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Wall Street Waits for a Budge on Budget; Apple’s New Honor; Cuban’s Insider Trading Trial

Hot Stock Minute

Nobody's budging on the federal budget. That meaning at midnight the Federal government could turn into a proverbial pumpkin. And you thought Halloween was supposed to be the scariest day of October. Markets are pointing sharply lower ahead of an impending shutdown. Here's the latest on the battle: The Senate is poised to reject a bill that has already passed the house. That's because the legislation includes a one-year delay of the new federal health care law known as Obamacare. Without an agreement by midnight, large portions of the government would close, and nearly a million workers would be furloughed, while many more could be asked to work without pay. So, how miht markets react to a shutdown? Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task looks at the situation in the video above.

Something other than a little birdie tells me Twitter's releasing more details on its IPO plan. The website Quartz reports the social network will make its filing public this week. Twitter submitted its plan confidentially on September 12th, under a new system allowed for emerging growth companies. By all accounts the company seems to be leaning towards listing on the NYSE, although there have been denials that a final decision has already been made.

Apple's (AAPL) heyday may seem over on Wall Street, but that's not the case around the rest of the world. Today the company is being crowned the most valuable brand on the planet. The honor comes from Interbrand, a corporate identity and brand consulting company that issues a list annually. Taking a look at the top-five: Coca-Cola (KO), always number-one until now, has fallen to three. Also vaulting ahead of it is Google (GOOG) in second. IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT) are fourth and fifth. As for Apple stock, it fell another 2% last week, even on word of record iPhone sales. Over the past year it's down 27% while Google rose 15%. As for Coke, it's been flat during that time, up by just .05%.

There will be a different kind of court appearance today for Mark Cuban. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks goes on trial, accused of insider trading. The SEC claims Cuban sold 600-thousand shares of Mamma.com after learning about an equity offering. The prosecution says it's seeking to recoup illegal gains and to have Cuban fined. The trial is expected to last about 10 days.

STOCKS TO WATCH

J.C. Penney (JCP) is down more than another 2% in early trading this morning. The stock dropped more than 13% on Friday capping a catastrophic week. Shares tumbled an astounding 29% since their open on Monday. All of this came as the company announced it would be selling 84-million shares at a planned price of $9.65. Right now shares are below $9, having fallen 57% since the start of the year.

Siemens (SI) is saying "see ya" to 15,000 of its employees. The German industrial giant is in the middle of massive layoffs as part of a global restructuring program. Half the job cuts have already occurred. The rest will take place over the next year. Seimens certainly doesn't seem to be hurting with the stock up 13% in just the last month. Shares are up a total of 21% over the last year.

Paychex (PAYX) is currently down .5%. The payroll processor is set to release quarterly earnings after the closing bell. Analysts are predicting profits of 43-cents a share, up a penny from a year ago on revenue that's risen almost 5% to cross the $600-million mark. Shares of Paychex have been up 27% year-to-date.

Diamond Foods (DMND) also reports after the closing bell. It's currently down .5%. The company includes not only its namesake brand of nuts, but also Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle Brand chips. Consensus is for a loss of 3-cents a share versus a profit of 5-cents a years ago. That's on a 14% drop in sales to $192-million. But get this: shares are up 70% this year, in part because of talk the company could be taken over. This past Thursday BB&T Capital Markets moved the stock to a buy from a hold.

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