Google’s BIG Social Network Updates, First Solar Dissed at JPMorgan: Tech Bis Wrap

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) gives its social network a “big” update, with 18 new features included, many of which arriving in a new version (v3.3) of the Google+ application, which the company says launched on the Play Store friday. The remaining updates should hit hit Google+ “in the next day or so.”

Leap Wireless International’s (NASDAQ:LEAP) Cricket and MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS) have recently introduced handset financing options that will permit eligible customers to make a down payment on a smartphone, while paying off the balance at a future time. The programs are meant for high-end smartphones, which the carriers do not heavily subsidize and can set customers back as much as $500 upfront. The former is collaborating with Progressive Finance, and the latter with both Progressive Finance and BillFloat to provide the options to its customers. Progressive Finance and BillFloat basically cover the cost of the handset and then get revenue through interest and repayment fees.

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On Friday, SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) reached an agreement to resolve the private securities class action suit against it and certain current and former members of its management. The settlement is called, “In re SunPower Securities Litigation,” and is subject to negotiation and execution of a final settlement document and court approval. The terms provide for the the firm to pay $19.7 million, which would lead to the dismissal of all claims against the defendants.

Shares of the solar panel maker First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) rose 2.5 percent on the day in which they became the only sector resident of JPMorgan’s short list of stocks to avoid in 2013. This marks the second year in a row for the stock to make this dread list, although it is currently down only 4 percent for the year, being nowhere near approaching a worst-performer of 2012 status.

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