Watson Intends to Merge With Actavis and 2 Stocks that Have Hit 52-Week Highs

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT): According to the Wall Street Journal, earlier layaway plans and programs are causing it to be more difficult to find toys for Christmas. Wal-Mart Stores and Toys “R” Us both began their layaway programs last month, which is more than a month earlier than last year, since parents informed retailers that they would like additional time to pay for purchases. Along with Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD), they reduced their layaway service fees. The shares closed at $75.13, up $0.41 or 0.55% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $52.90 to $75.24.

Watson Pharmaceutica (NYSE:WPI): The European Commission cleared beneath the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Actavis by Watson of the U.S. The Commission made the decision that the merged entity will keep facing various strong competitors. The Commission examined how the proposed transaction will effect the markets for several drugs, like anti-depressants and anti-hypertensives, in particular in Denmark, Sweden, and the UK. The investigation indicated that although there were significant changes regarding the competitive situation in some markets, a sufficient amount of credible and strong competitors will keep exercising a competitive constraint regarding the merged entity. The shares closed at $87.86, up $0.67 or 0.77% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $55.00 to $87.59.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM):Energy companies have begun a move to export natural gas from the U.S., as it searches for more profitable markets while a gas glut causes prices to fall to its lowest levels in a decade. A group that inclues ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), and BP (NYSE:BP) stated that it will proceed with its intentions regarding the exportation of natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope in a project costing up to $65 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The shares closed at $92.55, up $0.33 or 0.36% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $73.03 to $92.57.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now >>