Energy Stocks Now Off 3% as a Group as Crude Slides Under $88 a Barrel - NASDAQ Energy Stocks Now Off 3% as a Group as Crude Slides Under $88 a Barrel - NASDAQ

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Energy Stocks Now Off 3% as a Group as Crude Slides Under $88 a Barrel - NASDAQ

Energy Stocks Now Off 3% as a Group as Crude Slides Under $88 a Barrel - NASDAQ

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -2.25%

CVX -2.46%

COP -2.10%

SLB -4.49%

OXY -3.35%

Energy stocks are broadly lower today with the NYSE Energy Sector Index losing 3.16% in afternoon trade while the S&P Energy Index is down 3.22%. Crude oil for July delivery is now down nearly $3 at $87.81 a barrel.

In company news, Ocean Rig UDW Inc ( ORIG ) is down 3% this afternoon after reporting a $0.35 a share Q1 net loss, including a $0.05 a share charge connected to an out-of-court settlement and related legal costs and reversing a $0.22 a share gain in last year's quarter. Revenues rose 49.1% to $163.0 million. There was no analyst forecasts for Q1.

Looking forward, ORIG said prospects for the ultra deepwater drilling industry are "very positive," adding have have been several large, deepwater and ultra deepwater discoveries recently announced. It expects to increase its 2013 backlog and secure long-term contracts for its three newbuilding drillships reaching the market next year.

Also, Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS-A,RDS-B) today announced it recently purchased another 785,000 shares of its Class B common stock, reducing the number of outstanding B shares to 2.645 billion shares. The global oil major has about 3.696 billion outstanding A shares. Both classes of stock are down about 2%.

Business Marketing Association Names Eduardo Conrado 2012 National Board Chairman - Yahoo Finance

NAPERVILLE, Ill., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Business Marketing Association (BMA) today announced that Eduardo Conrado, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Motorola Solutions, has been named 2012 National Board Chairman. The announcement was made at the organization's board meeting in conjunction with the BMA's annual international conference, "Grow" in Chicago, Ill. 

Conrado, a veteran marketer, leads the global team that created Motorola Solutions' strategic brand framework, including purpose, brand promise, values and voice, as well as the company's successful integrated marketing strategy. Conrado ensures there is a single, unified voice across all communications channels – from branding and marketing strategies, to product and channel marketing to global communications and interactive marketing. 

"It is an extremely exciting time to be a marketer. From measuring click-through rates in web advertising to engaging a global audience on Twitter, marketers are now able to tangibly demonstrate the value of their efforts in real time.  Beyond the tactics, marketers have a larger opportunity to play a role in the development of strategic direction for their respective organizations, and in fact, are becoming stewards for a next generation of innovation," said Conrado. "As BMA National Chair, I look forward to working across the organization to develop new networking opportunities, programs, tools and insights to support our members and drive a new cycle of innovation. "

Conrado succeeds Allen Maag, chief communications officer at Avnet, who completed his term as National Chair this month.  Maag joined Avnet as chief of communications officer in 1998 and is responsible for brand management, which includes global public relations, investor relations marketing, community relations and corporate communications.

"It has been priceless to meet so many professionals in the business-to-business marketing community and share best practices, networking and stories," said Maag. "This year our focus at BMA was on enhancing our content and communications programs, and expanding the organization globally, with our first ever sessions in Beijing and London. I am grateful for our board's efforts and the opportunity to serve as BMA National Chairman and am confident that the organization is in great hands under Eduardo's leadership to continue to grow and flourish helping marketers build their careers."

BMA works to increase the impact and value of marketing in businesses worldwide. Extending to more than 22 local chapters, the organization has grown its membership base and is now one of the largest communities of business-to-business (B2B) marketing professionals.

For more information on the BMA and its programs, please visit:

About the Business Marketing Association

Started in 1922, today's Business Marketing Association (BMA) works to increase the importance, impact and value of marketing in businesses worldwide.  BMA is the only professional organization with an exclusive focus on business-to-business marketing and its key drivers: customer engagement and relationships, product and service innovation, value pricing, channels, online/offline marketing communications and analytics. BMA's members represent state-of-the art expertise in business-to-business marketing and communications, and share best practices for the benefit of the global business community. For more information visit or phone 630-544-5054. E-mail

World stocks up tepidly as traders brush off woes - Yahoo Finance

BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks struggled for firm footing Friday as investor nerves were tested by fizzling economic growth in China, but European markets headed higher as traders kept fingers crossed that Greece would avoid financial chaos.

Italian Premier Mario Monti's comment Thursday that Greece was likely to stay in the euro currency union helped buoy Europe markets, said Stan Shamu of IG Markets in Melbourne in an email. But he added that "perhaps we are just really tired of hearing how bad things are and just needed something to uplift."

In any event, European markets headed higher. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 5,376.35. Germany's DAX rose 1.1 percent to 6,384.10 and France's CAC-40 added 0.9 percent to 3,064.09.

Wall Street appeared set for a higher open, with Dow Jones industrial futures rising 0.2 percent to 12,558 and S&P 500 futures gaining 0.3 percent to 1,326.20.

Earlier in Asia, however, gains were stanched by media reports that some of China's biggest banks will miss their annual lending targets for the first time in seven years, analysts said. Hesitation to take out loans suggests companies are delaying investment due to uncertainty about the economic outlook.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 percent to 8,580.39. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.3 percent to 18,713.41 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 1,824.17.

But Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.7 percent to 4,029.20. Benchmarks in mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and New Zealand also fell.

Chinese economic growth fell to a nearly three-year low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter and factory output in April grew at its slowest pace since the 2008 crisis, raising the threat of job losses and possible political tensions.

On Thursday, a private survey of Chinese manufacturers showed activity weakened further in May.

Peng Yunliang, a Shanghai-based analyst, said the reading was "worse than expected and contributed to the loss" among mainland Chinese shares. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 2,333.55 while the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 1.2 percent to 935.05.

Worries were also to the fore in Europe, where seven of the 17 countries that use the euro currency are in recession. Greece will go bankrupt shortly without an international bailout and could exit the euro — a financial event that could harm bigger troubled economies like Spain and destabilize Europe's banks.

Despite potentially disastrous outcomes, European leaders failed to find an agreement on how to fix the financial crisis at their latest summit Thursday.

Among unresolved issues was whether euro countries should issue a collective bond. That would allow every country to borrow funds at the same rate, substantially lowering the costs for the more indebted countries. But Germany, the biggest euro economy, opposes the idea.

"One solution maybe the joint euro bond but of course Germany is against it," said Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings in Hong Kong. "And with disagreement in Europe, I doubt the EU's ability to solve its current problem. So, I think that is the uncertainty that everybody is worried about."

The likelihood of Greece leaving the euro has been growing since early May, when political parties opposed to the terms of the country's financial rescue deprived pro-austerity parties of a majority at the polls. New elections are planned for next month.

A Greek election on June 17 could see anti-bailout political parties gain power, which would raise the likelihood of the country leaving the euro.

Among individual stocks, Japan Tobacco Inc. jumped 5.2 percent a day after announcing an agreement to buy all shares in Belgian tobacco maker Gryson NV this year, news reports said. Japanese retailer Fast Retailing Co., owner of the Uniqlo casual clothing stores, rose 2.4 percent.

But Japanese export shares fell on concerns that a stronger yen will hurt profits.

Sony Corp. sank 4.5 percent and Sharp Corp. lost 1 percent.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was down 45 cents to $91.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 76 cents to settle at $90.66 in New York on Thursday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2591 from $1.2525 late Thursday in New York. The dollar fell to 79.51 yen from 79.58 yen.

World stocks down as worries over Greece grow - Yahoo Finance

BANGKOK (AP) -- Doubts that European Union leaders will come even close to cobbling together a plan to kick-start the region's faltering economy sent world stock markets lower Wednesday. n n Leaders of the 27 EU countries are to meet in Brussels later in the day for a summit expected to deal with Europe's economic woes but also ways to prevent debt-mired Greece from skidding into a chaotic bankruptcy. n n A failure to make headway risks jolting stock markets further, analysts said. n n "Unless there are dramatic developments at today's summit, risk assets are set to continue to remain under pressure," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in an email. n n Britain's FTSE 100 opened 1.5 percent lower at 5,321.30. Germany's DAX lost 1.6 percent to 6,336.22 and France's CAC-40 fell 1.4 percent to 3,041.43. n n Wall Street headed for another day of losses, with Dow Jones industrial futures down 0.5 percent to 12,410 and S&P 500 futures 0.6 percent lower at 1,306.50. n n Investors have long acknowledged the possibility of a Greek withdrawal from the 17-nation euro currency union as the country struggles to meet harsh austerity targets that are a condition of getting international bailout money. n n But a financial news service's report, which quoted former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos suggesting such a euro exit could be approaching, flustered Asian markets earlier in the day. n n "I think investors now are concerned that Greece may finally leave the euro currency union," said Dickie Wong of Kingston Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. n n Another big worry for investors is a slowdown in Chinese growth, compounded by a reluctance of Chinese companies to borrow because of uncertainty about the economy. n n Japan's Nikkei 225 index tumbled 2 percent to close at 8,556.60. The Bank of Japan on Wednesday left its key interest rate unchanged at near zero as widely expected. n n Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.3 percent to 18,786.19 and South Korea's Kospi lost 1.1 percent at 1,808.62. Australia's S&P /ASX 200 lost 1.3 percent to 4,067. n n Falling oil and metal prices hurt commodity shares. Energy Resources of Australia fell 2 percent. China National Offshore Oil Corp. lost 1 percent. Aluminum Corp. of China lost 2.7 percent. n n Asian companies deriving significant sales revenue from exports slumped a day after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that euro countries are at risk of falling into a "severe recession." n n Hong Kong-listed China Shipping Container Lines Co. plunged 5 percent. Japan's Yamaha Motor Corp. tumbled 5.3 percent. n n But Mazda Motor Corp. rose 0.9 percent after the company said it was working with Fiat SpA of Italy to develop and manufacture a roadster, or two-seater convertible. n n Benchmark oil for July delivery was down 88 cents to $90.97 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.01 to settle at $91.85 in New York on Tuesday. n n In currencies, the euro fell to $1.2641 from $1.2756 late Tuesday in New York. The dollar fell to 79.42 yen from 79.92 yen. n

Business and pleasure travel write-offs - Yahoo Finance

Taxes » Tax Deductions » Tax Help For Business, Pleasure Trips

You really need a break, but it's been a tough year for your business and you're not comfortable spending money on vacation travel. Let Uncle Sam help pay for your business trip. When you tack on personal vacation days to the beginning or end of a business trip, your out-of-pocket costs could be minimal since much of the business portion of your travel could be tax-deductible.

The pairing of corporate and vacation travel is easier for self-employed business owners. But employees also can take advantage of combined personal-business trips.

The key, as with anything tax-related, is substantiating that you followed IRS rules.

Ordinary, necessary expenses

The IRS has no problem with business owners deducting legitimate expenses. As long as the travel benefits or advances your business, you can write off ordinary and necessary expenses.

What's considered ordinary and necessary? That depends, says the IRS, on the facts and your circumstances. In general, an ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business.

Under these standards, deductible travel expenses typically include hotels, meals, entertainment and round-trip travel to meet with existing or potential out-of-town clients.

Convention and seminar costs also could be deductible as long as the conferences specifically relate to your business or profession or help improve your career skills. That's why so many professional groups hold conventions in vacation spots like Orlando, Fla., or Las Vegas.

Getting there

Traveling to a business meeting obviously is work-related and the IRS doesn't really care whether you get there a few days early or hang around for a bit after your business is concluded.

Since you had to travel anyway, you can deduct the cost of your transportation as a business expense when you file your company's taxes. This applies to both auto travel as well as airfare.

"If the primary purpose is business, you don't have to apportion it even if you spend some personal time," says Barbara Weltman, tax attorney and author of "J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2012."

In fact, when you fly for business purposes and extend your stay to get a reduced fare by, for example, spending a Saturday night at your destination, the associated stay-over costs usually are deductible, too, even though you have no business meetings that extra day.

The cost of travel by bus, train or auto, either your own car or one you rent, also is deductible. But don't try to slip in the price of airfare if you got your ticket via frequent flier miles.

Timing is everything

Many people set up out-of-town meetings for late one week and early the next. "That basically requires you be in town, but you have the weekend to yourself," says Maria Mercedes R. Infante, an Orlando, Fla.-based CPA.

Be sure, though, that you don't extend your personal stay too long. In order to deduct your transportation costs, your trip must be primarily for business. You do get to count your travel days as business, but carefully calculate the overall work-to-pleasure ratio.

If you spend three days getting to and meeting with clients, but bookend the travel with five extra days for sightseeing, the IRS will consider your trip more for fun and disallow your travel deductions.

Lodging costs

Your hotel costs while conducting business also are deductible. Here, too, you need to differentiate between the portion of your stay that was personal.

For the extra days you stay to enjoy a location's recreational offerings, you cannot deduct those hotel charges.

Don't try to get cute here. The IRS frowns on counting a full day as business if you simply schedule a quick breakfast meeting with a client and then spend the other 23 hours on your own. In this case, that night's lodging will come out of your own pocket, not as a deduction on your tax return.

Eating out

Speaking of eating, closing a deal over a meal is a time-honored business practice, but the IRS only helps out so far here.

Generally, you can only deduct 50 percent of your business-related meal costs. That limit also applies to your individual meals on business travel.

As for that breakfast business meeting, it isn't a total tax loss. Even though it isn't likely to get you the full day for lodging deduction purposes, you can include the morning meal's costs -- subject to the 50 percent limit -- with your client as a deductible expense.

Miscellaneous expenses

When collecting your travel, hotel and meal receipts, be sure to note other miscellaneous expenses, too. Many of these work-related costs also are deductible.

You can write off taxi fares to and from the airport (or other transportation hubs, such as a train or bus station), as well as local fares from the airport to your hotel. And don't forget the cab costs from your hotel to your business meetings (and back).

