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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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    Q4 GDP Shrinks for the First Time Since the Great Recession

    Wilted Flower

    For the first time since the Great Recession, the nation's gross domestic product contracted in the fourth quarter, declining 0.1% and falling well short of expectations, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

    GDP, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, had climbed 3.1% in the third quarter. The consensus for Q4 GDP was 1% growth.

    The first decrease in GDP in 3 1/2 years resulted largely from a steep decline in military spending with sequestration looming and lower company inventories as businesses curtailed investments and expansions amid fiscal cliff fears and higher taxes.

    Some economists also pointed to Superstorm Sandy, budget battles and debt ceiling debates as additional culprits.

    "It's hard to see the economy really kicking into higher gear until we're further down the line and have more of a chance to digest tax increases and the spending cuts that are coming,"
    Moody Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi said in a call with reporters.

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