Five Stocks to Watch in October

U.S. stock markets continued making new highs in September, with the S&P 500 Index hitting 1,725 on September 18th. The month of October begins with a government shutdown, which has had little impact on markets so far. Nevertheless, if the shutdown is prolonged and a resolution on the debt ceiling is not reached by October 17th, stocks could be pressured in the near term.

Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) - The California based bank just announced the settlement of a lawsuit with Freddie Mac FMCC.
The settlement will have the bank pay out $869 million and will resolve all outstanding and potential repurchase claims in connection to the misrepresentation of loans originating and sold by Wells Fargo to Freddie Mac before 2009. Wells Fargo is the third large U.S. bank to settle issues related to faulty mortgages sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The other two were Bank of America, (BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (C).

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - According to a recent report from Reuters, three major Microsoft investors representing five percent of the company ownership are lobbying for Bill Gates to step down from his role as Chairman. The investors, which were not named, are concerned that the influence Gates exerts as Chairman is disproportionate to the 4.5 percent stake in the company Gates currently owns. Also, current CEO Steve Ballmer announced in late August. he would be leaving the company.

Time Warner Inc. (TWX) - In a landmark deal, Warner Bros. has agreed to a financing arrangement with RatPac-Dune Entertainment. The financing deal comes with a four year partnership with Dune CEO Steven Mnuchin, filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer for the funding of as many as 75 films. The total amount of funds for the deal comes to around $450 billion. Mnuchin was optimistic the deal could be extended like his contract with 20th Century Fox was on several occasions. (AMZN) - The world's largest online retailer just announced it would be hiring 70,000 full time seasonal employees all over the United States to fill orders during the coming 2013 holiday season. The amount of jobs is a 40 percent increase from the 50,000 workers hired during the 2012 holiday season. Seasonal employees can apply for health care benefits and earn 94 percent of the wages of full time workers. Amazon plans to convert many of these temporary jobs into full time positions after the holidays.

Newmont Mining (NEM) - With the price of gold tumbling $40 per ounce on the first day of October, the month did not begin well for the gold mining sector. Newmont Mining was hit hard on Tuesday, dropping -3.17 percent to $27.21 per share on Tuesday, the stock was the biggest loser in the S&P 500 Index. In addition to the drop in the gold price, there has been speculation that Newmont was considering the purchase of the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru. Some analysts expressed it would not be a wise move. Newmont has not officially announced a bid.

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Published on Oct 2, 2013
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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