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7 Reasons Not to Worry This Week


Before you begin passing around the eggnog -- or re-gifting the fruitcake -- there's still an abridged week of earnings to cover.

I had no problem over the weekend bringing up several companies that are projected to post lower quarterly earnings this week than they did a year ago.

Here's How Manitowoc May Be Failing You

 Margins matter. The more Manitowoc (NYSE: MTW) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons to sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Manitowoc's competitive position could be.

 

Crude oil drops under $89

New York -- Crude oil prices slid Tuesday after peaking above $90 per barrel for the second time in a week.

Prices reached $90.76 in overnight trading but lost ground as the dollar index rose 0.5 percent. U.S. equity markets started strong but closed flat as enthusiasm over a tax plan compromise announced by the White House faded by the close of trading.

The price of January light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped $2.46 from the peak to $88.30. Heating oil prices lost 0.57 cents to $2.47 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline prices dropped 2.93 cents to $2.3124 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 1.03 cents to $4.485 per million British thermal units.

China MediaExpress Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

 Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.


Grains mixed Monday in Chicago

Cchicago -- Grain futures prices were mixed Monday in Chicago with corn and wheat up slightly, as the dollar index was flat, falling 0.06 percent.

Corn was off unchanged to up 1, soybeans were off 3 1/4 to off 3 1/2, wheat was up 2 to up 3 3/4 and oats were off 5 1/2 to off 6 1/2.

Corn found support on the Chicago Board of Trade from a lack of rain in Argentina and reports of a potential corn shortage in China. Wheat futures rose modestly with dry weather in Australia and the United States lending support. In the soybean market, beneficial rain in Brazil in the state of Mato Grosso as the planting season winds took away some price support Monday.

The prices:

Crude oil prices top $85

New York -- Crude oil prices topped $85 per barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

January delivery crude oil in New York added $1.89 to $85.65. Heating oil prices gained 4.53 cents to $2.3783 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 6.66 cents to $2.225 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 1.84 cents to $4.215 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $2.857 per gallon from Sunday's $2.86, AAA said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Here's How Polycom May Be Failing You

 Margins matter. The more Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons with sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Polycom's competitive position could be.

 

10 Black Friday apps to avail best bargains

The Black Friday is just a day away and like always, hundreds of shoppers will be thronging retail stores to avail the best discounts and lowest prices.

Fiat to re-enter US market with Fiat 500

Fiat is all set to re-enter the U.S. auto market with its compact car, called Fiat 500. The Italian car maker announced Wednesday that Fiat 500 will cost $15500.

Oil prices drop on Europe's worries

New York -- Concern over debt issues in Europe weighed on crude oil Tuesday, pulling prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange under $83 per barrel.

Last week's run up to $88 per barrel has hit a wall of doubt in Europe, where finance ministers are discussing a bailout of Ireland and are worried the debt crisis will spread to Portugal and Spain.

Ireland continues to deny it requires a bailout, saying it will manage to correct its financial difficulties with austerity measures alone. European Union officials are expected to review Ireland's four-year budget plans this week.