Europe Offers Remarkable Investment Opportunities; Big Data Means Big Offerings; Enron II: Electric Boogaloo in Oil Pricing?

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One Man’s Crisis is Another Man’s Opportunity (YahooFinance)

Today’s record high for the German DAX, along with the recent two-year high for the FTSE 100, proves without a doubt that Europe still offers some remarkable investment opportunities. One of the key indicators for a renewed time to buy in Europe has been the pace of net downgrades for earnings reports. And according to Citigroup’s Jonathan Stubbs, “The last five times it [net downgrades] has happened, the market has rallied 30 percent in the following 18 months.” And that’s the reality right now in Europe. The fact that downgrades have averaged only 10 percent doesn’t make any difference. Adding more fuel to the fire burning through investors is the fact that European equities are up 100 percent since their 2009 lows. Could now be the time to invest continentally?

Big Data Now Means Big Offerings (CNBC)

Big Data or companies offering software packages to analyze enormous amounts of information are 2013’s buzz sector. And if the performance of Big Data’s first initial public offering (IPO) is any indication, Big Data’s going to mean big bucks. Tableau Software (DATA) stepped up to the public plate first, and was expected to fetch $23-$25 a share, with a float of some 7.2 million shares. Scrap that, by the time the offering went out, shares started at $31, with a float of 8.2 million shares. So, instead of raising a projected $172 million, the company brought in almost 50 percent more cash at $254 million. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on what’s up next for Big Data.

Enron II: Electric Boogaloo in Oil Pricing? Time (Bloomberg)

When Enron went belly up in 2001, it exposed the hubris and greed of energy traders who had no qualms about rigging the game. And in the 12 years since that monumental collapse, traders mostly seemed to have been towing the line. But last week, European Union (EU) energy inspectors visited British Petroleum (BP), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Statoil ASA (STL) about allegations of collusion on energy pricing in the $3.4 trillion global crude market. Only this time, the alleged scheme is a little different. These three companies allegedly were in cahoots with Platts (a division of McGraw Hill), the company actually responsible for publishing prices, according to media reports. Such a price-fixing scandal, if proven to be true, may be more in line with the recent LIBOR situation that resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of fines. As details emerge, we’ll see just how Enron-like the brewing scandal ultimately ends up.

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