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Ticker Shock: Intel, 3M Get Stuck; McDonald's Still Delicious

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

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I put the ol' Christmas tree up this past weekend and strung some outdoor lights to keep the missus happy. I don't exactly have the Clark Griswold thing going, but I think it looks pretty decent.

Anyway, getting down to business… Asian stocks were smoking while we were sleeping. The Hang Seng was up north of 8%, and the Nikkei was up more than 5%. Europe is showing me some serious green as well. And here in the States, we're off to a higher open.

General Motors (GM)
President-Elect Obama was on Meet The Press this past weekend, where he made it clear that the auto industry shouldn't be allowed to go the way of the Dodo. This extra support for the Big 3 is encouraging. The other interesting tidbit was that Senator Chris Dodd insinuated that GM's chief executive, Rick Wagoner, should step aside.

In any case, the fact that important guys like the two mentioned above are giving this subject so much talking time is a sign that big changes are likely coming soon to the Motor City and that government will almost certainly get involved.

I think the stock could appreciate on news of a government handout (if that happens). However, my inherent distrust for politicians in general has me on the sidelines. I'd like to see this story play out more even if it costs me some upside.

Intel (INTC)
According to the AP:

"Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. analyst Craig Berger wrote in a note to clients that 'recent industry checks' suggest that Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel is preparing a large work force reduction that could be as high as 8,300 employees, or 10% of its global staff."

I don't know if this prediction will come to fruition. However, layoffs (if they happen) aren't always as terrific as they sound. In other words, perhaps there could be some upfront severance costs and stuff that could foul up near-term numbers (again if they happen).

Long story short, I'd rather be here than with, say AMD (AMD), but that news doesn't leave me with a terrific taste in my mouth.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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