Microsoft Moves into London’s Tech City With Accelerator and 2 Other Dow Movers to Watch

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $32.39

Microsoft is poised to set up in London’s Tech City with an accelerator, its bias mainly towards gaming startups. This announcement comes after research published by the Spanish telcom Telefónica SA, which indicate that the United Kingdom is already the best-served market in Europe for accelerators and incubators.

The report, The Accelerator and Incubator Ecosystem in Europe, said that the U.K. has 50 such programs, which is considerably more than Spain with 38 and France at 35. Using data from last year, the report calculated that the average amount for a startup joining an accelerator program was an investment of 41,000 euro or $54,000, for an equity stake of 8 percent. However, Microsoft General Manager, Developer and Platform Group Anand Krishnan, who is leading the program for the company, said that startups joining the 12-week Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London will receive no investment and will therefore not be required to relinquish equity.

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Current price $73.96

On Tuesday, Wal-Mart announced the intro of a smartphone trade-in program that offers customers a credit of up to $300 to help them pay for a new device. Beginning on September 21, Wal-Mart customers will be eligible for an immediate credit of between $50 to $300 when exchanged for over 100 eligible smartphones. The retailer will pay $300 for a working, non-damaged Apple iPhone 5 and $175 for a Samsung Galaxy SIII, while the Galaxy S2 will bring $52. This credit may be used towards a smartphone with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or Sprint.

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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK): Current price $47.98

Merck said Tuesday that Executive Vice president and President, Merck Research Laboratories, Roger M. Perlmutter, will present at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference in New York on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Analysts, Investors, members of the media, and the general public are invited to listen to a live audio webcast of the presentation.

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