Opening Bell: 8.1.08

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Outcry expected at Yahoo meeting (Reuters)
Annual meetings always bring out the crazies (no offense). There are the people who own 2 shares, but then fly halfway across the country and book a hotel room to complain about some minor thing. At Yahoo, they'd probably complain that a search result for their own name led to something else. Today is the big meeting at Yahoo. It's not going to be as dramatic as it could've been, since they settled with Yahoo on all that. But it should be fun nonetheless. You can listen in here. As you probably read yesterday, Icahn isn't attending cause he doesn't want it to turn into a "media circus". Probably too late for that. Too bad though: We were hoping to get a "I am not a destroyer of companies... I am a liberator of them!" speech. Though that was probably DOA once he settled.
Wal-Mart Warns of Vote's Impact (WSJ)
Wal-Mart does all kinds of touchy feel PR stuff, like supporting higher minimum wages and supporting various green things. Actually, the higher minimum wage might be a competitive tactic designed to weaken smaller shops. But at the end of the day, you kinda know how their bread is buttered. Evidently the company sent warnings to store managers about how things might change under an Obama administrion. The big one: unionization! So the campaign starts now to explain how unionization carries heavies fees with little to show for it. Of course, that doesn't mean much to the outside, third parties that will be among those pushing harder for changes.
Biogen, Elan Report Cases of Brain Disease (WSJ)
If you haven't been following the saga of Tysabri for the last 4 years or so, this news is a little hard to appreciate. Basically, Biogen and Elan invested years of their lives into this anti-Crohn's drug, only to have it pulled by the last second in 2005 when news of a certain brain infection side effect were revealed. However it was determined that the incidence was low enough that it could go back on the market. And here it is again, two more cases. Again, it seems very small given the nearly 40,000 people on the drug. But who knows how doctors, patients and regulators will react.
Once Dumped, ImClone Soars (NYT)
Missed this yesterday, biotech ImClone, where Carl Icahn serves as chairman, received a buyout offer from its longtime marketing partner Bristol-Myers Squibb. Good for ImClone, and also interesting cause the stock is now back to where it was when Martha Stewart and Sam Waksal dumped it (ahead of an adverse announcement). If only they'd waited all these years. Especially Waksal who got the most severe penalty. Also, he'll be out of jail soon.

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