E*Trade FIRES CEO and 4 Hot Stocks Turning Heads Today

E*TRADE Financial Corporation: (NASDAQ:ETFC) Fired Chief Executive Officer, Steve Freiberg, and named Chairman Frank Petrilli as his interim replacement.

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL):  Stifel Nicolaus has launched coverage on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a Buy and $825 PT. Topeka’s Brian White, whose “Apple Monitor” accurately predicted a soft June quarter, claimed that the monitor delivered the “best July on record,” with an increase of 14% M/M (the historical average is 8.5%). Cirrus Logic’s guidance has already fueled hopes for strong fall sales by Apple and their suppliers.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA): Arena Pharmaceutical’s stocks are being heavily watched today.

Sprint (NYSE:S):  On August 6, Sprint reduced the price of their iPhones by $50, a move that has encouraged the rumors that Apple’s next smartphone, the iPhone 5, is on its way.  Their 16GB iPhone 4S is now available for $150, their 32GB for $250 and their 64GB for $350. Sprint is now also advertising that for subscribers who purchase online, they will waive their $36 activation fee. When asked about the timing of the price cut, a Sprint spokesperson offered no comment.

Exelixis Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL):  Monday, Exelixis Inc.(NASDAQ:EXEL), unveiled plans to offer 20 million shares and $225 million in debt, to raise funds for clinical trials and other general corporate purposes. As of Wednesday’s closing, the firm had upsized 30 million share offerings priced at a 0.7% discount. In recent trading, stocks  rose 1.8% to $4.36, above the offer price of $4.25. The biotechnology company expects to close their offering on Aug. 14.

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