Key Issues for the Week Ahead, The Unusual Suspects (AAPL, BKS, CLWR, EGPT, E, SLV, MORT, PUDA, SAFM, TWC, TUDO, VZ, WAMUQ, WETF)

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We have many carryover issues this Monday from last week and the weekend that will be feature issues to watch this week.  These are “The Unusual Suspects” for the week ahead.  Our cast of companies this week includes the following: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL); Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS); Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR); Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (NYSE: EGPT); Eni SpA (NYSE: E); iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV); Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (NYSE: MORT); Puda Coal Inc. (PUDA); Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM); Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC); Tudou Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: TUDO); Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ); Washington Mutual (WAMUQ); and WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF).  We have compiled the background data on each and shown an implied outlook with added color if applicable.

These are all of the non-earnings events to watch this week.  We have already compiled a separate key company earnings calendar with detailed previews and we also already featured the top analyst calls of last week as well.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) had many rumors from Friday through the weekend about the unveiling of the new iPad3, as if the iPad and iPad2 weren’t yet good enough.  The rumored features are retinal scans and more.  The iPhone5 is still due in September if the reports are still accurate.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) may have caused serious harm last week despite “the good news’ that it was staying independent and has secured an investment from John Malone and Liberty.  Shares were down 17% or so on Friday and the bookseller will have to now fend for itself against Amazon, Apple, and others.

Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR) will be key to watch this week after a big pop Friday on the reports that Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) may take on an investment that could allow Sprint to just acquire its 4G partner.

Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (NYSE: EGPT) will be worth watching if tensions with Israel remain heightened after last week’s attacks that led to Egyptian police being killed at the border.

Eni SpA (NYSE: E) could be in for a huge week if Libya’s Gadhafi is losing control as fast as the reports are indicating.  This Italian energy company was hit hard after it had to basically all but leave its infrastructure in Libya.

iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) has proven to be a death trap each time it went very much over $40.00 along with the price of silver.  This time may be different, but all it takes is new margin requirements or any new regulation for the devil’s metal to get a severe haircut.  THese shares are indicated north of $42.25 early Monday after closing at $41.68.  Friday was only the second $40+ close in the last 90 days (August 3 was last).

Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (NYSE: MORT) has fallen in price as have the value of most stocks, but this one is a new MBS REIT that offers what appear to be 10%+ yields.  If the low rate environment holds with close to zero on short-term borrowing costs, then these will continue to attract investor interest.

Puda Coal Inc. (PUDA) has seen its shares suspended in trading by the SEC due to a lack of current and accurate information.  More woes out of China.

Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM) could face a haircut after the producer of chickens was hammered in Barron’s saying it “faces brutal conditions. Feeding costs are rising, demand is slack and industry inventories are bulging.”  Barron’s said the stock could crack.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is still one to watch as it was reported at the end of last week that it was a step closer to buying Carlyle’s Insight Communications for close to $3 billion including the assumption of debt.

Tudou Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: TUDO) was just another bad Chinese IPO that makes this China-IPO-hype more and more like Groundhog Day on Wall Street.  Shares closed at the week’s low of $19.24 on Friday.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has some 45,000 striking workers returning to work on Tuesday.  A final pact has not been reached as of yet but negotiations are said to be closer.

Washington Mutual (WAMUQ) is set to find out if there is any value left in these residual shares.  A Delaware federal bankruptcy court is set to hear final arguments this week over the revised Chapter 11 plan.

WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) was featured positively in Barron’s over the weekend as the asset manager is a pure-play on ETF growth that has outperformed the market while rival shares have weakend.

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JON C. OGG