DJIA Week in Review: Wal-Mart Mexico Fallout, Coca-Cola Not a Fan of Rockstar

Tuesday

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ): The Justice Department says that Korean-based Hitachi-LG Data Storage (NYSE:HIT) Senior Sales Manager Woo Jin Yang, A.K.A. Eugene Yang, has agreed to plead guilty and to serve time in a U.S. prison, for his involvement in a series of conspiracies to rig bids for the sale of optical disk drives. A four-count felony charge was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, which alleges that Yang conspired with others to suppress and eliminate competition through the rigging of bids for optical disk drives that were sold to Hewlett-Packard.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): The alleged bribery and coverup charges against Wal-Mart in Mexico could tarnish the efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others to restrict the power of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, says the The New York Times. Further, the report says that the allegations originating in Mexico could induce prosecutors to toughen up in similar cases.

Wednesday

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ): Digitimes reports that certain PC brand suppliers, including Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) are starting to relocate their research and development resources from Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) to Windows 8 (NASDAQ:MSFT), as they try to direct their concentration towards Windows 8-based products.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): The FDA says that it has given the greenlight to the sale of the Percutaneous Surgical Set, which is the first surgical instrument set that can be assembled and disassembled inside the body during surgery. The set is intended solely for use in abdominal surgery, and is designed for minimally invasive laparoscopic abdominal surgery, in which a camera and surgical instruments are inserted through one or more small incisions in the abdomen. The Percutaneous Surgical Set is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Ethicon Endo-Surgery.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): A court in Germany has ruled against Microsoft in a lawsuit regarding patents of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), and has directed the former to remove its Xbox 360 gaming consoles and Windows 7 operating system software from the German market, according to a Reuters report.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) CEO Ian Read comments that he and his firm are interested in acquiring companies that can supply promising new treatments for diabetes, cancer and neurological conditions, according to a Reuters report. Read added that he could pay $4 billion or more for each company that Pfizer likes.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ): A patient FCC on Tuesday allowed an additional three weeks time for the evaluation of the proposed deal among several cable companies and Verizon, reports The Hill. Further, it was noted that the new deadline is 98 days from (Tuesday), and that so far no company has submitted the full number of documents that was requested.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) announces the release of its remaining two employees from detention in Chongqing, according to Reuters. They had been held regarding a scandal over the mislabeling of pork.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) reports that its first quarter total revenues increased by 29.7 percent.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS): CBS (NYSE:CBS) CEO Leslie Moonves remarked during his company’s earnings conference call on Tuesday that CBS will “take a look” at Hulu (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:DIS) (NASDAQ:NWSA) if it shifts to an authentication model, and he also commented that the company has been in talks with virtually”everyone” who is exploring a digital service regarding content deals. This according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC): Imation (NYSE:IMN) reported that it will receive the Encrypted USB device business of McFee, its parent company, and the McAfee Encrypted USB devices’ original equipment manufacturer and supplier. Imation will market these USB devices and the related USB management software extension for McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, plus providing support for new Encrypted USB customers.

Thursday

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): Rivals of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) reduced their activities in mortgages following a combined loss of more than $65 billion, leaving the bank with the largest market share ever recorded in that sector, according to a Bloomberg report.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) intends to invest in up to 29.96 percent of Technicolor (TCLRY), to help the latter reduce its debt and move ahead with its turnaround plan, says a Reuters report.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE): According to Silence Therapeutics Plc, its partner Quark Pharmaceuticals intends to modify its current exclusive Licensing Agreement with Pfizer, which will allow Quark to perform a Phase 2a clinical evaluation to assess the effect of PF-655 in a new indication, looking at visual function in patients with moderate and advanced Open-Angle Glaucoma. The drug incorporates Silence’s AtuRNAi technology and was sub-licensed to Pfizer by Quark in 2006. Silence is entitled to receive a share of milestones and royalties earned by Quark in the future on this compound. The aforementioned study will be conducted in parallel with a Phase 2b study of PF-655 in diabetic macular oedema.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Canda’s investments in price cutting and getting its products to market on time, is helping take market share from Loblaw Companies, says the Globe and Mail.

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Investment Ltd. purchases private equity Guangzhou Bioseal Biotech, which is a biopharmaceutical firm that specializes in the design, development and marketing of a porcine plasma-derived biologic product for controlling bleeding during surgery. Financials of the deal were not disclosed, but all requisite approvals by the government of China were obtained.

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), and other possible buyers such as and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), have been put off by Rockstar Energy Drink’s ‘edgy’ image, say unnamed sources in a report by the New York Post. However, the same sources say that Dr. Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) is still interested and is mulling an offer for Rockstar.

