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Spotlight Stocks: ConocoPhillips, Electronic Arts, General Motors, Microsoft

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

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Stocks to watch for Monday, May 19, 2008:

  • ConocoPhillips (COP) has plans to build an enormous refinery in Saudi Arabia, along with Saudi Aramco. It will be located on the Red Sea side of the Arabian Peninsula. The plant is said to be comparable to another Aramco refinery which cost about $10 billion and produces about 400,000 barrels a day.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) will probably extend the deadline for its hostile tender offer to acquire Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO), reported The Wall Street Journal. The previous deadline expired at 11:59 pm on Friday and is valued at $25.74 a share, or about $2 billion. The company believes regulatory approval of the deal will help convince shareholders to tender their shares.
  • General Motors (GM) plants will ramp production this week on the news that the 11-week strike at its key supplier, American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL) came to an end. About 3,650 employees represented by the UAW at five American Axle plants in Michigan and New York have been on strike since Feb. 26, reported The Wall Street Journal.
  • Lehman Brothers (LEH) will begin a 5% cut of its workforce today, as reported by CNBC. In an effort to cut costs and refocus on its core business, the company plans to lay off about 1,400 workers.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) said it had proposed an alternative deal to Yahoo (YHOO), rather than a full acquisition, reported Reuters. A person familiar with investor Carl Icahn's thinking said the move will likely prompt him to pursue an alliance with Google (GOOG). Icahn has engaged Yahoo in a proxy battle to replace the company's board in the wake of walking away from MSFT's original $47.5 billion takeover bid.

SO HOW ARE THE PROS TRADING THIS NEWS? FIND OUT ON OUR BUZZ & BANTER

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.48%, Nikkei +0.35%, Sensex +0.47%, Taiwan +1.06% and Shanghai -0.54%.
  • A quick look towards Europe finds the CAC +0.40%, DAX +0.48%, FTSE +1.08%, ATX -0.16%, Swiss Mkt. +0.69% and Stockholm +0.51%.
  • In commodities, crude oil is trading lower -0.15 to 126.14 while gold is higher +9.3 to 909.2 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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