The Chinese Internet giant has made it official, filing plans for an initial public offering in the U.S. It's expected to be one of the largest IPOs of all time. The trading debut is still months away, but the deal could value Alibaba at as much as $250 billion. The e-commerce company has hundreds of millions of customers, and handled $11 billion last year -- more than Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) put together. And get used to hearing the name Jack Ma. He's the dynamic Internet tycoon who founded and runs the company.
There was a time long, long ago -- before the housing market collapse of 2008 -- that consumers would tap the equity in their homes to help finance other expenses. Now, those in need of cash are turning to their 401k retirement accounts. That's not necessarily good news because it can trigger tax penalties, and as Bloomberg reports, it reduces workers' retirement nest eggs, leaving them with even greater financial crises later on.
Two stocks to watch are Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI), the leading makers of video games. Both posted better than expected earnings and offered an upbeat outlook for the year. They're being helped by the success of a new generation of video game consoles rolled out late last year -- Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4. Activision has high expectations for the latest version in its "World of Warcraft" series, while EA thinks the upcoming World Cup will give a big boost to its FIFA soccer games.
Finally, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a book deal worth at least $1 million. The Associated Press reports the book, due out next year, will focus on Bernanke's leadership in avoiding a world banking collapse at the start of the Great Recession.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.