Monday, November 22, 2010

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Upgrades Potash (NYSE:POT) on Corn Prices

A number of upgrades and price targets were raised in the agricultural sector today, as the idea corn prices at $5 a bushel is sustainable remains the consensus at this time. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) upgraded Potash (NYSE:POT) as a result, from "Neutral" to "Overweight."

Potash has continued to hold its share price, even after the failed bid of BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) for them.

Coverage on Potash was restricted by JPMorgan on them after the announcement BHP was no longer pursuing the company.

Potash was trading at $140.46, gaining $0.21, or 0.15 percent at 12:24 PM EST. JPMorgan raised their price target on the company from $109 to $155.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gold Prices Today Plummet on South Korea, U.S. Dollar, EU Sovereign Debt

Several market forces are pushing the price of gold down today, as concerns over Ireland's sovereign debt has the euro under pressure, pushing up the value of the U.S. dollar, while pent-up concern over the probably of Asian countries raising their interest rates become a reality, as South Korea was the first to take the action to battle inflation. Most thought China may first take that step.

South Korea raised their interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.50.

The U.S. dollar index rose in response to the weakened euro, gaining $0.79, increasing to $79.14 earlier in the day.

Interest rates became a major concern when China revealed their consumer price index was higher than expected, reaching 4.4 percent, generating speculation they would raise interest rates to combat inflation.

Gold prices will probably remain under pressure until the interest rate scenario plays out, the continual uncertainty surrounding the European Union sovereign debt crisis is handled.

The problem with the European sovereign debt crisis is there appears to be a lot of shady dealings and data still being presented as the condition of some countries, as Greece has again stated their numbers are probably lower than believed concerning their deficits.

Socialism isn't sustainable, and these countries better stop their entitlement programs and mentality before the region becomes an economic graveyard. They're already well on the way.

Once the Ireland situation is taken care of, or at least a bailout is accepted by them, the euro will move stronger against the U.S. dollar, helping gold to rebound again.

But there will still be the interest rate scenario left to play out, which when Asian nations announce they're going to raise them, will cause pressure to again be brought on gold prices in response.

It looks like we're going to end up having opposite economic pressure on gold, which will probably result in a lot of volatility until the narrative is more clear.

Spot gold prices have fallen by over $26 an ounce as of about 2:00 PM EDT.

Friday, November 12, 2010

China Says Fed's Inflating Poses Major Risk to Economic Recovery

The move by the Federal Reserve has many countries fuming, including Germany and china, who are outraged over the consequences that could emerge from the misguided move.

China went so far as to say it could undermine any economic recovery that may come in the future, and the U.S. "should not force others to take medicine for its own disease."

Zhang Tao, director of the international department of People's Bank of China, said, "For emerging countries, capital inflows may lead to significant increase in asset prices and foreign exchange reserves, and many countries are concerned about that.

"Doubtlessly, disordered international capital inflows will make emerging countries very vulnerable. As emerging countries are important for the global economic recovery, that will greatly increase the downward risks in the world economy."

Concerning the revaluation of the renminbi or yuan, Chinese President Hu Jinatao reiterated China's policy of gradually reforming the currency over time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) Raises China's Credit Rating, Citing Strong Economy

Saying the economy of China and their sound balance of payments has helped them perform strongly, Moody's (NYSE:MCO) upgraded their rating on the country today from A1 to Aa3.

Moody's senior vice president Tom Byrne said, "The record of the past year demonstrates that China's policy response to the 2008 crisis has been effective. Real GDP growth initially rebounded rapidly in response to the stimulus measures, and is moderating to a more sustainable rate of growth, which seems likely to be around 9%-10% this year, and perhaps 8%-9% in 2011."

It's interesting to see Moody's, which is based in the United States, upgrade China almost immediately after China's Dagong rating agency lowered the U.S. credit rating from AA to A+ after the Federal Reserve announced they're going to implement another round of quantitative easing which Dagong said would reduce the ability of the U.S. to repay their debt.

BPZ Resources (NYSE:BPZ) Moving Toward Commercial Production

After a difficult season of development and exploration on their large project in Peru, BPZ Resources (NYSE:BPZ) is starting to search for a partner again as they move toward commercial production.

Canaccord said they're maintaining a "Buy" on the company.

"BPZ Resources has a large landbase in northwest Peru and is engaged in early stage development of existing discoveries plus nearby exploration. The company has suffered development challenges with these assets but is now moving toward commercial production. With a new search for a strategic partner, we believe the company’s prospects are improving," said Canaccord.

BPZ Resources closed Wednesday at $4.02, gaining $0.09, or 2.29 percent. Canaccord has a price target on them of $7.50.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JA Solar Holdings (Nasdaq:JASO) Adds Several More Supply Agreements

JA Solar Holdings (Nasdaq:JASO) added several more supply agreements, implying their recent strong third-quarter results have some sustainability to them.

Dr. Peng Fang, CEO of JA Solar, said, “Business momentum continues to be strong, with robust demand from existing and new customers across multiple geographies. Visibility of customer demand remains high and major client indications give us increased confidence in the prospect for 2011.”

Revenue for the quarter came in at $541 million, generating earnings of 47 cents a share.

Guidance for shipments was increased 1.35 gigawatts to 1.45 gigawatts.

Supply deals with multiple customers will go beyond 1.2 gigawatts in 2011, and prepayments have already come in for the agreements.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ron Paul Says Bernanke Delusional on Controlling Inflation

In an interview with CNBC, Ron Paul recently said the idea by Ben Bernanke that he will be able to manage inflation once it takes off is delusional.

Paul said, "When it gets to four [percent inflation], and decides to go to eight, there's no way they can stop it... They think they have control. They don't."

"They can't manage a dollar like this. People are going to desert the dollar. I think the Chinese are hinting that already. They're not wanting our dollars as much as they want raw materials and other things," added Paul.

The Chinese have quickly responded to the actions of Bernanke and the Federal Reserve, downgrading U.S. credit because of the latest round of quantitative easing, which will inject $600 billion into the economy over the next eight months, and if that doesn't work, hints from the Fed are they'll continue printing money until they get the economy moving, even though the $1.7 trillion already wasted has done nothing of the sort.

China said, "The serious defects in the U.S. economy will lead to long-term recession and fundamentally lower the national solvency. The credit crisis is far from over in the United States and the U.S. economy will be in a long-term recession. In essence, the U.S. government's move to devalue the dollar indicates its solvency is on the brink of collapse."

The Chinese rating agency Dagong Global Credit downgraded the sovereign debt rating of the U.S. from A+ to AA.

Other countries like Germany have made statements such as the US has been living on debt for far too long.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Going Bull on Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Potash (NYSE:POT) and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS)

Citing the support for corn prices of over $5 a bushel, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) said they like the overall agriculture sector, and believe Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) are undervalued.

With China changing their tariff policy lately, Morgan Stanley also sees the possibility of the price of fertilizer rising soon.

Morgan says corn prices should retain support over $5 a bushel, with earnings for 2011 and 2012 reaching $2.01 a bushel, an increase from the $1.52 a bushel generated in 2010-2011.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gold Prices Soar Past $1,400 Today

Gold prices today moved above $1,400 an ounce, soaring past $1,402, a gain of $8.40 for spot gold.

Even though the U.S. dollar strengthened some today, that hasn't stopped the price of gold from rising, as it has performed that way contrary to the usual inverse relationship between the two, simply because the reasons for the support of rising gold prices overwhelm all other factors at times.

The implementation of another round of printing money will further weaken the U.S. dollar, but at the same time push investors toward investing in gold even more in order to protect against inflation and the loss in value of their capital.

The Federal Reserve's decision to throw another $600 billion into the economy in an attempt to boost the economy will backfire, as the former quantitative easing effort did.

But Ben Bernanke seemingly doesn't care, as there's little else he can do, and evidently doesn't believe in simply sitting still and allowing the market to cleanse and take care of itself.

Gold and gold mining companies, along with other commodities, will continue to rise as a result, and that is good for those investing in raw materials in the months ahead.

Feinberg to Pay Realtors Via BP (NYSE:BP) Fund

Administrator of the BP (NYSE:BP) compensation fund, Kenneth Feinberg, received a standing ovation from a convention or Realtors on Sunday, as he reiterated his reversal on allowing the compensation fund to be used to pay those legitimately hurt from the oil spill.

Feinberg has been blasted by many who believe they are being short-changed from the fund, but there have been so many illegitimate claims, and claims made which don't include proof of anything, that Feinberg has found it difficult to go through the massive amount of material he has to in order to make a decision and pay out legitimate claims.

For the Realtors, Feinberg has set aside $60 million of the $20 billion committed for the fund to pay out temporary claims to them.

That means those Realtors believing they are owed more in damages from BP will be able to pursue lawsuits if they feel they can win the cases.

Feinberg has given his opinion in the matter that they will have a hard time winning these types of cases, but at least they're getting some compensation short term and will have some relief in these difficult times.

Realtors were actually damaged more from the Obama moratorium in the Gulf than they were from the oil spill, and Feinberg said there's nothing he can do to alleviate the fallout from that.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) Continues to Struggle with Low Natural Gas Prices

Struggling in the midst of depressed natural gas prices, Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) has its rating downgraded by BMO Capital from "Outperform" to "Market Perform."

Over the last six months Chesapeake has dropped in share price, and over the last several months they've pretty much remained level.

Chesapeake closed Friday at $22.27, losing $0.02, or 0.09 percent. BMO dropped their price target on them from $30 to $26.

A growing number of natural gas companies have looked to the oil sector to drive up margins and earnings in the tough natural gas conditions, which have far too much supply at this time, and probably will have for years.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Sees Emerging Markets Skyrocketing in 2011

Citigroup (NYSE:C) said they see emerging markets soaring in 2011, saying shares should surge to record highs.

