Looking for new highs
"If a fool and his money are soon parted, why are there so many rich fools?" - Anonymous
Morning News of Note:
- EBAY: EBay Agrees to Buy Skype For $2.6 Billion in Cash, Stock EBay Inc. agreed to acquire Internet-calling startup Skype International SA for roughly $2.6 billion in cash and stock, posing a new threat to phone companies and expanding the reach of the online-auction company. Launched just two years ago, Skype allows its subscribers to talk to each other over personal computers for free, while the company also allows cut-rate, pre-paid voice calls to be made from PCs to regular telephones or cellphones. (Full Story) WSJ
- Rebuilding New Orleans: Heard on the Street... Firms That May Help Rebuild New Orleans Draw Growing Focus The reconstruction of New Orleans hasn't yet begun, but smart investors already are putting their money on companies that might profit by helping the city rebuild. Some of these stocks now look pricey, but other companies that could see significant profit remain attractive, some investors argue. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, investors have scooped up shares of companies including: engineering and construction concern Shaw Group Inc.; copper producer Phelps Dodge Corp.; Halliburton Co., which provides energy and construction services; and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. -- sending these stocks up between 5% and 40% in the past two weeks (Full Story) WSJ
- STX SNDK: Memory Games WITH A WAVE OF HIS HAND last week, Steve Jobs confirmed the rumors: Flash memory is clobbering the hard disk drive. At a San Francisco press event on Wednesday, the Apple Computer chief showed off the company's new digital music player, the iPod nano. The nano is startlingly thin and lightweight. That's because it stores music on flash memory chips, instead of the one-inch hard drive used in the predecessor product, the iPod Mini. (Full Story) BARRONS
- DELL: Rebooting Dell DELL HAS LONG BEEN one of America's most innovative companies. Like Southwest Airlines in aviation and Wal-Mart in retailing, it has established a business model that gives it a price edge and profit performance others can't begin to match. While rival personal-computer makers have reported losses, laid off workers and even, in the case of IBM, quit the business altogether, the Texas firm that Michael Dell famously founded in his university dorm continues to deliver, exceeding earnings estimates for each and every one of the past 18 quarters. (Full Story) BARRONS
- Oracle agreed to buy Siebel Systems in a deal valued at about $5.85 billion.
Market Comments: The market opens down slightly this morning. I have to admit, I don't really get why eBay wants to buy Skype. GOOG is extending its breakout, and recent healthcare leaders are up this am as well. I expect the market to break out to new highs this week.