If you shipped work material to your meeting destination, that expense is deductible. So are the extra charges you incur for business calls while on your trip, as well as Internet connection fees.

If your trip lasts longer than you planned, dry cleaning and laundry fees paid to make you look presentable also are deductible.

Taking family along

If you want to make a real mini-vacation out of your next business trip, take the family along. Just be prepared for more diligent record keeping.

Your spouse's and children's expenses won't be deductible unless they work for your company and are involved in the out-of-town business meetings. The tax code will, however, pay for at least part of your expenses. In some cases, that could be more than you expect.

Take lodging. When you share a room, the charge for added occupants typically is not double the fee for one guest. That means that for the days you conduct business, most of your family-shared room will be deductible.

And while only your airfare is deductible if you fly, when you drive to your out-of-town meetings, the mileage is fully deductible even with your family along for the ride, says Weltman.

It also works for employees

If you are an employee, you also might be able to take advantage of company travel for a bit of a personal break.

"Make sure you follow the company policy," says Infante, who previously worked in the finance offices of several large corporations. This means keeping receipts and documenting the business portion of the travel, she says, since many firms base their employee travel policies on tax code guidelines.

Also keep in mind that the rules are somewhat different when business travel is outside the United States. In those cases, you still might be able to deduct some travel expenses, but check with your employer or your own company's tax adviser beforehand to ensure that the trip abroad goes smoothly on personal, business and tax levels.

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Money Saving Queen And Just Between Friends Form Partnership - News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Two entrepreneurial Tulsa moms who help families stretch their budget have joined forces.

According to an announcement Wednesday, Money Saving Queen and Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc., have formed a partnership to provide another source of savings for families in all areas of living, from purchasing necessities to enjoying an evening out.

"Sarah Roe and I are both moms who have a passion for helping families across the country save money," said Shannon Wilburn, President and CEO of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. "With this partnership, we know can reach even more families. I'm confident that joining forces with Money Saving Queen will add value to the life of families across the country."

On Just Between Friends' web site you will now find the Money Saving Queen's Deals of the Day, which includes coupons, freebies, and money-saving tips on everything from restaurants to retail stores.

Just Between Friends is the largest consignment sales event in the nation with 124 franchises in 24 states.

Money Saving Queen reaches more than 100,000 moms. 

"Money Saving Queen is honored to partner with Just Between Friends as we both have the same goal in mind – which is to save moms money! The national exposure and popularity of Just Between Friends coupled with Money Saving Queen's smart shopping strategies gives shoppers many ways to save," said Sarah Roe.

For the latest deals on food, clothing, necessities, events and fun, visit and

Money Saving Queen is owned by Griffin Communications, LLC, the parent company of News On 6.

Romney Clinches GOP, Raises Money With Trump -

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - The Republican presidential race is over.

Mitt Romney won the Texas primary Tuesday, picking up enough delegates to clinch the nomination.

CBS News estimates Romney now has 1,198 GOP delegates.

Romney didn't go to Texas Tuesday night to celebrate.

He was raising big money with Donald Trump in Las Vegas.

Everything about Trump is big, including the money he can raise for political campaigns.

The question for Romney is whether Trump can also cause some big headaches with his big mouth.

Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Romney kept his focus on President Obama and the economy.

"He's been a big disappointment, hasn't he?" Romney asked a crowd.

"Yeah!" the crowd shouted.

The former Massachusetts governor was in the swing state of Nevada attending a $2 million fundraiser hosted by Trump, who's been raising money and bringing his celebrity to Romney's campaign.

But if raising money is what Trump does best, he's also good at stirring up controversy.

And so on Romney's day, there was the billionaire big-talker continuing to question, in a phone interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, whether Mr. Obama was born in the U.S.

"A lot of people do not think it was an authentic (birth) certificate (the president released)," Trump told Blitzer.

"How could you say that if the state..." Blitzer began to ask.

" ... A lot of people do not think it was authentic," Trump insisted.

It was Trump's questions last year that prompted Mr. Obama to release his full birth certificate, which the state of Hawaii recently gave its seal of approval.

Romney has said he believes the president was born in America, but he's hasn't disavowed Trump, saying he and his supporters aren't going to agree on everything.

And at Tuesday night's fundraiser, Newt Gingrich, a former rival-turned-new-supporter, came to Romney's defense, saying, "Governor Romney's not distracted. The Republican party's not distracted. We believe that this is an American-born job-killing president; other people may believe that he was born somewhere else and still kills jobs."

Also Tuesday night, Romney got a personal introduction by Gingrich to mega-donor Sheldon Adelson who, with his wife, gave $20 million to Gingrich - the kind of money the Romney campaign could certainly use going head-to-head with the deep pockets of the Obama camp.


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