Morgan Stanley Pops on Dual Events and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): Current price $27.88

Shares are up about 4.5 percent in Thursday morning trade, after Morgan Stanley reported that its overall net income jumped to $980 million, versus $591 million in the year-ago period, which was hit by a June 2012 credit-rating downgrade. Per-share earnings jumped to 41 cents, compared to 29 cents per share in 2012. The 2013 period included a $152 million charge linked with the bank’s June acquisition of the remaining 35 percent interest in the brokerage Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Holdings from Citigroup. Also on Thursday morning, the firm said that it won permission from the Federal Reserve to repurchase as much as $500 million of its own stock. The buyback will be conducted via a previously authorized program by its board through the end of the first quarter of 2014, marking the first time that the company will repurchase its stock since the financial crisis.

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Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK): Current price $3.95

Quarterly sales figures released on Thursday for Nokia’s smartphones and basic models disappointed analysts and heightened the pressure on Chief Executive Stephen Elop, sending shares down as well. Investors hope that the Lumia smartphone range, which Elop based on Microsoft Corp.’s untested Windows Phone software in 2011, will assist Nokia in reviving its prospects and narrowing the lead of frontrunners Samsung and Apple, but progress has not kept up with analysts’ expectations. Nokia shares fell by as much as 6 percent, after the firm said it shipped 7.4 million Lumia phones in the second quarter, which was up by 32 percent from the first quarter, but considerably less than the 8.1 million units forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

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Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU): Current price $13.75

On Thursday, Micron announced the appointment of Warren East to its board, effective immediately. East served as chief executive of ARM Holdings PLC from October 2001 to July 1, 2013, and also serves as director of De La Rule PLC, joining ARM in 1994, and later becoming vice president of business operations. Within three years, he was named to the board as chief operating officer.

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