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Stocks To Watch: Zynga Jumps, Monsanto Reports, Valero Tanks

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Zynga (ZNGA) is up more than 10% in premarket trading. The company is launching two games in the UK today that use real money for gambling. Shares spiked after-hours yesterday when the company made the announcement. Zynga is said to be working on similar games for Facebook users. Even with the spike, Zynga shares are barely trading at a-third of where they were this time last year.

Seed company Monsanto (MON) is reporting earnings this morning. Monsanto has been trading near its 52-week high, but dropped more than 2% yesterday. Consensus is for the company to report earnings of $2.58 per share on revenue of nearly $5.3-billion. Revenues were up 21% in the last quarter. But there are repeated reports that Monsanto has been alienating many farmers.

Verizon (VZ) is denying claims that it wants to acquire or merge with Vodafone. The Financial Times reported yesterday that Verizon might team with its rival AT&T (T) in a Vodafone takeover. Verizon and Vodafone already have ties. Vodafone holds a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless US. Verizon is currently trading at its 52-week high.

Last, the oil refiner Valero (VLO) tanked during yesterday's session. Shares fell almost 6%. They moved on the news that Valero needs to begin costly upgrades to comply with new emissions regulations. But refiner stocks are known to be volatile, so analysts say shares are likely to show a bit of bounce today. Even with yesterday's losses, Valero has more than doubled since June when shares were just $20. The stock is up 24% this year.