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Moody's downgrades General Electric. JPMorgan may be sued for actions related to Lehman's collapse.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 4, 2012 8:18AM

By Joseph Woelfel

 

General Electric's (GE) credit rating was downgraded a notch by Moody's because the agency said it sees risks associated with the funding model of GE's lending unit, General Electric Capital Corp. GE was cut to Aa3 from Aa2. GE Capital's rating was cut by two notches to A1 from Aa2. Moody's said because GE Capital is so big, it must rely on funding from financial markets, which aren't reliable and where risks remain.

 

Regulators are set to penalize JPMorgan Chase (JPM) for actions tied to the demise of Lehman Bros. in 2008, The New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is expected this week to file a civil case against JPMorgan.

 

Corning is one of the primary glass suppliers to electronics makers -- and the stock looks downright cheap.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 3, 2012 6:05PM

Credit: © Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Apple Unveils Updated iPadBy Mark Skousen, Hot Commodities Alert


Since October, Corning (GLW) has been hurting due to the weak glass market, especially the sales of liquid-crystal displays for televisions and computers.


But now the specialty glass and ceramic manufacturer is ready to explode upward. And it's all due to Apple's (AAPL) incredible orders for the glass used in its devices.


Apple has sold 55 million iPads since launching the tablet in 2010, and analysts expect sales to exceed 325 million units by 2015.

 

You may hate all those campaign ads, but CBS and other media companies welcome them with open arms.

By Trefis Apr 3, 2012 5:50PM
This election year, we expect to see a significant increase in political ad spending in the U.S. compared with 2010. As a result, CBS (CBS) expects a boost to its profits.

How significant could this boost be? What is the importance of presidential elections to CBS? Below we try to answer these questions. CBS, in addition to other media companies such as News Corp (NWS), Disney (DIS) and Time Warner (TWX), will look to gain from political advertising this year. 

The spots don't mention Apple by name, but they clearly focus on user concerns with the company's devices.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Apr 3, 2012 5:29PM

Apple (AAPL) may be the classroom bully, but Nokia (NOK) is reveling in the tried-and-true role of underdog, poking fun at its larger rival in a series of new advertisements. 


Ahead of this weekend's release of its Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone 7-powered Lumia 900, on which both companies are betting big, Nokia has come up with a promotional campaign that targets apparent weaknesses of the Apple iPhone. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)


Three advertisements, titled "Death Grip," "Outside" and "Fragile," show what appear to be hidden-camera video clips from a smartphone testing center.

 

Analysts said the company has enjoyed a 'supercycle' as stretched household budgets prevented new-car purchases.

By Benzinga Apr 3, 2012 5:09PM

Image: Man working on car © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty ImagesBy Scott Rubin, Benzinga Staff Writer


Shares of AutoZone (AZO) traded slightly higher on Tuesday despite a broad market sell-off.


The stock got a boost after Goldman Sachs (GS) upgraded the name to its "conviction buy" list and raised its price target to $435 from $405. Goldman analysts cited AutoZone's commercial ramp, capital investment, and valuation in upgrading the stock.


AutoZone closed up nearly 1% to $381.89.

 

China's iPhone factories are implementing new policies to safeguard the welfare of workers. Here's what that means for the company, and for your wallet.

By TheWeek.com Apr 3, 2012 4:57PM

Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing giant that makes Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and other gadgets, is promising new policies to improve conditions in its much-criticized factories. But could the improvements, which include restrictions on workers' overtime hours, mean that we'll soon be paying more for electronics?


Here, a brief guide to what's in store.

 
Tags: AAPL

No signs of another round of quantitative easing -- and investors are not pleased.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 3, 2012 4:43PM
Image: Hand hiding banknotes under vest, studio shot (© Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Getty Images)Somehow Wall Street managed to convince itself that the Federal Reserve minutes released Tuesday from the Open Market Committee meeting on March 13 would show that the Fed is thinking about another round of quantitative easing in June.

When the minutes, released at 2 p.m. ET, didn't show any indication that the Fed was planning to expand its balance sheet again and do more bond buying, stocks staged a mild retreat, falling to 1404.70 on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) at 2:40 p.m. from 1414 at 2 p.m.

To those on Wall Street convinced that the Fed had talked about plans for more quantitative easing, the February minutes were especially disappointing, since they were a step back from the comments at the January Fed meeting about the need for a new program of bond buying.
 
