Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Current price $77.09
In Canada, where all humans have access to health care, Wal-Mart began offering pet insurance to its customers in select stores. Walmart Pet Health Insurance is offered and underwritten by Western Financial Insurance. The pet products sector in the United States, which is comprised of everything from pet accessories to luxury in-flight veterinary care, has created a $55-billion industry, says the American Pet Products Association. In a country in which some 45 million humans can not afford their own health insurance, people are buying pet insurance and treating their pets like family members, Veterinary Pet Insurance says.
Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD): Current price $79.06
Home Depot is among the many retailers monitoring merchandise returns. The firms who do so say that it’s about security and fighting fraud and that they want to be capable of identifying chronic returners or thieves attempting to make off with expensive products that are returned subsequently for store credit. Consumer advocates are raising transparency questions regarding the practice of having firms gather information on consumers and then creating “return profiles” of them at big-name stores like Home Depot, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Victoria’s Secret, and Nike. This practice led to a privacy lawsuit against Best Buy that was eventually turned aside.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $32.80
Several unusually large bullish options bets on Microsoft stock are luring traders’ attention, according to The Wall Street Journal. Over two days, from Wednesday to Thursday, the number of existing bullish call options — which are contracts that profit from a rise in share — grew by close to 24 percent, according to the options-data firm Trade Alert LLC. Causing that increase were a series of big bullish plays, the largest of which cost the trader $2.1 million to obtain the right to buy 1.5 million shares at $35 each, 7 percent above Friday’s close. If exercised, those options would be worth $525 million.