Wal-Mart recently announced it has introduced $4 prescriptions for generic drugs and currently offers $4 generic drug prescriptions in these 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas & Vermont.
With the 2006 hurricane season nearing its November 30 official end, the property & casualty segment of the insurance industry is probably starting to break out the champagne after enduring 2005’s tumultuous hurricane season.
Wal-Mart announced it has agreed to purchase a Chinese merchandising chain for $1 billion. The deal, if approved by Chinese regulators, would give Wal-Mart the largest retail presence in China. Maybe Wal-Mart will have better success in China, than in South Korea and Germany, two countries the large retailer found rough going and recently pulled out of.
The CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) futures exchange announced it is planning to buy competitor CBOT (BOT) for around $8 billion. For many years futures exchanges have provided farmers, ranchers and other agricultural-product producers the ability to lock in the price they will receive for their products.
In a previous article, “Company Earnings and Stock Options Straddle“, we outlined a strategy for taking advantage of “earnings season” for making stock options investments. The idea behind this strategy is for a company’s stock price to deviate more than the net debit as a result of good or bad news published in the earnings report, realizing a profit for the investor.
In a previous article, “Bears are After the Homebuilders“, the plight of homebuilders was analyzed as a result of increasing interest rates. Mortgage lenders have also been negatively affected by increasing interest rates, however, there may be a silver lining in the case of mortgage lenders.
The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) announced the demand for electricity is expected to increase 19 percent over the next ten years, but electrical power capacity is projected to only increase 6 percent over the same time period.
Following in the footsteps of rival MasterCard, Visa announced it is planning to issue an IPO (Initial Public Offering). There are currently three major players in the credit card arena: Visa, MasterCard (MA) and AmericanExpress (AXP), with market shares of 60%, 25%, and 11% respectively.
With the latest Hewlett Packard boardroom-spying episode, maybe Hewlett-Packard is finally ready to get back to business. Hopefully with some of the HPQ board members departing, Patricia Dunn, Tom Perkins, George Keyworth, etc., maybe the HPQ board can begin to cooperate with each other instead of playing politics.
Alcoa (AA) kicked off earnings season with a sour note indicating they are experiencing slowing demand and a drop in the price for aluminum. Alcoa indicated a large part of the slowing demand is coming from the automotive and housing construction market segments.