Geoffrey Dennis, Citigroup’s emerging markets strategist, wrote in a note, “The weak, but not recessionary, macro situation in developed countries is a ‘super-Goldilocks’ environment. The underlying conditions that have driven markets higher over the past few months remain in place and are likely to do so for several more quarters.”

Emerging market expert and investor Mark Mobius concurs. saying he sees little risk in the near future for the sector.

Dennis added that he believes the MSCI Emerging Markets Index will skyrocket over 30 percent sometime in 2011, which would boost it past its all-time high.

The quantitative easing, or inflating by the Federal Reserve by buying billions in government debt is cited as the reason behind this. It's interesting to note that many say the money will flow to where the highest yields are, which isn't the United States.

In the end, commodities will benefit from the ongoing collapse in the value of the U.S. dollar, but over time will have little benefit to the economic health of America, as the former quantitative easing package has already proven.

Some American companies doing business overseas will benefit, but it's unlikely to have much impact on America at all, other than further indebting its people.

NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) Faces Upside Risk if Gas Comes Back

Even though Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) seems some risk associated with NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) because of their exposure to gas if it surges back, they still raised their rating on the energy company from "Sell" to "Hold," citing weak catalysts no longer a factor.

Deutsche said, "We upgrade NRG to Hold from Sell with the stock having dropped ~8% and lagged the market and IPP peers since mid-September (S&P 500 up 8%). Our key catalyst of weak initial '11 guidance has also now passed. While we are moving to Hold we remain cautious given a weak outlook driven by hedge roll-offs, continued overhang from the STP nuclear project, and a fundamental valuation of $19/sh or modestly below the current price. We do not find further downside potential to be enough, and see upside risk if gas rebounds and/or STP is cancelled."

NRG just finished the process of acquiring Green Mountain Energy Company for a cash deal of $350 million.

The company closed Friday at $20.10, gaining $0.17, or 0.85 percent. They have a market cap of a little over $5 billion.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Monetary Chairman Ron Paul? Now That's What I'm Talking About!

Although this could be an interesting next several years in American politics, depending on whether or not the Republicans actually got the message the American people really sent, nothing will be more fun to watch and informative as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) being named chair of the House subcommittee overseeing monetary policy.

If you though Paul put Bernanke's and others' feet to the fire before, I don't think we've seen anything yet if Republicans do the right thing and appoint him there.

There is no doubt part of the uprising from the electorate was inspired by Ron Paul, and that part of it associated with monetary policy most definitely was.

Paul has rightly blasted the policies of the Federal Reserve, which has become so powerful it pretty much does whatever it wants with impunity, led by whoever the chairman is at the time.

Forget the American presidency, the most powerful man in America is the one chairing the Federal Reserve, and that is of course Ben Bernanke. Hopefully when Paul is through with both the Fed and Bernanke, they'll be taken down a big notch and on the road to weakened power, and ultimately in the years ahead, its eventual abolishment.

But more realistic and possible in the short term is for the Federal Reserve to be forced to open its books so the American people can see that they're up to.

“We need to create transparency there. To see what it is they are buying and lending, and who it is they are dealing with,” said Paul.

Other things Paul wants to accomplish is to use the position to educate the public on Austrian economics, which as part of its core, sees central banks and their shady dealings as the reason for the seemingly endless business cycles, not the free market, which the socialists attempt to paint the economic problems with.

Paul also wants to audit the gold reserves of the U.S. in order to prepare for a competing currency market and hopefully return to a gold standard.

Finally, part of his ambitious goal is to look much closer at the International Monetary Fund and other global financial institutions who want to institute a global currency.

“We will have to have monetary reform. I think those on the other side of this issue are already planning. They are going to try to replace a bad system with an equally bad system,” Paul concluded.

Ultimately Paul doesn't see the U.S. dollar being able to remain the reserve currency of the world.

Go Ron! This is not going to be boring or business as usual in Washington if Paul is named as chairman of the subcommittee. If he isn't, the Republican leadership will hear from us quickly.

US Dollar Will continue Collapse Even with Temporary Reprieve

The decision by the Federal Reserve Thursday has ended up producing upheaval in the Forex market Friday, as heads of central banks around the world reiterated their concerns over U.S. policy, with Asians unsurprisingly voicing their opposition the most.

The USD is plummeted around the globe, although rebounded Friday afternoon on the news jobs created in the U.S. were higher than anticipated.

With the promise by the Federal Reserve to inflate again through acquiring more government debt to the tune of $75 billion a month over the next eight months, the stock market took off, as many believed it would.

Gold prices have also soared, closing in on the $1,400 an ounce mark, which it will reach sometime within the week. Gold went against the grain again as the U.S. dollar rose, although the Euro only managed a slight gain because of a huge increase in CDS and cash spreads within Europe. The battle is beginning by nations against the move by the Fed, as they must defend their currencies against the fall in value of the U.S. dollar. That's great news for gold, as it remains the only real alternative as a currency, rising against many currencies around the world, one of the more overlooked, but important metrics to watch. Other commodities should continue to do well going forward as well with the misguided practices of the Federal Reserve continuing on.

Incredibly, the hapless Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, continues to spew his unprovable assertion that the first round of quantitative easing or inflating saved the U.S. economy, when in fact things are as bad as they have ever been.

Saying the economy would have been worse is another way of admitting QE was an abysmal failure. You can't prove something that can't be measured, and you can't measure an economy that did nothing by saying it was the intervention of the Fed that protected it from getting worse, even as it didn't get better.

Bernanke knows this, but is playing games with those that don't understand how it all works, and who assume the printing of all that money had to have had some positive effect.

The truth is Bernanke admits, in spite of his other assertions, the first round of QE didn't work, which is why there is now a second round being enacted. His saying he wants inflation to be higher during this round of QE shows it failed the first time, generating the question as to how it's going to be different this time.

No matter what one may think in regard to this, the US dollar is in for a rough ride, and the Forex will be interesting to watch as countries implement measures to protect their currencies and exports.

Peter Schiff Is Right on Gold, QE

Peter Schiff has been mocked by the clueless pundits at CNBC and other financial media outlets for his consistent opposition to the Federal Reserve inflating and the need to acquire gold for investors to protect themselves from the Fed's disastrous policies, but he's getting the last laugh.

Although the stated reason by the Federal Reserve to is to jump-start the economy, Schiff believes the motives of the Fed aren't as altruistic as that.

Schiff states, “The true purpose of QE2 is to disguise the decreasing ability of the Treasury to finance its debts. As global demand for dollar-denominated debt falls, the Fed is looking for an excuse to pick up the slack. By announcing QE 2, it can monetize government debt without the markets perceiving a funding problem.”

If that is true, it would make sense as to why the Fed and Bernanke are introducing another round of quantitative easing when their last one failed miserably.

Of course there is absolutely nothing else the Fed can do, as printing money is pretty much their major economic weapon, along with controlling interest rats.

Schiff concludes: “If the truth were known, a real panic would ensue. So, the Fed pretends buying treasuries is simply part of its master plan to boost the economy, even though, in reality, it is simply acting as the buyer of last resort."

For years Schiff has said the Fed doesn't have the will or nerve to raise interest rates, as it would result in the collapse of the stock market, the bond market, and burst the real estate bubble, even though the latter already happened in spite of low interest rates.

He also said bankruptcies would ensure in a big way, even though, again, it happened in a low interest rate environment.

Schiff's conclusion is that easy money policies of the Fed hide the true weakness of the economy, and that has proven correct as the trillion plus in spending has resulted in little effect, and once removed, showed the economy to be in the anemic state it really is.

BP (NYSE:BP) Reportedly Sells African Assets to Trafigura

A newspaper in Namibia reported that BP (NYSE:BP) has sold assets in the country, and also in Botswana and Zambia, to oil trader Trafigura. The paper cited a minister from the government as the source.

Claims that Namibia Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali confirmed the sale was asserted by the paper.

BP spokeswoman Glenda Zvenyika, based in Johannesburg, said, "BP is in the process of selecting a buyer for its assets in five African countries and that's all there is at the moment. Before we make an announcement on the deal, these reports are just speculation."

Zvenyika did reiterate the company is in negotiations to sell the assets in the three countries, and also in Tanzania and Malawi, but at this time there have been no decisions made concerning deals.

BP has a goal of selling off about $30 billion in assets to raise capital to pay for liabilities related to the Gulf oil spill.

Insteel Industries (Nasdaq:IIIN), Mechel OAO (NYSE:MTL), Universal Stainless (Nasdaq:USAP) Soar on Fed Inflation, Collapsing US Dollar

Insteel Industries Inc. (Nasdaq:IIIN), Mechel OAO (NYSE:MTL),
Universal Stainless & Alloy Pr (Nasdaq:USAP) all moved up with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the reality the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodities moving up in price included gold, aluminum, silver and oil. Gold prices exploded record levels again, moving toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver pushed past the $26 mark, and is more than likely going to continue increasing for some time.

The steel industry overall may go through seasons of wide fluctuations as currencies sway in response to the drop in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the wide moves in currency value and the fight by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll be forced to take defensive measures against.

Taking into account market factors, and the general economic health of the steel industry , it more than likely won't partake in the surge in commodity prices and demand as other commodities will surely do.

Insteel Industries Inc. closed at $9.11 Thursday, rising $0.22, or 2.47 percent. Mechel OAO surged to close at $25.27, gaining $1.68, or 7.12 percent. Universal Stainless & Alloy Pr was up to $30.62 at the end of the trading session, gaining $1.03, or 3.48 percent.

Gibraltar Industries (Nasdaq:ROCK), Harsco (NYSE:HSC), Haynes International (Nasdaq:HAYN) Surge on Collapsing US Dollar, Fed Inflation

Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:ROCK), Harsco Corporation (NYSE:HSC) and Haynes International Inc. (Nasdaq:HAYN) all moved up with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the reality the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodity prices surging included aluminum, gold, silver and oil. Gold prices soared record levels again, reaching toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver moved past the $26 mark, and is more than likely going to continue increasing for some time.

