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It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


The retail giant has a big birthday this month. But should we celebrate how the company has changed American business?

By MSN Money Partner Jul 2, 2012 12:44PM
By Stacy Mitchell

Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart (WMT) store in Rogers, Ark., 50 years ago this month. Sprawled along a major thoroughfare outside the city's downtown, that inaugural store embodied many of the hallmarks that have since come to define the Wal-Mart way of doing business. Walton scoured the country for the cheapest merchandise and deftly exploited a loophole in federal law to pay his mostly female workforce less than minimum wage. 
Tags: FWMT

Agius takes responsibility for rate-fixing by traders and says the bank's reputation has taken a serious blow.

By Benzinga Jul 2, 2012 12:18PM

By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer

Barclays (BCS) chairman Marcus Agius resigned Monday in the middle of the bank's rate-fixing scandal.

Agius stepped up and said, "The buck stops with me," saying the scandal has dealt a "devastating blow" to the reputation of the bank.


Despite economic weakness, the leading US flag maker expects a double-digit sales increase.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 2, 2012 11:56AM
Image: US currency (© Steve Allen/Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)Consumers, stressed out by the economy and the upcoming presidential election, are nonetheless feeling patriotic enough to buy more flags this year.

Annin & Co., which calls itself the country's oldest and largest flag maker, expects sales this year to rise about 11%, spurred by a patriotic fervor brought about by the Olympics and what many observers expect to be an extremely close race for the White House, according to Mary Repke, the head of marketing for the Roseland, N.J., company. 

Cirrus Logic is downgraded to 'perform,' and Infosys is upgraded to 'buy.'

By MSN Money Partner Jul 2, 2012 11:14AM
Information provided by 

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include: 
  • AB InBev (BUD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale 
  • Infosys (INFY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • SunTrust (STI) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • Tiffany (TIF) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord 

Digitizing health care data is revolutionizing the industry, and these companies are top plays on this trend.

By TheStockAdvisors Jul 2, 2012 10:17AM
By Andy Obermueller, Game-Changing Stocks

The reasoning behind converting to electronic medical records is simple: efficiency. Digital records will help end medical errors, stop unnecessary tests and eliminate the danger of improper drug interaction -- all while streamlining workloads, decreasing paperwork and lowering costs.

Computerized records can revolutionize the industry, just as they did for banking and retail. And Athenahealth (ATHN) and Allscripts (MDRX) are my favorite software plays on this market. 

The Crown Imports deal is a major coup, but STZ still has issues.

By InvestorPlace Jul 2, 2012 9:58AM

By Charles Sizemore


It's not often that a stock with a $5 billion market cap soars by more than 20% in a single trading day, but such was the case Friday for Constellation Brands (STZ), the largest publicly traded wine merchant, and now the sole distributor in the United States of Corona and Grupo Modelo's (GPMCF) other Mexican beer brands.


Constellation was the unexpected winner in the Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) deal to buy the controlling stake in Grupo Modelo, as Constellation was able to buy out Bud's 50% share of the companies' Crown Imports joint venture for $1.8 billion.


Google unveils big improvements for the next iteration of its mobile OS.

By Jul 2, 2012 9:32AM
Google's (GOOG) new OS update, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, promises to offer smartphone owners some nifty enhancements when it debuts next month as an over-the-air update.

Jelly Bean upholds the Android tradition of food-related naming conventions, and is "fast, slick, and feels like what [Android 4.0] Ice Cream Sandwich" should have been when it launched half a year ago, says Armando Rodriguez at PC World.  

The diabetes drugmaker is being acquired, and the chairman of the financial firm is resigning.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 2, 2012 8:48AM
By Joseph Woelfel,

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is purchasing diabetes drugmaker Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) in a deal valued at about $7 billion. The companies said on Friday that Bristol-Myers would pay $31 a share in cash for San Diego-based Amylin. The deal includes Amylin's net debt and a payment obligation to Eli Lilly (LLY) bringing the total value of the transaction to about $7 billion, the companies said.

The purchase price offers a 9.9% premium of to Amylin's closing share price Friday of $28.20.

Shares of Amylin rose 8.94% in premarket trading Monday to $30.72.


Should the company exit the continent altogether? That's increasingly looking like a smart move.

By Kim Peterson Jun 29, 2012 5:46PM
Ford (F) disappointed investors Friday and saw its stock drop to its lowest point in nine months after warning of steep international losses.

