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The price of oil today (Monday, Dec. 12) surged to a new record high in 2016.

The WTI crude oil price is currently $53.21, up nearly 3.3% today, a new high for 2016. Brent crude prices have also surged to a new 2016 record. The price of Brent crude oil is $56.04 a barrel, up 3.15%.

Since the OPEC agreement last month, the price of oil has continued to rise. WTI crude oil prices have risen 17.8% since the Nov. 30 OPEC meeting, and the Brent crude price has jumped 21.1% in the same time.

The chart to the right shows how crude oil prices have soared since the Nov. 30 agreement.

The landmark agreement – the cartel’s first since 2008 – will lead to a cut in oil production from member countries. By cutting production, the cartel will be able to better control oil supply and push oil prices higher. That’s why the agreement injected a dose of optimism into oil markets.

share investment: Radient Technologies (RTI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matthew Briar]

    At first glance, a new set of rules from the Drug Enforcement Agency unveiled in the middle of December looked like it posed a problem for cannabis-newcomer Radient Technologies Inc (CVE:RTI). By assigning a controlled substances code number to ‘marijuana extract,’ simultaneously distinguishing (and acknowledging the differences of marijuana, hemp and their derivatives as Schedule I substances. As the ruling’s language explained, “This code number will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marihuana. This, in turn, will aid in complying with relevant treaty provisions.”

    It presents something of an uncertainty, as it was not clear of the DEA also meant hemp and cannabis extracts when it used the term ‘marijuana extract.’ After all, the Drug Enforcement Agency has thus far done a poor job of distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, but has generally erred on the side of grouping everything as marijuana…. even if it didn’t cause a ‘high,’ and even if it did provide a medical benefit. If that was indeed the case, Radient Technologies may well be a non-starter in its quest to get into the cannabis business.

    No need to worry. Though it took weeks to get some much-needed clarification, the DEA has finally explained what it was saying two months ago. Indeed, the new ruling may actually help the medical marijuana — cannabis — along. DEA spokesman Russ Baer said in an e-mail to The Cannabist, “(The rule change) recognizes that there is a potential medical benefit to some of the cannabinoids.”

    Some still worry the wording of the law essentially, even if unintentionally, puts cannabinoids (or CBD) under the purveyance of the DEA; it’s currently not. Even so, if nothing else the ruling has the government moving towards clarity, after acknowledging CBD — the healthy version of the cannabis, and not the one that gets you high — has medical value. The next step is clarifying ho

  • [By Matthew Briar]

    Although the past several years have been very good ones for the cannabis — marijuana and hemp — industry, it’s still mostly being done in an old, artisan-style fashion. Most companies haven’t figured out a way of scaling up their outputs by improving their operating/production efficiency, even though the market’s growth has merited. Radient Technologies Inc (CVE:RTI) represents that next evolution of the cannabinoid business, introducing a new approach to extracting cannabinoids from cannabis plants that will not only improve yields, but create a superior, purer product.

    Canada-based Radient Technologies has developed — and patented – an ingredient-extraction process called microwave assisted processing, or “MAP,” for short. As the name implies, the use of radio microwaves helps the extraction process along. To fully appreciate why it matters, however, one has look at the approach other ingredients suppliers are utilizing now.

    With current approaches to create ingredients from an appropriate source, the material with the target compound or molecule in it is soaked in a solvent, heated to 50 degrees Celsius (or more), and over the course of several hours, the desired ingredient diffuses into the solvent. After filtration, drying, and other processing, that ingredient is finally isolated and then collected.

    It works, but it’s hardly ideal. Aside from the fact that this technique doesn’t work very well at large scale, yields are relatively low. Worse, a lot of things you don’t want to extract can still be found in the extract, lowering the quality and purity of the ingredient.

    Radient Technologies’ microwave assisted processing changes all of this.

    Using its patented MAP process, Radient is able to selectively deposit microwave energy into a biomass (source material) and heat the target elements while leaving other materials in the mix unaltered. The near-instantaneous “in-core” heating that occurs creates pressure which

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    It’s been a long time in the coming, but there’s no denying the tipping point has been reached — cannabinoids are the foundation for a whole new kind of medicine. And, the work-to-date turning cannabis into pharmaceuticals has been very encouraging.