The steel industry may go through seasons of wide swings as currencies respond to the drop in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the wide moves in currency value and the fight by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll be forced to take defensive measures against.

Taking into account market factors, and the overall economic health of the steel industry in general, it probably won't partake in the surge in commodity prices and demand as other raw materials will surely do.

Gibraltar Industries, Inc. closed at $4.54 Thursday, rising $0.17, or 3.39 percent. Harsco Corporation (NYSE:HSC) surged to close at $24.03, gaining $1.59, or 7.09 percent. Haynes International Inc. was up to $15.73 at the end of the trading session, gaining $0.49, or 3.22 percent.

Metalico (AMEX:MEA), Olympic Steel (Nasdaq:ZEUS), Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq:STLD) Boosted on Fed Inflation, Collapsing US Dollar

Metalico Inc. (AMEX:MEA), Olympic Steel Inc. (Nasdaq:ZEUS), Steel Dynamics Inc. (Nasdaq:STLD) all soared with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the fact the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodity prices increasing included aluminum, gold, silver and oil. Gold prices soared record levels again, reaching toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver moved past the $26 level, and is probably going to continue moving up.

The steel industry could go through seasons of swings as currencies respond to the drop in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the wide swings in currency value and the battle by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll be forced to take defensive measures against.

Because of market factors, and the overall economic health of the steel industry in general, it probably won't partake in the surge in commodity prices and demand as other raw materials will surely do.

Metalico Inc. closed at $4.54 Thursday, rising $0.17, or 3.39 percent. Olympic Steel Inc surged to close at $24.03, gaining $1.59, or 7.09 percent. Steel Dynamics Inc. was up to $15.73 at the end of the trading session, gaining $0.49, or 3.22 percent.

General Steel Holdings (NYSE:GSI), Gerdau S.A. (NYSE:GGB), Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE:SID) Rise on Fed Inflation, Collapsing US Dollar

General Steel Holdings (NYSE:GSI), Gerdau S.A. (NYSE:GGB) and Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE:SID) all moved up with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the announcement that the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodity prices going up included aluminum, gold, silver and oil . Gold prices soared record levels again, reaching toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver exploded past the $26 level, and is ready to continue moving up.

The steel industry could go through a seasons of swings as currencies respond to the fall in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the wide swings in currency value and the battle by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll have to take defensive measures against.

Because of market factors, and the overall economic health of the steel industry, it probably won't partake in the surge in commodity prices and demand as other raw materials will surelydo.

General Steel Holdings closed at $39.40 Thursday, rising $0.86, or 2.23 percent. Gerdau S.A. surged to close at $13.55, gaining $0.29, or 2.19 percent. Companhia Siderurgica Nacional was up to $14.59 at the end of the trading session, gaining $0.54, or 3.84 percent.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE), AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC) Rise on Collapsing US Dollar, Fed Inflation

Nucor (NYSE:NUE), AK Steel Holding (NYSE:AKS), Commercial Metals Company (NYSE:CMC) all moved up with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the announcement that the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodity prices going up included gold, silver, oil prices and aluminum. Gold prices reached record levels again, straining toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver surged past the $26 level, and seems poised to continue moving up.

The steel industry could go through a period of fluctuation as currencies respond to the fall in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the wide swings in currency value and the battle by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll have to take defensive measures against.

Because of market factors, and the overall health of the steel industry, it probably won't participate in the surge in commodity prices and demand as other raw materials will do.

Nucor closed at $39.40 Thursday, rising $0.86, or 2.23 percent. AK Steel Holding surged to close at $13.55, gaining $0.29, or 2.19 percent. Commercial Metals Company was up to $14.59 at the end of the trading session, gaining $0.54, or 3.84 percent.

Endeavour Silver, (AMEX:EXK), Fortuna Silver (TSE:FR), FIRST MAJESTIC (TSE:FR) Rise on Fed Inflation Measures

Endeavour Silver Corp., (AMEX:EXK), Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (TSE:FR), FIRST Majestic Silver Corp(TSE:FR) all rose Thursday on the inflationary measures of QE2 by the Federal Reserve, which pushed up the overall commodity market, along with companies within each sector, including the silver miners.

Commodity prices in general increased, including silver, which increased to over $26 an ounce. Gold prices soared to all-time record highs again, reaching close to $1,400 an ounce. Aluminum moved up to its highest levels since April.

Endeavour Silver closed at $5.25 Thursday, rising $0.41, or 8.47 percent. Fortuna Silver surged to close at $4.12, gaining $0.21, or 5.37 percent. First Majectic was up $9.66 at the end of the day, increasing by $0.86, or 9.77 percent.

Silver Standard Resources Nasdaq:SSRI), Minefinders (AMEX:MFN), Silvercorp (NYSE:SVM) Soar on Fed's QE2

Silver Standard Resources Inc. Nasdaq:SSRI), Minefinders Corp. Ltd. (AMEX:MFN), Silvercorp Metals Inc. (NYSE: SVM) all soared Thursday on the implemention of QE2 by the Federal Reserve which will inflate the economy going forward, which pushed up the broader commodity market, along with individual companies within each sector, including silver miners.

The majority commodity prices increased, including silver, which rose to over $26 an ounce. Gold prices rose to all-time records again, closing in on the $1,400 an ounce mark, while aluminum increased to its highest levels since April.

Silver Standard closed at $25.95 Thursday, rising $1.81, or 7.50 percent. Minefinders surged to close at $9.32, gaining $0.57, or 6.51 percent. Silvercorp was up $11.57 at the end of the day, increasing by $1.55, or 15.47 percent.

Mag Silver (AMEX:MVG) Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW), Pan American(Nasdaq:PAAS) Surge on Fed QE

Mag Silver Corp. (AMEX:MVG) Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW), Pan American Silver Corp. (Nasdaq:PAAS) all soared Thursday on the news the Federal Reserve was going to inflate in a big way again, driving up the broader commodity market, along with individual companies within each sector.

Almost all commodity prices rose, including silver, which surpassed $26 an ounce. Gold prices rose to all-time records, while aluminum rose to its highest levels since April.

Mag Silver closed at $9.67 Thursday, rising $0.24, or 2.54 percent. Silver Wheaton surged to close at $32.20, gaining $2.59, or 8.75 percent. Pan American was up $34.51 at the end of the day, increasing by $2.06, or 6.35 percent.

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), Carpenter Technology (NYSE:CRS), US Steel (NYSE:X) Soar on Collasping US Dollar, QE2

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), Carpenter Technology (NYSE:CRS), US Steel (NYSE:X) all moved up with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the announcement that the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodity prices rising included oil prices, gold, silver and aluminum. Gold prices reached record levels again, straining toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver broke the $26 level, and seems poised to continue moving up.

The steel industry could go through a period of uncertainty as currencies respond to the fall in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the fluctuations and the battle by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll have to attempt to protect themselves against.

ArcelorMittal closed at $47.33 Thursday, rising $1.66, or 3.63 percent. Carpenter Technology surged to close at $35.51, gaining $0.96, or 2.78 percent. US Steel was up to $47.33 at the end of the trading session, gaining $1.66, or 3.63 percent.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF), BHP (NYSE:BHP), Rio Tinto (NYSE:RTP), Vale (NYSE:VALE) Move Up as Commodity Prices Surge

The expected positive disruption in the commodity sector has happened in a big way after the announcement by the Federal Reserve that they were going to resume inflating, and natural resource companies like Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), Rio Tinto (NYSE:RTP), Vale SA (NYSE:VALE) all soared with the inevitable plunge in value of the U.S. dollar accompanying the quantitative easing.

Gold prices are soaring to new highs, as spot gold approached $1,400 an ounce at the end of closing on Thursday. Aluminum prices also reached levels not seen since April.

BHP closed Thursday at $91.20, gaining $5.12, or 5.95 percent. Cliffs ended the session at an even $70, rising $3.13, or 4.68 percent. Rio Tinto surged to close in New York at $70.52, increasing by $3.74, or 5.60 percent. Vale SA ended the day at $33.80, rising by $1.34, or 4.13 percent.

The overall commodity sector exploded Thursday as what appears to be pent-up expectation and anticipation concerning the Fed move poured out through investors putting their money into the commodity sector in a big way.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Bucyrus (Nasdaq:BUCY) Explode Upward on Commodity Connection

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Bucyrus International, Inc. (Nasdaq:BUCY) both performed strongly Thursday as the fallout from the implementation of the quantitative easing strategy of the Federal Reserve is digested by the market.

With commodities set to soar even more because of the inflation and weak U.S. dollar induced by the Fed's actions, both equipment companies should be among the stronger beneficiaries of the effort as higher prices should mean more expansion and increased purchases of equipment.

Caterpillar closed the trading day at $83.18, gaining $3.30, or 4.13 percent. Bucyrus performed even better, rising to $72.48, posting a gain of $4.82 on the day, or 7.12 percent.

Schnitzer Steel (NASDAQ:SCHN), Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD), POSCO (NYSE:PKX) Soar on QE2, Collapsing US Dollar

Schnitzer Steel Industries (NASDAQ:SCHN), Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD),
POSCO (NYSE:PKX) all moved up with the broader commodity sector Thursday, as the announcement that the Federal Reserve was going to inflate again via its quantitative easing strategy pushed up the price of commodities in anticipation of the inevitable inflation to come.

Commodity prices going up included oil prices, gold, silver and aluminum. Gold prices reached record levels again, straining toward the $1,400 an ounce level. Silver surged past the $26 level, and seems poised to continue moving up.

The steel industry could go through a period of uncertainty as currencies respond to the fall in value of the U.S. dollar, which will affect margins because of the fluctuations in currency value and the battle by some against the Chinese renminbi, which they'll have to attempt to take defensive measures against.

Schnitzer Steel Industries closed at $53.15 Thursday, rising $1.02, or 1.96 percent. Steel Dynamics surged to close at $15.73, gaining $0.49, or 3.22 percent. POSCO was up to $108.38 at the end of the trading session, gaining $3.72, or 3.55 percent.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA), Century (NASDAQ:CENX), Kaiser (NASDAQ:KALU), Noranda (NYSE:NOR) Soar on Fed QE

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ:CENX), Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ:KALU), Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation (NYSE:NOR) soared on the inflationary steps taken by the Federal Reserve, which will dilute the U.S. dollar even more via its $600 billion quantitative easing fiasco.

Commodities, which are denominated, for the most part, in U.S. dollars, will benefit strongly from this, and aluminum companies mentioned above, and others, will partake in that benefit.

Aluminum prices rose to their highest level since April, reaching about $2,450 a ton.

Higher commodity prices, in whatever segment they're in, can overcome a lot of resistance and operational problems, and that is the case with aluminum and aluminum producers, who are poised to move up in share price based on the expected and ongoing rise in aluminum prices.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD), Allied Nevada (AMEX:ANV), Centerra Gold (TSE:CG) Move Up with Fed's Inflating

Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD), Allied Nevada Gold (AMEX:ANV), Centerra Gold (TSE:CG) moved up with the broader gold market in response to the misguided implementation of another round of inflating, or quantitative easing, by the Federal Reserve.

The U.S. dollar plummeted in value as gold prices rose to new record highs today, with spot gold rising to over $1,386 an ounce, an increase of over $37.90.

Royal Gold was trading at $51.46, gaining $1.13, or 2.25 percnet as of 3:31 PM EDT. Allied Nevada was up to $26.82, gaining $1.71, or 6.81 percent. In Toronto, Centerra Gold traded at $19.13, rising $0.25, or 1.32 percent.

The majority of gold miners were up today, some rising as high as 7 percent or more.

BP (NYSE:BP) Shutting Down Rhum Gas Field on Iran Sanctions

With the British government unwilling to clarify the situation resulting from the sanctions by Europe on Iran because of their nuclear program, BP said they're going to shut down their Rhum gas field in the North sea to be sure they're in compliance with the decision.

The Rhum field is a 50/50 venture with Iranian Oil Co. U.K. Ltd., a unit of Naftiran Intertrade Co., based in Tehran, Iran.

Matt Taylor, a spokesman for BP based in Aberdeen, Scotland, said, “Pending clarification from the government and to ensure we comply with the required notification period in the regulations, preparations to suspend production are underway. From the middle of next week there will be no production from Rhum.”

The purpose of the sanctions, according to the EU, is to keep the use of European technology from aiding the nuclear program of Iran.

Once the British government clarifies the rules of the sanctions, BP will review the shutdown.

In the short term and in light of the huge gas supply, the shutdown won't hurt the UK, as the Rhum field currently supplies about 2 percent of gas demand for winters in the UK.

The implication of all of these seems to say the EU didn't thoroughly think through the consequences of this, or Britain is strongly opposing the shutdown and is negotiating to allow the Rhum field to be exempt from sanctions.

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) Facing Near-Term Challenges

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Wedbush maintained their ratings on Transocean (NYSE:RIG), but both see in the near term that they have challenges which will weigh on the stock.

"We believe this discount is warranted given 1) the medium-term view for lower offshore dayrates across all asset class, 2) costs will likely rise with greater safety requirements and more frequent maintenance, and 3) that liability from the Macondo incident remains highly uncertain," said JPMorgan.

Wedbush said, "Despite significant upside to our target price, we are maintaining our HOLD rating on RIG as overhang from current GOM offshore drilling moratorium persists. With a premium fleet, strong secular growth in deepwater and primarily oil leverage, we would expect RIG to rise in absolute terms. Given the defensive nature of its backlog in what has become a market increasingly seeking a return to risk, however, we would not expect RIG to outperform more operationally leveraged jackup names in the near-term."

JPMorgan maintained an "Underweight" on Transocean, while Wedbush kept a "Hold" on them.

Transocean closed Wednesday at $63.96, gaining $0.36, or 0.57 percent. Wedbush has a hefty price target of $97 on the shares of the company, JPMorgan is far below that at $55 a share.

Taseko (Amex:TGB) Loses Prosperity Mine Battle

Taseko Mines (Amex:TGB) got hit hard when the news came out they were denied permission to go forward with their Prosperity Mine by the Canadian government.

Cannacord Genuity downgraded them, as well as others, almost immediately afterward, lowering them from "Buy" to "Hold."

"We are downgrading our rating and lowering our 12-month target to C$5.25/share following the Federal Government’s decision to deny environmental approval for the company’s proposed Prosperity coppergold project in B.C. Our revised C$5.25 target is based on an unchanged 4.0x our 2011E EV/EBITDA (C$4.62) plus a substantially reduced in-situ value for Prosperity of C$0.59 (previously C$2.21), which reflects a markedly reduced probability weighting of only 20% (previously 75%). While we are lowering our rating to HOLD, we anticipate the shares to open sharply down on Wednesday, November 3, which could present a buying opportunity if the shares fall materially below C$5.00, in our opinion."

Taseko closed in New York at $4.91, dropping $1.57, or 24.23 percent. Canaccord dropped their price target on Taseko from C$6.85 to C$5.25.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Downgrades EOG (NYSE:EOG), Eaten Up by Lowered Production Estimates

Not willing to commit more capital to the production of natural gas, EOG Resources Inc (NYSE:EOG) had its share price plunge as the cut their production estimates. Citigroup downgraded them from "Buy" to "Hold" in response.

Most of this is driven by the depressed prices of natural gas, which at least in the short term, aren't going to be moving up.

Natural gas companies with heavy exposure have been transferring capital to the oil sector or liquefied natural gas segment, which generate stronger margins and earnings at this time.

Even with lower production estimates, some question if EOG has the capital to pull it off.

EOG closed Wednesday at $88.64, plummeting $9.10, or 9.31 percent. Citigroup slashed their price target from $110 to $95.

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) Should Deliver 7% to 9% Production Growth Long Term

Over the next five years, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) should grow production at an annual rate of 7 percent to 9 percent, says Barclays (NYSE:BCS).

"Anadarko reported an adjusted Q3 EPS headline miss of $0.21 vs. our $0.25 and consensus of $0.28. Higher-than-guided G&A contributed to the miss vs. our estimates as APC accrued a $30-million non-executive compensation charge related to a program designed to retain personnel after the Macondo incident. The company slightly raised 2010 production guidance and lowered spending - 3%. We continue to believe the long-term story is intact with APC poised to deliver 7-9% annual production growth for the next five years. The uncertainty surrounding potential liabilities from the Macondo incident is likely to steer performance in the intermediate term."

EPS estimates lowered from $1.85 to $1.55 for the full year 2010, and for the full year 2011 from $1.45 to $0.80.

Anadarko closed down at $63.64, dropping $0.18, or 0.28 percent. Barclays maintains an "Overweight" on them with a price target of $71, raised from $65.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Slaps Agrium (NYSE:AGU) with Downgrade After Big Miss

The miss by Agrium (NYSE:AGU) with its quarterly results was a big one, and Citigroup (NYSE:C) punished them with a downgrade, dropping them from "Buy" to "Hold."

Not only was the miss an unexpected event for analysts, it was the size of the miss, where earnings came in at $111 million, or 70 cents a share, far off the 87 cents a share analysts were looking for.

The only thing that was offered as a possibility was that analysts may have missed the timing of the price increases, which may have skewed their expectations.

Agrium said gross profit for the quarter increased 26 percent to $500 million, driven mostly by a strong performance from its retail unit.

Guidance given by Agrium was for fourth-quarter earnings to increase to a range of $1.00 to $1.30 a share, far above the 97 cents a share the Street is looking for.

As Agrium found out though, delivering on a promise and expectation is harder than giving one.

Agrium fell to $84.92 on Wednesday, losing $2.30, or 2.64 percent.

George Soros Increases Stake in Platinum Group Metals (AMEX:PLG)

Via his Soros Fund Management, LLC hedge fund, billionaire George Soros increased his stake in Platinum Group Metals (AMEX:PLG) to 9.73 percent of the company, underscoring the confidence platinum demand and prices will continue to rise.

Soros formerly owned about 1.5 million shares, and has raised that by 10 percent to 15,500,000 million shares over last quarter.

The fund is now the largest holder of shares in the company.

Platinum Group closed the trading session Wednesday at $2.10, losing $0.01, or 0.47 percent.

Kennametal (NYSE:KMT) Margins Look to Improve

While the majority of analysts have been falling all over themselves over Kennametal (NYSE:KMT) after their first earnings report, UBS (NYSE:UBS) was more subdued, maintaining their "Neutral" rating on them, while dropping their price target significantly.

UBS said, "We are raising our FY11E EPS to $2.35, from $2.10, largely to reflect an improved margin profile. We are tweaking our FY12 and FY13 EPS estimates, to $2.80 and $3.15, from $2.85 and $3.18, respectively."

Earnings projections from Kennametal were also raised from a range of $1.85 to $2.15 a share to $2.25 to $2.45.

Kennametal did raise their guidance for Fiscal 2011, with a moderate growth pace to continue in their eyes. Both earnings and sales projections were also raised.

Even so, UBS sees them struggling with their share price, and lowered their price target from $36 to $30.

Kennametal closed Wednesday at $33.80, losing $0.54, or 1.60 percent.

BHP (NYSE:BHP) Bid for Potash (NYSE:POT) Rejected by Comrades in Canada

In a strange twist to at least some parts of Canada, the nation seems to be degenerating into a country as nationalist and socialist as they come, as evidenced by their rejection of the bid by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) for fertilizer giant Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT).

The alleged and unexplained reason for the rejection was the ambiguous idea it wasn't a "net benefit" to Canada.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who is already being hailed as a hero from what is nothing other than protectionism, is considered now to be a rising star, showing the impetus behind the populist stand he took for Canada, of course.

