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Hot Stock Minute: February 26, 2013

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute


Futures are up at this hour, following yesterday's tumble. The Dow began a decline in the lunch hour. And nothing was able to stop it except the closing bell. You can pin at least part of the blame on Italy's elections. The results show most voters backing parties that will scale back or even reverse measures meant help the entire Euro Zone. Making matters worse, nobody has a clear majority right now leaving everything up in the air.

Two money men on two different missions will both be appearing today before members of the Senate. First Ben Bernanke will testify in front of the Banking Committee. All ears will be on the head of the Fed to see how he answers questions about the looming sequester and the central bank's bond buying program. Also today Jack Lew, the President's nominee for Treasury Secretary, will appear before the Senate Finance Committee. Members are expected to back his appointment.

GM (GM) wants to give its CEO quite a pay bump. Our partner CNBC reports the automaker is asking permission to give Dan Akerson $11.1 million for 2013. That would be more than a 20% increase over last year. Pay for all GM execs has to be approved by the Feds under terms of the government's bailout.


Home Depot

Home Depot (HD) has just come out with quarterly earnings. The company says it earned 67-cents a share, beating estimates by 3-cents. HD also announced it will raise its dividend by 34%. Keep in mind Home Depot's primary competitor Lowe's (LOW) reported yesterday, also beating estimates by 3-cents a share. Home Depot has been on a steady climb for much of the past year. It hit its 52-week high last month.


Zynga (ZNGA) is rising again in pre-market trading. Shares have been up nearly 4%. That's on top of a 7-and-a-half percent climb yesterday. This rise is a result of a new law allowing internet gambling in Nevada and a forthcoming one in New Jersey. Zynga is in fact trending on Market Pulse which monitors stock tweets on twitter. Other companies trending this morning include Home Depot and Lowes.

Macy's & Martha Stewart Living

Also reporting this morning, two companies currently fighting each other in court: Macy's (M) and Martha Stewart Living (MSO). First to Macy's, which has definitely had some ups and downs over the past year. The company is expected to announce solid results from the holiday season. But the bigger question may be more recent sales given the increase in payroll taxes. Now on to Martha Stewart, which Macy's is suing because of the Domestic Diva's deal with JCPenney (JCP). The stock now trades around at around $3 a share. Back before the financial crisis it was closer to $9. As for the court case between the two companies, yesterday Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren testified that he became sick to his stomach when Stewart told him about her deal with Penney's. He also said he hung up on her.