Hot Stock Minute

Stocks to watch: CHTR, HLF, GE, MSFT

Here are some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

Charter Communications (CHTR) announced a deal with Comcast (CMCSA) to swap subscribers that could make Charter the country's second largest cable operator. Under the $20 billion agreement, Charter will add 1.4 million Time Warner Cable (TWC) subscribers and have a 33% stake in a new publicly-traded company that will have 2.5 million subscribers. Comcast will own the remainder of that new company. Charter and Comcast will also swap about 1.6 million customers. The deal is contingent on the completion of Comcast's  $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable. The exchange and acquisition of subscribers by Charter could make Comcast's acquisition more acceptable to regulators.

Herbalife (HLF) will report earnings after the close today. Analysts are expecting $1.29 a share on $1.23 billion in revenue. The earnings come amid investigations by the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and charges hedge fund manager Bill Ackman that the company is a pyramid scheme.

We're also watching General Electric (GE) that may have competition in its attempt to acquire the turbine and power grid unit of French company Alstom. Some French officials were pushing for a rival bid from Siemens (SI), who has said it wants to engage in talks with Alstom. GE's CEO Jeff Immelt, met with the French president Francois Hollande today. According to Bloomberg, Hollande doesn’t oppose a GE deal, but wants to protect French jobs and maintain the independence of the French nuclear industry. Meanwhile, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, supports a Siemens bid that would involve exchanging some of the company’s rail assets for Alstom’s energy unit.

And we're watching Microsoft (MSFT) after a vulnerability was discovered in the company’s Internet Explorer web browser that makes it vulnerable to hackers. The flaw allows a hacker to run any program on a computer without the owner’s knowledge. The vulnerability can be exploited when a user clicks on a link or opens an email attachment. Microsoft says the flaw affects Internet Explorer versions 6-11. Security company FireEye, that discovered the flaw, said 56% of the browsers being used right now in the world could be affected. Microsoft said it will release a security update after it finishes investigating the issue.

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