Money Minute: A Big Push Against Cigarettes; Chinese IPO Fever

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Some of the nation's biggest retailers are under pressure to stop selling cigarettes. Attorneys general from more than two dozen states are urging Walmart (WMT), Walgreen (WAG), Rite Aid (RAD), Kroger (KR) and Safeway (SWY) to remove cigarettes from stores that also sell prescription drugs. According to the New York Times, a letter from the attorneys general said there is a contradiction in selling these products in the same stores that service our health care needs. They want these companies to follow the lead of CVS (CVS), which recently said it will drop tobacco products from its store shelves.

Two of China's biggest Internet companies are coming to the U.S. -- or at least, their stocks are. Alibaba and Weibo are preparing for U.S. IPOs. Alibaba is an e-commerce giant and its offering could be valued at $15 billion or more, which would be in line with the amount Facebook (FB) raised with its 2012 IPO. Yahoo (YHOO) will one of the big winners; it owns a big stake in Alibaba. Weibo seeks to raise much less, but it's no slouch -- its messaging service has 130 million users.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says the all-American company GoDaddy is planning to go public. The company, known for its somewhat racy commercials, helps businesses set up websites.

Here on Wall Street last week, the Dow Industrials (^DJI) tumbled 387 points, a drop of 2.4 percent. The Dow fell every day last week, the first time that's happened in nearly two years. The S&P 500 (^GPSC) and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) both lost about 2 percent.

Under a Senate plan to abolish the mortgage giants Freddie Mac (FMCC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA) within five years, the government would continue to play a major role in insuring U.S. home mortgages. The bipartisan Senate proposal would create a new federal regulator to oversee and guarantee pools of mortgage bonds. It would be comparable to the FDIC, which insures our bank deposits. And what would happen to Fannie and Freddie shareholders? Well, that's likely to end up in court.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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