Wal-Mart’s Next Challenge, Bank of America’s Mortgage Settlement, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Wal-Mart is pinning some partial blame for slower sales trends in the past quarter on the Affordable Care Act, as Wal-Mart executives still remain unclear as to how the recent health care costs will impact personal spending and budgets, which could in turn could cut into consumer confidence and spending throughout the fourth quarter and onward.

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Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC): The final arguments for Bank of America’s $8.5 billion settlement over mortgage bonds is slated to begin on Monday, as plaintiffs maintain that Bank of America sold mortgage bonds that didn’t meet their promised quality. The plaintiffs argue that the settlement still only resolves a small portion of their losses; however, AIG (NYSE:AIG) argues that the settlement is “pennies on the dollar,” as losses allegedly surpassed $100 billion.

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JinkoSolar Holding Co. (NYSE:JKS): Shares of JinkoSolar are up more than 12 percent as the company announces a strong quarter that trampled estimates. Though earnings per share of $1.44 may not be comparable to analyst estimates of 35 cents, revenue of $320.7 million soundly beat by $18.48 million, as the company raises its 2013 module shipment guidance range to 1.7GW-1.8GW, up from 1.5GW-1.7GW. JinkoSolar’s gross margin saw strong year-on-year gains, up to 22.3 percent from 5.8 percent a year ago.

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UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH): UnitedHealth has dropped thousands of doctors from its network over the past few weeks, citing ”significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment.” Naturally, doctors are not so pleased with the decision. ”Instead of a scalpel, United is using a chain saw,” said Michael Saffir, a rehabilitation specialist and president of the Connecticut State Medical Society. The State Medical Society estimates that UnitedHealth dropped 2,200 or so doctors in Connecticut alone.

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Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE:TSN): Shares of Tyson are up nearly 4 percent in the wake of the company’s quarterly report, which saw chicken and beef sales post 4 percent-plus gains each, year-over-year, leading to in-line revenue of $8.89 billion and EPS of 70 cents that beat by 1 cent. Additionally, Tyson is guiding for fiscal 2014 revenue of $36 billion, against the consensus of $34.43 billion.

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