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Spotlight Stocks: BHP Billiton, General Motors, Google, Toyota

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

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Stocks to watch for Tuesday, June 24, 2008:

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) is making an effort to convince Chinese steelmakers to pay new higher prices for iron ore. This comes after Rio Tinto (RTP) reached an agreement with Posco (PKX) to raise prices to a record high. BHP remains the only major player still in price talks. Reuters reports the value of iron ore will be a deciding factor in BHP's $167 billion bid for RTP.
  • General Motors (GM) plans to raise the price of its 2009 models by an average 3.5%, or $1,000 a vehicle, reported the Associated Press. This comes despite production cuts and discounts to its 2008 models because of slowing demand. The price hikes mark an effort to regain some of the losses it will incur from the rising price of steel and other commodities.
  • Google (GOOG) is set to unveil a new service which measures Internet use in order to help advertisers buy in spaces where their target audience is visiting, reported The Wall Street Journal. The two leaders in this industry, comScore (SCOR) and Nielsen Online, currently compile data largely by using surveys and tracking panels of people. The WSJ says Google's new offering will be based mostly on data from Web servers, allowing for a deeper and broader view of Internet use.
  • NYSE Euronext (NYX) is reportedly buying a 25% stake in Qatar's Doha Securities Market, a deal valued at $250 million, in an effort to build a new cash-and-derivatives exchange. The deal, the largest ever by NYX in a foreign exchange, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008.
  • Toyota (TM) is expected to miss its sales targets this year. This after its ambitious forecast predicted it would sell more than the 2.62 million vehicles in 2007. According to the Associated Press, in December TM said it was hoping to sell 2.64 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2008 and predicted a 5 percent jump in global sales to 9.85 million vehicles because of strong sales in emerging markets such as China and Russia. Despite strong sales of its fuel efficient models, overall sales have still dropped amid lowered demand for larger vehicles.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.14%, Nikkei -0.06%, Sensex -1.31%, Taiwan -1.76% and Shanghai +1.54%.
  • A quick glance towards Europe finds the CAC -1.18%, DAX -1.65%, FTSE -1.00%, ATX -0.77%, Swiss Mkt. -0.40% and Stockholm -1.96%.
  • Commodities are in the green with crude oil up +1.2 to 137.94 and gold +4.1 to 888.9 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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