Eagle Eye Opener: Chinese Companies Look to De-List from U.S. Exchanges; News Corp. Rebounds from Scandal; Gun Sales Soar

Eagle Eye Opener

Beating the Rush to Get out of America… (NYTimes.com)

As President Obama and House Republicans appear to be moving closer to a fiscal cliff agreement, global stock indexes have been climbing on the related optimism. Except for China, that is. With Wednesday’s
delisting of Focus Media Holdings, a $3.7-billion, Shanghai-based advertising agency, it now appears Chinese companies can’t get out of U.S. markets fast enough. In fact, through the first nine months of the year, a record $5.8-billion worth of Chinese companies reverted to privately held status. That figure is 42% higher than last year’s same period. And, it represents 16% of global privatization bids. The trend only looks to continue, if no fiscal debt deal is reached.

Proving any Publicity Is Good Publicity (WallStreetCheatSheet)

Shares of Rupert Murdock’s flagship company, News Corp. (NWSA) have crept steadily higher during the past six months, despite a mountain of bad press.  England’s incredibly harsh public condemnation of Murdock’s business practices last summer generally cause a drop in a company’s share price but that situation did not befall Murdock and his global tabloid powerhouse.  The ink on Murdock’s own papers hadn’t even dried yet from the coverage he’d generated for himself when he bought a significant chunk of the New York Yankees’ YES Network” on November 20, 2012. And this move has been one of the engines powering his company’s share price rise.

Gun Sales Spike for Retailers Who Still Sell (Bloomberg)

In the wake of last week’s horrific massacre, in Newtown, Conn., President Obama’s call for sweeping reform of gun-control laws is gathering steam by the hour. However, the response from the business world is as varied as you’d expect it to be, given the polarizing nature of the issue. Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) has totally suspended sales of rifles like the one used in Newtown, while Wal-Mart (WMT) has said that it will definitely continue sales of that weapon. Where this hotly contested issue ultimately ends up is anyone’s guess. But companies selling guns, while gun sales are still legal, are going to be recording huge revenue figures. It is up to investors to decide whether to own shares in those companies.

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Bank stocks have risen during the past year and they still may have further gains ahead. But a major factor impeding continued growth is the uncertainty of the still-unresolved fiscal cliff. Once that uncertainty is resolved, though, look for U.S. banks to rise strongly. With this potential bullishness on banks in mind, now would be a good time to prepare to take action when Washington lawmakers address the fiscal cliff. One bank exchange-traded fund (ETF) that I want to bring to your attention

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