4 Consumer Stock Stories From the Weekend

General Motors (NYSE:GM): Current price $27.74

The automaker declares that it could save as much as $200 million yearly by improving the resale values of its vehicles, further closing the gap with rivals who do not need to spend as much to offer lease deals. GM’s residual value rose to 44 percent in 2012 from 36.5 percent in 2009 when it went through bankruptcy reorganization, says ALG. Higher residuals allow automakers to offer lower monthly lease payments since the cost is calculated upon the projected resale value when the contract expires.

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GM

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS): Current price $84.52

UPS will forfeit $40 million to resolve a federal probe into shipments for illegal online pharmacies, conceding that the firm had information that it was helping to distribute controlled substances. According to a copy of the agreement released Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice, the company signed a non-prosecution arrangement with the government that mandates it to establish a compliance program to prevent illegal Internet pharmacies from using its shipping services. The deal requires cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and will remain in effect for two years.

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UPS

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT): Current price $75.68

Wal-Mart wants to lure higher-earning customers through its e-commerce business in its ongoing rivalry with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), said the Financial Times, quoting Wal-Mart’s CEO of e-commerce as saying, “We own what we own, and we’re going after what we don’t.”

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WMT

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F): Current price $12.99

Ford has been sued on behalf of customers in 14 states with regard to claims that its vehicles are subject to unintentional acceleration and lack of fail-safe measures to prevent crashes. The complaint was filed Thursday in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, and alleges that Ford’s electronic throttle system can take over the accelerator and leave drivers helpless to stop the vehicle, elaborating that the company added a brake override system in its North American cars in 2010 that it had not included in older-model cars.

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F

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