Tags: AA

The biggest planting season since 1937 will drive profits for the leading maker of nitrogen fertilizer.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 3, 2012 4:00PM

By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com


The last time US farmers were preparing to plant this much corn, nylon was just invented and the first Social Security benefits recently paid, amid warnings from Father Charles Coughlin that the New Deal would lead to a dictatorship.


Of course, yields per acre in 1937 were less than a fifth of what they are today. But domestic demand was a lot lower as well, China was not a major importer, and 40% of the corn crop wasn’t earmarked for burning as ethanol.

 
Tags: CF

The house that Whopper built shakes things up by offering smoothies and salads alongside its artery-clogging burgers and fries

By TheWeek.com Apr 3, 2012 3:20PM

Burger King is rolling out 10 new dishes — the largest expansion of its menu since the venerable burger chain first opened its doors in 1954. The additions include smoothies, snack wraps, and salads, and are notable for being much healthier than Burger King's usual calorie-bomb fare.

 

The shake up is part of a broader campaign to resuscitate the company, which last year fell to the number-three slot in the burger chain hierarchy, behind McDonald's (MCD) and Wendy's (WEN). The overhaul will include a makeover of restaurants that have gone to seed, and a new advertising blitz featuring Jay Leno, David Beckham, Mary J. Blige, and other celebrities (watch one of the ads here).

 

A second U.S. carrier has begun charging for carry-on luggage that goes into overhead bins.

By Kim Peterson Apr 3, 2012 3:05PM
Image: Man pulling suitcase in airport © Keith Brofsky/UpperCut Images/Getty ImagesIf you bring your own bag on an Allegiant Air (ALGT) flight and put it in an overhead bin, it will cost you.

The airline said it start charging a $35 fee to passengers who take up overhead space. I imagine Allegiant will soon have the roomiest overhead bins in the business.

You can still bring a purse or a briefcase with you for free, as long as it fits under the seat. Anything bigger than that, and you'll have to pay. 
Tags: LUV

Outdoor recreation retailer is positioned for strong growth.

By Zacks.com Apr 3, 2012 2:22PM

Image: Snowboard (© Photodisc Blue/Getty Images)By Zacks Equity Research


In a move to tone down liquidity risk, World's Foremost Bank, a fully owned subsidiary of Cabela's Inc. (CAB), recently announced the renewal of a $225 million accord for three years with Wells Fargo Bank, a unit of Wells Fargo & Company (WFC).


The renewal is aligned to the variable funding notes issued by Cabela's Credit Card Master Note Trust.

 

Across the board, automakers said that fuel-efficient vehicles were in demand as gas prices creep up.

By Kim Peterson Apr 3, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Car salesman showing couple new silver hatchback in car showroom © Juice Images/Cultura/Getty ImagesUpdated 4:35 p.m. ET

High gas prices aren't hurting car sales at all. The major automakers saw strong sales in March as people rushed to replace older cars with more fuel-efficient vehicles.

But even with a double-digit sales increase, General Motors (GM) didn't do as well as many analysts predicted for the month. The automaker's sales rose 11.8% to 231,052 vehicles -- a nice increase, but less than the 19% analysts expected.

Investors responded by taking GM shares down 4.5% Tuesday to close at $25.54.  
Tags: FgmHMCTM

These 3 big drug stocks offer attractive yields and relative safety heading into the more challenging summer months.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 3, 2012 1:57PM

Image: Medical doctor (© Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images)By Tom Aspray


The health-care sector had a good first quarter. The Select Sector SPDR Health Care (XLV) was up 8.8% and is now very close to the all-time highs from 2007 at $37.89. 


The health-care sector is in a strong seasonal period, and as we head into more difficult summer months, the more defensive nature of this sector further adds to its appeal.

 

Zacks' panel of experts offers its top stock picks for the industrial services, firearm and real estate industries.

By Zacks.com Apr 3, 2012 1:26PM
The Zacks' panel of experts covers its top stock picks for the industrial services, firearm and real estate industries. 

Stocks covered include Fastenal (FAST), Strum Ruger (RGR) and Post Properties (PPS).

Plus, Zacks' experts weigh in on what to expect in the upcoming quarter. 

With new products on tap, the tech company could see a turnaround in the second half of 2012.

By TheStockAdvisors Apr 3, 2012 1:11PM
By Paul McWilliams, Next Inning

One of the readers of the Next Inning newsletter suggested that Nokia (NOK) seems to be getting quite good press and that its new product announcements look promising.

I completely agree. 
Tags: NOK

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