Wal-Mart Probe Heads to India’s Central Bank, Toyota’s Web Problem, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): An investigation into a potential violation of foreign investment regulations by Wal-Mart has been handed over to the Reserve Bank of India; Wal-Mart, having just broken up its joint venture in the country, reportedly made the investments before the government opened the supermarket sector to foreign companies. The Reserve Bank will conduct its own investigation from here on out.

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Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): More on Toyota’s big air conditioning recall: The 870,000-plus strong recall for 2012-2013 models of the Avalon, Camry, and Venza could be due to spiders, whose webs can create a blockage in a drainage tube coming from the air conditioning condenser. In turn, the block can cause water to drip onto the airbag control module, resulting a short circuit which could potentially cause the airbag to deploy unexpectedly.

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Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX): Bernstein has reinforced its Outperform rating on shares of Starbucks and upped its price target to $90 from $85. The firm believes that the coffee giant’s valuation reflects the level and duration of growth, and that Starbucks has very promising opportunity in Latin America.

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HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HBC): HSBC is planning to file an appeal to the $2.5 billion fee that the bank was slapped with as a result of its case with Household International, the credit card and mortgage lender that the British bank bought in 2002 for $14 billion. Household International lost a class-action suit in 2009, in which it was accused of misleading investors about the quality of its loans in 2001 and 2002.

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Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX): Chevron’s case with lawyer Steven Donzinger just got a big boost: a consultant, acting as a witness, alleges that Donziger used fraud (inflated estimates) to get the judgment from an Ecuadorean court in 2011 on behalf of a group of villagers. Donzinger is suing Chevron for $18 billion over widespread pollution at an Ecuadorean oil field that had been operated by Texaco, which was bought by Chevron in 2001.

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