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  • Small businesses are using their personality and personal touch to their advantage over the big guys with creative loyalty rewards programs, reports USA Today.

  • It's make-or-break time for the first-quarter earnings season, and it comes just as the stock market is showing signs of strain.

  • Abnormally cold weather curbs consumer demand for spring goods and apparel, but some companies, including drug chains and dollar stores, are benefiting from the spring’s delay.

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    Check out which companies are making headlines after the bell Tuesday:

  • Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.

  • Nov 2- Ally Financial Inc, the auto lender 74 percent- owned by the U.S. government, posted a third-quarter profit compared with a year-ago loss, helped by its car-loan and mortgage businesses. The Detroit- based company, once the auto lending arm of General Motors Co, said it earned $384 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $210 million a year earlier.

  • *Deal positions RBC as a leading auto lender in Canada. TORONTO, Oct 23- Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to buy the Canadian auto finance and deposit arm of Ally Financial Inc in a $4.1 billion deal to expand its vehicle-lending business at a time when loan growth overall is slowing in the country.

  • Property and casualty insurer ACE Ltd. said Thursday that it reached a deal to buy Ally Financial Inc.' s Mexican insurance business for about $865 million in cash. The company has more than 30 sales offices throughout Mexico and distributes its products through nearly 2,000 independent agents, along with auto dealerships, banks and direct channels.

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    TheStreet.com details five “buy”-rated insurance companies with the largest market capitalization, ordered by ascending upside, based on consensus price targets.

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    Bespoke crunched the numbers and found some long-time dividend payers with solid earnings that it sees as a relatively safe way to get yield.

  • Although he released a list of 10 favorites at the Value Investing Congress earlier in the week, top fund manager Leon Cooperman brings Fast Money an exclusive idea.

  • Here's our Fast Money Final Trade. Our gang gives you tomorrow's best trades, right now!

  • A fallen tree which also knocked over a power line is seen on Loughboro Road after Hurricane Irene swept through the area.

    Hurricane Irene was the 'Perfect Storm' for insurers in a different sense of the cliche. The weakened storm that spared New York city from major damage gave the wealthy and rarely hit Northeast enough of a scare because of ominous weather forecasts leading up the storm that property insurers will be able to raise pricing even more next year, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst.

  • Hurricane

    Hurricane Irene is expected to cause billions of dollars in damage in 14 states along the eastern U.S. seacoast, but property/casualty insurance companies are not expected to see much of a hit from damage claims.

  • After appearing on "The Strategy Session" on Thursday, Leon Cooperman, billionaire chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, continued the discussion off-air with David Faber about the stocks he's bullish on even in the shaky economy.

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    Financial sector stocks have underperformed the broader market year to date, which may be a good reason to beef up bets in the sector. ...A report from TheStreet.

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    The freakish outbreak of tornadoes could result in the worst 3 months ever for the insurance industry. And with the hurricane season just beginning, 2011 could be a record year for losses.

  • Stocks are cheap, investor Leon Cooperman told CNBC Wednesday, and he offered a list of 17 stocks he likes to underscore the point.

  • What follows is a roundup of corporate earnings reports for Wednesday, Oct. 27.

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    Although quantitative easing by the Fed would boost stock prices, investors fear that the economy needs government intervention. To play it safe, here are 10 large-cap stocks that rank as analysts' favorite picks within their sectors—and 30 more top-ranked names in those sectors. ...A report from TheStreet.