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Stocks to Watch: Northrop, Pfizer, SanDisk, Verizon, Wal-Mart

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Fresh out of the gate

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Stocks to watch for Monday, July 31

  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) is in an agreement with Tencent (China) to sell games to mobile users in China; Tencent awaiting approval from China Mobile (CHL) to sell ERTS games for handsets.
  • McDonald's (MCD) and Mattel (MAT) haven't found evidence that unrest at a Chinese factory that supplies them was a result of poor worker treatment.
  • The nation's largest prescription drug distributor, McKesson (MCK), wrote a prescription for some stock gains Friday when it reported first quarter earnings of $0.60 per share, including charges, as it benefited from increased sales from its pharmacy distribution and generics businesses and growth in software systems sales.
  • Two California Defense Outfits are for sale. Northrop's (NOC) navigation systems unit could go for up to $1 billion and Wyle Laboratories for under $400 million.
  • Office Depot (ODP) said Friday its second quarter profit climbed 18% because of strong sales in North America and improved margins. Specifically, the nation's number-two office supply chain, behind Staples (SPLS), posted net income of $118 million, or $0.41 per share, up from $100 million, or $0.31 per share, a year earlier.
  • Pfizer's (PFE) board named general counsel Jeffrey Kindler to succeed Henry McKinnell as CEO of the world's largest drug company. Kindler faces several urgent challenges, from emerging questions about the company's highly anticipated new cholesterol medicine, torcetrapib, to relations with the investment community.
  • The alliance between Renault (RENA.PA) and Nissan would not mount a hostile takeover bid for General Motors (GM) should talks on a three-way tie-up among the carmakers fail.
  • SanDisk (SNDK) agreed to buy m-systems for $1.55 billion in stock in the latest sign of consolidation in the flash-memory sector.
  • Sony (SNE) remains conservative about its outlook, despite a strong fiscal first quarter on a rebound in its electronics business.
  • Time Warner's (TWX) AOL unit plans an Internet video portal featuring content from both users and cable networks.
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ) will release a cell phone that plays music and resembles Apple's iPod as carriers edge into the MP3 market.
  • Wal-Mart's (WMT) same-store sales increased 2.4% in July, at the upper end of its forecast and boding well for other retailers.
  • Walt Disney (DIS) said veteran director Gary Wilson is stepping down after 21 years on the company's board.


Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.10%, Nikkei +0.74%, Shanghai -2.97%, Taiwan -0.39%, Jakarta +1.06% and Sensex +0.60%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.14%, DAX -0.28%, FTSE +0.37%, Swiss mkt +0.05%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.38 to 73.62 while gold is -0.7 to 634.1.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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