Think your BlackBerry or iPhone does everything already? Well it could do even more!
According to published reports, AT&T and Verizon Wireless may be planning a partnership to displace credit and debit cards by letting consumers pay with their smartphones.
But if you think this new venture is just one more way to use your Visa or MasterCard, think again!
The partnership, which also includes T-Mobile USA, appears most likely to be with Discover Financial Services and Barclays to test a system at stores in Atlanta and three other US cities, the people told the agency.
The planned service is similar to those already available in Japan, Turkey and the UK, and would use contactless technology to pay for purchases in stores, the report said. For that reason, muses Tim Seymour of EmergingMoney.com, the market is overreacting to this news.
Moshe Orenbuch, an analyst at Credit Suisse, also thinks the market is overly excited about the new potential payment method. He notes that infrastructure in the US is older, however well-developed. Because infrastructure in other countries was built more recently, they often include things the US doesn't have, like mobile payment systems.
FAST FLASH: BAIDU.COM HITS ALL-TIME HIGH
In midday trading Monday, shares of Baidu.com hit an all-time high.
Tim Seymour, founder and managing partner of EmergingMoney.com, likes the Chinese Internet search service provider. The Beijing-based company's growth continues to support a valuation that's north of $70 a share and have "blown away" numbers over the past three quarters, he notes.
Seymour recommends staying in this trade right now, but be cautious and pick spots to take the momentum off the table.
TAKE YOUR POSITION: FORD GETS AN UPGRADE
On Monday, Standard & Poor's raised its rating on Ford Motor by two notches and said it's likely it will raise the rating again in the next 12 months. The rating agency raised the auto maker and its finance arm's ratings to "B-plus," the fourth-highest junk rating, from "B-minus."
By wiping debt off its balance sheet and having free cash flow for the first time in years, Tim Seymour of EmergingMoney.com thinks Ford is a story he could own. He says people are underestimating auto sales in the US and beyond.
TAKE YOUR POSITION: PFIZER REPORTS TUESDAY
Pfizer , a New York City-based biopharmaceutical company, is scheduled to report quarterly earnings results Tuesday.
If you have the money, says Brian Kelly of Kanundrum Capital, buy Pfizer right now. The drug maker has a "decent" valuation and pays a "great" dividend, Kelly says.
At current levels, Kelly thinks it's a good idea to get into this stock because you can put in an options strategy on where you buy a 15 put, protect yourself, buy the stock and then sell an out of the money call. In doing so, he says you risk 1-2% and give yourself 20% upside.
"But Pfizer's like buying cash," countered Zachary Karabell, president of River Twice Research. "It's a great cash cow, but it's a terrible pipeline and it's a problematic company. And maybe the stock will rally, but still."
CALL TO THE FLOOR: AMERIGROUP
Amerigroup , which operates as a multi-state managed health care company, could acquire up to 1 million new members in the three years following Medicaid expansion starting in 2014, according to CEO James Carlson.
Speaking on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report, Carlson says the health insurer is "well-positioned" to participate in the Affordable Care Act—the health insurance reform bill that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010.
Asked by host Melissa Lee about potential costs the company may incur, Carlson says the expansion will largely be funded by the federal government, so "they'll have every incentive to make sure that they've set up these prices right so that we ought to be able to get off to a reasonably good start."