CNBC Utilities Page Million Dollar Buzz

  • Here's what's happening with the Second Chance Showdown. We have two new leaders that catapulted to the front of the pack with all-in bets on aQuantive--up 77.84% Friday. That was on news that AQNT has agreed to be acquired by Microsoft at an 85% premium. We noted in the finals post today how the top ten Second Chance Showdown leaders bought AQNT while the contest finalists, didn't. So, it's Linda Gordon in first with a portfolio value of $1,880,916.42.

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    Good morning everyone. Here's a look at the current standings on our finalist leaderboard--as we head into the last week of the contest. Steven Lee (pictured) holds onto first place--and he's taking a rather conservative approach by remaining all in cash and hoping that Serge Amelyan's all-in bet on Terra Industries doesn't pan out. Serge moves back into 2nd place from 4th on his Intuit trade up on strong earnings.

  • We have some emails we thought we'd put up, now that the contest is reaching the final week. As we've posted before, some of you really like the contest, and of course some of you have some complaints. But I think overall, from your emails, it's been a positive experience. Here we go. From Leonard Y.:I find it very strange that all the winners were celebrities. Was it on the up and up? (editor's note: Leonard appears to have confused Trading with the Stars and the non-celeb contest--but in a way, he's right. All the contest finalists are stars in their own right.)

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    We thought we'd focus a little more on the finalists in the Million Dollar Portfolio contest like we did with the weekly winners. In fact, one of the finalists wrote in suggesting it would be nice to have some bio information on all 20. Good idea Stephen Luchko! (that's his picture) So, we've asked the top twenty to send in some info that they felt they could share with everyone. We hope the weekly winners will add more to what we already have. So, without further ado--since Stephen suggested the idea--we'll start with him. So, here is Stephen in his own words.

  • Here's our contest stock report for both the finals and Second Chance Showdown. Acxiom proved to be a winner for several finalsts--and you can see why. It was up 18%. But those who had ADS did even better as that stock was up 24% on news of a merger. Weak earnings took a toll on the worst performing stocks--while the most active and widely held reamined the same.

  • Here's what's happening in the Second Chance Showdown. Matthew Martinez takes the lead in the Second Chance contest on strong performance by Axciom, buying it on news late Wednesday that it would be acquired by two private equity firms, and earnings news. Lisabeth Szczepanek stays in second place gaining $108K with Raven Industries--which was up on strong earnings news.

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    Good morning all. Big changes on the leaderboard for the contest finals. Steven Lee (that's his picture) jumps from 12th place on Wednesday to take the lead by gaining $182K with Acxiom Corp. which was up 18.08% Thursday. And Mary Williams continues her climb from 4th place Wednesday to take 2nd place--with another big gain on Ctrip.com that added $87K to her portfolio. Serge Amelyan falls into 4th place from first and Stephen Luchko is down in 6th place from 2nd.

  • Okay, we're slowly but surely posting the most recent information on the contest. Here's the stock report--for both the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge and Second Chance Showdown. Earnings are still helping the best performers. One longtime favorite--CMGI--shows up on worst performer as well as most active and widely held. Maybe it's time has come and gone. Here ya go..

  • Hey everyone--Kiran Bhattarai takes the lead in the Second Chance contest on a strong performances by Jack in the Box and Stifel Financial ending the 27-way tie that existed after the popular Winn-Dixie trade on Tuesday. However the portfolio values are very tight among the leaders. Lisabeth Szczepanek follows close behind in second with only $10,904.60 separating her from the lead and even less separating her and our third place contestant Steve Ogullukian. He is only $2,216.608 behind Lisbeth.

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    Hey everyone, a bit later than usual, but we have the leaderboard for the finals with a new name on top. A few notes before we get to that. Some of the numbers were incomplete in yesterdays' post for a couple of portfolios. However, I want to make clear that the total for the portfolio values were accurate. We just had a little less of the complete picture for the trades. We're working to make sure we do the best job on that front. As for one stock--BPRG--it is a valid stock for the contest. Reuters data shows a market cap of $1.3B on 3/2/07--which was the date for contest stocks.