While some local and provincial politicians in Canada may get some gain out of this, the very public nature of the issue put Canada in a bad light, and flies in the face of their being considered a good country to invest in.

Although the unproven assertion in the past that tax revenue would be lost if they deal went through was the main rallying point of the public debate, when the decision was announced, there was no reason given other than the tired, old idea it wasn't for the net benefit of Canada.

Canpotex, which is the marketing arm of the Canadian potash industry comprised of Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), Agrium (NYSE:AGU) and Potash Corp., is one of the largest and most powerful monopolies in the world, and competes with the Belarusian Potash Company, their chief rival, who is just as powerful in their markets. They also opposed the BHP bid for Potash.

There will be a huge backlash over this as time goes on, not only from the perspective of protectionism, but of greed by the unholy marriage of business and government, which are both maintaining fixed prices and supply of potash in order to keep the margins up and the government coffers of Saskatchewan filled.

When the backlash will come will be the rising costs of food, which will ultimately be traced back to the rejection of the BHP bid, which if it had been approved, would have resulted in finally breaking up this immoral monopoly, and resulted in prices of fertilizer falling.

That's the lack of honesty from Canada in this matter, as it isn't too hard to realize if more fertilizer is sold at better prices, the turnover of product generates similar, if not more, revenue. Just look at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) as one of the best examples of that for their inventory, which they turn over so many times it makes up for the lower margins.

We'll be hear to continually remind readers of the outrage this will be seen as in the future. The best thing that could happen would be for this cartel to be broken up and real free markets and businesses competing against each other, not fixing prices to maintain margins and government payouts.

Amazing to see Canada starting to act like former communist countries in terms of control of businesses at a time they're experimenting more with free markets. Now we have comrades right on the American border.

Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) Should Finish 2010 Strong, but Cooper (NYSE:CBE), Illinois Tool (NYSE:ITW), 3M (NYSE:3M), Tyco (NYSE:TYC), Wesco (NYSE:WCC), and Actuant (NYSE:ATU) Have More Upside

FBR Capital said they like the portfolio mix of Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), and maintained their "Market Perform on them, although they said they believe competitors like 3M (NYSE:3M), Cooper (NYSE:CBE), Illinois Tool (NYSE:ITW), Tyco (NYSE:TYC), Wesco (NYSE:WCC), and Actuant (NYSE:ATU) have strong growth potential.

"With regard to the shares, we like Emerson’s portfolio mix at this stage in the cycle, and we expect continuing positive trends in the company’s mid- to late-cycle businesses. Even as near-term incremental margins could be muted in the 25%–30% range as the company boosts investments, we see positives in the higher long-term growth trajectory. That said, at 15.6x our above-consensus estimates, EMR shares are trading at a 12% P/E premium to large-cap peers, and we see greater upside to our price targets in Cooper (NYSE:CBE), Illinois Tool (NYSE:ITW), 3M (NYSE:3M), Tyco (NYSE:TYC), Wesco (NYSE:WCC), and Actuant (NYSE:ATU). We are increasing our FY12 EPS estimate from $3.75 to $4.00, reflecting better growth"outlook," said FBR.

Emerson closed Wednesday at $54.58, losing $0.14, or 0.26 percent. FBR raised their price target on Emerson from $58 to $60.

Yingli Green (NYSE:YGE) Sales Rising, Costs Lowering

Yingli Green Energy Holding (NYSE:YGE) earnings per share estimate was upwardly revised by Auriga on expected higher sales over the next two quarters, and on remaining committed to being a low-cost leader.

"We raise Yingli's 3Q10 and 4Q10 estimates on higher sales, better than expected cost control, and currency tailwinds. Yingli's price-leader sales strategy stoked its channel while cost programs have run ahead of industry price declines. Yingli's near-term results clearly benefit from current industry trends, and we expect this to continue into 2011. We maintain our 2011 estimates ahead of the 3Q10 report and look for more clarity from the call before adjusting our 2011 view in-line with recent trends...We raise near-term estimates to reflect industry trends and increase 2010 Sales/GM%/EPS to $1.78b/32%/$1.30 from $1.67b/30.6%/$1.00, but maintain our prior 2011 estimates and $15 target," said Auriga.

They maintain their "Buy" rating on Yingli, which closed Wednesday down at $11.90, losing $0.06, or 0.50 percent. A price target of $15 was placed on Yingli by Auriga.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) Sugar Beet Decision Could be Reversed

The USDA has put forward a plan in response to the ruling by a judge which would disallow the planting of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) sugar beets next year.

While offering several options in their plan, the USDA prefers to allow the planting of sugar beets in 2011 because it could result in a 20 percent drop in sugar production in the U.S. if they don't.

A court in California ruled the sugar beets could be produced again until May 2012 while a complete environmental impact study was performed; something the judge determined allegedly hadn't been done.

The USDA gave Monsanto permission to plant the sugar beets in 2005. Genetically modified crops are usually enhanced with the ability to resist Roundup herbicide, which is also produced by Monsanto.

BHP (NYSE:BHP) May Get Rival Bid for Potash (NYSE:POT) from Russian Company

The more you hear about the opposition to BHP's (NYSE:BHP) bid for Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT), the more you realize it's a good thing, and you check under the more carefully as to why there is such an uproar over a simple bid for the company.

It has largely to do with the misguided partnership of the province of Saskatchewan with Potash, where the Canpotex cartel wrongly manipulates prices and supply in order to maintain the prices and margins they want.

They have a major competitor in the Belarusian Canpotex cartel as well, although they seem to work closely in unison as far as pricing and supply goes, effectively controlling the overall global market.

This is why Phosagro, a Russian-based company has emerged out of nowhere as a potential bidder for Potash, as they recognize the threat to the control of potash from BHP Billiton.

Phosagro's chairman, Vladimir Litvinenko, said, "If BHP controls the potash market, the consequences for our producers may be serious ... we can lose part of [our] markets. This is obvious."

This is also the reason Saskatchewan has been opposing the bid, as they have a sweetheart royalty deal with Canpotex over potash produced in the province, and the also see BHP as a detriment to their siphoning off of billions from the above-market prices and royalties generated from the cartel.

Why this is a threat is because BHP doesn't like the cartel mentality and obvious socialist way the consortium is being operated, and have publicly stated they will produce potash at the rate they choose to and charge competitive prices, not what the other members of the cartel want them to charge, which include Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) and Agrium (NYSE:AGU).

The bottom line? BHP would be good for the industry which has been silently controlling the price of potash, which by extension, controls, to a certain degree, the price of the crops that use the fertilizer.

BHP would be one of the best things to happen to the industry if they are allowed to go forward with the bid and take charge of Potash Corp.

BP (NYSE:BP) Still Waits for Decision on Rhum Field in Iranian JV

The joint venture between BP (NYSE:BP) and Iranian Oil Company UK remains under a cloud, as the recent decision to sanction Iran over its nuclear program could result in the closure of the field.

BP has asked for clarification on the issue as to whether or not the Rhum field located in the North Sea falls under the sanctions.

BP and Iranian Oil Company UK are 50/50 partners in the venture.

When asking the UK government to clarify whether the fall under the sanction in the venture or not, the government seems to be unwilling to make that decision, and have thrown it back to BP on how to respond to ensuring they are in compliance with the [EU] regulations."

The Rhum gas field is 5 percent of the overall production of BP in the North Sea.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Sees Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) Performing Strong

Citing the recent strong quarter from Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), Citigroup (NYSE:C) sees them continuing on in that performance going forward.

Citigroup raised their 2010 EPS estimate from $1.75 to $2.02 a share, and its 2011 EPS forecast from $2.80 to $3.30 a share.

A "Hold" rating was maintained on Baker by Citi.

Baker Hughes closed Tuesday at $49.28, gaining $0.91, or 1.88 percent. Citigroup increased their price target on them from $49 to $56.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) Enters Agreement with FMC Corporation

One of two agreements made by Monsanto (NYSE:MON), they entered into a deal with FMC Corporation to expand their Roundup Ready PLUS weed management platform for use with select products from FMC.

Herbicides from FMC included in the deal are Authority Assist, Authority First DF, Authority MTZ DF and Authority XL, which are preemergence residual herbicides used for soybeans.

According to a press release, Monsanto will license its Roundup Ready PLUS weed management trademarks for use with these specific FMC herbicides.

Mike Frank, vice president of Monsanto's crop protection business, said, "This new agreement provides growers a choice of products within the FMC soybean pre-mix residual brand line-up for effective and economical weed control in Roundup Ready soybean systems.”

Monsanto also made a similar deal with Sumitomo Chemical and their subsidiary Valent.

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) Raises Production Guidance for 2010

Based on their stronger-than-expected quarterly performance, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) increased their production guidance for 2010, and UBS (NYSE:UBS) agrees with them, raising their price target on the oil company while maintaining a "Buy" rating on them.

UBS said, "APC raised 2010 production guidance by 0.5 MMBoe to 233-236 MMBoe (entirely due to stronger than expected 3Q), trimmed its capex budget by $150 million, and raised per unit cost guidance 2%. We’re adjusting ‘10 EPS/CFPS from $1.75/10.85 to $1.55/$10.60 while maintaining ’11 EPS/CFPS at $2.10/$12.20."

Anadarko closed Tuesday's session at $63.82, increasing $0.66, or 1.04 percent. UBS raised their price target on the company from $66 to $72.

Agrium (NYSE:AGU) Downgraded on Valuation after 3-Month Rise in Share Price

After rising over 33 percent over the last three months, Agrium's (NYSE:AGU) valuation seems to be strongly reflecting the value of the company, and Chardan downgrading them to "Neutral," citing valuation as their reasoning behind the move.

The actual ongoing run-up in share price started in July, when the company was valued at just under $50 a share, and stand today at over $87 a share.

