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Stocks to Watch: Alcoa, Amazon, Capital One, Sony, Texas Instruments

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Wednesday's top stories and stocks with potential to move...

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, September 12, 2007:

  • Alcoa (AA) is selling its stake in Aluminum Corp of China for up to $2 bln. Alcoa will sell 700 million shares, with an option to increase the number to 884.2 million shares, at between HK$17.26 and HK$18.27 apiece.
  • Amazon.com (AMZN) in an attempt to gain traction for its Web services, will offer a contest starting today that includes an investment offer as part of the prize. The "Amazon Web Services Start-up Challenge" targets start-ups and software developers.
  • Capital One Financial (COF) will introduce a money-market account this week which offers rewards points on average monthly balances. It will be called the Rewards Market Account and offers an annual yield of 4.65% and hands out one mile for every $20 of average monthly balance, including interest.
  • InFocus (INFS) named Robert O'Malley as chief executive and board member, effective Oct. 1, also noting that it has suspended the strategic alternatives process it announced in October 2006.
  • Microsoft's (MSFT) gaming head in Japan, Takashi Sensui has promises more role playing game software for the company's Xbox 360, with the critical Christmas shopping season ahead. The public will be able to try some of these games later this month at the Tokyo Game Show.
  • National Financial Partners (NFP) agreed to acquire Pro Financial Services, a general underwriter, for $73 million in cash and stock. National Financial, a New York financial services product distributor, expects a net tax benefit of about $12.5 million.
  • Sara Lee (SLE) reaffirmed its fiscal 2008 outlook for earnings per share from continuing operations of 95 cents to $1.01 on sales of more than $12.6 billion. The company announced it plans to introduce about 25 new food and beverage products, along with some new foodservice, household and bodycare products in 2008.
  • Sony (SNE) is launching four new Blu-ray high definition disc recorder models in November as it sees growing competition from the HD DVD market. The new models, capable of storing up to 16 hours of high-definition programmes on a dual-layer, 50-gigabyte (GB) Blu-ray disc, will go on sale on November 8.
  • Texas Instruments (TXN), the world's largest maker of cell phone chips, tightened its third-quarter financial targets, matching Wall Street expectations.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.49%, Nikkei -0.50%, Sensex -0.24%, Taiwan +0.17% and Shanghai +1.15%.
  • A quick glance towards Europe finds the CAC +0.13%, DAX -0.23%, FTSE -0.58%, ATX -0.38%, Swiss Mkt. +0.15% and Stockholm -0.05%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.09 to 78.32 while gold is edging lower -0.9 to 720.2 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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