  • Hey--here's our "stock report" for both the finals and Second Chance Showdown. As we said, WINN was the big winner--if you had it. Most active and widely held remain much the same from the non-final trades of past weeks. Here ya go..

  • Hey folks, here's our look at the Second Chance Showdown leaderboard. Remember I asked yesterday if anyone got on the Winn-Dixie Bandwagon? Some 27 of you did go all-in on the Winn-Dixie trade, buying it on Monday at $20.01 and selling/holding it Tuesday at $27.45, for a 37.18% on strong earnings. Now, believe it or not, and you better believe it, we have 27 of you tied for the lead with the same portfolio value. That's mainly because most of you made the same trade, but that will change after today and the tie will most likely be broken.

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    Good morning all. We have some info for you. The first Million Dollar Finals leader is Donald Tang who gained $73K on Mindray Medical. He's closely followed by Serge Amelyan with the same Mindray Medical trade. However, Serge used his remaining cash to buy 2 shares of CMGI at $2.44, which fell -2.46% Tuesday-- resulting in the $0.12 difference between him and Donald, and costing him the tie for first.

  • Hi there. Now that trading's done for today, anybody get a boost off of Winn-Dixie? Let us know if you did. It certainly made a lot of news today (see below). The stock went sky high today on earnings--up some 38% or more. Shares of the company touched a 52-week high of $26.05 during the day. The reason? Same-store sales rose by 1.6 percent for the third quarter, driven by increases in the average shopping basket--which on an identical store basis rose by 3.6 percent.

  • With gasoline prices going higher and higher--could oil be a sector for winning contest stocks? Here's a news report from CNBC that has one stock fund manager/analyst talking oil and gas. Now, he's not talking about the contest but about stocks in general. But the stocks he mentions--NFX and FTO are both up today. Again, these are not recommendations but some information to sift through.

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    Hey folks, here's more on how Lina became weekly winner #10. She had the top % gain of 82.39% for he last week of the regular contest. Interesting to note, Lina wasn't even on the weekly leaderboard on Thursday, but came from behind--just like Donald Tang the week before--to capture the top spot.

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    Hey everyone. We call tell you that Lina Kim has been confirmed as weekly winner number 10 in the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. She completes the list of weekly winners competing in the contest finals. Here some info on Lina. She's originally from Seoul, South Korea but lives in New York City. She's an accountant and trades for fun. Her strategy was to buy companies that were reporting earnings. The stock that surprised her the most was Helen of Troy. Her favorite sport is swimming and her favorite TV show are "24" and "Deal or No Deal."

  • Good morning all. We are going to be a little short on information today, but rest assured we are working on getting what you need. We will not have individual results or rankings for the 20 finalists today in the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge or the Second Chance contest, but we can tell you what stocks were the most popular today. Don't worry--we will have the individual results after the close of today's (Tuesday) trading.

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    We've told you a few times today that actor Jonathan Tucker was the winner in Trading with the Stars--our celebrity portion of the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. While that contest and the Second Chance Showdown continues--we say goodbye to TWS--and express our thanks to all the celebs who took part. We had a chance to hear from Jonathan today--he's on location in Australia for a film--but he called in to express his thanks for the money going to his charity.

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    Comedienne and writer Judy Gold ends Trading with the Stars on a high note--with the same positive attitude she says she had throughout the contest. Good for her--and her charity, the Anti-defamation League which will receive $5,000 for Judy's participation. She did come in fifth place--but if you look at the leaderboard on the video below--that turns into first place on the second slide you'll see. So--we'll call her the first of the non winners. ( a stretch but we're trying to be as generous as Judy was with her time.)Thanks Judy--you're as good as gold!