Some of this was from increasing corn and soybean prices, but also the bid by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) for Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT), which tended to offer support for the overall industry, and increase other potential takeover rumors as well.

Agrium closed Tuesday at $87.22, dropping $1.16, or 1.31 percent.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) Receives Order for 55 Wind Turbines from Suncor (NYSE:SU)

Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU) has reportedly ordered 55 wind turbines from General Electric (NYSE:GE) for its project in Alberta, Canada.

The order is expected to be fulfilled by General Electric in the second quarter of 2011.

Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK) is a 30 percent partner with Suncor in the project, which has the remaining 70 percent stake. The Wintering Hills project is located 79 miles northeast of Calgary.

Approximately 35,000 homes will be supplied power from the 88 MW project.

Suncor closed Tuesday at $32.81, gaining $0.26, or 0.80 percent. Teck Resources closed in New York at $45.33, increasing $0.48, or 1.07 percent. General Electric closed at $15.94, losing $0.01, or 0.06 percent.

BP (NYSE:BP) Drilling in Gulf for At Least 20 Years Says Dudley

Any idea BP (NYSE:BP) would willingly leave the Gulf of Mexico as a key production asset has been rejected by CEO Bob Dudley, who has recently stated more than once they're in it for the long haul.

In London, Dudley said this about the commitment of the company to the Gulf: “We certainly have a great set of production assets and we have opened up the lower tertiary play in the Gulf of Mexico, which is a two-decade play. That’s an important piece of exploration for BP we’re very good at. You’ll see us continue to participate in that.”

Dudley has been leading the company out of their defensive posture since the Gulf oil spill, and now that they've ended the oil from leaking into the Gulf, and cleanup is well under way, Dudley has the company focused on resuming production and profit, while reiterating the need to keep safety as their number one priority while drilling in deep water areas of the world.

Contrary to the media reports and assumptions, deepwater drilling hasn't slowed down at all, and is considered the focus for the long term in the industry as it relates to oil.

BP will continue to play a big part in that, although they have to take their safety practices to another level if they want to thrive, or even survive, as one more accident, depending on where they are in the world, would probably end their existence as a company.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) Downgrades EXCO Resources (NYSE:XCO), As Do Several Others

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) downgraded EXCO Resources (NYSE:XCO) from "Positive" to "Developing" on the proposed buyout of the company and taking it private being a distraction to management.

Other agencies joined the downgrade bonanza, with Morgan Keegan downgrading them from "Outperform" to "Market Perform," MBO Capital downgraded them from "Outperform" to "Market Perform" as well, and Scotia Capital also downgraded XCO from "Sector Outperform" to "Sector Perform."

Price targets stood at $20 from Morgan, increased from $17 to $21 by BMO, and from $20 to $20.50 by Scotia.

Standard & Poor's Rating Service put the "BB-" corporate credit rating and "B" senior unsecured debt rating on negative credit watch.

Ratings could be lowered depending on the success of the takeover and how the financing is structured, concluded Standard & Poor's.

Moody's sees the process itself as being detrimental to the company, no matter what the ultimate terms of the deal may end up being.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) Partners with Sumitomo Chemical, Valent

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) has entered into an agreement with Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. and their wholly-owned subsidiary, Valent U.S.A. Corp. in relationship to their Roundup Ready PLUS weed management platform in the United States.

As part of the deal Monsanto will help market SCC's flumioxazin products in Argentina and Brazil.

Included in the agreement with Valent are herbicides like Select branded post-grass herbicides used in the U.S., and preemergence residual herbicides Fierce, Ganster, Valor SX and Valor XLT.

Monsanto will license its Roundup Ready PLUS weed management trademarks to use with herbicides from Valent.

Mike Frank, vice president of Monsanto's crop protection business, said, "This new agreement provides a clear path forward in cooperative weed management initiatives for years to come.”

UBS (NYSE:UBS) Places US Steel (NYSE:X) on Short Term Buy List

Saying they expect steel prices to rise, UBS (NYSE:UBS) added US Steel (NYSE:X) to their Short Term Buy list.

"We put a Short-term Buy rating on U.S. Steel on the back of our conviction that steel prices are about to rise. We think it is a beneficiary, with Buy-rated Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq:STLD), because it has captive iron ore in the U.S. and can see margins improve when price hikes stick. We forecast HRC at $650 for 2011, up from recent spot at $520-$560. We think Nucor (NYSE:NUE) may underperform peers given it has less captive raw materials."

Having its own iron ore resources generates a competitive advantage for US Steel, which should enjoy stronger margins and earnings for the quarter.

UBS maintains their "Neutral" rating on US Steel. The steel producer closed Tuesday at $44.85, gaining $1.56, or 3.60 percent. UBS increased their price target from $42 to $43.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Freeport (NYSE:FCX), Alcoa (NYSE:AA), BHP (NYSE:BHP) Follow Commodity Prices Up

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX), Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) are all trading higher today as the U.S. dollar plunged in value in anticipation of the decision by the Federal Reserve to inflate again, or in other words, implement more quantitative easing through buying more government debt.

Commodities were up and the miners mentioned above, as well as others followed.

Gold prices, while up moderately today, are taking a breather before the resumption of their upward climb, as the implementations of more printing of money will drive gold prices up on inflation concerns, as well as a plethora of other reasons.

Many gold miners are strongly positioned to take advantage of this, as well as other commodity-based corporations, which will be positively impacted by the increased prices of commodities.

Something to look for in any of the commodity companies will be those with strong cost-control measures in place, as their margins and earnings should soar during this time of inflating from the Federal Reserve, which most believe will be conducted incrementally over a period of time, keeping the price of commodities up for the duration, and probably longer, as demand is still a factor, even with the additional help of higher prices.

For BHP, shareholders and investors are awaiting the decision tomorrow by Canada on whether or not to allow the deal to go forward, which if is allowed, could dramatically push the share price of BHP up when also including the announced actions of the Federal Reserve.

BP (NYSE:BP) Costs Rise to $40 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill

While turning a profit for their latest quarter, BP (NYSE:BP) took another charge of close to $7.7 billion related to the spill, which brings their total costs to an enormous $40 billion so far.

They also turned a profit of $1.785 billion, a major improvement over the last quarter when they had a loss of $16.9 billion.

The extra charge for the quarter was higher than expected because of the company taking longer in September to plug the well than they had anticipated.

BP CEO Bob Dudley said, "We have made good progress during the quarter. This strong operating performance shows the determination of everyone at BP to move the company forward and rebuild confidence after the terrible events of the past six months.

"We have also begun to make important changes in the way we operate across the group ... to ensure that safety and risk management are embedded as the absolute priority for every operation, for every person, throughout BP."

The $40 billion is an estimate as to what the costs of the oil spill will ultimately be, almost 25 percent above previous estimates, and sure to rise.

Sunoco Logistics (NYSE:SXL) Has Sustainable Growth Rate Say Barclays (NYSE:BCS)

Barclays (NYSE:BCS) sees the projected growth rate of Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE:SXL) as being conservative, and believe guidance is lower than what the sustainable growth rate of the company will be over the long term.

" While '11 distribution growth guidance is below consensus, SXL should still post above-average growth. We believe 6% guidance in '11 is conservative, as SXL will generate incremental cash flow from $400MM of expansion capex in '10. We expect 7.5% growth in 2011 and view 6% as more of a long-term sustainable growth rate for SXL," said Barclays.

"Our $83 PT is based on a distribution run rate of $5.00 (previously $4.97) and 6% yield (previously 6.25%). Rolling forward our distribution estimate one quarter more than offsets slightly lower '11 growth rate."

SXL closed Monday at $80.04, gaining $0.05, or 0.06 percent. Barclays raised their price target on them from $80 to $83.

Alliance Resource (Nasdaq:ARLP) Should Rebound in 2011

Alliance Resource Partners (Nasdaq:ARLP) should enjoy a rebound in 2011 says Barclays (NYSE:BCS), who raised the price target on the coal miner while maintaining their "Equalweight" rating on the company.

Barclays said, "Alliance Resource Partners reported 3Q10 earnings per unit of $1.48 vs. the consensus estimate of $1.69/unit and our estimate of $1.67/unit. The miss was driven in part by lower than expected coal volumes in Northern and Central Appalachia due to the heightened regulatory environment together with higher operating costs due to the ongoing ramp up of the River View mine...Our new $62 target price assumes a 6.5% yield on our 2012 distribution estimate of $4.00 per unit. Our prior price target of $55/unit assumed a 7.3% yield on our 2012 distribution estimate of $4.00 per unit."

Barclays did lower their earnings per share estimate on Alliance from $6.90 to $6.70 a share, but increased it significantly for full year 2011 from $5.70 to 6.75.

Alliance closed Monday at $59.45, gaining $0.61, or 1.04 percent. Barclays increased their price target on the company from $55 to $62.

Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), CF (NYSE:CF) Will Benefit from Fertilizer Price Increases says Barclays (NYSE:BCS)

The increase in the price of corn and soybeans has been a gamechanger in the fertilizer industry, and Barclays (NYSE:BCS) sees CF Industries (NYSE:CF) and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) benefiting strongly from it.

Barclays expects and especially strong move from CF Industries, raising their price target on them from $105 to $130 over the next year, and for Mosaic, they raised the price target on them from $60 to $69.

For CF, Barclays sees them driven by higher raising nitrogen prices, increasing estimates for CF from $264 a ton to $296 a ton and its 2011 estimate from $257 to $288. The firms 2010 average phosphate price estimate was increased from $410 to $494 and its 2011 estimate raised from $408 to $474.

Concerning phosphate prices for Mosaic, Barclays boosted their 2011 and 2012 phosphate price estimate from $451 and $433 to $480 and $476.

CF closed Monday at $121.39, losing $1.14, or 0.93 percent. Mosaic closed down at $72.33, falling $0.83, or 1.13 percent.

