Eagle Eye Opener: Oil Investors May Face Tough Year; Hedge Funds Underperform in 2012; Chinese Manufacturers May Push Down Prices for TV Sets in the United States

Oil Investors Could Have Rough Year (AP)

The price of benchmark crude for February delivery fell 43 cents to $92.66 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on news that the U.S. Federal Reserve may not continue its stimulus program much longer. Should the Fed pull its support of the U.S. economy, interest rates in the United States — and therefore the dollar — would move higher. And since the price of oil is denominated in dollars, it falls as the dollar strengthens, making crude more expensive in terms of foreign currencies hurting the price of oil. In the end, 2013 may not be year to have your portfolio covered in oil.

Big Money Took It in the Shorts in 2012 (

Last year, almost nine out of 10 hedge fund investors would have done better simply by investing in the S&P 500, according to Goldman Sachs. The average return was just 8 percent, while the S&P was up 13 percent. Investors lucky enough to pick the clear hedge fund champion of 2012 — Dan Loeb???s Third Point fund — the flagship of his group of funds returned 21 percent, while his higher-leveraged Ultra fund gain 34 percent.   Going into the New Year, Third Point???s biggest holdings are Yahoo (YHOO), American International Group (AIG) and gold, along with an activist positioning Murphy Oil (MUR).  The investing elite hope for much, much better news in the coming year.

China to Force Down U.S. TV Prices (Bloomberg)

Two Chinese companies are set to barge into the U.S. TV market and potentially push down prices to the consumer. TLC Corp. and Hisense Electric Co. will offer new TV set buyers higher technology at reduced prices in 2013, while giving investors an opportunity to cash in on a rising star in U.S. markets.  Both companies are looking to raise their profiles this week at the U.S. Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. TCL will look to boost its position by featuring its Google Android software, while Hisense will coordinate its first U.S. TV and print ads with its appearance in Vegas. Should either gain a foothold, stalwarts like Sony and Sharp will begin to feel a whole new type of pressure.