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What to Watch This Week: Tech Wins; Banks Wince

There's never a dull moment on Wall Street, especially now that we're hitting 2012's first earnings season. What will help shape the week that lies ahead? Earnings and answers from banks, Google, eBay and IBM, and a big education related announcement from Apple.

What to Watch This Week: New CEOs, Cars, Homes, Tech

It'll be an interesting week in the news of the new: Yahoo has a fresh CEO, auto shows and the CES will show off the latest in cars and tech, and a major homebuilder will tell us how new construction is doing. (Oh, and JP Morgan will give us a clue about how the banks are faring.)

Financial Scams: The Latest Twists in the Art of the Con

You're not going to fall for the old Nigerian prince scam anymore -- but the fraudsters know that, and they've moved on, too. Here are some financial scams that made the rounds in 2011 -- and will likely be back in some form this year.

Is Yahoo's New CEO Sunk Before He Even Starts?

On Wednesday, Yahoo named Scott Thompson as CEO. He's a former PayPal president and veteran technologist -- and that's the trouble: Yahoo is following the same strategy that led it to hire Carol Bartz, who was ousted for failing to turn the company around.

A New Deal: Could PayPal Out-Coupon Groupon?

There's a new daily deals player, and it's a company that's near and dear to your virtual pocketbook. And if you think the online coupons sector is too saturated for a fresh entry to make a dent, you're ignoring a few important things about PayPal.

Phishers Are Getting Smarter, But So Are E-Cops

Traditional phishing -- where hackers attempt to acquire personal data from individuals in hopes of defrauding them -- is bad enough. But even more alarming is the rise of a new kind of attack: "spear phishing."

Facebook Friends' New Benefit: Send Money Easily

In a joint effort with PayPal, Facebook launched a new app this week that could remake the money-transfer business. We test drove Send Money, a cheap -- sometimes free -- method for moving funds between you and members of your social network.

E-Book Soundtracks: The Next Revolution in Reading?

New startup Booktracks is creating soundtracks for e-books with technology that tracks your reading speed and syncs the sound perfectly to the text. The company promises it will revolutionize reading, and authors like Salman Rushdie and Jay McInerney are giving it a try. But do books really need a Hollywood makeover?

Why eBay Will Never Be Great Again

Remember when eBay was cool? You'll have to think hard, because those days are long gone. The online auction site used to carry cool, quirky merchandise, as well as serving as a source of last resort for otherwise impossible-to-find items. Nowadays, it's basically being held up by PayPal, which will soon face challenges of its own.

The Secret Weapon Behind eBay's Comeback

After a long, painful transformation from an online auction site to a mobile-focused e-commerce hub, eBay is finally staging a comeback, online and on Wall Street. But auction sales don't account for its rousing recovery. For that, it has PayPal to thank.

Square Gets Valued at $200 Million: Is It the Next PayPal?

Square makes it much easier for even the smallest retailers to accept credit cards: The mobile payment firm offers easy to use hardware that plugs right into iPhones or Androids. But at least part of its new high price tag probably derives from the fact that its founder, Jack Dorsey, also co-founded Twitter.

PayPal Cuts Off Donations to WikiLeaks

EBay is no longer allowing donors to send WikiLeaks money through PayPal, a move that has cut off the largest source of money to the website that has been leaking confidential U.S. government documents.

PayPal Launches iPhone App for Depositing Checks

Adding another twist to the concept of online banking, PayPal has added an iPhone app that allows users to photograph their checks and deposit the funds into their PayPal account, according to an Associated Press report.

PayPal Plans a Better Way to Pay Small Sums

PayPal is aiming to launch an improved micropayments service by the end of this year. It hopes a bigger volume of tiny online purchases will be unleashed if buyers can pay as they go, instead of making a big upfront payment to be debited down.

Three Reasons Why Google's Valuation Could Vault

The conventional wisdom gaining strength these days is that Google is past its hot-growth prime. But unnoticed by many investors are at least three businesses that could give Google's stock the kick it's looking for.

Beyond Apple: 3 Ways to Profit From Smartphones

Apple posted record revenues last week, and the main driver of its growth is the smartphone revolution. Since Apple got into the market three years ago, its stock price has zoomed from $118 to $260. But what other smartphone plays might benefit investors?

eBay Hit With $3.8 Billion Patent Lawsuit

eBay got slapped Tuesday with a $3.8 billion patent infringement lawsuit over its payment system technology. XPRT Ventures alleges inthe suit that eBay and its subsidiaries PayPal, Bill Me Later, Shopping.com and StubHub violated six of its patents.