New Pipelines Opening in Texas; Home Foreclosures Not a Thing of the Past; Longtime Rivals Find Middle Ground on Cloud

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New Pipelines Opening in Texas, But Oil Still Expensive (YahooFinance)

The first of seven new oil pipelines came online yesterday, carrying oil from choke points in Oklahoma and the interior of Texas to the Gulf Coast, where refineries await. Still, once all seven of these new lines begin working, they’ll carry more than 2 million gallons of oil to the coast each day — far more than refineries on the coast can handle. So, while oil investors will be gladdened to see their oil move to refineries, it’ll still take a while before the oil is refined and is able to be passed on to consumers. And even when those refineries are working at 100 percent capacity, they still will fall short of being able to handle all the oil coming to them. A few years ago, these refineries were retrofitted to handle heavier oils from Latin America, not the light sweet crude oil found in the United States. This situation will contribute to more expensive oil coming out of the United States and therefore more profitable oil for investors.

Home Foreclosures Not a Thing of the Past (Marketwatch)

After five straight months of declining foreclosures, and hitting a 75-month low, bank repossessions of homes are heating up again. According to Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac, the foreclosure problem was never resolved — it was delayed. And until banks catch up with the backlog of delayed foreclosures, they will continue to be a drag on the economy. Five states contain the largest number of homes that still need to be foreclosed upon: Florida, with one in every 302 homes foreclosed upon (three times the national average), Nevada, Ohio, Maryland and South Carolina. If you’re a real estate investor in any of these states, you may want to keep your powder dry until the foreclosure binge passes.

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Longtime Rivals Find Middle Ground on Cloud (Bloomberg)

Microsoft and Oracle have finally found a middle ground on which to join forces: the cloud. In an effort to appease the clients of both companies, the two computing giants will offer web services that feature products from both lines. “It’s about time, and we’re really glad to have the chance to work in this much newer and more constructive way with Oracle,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. The join venture comes at an opportune time for both companies, since Microsoft is seeking new revenue sources from online opportunities and Oracle is shifting its focus to business software sold through online subscriptions, instead of those installed on computers. While the two companies seem overjoyed at the partnership, it will be up to investors to see how the deal performs in the field.

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You've probably heard that the Chinese stock market has been hit hard in the past few days. And overnight, Shanghai suffered another sharp fall, at one point dropping 3.8% to break below 1,900 for the first time since the first week of January 2009. No wonder that so far, over $1.1 billion has flowed out of China this month alone.

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