Another busy earnings week lies ahead. More than 150 S&P 500 (^GSPC) companies are scheduled to report this week. Among the stock we will be watching are: Netflix (NFLX), which reports after the bell today, McDonald's (MCD) tomorrow, Facebook (FB) on Wednesday, Amazon (AMZN) on Thursday and Ford (F) on Friday. The markets ended in positive territory last week, with the Nasdaq (^IXIC) breaking a three-week losing streak.
One of the headlines we’re following this morning is the world's biggest drug company, Pfizer (PFE), had been in talks to buy Britain's AstraZeneca (AZN), according to the Sunday Times of London. Informal discussions had taken place for Pfizer to purchase AstraZeneca for about 60 billion pounds, or $101 billion. AstraZeneca reportedly resisted the deal. If U.S.-based Pfizer did reach an agreement to buy AstraZeneca, the purchase would be a way for Pfizer to use some of the cash it has overseas, estimated to be as much as $70 billion, which would be taxed at a higher rate if brought back to the U.S.
And there's a new front in the smartphone wars: video games. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL) have been courting video game developers to release their games exclusively on the companies' respective app stores. In exchange, Apple and Google promise developers their games will receive extra promotion on the app stores' home pages and featured app pages. Nearly 70% of the $16 billion spent on apps last year, was spent on video games, according to a recent study.
One of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching is Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) whose shares soared more than 70% in pre-market trading. The pharmaceutical company announced plans to submit a new drug application to the FDA for a muscular dystrophy treatment by the end of this year.
Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said he expects to be making cars in the country in the next three to four years. The company is preparing to begin deliveries of the Model S electric vehicle in China, and is building a network of battery charging stations throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the decline in U.S. manufacturing is contributing to the declining population in cities across the country. The U.S. population rose by just 2.4% between April 2010 and July 2013, but in 30 metro areas the population shrank by at least 1%. One of the factors contributing to the decline in population is the decline manufacturing jobs in those cities. Between 2001 and 2013, U.S. manufacturing jobs declined by 30% according to a study by 24/7 Wall Street. In eight of the areas with populations decline, manufacturing jobs fell by more than the national average.
That brings us to today’s poll question: Do you think U.S. manufacturing will ever return to its previous strength? Cast your vote and post your comments as well.