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While Washington Stews, You Can Cash In on the Biggest "Tax-Inversion" Deal in History

Back in June 2012, we recommended that you pick up shares of Big Pharma player Abbott Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: ABT). The reason: Abbott was planning to split in two at the end of the year, meaning folks who took our advice would end up with stakes in two companies for the price of one.

There was more than bargain-basement thinking at work here.

You see, these corporate breakups – known as spin-offs – have a habit of turning into market-beating profit plays. And the newly minted spin-off firms often end up as takeover fodder – also at big profits.

Abbott followed part of that blueprint.

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    Here's What a Jump in Pickup Sales Says About the U.S. Economy

    Car truck small

    Rapidly increasing sales of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) pickup trucks signal an improving outlook for the U.S. economy, particularly the agriculture and construction industries.

    The pickup sales growth is one of those unconventional economic indicators that can give investors a deeper insight into what's really happening in the U.S. economy.

    That's because most pickup trucks are purchased by people working in the construction trades or agriculture.

    So better pickup sales are a good indication of long-term confidence in construction activity by those working in the construction trades and, for farmers, a belief that crop prices will remain higher for another few years.

    Along with Ford, GM and Chrysler also have reported growing pickup sales.

    Sales of Ford's F-Series pickups in December 2012 totaled 68,787, the best December since 2006 and the 17th consecutive year-on-year increase in monthly F-Series pickup sales. (The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling pickup in North America since 1976 and the best-selling vehicle in North America since 1981.)

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  • economy of united states