Vodafone Looks to Unload Verizon Wireless for $130 Billion; Pump-and-Dump Stocks Hit Medical Marijuana; Spreadsheet Is Smoking Gun in JPMorgan Probe

Vodafone Looks to Unload Verizon Wireless for $130 Billion (CNBC)

Telecom investors awoke Thursday to signs of renewed talks between U.K. giant Vodafone and Verizon Communications (VC) about their join ownership of Verizon Wireless. Vodafone???s shares rose 9 percent today on news that Vodafone could be selling its 45 percent ownership in Verizon Wireless back to VC for as much as $130 billion. Should the sale go through, Vodafone stands to save itself $35 billion in tax payments. For a company recently valued at $152 billion, that savings could be a ?????? transformational, fortune-changing deal which is likely to see Vodafone become the new darling of the telecom sector,??? according to Joe Rundel, head of trading at ETX Capital. It would certainly become the darling of its investors, should the sale go down.

Pump-and-Dump Stocks Hit Medical Marijuana (YahooFinance)

Investors looking for a green day by taking advantage of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington (in addition to its medical use in 20 other states) are being targeted by the same scam that???s plagued investors for decades.  Shares of worthless companies are sold by con artists to investors to spike the price. Then, once those shares appreciate, they???re sold by the scammers, leaving new investors with a fistful of worthless paper. To avoid being ripped off, investors contacted should check with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or their state securities regulator to find out of the seller is registered or properly licensed. Bottom line:  due diligence with marijuana stocks should be performed, just as with any other stock purchase.

Spreadsheet Is Smoking Gun in JPMorgan Probe (Bloomberg)

Investigators looking into the hiring practices as JPMorgan Chase & Co. have discovered a spreadsheet that links appointment to specific deals in China. The SEC and the Justice Department is trying to determine if JPMorgan hired people in China with family members in government to steer business toward the world???s largest bank. While this investigation started in Hong Kong, it has now spread throughout China to look for people who were hired for fictional jobs to encourage their parents to seek deals with more favorable terms for the bank. Should these accusations be proven true, and favorable deals awarded to JPMorgan, the bank would be facing another round of stiff penalties and sanctions. Investors holding JPMorgan stock should keep an eye on this story for further developments, just as we will do here at