Dow Jones 30 Week in Review: Microsoft Unveils Surface, Visa Nabs JPMorgan Exec

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the week in Dow 30 business news:

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Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) agrees to have United States Cellular Corporation’s (NYSE:USM) postpaid service available in more than 460 of its stores nationwide.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM): Word from Germany that the European region’s debt crisis is not yet over has caused oil’s prior gains to slip in New York. Markit Economics said that the German purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing decreased from 47.4 in September to 45.7 in October and that business confidence in that country slumped to a 32-month low. Bloomberg reports that United States crude had been up 0.2 percent after falling as much as 0.5 percent.

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) announces a joint Reward Points loyalty program with the Vons division of Safeway. Customers earning Gas Rewards through grocery shopping with their VonsClub Card at Vons stores and/or their ValuePlus Card at Pavilions stores will now be allowed to use their Rewards for up to 20 cents off per gallon as they fill up at participating Chevron and Texaco-branded locations throughout Southern and Central California.

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD) has seen more than 60 percent of its growth in earnings since 2009 come from its Performance Chemicals unit, but if it is true that this division is cycling down management’s earnings, the growth targets currently seem a bit shaky, says Barron’s. However, DuPont believes that China will turn around by early 2013, plus, at 3.5 percent, the shares pay the second-highest dividend yield of any chemical firm listed in the S&P’s 500 index.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) reportedly intends to boost its endeavors in the development of medical equipment in Japan since it thinks the country well-suited to introduce state-of-the-art products, according to the Nikkei.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has released availability and pricing details for its new array of consumer and business PCs which were designed to work with Windows 8 which range from desktops and stylish notebooks to a tablet. This selection balances premium materials and a purposeful design philosophy to provide a distinct H-P appearance and feel. Unique form factors, including a business tablet sporting functionality-boosting H-P Smart Jackets, a hybrid personal computer with a detachable screen, along with an ultrathin all-in-one desktop, allow users to exploit Windows 8 along with H-P innovations such as HP TouchSmart tech. They also provide H-P Connected Photo driven by Snapfish by H-P and H-P Connected Music supplied by Meridian to deliver convenient access to photos and music.

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) is said by Warren Buffett to be ‘struggling a little’.

JPMorgan Chase & Company’s (NYSE:JPM) former Chief Executive of Retail Financial Services Charles W. Scharf has been named by Visa’s (NYSE:V) Board of Directors to succeed Joseph W. Saunders as its chief executive, effective November 1st. Scharf is a former director of Visa. Saunders has served as the firm’s chief executive since 2007 and will stay as executive chairman for the remainder of his employment until March 31st of next year. Subsequent to his retirement, the Board expects to name a new non-executive independent chairperson. Additionally, the Board has expanded from 10 to 11 directors and Scharf has been appointed a director, effective November 1st. He is currently Managing Director at One Equity Partners which currently manages $10 billion worth of investments and commitments for JPMorgan.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) is among a number of drug firms which “would love to get their hands” on Amarin Corporation(NASDAQ:AMRN) for Vascepa, says the Daily Mail, which also says that AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) could be readying a cash bid for the company as well. Other big pharmas, such as Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and Pfizer, could get into the game.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said that the European Commission has granted conditional marketing authorization for Xalkori in the European Union for the treatment of adults suffering from previously-treated anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Conditional marketing authorizations in the EU are granted to medicinal products with a positive benefit/risk assessment which look to unmet medical needs and whose availability would significantly benefit public health and are renewable yearly. Since Xalkori has been granted this authorization, Pfizer will be need to submit data to the European Medicines Agency from the recently completed PROFILE 1007 study that was presented in September at the ESMO 2012 Congress. The evaluation met its primary endpoint in patients who were previously treated as ALK-positive advanced NSCLC. Following an appraisal of the 1007 results by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, the European Commission will make a decision as to conversion of the conditional marketing authorization to a normal marketing authorization.

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Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) shared data plan effects are not visible to Sprint, according to the latter.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) mulls leaving southern Iraq’s giant oil field, West Qurna-1, as it intends to divest its 60 interest in the West Qurna-1 project, primarily because of the expected narrow profits from the planned $50 billion venture. The West Qurna oil field contains estimated reserves of 8.7 billion barrels and lies in the south of Iraq near Basra. Overall, Iraq delivers at output of just over 3 million barrels per day, of which West Qurna-1 currently provides approximately 400,000.

