BP Slapped With Suspension and 4 Hot Stocks Attracting Attention

The Wall Street Journal reports that high-speed trading firms Virtu Financial LLC and Getco LLC are preparing bids for the acquisition of Knight Capital Group (NYSE:KCG), whose crown jewel is its market making unit which is the biggest processor of stock trades for retail brokerages in the US. Analysts expect bids in the range of $1.2 billion-$1.4 billion. According to the report,Virtu may make an all-cash offer for all of Knight, which, if successful, could be followed up with a public offer. Getco, on the other hand, is considering a cash-cum-stock offer in a deal involving a reverse merger. [P.S.- In breaking news from Streetinsider.com, Getco has offered to buy Knight for $3.50 per share.]

BP (NYSE:BP) has been temporarily suspended from new contracts with the federal government by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), due to “BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response, as reflected by the filing of a criminal information.”

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Costco (NASDAQ:COST) reported net sales of $8.15 billion for the month of November, up 9% from the year ago period. For the first fiscal quarter 2013, net sales were $23.21 billion up 10% from the year ago quarter. Comparable store sales were higher by 6% in the US and 7% internationally during November. The company proposes to pay a special cash dividend of $7.00 per share.

Retailer JCPenney Co Inc (NYSE:JCP) is reported to have had strong sales on Black Friday according to a report in StreetInsider.com, which cites Jim Cramer’s comments on CNBC.

According to reports, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Larry Page met with US FTC officials in Washington today while company chairman Eric Schmidt was also spotted on Capitol Hill. The FTC is said to be nearing the end of its nearly 19-month old investigation on whether Google violated anti-trust laws. The report cites a source to say that Google has been discussing a settlement with the FTC, hoping at the same time not to have to enter a consent decree.

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