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U.S. Economy

Hot Stocks

Hot Stocks to Watch Today

U.S. equities jumped up right out of the gate Tuesday, with all three benchmarks up better than 1% just before noon. The S&P 500 Index hit yet another record high. European markets, also hammered on Monday, recovered most of what they lost in Tuesday's session.

Hot Stocks Today

While the gains were broad-based as stocks rebounded from Monday's rout, there were a number of equities moving higher on company developments, industry news, earnings, and deal making. Following are 12 of today's hot stocks to watch.

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Hot Stocks

Best Stocks to Buy Now: How to Play 2014's Most Profitable Trends Today

Best stocks to buy for the week ending Feb. 28, 2014: The S&P 500 Index finished February up 4.3% at 1,859.45, its best month since October and its best February since 1998.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended February 4% higher, trimming year-to-date losses to 1.5%. And the Nasdaq closed out the month up 5%. The tech-heavy index is up 3.2% in 2014 and sits at a 13 1/2-year high.

Five years ago this Sunday, on March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 closed at 676.58, its lowest level since the start of the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, stock returns have more than tripled.

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Top News

Icahn on eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY): "They Just Don’t Get it"

Activist investor Carl Icahn poured the pressure on eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) Thursday in his third scathing open letter to eBay shareholders.

nasdaq ebay logo

In what has become a wicked war of words between the corporate raider and the online auction and shopping site, Icahn continued to press eBay to spin off its electronic payment arm PayPal, maintaining the unit is worth more as a standalone.

The billionaire investor also wants the San Jose, Calif.-company to overhaul its corporate board. Icahn, who holds a 2.2% stake in eBay, continued to reproach the company for a "complete disregard of accountability" and took further jabs at board members.

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Top News

This One Animal Could Send Food Prices Soaring

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will provide $3 million to help the one animal that will make or break U.S. food prices: bees.

Commercial honeybees pollinate an estimated $15 billion worth of the nation's agricultural produce each year, as reported by The Associated Press on Tuesday. Bees and other pollinators account for one out of every three bites of food Americans consume.

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Top News

Why First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Stock Is Among Today's Biggest Losers

First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) stock is down 12% today (Wednesday) after reporting Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.89 per share on revenue of $768 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had projected earnings per share (EPS) of $0.98 on revenue of $973 million.

The adjusted earnings added $0.25 per share related to a recent agreement for First Solar to sell its facility in Mesa, Ariz. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) earnings were $0.64 per share, which was down from $1.74 the year before.

Revenue for the full year 2013 was $3.31 billion – down 1.8% from 2012. Analysts at Zacks Investment Research had projected yearly revenue of $3.53 billion.

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Washington

How the 2014 Minimum Wage Debate Will End

The latest exchange on raising the minimum wage in 2014 is only one chapter in this months-long political brawl – one that will see Republicans mostly on the defensive.

Fresh ammo came Tuesday from a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, which gave both advocates and opponents some statistics to crow about.

this issue will only get more prickly for them...

Top News

Why U.S. Retail Sales Dropped in January – and How You Can Profit

U.S. retail sales – which account for 70% of economic activity – unexpectedly fell 0.4% for the month of January according to the Commerce Department today (Thursday). The decline marks the second straight drop after a 0.1% fall in December.

Auto sales were the major contributor to the miss. Sales of motor vehicles and parts dropped 2.1%, while Americans also spent less on restaurants and clothing. The report also showed soft holiday sales for retailers at the end of last year.

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Top News

Does Weather Move the Markets?

Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald appeared on FOX Business' "Varney & Co." this morning (Tuesday) to answer the question, "Does weather move the markets?"

Georgia will fall victim today to a winter storm the National Weather Service is calling "a historic, catastrophic event." Atlanta will shut down for the next two days, and U.S. President Barack Obama declared an emergency for the state. The storm will ultimately affect more than 100 million people, from Texas to Georgia, New York, and Massachusetts this week.

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The Fed

Janet Yellen Testimony to Congress

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivered the semiannual Monetary Policy Report Tuesday morning before the House of Representatives. This was Yellen's first public address since assuming the role as head of the U.S. central bank after predecessor Ben Bernanke on Feb. 3, 2014.

Yellen, who until last week served as vice chair of the Fed, testified on the health of the U.S. economy, her commitment to the central bank's ongoing stimulus efforts, and regulatory needs for the financial system.

The full text of Yellen's remarks follows.

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Why Bitcoin Prices Are Falling – And What That Means

A fresh crisis may be the beginning of the end for Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, but the harm to the digital currency itself will be temporary.

Fans of the digital currency woke up Friday trying to figure out why Bitcoin prices are falling after more than a month of relative price stability on the Japan-based exchange.

Long plagued by issues in getting fiat currencies from Mt. Gox accounts to user bank accounts, the exchange in recent days started having trouble transferring bitcoins as well.

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