Report: George Papandreou Out, Lucas Papademos In

According to zerohedge.com and the Greek newspaper To Vima, Greek PM George Papandreou has resigned and Lucas Papademos has taken over the government. If confirmed, this caps a week of drama inside the Greek government, with the PM first calling for a referendum on the bailout terms, backing off, and then a series of resignation threats and no confidence votes. Needless to say the Greeks have been experiencing some political upheaval. What this means for the bailout terms and risk of of contagion is unknown at this point. What is known is that nay new austerity measures will be met with more violence in the streets and civil servants refusing to implement the orders.

Lucas Papademos is known in financial and academic circles as a level headed thinker. He helped oversee Greece’s transition away from the drachma to the Euro. With the current political climate, investors should be wary of any promises emanating from the Greek political structure.

G-20 Can’t Agree On Boosting IMF

In Cannes, France this week, a meeting of the Group of 20 most powerful economies in the world failed to reach an agreement on plans to boost the International Monetary Fund. The meeting this week was supposed to bring agreement that would help stem the European sovereign debt crisis and avert the contagion from spreading throughout the rest of the world.

Leaders of the world’s largest economies were focusing on strengthening the IMF as they scrambled for ways to help Europe contain its debt crisis without worsening their own money troubles. Members of the G-20 countries disagree about how to better use the IMF. Euro zone countries are looking to the IMF to use its resources to help prevent the debt crisis from spreading to Italy and Spain.

The G20 was established in 1999, in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, to bring together major advanced and emerging economies to stabilize the global financial market. Since its inception, the G20 has held annual Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meetings and discussed measures to promote the financial stability of the world and to achieve a sustainable economic growth and development.

Other developments at the G-20 summit include a pledge to fight cross-border tax evasion under an agreement approved Friday, which supporters say could raise tens of billions of dollars at a time when indebted European nations are scrambling for more revenue. The new agreement will pressure Switzerland and other tax havens to scrap their practices of helping wealthy individuals and companies from evading taxes in their respective home countries.

The G-20 governments marked the official approval of the agreement Friday by all of the group’s members during the summit in the Mediterranean resort of Cannes.

Groupon Inc. (GRPN) Prices Its Public Share Offering At $20

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) priced its initial public offering on Thursday night at $20 per share, above the expected range of $16 to $18 each. The daily-deals web site also added an additional 5 million shares to the 30 million originally proposed in the deal, based on strong investor demand. The shares will begin trading Friday morning on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “GRPN.” At $20, it would value the company at $12.7 billion.

The daily deals company has faced some bumps on its road to going public after its accounting practices prompted questions from the Securities and Exchange Committee. Some technology analysts have raised questions about the viability of its business model, particularly as it faces increasing competition from other deal sites. Competition is heating up as Google rolled out its first national deal through Google Offers on Thursday morning, which had sold over 19,000 coupons to outdoor retailer REI by late afternoon.

Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. Groupon was launched on November 2008, the first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed soon thereafter by Boston, New York City, and Toronto. As of October 2010, Groupon serves more than 150 markets in North America and 100 markets in Europe, Asia and South America and has amassed 35 million registered users.

Groupon’s CEO, Andrew Mason, and his executive team have spent the past week-and-a-half on the road, pitching to investors and addressing criticism about an easily replicable business model, slowing growth and other concerns from investors. The IPO has drawn more interest because of a tiny 4.7% float, and the fact that Groupon will be the first daily-deals website to go public.

Stocks With Unusual Volume for 11/03: EL, JEF, ARO, KSWS, GVA

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) is trading more than triple its normal volume this afternoon with over 3.7 million shares traded. EL normal daily volume is around 1.7 million. EL is currently trading up $18 at $119.31, a gain of 18.3%. The company reported an increase of 46% in income for its fiscal year first quarter. Estee Lauder also raised their forecast and raised their dividend by 40%.

Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JF) has traded nearly 40 million shares so far today, a big jump from its daily average volume of 2.6 million shares. JF stock fell today after a credit downgrade. The company reiterated today that it has no major exposure to European debt and that its exposure to European countries is about $38 million or 1% of shareholders’ equity. JF is down 4% at $11.76 right now and was trading as low as $9.79 earlier today.

Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO) has traded large volume today with 10 million shares traded so far. Aeropostale’s average daily volume is around 3.6 million shares. ARO stock rose today as the company saw sales fall, but raised guidance for their third quarter. ARO is trading up 17.8% at $16.87 with about 40 minutes left in the trading day.