    Problem: While the premise of cannabinoids as drugs has been validated, the science of creating large quantities of pure cannabinoids remains more ineffective than effective. Radient Technologies Inc (CVE:RTI) is about the change that, leveraging a means of extracting a lot of cannabinoid material from a source, and ensuring the highest-level of purity and quality.

    Radient Technologies manufactures natural ingredients for global customers across a range of industries, including food and beverage, nutrition, supplements, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Using a proprietary, patented technology, Radient’s products are superior in quality and purity while manufactured at a significantly lower cost than other methods thanks to superior yields and efficiency.

    To fully appreciate the science Radient has developed, however, one must understand the alternative methods currently employed.

    With current approaches to create ingredients from an appropriate source, the material with the target compound or molecule in it is soaked in a solvent, heated, and then over the course of several hours the desired ingredient diffuses into the solvent. After filtration, drying, and other processing, that ingredient is finally isolated and then collected.

    It works, but it’s far from ideal. Aside from the fact that this technique doesn’t work very well at large scale, yields are relatively low. Worse, many undesirable components can still be found in the extract, lowering the quality and purity of the ingredient.

    Radient Technologies uses an ingredient-extraction process called microwave assisted processing, or “MAP,” for short.

    Using its patented MAP process, Radient is able to selectiv

  • [By Matthew Briar]

    There’s an old business adage…. it’s not so much what you know, but who you know. If that’ s truly the case (and it is), then shareholders in Radient Technologies Inc (CVE:RTI) should be elated. The newest member of the Board of Directors that not already knows a lot of the right people, but has pretty much done all of things Radient would like to accomplish in the near future. That is, he was on the board for another ingredient and chemical company that was eventually acquired, but he also holds a masters degree in engineering. He can do it all, understanding the art and science of the business.

    It’s yet another reason for RTI investors to be enthused.

    Radient Technologies isn’t exactly a new company, but it’s relative notoriety is a fairly new phenomenon.

    The organization, in simplest terms, has developed an ingredient-extraction process called microwave assisted processing, or “MAP,” for short. As the name implies, the use of radio microwaves helps the extraction process along.

    Using its patented MAP process, Radient is able to selectively deposit microwave energy into a biomass (source material) and heat the target elements while leaving other materials in the mix unaltered. The near-instantaneous “in-core” heating that occurs creates pressure which drives out the targeting ingredient or component much faster than more conventional extraction methods. In fact, the pressure-driven process outperforms the conventional extraction on pretty much every front. That is, the technique reduces the extraction time from hours to minutes, delivers a higher active ingredient purity, increases the recovery of actives from often scarce biomass, and uses much less solvent and energy than the more typical approach.

    The technique can, and already has, created natural ingredients for global customers across a range of industries, including food and beverage, nutrition, supplements, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

    The company’

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Some of the stories about how cannabis has changed lives for the better are nothing less than astounding. Take Illinois resident Darren Miller as an example. In 2015 Miller was diagnosed with lung cancer that was later deemed terminal. Miller underwent chemotherapy, without much hope, but also began using high-THC Indica cannabis oil. Miller is alive today, and arguably shouldn’t be.

    Then there’s Floridian Branden Petro. Not only does Petro suffer epilepsy, he commonly experiences seizures stemming from the condition. Nothing has stopped the seizures as quickly or effectively as 200 milligram worth of THC cannabis oil, administered as a nasal spray. Within 20 seconds of using it, it’s as of the seizure never happened.

    And there are millions of other such (and less dramatic) examples, all pointing in the same direction – cannabis has medical value on multiple fronts. Not facilitating its commercialization is a wasted opportunity.

    It’s a notion that’s far from lost on the people that have built Canadian-based Radient Technologies Inc (CVE:RTI) from the round up, recently inking a deal with supplier of cannabinoid extracts, Aurora Cannabis.

    It’s a real accolade. Aurora is one of the largest licensed producers of medical cannabis under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), and recently began construction on an unprecedented 800,000 square foot production facility in Leduc County, Alberta. This facility, known as “Aurora Sky”, is anticipated to be capable of producing in excess of 100,000 kg of high-quality, low-cost marijuana per year.

