Monday, September 24, 2007

Paperstand (GM, MSFT, GOOG, DELL)

According to the WSJ, the UAW set a deadline of 11 am EDT today to conclude a new national contract with General Motors (GM), following weekend negotiations that appeared to be on track to produce a groundbreaking labor deal. The talks still could encounter obstacles, even though ppl familiar with the situation indicated that a framework for dealing with the main issue of retiree health care was in place, and that bargaining yesterday had shifted to other issues. One key issue is the size of a cash bonus GM will give 73K active workers in exchange for ratifying a deal. Late yesterday, UAW Intl leaders in Detroit began calling local leaders at GM plants across the country, telling them to prepare to go on strike today at 11 am if no deal was reached. The UAW typically sets strike deadlines as a way of putting pressure on co negotiators to wrap up last details.

The WSJ reports that Microsoft (MSFT) execs and a PR firm retained by the software giant are waging a quiet campaign to convince Internet co’s, advertisers and regulators to oppose Google's (GOOG) planned acquisition of DoubleClick. In recent mo’s, PR firm Burson-Marsteller pitched media outlets and Internet co’s on what it said were the dangers of the deal, which would bolster Google's already strong presence in online advertising. In the written pitches reviewed by The WSJl, Burson cites the deal as part of a larger discussion of "fair and free competition" in Internet-search and privacy rights of consumers.

Dell (DELL) is set to announce a deal to sell its PCs through China's largest electronics retailer, the latest departure from its direct-sales model as it seeks to grab a larger piece of the global mkt. The deal with Gome Group of Beijing is slated to be announced today. It will let Dell use Gome's retail network, close to 1K stores in 168 Chinese cities, to sell its desktop and notebook models in China.

According to the “Heard on the Street” column, while economists jawbone about whether the US will sink into recession, investors already are thinking of ways to prepare their stock portfolios for a downturn. It's going to feel a lot like recession," says David Kostin, global investment strategist at Goldman Sachs, which is forecasting 1% gross domestic product growth, but not a recession, in the first quarter of 2008. "That's pretty anemic growth, and I believe the market is likely to trade like it's going into a real recession." Among his picks: WAG, MSFT and LMT. Other recession-proof stocks mentioned: CPB, WWY, DEO, DNA, C and AIG.

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