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    Wall Street has set its sights beyond a relatively low-impact earnings season and is now looking for bigger and better things.

  • Verizon is facing some major challenges, and it's looking for some new growth drivers.

  • Traders at the New York Stock Exchange.

    Ahead of Friday's opening bell, investors will be watching earnings from Microsoft and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's address at the Boston Fed's annual conference.

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    I'm in Scottsdale Arizona where Microsoft just unveiled its new retail concept, and it is a mob scene. Over a thousand people are in line to check out the colorful store, and hoping to get one of the gift bags Microsoft will hand out to early visitors. A few dozen of these Windows fanatics camped out over night.

  • Stocks advanced Thursday as investors seemed to focus more on some big-name earnings beats and a rise in leading indicators instead of a disappointing jobless report. Travelers and MMM led the Dow.

  • Stocks advanced Thursday as investors seemed to focus more on some big-name earnings beats and a rise in leading indicators instead of a disappointing jobless report.

  • Bond investors need to think like lenders, because their money needs to be productive, said Bill Larkin, portfolio manager at Cabot Money Management.

  • Profits and sales were down for another quarter at UPS, but investors will be looking ahead to the upcoming holiday season to see if the world's largest shipping carrier—and the U.S. economy—are on the road to recovery. Arthur Hatfield, transportation analyst at Morgan Keegan, shared his analysis of UPS.

  • Stocks slipped Thursday as investors weighed a disappointing jobless-claims report and some encouraging earnings reports.

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    Despite promises by President Barack Obama, more than 70 million Americans who have health insurance through their jobs could be open to higher costs or denials of some coverage under a leading overhaul plan making its way through Congress.

  • Verizon

    Verizon is being very savvy about marketing to cash-strapped consumers as we head into the holiday shopping season. Consumers who sign up for Verizon's new fiber network—FIOS—get a $150 pre-paid Visa card.

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    With Democrats in charge in Washington, supporters of so-called "net neutrality" rules seem poised to finally push through requirements that high-speed Internet providers give equal treatment to all data flowing over their networks.

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    Plus, highlights of the most important earnings reports.

  • MM_promo_Cramerica_Challenge_530x50.jpg

    The Lightning Round is extended in this CNBC.com exclusive feature.

  • Google Headquarters

    The amazing thing about Google ahead of its earnings tonight is the lack of humility.

  • Plus, Cramer makes the call on dividend-paying plays, defensive names, natural gas and more.

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    Dell Inc. Chief Executive Michael Dell said the business climate was improving and repeated his expectation for a "powerful" hardware refresh cycle beginning next year.

  • Especially in volatile times, dividends can be a way for investors to more effectively safeguard returns.  Many publicly held corporations pay out a portion of their  earnings to shareholders, giving investors a payback whether the stock price goes up or down.  Cramer's Rule Number Four in his "" calls these "buffers."Calculated as a percentage of share price, dividends have the potential to be cut or changed and yields vary as share prices fluctuate. For the purposes of this report, dividend yi

    Especially in volatile times, dividends can be a way for investors to more effectively safeguard returns. So, what are the biggest dividend yields on the S&P 500? Click ahead to find out!

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    It was just a matter of time. Not an "if," but a "when." The only question for former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson was what board he'd choose to stay on: Apple's or Google's. We should all be troubled by such difficult decisions.

  • Two and a half months away from the end of the year and the average dividend yield of the Dow 30 has continued to fall since the market lows.  See how the 30 companies in the Dow compare.