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Spotlight Stocks: CME, Dow Chemical, Liberty Media, McDonald's


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


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, January 29, 2008:

  • CME Group (CME) is exploring the possibility of buying Nymex Holdings (NMX) for $11 bln. This acquisition would form the largest exchange in the world, worth about $45 bln and would also add vital crude oil futures to the CME.
  • Dow Chemical (DOW) reported 4Q net income of $472 mln, or 49 cents a share, falling from $975 mln, or $1 a share a year ago. According to Reuters, the company attributed the loss to weak U.S. housing and auto markets, spiraling energy and raw material costs, and one-time restructuring charges.
  • Liberty Media (LINTA) is trying to have Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), removed from his position, among a few others. Liberty is the majority shareholder of IACI. According to Reuters, Liberty has accused those IAC board members of breaching their fiduciary duty with a plan to dilute Liberty's voting control over IAC's businesses in a proposed spin-off of four of its largest units.
  • McDonald's (MCD) says it plans to open 125 new outlets in China this year, 18% more than in 2007, reported the Wall Street Journal. As China is the world's fastest growing major auto market, half of the new restaurants will have drive through windows.
  • Lexmark International (LXK) reported 4Q net income $99 mln, or $1.04 a share, compared with $89.9 mln, or 91 cents a share a year ago. Revenue was down however, falling to $1.31 bln from $1.37 bln.
  • Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) reported 4Q net income of $81 mln, or 35 cents a share, down from $133 mln, or 55 cents a share a year ago. Revenue at the company rose 7% to $4.04 billion. The company had taken restructuring and disposal charges for the quarter.
  • Sallie Mae (SLM) settled its case over a failed buyout by J.C. Flowers & Co worth about $25 bln. Flowers won't have to pay the large breakup fee of $900 mln, but SLM did win a $30 bln refinancing credit line from a consortium of banks.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.99%, Nikkei +2.99%, Sensex -0.34%, Taiwan +1.21% and Shanghai +0.87%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +1.37%, DAX +1.03%, FTSE +0.96%, ATX +2.01%, Swiss Mkt. +1.15% and Stockholm +0.69%.
  • Over in commodity land, crude oil is higher +0.45 to 91.44 and gold is also lifting +5.75 to 927.50 this morning.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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