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) reports further drilling success by its Australian subsidiary in the Greater Gorgon Area which is located in the Carnarvon Basin, a premier hydrocarbon basin. The Satyr-4 exploration discovery well has confirmed about 220 feet of net gas pay in a 15,023-foot bore located in the WA-374-P1 permit area lying around 75 miles northwest of Barrow Island off the coast of Western Australian. Chevron Australia operates the WA-374-P with a 50 percent interest with Shell Development (NYSE:RDSA) and the Mobil Australia Resources Company (NYSE:XOM), each with 25 percent.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE): China’s cabinet has lowered its goal for nuclear energy capacity in the government’s Five Year Plan from 50 gigawatts to 40 by 2015, says The New York Times, adding that the nation intends to refrain from the construction of additional reactors at inland locations.

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) introduces the Smarter Energy Research Institute, which consists of a new industrial research collaboration model targeted at stepping up innovation throughout the world energy and utilities market. The first members are a trio including DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) of the United States, Hydro-Quebec in Canada and Alliander in The Netherlands. The Institute is a new collaboration between corporate research and the energy and utilities industry through which to transform leading energy firms by the utilization of system optimization, predictive analytics and advanced computation to provide improved services to their customers.

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) will host a Medical Devices & Diagnostics business review for the investment community commencing at 8:30 a.m.Eastern Time on Thursday, November 1st at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Featured in the program will be presentations by Johnson & Johnson’s senior management, representing the firm’s Medical Devices & Diagnostics segments. Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso will open the meeting.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): The special inspector-general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program is of the opinion that the United States Treasury Department and Federal Reserve should cease the use of the benchmark interest rate Libor in financial rescue programs because it could be unreliable, placing taxpayer dollars at risk. It is recommended that the Treasury and the Fed modify some initiatives to ensure that participating domestic firms instead utilize alternatives to the London inter-bank offered rate when pricing billions of dollars worth of loans, according to Reuters.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) will open 100 stores during the next three years in China, which actually marks a slowdown from its earlier growth pace in that country. The stores will contribute some 18,000 jobs to the current number of 100,000 in China, says the Wall Street Journal.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) executive Nicholas Mockford, who had had a lengthy career with the firm, was killed in front of his wife on a street in Brussels, according to the Wall Street Journal.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is collaborating with the government of Kenya and industry there to develop 1,000 megawatts of power in that country and is also in discussions with Kenya Power Ltd. in regards to a power-purchase agreement. Jay Ireland, president and chief executive officer for Africa, estimated that the power projects will likely be developed over five to 10 years, but gave no dollar amount for the partnership through which GE will supply tech and equipment.

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) will make a new system investment of $300 million during the next three years in Vietnam to capture additional growth opportunities in the major emerging consumer market. The accelerated investment will start next year and should take the total expenditure of the company and its bottling partners to $500 million committed to Vietnam from 2010 through 2015.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) will commence, in November, selling ground coffee under its brand at major Canadian retailers, according the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) says that its new Surface PC is now available at all Microsoft retail, holiday and online stores throughout the United States and Canada. The product was designed to be the ultimate stage for Windows RT, is unique, and represents exceptional value as it provides an absorbing entertainment experience as well as being a foundation for getting things done. One million Surface will be available online at an initial price of $499, at http://www.microsoftstore.com in Canada, France, Australia, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. In China and Hong Kong, the product will be available online at Suning.

The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) Walt Disney World said this week it will sell frozen beer in three restaurants in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, according to Local 6. The beer offering will go for $8 and features a frozen, beer-based ice cream-like topping. The company says that the frozen beer is served in Honolulu, but can’t be found anywhere else in the United States.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ): The supply of touch panel is calculated to be 70 percent short, when compared to the demand for Windows 8 notebooks, because of low yield rates and concentrated shipments in September and October, says DigiTimes. Notebook supply chain makers based in Taiwan report that touch panel makers lack experience in the mass output of medium-to-large size products, resulting in their being unable to keep up with demand.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker believes that the latest stimulus will be able to boost economic growth, but it will also ignite unwanted inflation, according to Reuters. Lacker has been the only policy committee to dissent regarding the Fed move to inject more liquidity into the economy.

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