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Ticker Shock: Heinz Shakes Out Well; Gap Outperforms Struggling Retailers

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

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Let's end the week on a good note. Whaddaya say?

Asian markets rose as we slept. The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were both up more than 2%. Europe is slightly in the red. And here in the States, we're off to a higher open.

Citigroup (C)
The following article appeared on the CNBC website last night. I think the first line of the piece says it all: "Senior officials at Citigroup told CNBC that they will have to make a strategic change in the firm's direction, including finding a possible merger partner or raising cash in the coming days to arrest a sharp slide in the firm's stock price."

My concern: If Citi tried to link up with another firm in some capacity, I have trouble seeing how it would be negotiating from a position of great strength.

Citi better figure something out soon, or I suspect there's going to be one pissed-off Saudi prince out there.

Gap (GPS)
After the close on Thursday, the well-known retailer disseminated its third-quarter numbers.

It put up $0.35 per share, which was a penny north of estimates. Not bad - and on top of that, its operating margin inched up to 11.1%, from 9.5% in the comparable period last year. Plus, the company said it's now looking for earnings of $1.30 to $1.35 a share for the full year. That's essentially in line with the $1.33 a share the Street was reportedly looking for.

Oh, and before the bell, Citigroup upped its rating on the Gap from Hold to Buy. Cowen & Company also upped its rating, from Neutral to Outperform, according to Yahoo Finance.

I think the stock ends in the green today.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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