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Spotlight Stocks: Cleveland-Cliffs, Exxon-Mobil, Honda, Microsoft


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


Stocks to watch for Friday, July 25, 2008:

  • Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) shareholder Phil Falcone's hedge fund, Harbinger Capital, said it opposed the firm's recent $10 billion agreement to buy Alpha Natural Resources (ANR). Falcone owns a 16% stake in the company. According to a source close to Harbinger, Falcone believes the company could push to sell itself for about $130 a share, or $14 billion.

  • Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and BHP Billiton (BHP) approved a $1.35 billion Turrum oil and gas project off Australia's southeast coast. The company says the project holds reserves of about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and about 110 million barrels of oil and condensate. Reuters reports the companies hope to start producing about 20,000 barrels per day of oil in 2011 and 200 million cubic feet per day of gas in 2015.

  • Honda Motor (HMC) reported a record fiscal 1Q profit of 179.6 billion yen ($1.68 billion), up 8.1% from the same period the previous year. Analysts were expecting 131.3 billion yen ($1.2 billion). The company cited sales growth in new markets offsetting the damage from a stronger yen and soaring material costs. Sales, fell 2.2% to 2.867 trillion yen ($26.79 billion). Cost-cutting helped strong performance in North America while demand was high in Asia, Brazil and other new markets.

  • Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer said the company is "done" chasing Yahoo (YHOO) for now, reported Reuters. He also emphasized the need to build out the company's Internet business. At the company's analyst meeting, it aimed to give the impression it had a plan to turn around this division that didn't involve the takeout of Yahoo.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.50%, Nikkei -1.97%, Sensex -3.40%, Taiwan -1.82% and Shanghai -1.55%.

  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.96%, DAX -1.24%, FTSE -0.83%, ATX -1.93%, Swiss Market -1.47% and Stockholm -0.96%.

  • In commodities, crude oil is trading up +0.66 to 126.13 and gold is also higher +9.3 to 931.6 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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