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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15 Comments

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absabatino

I find it ironic the war on cigarettes grows as the legalization of pot grows. Do they not want pot to have competition?

March 17 2014 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GRANCON2

oh lets not stop there. anyone selling prescription drugs should not be allowed to sell beer, wine, hard liquor, chips, pop, packaged foods ,products with msg. etc .how the hell would you pick and choose. how about letting stores decide for themselves what they want to sell and let consumers make their own choices. sounds novel to me. after all, we found out so many times the real dangers of prescription drugs. listen to all the law suits on tv. these only include the major problems not all the other side effects. i thought this was capitalism here all you conservatives should be in a tizzy.

March 17 2014 at 2:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Art and Joyce

never fear with obama at the gear!

March 17 2014 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam

Pot has more nicotine that cigarettes What a joke. Lets stop selling beer but let whiskey be sold to minors. Same thing

March 17 2014 at 1:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adam's comment
GRANCON2

oh adam pot is not physically adicting like cigarettes alcohol and other drugs its a psychological addiction

March 17 2014 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rankincap

Please stop selling cigarettes it is bad business and bad for your health. At the same time they want to legalize pot.. It all makes sense. If they want to stop tobacco being sold pass a law, at least they will let you have pot, then everyone will feel good.

March 17 2014 at 1:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
joendeb92

Quit selling cigarettes and keep selling prescription drugs. Yeah... smart move. Not.

March 17 2014 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theycallmeroy3

The states will win on this one. And this will be the wave of the future. Right now there's around 32 states with AG willing to go the extra mile concerning tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
And will probably over time filter into other areas of consumption.
States cannot ride out increasing pension obligations in healthcare and medicaid cost.
Did the ACA help this one along? Yes. However, the younger generation is starting to understand their burden in future healthcare cost, especially related to smoking.
And insurance companies still can hike the rates on smokers, however, the same can't be said of those receiving medicaid.

March 17 2014 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to theycallmeroy3's comment
Adam

Really and smoking nicotine addicting weed is ok with you? What a hypocrit

March 17 2014 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ciara220

Coming from someone who smoked for 39 yrs. and quit, I think this is absolutely ridiculous.

March 17 2014 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
JIM

I guess they think they have milked their cash cow to death, but where are they going to find so much money to waste?

March 17 2014 at 12:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dfoster

Perhaps it would be reasonable, given the health care costs incurred by tobacco use, that if you test positive for nicotine derivatives, your insurance premium and co-pay increases by 25%. You have a free choice to live as you choose, but have no right to expect the rest of us to pay for your indulgences.

March 17 2014 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply