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Fools were out and about this past week in an investing world jam-packed with actions and ideas. Here are three articles you might find useful as you decide how to invest your money.
Who Says the Facebook IPO Wasn't a Smashing Success?
The beauty of a company's initial public offering is in the eye of the beholder. Fool analyst Travis Hoium takes a multifaceted look at the first several days of public trading of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) shares.
"When an IPO declines soon after reaching market, the media likes to call it a failure or a flop -- but that's true only for the investors who bought shares at the IPO price or early in trading," wrote Travis. "Maybe what we should be doing is cheering the IPO for taking money out of the pockets of hedge funds, institutional investors, and other preferred Morgan Stanley [ (NYSE: MS ) ] clients and giving it to Facebook."
Travis also explains an IPO situation from an underwriter's perspective. "What an underwriter like Morgan Stanley normally wants to do is price an IPO just low enough that demand will push the stock higher on the opening hours and days of trading. It wants to do this to make a quick buck for investors who participated in the IPO (usually hedge funds and institutional investors, not you and me) and make it look good for the media."
If you've been riding the roller coaster of Facebook news, make time to read this article for some much-needed perspective. And check out this free Motley Fool report advising investors to "Forget Facebook -- Here's the Tech IPO You Should Be Buying."
Is Natural Gas Back?
Natural gas prices have been rebounding and shares of the United States Natural Gas ETF (AMEX: UNG ) -- an exchange-traded fund that seeks to replicate the performance of natural gas -- are up nearly 30% over the past month. Fool analyst Dan Caplinger helps readers think about what the upward changes mean for investors in the sector and those who've been contemplating dipping their toes in the water. It's about more than just price.
For instance, one of the things driving the natural gas recovery has been electric utilities switching from coal to gas, notes Dan -- however, coal prices have fallen and the natural gas edge won't continue forever. Investors also need to take into account natural gas news from overseas. "Even if foreign supplies surge, they'll largely act only to reduce some of the discrepancies between prices in the U.S. and abroad," wrote Dan. "North American production will be the primary driver of local gas prices."
2 Dividend Stocks on Our Radar
Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) and American Water Works (NYSE: AWK ) have made their way onto the stocks-to-watch lists of Fools Ron Gross and James Early. Ron notes that Home Depot stock took a hit after reporting earnings, but says the company is doing well and is a play on the economic and housing recoveries. Home Depot yields 2.4%. Ron's willing to keep an eye on the stock even though he says he's not that handy and "actually [doesn't] enjoy the shopping experience at Home Depot."
James brings American Water Works, which provides water and wastewater services to 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada, to investors' attention. "If we start to see a more favorable regulatory climate for utilities, this is a stock that could really rocket up," James said. A more favorable climate would allow American Water Works to raise rates more. The stock yields 3%.
Watch the video to learn more about what the guys are thinking and to get Ron's take on activist investors and how to determine if they're in it for the long haul or the quick buck. If dividend stocks are right up your alley, download the free Motley Fool report on how to "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks."