Wal-Mart Eyes Africa, Qualcomm’s Plans for Cash Hoard, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): Wal-Mart’s Massmart unit looks poised to make an acquisition in Kenya, with speculations flying around several well-known chains in the region. Massmart saw sales growth in the first half of the year slow down to 5.5 percent after surging at a 7.3 percent rate a year ago.

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Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM): CEO Paul Jacobs says that Qualcomm is going to put some of its $30.4 billion cash hoard to use to help the company stay dominant in the mobile chips space. ”We want to drive the new technology into the market as quickly as possible,” Jacobs said to Bloomberg. Having a “good war chest” will allow the company to keep investing even when the economy worsens. The executive still sees little possibility of using the cash for payouts and dividends.

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AstraZeneca Group (NYSE:AZN): In order to address concerns that antipsychotic medicines are being overprescribed to treat Medicaid recipients age 17 and younger, the Department of  of Health & Human Services is launching a probe into the use of the drugs. The probe has been narrowed down to the five largest Medicaid states — California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas — and covers a period from January to June 2011, when 84,654 children received treatment.

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Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA): The New York Times is reporting that NBC is planning to announce the acquisition of Stringwire, an Internet-based service that will help the network bring technology to stream live video to its control rooms for rebroadcast. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

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ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP): Conoco has submitted applications for permits to develop a new field in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. The land, which is federally owned, has yet to commercially produce oil, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The company has also applied for a permit to build roads and other infrastructure needed to access the site. ConocoPhillips and Anadarko (NYSE:APC) have been the most active explorers in the reserve since the BLM launched a series of lease sales in 1999.

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