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Spotlight Stocks: Apple, Citigroup, Exxon, Merrill, Wal-Mart

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

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Stocks to watch for Monday, January 14, 2008:

  • Apple (AAPL) and China Mobile (CHL) have ended discussions of a launch of the iPhone in China. According to Reuters, experts said the iPhone would have to navigate a spate of technical, content and fee issues unique to China, including a standard revenue-sharing agreement that China Mobile would be sure to dislike, before any launch could proceed.
  • Citigroup (C) could write-down as much as $24 bln and cut 20,000 jobs as part of a plan to cut costs and boost capital, CNBC reported on its Website. Citi is scheduled to report its 4Q results on Tuesday and will likely unveil this plan at that time.
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) was dealt a blow, along with other shareholders of the Kashagan oil field as the Kazakhstan state oil and gas company, JSC NC KazMunaiGaz, doubled its stake in the venture. KMG now holds a 16.6% stake while other companies including Eni SpA of Italy, Exxon Mobil, Total SA of France and Royal Dutch Shell PLC will all hold a 16.6% stake, down from 18.5%.
  • General Electric (GE) plans to announce an increase in its renewable energies investments to $6 bln by 2010. The company believes wind and solar power will account for almost a quarter of its total energy and water investments within two years.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) current and former employees are under investigation by the SEC relating to improper trades for the company's own account ahead of client orders. Separately, MER is hoping to land about $4 bln in a second capital raising, much of which is expected to come from the Kuwait Investment Authority.
  • Sears Holdings (SHLD) forecasts earnings below expectations after reporting lagging same-store holiday sales. Total domestic same-store sales dropped 3.5%, including a 2.8% drop at Sears stores and a 4.2% dip in Kmarts.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) will open small-format grocery stores called "Marketside" this year in Arizona. The stores will compete with UK grocer Tesco's new Fresh & Easy markets which recently were introduced in the US.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.48%, Sensex -0.48%, Taiwan +1.79% and Shanghai +0.24%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.22%, DAX +0.26%, FTSE +0.06%, ATX -0.61%, Swiss Mkt. +0.29% and Stockholm +0.51%.
  • Commodities are in the green with crude oil up +0.29 to 92.98 and gold is surging +15.6 to 913.3 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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