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EMC's Appetite for Acquisition Grows


Storage device company enters yet another bidding war.

Minyan Morning Memo

One to Watch: Enterprise storing can be boring but its importance is indisputable as computers grow ever more complex. The world's largest manufacturer of storage devices, EMC Corporation (EMC) is in the news again by upping the ante in its bidding war with rival NetApp (NTAP) for Data Domain (DDUP). EMC has been known to 'byte' off more than it can chew, having an insatiable appetite for acquisitions, but the ferocity of this fight suggests a prize worth winning. It, along with Oracle (ORCL), SunMicro (JAVA) and Cisco (CSCO), was one of the fêted four horsemen of the Internet before tech turned apocalyptic in 2000. While no one is suggesting a return to those heady days, the company's successful survival is a timely reminder to investors that there are in fact second acts in corporate America.

What Just Happened: Stocks were mixed amid light trading and a lack of direction. Alcoa's (AA) symbol was symbolic, its Dow leading 6.1% side ahead of earnings driving shareholders to drink if not into Alcoholics Anonymous. Gold's prominent place in the sports pages on Roddick's wrist and above Fed's head failed to prevent another fall in the price of bullion. Final tallies showed a bank robbing movie about Public Enemy Number One finished a respectable number three at the holiday box office. Obama and Medvedev bid farewell to arms, agreeing to trim nuclear stockpiles.

What's Happening: Asia ended largely lower, Europe is flashing green and U.S. futures currently indicate a fairly flat open. Oil's up for a change, as are Treasuries.

What Will Happen: It's all quiet on the economic front but we'll be learning about earnings from International Speedway (ISCA), Kayne Anderson (KED) and, appropriately enough, Ruby Tuesday (RT).

Happenstance: I always knew the British did irony better than Americans, but was taken aback to learn on my trip to London the birthplaces of those who founded the respective national(ized) banks of eternal enemies England and Scotland.
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