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Sell in May, Rue the Day; Blankfein Phones Dimon; IRS Scandal

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute
Sell in May, Rue the Day; Blankfein Phones Dimon; IRS Scandal

Sell in May, rue the day? Despite the conventional wisdom to take your money and run this month, markets just keep moving higher. The S&P set its 8th record close in 9-days yesterday, ending the regular session at 1,650. The Dow also closed at a new high: 15,215. Yahoo! Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task gives his take on the matter in the video above.

Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page has broken his silence about his vocal problems. Page wrote on Google Plus that he has a "very rare" condition which causes paralysis of the vocal cords, but claims there is "nothing seriously wrong with me." The posting aims to end speculation that began last June. That's when Page missed the company's annual shareholders meeting saying he lost his voice. It comes just as Google's conference for software developers gets underway today in San Francisco. By the way, there are reports that Google may announce a new music streaming service as early as today.

Friends or foes? JP Morgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon may be getting advice from his Goldman Sachs (GS) counterpart Lloyd Blankfein. It all has to do with the effort to strip Dimon of his title as JPM's Chairman. By the way, reports from The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times suggest that shareholder support for splitting the roles is now between 40 and 50%. Meanwhile The New York Times says Blankfein has been advising Dimon over the phone. Of course it wasn't long ago, the roles were reversed when Goldman was accused of misleading investors during the financial crisis. One person describes the men as "foul weather friends."

Attorney General Eric Holder will testify today in front of a House committee on the IRS targeting scandal. Holder announced yesterday that he's opened a criminal investigation amid confessions that the IRS scrutinized Tea Party groups. The move follows a report that finds the agency's managers allowed the practice to continue for more than 18 months. President Obama calls the findings "intolerable and inexcusable." Our poll question yesterday asked how surprised you were to learn that the IRS targeted conservative groups. An overwhelming 79% of you said you were not surprised at all.


Macy's (M) beat the street with its earnings which came out this morning. Analysts were expecting 53-cents a share, but the retailer came in with 55-cents. Revenue matched estimates of $6.39-billion. Both are up considerably from a year ago. Macy's may be benefitting from the virtual collapse of its competitor JC Penney (JCP). Both companies are still in a tug of war over Martha Stewart branded merchandise. Macy's shares are up 23% year-to-date, and sitting at their 52-week highs. Shares have been up about 1% in early trading this morning.

Next is Sony (SNE), which rose nearly 10% yesterday on a plan to split up the company. Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb wants Sony to spin-off part of its profitable entertainment division. Loeb says the move would unlock the value from things like Sony's movie business and music labels, and could lead to a 60% climb in the company's share price. At this point it appears that his proposal will be brought to Sony's board. Shares of Sony are actually up 80% year-to-date. But they're down almost 60% over the past 5-years.

Boeing (BA) hit a new 52-week high yesterday. The company has now resumed deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner. In addition, repairs on Dreamliners grounded because of faulty batteries should also be finished by month's end. But in a blow to the company, Japan's two biggest airlines are now in discussions with Boeing competitor Airbus to replace aging 777s. Boeing stock is up 25% this year, despite the problems with the 787 which began back in January.

Finally, we look again at one of Wall Street's biggest movers this past week. Tesla (TSLA), which is currently up again in early trading. The stock reversed course yesterday falling more than 5% after starting the day more than 5% in the green. Shares have enjoyed quite a run-up over the past week, climbing 48% in price. The momentum stems from Tesla's Model S sedan, which led the company to its first-ever profit. The car also scored 99 out of 100 in a Consumer Reports test that was released last week.