high speed systems, such as computer servers and the gaming consoles. The test products offered include oscilloscopes, logic and serial protocol analyzers, logic-signal sources and data generators.
The Company�� semiconductor and board test solutions enable customers to develop and test semiconductors, test and inspect printed circuit boards, perform functional testing, and measure position and distance information to the sub-nanometer level. It is a supplier of parametric test instruments and systems used to examine semiconductor wafers during the manufacturing process. Its in-circuit test system helps identify quality defects, such as faulty or incorrect parts, that affect electrical performance. Its laser interferometer measurement systems provide precise position or distance information for dimensional measurements. Its atomic force microscopes (AFM) are imaging devices. An AFM allows researchers to observe and manipulate molecular and atomic level features. Its portfolio of AFM products provides customers with tools for a range of nanotechnology applications, including semiconductor, data storage, polymers, materials science and life science studies. The Company�� surveillance systems and subsystems are used by defense and government engineers and technicians to detect, locate and analyze signals of interest. The products offered include receivers for detecting radio frequency signals, probes for detecting wire line signals and software that enables the identification and analysis of these signals. Agilent's electronic measureme! nt custom! ers include contract manufacturers of electronic products, handset manufacturers and network equipment manufacturers who design, develop, manufacture and install network equipment, service providers who implement, maintain and manage communication networks and services, and companies who design, develop, and manufacture semiconductors and semiconductor lithography systems. Its customers use its products to conduct research and development, manufacture, install and maintain radio frequency, microwave frequency, digital, semiconductor, and optical products and systems and conduct nanotechnology research.
The Company competes with Aeroflex Incorporated, Anritsu Corporation, Ansys Corporation, EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering, Inc., National Instruments Corporation, Rohde & Schwartz GmbH & Co. KG, Spirent plc, Danaher Corporation, Bruker Corporation, LeCroy Corporation, Teradyne, Inc., Test Research Inc. and Zygo Corporation.
Chemical Analysis Business
The Company�� chemical analysis business provides application-focused solutions that include instruments, software, consumables and services that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and chemical properties of substances and products. Its product categories in chemical analysis include gas chromatography (GC) systems, columns and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments; atomic absorption (AA) instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) instruments; software and data systems; vacuum pumps and measurement technologies; services and support for its products. Agilent provides custom or standard analyzers configured for specific chemical analysis applications, such as detailed speciation of a complex hydrocarbon stream, calculation of gas calorific values in the field, or analysis of a new bio-fuel formulation. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable ! products ! for these and other similar instruments. Its MS products incorporate technologies for measuring mass, including single-quadrupole, triple-quadrupole, and ion trap mass spectrometers. It combines its mass spectrometers with other instruments to instruments, such as GC/MS, and ICP-MS. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable products for these and other similar instruments. The Company�� spectroscopy instruments include atomic absorption (AA) spectrometers, inductively coupled plasma-optical emissions spectrometers (ICP-OES), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometers (ICP-MS), fluorescence spectrophotometers, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometers, Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrophotometers, near-infrared (NIR) spectrophotometers, Raman spectrometers and sample automation products. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable products for these and other similar instruments.
The Company�� vacuum technologies products are used to create, control, measure and test vacuum environments in life science, industrial and scientific applications where clean and vacuum environments are needed. Products include a range of vacuum pumps, including diffusion, turbomolecular and ion getter; intermediate vacuum pumps, including rotary vane, sorption and dry scroll, vacuum instrumentation, including vacuum control instruments, sensor gauges and meters, and vacuum components, including valves, flanges and other mechanical hardware. Its products also include helium mass spectrometry and helium-sensing leak detection instruments used to identify and measure leaks in hermetic or vacuum environments. The Company offers a range of services, including an exchange and rebuild program, assistance with the design and integration of vacuum systems, applications support and training in basic and advanced vacuum technologies. The Company offers a range of consumable products, which support its technology platforms, including sample preparation consumables, suc! h as soli! d phase extraction (SPE) and filtration products, self manufactured GC and LC columns, chemical standards, and instrument replacement parts. Consumable products also include scientific instrument parts and supplies, such as filters and fittings for GC systems; xenon lamps and cuvettes for UV-Vis-NIR, fluorescence, FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy instruments; and graphite furnace tubes, hollow cathode lamps and specialized sample introduction glassware for its AA, ICP-OES and ICP-MS products.
