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    Intuitive Surgical is located on the west coast. So, the folks there weren't at work yet when I called earlier today seeking comment on what I thought was product placement in last night's "Grey's Anatomy."

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    Product placement in movies and TV shows has become commonplace. Usually it's a casual shot that blends into the scenery, sometimes it's a little more obvious...and occasionally it hits you in the face. That was the case last night when I was being a couch potato watching the season finale of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" on TiVo last night.

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    Stocks ended higher Tuesday, snapping a three-day losing streak, after strong earnings from Merck and a better-than-expected housing report lifted sentiment on the Street.

  • Intuitive Surgical has rallied more than $20 in the last five sessions since we cited unusual buying of stock and options in the company. The sharp rise has taken place amid persistant takeover rumors involving Johnson & Johnson and the robotic surgery giant.

  • Intuitive Surgical, a California company that makes endoscopic instruments, is running higher along with heavy options activity amid takeover rumors.

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  • Despite of the Dow crossing over 9,000 on Tuesday, the markets all settled down about 4% or greater for the week. Crude oil dipped below $40 per barrel for the first time in 2009 following the weak jobs report.

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  • Weaker-than-expected December numbers from Wal-Mart sent stock futures sharply lower as retailers overall painted a bleak picture of holiday sales.

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    Within about a 12-hour period, two healthcare companies have blamed the pullback in hospital spending for worse-than-anticipated financial results.

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