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Stocks to Watch: Chevron, KB Homes, Pfizer, Merck, Sun Microsystems


Be prepared...


Stocks to watch for Monday, November 13

  • Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP) said it has committed to build a new $1.1 billion, 355-mile interstate gas pipeline from Sherman, Texas, to Perryville, La. The new project, called the Gulf Crossing Pipeline, will consist of 42-inch diameter pipeline with a capacity of roughly 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.
  • Boeing (BA) is making a comeback in the defense market, winning major contracts after years of disappointing performance.
  • Cabot (CBT) said its board has approved increasing the quarterly cash dividend 13%, or by two cents, to 18 cents per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 8 to shareholders as of Nov. 24, according to the specialty chemicals company.
  • Chevron (CVX) has made another substantial discovery of natural gas off the West Australian coast, potentially adding resources to its proposed A$11 billion ($8.4 billion) Gorgon development. "The well discovered 623 feet of net gas sands in the Mungaroo Formation, which places Clio as one of the top wells in Australia in terms of total net pay," Chevron said in a statement.
  • Core-Mark Holding (CORE) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $4.4 million, or 40 cents a share, from $900,000, or 8 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. The distributor of packaged consumer products said quarterly revenue rose to $1.48 billion from $1.33 billion in the prior year. Core-Mark backed its view for $5.25 billion in sales for 2006.
  • The general partner of DCP Midstream Partners LP (DPM) said it has appointed Mark Borer as president and chief executive. Borer was also named to the board. DCP Midstream also said it has tapped Fred Fowler to succeed Jim Mogg as chairman of the board.
  • Intel (INTC) is more than tripling its initial investment in Vietnam to $1 billion, expanding the size of a chip assembly and testing plant that it is building.
  • KB Home (KBH) CEO Bruce Karatz is leaving the housing-construction giant after an internal investigation found he backdated his own option grants to increase his pay. Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey T. Mezger will succeed Mr. Karatz as CEO.
  • LAN Airlines S.A. (LFL) said October systemwide traffic rose 24.6% from last year, while capacity rose 20.5%. The Chile-based airline said October load factor rose 2.5 percentage points from a year ago to 75.9%.
  • Merck (MRK) will initially seek Food and Drug Administration approval for a narrower use of its painkiller Arcoxia than it had previously sought. FDA approval of Arcoxia has been delayed for several years in the wake of safety concerns about the class of drugs to which it belongs, known as selective Cox-2 inhibitors. Arcoxia, which is approved for sale in 62 other countries, is Merck's follow-up to Vioxx, the Cox-2 inhibitor it pulled from the market in 2004 after a study showed it elevated risk of heart attack.
  • News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox plans to sell inexpensive, legal DVDs of its films in China, in a move aimed at fighting widespread piracy.
  • Pfizer (PFE) scientists won't be allowed to present new data on an experimental drug to boost good cholesterol at the American Heart Association's annual scientific meeting.
  • PlayStation 3, Sony's (SNE) highly anticipated and long-delayed next-generation game console, went on sale in Japan and was greeted by thousands of fans. The console will compete for market share against Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Nintendo's (NTDOY) Wii.
  • Suntron (SUNN) and Applied Materials (AMAT) said they have reached a confidential settlement agreement that terminates the litigation between the companies. Applied has agreed to pay Suntron an undisclosed sum, and will acquire certain Suntron inventory.
  • Sun Microsystems (SUNW) will make Java available on an open-source basis; the move to broaden the software's appeal could make it easier for Java to be distributed with Linux.
  • Toyota (TM) is stepping up its race to expand auto output, part of a plan to take a 15% share of the global car market by 2010 amid surging sales in India and China.
  • Tribune (TRB) has drawn an expanded array of potential buyers, including publishers like Gannett, since it moved to allow offers for pieces of the company.
  • Ventana Medical (VMSI) was the most actively traded stock now that its shares have been added to a Standard & Poor's index.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.12%, Sensex +0.87%, Taiwan -0.53%, Shanghai -1.04% and Nikkei -0.56%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC +0.68%, DAX +0.41%, FTSE -0.11% and Swiss Mkt +0.05%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.9 to 58.69 while gold is -6.8 to 623.3.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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