The Unusual Suspects for the Week Ahead (AAPL, BP, DANG, EMC, XOM, DVN, GENZ, JCG, RVBD, SNN, VOD, WMT, FXI, MUB, PZA)

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) was touted by Barron’s over the weekend as it heats up in a data-storage war at the retail level against NetApp, IBM, HP and Hitachi.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) were listed as being more attractive now with higher oil prices in this weekend’s Barron’s.

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ) is still in the merger mix, maybe.  Our latest we saw was a $70 to $71 cash price but with a performance hurdle workout that could get shares closer to $80 through time.

iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (NYSE: FXI) will be one to watch, even if it is just an ETF.  While U.S. markets were all closed for Martin Luther King Day, the Shanghai Composite dropped 3% as the Chinese President visits the U.S. on concerns that the central bank may be choking off the growth too much with rate hikes and policy-tightening measures.

J. Crew Group Inc. (NYSE: JCG) has not received any rival takeover bids to compete against the $2.86 billion buyout offer from TPG and Leonard Green during its “go shop” period.

Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: RVBD) was given a repeat weekend as being the #1 stock in the Investors Business Daily 100 of the best stock charts out there with last week’s gains being roughly 3%.  IBD 100 others were #2-SWKS; #3-NFLX; #4-FFIV; #5-LULU; #6-CXO; #7-PCLN,

Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE: SNN) was its shares in London trade up about 4% more after the Sunday Times reported that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is considering a fresh bid to acquire the medical devices maker.  S&N’s ADRs closed at $54.83 on Friday and the 52-week range is $41.26 – to $56.80.

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) was listed as perhaps the best way to invest in the Verizon iPhone against AT&T by Barron’s this weekend.  UK-based Vodafone saw shares up nearly 2% in London trading Monday.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) will get into Africa after Massmart agreed to let Wal-Mart acquire 51% of the company.  Some 97% voted for the deal when some 75% was needed.

The concerns over municipal bonds keep growing and two of the key ETFs which track this are now showing 10% discounts from recent highs due to the massive capital outflows in the sector.  Two we are watching in this are iShares S&P National AMT-Free Muni Bond (NYSE: MUB) and PowerShares Insured National Muni Bond (NYSE: PZA).

Also, in case you missed the weekend’s news from us, we have several features for investors:

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