High Performing Stocks

Amazon.com (AMZN  83.00, -0.03, -0.04%) ended relationships with online affiliates in Rhode Island to avoid a new sales tax law in that state, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site. Recently, Rhode Island passed a law requiring companies to collect a sales tax on products sold through online-marketing affiliates. On Friday, Amazon reportedly ended affiliate programs in North Carolina as that state was seeking to adopt a similar tax

Apollo Group Inc. (APOL 69.35, +3.36, +5.09%) said that its fiscal third-quarter profit rose to $201.1 million, or $1.26 a share, from $139.1 million, or 85 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased to $1.05 billion from $835.2 million last year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research estimated a quarterly profit of $1.12 a share on revenue of $1.04 billion.

Dell Inc. (DELL 13.87, +0.01, +0.07%) is reportedly developing a pocket-sized electronic device for accessing the Internet. The Wall Street Journal said that Dell is creating the device to run on Google Inc.’s Android software, which is currently used by T-Mobile in mobile phones and is expected to become widely deployed in other devices. The Dell device is said to be slightly larger that Apple Inc.’s /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 141.90, -0.07, -0.05%) iPod touch and could go on sale in the second half of the year.

Obama’s mutual fund

The vast majority of his mutual fund holdings are in the Vanguard FTSE Social Index fund (VFTSX).

According to the Vanguard site, the fund consists of mostly U.S. large and mid-sized companies that meet certain social and environmental criteria. The index tracks the performance of the FTSE4Good US Select.
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ITT Educational Services is performing well despite economic crisis

A deteriorating economy brings two benefits for profit-minded colleges. Rising joblessness creates an army of potential degree-seekers, while falling advertisement rates allow for cheap pitches. Of course, students must be able to come up with tuition. A giant fiscal stimulus bill pending in the U.S. Senate carries $16 billion of proposed increases for federal student loans, grants and work-study programs. Even without the fresh funds, Carmel, Ind.-based ITT Educational Services (ESI:  128.87, +0.78, +0.60%), which operates 105 technical institutes in 37 states, seems to be getting on fine. In its fourth quarter the company achieved a 29% jump in new-student enrollment — its 26th consecutive quarterly increase. Sales for the quarter rose 21% and earnings per share improved 34%. Shares have gained 45% in six months, and now fetch an immodest 21 times this year’s earnings forecast.


Moody’s Reaction to US Downgrade

In his first comments after the move by rival rating agency S&P, Moody’s analyst Steven Hess sounded a note of caution about Moody’s rating of the US, repeating that the August 2 plan to cut deficits by $2.1 trillion was positive for the US credit standing, but not enough to keep its rating on a stable outlook.

He was quoted as saying in Reuters interview as “”If the process for further deficit reduction that is included in the budget control act produces results that are not really credible, that combined with the economic performance could potentially cause an early move on the rating,”

Stocks to Watch 05-29-09

Shares of Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) rose 2.6 percent to $23.60 in premarket trading after the company announced a plan to separate its AOL unit.

Stocks to Watch (05-16-09)

Lowe’s (LOW  18.45, -0.42, -2.23%) is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, according to a consensus survey by FactSet Research.

Mitsubishi MTU 6.32, +0.07, +1.12%)
is scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings. The Japanese banking giant is expected to report a loss of 15 cents per American depositary share.

Consolidated Edison  (ED 34.86, -0.16, -0.46%)
and Schering-Plough Corp.(SGP  23.35, -0.28, -1.18%)  are both scheduled to hold their annual shareholders meetings.

Stock to watch – Sequenom (SQNM)

The expected launch of its SEQureDx™ Down syndrome test by Sequenom (SQNM) is delayed, due to the discovery by company officials of employee mishandling of R&D test data and results. Accordingly the company is no longer relying on the previously announced R&D test data and results.

Stocks to watch – Dendreon (DNDN)

Shares of Dendreon (DNDN) skyrocketed Tuesday after the Seattle biotech company announced positive results in a clinical trial for its prostate cancer drug Provenge.

The stock nearly tripled in early trading before pulling back slightly, indicating that a potent mix of a short squeeze and increased hopes that the Food and Drug Administration will approve the drug were at work on the volatile stock.
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