Target, 3M and Best Buy Lose Gay Rights Group's Top Rating

Target, Best Buy and 3M lost their top rankings in an index compiled by an influential gay-rights group after the companies made significant campaign donations to an organization that backs the election of an anti-gay political candidate.

3M to Buy Biometrics Company Cogent for $943 Million

Office supply maker 3M (MMM) agreed to buy biometrics company Cogent Inc. for $943 million, or $10.50 a share. A subsidiary of 3M will begin a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Cogent in the next ten business days, the companies said in a statement. Cogent%u2019s board unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

3M May Spend $2 Billion on Acquisitions This Year

Office supply maker 3M Co (MMM) may double its planned spending on acquisitions to $2 billion this year as it aims to boost its oversea operations. "We told Wall Street that we would spend probably a billion dollars or north of that," CEO George Buckley told Reuters. "It could be double that number by the time the year is out."

Can This Earnings Season Keep Up Its Winning Streak?

The first peak week of second-quarter earnings season was just what the market ordered, thanks to some beat-and-raise reports from Dow blue chips. This week has more such big-name results on tap. And again, investors will be looking closely for top-line revenue growth.

3M Posts Earnings of $1.54 Per Share on Booming Sales

3M (MMM) reported that second-quarter earnings rose 37.5% from a year ago to $1.54 per share, driven by booming sales. Sales were $6.7 billion, an increase of 17.7% from the year-ago quarter, the company said in a statement. Geographically, the biggest gain was in emerging economies, which posted an increase of 38% in sales from a year ago.

3M Second Quarter Sales May Rise 4%-6%, Company Says

Technology company 3M said that second-quarter sales may have risen between 4 and 6 percent from a year earlier to $6.6 billion to $6.75 billion, driven by a sharp rise in organic sales volumes. 3M CEO George Buckley will make the forecast to a meeting of investors and analysts meeting in Kentucky today, the company said in a statement.

Corporate Pollution: The Top 10 Environmental Payouts

The $20 billion fund BP has agreed to for paying Gulf oil spill claims easily vaults it to the top of the list. Among other members of this shameful pantheon are Exxon, Union Carbide and Pacific Gas and Electric. A closer look at this group reveals that in most cases, the companies managed to reduce -- or even erase -- settlements through years of legal stalling.

Wall Street Predicts the Bull Market May Keep Charging

Is the bull back? Strong earnings, growing merger activity and an improved macroeconomic outlook could give the bull market plenty of room to run. The forecast will become clearer this week, when several key economic and earnings reports are scheduled to come out.

Deconstructing Goldman's Fraud Defense

The giant bank is defending itself based on four claims it's making to counter the SEC's charges. Our legal reporter thinks the SEC has a stronger -- but not a slam-dunk -- case than Goldman Sachs on the first three points. The fourth is more up in the air.

Boeing Takes Health Care Charge: Should Investors Sell?

Boeing announced Wednesday that it would take a 20 cents a share charge against its first-quarter 2010 earnings related to the recently signed health care legislation. Like many publicly traded companies, Boeing is losing a health care tax write-off -- but not yet.

AT&T's Huge Health Reform Charge Is Just the Start

With the passage of health reform, top U.S. corporations are taking huge charges because the law is expected to reduce the deductions they can claim for their various employee health-care programs. On Friday, AT&T said it would need to take a $1 billion non-cash charge.

Netflix: Future Growth Will Come From Streaming Video

Perhaps no company has revolutionized the video rental business as much as Netflix. With over 90,000 titles and more than 11 million paying subscribers, Netflix is now the leading online DVD subscription service. But as costs rise and competition mounts, Netflix has got to make some changes. One of them: To beef up its streaming video business.

Will China's Bubble Pop? Japan Offers Some Clues

As China takes measures to curb bank lending, fears about whether the country's economy is in a bubble are escalating. Investors are looking at the U.S. and Dubai for lessons about how things might unfold. But the massive stimulus being coursed through the country comes straight out of Japan's playbook.