Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, and DirecTV

Today's hot stocks to watch in the news include AAPL, HPQ, HD, and DTV

by 12/28/2012 9:01 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Yesterday's late-day momentum hasn't followed through this morning; futures are solidly lower as anxieties churn over the fiscal-cliff immediacy. Turning to company news on this penultimate trading day of 2012, here are some names to watch:

  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has seen its share of legal troubles in China this year, and this time, it's by way of copyright infringement. A Chinese court found AAPL guilty of hosting third-party applications at its App Store, which was also selling pirated e-books. The iPad parent was ordered to pay roughly $160,000 in damages to several Chinese writers and two companies. (Fox Business)

  • Virginia-based defense firms General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (NYSE:HII) have been awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts by the U.S. Navy. GD signed a five-year deal worth about $1.99 billion for research and development of a new nuclear submarine, to replace the Navy's Ohio-class vessels. Meanwhile, GD will partner with HII on a $2.5-billion contract to construct a smaller class of submarines.(Reuters)

  • Hewlett-Packard Company's (NYSE:HPQ) claims of accounting fraud at newly acquired Autonomy is now being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department. HPQ paid $11 billion for the British software company in 2011, and almost immediately began to question its performance and worth, which led to the firing of former HPQ CEO Leo Apotheker and Autonomy CEO and founder Mike Lynch. The inquiry was officially disclosed in Hewlett-Packard's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Los Angeles Times)

  • According to the International Longshoremen's Association, 15,000 dockworkers could strike as soon as Dec. 29, if its contract dispute with the U.S. Maritime Alliance is not mended. This would mark the first strike for East Coast and Gulf Coast ports since 1977, and could significantly impact retailers that depend on shipments from these docks. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) could suffer the hardest blow if they're unable to stock for the upcoming gardening season, which can account for close to 30% of the retailers' respective annual revenue. (Bloomberg)

  • DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) will be upping its rates for satellite TV service by an average of 4.5%, starting in February. The company is passing the buck on the price hike, saying it is merely transferring increases levied by broadcasters. In fact, DTV says its fees are rising by 8% after renegotiating its contracts with station owners. (The Consumerist)

  • Finally, anyone interested in visiting Chicago may want to take public transportation. For the fifth year running, the Windy City's parking meters are getting more expensive -- $6.50 an hour, in fact, for prime downtown spots. Not only is this the priciest downtown meter rate in North America, but neighborhood meters (rising to $2 an hour) will now be more expensive than downtown parking in many U.S. cities. (CBS Chicago)


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