As the price of oil continues its relentless climb, many businesses are feeling the pressure. Two companies that spend a good chunk of their revenues on fuel costs, FedEx and UPS are reeling more than most. Their shares have been hammered on Wall Street because of missed earnings and lowered guidance, caused primarily by soaring fuel costs.
It's taken almost two decades, but ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) has wriggled out from under most of the $2.5 billion in punitive damages assessed against it after the infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Noted for their simplicity and other advantages over mutual funds, exchange-traded funds have become a popular investing tool. ETFs hold a collection of stocks that share certain elements. Investors drawn to the potential returns in basic utilities, for example, can turn to Utilities Select Sector SPDR , which includes Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) and FPL Group (NYSE: FPL) in its top holdings. But because this ETF invests in a number of stocks, its broad diversity also limits your upside.
If you think your job presents daily challenges, take a second to think about Ben Bernanke's predicament. Inflation is blowing through the roof, yet financial markets remain hanging on by their fingernails. The yin and yang of economic forces must haunt the poor guy at night.
Back in 1968, Prudhoe Bay, the largest oilfield in the United States, was discovered in northern Alaska. It contained some 13 billion barrels of recoverable oil, and at its peak, it churned out 1.5 million barrels of black goo per day, adding a tidy amount to America's domestic oil production. What a treat that's been.
This quarter was all about constructing the fireworks of the future for Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT). You don't see much happening at the moment, but all the ingredients for a massive eruption are there.
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