BofA Bolsters China Focus and 3 Dow Stocks Attract Investor Interest

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) is reinforcing its operations in China with the naming of Margaret Ren to lead operations in that country, says an internal memorandum obtained by DealBook. Ren joins the firm from BNP Paribas, in which she served as corporate finance chairman for greater China. She is a daughter-in-law of the former general secretary of China’s Communist Party, Zhao Ziyang, and possesses “extensive knowledge of and deep relationships with the Chinese financial and corporate sectors.”

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) are partnering to assist Australia in building large solar farms. The country is said to be four years behind the United States in that area, according to Bloomberg.

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) estimates its fiscal year 2012 sales between $68.6 billion and $69.3 billion on a constant currency basis. The firm indicated that it is not forecasting the impact of currency movements, but if currency exchange rates for the rest of this year were to remain at the levels seen last week, sales growth rate would be negatively impacted by about 2.5 percent for the year. In that scenario, it would anticipate reported fiscal year 2012 sales growth between 3 and 4 percent for a total expected reported sales in a range of $67 billion to $67.6 billion. Guidance was obtained from the third quarter earnings conference call; consensus for the fiscal year revenue is $67.3 billion.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) has posted third quarter earnings of $5.7 billion, or $1.40 a share, which shows an increase over earnings of 5.0 billion, or $1.21 a share, during the second quarter when the firm booked $4.4 billion in losses resulting from the CIO hedge trading fiasco. In September of 2011, JPMorgan earned $4.3 billion, or $1.02 a share.

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