    In most regards though, Radient Technologies is the big winner of the deal, as the partnership is apt to put its high-tech facility in full demand, helping to advance the advent of cannabis in all its potential glory.

    It’s a rather amazing science, really. Radient Technologies uses an ingredient-extraction process called microwave assisted proc

share investment: Reynolds American Inc(RAI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey, Demitrios Kalogeropoulos, and Brian Feroldi]

    It remains true that the tobacco industry will continue coming under pressure from anti-smoking activists, politicians, and regulators who seek to stub out cigarettes further by raising taxes on smokes, but companies such as Altria and Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) are largely able to offset their impact on profits by raising prices. The ability to command such pricing power without an overly large loss of customers obviously speaks to the addictive qualities of smoking but is also an otherwise enviable position to be in.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Just before 1pm today, shares of Reynolds American (RAI) took a sudden nosedive on reports that its merger with British American Tobacco (BTI) had “hit a snag” according to StreetInsider.com. Cowen’s Vivien Azer and team still think a deal gets done:

    Getty Images

    Street Insider is reporting that BATS’ acquisition of RAI has “hit a snag,” and that “a potential transaction may be less likely near-term.” We view this source as less credible (vs. a WSJ or CNBC), in particular given the scant level of detail. While the delay in a consummated deal has extended longer than we thought, we still view the deal as likely (85% probability).

    Shares of Reynolds American have dropped 1.3% to $55.47 at 2:26 p.m. today, while British American Tobacco has declined 0.2% to $112.71. Shares of Philip Morris International (PM), which could be interested in an acquisition of Altria Group (MO), have fallen 1% to$90.28 after getting cut toNeutral from Buy at BofA Merrill Lynch, while Altria has risen 0.5% to$67.94 after getting upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Merrill.

  • [By Leo Sun]

    With interest rates set to rise this year, many dividend investors are likely worried that their stocks will slip as bond yields become more attractive. While some dividend stocks will inevitably decline, investors can still find some low-risk income plays that have high yields and cheap valuations. Let’s take a look at three such stocks — AT&T (NYSE:T), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), and Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI).

share investment: McKesson Corporation(MCK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Drug-distribution specialist McKesson (NYSE:MCK) has had a tough year. Even as the overall stock market has climbed, the company’s shares have suffered, as investors fear that any business related to pharmaceuticals will have a political target on its back even under the current administration. Last quarter’s sluggish numbers didn’t create much enthusiasm for McKesson either.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Clinton 15 stock basket (DBUSCLNT): UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM), McKesson (MCK), Aecom (ACM), Quanta Services (PWR), ExxonMobil (XOM), Alcoa (AA), NextEra Energy (NEE), Cree (CREE), First Solar (FSLR), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), Prudential Financial (PRU), Citigroup (C), Union Pacific (UNP).

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK), the leading pharmaceutical distributor, posted a revenue increase in the past year of $49.7 billion, up from $47.5 billion in ayear earlier. Its management offered hefty earnings for the quarter and year ahead. It continues to be a buyer of other companies, most recently Change Healthcare (which was labeled a merger with one of McKesson’s divisions). The current dividend is $1.12, or 0.61%.

share investment: Digital Realty Trust Inc.(DLR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    DuPont Fabros Technology, Inc. (NYSE: DFT) shares shot up 10 percent to $61.07. Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: DLR) announced plans to merge with DuPont Fabros.

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    Last year was brutal for hedge fund investors — but you wouldn’t know it from the fund managers’ paychecks: Link

    ECONOMIC DATA
    The MBA’s index of mortgage application activity for the latest week is schedule for release at 7:00 a.m. ET.
    The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.
    ANALYST RATINGS
    Jefferies Upgraded ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) from Hold to Buy
    JPMorgan Upgraded Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ: CLVS) From Neutral to Overweight
    Morgan Stanley Upgrades TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) From Equal-Weight to Overweight
    Macquarie Downgraded Disney (NYSE: DIS) from Outperform to Neutral
    Deutsche Bank Downgraded AvalonBay (NYSE: AVB) from Buy to Hold
    Wells Fargo Downgrades Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR) From Outperform To Market Perform

    This is a tool used by the Benzinga News Desk each trading day — it's a look at everything happening in the market, in five minutes. To get the full version of this note every morning, click here or email minutes@benzinga.com.

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