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Stocks To Watch: 3Com, Bear Stearns, Macy's, Research in Motion, Yahoo

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, July 18:

  • 3Com (COMS) shares rallied in after-hours trade, rising more than 5% to $4.59. Prior to the closing bell, the WSJ reported on its Web site that the telecom-equipment company has been approached in the past couple of months by possible buyers, including private-equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Bain Capital. In addition, Nortel Networks (NT) may also be interested in 3Com, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Altadis (ALTDF), a Spanish tobacco-products company, has agreed to be acquired by Imperial Tobacco Group (ITY) for about 50 euros per share, or roughly 13 billion euros ($17.9 billion), according to a media report late Tuesday. Imperial has outflanked Luxembourg private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which has also been seeking a takeover of Altadis. The deal would create a European tobacco giant with leading market shares in the United Kingdom, France and Spain, among other countries.
  • Bear Stearns (BSC) said it two hedge funds that made leveraged bets in the subprime mortgage market are worth nearly nothing.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Otsuka Pharmaceutical said the Food and Drug Administration granted a priority review for Abilify as an adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorder. The FDA assigns priority review status if a product would be a significant improvement from marketed products in the treatment or prevention of a disease. Bristol-Myers and Otsuka, which discovered Abilify, are collaborating in the development and commercialization of the drug in the U.S. and major European countries.
  • The board of Dow Jones (DJ) endorsed a $5 billion buyout offer from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS) on Tuesday, sending the deal to the controlling Bancroft family for final approval.
  • Google (GOOG) plans expansion of PrintAds, which allows advertisers to purchase newspaper space through online system, to 225 newspapers from current 50
  • Intel (INTC: News, Quote) reported its net income rose 44% from a year ago, helped by a slimmer workforce and solid microprocessor shipments.
  • Macy's (M) has been the focus of buyout rumors for some time now, with private equity firm KKR now reportedly considering a $52 per share bid.
  • The head of Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox video-game division is leaving the company for a top job at game publisher Electronic Arts (ERTS).
  • Pulte Homes' (PHM) said it expects to report a second-quarter loss from continuing operations at between $2 and $2.10 a share, including items. The items include impairments and land-related charges totaling between $740 million and $770 million, or $1.85 to $1.92 a share, and restructuring charges of about $40 million before taxes. The homebuilder had expected per-share results of nil or a loss of 10 cents a share, not including items. Homebuilding companies continue to struggle and post losses amid a somewhat stagnant real estate market.
  • Research in Motion (RIMM), maker of the BlackBerry, announced it is launching a new smart phone with access to Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This comes on the tails of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone release June 29.
  • Whole Foods Markets (WFMI) said it's launching an internal probe into the Internet message-board postings made by John Mackey, the company's co-founder and chief executive. Mackey offered a formal apology Tuesday.
  • Warner Music Group (WMG) confirmed that it won't make an offer for U.K. music company EMI Group (EMI). The New York-based recording company did reserve the right, pursuant to a City Code on Takeovers and Mergers rule, to make an offer within the next six months if a party other than Maltby Ltd. makes an offer for the company. Warner Music was trading down after-hours at $13.44, after closing the regular session trading at $13.77.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) said its second-quarter profit fell slightly from the same period a year ago, as the Internet company begins rebuilding following a shakeup in its top executive ranks.


Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.93%, Nikkei -1.11%, Sensex +0.07%, Taiwan -0.26% and Shanghai +0.87%.
  • A quick check of European bourses finds the CAC -0.98%, DAX -1.40%, FTSE -0.74%, ATX -0.84%, Swiss Mkt. -0.77% and Stockholm -0.14%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.31 to 74.33 and gold is also higher +2.2 to 668.1 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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