Money Matters - Simplified

Energy

Is SunPower a Buy?

 Analysts and investors have beaten down the solar sector down over the past few weeks as uncertainty about 2011 enters the market. So it’s time we look to see whether investors have gone too far, leaving us with a Black Friday sale. I've picked SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA) for today's price check because it's a solar leader and has been on my value radar for some time.

 

Crude oil prices slide Friday

New York -- Crude oil prices slid modestly through the Thanksgiving holiday in New York, falling to under $84 per barrel Friday.

Prices have taken their cue from stock markets in the past week. Stocks in Asia and Europe were down Friday. Oil prices followed suit.

January delivery light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange gave up 39 cents to $83.47. Heating oil prices lost 1.1 cents to $2.3308 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline slid 0.62 cents to $2.1556 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices added 5.1 cents to $4.439 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $2.863 per gallon from Thursday's $2.865, AAA said.

What Shorts Might Be Watching at Yingli Green Energy

 There's no foolproof way to know the future for Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result. Rest assured: Even if you're not monitoring these metrics, short-sellers are.

 

Should You Sell InterOil Right Now?

 Should you sell InterOil (NYSE: IOC) today? The decision to sell a stock you've researched and followed for months or years is never easy. But if you fall in love with your stock holdings, you risk becoming vulnerable to confirmation bias -- listening only to information that supports your theories, and rejecting any contradictions.

 

Oil prices hold under $82

New York -- Crude oil prices in New York held under $82 per barrel Wednesday after the Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell 3.3 percent in October.

Traders are also waiting for a weekly inventory report due Wednesday afternoon. Inventories have dropped two weeks in a row, falling by 10.6 million barrels. Some may be betting it is time for a rebound.

January delivery light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange added 25 cents from a prior settlement to $81.50 Wednesday morning. Heating oil prices gained 1.52 cents to $2.2821 per gallon.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline rose 1.14 cents to $2.0982 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices lost 6.1 cents to $4.354 per million British thermal units.

Tidal energy continues to entice

Los Angeles -- Tapping the Earth's ocean tides for affordable, renewable energy could ultimately meet 10 percent of America's electricity needs, advocates say.

While widespread use may be years off, supporters say tides and other hydrokinetic systems, from ocean waves to free-flowing rivers, could eventually provide more electricity than hydropower dams now supply, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Last month a company called Ocean Power Technologies connected a small test buoy in the swells off Oahu to the power grid that serves the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, a first for a wave energy device in U.S. waters.

Crude oil prices slip on border tensions

New York -- Crude oil prices slid to $81 per barrel Tuesday as traders turned their attention to a border skirmish between North and South Korea.

The Wall Street Journal reported South Korean marines died in an exchange of fire on Yeonpyeong, an island of 1,200 residents that is in dispute.

Crude oil prices slip on border tensions

New York -- Crude oil prices slid close to $80 per barrel Tuesday morning as traders turned their attention to a border skirmish between North and South Korea.

The Wall Street Journal reported South Korean marines died in an exchange of fire on Yeonpyeong, an island of 1,200 residents that is in dispute.

Investors reacted to the increased tensions by pulling back from their riskier positions. January delivery oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, already down while finance ministers in Europe sort through details concerning aid for Ireland, lost 96 cents overnight to $80.78 per barrel. Heating oil prices shed 2.89 cents to $2.2567 per gallon.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices lost 2.27 cents to $2.075 per gallon.

Can You Trust the Cash Flow at First Solar?

 Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

 

Indonesia considers more nuclear plants

Jakarta -- Indonesia, which currently has three nuclear reactors, has geological conditions and enough material for reactors in "every province," a government expert said.

The country's National Nuclear Energy Agency said the country's existing nuclear power plants have a capacity of 90 megawatts but the country has the resources to build more than 30 plants, the Antara news agency reported Monday.

"Every province in Indonesia has potential to develop a nuclear reactor because there are ample material stocks and appropriate geological support," said Wawan Purwanto, an expert at the agency.

Korea, only a third the size of Java Island, has 20 nuclear reactors, and China has 30 reactors, he said.