BlackBerry Ponders Strategic Options, Novartis Takes a Hit in Japan, and 2 More Hot Stocks

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Following a halt on trading, BlackBerry shares are trading higher on news that the company has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale or joint venture. Bundled into the announcement was the news that Fairfax Financial’s Prem Watsa — the company’s largest shareholder — is resigning from the board to avoid a conflict of interest.

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Novartis (NYSE:NVS): The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Japanese researchers have backtracked on findings that promoted the benefits of Novartis’s Diovan, one of the leading sellers in the country. In a twist to the story, the researchers found that data had been tampered with in order to create false results; so far, at least eight hospitals have said they’ll stop prescribing the drug.

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JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM): The U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI are apparently investigating JPMorgan’s loss associated with the London Whale trading snafus in a probe that could ultimately lead to a fine and reprimand.  In addition to monetary penalties, prosecutors at the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan could also force the bank to bolster internal controls that failed to thwart the trading loss, according to The New York Times.

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CBS (NYSE:CBS): Though the Federal Communications Commission previously said it wasn’t going to wade into the CBS-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) carriage argument, the agency seems to be nearing the end of its rope and has issued a warning that leaves all subtlety aside. The interim chairman of the agency has warned the two companies that they need to settle the matter or she will take “appropriate action,” a report from the New York Post says. Time Warner customers in several cities missed pre-season NFL games for their local teams over the weekend due to the companies’ inability to settle the carriage matters.

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