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Stocks to Watch: eBay, FedEx, Google, Home Depot, Kinder Morgan, Wal-Mart

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It's a slow ride

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Stocks to watch for Monday, August 28

  • BellSouth (BLS) scrapped plans for a surcharge on high-speed Internet customers after the FCC turned up the heat on BellSouth and Verizon (VZ).
  • Boeing (BA) said it signed an agreement to make a minority equity investment in Huneed Technologies, a South Korean manufacturer of military communications systems.
  • eBay (EBAY) has signed a deal permitting Google (GOOG) to exclusively display text ads on its auction Web sites outside the U.S. and to cooperate in finding ways allowing consumers to call merchants and advertisers directly.
  • FedEx and its pilots reached a tentative pact, reflecting tension over whether cargo pilots' pay should mirror the downturn at passenger airlines.
  • Ford (F) said that Robert Rubin, a director at investment bank Citigroup (C), resigned from the automaker's board of directors, where he has served since 2000. Citigroup's "multi-faceted relationship with Ford could raise a question whether my relationship with Ford and Citigroup (C) creates an appearance of conflict," Rubin wrote. No conflict of interest currently exists, he also wrote.
  • Google (GOOG) will bundle email and scheduling offerings, among other services, increasing its competition with Microsoft (MSFT).
  • Home Depot (HD) approved an additional $3.5 billion to repurchase shares, bringing the total authorized under the program to $17.5 billion.
  • KB Home (KBH) said it has been notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency will conduct an informal inquiry into the company's stock-option grants.
  • Kinder Morgan (KMI) has agreed to be bought by a group of investors, including its CEO Richard Morgan, for $15 bln plus the assumption of approximately $7 bln in debt.
  • A KKR consortium is still likely to seek a friendly takeover of Australian retailer Coles Myer.
  • The New York Mercantile Exchange has offered members of its Comex division up to $298.3 million in stock in exchange for opening the electronic trading platform for metals to outsiders, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources.
  • Low-cost airline Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY) said it's suing the U.K. government for 3 million pounds ($5.7 million) compensation to cover losses related to flight cancellations and higher security after police foiled a plot to blow up planes. Ryanair said the claim is intended to encourage a return to normal security standards. It intends to give any proceeds to charity.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers said the IRS is auditing the accounting firm, focusing on transactions in 2002 and 2003 when it sold off several side businesses.
  • St. Paul Travelers Companies (STA) said it will realign its three business segments in an effort to maintain its focus on industry and product specialization.
  • Terex can't get enough huge tires for its mining and other earth-moving equipment, but limited availability of such a key component is allowing the firm to keep prices high and its order book full.
  • Toyota Motor (TM) may delay the introduction of some new models by as much as half a year, according to a media report. The move is in reaction to a surge of recalls and quality problems.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) posted a 2.7% gain in same-store sales in August, hitting the high end of its forecast.
  • Western Refining will buy Giant Industries (GI) for $1.2 billion in a move to broaden its oil refining and diversify into marketing.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.20%, Nikkei -1.10%, Sensex +0.41%, Shanghai and Taiwan -1.25%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.27%, DAX -0.32%, FTSE +0.16% and ATX +0.22%.
  • Crude oil is trading -1.14 to 71.10 while gold is +0.8 to 631.6 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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