K-Swiss Inc. (NASDAQ:KSWS) is trading down on heavy volume with over 4.6 million shares traded today. The company announced third quarter results today and reported a loss of $0.43 per share and missed on revenue. Guidance for fiscal year 2011 was also below expectations. KSWS is down more than 30% today at $3.15.

Granite Construction Incorporated (NYSE:GVA) is up today on above average volume with 1 million shares traded. This is about double the stock’s daily average. GVA announced third quarter results that saw income increase to $60.4 million and profit margins increased to 13%, up from 11% in 2010. GVA is up 18% today at $26.52.

CECO, RLOC, QUIK, DMND – Stocks That Got Hit Hard And Are Looking For A Bounce

Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) lost about half its value yesterday after closing at $8.32. CECO traded down on large volume with over 21 million shares traded, far above its average volume of 1 million shares. CECO fell after the company’s CEO resigned and the company’s third-quarter results were weak. The company also said that new student starts were down 22%. CECO has a market cap of 634 million now and hit a new 52-week low yesterday at $8.16.

ReachLocal, Inc. (NASDAQ:RLOC) is traded down nearly 30% yesterday and closed at $7.44. RLOC opened down after the company announced third quarter earnings. ReachLocal announced a net loss of 16 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a loss of only 5 cents per share. Revenue grew, but was also below expectations. RLOC traded over 2.4 million shares, over 10 times its daily average of 195 thousand shares.

QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ:QUIK) closed yesterday down nearly 20% at $2.40. QUIK was down after the company announced weak third quarter results after market close on November 1. QUIK traded 5 times its average volume with over 1 million shares traded. The market cap for QUIK stands at 92.91 million right now.

Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND) finished Wednesday down more than 17%. DMND was down on large volume with over 6.1 million shares traded, well above its daily average of 645 thousand shares. DMND closed at $52.79 after announcing that the Pringles deal would be closing later than expected. DMND has a market cap of 1.16 billion.

Penny Stocks and the OTC Market for 11/02: MFGLQ, RAYS, MILV

A lot of action in the OTC market or more commonly called penny stock market today. MF Global resumed trading on the OTC market today and proceeded down even more. Raystream Inc. continues to hit new highs every day and Mistral Ventures Inc. is still being pumped. Let’s take a look at a few of the more active penny stocks.

MF Global Holdings (PINK:MFGLQ) resumed trading on the OTC market and is down more than 80% at around $0.20. MF Global fell apart after making a huge bet on European debt. MF Global lost this bet as worries increased about European countries defaulting. The company even used clients’ money as its financial woes piled up. MF Global is now being probed by the FBI and multiple other government agencies. MFGLQ has traded over 158 million shares in midday trading today.

Raystream Inc. (OTC:RAYS) continues to go higher today as the pump is in full effect. RAYS has been hitting new 52 week highs every day now. As we wrote about last week, RAYS is still being pumped by stock promoters and will inevitably be dumped by these same stock promoters. RAYS is currently trading at $2.48, up nearly 5% with close to 3 million shares traded.

Mistral Ventures Inc. (PINK:MILV) is up 34% today at $0.0933. MILV has traded over 41 million shares today. MILV like RAYS is also being promoted by stock newsletters. The company has also been releasing PRs lately talking about how their subsidary Nature’s Bioceuticals is entering into every medical market imaginable. These are just fluff pieces meant to get the attention of traders in the hopes they believe the hype. Now there is money to be made from promoted stocks, just remember that the inevitable dump will happen. Don’t marry penny stocks.

For more penny stock news and info check out our partner site PennyStockStrategy.com for the latest on the otc and otcbb markets.

Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) Warns Of Annual Loss

Sony Corporation surprised investors on Wednesday by announcing it is heading for its fourth straight annual net loss. Sony says its TV business alone would produce a $2.2 billion loss due to lack of demand and a surging yen. Investors had expected Sony to reduce its profit forecast, but not report a swing to massive losses.

Sony has vowed to bring an end to the losses in its Television division, which has posted an annual loss for eight straight years. Sony gave hints of details on what it plans to do to take the TV division into the black by 2014.

Investors were taken by surprise by the extent of the losses, and were expecting a definitive plan on restructuring of the TV division.

Sony said it expected TV losses to be 175 billion yen ($2.2 billion) this financial year, including a 50 billion yen impairment charge. It cut TV sales forecast by 9 percent to 20 million sets, its second reduction this year.