The Company competes with Bruker Corporation, PerkinElmer Inc., Shimadzu Corporation and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Life Sciences Business
The Company�� life sciences business provides application-focused technologies and solutions, which include instruments, software, consumables and services. Its product categories include liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, microarrays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrumentation, bioreagents, electrophoresis, software and informatics, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, and, consumables and services. The Agilent liquid chromatograph (LC) portfolio is modular in construction and can be configured as analytical and preparative systems. Agilent's liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometer (LC/MS) portfolio includes instruments built around five analyzer types, such as single quadrupole, triple quadrupole, ion trap, time-of-flight (TOF) and quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF). It is a provider of microarray-based, genomics research solutions. It provides products for sequencing platforms. Its portfolio of PCR instrumentation, reagents and kits, coupled with its other products, such as microarrays and target enrichment systems for sequencing, provides a range of workflow solutions to customers in the genomics marketplace.
Agilent is a supplier of electrophoretic separation solutions. The 2100 Bioanalyzer analyzes biomolecules or cells in microfluidic networks of channels and wells etched i! nto glass! chips. The 3100 OFFGEL Fractionator resolves proteins or peptides by isoelectric point with liquid-phase recovery. It provides software for instrument control, data acquisition, data analysis, laboratory content and business process management, and informatics. With OpenLab, Agilent has open architecture, which enables capture, analyze, and share scientific data throughout the lab and across the enterprise. It offers a range of consumable products, which support its LC, and MS technology platforms. These consumable products include sample preparation products; self manufactured LC columns and instrument replacement parts, and consumable supplies to meet its customers' analysis needs. It offers a range of startup, operational, educational and compliance support services for measurement and data handling systems. Its support services include maintenance, troubleshooting, repair and training for all of its chemical and bioinstrumentation analysis hardware and software products.
The Company competes with Affymetrix Inc., Bruker Corp., Danaher Corporation, Illumina, Inc., Life Technologies Corp., Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and Waters Corp.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Shares of Agilent Technologies Inc. (A) �declined 0.5% to $55.60 on moderate volume after the measurement instruments company reported adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings of 72 cents a share on revenue of $1.73 billion. Analysts estimated 73 cents a share on revenue of $1.73 billion.
- [By CRWE]
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) reported that it was awarded a significant patent for comparative genomic hybridization methods. CGH methods help researchers study genetics and cancer in both basic and clinical research.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A ) results for the company's Q2 have been released. For the quarter, net revenue was flat on a year-over-year basis at $1.73 billion. Net profit, however, experienced a drop of 35% over that time frame, landing at $166 million ($0.48 per diluted share) from Q2 2012's $255 million ($0.72).
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Things look a little less auspicious in shares of Agilent Technologies (A) right now. Yes, Agilent has rallied 23% since the calendar flipped over to January. And yes, shares are just a few dollars shy of the highest water mark they've seen in more than a decade. But a double top setup in shares is making this tech firm look "toppy" in the intermediate term.
The double top is a price setup that's formed by two swing highs that peak at the same level -- those two tops happened in early September and then again in the middle of this month. A move through $50 is the signal that it's time to be a seller in A. Since $50 is a round number that's more apt to get attention from investors, it carries a little more significance than the norm.
Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what's going on in a stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That support level at $50 is a price where there had been an excess of demand of shares; in other words, it's a place where buyers were more eager to step in and buy shares at a lower price than sellers were to sell. That's what makes a breakdown below $50 so significant -- the move would indicate that sellers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess demand above that price level. Wait for that trigger before you sell.