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T) Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, in a Wall Street Journal article, warns that the government’s decision to disallow his company’s acquisition of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA business will result in higher prices to consumers.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) expects to purchase privately held Truviso, Inc., which is based in Foster City, CA. The firm supplies scalable, real-time network data analysis and reporting software. Once integrated with Cisco the combined entity will offer its customers instant access and visibility into network use, and services to help increase operational efficiencies, which should drive new revenue streams. In addition, Cisco Prime, which is Cisco’s network management platform, should be further reinforced by the addition of Truviso’s software analytics, which possesses the core technology to gather and analyze streaming data. The arrangement, of which specifics are unreported, is subject to the usual closing requirements, and is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2012.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) reports that an attorney for Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) has rejected a settlement with it, in a lawsuit over the Itanium microprocessor. On the previous day, a judge refused settle the matter out of court, according to a Reuters report.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has reached the completion of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of the Philippines, to cooperate on the establishment of the first Philippine Systems & Technology R&D Laboratory, which is hoped will help boost economic growth in that country

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): In late 2010 Skype was informed of a flaw in security that enables the locations of users to become known, but a Wall Street Journal report says that the security officers who discovered the problem say that nothing has been done about it.

General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) subsidiary GE Aviation expands into its new premises in Pompano Beach. The facility provides an increase in square footage of 30 percent, plus a research and development laboratory which is capable of advanced development of silicon carbide-based power conversion products for air, land and sea-based platforms. GE, which is committed to the state, is investing around $20 million in program work and research and development related to the aforementioned facility over the next five years

Friday

Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE:DIS) The Avengers could score $170 million in its opening weekend, says Boxoffice.com, which would constitute the largest such event in North American history. If the prediction comes true, the box office would beat the current record of $169.2 million when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opened last year, says The New York Post.

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Nokia (NYSE:NOK) faces a class action lawsuit brought by shareholder Robert Chmielinski, which alleges that it misled investors by promising that its transition to Microsoft Windows Phone platform would reinvigorate its smartphone sales, according to an AllThingsD report. Further, the claim says that the company made a serious error in its intro of the Lumia 900, shipping it with a glitch that made the phone “essentially free” when offering customers a refund.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) reports that a Phase 3 randomized withdrawal design evaluation, A0081242, for Lyrica in patients with inadequately treated painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy failed to meet its primary efficacy endpoint, change in endpoint mean pain score relative to baseline. The study is a Phase 3b Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized Withdrawal Efficacy and Safety Study of Pregabalin in the Treatment of Patients with Inadequately Treated Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. The results of this evaluation imply that the most common adverse events in Lyrica-treated patients were peripheral edema, dizziness, somnolence and upper respiratory tract infection, contrasted with those being given a placebo, and that the adverse event profile is consistent with that known for Lyrica.

Bank of America Corporation’s (NYSE:BAC) board and executives face a federal lawsuit brought by shareholders, that could cost the company as much as $1 billion, says a New York Times report. Further, it’s thought that shareholders would have an easier time of winning a federal suit, as opposed to one in state courts, and also that a major portion of the awards from federal cases would be paid from the bank’s insurance.

Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) sources say that United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) intends to order a minimum of 100 Boeing narrow body jets, with a potential value of $10 billion at list prices, according to a Reuters report.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) subsidiary Esso PNG Exploration Ltd will exercise its option to purchase the remaining 10 percent of Eaglewood Energy’s equity interest in PPL 260 in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Terms of the deal include $3.5 million for the interest, with $1.05 million currently payable, with the balance of $2.45 million payable before September 30, when the acquisition of the interest is registered. The sale is contingent upon the customary waivers of rights and receipt of the usual approvals.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) current and former executives, and board members, are being sued by major shareholder California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), for alleged bribery and coverup during its expansion in Mexico, says a Reuters report. CalSTRS holds more than 5.3 million shares in Wal-Mart, and manages funds totaling some $153 billion. Why Are Walmart Stores Slashing iPhone Prices?

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): Boy Genius says that the new Galaxy S III smartphone (made by Samsung) could be available on all four major U.S. cell phone carriers, plus several of regional carriers by this summer. Further the report indicates that a dropdown menu which enables the device’s users to select their carrier preference includes all five major carriers AT&T, Sprint (NYSE:S), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile, MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) and U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM).

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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) might be directed to delay the start of its decision to cease providing standalone DSL Internet service, if several small telecom firms and consumer groups have their way. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski received a letter from the parties Thursday, that ask for an investigation and relief, according to The Hill. Further, the report says that Verizon will cancel service for its current customers who receive DSL Internet alone, should they move to a new location, or make changes to their current accounts.

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