“The TV business is an essential part of Sony’s growth strategy. We, as management, feel a great sense of crisis after seven straight years of losses,” Hirai, executive deputy president, told a press briefing. Hirai described this year’s losses as a necessary step toward recovery.

Sony cut its full-year operating-profit outlook by 90% to its lowest level in three years, said earlier this week that it would split its television business into three divisions of outsourcing, LCD TVs and next-generation TVs starting November 1 to turn around the operation.

A giant of Japan’s high-tech might, Sony is struggling to come up with hit devices and finds itself out maneuvered in TVs by Samsung Electronics and in the booming smart-phone market by Apple Inc.

Shares of Sony tumbled 3.6% to 1,520 yen on Wednesday, although the results were released after the close of Tokyo’s market. Trading in Japan resumes on Friday after a public holiday on Thursday.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) Raising Funds for “Opportunity Finance Network”

Starbucks Corporation has launched “Create Jobs for USA”, a program aimed at raising funds for American small businesses. The program will begin with Starbucks selling red, white, and blue bracelets inscribed with the word “indivisible”. The bracelets will sell at Starbucks coffee shops for $5.00. The proceeds from bracelet sales will go to the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit umbrella organization that supports hundreds of Community Development Financial Institutions, local organizations that lend money at low interest rates to small business owners in under served areas. The Seattle, Washington based company has given $5 million to the cause.

CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz said in an interview with The Huffington Post, he hopes to raise “tens of millions of dollars.” In 2008, the Opportunity Finance Network estimates that these financial institutions loaned out $5.53 billion to small businesses across the nation. Schultz said the demand for loans from the Opportunity Network have increased for thirteen consecutive quarters. 100% of donations for the bracelets will go to help create and sustain jobs in the USA.

The premise behind the Opportunity Finance Network is simple. Small businesses are the backbone of America and have created over 65% of new jobs in the past 15 years. Small businesses employ over half of all private-sector workers. After the financial crisis in 2008, the squeeze to obtain loans by small businesses from banks became almost impossible. These small businesses need loans to keep their businesses growing. This is where the Opportunity Finance Network steps in to fill a void.

“We have a crisis of confidence in this country. Washington is not producing the leadership we need and I think it is time that corporations and business leaders realize that we too have to do something. We can’t wait for Washington,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in an interview with CNNMoney. “So this, in a sense, is using Starbucks’ scale for good.”

“The Create Jobs for USA program and Indivisible wristbands provide Americans an opportunity to help support job creation at a time when we have alarming unemployment and many struggling small businesses. The more we stimulate demand and increase the purchasing power of middle class consumers, the faster we will recover. By making a donation to the Create Jobs for USA Fund, Starbucks customers and concerned citizens can take meaningful action to help create and sustain American jobs,” said Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz. “We hope this is a galvanizing moment as Americans come together to be catalysts for change by giving community businesses access to the credit they need to hire, to grow and to contribute to creating thriving communities.”

Shares of Starbucks stood at 41.23 in after hours on Tuesday.

BAC, CSCO, GE, JPM, UTX – Dow Stocks to Watch

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) closed Tuesday down $0.43 at $6.40, a loss of more than 6%. BAC traded large volume yesterday with over 371 million shares traded, beating its 3 month daily average volume of 311 million shares. Bank of America is in the news after the company backed down on its $5 debit card fee. Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions and serves everyone from individual customers to large companies. The bank offers a wide range of services including banking, investing, asset management and other management services.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) was down over 5% on Tuesday at $17.59. CSCO closed down on relatively average volume with about 67 million shares traded, 3 million less than its usual daily volume. CSCO has a current market cap of 94.6 billion and has traded as high as $24.60 over the past year with a low of $13.30. The company’s vision is to shape the future of internet by creating unprecedented value for customers, employees and investors.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) closed down more than 4% on yesterday at just over $16. GE was down on slightly higher volume than usual with nearly 90 million shares traded, about 8 million more than its daily average. GE had been trending upward the past month or so after hitting a 52 week low of $14.02 in early October. GE is an advanced technology, services and finance company. They are dedicated to innonvating energy, health and transportation. The company currently operates in over 100 countries with over 300,000 employees.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) closed down nearly 6% on Tuesday at $32.71. JPMorgan has been rallying along with the overall market for about the past month now after hitting a 1-year low of $27.85 at the beginning of October. JPM was down on big volume yesterday with over 74 million shares traded, 24 million shares more than its 3 month daily average volume. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a global leader in financial services with clients in more than 100 countries. Assets of the company are valued at $2.3 trillion.

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) finished the trading day down more than 3.5% at $75.19. UTX traded down on average volume with over 5.8 million shares traded. UTX is up nearly $10 this past month as the stock follows the market rally. UTX has a current market cap of 68.13 billion. United Technologies Corporation is a diversified company with products such as Carrier heating and air conditioning, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems, Otis elevators and Sikorsky helicopters to name a few.

4 Early Nasdaq Movers – ICLK, LEAP, INXI, AKRX

interCLICK, Inc. (NADSAQ:ICLK) is up $1.55 this morning at $8.96, a gain of over 20%. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) announced it is buying interCLICK for $270 million. The deal is at $9 a share and represents a 22% premium over ICLK closing price. ICLK has traded nearly 10 million shares this morning, well above its daily average of 200 thousand shares.

Leap Wireless International Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP) is up $1.22 at $8.17, a gain of 17.5% this morning. LEAP announced third quarter results late yesterday evening. LEAP’s revenue rose 20% and the company saw an increase in subscribers. LEAP has traded over 3.2 million shares so far this morning, about 50% higher than its daily average.

INX Inc. (NASDAQ:INXI) is up over $1 this morning at $8.58, a gain of 13.6%. INXI announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Presido that will see Presido acquire all outstanding common shares of INX. INXI has traded over 600 thousand shares following this news, way above its daily average of just 8 thousand shares.

Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX) is up $0.89 at $9.88 this morning, a gain of 9.9%. AKRX announced third quarter results earlier this morning. Net income was $13.5 million and earnings per share of $0.13. This is up from the previous year’s quarter of $4 million and $0.04 per share. AKRX has traded over 1.8 million shares so far today, well above its daily average of 1.1 million shares.

News To Watch In November

As October ends with either a trick or treat for investors, November will quietly blow in and set the stage for some interesting happenings.

This week, the Federal Reserves’ Open Market Committee will have its next to last scheduled meeting of the year on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a press conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Wall Street will have ears attuned to whether the Fed plans a QE3. Financial markets want a QE3 and is hoping the Fed will hint at one.

On Friday, the October jobs report will be released by the Labor Department. The current unemployment rate in the U.S. stands at 9.1%. Although the country added 103,000 new jobs in September, the economy needs to see 250,000 jobs added monthly to show real signs of economic improvement.

Probably the biggest news for November (just in time for Thanksgiving) will come by way of the “Super Committee”. The group of twelve members of Congress have until the deadline date of November 23 to reach an agreement to cut at least $1.5 trillion from the U.S. government deficit. Economists are wondering just what may be coming down the pike from this group. As the Europeans made “austerity” the word of the year, it seems Americans may soon feel even more of a pinch when these cuts go into effect.

We’ve started hearing from the ”Super Committee.” Last week, the group’s six Democrats released a series of spending cuts and new taxes on wealthier households totaling up to $3 trillion. On the other side of the aisle, the group’s six Republicans released a package of deep spending cuts along with cuts to corporate and individual tax rates, totaling $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction.

Looks like November could be a memorable one. Let’s hope the holiday season brings good news for everyone.

Banks Change Their Minds Over Debit Card Fees

News sources say Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) are joining a growing list of banks who are reversing their decision to charge for debit card use. There continues to be a backlash over Bank of America’s planned $5.00 a month fee. Banks are trying to justify the fees by stating they need to recoup revenue lost to new regulations. The fees have sparked a huge backlash by consumers nationwide.

Sources say Chase said it will stop charging the $3.00 per month fee for debit card use in November when its pilot program is slated to end in Wisconsin and Georgia.

Wells Fargo had a similar pilot program in five states, but announced on Friday it was cancelling that program. Other large banks that charge a fee for debit card use are SunTrust and Regions Financial.

Senator Richard Durbin a Democrat from Illinois, called the new fees by the banks an “outrage.” Senator Durbin was one of the authors of the new regulation legislation imposed on the banks. “It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit,” he said. “Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible.” Durbin has encouraged customers to “vote with their feet” and walk away from these banks.

The “Occupy Wall Street” protests have been a vehicle for consumers to protest the outrageous fees banks come up with. There have been numerous signs spotted at the protests around the country railing against the banks.

A source from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) said the protests haven’t gone unnoticed by the bank. It is expected that Bank of America will be announcing new ways for their customers to avoid the added fees through using direct deposit, maintaining accounts with minimum balances, or by using Bank of America credit cards.

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