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Stocks To Watch: Accredited Home Lending, Disney, Google, JetBlue, Wal-Mart


Today's big stories and some stocks with potential to move...


Stocks to wacth for Monday, March 19:

  • Accredited Home Lending (LEND) shares rallied Friday after the company, which has lost about 75% of its value since the beginning of the year, announced it's selling virtually all of its $2.7 billion loan portfolio at a substantial discount in order to meet margin calls. While the identity of the buyer of the loans was unclear, three major investment banks this week said they expected to be buyers of loans as pressured lenders were forced to sell at attractive prices.
  • Blackstone's planned IPO will place the lucrative private-equity business model under scrutiny and could lead to changes in such firms' fee structures.
  • Standard and Poor's said CVS/Caremark (CVS) will replace Black & Decker (BDK) in the S&P 100 and S&P MidCap 400. In addition, Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) will replace Caremark Rx (CMX) in the S&P 500, and Wellcare Health Plans (WCG) will replace Developers Diversified in the S&P MidCap 400.
  • Community Health (CYH) was near a deal for Triad Hospitals (TRI), breaking up a $4.5 billion buyout plan by private-equity funds.
  • Disney (DIS) concluded Pixar options were backdated prior to its acquisition of the animation studio, but cleared anyone now associated with Disney, of misconduct.
  • Google (GOOG) acquired Adscape Media, a company that makes technology to place ads in videogames. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed
  • JetBlue (JBLU) on Friday canceled more than 200 flights from a schedule of about 550 departures.
  • Keane (KEA) said it has notified the Securities and Exchange that it will not be able to file its Form 10-K for fiscal 2006 on time. The Boston-based business process and information technology services company said the delay was caused by its investigation into its stock option grants and practices, which is not yet complete. Keane shares fell 2 cents to close at $13.58 on Friday.
  • Landry's Restaurants (LNY) reported fourth-quarter revenue from continuing operations rose 5.6% to $275.7 million from $261.2 million.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) will be hosting its shareholder meeting next week, and industry watchers will be looking for reassurance that the coffee-shop operator's growth plans are on track.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT), facing a wall of opposition from the banking industry, Congress and activist groups, said it would withdraw its application to start a specialized bank.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.65%, Nikkei +1.59%, Sensex +1.73%, Taiwan +0.23% and Shanghai +2.87%.
  • Looking over at Europe, we find the CAC +0.75%, DAX +0.85%, FTSE +0.51%, ATX +0.39%, Swiss Mkt. +0.81% and Stockholm +1.14%.
  • Gold is trading +1.10 to 655.0 and crude oil is -0.48 to 56.63 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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