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Mid-Week Market Rag

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The week is half over already. This is the Mid-Week Market Rag for Wednesday, August 23, 2006.

An effort has been made not to make this a weekly Dell/AOL problems column.

However, Dell makes the cut again today as image problems continue for the direct-sales computer manufacturer. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that institutional investors like Fidelity and Wellington have started selling Dell stock "amid concern about the CEO's leadership."

Slowed growth over the past several quarters and a stock that has tumbled nearly 30 percent this year are among issues that have raised flags among investors and consumers alike. A recent recall of several million laptop batteries fanned the flames of concern.

Despite concerns, reports indicate founder and chairman, Michael Dell, still fully supports his CEO, Kevin Rollins.

Shares of Dell stock are down around eight cents per share today.

Nestle, the world's largest food and beverage company, posted an 11 percent rise in profits for the first half of 2006. The company cited growth in sales in emerging markets around the world.

The company sent out a very number-intensive press release today citing their strong performance figures.

Any person that consumes dairy products, breakfast cereals, ice cream, chocolate, bottled water, or has a pet has probably used a Nestle product at some point.

Shortly after losing a deal with MySpace to Google, Microsoft reached a deal to become the sole advertising partner for the popular social networking portal, Facebook. Facebook, the 7th most trafficked website on the Internet, according to its public relations claims, is second only to MySpace in terms of social networking sites. This is a deal that today Forbes called a "modest online victory."

Finally, PNC has decided to reimburse customers who are charged fees at competitors' ATM's. This was reported today by the Wall Street Journal Online.  This trend comes as banks try to offer more incentives to encourage customers to make deposits and open accounts.  PNC shares are down alongside other banks this afternoon with news that existing home sales fell to a two-year low in July.

That's the rag for this week. Thank you for reading PRrag.com.

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