Venezuela Urges Facebook Users to Shut Accounts and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): Current price $25.77

Alluding to recent news concerning U.S. surveillance programs, Venezuela’s prisons minister, Iris Varela, on Wednesday urged citizens to close their Facebook accounts so as to avoid being unwitting informants for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. In June, former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about American intelligence agencies gathering information from popular websites including Facebook. In response, Varela tweeted, “Comrades: cancel your Facebook accounts, you’ve been working for free as CIA informants. Review the Snowden case!” The government of Venezuela has offered to provide asylum to Snowden, but thus far he has not responded, and seems unable to exit the transit zone of Russia’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $35.32

CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday said he was streamlining his company around devices like phones and game consoles as well as services in its first serious remake in five years. This redo will end up with eight divisions that are based on their functions. A Microsoft statement said that under the reorganization, Microsoft Office President Kurt DelBene will retire. Meanwhile, Ballmer hopes the new structure will bring products to the market more rapidly and help the company become more efficient as it attempts to induce people to use Microsoft products like Word and Office on an array of devices, instead of only personal computers.

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C): Current price $50.07

Citi announced that Matthew Clark will join its prime brokerage business as a managing director and global head of client solutions. In this position, he will manage all regional client service and client solutions teams across prime finance, futures, derivatives clearing and delta one. Clark will be based in London at first, and will report to Global Head of Prime Brokerage and Client  Experience Alan Pace.

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