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  • Bill Gates, billionaire chairman and co-founder of Microsoft, disclosed Tuesday that his foundation holds stakes in McDonald's, wireless tower operator Crown Castle International and Progressive, the third-largest U.S. auto insurer.

  • Activity in the options market may be signaling another major selloff in financial shares. Implied volatility, a component of how options are priced, rises as market makers anticipate greater swings in the actual shares tied to a put or a call.  For names caught up in the recent market turmoil implied volatility has skyrocketed.

  • Financial stocks staged a mild recovery on Monday, but the rebound didn't encourage options speculators to make bullish bets on the sector.

  • Home Depot Shares Slip on Unit Sale, Buyback Price News Thursday, 9 Aug 2007 | 11:45 AM ET
    Home Depot

    Retailer Home Depot said Thursday that it was in discussions to restructure terms of its previously announced deal to sell its supply unit, and also said it was lowering the price range for a tender offer under which it is buying back stock.

  • Market factoid nightmare: Not to minimize the effects of extreme market volatility for investors, but Wall Street’s wild ride in recent weeks has also taken its toll on keepers of market factoids, like those of us toiling at the Breaking News desk. We routinely write market factoids for use as dekos, or onscreen data boxes, and we just as routinely monitor them for possible outdating. That part of the job is usually not that difficult. Usually...

  • Options speculators are hoping for a Coke and a big smile in the call options that are being accumulated today.

  • The huge market swings yesterday--including a 200 point rebound in the Dow during the last half hour--may have had some traders chugging Maalox. But others thrive on the roller-coaster ride. Don't look for the big ups and downs to stop anytime soon.

  • Speculators in homebuilder stock options had a volatile day as they chased rumors that Beazer Homes was about to file for bankruptcy, only to hear the company deny the rumors.As one trader said: "It's a chiropractors' market as we whip up and down".

  • The options market is indicating a soured hedge fund strategy likely magnified losses in the small cap Russell 2000 index and its iShares counterpart, known as the IWM. The Russell slumped 7% last week compared with slides on the order of a little more than 4% for the Dow Jones Industrial average and the Nasdaq Composite.

  • Options Report: Playing and Dealing With Volatility Friday, 27 Jul 2007 | 2:56 PM ET

    Volatility is the life blood of the options markets, and investors have been getting plenty of it amid the implosion of the housing market and worries about tightening credit.

  • A federal judge on Friday sentenced former Qwest Communications chief executive Joe Nacchio to six years in prison for his insider trading conviction.

  • China's Baidu Reports Profit Leap of 143%; Shares Soar Thursday, 26 Jul 2007 | 4:43 PM ET
    Receptionist at Baidu.com office

    Chinese Web search company Baidu.com on Wednesday said its quarterly net profit grew 143 percent, reflecting market share gains in the world's second-largest Internet market. Its shares rose 22 percent.

  • Anheuser-Busch Reports Profit Grew 6.1 Percent Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 3:43 PM ET

    Anheuser-Busch, the U.S.' largest brewer, said Wednesday its second-quarter profit rose 6.1 percent, on a 6.1 percent rise in sales. The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers earned $677 million, or 88 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30; the figures are up from $638 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, in the same period in 2006.

  • Options Report: XLF, Apple, D.R. Horton Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 2:52 PM ET

    The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF, also known as the XLF, has been down for five consecutive sessions and could be in for a sixth down day today.  Traders in the options market are making bets the XLF has further to fall.

  • While corporate credit markets are all in a frenzy, some of the more sober traders out there point out the underlying fundamentals are still in good shape.

  • Options Report: Baidu.com, Amazon, Apple, AK Steel Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007 | 2:16 PM ET

    Options-straddle prices in Amazon.com and Apple continue to predict that the stocks could move by 12% or more following earnings. But the straddle prices in Baidu.com have reached rarified levels ahead of its earnings on Wednesday evening.

  • Video Roundup: Apple, AT&T and the iPhone Aftermath Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007 | 12:22 PM ET

    AT&T -- the sole network provider for Apple's  iPhone -- reported service plan activation numbers that were lower than analysts expected.

  • Texas Instruments posted a lower quarterly profit on weak demand for its calculators and other products, and gave a disappointing revenue forecast for the third quarter, sending shares down 3% on Monday.

  • Speculators continue to have a big appetite for buying volatility, at least if trading in options of the Volatility index is any indication. The VIX has been holding close to where it left off after Friday's sell-off in spite of today's market rebound, indicating that traders are anticipating more swings in the market.

  • Bausch & Lomb is likely to stick to its agreement to be acquired by Warburg Pincus for $3.67 billion, or $65 per share in cash, reported CNBC's David Faber.