Edison International (NYSE:EIX) Considered "Undervalued" by Jefferies

After solid third-quarter results by Edison International (NYSE:EIX), Jefferies raised their price target on the energy company while maintaining their "Buy" rating on them.

Jefferies said, "We believe that EIX is undervalued, trading at the discount of our estimated stand-alone utility value of about $41.50. We do not assign any value to the merchant business."

While upping their earnings per share estimate for 2010 from $3.30 to $3.50, for 2011 they lowered EPS from $2.90 to $2.65 and 2012 from $2.65 to $2.40.

Edison International closed Monday at $37.04, gaining $0.14, or 0.38 percent. Jefferies raised their price target on them from $38 to $41.50.

Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC) Earnings Cut Hard by UBS (NYSE:UBS)

Although UBS (NYSE:UBS) maintained their "Neutral" rating on Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC), while looking for the fourth quarter to gradually improve, they still see some challenges, and lowered their earnings outlook and price target on the company.

UBS said, "Mgmt anticipated a breakeven Q1 vs consensus $0.17, absent LIFO, which could be a hit given CMC’s outlook for higher scrap prices into its Nov qtr. It cited seasonal weakness, continued downstream ops losses, and Croatia maintenance. We cut Q1e to $0.02 from $0.25 and 2011e to $0.65 vs $1.15 and consensus $1.30."

Commercial Metals closed level on Monday, ending at $13.88, the same as Friday's close. UBS lowered their price target on them from $16 to $15.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Slashes Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX) Price Target

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) took the knife to the price target of Consol Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX), cutting their price target on the company after missing earnings per share estimates in the last quarter.

Even, Goldman did say they liked the high margin businesses of the company, and still maintain a "Buy" rating on them.

Goldman said in a note to clients, "Despite the challenges, we remain Buy-rated ,as we like CNX's high-margin businesses and see shares as undervalued on a SOTP basis with risk/reward positive. Assuming historic average multiples, we believe shares are discounting HH gas prices per MMBtu of $4.00 for 2011 and $4.50 in 2012 with little credit for asset sales and West VA Marcellus resource upside potential. We believe natural gas prices are at the lower end of a $3.50-$5.00 NT trading range, likely limiting further downside to Buy-side estimates and sentiment. Street expectations for 2011-2012 coal volumes have been reset lower. We see $2-$3/share of upside from the sale of met coal assets and $2-$7/share if WV drilling results are positive."

Consol closed Monday at $36.91, gaining $0.15, or 0.41 percent. Goldman has a price target of $44 on them, lowering it from $47.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) Cement Used on BP (NYSE:BP) Well Ordered to be Tested

The controversial cement mix used by Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) in the BP (NYSE:BP) oil well, and labeled as unstable by several sources, has been ordered to be tested by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.

Barbier said the components of the mix could be "deteriorating over time" and the tests should be done as soon as possible on it.

According to Kenneth E. Arnold, who advised the U.S. Department of Interior, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, it may be too late for the cement test to do much good, as "The samples are old now," Arnold said. "Whatever tests they do now are going to be open to interpretation."

As Halliburton also claims, it's difficult to simulate the exact formula under laboratory conditions which was used inside the Macondo well, added Arnold.

This was all started from the release of results from the oil spill commission that siad the test performed on the cement mix before the accident found the mix to be unstable, bringing the actions of Halliburton into question.

Halliburton continues to claim the test done on cement formulas found to be unstable aren't the exact mix used to seal the oil well. They do acknowledge that several tests on the cement mix were unstable, other than one test result which showed the mix to be stable.

The result of this will probably be my expert against your expert thing, and in court, it's a toss-up as to who will ever win one of those.

Jinko Solar (NYSE:JKS) Should Push its Way to Higher Earnings

JinkoSolar Holding (NYSE:JKS) looks like after its third-quarter report they have a strong chance of pressing their way into higher earnings, according to analysis from Auriga.

Auriga said, "Jinko Solar's (JKS, Buy) 3Q10 results above Consensus and our recently raised estimates show the continuing potential upside from big capacity additions and better than expected cost reductions. While we do see declining margins into 2011 as a necessity, we also believe Jinko Solar's approach is correct by increasing capacity ahead of price declines and continuing down the cost curve. We raise our 2011 EPS estimate to $5.05 from $4.60 and increase our target."

"Risk increases on potential ASP and poly swings. Large potential variability in module ASPs vs poly costs represents the biggest risk to the stock - both upside and downside. Management spoke of module ASPs trending with poly cost, but this is not assured. While we model both poly price and module ASP declines, we also recognize that the two are not inextricably linked. Our model assumes JKS' poly cost peaks at $72/kg in 1Q11 and declines to $55/kg in 4Q11."

JinkoSolar soared in Monday's trading after smokin' the quarter, with revenue soaring by 261 percent to $215 million, smashing the $153.3 million analysts were looking for. Gross profit outperformed as well, increasing from $9.3 million to $72 million.

Two things the company has going for it in a slowing market is the continual commitment to lower costs, while also being able to land deal for 2011 when most the rest of the industry will struggle.

JinkoSolar closed Monday at $35.14, gaining $4.99, or 16.55 percent. Auriga raised their price target on JinkoSolar from $37 to $40 a share.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Sees Uncertainty Ahead for TC Pipelines (Nasdaq:TCLP)

While Citigroup (NYSE:C) maintained its "Hold" rating on TC Pipelines (Nasdaq:TCLP), while raising their price target on them, they said in a research note that going to 2011, EPU remain "unclear" for the company.

Also in spite of the uncertainty going forward, Citigroup raised their 2010 and 2011 earnings per share estimates from $1.98 to $2.71 for 2010, and from $2.54 to $2.84 for 2011.

In their latest quarterly results, TC Pipeline's EPU of $0.82 beat Citi's estimate of $0.51.

TC was trading at $48.90, losing $0.34, or 0.69 percent. Citigroup raised their price target on them from $42.50 to $48.50.

BHP (NYSE:BHP) Will Wait to Raise Bid for Potash (NYSE:POT)

Although there are many guesses as to how high BHP (NYSE:BHP) will raise its bid for Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT), one thing all agree on, is they are in no hurry to do it before they pass through regulatory hurdles, and in light of no competitor emerging to challenge them for the fertilizer giant.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) has offered one of the higher price scenarios, saying they may bid as high as $165 a share to gain the company. That would be surprising if they went that high, as BHP shareholders have reportedly said they don't want the bid to go any higher than 10 percent.

That is actually good news for BHP, as there has been pressure on them to expand through acquisition, but it's good to see shareholders not willing to grow at any expense.

Yet UBS analyst Olivia Ker wrote in a note, “BHP may be prepared to pay up to this higher limit given the strength in fertilizer prices as well as an approximate 30 percent re-rating of other names in the agricultural space since the bid was announced.”

That seems like a weak argument based on the fact a major reason for the 30 percent re-rating in the industry is from the bid of BHP for Potash. There is also of course the increased price of corn and soybeans, which most believe will leave farmers with more capital, which they could spend on more fertilizer.

Nothing can or will go forward until the decision by Canada in a couple of days whether they'll allow the deal to proceed.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) , Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) Call For More Government Spending

Evidently having learned nothing from the inept government and Federal Reserve, leaders of Alcoa (NYSE:AA), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) have all called for even more spending as a solution to the difficult job market, as if more and larger government is the answer to the problem, rather than being a large part of the problem.

The usual idea of throwing more money at education and innovation is looked upon as the answer. The problem is the quality and focus of education, not a lack of money. For innovation, what they mean there is research and development, which has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of government or even the ability of the government to determine what is needed best.

These companies need to start looking for market solutions and the creativity that has made America so prosperous, not going with their hat in hand begging for government handouts, which means more deficits or higher taxes.

The trillions already spent show there is no correlation between government spending and economic success. Most times the money is wrongly used and the result is redistribution to very poor projects, which ends up with money spent and nothing to show for it.

Alcoa's CEO Klaus Kleinfeld rightly noted, “America and the American dream are still very much alive. The foundation is there. Currently we have a scientific revolution going on like we have not seen before.”

His problem is he doesn't see his schizophrenia in relationship to how that has anything to do with entrepreneurship and the government.

There is no need to throw taxpayers' money at the private sector, that's why it's called the private sector. Great companies like Wal-Mart rise above the need for government and develop their own answers to challenges and needs. That's what has made America economically great, not the misguided use of funds to prop up university research programs, which is what this is really talking about.

BP (NYSE:BP) Starting to Escape "Gross Negligence" Label?

With one of the two key pieces of the failure of BP (NYSE:BP) in relationship to the Gulf oil spill having come to light - the poor cement mixture used by Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) to seal the Macondo oil well - BP could be one step closer to saving billions in fines connected to the Clean Water Act.

The second piece of the puzzle, the blowout preventer, which was provided by Cameron International (NYSE:CAM) is next to be decided upon, and once that is completed, BP will probably be exonerated as far as being considered grossly negligent, as the failure will end up being from contractors rather than BP itself.

That of course doesn't excuse BP from its oversight in the matter, which is where in fact it did fail.

Other major oil companies have noted the same thing, that they will have to be much more diligent in managing contractors than in the past, as that would probably have saved BP from even having experienced what they're now going through.

Has Enbridge Energy (NYSE:EEP) Finally Turned the Corner?

After reputation problems results from the pipeline spills, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) sees Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE:EEP) as having turned the corner, maintaining their "Equalweight" on them while raising the price target.

Barclays said, "Turning the corner following pipeline spills. Combining better-than-expected 3Q results, a restart of Lines 6A and 6B, expected accretion from the Elk City acquisition and reaffirmation of distribution growth guidance, we feel EEP has turned the corner following the pipeline spills. While EEP will likely have a few messy accounting quarters and higher '11 maintenance capex, the spill overhang is largely removed, in our opinion."

Since the middle of September Enbridge has rebounded in share price nicely.

