NYSE: D Archive
by David Fessler, Investment U Senior Analyst
Tuesday, January 29, 2013: Issue #1958
Last October, Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE: D) announced it would be closing its Kewaunee nuclear power plant. Located in Wisconsin, this small, 566-megawatt (MW) unit is the first nuclear plant to succumb to cheap natural gas.
The boom in U.S. shale gas production has natural gas prices at 10-year lows. It’s thrown an interesting curve at the domestic power market. Many utilities are retiring old coal plants in favor of natural gas. Are nuclear plants right behind?
We’ll analyze where the industry is today and where it’s going. First, let’s take a look at coal plants versus natural gas-fired ones.
Many coal-fired power plants in the United States are being retired, in some cases long before the end of their useful lives. How many of the 1,169 currently operating in the United States are on the hit list?
A report from the Union of Concerned Scientists entitled “Ripe for Retirement” identifies 353 of them. Check out the map below.
These plants total 59 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity. That’s about 18% of the total coal-fired plants in the United States, and 6% of the nation’s total power generation capacity. Most of the plants on the list are older, less efficient and no longer economically viable.
The real problem is that these plants are big polluters. They’d be too expensive to upgrade to meet the latest Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) emissions guidelines.To continue reading, please click here...
by Alexander Green, Investment U Chief Investment Strategist
Friday, August 10, 2012: Issue #1834
Do you have a tendency to sell stocks when the market is down only to buy them again when it recovers? If so, you’re probably a frustrated investor… and definitely not alone.
It’s hard to stay calm when a lifetime of savings is at stake. (After all, this is real money we’re talking about.) But one way to overcome emotional and counterproductive tendencies is to build a personal stock portfolio. Here’s what I mean…
Many years ago, in an earlier life as a stockbroker, I had a particular client who found it impossible to overcome his worst instincts. Whenever the market had a sudden downdraft, he’d run to cash, abandoning his investment discipline. Then when the clouds cleared and the market rose again, he’d resume the confidence to invest again.
As you might surmise, this had disastrous consequences as he was forever buying high and selling low. After trying unsuccessfully to calm his fears, I finally hit upon a solution that allowed him to ride through the tough patches in the market with relative equanimity: a personal stock portfolio.
“What kind of car do you drive?” I asked when he inquired about the market again.
“A Toyota (NYSE: TM),” he said.
“Ok, we’re going to buy a few shares of that,” I said. “What kind of computer do you own?”
“A Mac.”To continue reading, please click here...
by David Fessler, Investment U Senior Analyst
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The energy sector has taken a pounding over the last few trading sessions… If you’re overly focused on the short-term in the markets, you’re probably not feeling too well.
But if you’re investing in natural gas for the long term, you’ll definitely feel confident after reading the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook for global demand… I know I do…
At 52-percent, the global growth rate in natural gas use over the next 25 years will be nothing short of spectacular. And even while the recession of 2009 resulted in a dip of about two trillion cubic feet, the decline in usage is now reversed. Levels now exceed those before the downturn.
Next year and over this decade, there’s a lot of money to be made in natural gas. You just have to know where to look in the supply chain for the best opportunity. And right now, I’m seeing a lot of opportunity in processing terminals as the United States is set to become a chief exporter of this new liquid gold… Let me explain.
If you thought European prices for natural gas were high, then check out this chart from the EIA.
It shows the spot price for natural gas in the United States at the Henry Hub, the European price as measured at the National Balancing Point in the U.K. and Japan’s average LNG import price (measured monthly).
The chart clearly shows Japan is paying a fortune for natural gas. Why? Simple: It has no indigenous supplies of its own, and has to import all of the natural gas it uses. Much of that comes from the U.S. LNG export plant in Kenai, Alaska.To continue reading, please click here...