Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: UnitedHealth Group,, Wal-Mart, and Baxter International

Today's hot stocks to watch in the news include UNH, AMZN, WMT, and BAX

by 11/26/2012 9:08 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

U.S. stock futures are heading lower ahead of the opening bell, meaning the Dow's recaptured view from above the 13,000 level could be rather short term. Elsewhere, retailers -- both traditional and online -- are tallying up their weekend shopping receipts, while Dow component UnitedHealth has updated its earnings outlook. Here are some stocks making news today:

  • Earnings news: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) expects 2013 earnings per share to range between $5.25 and $5.50, with revenue projected at $123 billion to $124 billion. This outlook is mixed when compared with analysts' estimates for earnings per share of $5.60 and revenue of $118.6 billion. (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • From the retail sector, shoppers took to their computers on Black Friday, lifting online sales by 26% to cross the $1 billion threshold for the first time. Not surprisingly, the leading destination was, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which saw more than 28 million visits. Traffic is likely to continue today on "Cyber Monday," as the retailing giant has promotions in store, such as a 19% savings off the 7-inch Kindle Fire. (CNBC)

  • Meanwhile, despite disgruntled employees, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) managed to process 10 million transactions between 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening through midnight. That's roughly 5,000 items sold per second during the four-hour period. (USA Today)

  • And an anecdotal study conducted by Fortune magazine showed that shoppers at the Minneapolis Mall of America bought 17.2 items per hour at the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail store versus 3.5 items at the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) store, located immediately across the corridor. Foot traffic at the Apple store was 47% heavier than at its rival's storefront. (CNNMoney)

  • Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) is reportedly in discussions to buy Swedish company Gambro for roughly $4 billion. The company specializes in dialysis products used in hospitals and other facilities. (The New York Times)

  • UBS AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS) has been slapped with a $50 million fine due to its failure to prevent a London-based trader from committing fraud and losing $2.3 billion for the firm. An auditing company has been hired to see if new risk-management measures will be effective at the investment banking firm moving forward. (CNNMoney)

  • Finally, Thanksgiving weekend was a great one for Hollywood, as the box office collected $290 million from Wednesday through Sunday, setting a new record for the holiday weekend. Leading the charge was the final installment of the Twilight series. The Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF) film has now grossed nearly $580 million globally. Other notable titles included Skyfall, the latest James Bond offering, Life of Pi, and Lincoln. (The Wall Street Journal)

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