The company is hurting badly outside of North America, to the point where its pretax operating profit in the second quarter will be substantially lower. Its pretax losses in Asia, South America and Europe may hit $570 million. To give you an idea of how quickly things are deteriorating, consider that pretax losses in those regions in the first quarter were only $190 million. 
Tags: F

Even the participating national leaders seem a little confused about some of the outcomes.

By Jim J. Jubak Jun 29, 2012 2:32PM
Image: Europe (© Corbis)You're excused if you don't know exactly what European leaders decided at the end of Friday's summit -- they can't seem to agree either -- or what the actual effect might be. The financial markets are positive but confused.

In the broadest outlines, European leaders agreed on the following:

1. The eurozone's bailout funds can be used to inject capital directly into struggling banks without being funneled through national central banks, which would add to national budget deficits. The agreement clearly includes Spain. It might expand to Ireland. Italy? Unclear but it seems like not at the moment.

The solar energy company expects to see higher sales in 2012 despite German headwinds.

By Trefis Jun 29, 2012 2:00PM
Yingli TrefisImage: Solar panel (© Russell Illig/PhotoDisc/Getty Images)Green Energy (YGE) is bucking industry trends with its plans to increase manufacturing capacity in 2012. 

The company's first-qurter earnings release in May showed a surprise increase in shipments on the back of strong sales in the German and American markets. This was mostly at odds with the rest of the industry as its main competitors including Suntech (STP) and Trina Solar (TSL) posted drops in panel sales because of seasonal issues and low demand from the German market. Yingli is betting on increased sales through 2012 on the back of demand from the local Chinese market and expects to meet its shipment target of 2.4 to 2.5 gigawatts for the current year.

Stocks remain up despite a low consumer confidence reading.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 29, 2012 1:25PM
Information provided by

AB inBev (BUD) has agreed to acquire the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo (GPMCF) that it does not already own for $20.1 billion. Constellation Brands (STZ) acquired the remaining 50% in Crown for $1.85 billion and reaffirmed its full-year 2013 outlook. Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) rejected the unsolicited tender offer by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The Supreme Court decision could benefit some health stocks.

By The Fiscal Times Jun 29, 2012 1:11PM
Image: Insurance (© Hemera/age fotostock)By The Fiscal TimesSuzanne McGee

Thursday's 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding virtually all the provisions of President Barack Obama's controversial health care reform legislation was a big victory for the White House, and it could be a win for some health care stocks.

Shares of hospital companies like HCA Holdings (HCA) soared on the news. Now, finally, with all Americans required to obtain health insurance, there's a chance for hospitals to be paid for all the services they provide. Those uninsured patients who now turn to emergency rooms to provide treatment for what otherwise might be handled by a family physician may no longer be as much of a drain on the bottom line, and patients who defer treatment until an illness becomes critical for lack of insurance -- and who then can't pay their hospital bills -- may decline.


A better-than-expected deal out of the eagerly awaited eurozone summit has kicked off what could become a long rally.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Jun 29, 2012 1:05PM

Finally, Germany cedes a little, and markets go crazy. European leaders agreed to take steps toward closer budgetary controls and tighter political union. Moreover, in a victory for Europe's Latin Bloc, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened to using bailout funds to directly recapitalize banks and to purchase sovereign bonds in the open market.


This is huge step forward, and markets are responding accordingly. By all indications, the gains are just getting started ahead of what could be a multimonth advance before worries over America's "fiscal cliff" -- tax hikes and spending cuts worth about 5% of GDP due to hit in early 2013 -- cause new weakness. Here's how to play it.


JPMorgan's hit from a single trade may reach $9 billion, casting doubt on its CEO's claims that the financial giant is safe and sound.

By Jun 29, 2012 12:41PM

Image: Bank Vault (© Corbis/Corbis)This week, The New York Times reported that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) could lose up to $9 billion on a single trade, a huge escalation from the already-massive $2 billion that CEO Jamie Dimon had initially estimated. When the botched trade was first disclosed in May, it stoked fears that Wall Street banks were engaging in the type of casino-style risk-taking that brought the financial system to its knees in 2008. But Dimon insisted -- notably during two congressional hearings -- that the trade was an isolated incident and that Main Street had nothing to fear.

The latest report from The Times casts doubt on that claim, with one former banking regulator telling the paper, "Essentially, JPMorgan has been operating a hedge fund" with the money in its customers' checking accounts. Is this proof that JPMorgan is a threat to the economy?

Tags: JPM


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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