They closed Friday at $61.49, dropping $0.09, or 0.15 percent. Barclays raised their price target from $58 to $62 on Enbridge.

For earnings per share, that was adjusted for FY11 EPS from $2.72 to $2.92 and FY12 from $3.00 to $3.05.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Says RWE AG, EON AG to Suffer Under Draconian European Carbon Permits

The bizarre obsession by the European Union with their misguided efforts to lower the use of carbon via carbon permits could devastate companies like RWE AG and EON AG, according to Citigroup (NYSE:C).

Citigroup analysts said, “The pricing of carbon emissions under Phase 3 of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme will have a profound impact on power generation companies in particular across Europe.”

This will happen in 2013 when utilities in Europe will be required to purchase carbon permits to cover emissions instead of having them allocated for free.

Companies noted as being the best prepared for the farce are Iberdrola SA and EDF Energies Nouvelles SA, while the worst positioned is Drax, as they generate all their energy via coal.

Like the theory of global warming, which has largely been debunked, the theory of the elimination of, or lowering of carbon being helpful is controversial to say the least, and not proven in any way.

A growing number of scientists say carbon is need in signficant levels for the world to be healthy and whole.

America should stand out as a guiding light in resisting this outrageous attempt at extracting trillions from Americans in order to underwrite and support another fantasy and illusion created by those hoping to create a new world order by controlling energy and other resources.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Sees Corn Products (NYSE:CPO) Soaring on Higher Prices

With corn prices expected to find continual support over the next year, Corn Product International (NYSE:CPO) was upgraded by Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) from "Hold" to "Buy."

Higher corn prices should mean higher margins, and ultimately, higher earnings for the next several quarters for Corn Products.

Since plunging to $28.94 on July 2, Corn Products International has soared to $42.55 a share as of close on Friday.

Citi has a price target of $51 on Corn Products, increasing it from $44.

FBR says be Cautious with PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL)

Acknowledging they're well below street expectations for PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), FBR Capital still say it's a stock investors need to be cautious with them going forward. They maintain a "Market Perform" rating on them.

"We left the PPL earnings call with a slight case of indigestion. It would appear that hedges for 2011 and 2012 had more wiggle room than we assumed. No doubt, this will be the subject of numerous notes today. However, what we believe could be missing from the dialogue is the magnitude of the earnings contribution from the Kentucky utilities in 2011. This could be a key risk and we are well below street expectations in this respect. The basis for our view is enclosed. The new disclosure on the hedges, Kentucky earnings power, and other headwinds for next year leave us cautious on this stock. That said, we still see about $28 of intrinsic value for PPL based on our sum of the parts," said FBR.

FBR closed Friday at $26.86, gaining $0.42, or 1.59 percent. The price target was lowered to $28 a share.

TECO Energy (NYSE:TE) Share Price Should Rise on Met Coal Market

FBR Capital raised their price target on TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), citing an improved metallurgical coal market.

"Following a review of the quarter, we are raising our price target for TE to reflect an improvement in the met coal market and the benefit of cash proceeds from the DECA II sale. However, as TE stock trades near or above $18/share, we believe that it increasingly reflects an acquisition premium for TE Coal. We support this view with a detailed analysis enclosed performed in collaboration with the FBR Coal Team. Our base case valuation for TECO Coal reflects an $820 million enterprise value that incorporates strong upward momentum in pricing, offset by cost escalation. TE stock looks fairly valued to us but becomes stretched as it reaches our price target using current market multiples," FBR said.

FBR said they're maintaining their "Market Perform" rating on TECO, while raising the price target from $17 to $18 a share. TECO closed on Friday at $17.59, gaining $0.26, or 1.50 percent.

Chart Industries (Nasdaq:GTLS) Orders Expected to Accelerate Says Barclays (NYSE:BCS)

Citing a global energy infrastructure buildout cycle starting up again, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) said orders for Chart Industries (Nasdaq:GTLS) should accelerate in 2011.

Barclays said, "We continue to believe Chart represents a solid long term investment and is a good way to gain leverage to the global energy
infrastructure buildout cycle which is restarting. We expect orders to
accelerate and drive backlog higher in the coming quarters.

"We are raising our 2011 and 2012 EPS estimates to $1.80 (from $1.70) and
$2.50 (from $2.40) reflecting higher margin assumptions for the Energy &
Chemicals and BioMedical businesses. We are increasing our price target to
$34. We are now keying our price target for GTLS off of 2012E earnings vs.
2011 previously) given increased confidence in a recovery in demand for energy infrastructure equipment and our view that 2012 will represent a more normalized earnings year for the company."

Barclays reiterated an "Overweight" on Chart, raising their price target from $27 to $34. Chart closed Friday's trading session at $23.30, losing $0.83, or 3.44 percent.

Will Market Punish Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) Over Potential Liability in BP (NYSE:BP) Cement Job?

Some analysts are attempting to circle the wagons around Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) after the devastating conclusion from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, concluded the cement mixture used to seal the Macondo well of BP's was unstable.

Questions as to whether or their indemnity agreement with BP will hold is being bantered about, along with potential exposure to lawsuits which could weigh on the company for years if Halliburton isn't able to wiggle its way out of this.

At this time there is uncertainty because of the mixed reports, with some implying the mixtures being tested were different than the actual mixture used by Halliburton, although independent tests from Chevron (NYSE:CVX) ended up with the same conclusion, that the mixture was indeed unstable and shouldn't have been used.

The worst case scenario so far is Halliburton could be on the hook for fines and/or fees as high as $2 billion. That wouldn't include paying BP anything or lawsuits which would inevitable come about from the incident.

Halliburton's job will be to counter the allegations and conclusions in order to clear themselves of wrongdoing. If they can't, there will definitely be far more liability incurred by them than just though a week ago.

SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI) Still Has to Prove Themselves Says FBR Capital

FBR Capital noted after the recent quarterly report from SolarWinds, Inc. (NYSE:SWI) that they've made a strong step forward, but pointed to the fact that they must show they can do this on a sustainable level if they're going to make believers out of investors.

"Last night (Thursday October 28), SolarWinds delivered stronger-than-expected September results, which were a 'breath of fresh air for investors,' in our opinion, in light of the company’s recent track record of posting disappointing numbers. It appears after a rough few quarters that SolarWinds has fixed some of its execution/forecasting issues and is back on the road to recovery. While last night’s call/guidance was an important first step towards coming out of the investor penalty box, we believe SolarWinds remains a 'prove me' story until the company can show that sustainable growth and 50%

operating margins are attainable for the next 12 to 18 months," said FBR.

SolarWinds closed Friday at $18.15, gaining $0.17, or 0.95 percent. FBR has a price target of $21 on them, raising it from $20. They also maintain their "Outperform" on the solar company.

BHP's (NYSE:BHP) Potash (NYSE:POT) Bid Not Only Factor Driving Share Price

Although there can be no doubt the bid by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) for Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) has pushed the price of the fertilizer company up beyond its market value, it is not the only factor in the soaring share price of Potash, as evidenced by increasing corn and soybean prices which is expected to increase the amount of fertilizer farmers buy for spring planting.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) agrees with that assessment as well, maintaining their "Buy" on Potash, noting their strong support based on the pricing mentioned.

"Results were the second-highest for the third quarter in company history and were 61% above the same period last year...We revised our 2010/2011/2012 estimates from $5.77/8.35/8.68 to $5.98/8.70/9.82 to reflect the higher potash prices, updated guidance and the quarterly results."

"We believe POT’s share price is being impacted by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP)’s hostile bid...Given the improved fertilizer market we believe the shares would be trading above $130/share in the absence of a bid. On their Q3 call POT indicated they thought the hypothetical unaffected share price could be over $155/shr. Investment Canada is expected make its decision on the potential deal on Nov 3rd," said UBS.

If the deal is rejected by Canada, we'll all see Potash shares come crashing down, finding the actual value of the company based on market factors and not the bid.

If the deal is allowed to proceed, there may not be much more than a temporary surge in share price for Potash, as a lot of that has already been priced into the shares.

Potash closed on Friday at $145.09, soaring $2.56, or 1.80 percent. UBS has a price target of $175 on Potash, increasing it from $170 a share.

Citigroup (NYSE:C), Deutsche (NYSE:DB), Auriga, Macquarie Give First Solar

First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) has garnered a lot of attention since their most recent quarterly report, drawing mixed rating results from Citigroup (NYSE:C), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), Auriga and Macquarie.

The good news from their recent report was earnings per share exceeded analysts' expectations, with normalized EPS coming in at $2.21, although excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.87 a share, missing the analyst estimate of $1.94 per share, which is what most were looking at.

The bad news is cost rose during the quarter, generating questions as to if the industry cost leader is experiencing sustainable cost challenges, or they can rein it back in.

First Solar had their average cost per watt increase to 77 cents, a boost of 1 cent. That was based upon focusing on improving production lines, which ended up slowing things down.

Chief Executive Officer Rob Gillette said in the conference call of the company that they're working on reducing costs as production capacity is poised to double in 2012.

Again, cost performance going forward, and thus margins and earnings, will be determined on whether this was specific to the quarter, or a long-term
reality. No one knows at this time which it is. It generated concerns because it's the first time since the second quarter of 2008 the cost-per-watt increased sequentially.

Auriga said, "Core cost per watt increased slightly due to manufacturing
changes made in the quarter. While this is likely a one-time event, it does mark the first time since 2Q08 that cost-per-watt increased sequentially. With increased q/q utilization and module efficiency, concern might arise that cost reduction efforts are at least stalling."

Auriga maintained their "Buy" rating and $175 price target on First Solar.

Citigroup increased their price target on First Solar from $145 to $150,
although they are much lower than the other price targets mentioned here.

Macquarie downgraded First Solar from "Buy" to "Neutral," and Deutsche Bank downgraded them from "Buy" to "Hold." Macquarie has a price target of $175 on the solar company, raising it from $170.