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2-Star Stocks Poised to Plunge: Dell?

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 135,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, computer giant Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Eagle Rock

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 135,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, natural gas partnership Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P. (Nasdaq: EROC) has earned a respected four-star ranking.


Job losses mount up in European Union

Brussels -- Job losses escalated in the European Union in June with France leading the list of nations in the number of layoffs, the European Commission said.

Nearly 20,000 jobs were lost in France in June, followed by Britain, where 11,528 jobs were erased, the EUobserver reported Monday.

The loss column totaled 640,000 jobs in the 27-member European Union since September, although 219,000 jobs have been created in the past nine months.

In June, the Czech Republic lost 3,070 jobs. Poland lost 2,310, while German lost 1,960, the report said.

Half the jobs erased have been in manufacturing, but shipyards reported a comeback in the month of June with 5,000 new jobs in Poland and 1,000 in the Czech Republic.

T. rex tracks preserved in New Mexico

Cimarron -- A second full footprint of a Tyrannosaurus rex has been discovered on the remote Philmont Boy Scout Ranch near Cimarron, N.M., a paleontologist said.

"This is one of the most important sites ever found in New Mexico," said Spencer Lucas, paleontology curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The first footprint was found at the site in 1983 by Charles Pillmore, a surveyor for the U.S. Geological Survey, who died in 2003.

Lucas discovered the second print, and a partial print of a third, last month, The (Santa Fe) New Mexican reported Monday. The two full tracks show an impression of three toes and a dew claw, Lucas said.

Serbia, S.Europe Exit rock festival ends

Belgrade -- About 150,000 fans listened to some 500 performers during four days of the 10th Exit music festival that ended early Monday in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Britain's Prodigy was the last to perform on the Exit's main stage in the 17th century Petrovaradin Fortress overlooking the Danube River, 45 miles north of Belgrade, Vojvodina's RTV reported.

Among the performers were Madness, Kraftwerk, Lily Allen and DJ Moby.

The Exit music festival began in 2000, a symbol for young enthusiasts seeking an exit from the authoritarian regime of the late Serb President Slobodan Milosevic.

Ten years later, music experts say, the Novi Sad Exit festival is the biggest event of its kind in southeastern Europe.

Book author says Jacko was gay

Los Angeles -- The author of a new book about Michael Jackson claims he interviewed two of the late U.S. pop star's alleged male lovers.

Jackson, who was married to and divorced from Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe, died June 25 of cardiac arrest after a suspected prescription drug overdose. He was 50.

Although there has been much speculation about Jackson's sexuality throughout his life, the singer always maintained he was heterosexual.

The New York Post quoted investigative journalist Ian Halperin as saying in his book "Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson" that "virtually everybody I've interviewed about Jackson has told me: He's gay."

Markets mixed Monday morning

New York -- U.S. markets were mixed Monday morning with the corporate reporting season headed into its second week.

Reports due this week include Intel, Johnson & Johnson and New York bank Goldman Sachs.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.87 points, or 0.24 percent, to 8,166.39. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.26 percent, 2.29 points, to 881.42. The Nasdaq composite index lost 7.03 points, 0.4 percent, to 1,749.00.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond was unchanged, yielding 3.297 percent.

The euro fell to $1.3948, compared to Friday's $1.3949. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 92.34 yen, compared to Friday's 92.42 yen.

NASA awards solar sensor contract

Washington -- The U.S. space agency says it has awarded a contract to the University of Colorado at Boulder for a "total and spectral solar irradiance sensor."

The approximately $42 million contract is for a key instrument for the future National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, to be known as NPOESS.

NASA said the university's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics will be responsible for, among other things, the design, engineering analyses, hardware and software development, algorithm development, testing and integration of the instrument with the NPOESS spacecraft.

Nabucco pipeline finds backers

Istanbul -- Russia's hold on the European natural gas market is being challenged by a consortium of interests intent on building a pipeline from Turkey to central Europe.

Officials from six countries are meeting in Turkey to sign an agreement to construct a pipeline that would run from Turkey to Austria, crossing through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, CNN reported Monday.

The $11 billion project called Nabucco has U.S. support and would challenge the proposed South Stream pipeline Russia intends to build under the Black Sea connecting Russia with Italy.

The Nabucco pipeline would rely on natural gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 field, CNN said. Officials said natural gas from Turkmenistan and Iraq may also find its way through the pipeline.

Economic Outlook: Emerging trends

New York -- Asian markets were sharply lower Monday, on a day marked by merger news in the airline and food industries in China and Japan.

China Eastern Airlines said it was prepared to purchase Shanghai Airlines in a share swap worth $1.3 billion, The New York Times reported. In Japan, Suntory Holdings said it was in talks to merge with Kirin Holdings, which would form a giant food group by any measure. Last year, the two companies combined to sell $41 billion worth of food and beverages.