Hot Stock Minute

May Jobs Report; Government Data Grab; iPhones Wanted!

May saw a rise in both new jobs and the unemployment rate. The Labor Department says there were 176,000 new non-farm payrolll jobs created during the month. But as the participation rate climbed, the unemployment rate ticked back up to 7.6%

There are conflicting reports this morning on the governent's data grab. Exactly who's been tapped and how? The Washington post reports that the National Security Agency and the FBI are "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet companies." They are AOL (AOL), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Paltalk, Skype, our company Yahoo! (YHOO) and YouTube. But Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo! are all denying they've given direct access to any government agency. The scandal broke yesterday with a report that Verizon (VZ) was turning over massive amounts of customer data to the NSA. The program that allows the government to demand the documents also bans companies from informing their customers.

Apple may be sowing the seeds for an iPhone trade-in program. Bloomberg reports Apple will launch the program later this month to boost sales of the iPhone 5. Bloomberg says Apple has hired the privately-held Brightstar to run the exchange program. Brightstar already handles trade-ins for many companies like AT&T where customers can get as much as $200 for an iPhone 4s.

STOCKS TO WATCH

First up is TiVo (TIVO), which is currently down 19% in early trading here. Shares rose more than 8% yesterday. TiVo has just settled a patent lawsuit with Google's Motorola Mobility unit. The case involved the use of Tivo's pioneering technology to record TV shows. Motorola was accused of stealing that technology in its set-top cable boxes. The news has sent TiVo shares to their highest level in three years. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

Next up is NetFlix (NFLX). Shares fell more than 2.5% yesterday. In fact, the company's 10-day moving average has now moved below its 30-day moving average. The drift down in NetFlix was prompted by announcement from Redbox that its new streaming service will kick-off this summer. Redbox has been working with Verizon to deliver programming on Roku. Even with the recent drop in NetFlix shares, prices remain up 136% year-to-date.

Now Vail Resorts (MTN), which fell off bit of a cliff after reporting quarterly results yesterday afternoon. The company missed estimates posting earnings of $2.66 a share on about $470 million. It didn't seem to matter that both those numbers were significant improvements over last year. Like so many other companies Vail is blaming the weather for its miss, though in this case it's citing unusually warm and dry temperatures during the spring. Shares of Vail Resorts were up about 12% this year, prior to this morning's drop. They hit a 52-week high last week.

Finally, we look at Quiksilver (ZQK), which has been down 10% in early trading on the NYSE after a dismal earnings report. The company posted losses of 12-cents a share excluding items, when analysts expected earnings of 4-cents. As for revenue, it was about 10% lower then predicted. Quiksilver says sales have been up here in America at both its namesake and Roxbury stores, but that it's had steep declines just about everywhere else. Prior to this morning's drop, shares are up more than 75% year-to-date and they're up 215% over the past year.

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