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Justified Hype

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted November 29, 2005

In my other life as a disc jockey, I've witnessed the rise of many previously unknown talents. Artists in every branch of music, from experimental noise to straightforward rock 'n' roll, depend on DJs to expand their audience and turn them into household names.

In the corporate world, I'm an analyst. I feel privileged in that regard, because I'm sort of a capitalistic DJ, selecting the best companies, learning what makes them tick and how best to introduce them to my audience. My audience is you, people who know that there is more to music than Elvis and that there is more to business than the USA.

So I, and all of us here at Wealth Daily, look far and wide for the best international plays we think you'll like and profit from. We pride ourselves on spotting opportunities that no one else has seen, using the greatest potential to your advantage.

But alas, in the market, as in the music business, sometimes an unknown becomes a hit overnight. That's any performer's dream, right? Well, AMD has shot to stardom, and everyone's scrambling for a piece.

I think many are now buying AMD not because of what analysts say about AMD, but because so many analysts are even talking about it. Just like the hip-hop/dance group the Black Eyed Peas, AMD seems to pop up everywhere. Outperform here, buy there, everyone's bullish and everyone wants AMD to snatch Intel's crown.

I do, too, but I know what happens when a star rises too fast. Expectations are often set too high, meaning the stud everyone wanted to ride to the top buckles a little under the pressure, maybe releasing a sub-par second album.

I predict a shakeout of AMD's hangers-on sometime soon. The Waking Dragon has set its price target for AMD at 39 bucks a share, and that's not all day trader money. The market likes AMD for its solid performance and consistent, chess-like moves to stay in front of Intel's technology even while Intel has a sizable cash advantage.

AMD has lasting star power. It's a company with direction, and with a fierce competitor to give it that extra spark.

So hang in there, even though you see the bandwagon getting bigger now and may see it thin out later. Remember AMD's China angle, their hundred-dollar laptop, and what many call a two-year technology lead over Intel, and stay on this wagon until you hit the mother lode.

The World's Biggest Mop

If you watched the news at all over the past week, you might have been downing eggnog and cranberry sauce while watching millions of Chinese scramble for bottled water. Just like your own thanksgiving concoctions might seem like a good idea at the time, China has made some potent mixtures that may end up turning everyone's stomachs.

This week, a massive toxic pool of the chemical benzene floated its way toward the city of Harbin, in the Heilongjiang province of northeastern China. Harbin is a city of 4 million people who make their home in frigid conditions (Harbin is a stone's throw from Siberia).

Harbin produces my favorite Chinese beer, called "Snow" because of the icy climes where the beer is produced. Upriver, though, plastic is made, and hence the floating pool of benzene.

The Chinese government originally understated the problem in Harbin. As with the SARS outbreak in 2003, many in the Chinese and international medical community are crying foul at the central government's lack of information provided. Of course, there is a desire on the part of the officials not to spread any more panic than necessary, but a city of 4 million needs as much notice as possible that they will not have running water for several days.

The taps are flowing again in Harbin, but residents are hesitant to sip from the spigot. "We use it for washing and flushing the toilet, but I'm not sure it's safe to drink," said one Harbin resident.

I wouldn't be so sure either, and hopefully this will be yet another wakeup call to the world about how industrialization can scar not only the land but the water, air, and just about every natural resource that can be fouled up.

There is, however, a bright side to this. As 20 of the world's 30 most polluted cities are in China, and as 75% of China's waterways are too noxious for a summer swim or a sip, the State Environmental Protection Agency is finding its voice.

Loud calls from the SEPA for greater openness about the Harbin debacle called for accountability from both the government and the CNPC subsidiary (Jilin) that ran the culpable chemical plant.

This is the same SEPA driving China's renewable energy boom and cooperating with the International Olympic Committee to ensure that the skies are some shade of blue when the throngs arrive to watch the 2008 Games in Beijing and other Chinese locales.

China needs to clean up its act, and there are plenty of companies who make filters, recycling mechanisms, and detoxifiers of various sorts that are eager to help. With the help of Green Chip Stocks editor Jeff Siegel, who just returned from a renewable building conference in Atlanta with many Chinese in attendance, the Waking Dragon is going to highlight more and more ways for you to make money off of this massive cleanup project.

- Sam Hopkins


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