Apple Rules US Smartphone Market and 4 Hot Stocks Attract Attention

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Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) chief executive Brian­ Moynihan blocked a proposal to cut the main component of the majority of brokers pay for 2013, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The blocked plan would have lowered the apparent grid payout for Merrill Lynch financial advisers by two percentage points, according to that person, who asked to be kept anonymous.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) U.S. smartphone market share saw an increase to 53.3 percent during the 12 weeks that ended on November 25, as Android’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) U.S. market share slightly fell to 41.9 percent, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, reported CNET. European sales over the same 12 week period showed Samsung (SSNLF) continuing to top smartphone maker with a 44.3 percent share spanning Europe’s top five countries, with Apple holding 25.3 percent of that market, according to Kantar’s data.

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Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has begun to try out a new messaging system letting individuals pay to have their messages delivered directly to the inboxes of those that they are not friends with. This test is to only be available to a “small number of people” in the United States, and it is Facebook’s response to a common user complaint that important messages have been lost in the social network’s spam filter. As of now, Facebook delivers messages that it believes are relevant to the inbox of users, such as messages from friends, or friends of friends, but messages that are seen as spam by Facebook are sent to a little-noticed “other” folder.

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): Today, the company announced that it will support the new Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP) that was introduced during the week by theWireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), which is focused on driving the next generation Wi-Fi experience. The ICP should streamline in the manner in which WBA members work together to create common set of technical and commercial frameworks for Wi-Fi roaming. AT&T is a WBA member, and it is one of the first operators that confirms their support of this new initiative.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) could potentially be working another Microsoft-based product outside of its Windows Phone Lumia lineup. During this time, the Finnish smartphone-maker could potentially be in the process of preparing a tablet that is based on Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system, which is possibly taking center stage at a launch event during February at the Mobile World Congress trade show.

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