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The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Quiz Answers

It's time to review Wall Street's summer antics in The Five Dumbest Things Labor Day Quiz.

Our winners are Robert Donnelly and Alice Ward. Each will get a signed copy of Jim Cramer's RealMoney: Sane Investing in an Insane World.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Now, here are the answers.

1. Home Depot (HD) adopted a majority-vote rule for board elections, "reinforcing our company's commitment to shareholder engagement and director accountability."

What happened when this bastion of good governance last held an annual meeting?


  1. No directors showed up, save for handsomely compensated CEO Bob Nardelli.

  2. Home Depot referred investor questions to the nearest mailbox.

  3. Demonstrators chanted "Hey, Nardelli! Your stock price turned to jelly!"

  4. All of the above.

Click for the answer!

2. DuPont (DD) overhauled its employee-benefit plans. What is the chemical company doing to "reinforce our commitment to help employees provide for a secure retirement"?


  1. Immediately freezing all worker pensions.

  2. Slashing pension benefits by two-thirds in 2008.

  3. Eliminating its traditional pension plan altogether.

  4. All of the above.

Click for the answer!

3. Match the tech juggernaut with a notable recent action.


  1. XM Satellite (XMSR)

  2. JDSU (JDSU)

  3. Ciena (CIEN)

  4. Finisar (FNSR)

  1. Publicly lauded a key distributor for having "persevered through a huge integration."

  2. Set plans for a rare 1-for-7 reverse stock split.

  3. Promised its CEO will spend more time at his desk.

  4. Offered disappointing sales guidance while applauding its own "commitment to innovation and manufacturing scalability."

Click for the answer!

4. Fire risks linked to lithium-ion batteries have swept the computer business. Which company wasn't involved in a big laptop-battery recall last month?


  1. Apple (AAPL)

  2. Dell (DELL)

  3. Gateway (GTW)

  4. Sony (SNE)

Click for the answer!

5. Match the company with the appropriate legal-settlement commentary.


  1. Prudential (PRU)

  2. Schering-Plough (SGP)

  3. Apple (AAPL)

  4. Martha Stewart Living (MSO)

  1. "We have made great progress in building an organization that puts business integrity at the center of its work."

  2. "This brings closure to a personal matter and my personal nightmare has come to an end."

  3. A legal adversary "is very fortunate to have been granted this early patent."

  4. "This settlement represents our desire to do the right thing and to put this matter behind us."

Click for the answer!

6. A pipeline-corrosion problem recently forced the partial shutdown of a key BP (BP) oil field. What is the name and location of the field?


  1. Texas City, Texas

  2. Hyperion Bay, Idaho

  3. Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

  4. Prudhomme Bay, Louisiana

Click for the answer!

7. Match the hard-hitting communications executive with his insightful remarks.


  1. Cisco (CSCO) chief John Chambers.

  2. Verizon (VZ) retail markets president Bob Ingalls.

  3. Sprint (S) CEO Gary Forsee.

  4. Motorola (MOT) CEO Ed Zander.

  1. "None of us today can envision our lives without wireless connectivity or the Internet."

  2. "Each of these stunning new handsets is designed to serve as a remote control for life."

  3. "We continue to do everything we can to encourage customers to enter the broadband world."

  4. "Not only is the network becoming the primary driver of IT and communications, it is becoming the platform for life's experiences."

Click for the answer!

8. Starbucks (SBUX) shares dropped sharply after the company posted tepid sales growth. Which management statement gave investors a jolt?


  1. The new Chicken Apple Sausage Bagel will be available for a limited time only.

  2. Customers were ordering too many Frappuccinos too early.

  3. The "level of coffee education" around the world is "really remarkable."

  4. "We are dogmatic about protecting Starbucks' intellectual property."

Click for the answer!

9. Phoenix-based molybdenum melter Phelps Dodge (PD) unveiled a $56 billion three-way merger earlier this summer with miners Inco (N) and Falconbridge, both of Toronto. Name the metals giant that hasn't since made a proposal to acquire at least one of those companies.


  1. Teck Cominco (TCK), Vancouver, B.C.

  2. CVRD (RIO), Rio de Janeiro

  3. Xstrata, Zug, Switzerland

  4. Mittal Steel (MT), Rotterdam

Click for the answer!

10. Match the sound-alike company with a recent accomplishment.


  1. Novell (NOVL)

  2. Novellus (NVLS)

  3. Novelis (NVL)

  4. Novelos (NVLT)

  1. Fired its CEO days after projecting an unexpected 2006 loss.

  2. Disclosed a "self-initiated, voluntary review" of stock option accounting.

  3. Announced its "dirty bomb treatment proposal" was under government review.

  4. Brushed off talk of a sharp slowdown in its business.

Click for the answer!

In our award-winning effort to enrich the reader experience, the Five Dumbest Things Lab now scores each item using our proprietary Dumb-o-Meter. This cutting-edge technology employs a finely calibrated, 100-point scale measuring sheer Dumbness, as calculated via a closely guarded secret formula.

Got your own idea for the dumbest thing of the week? Let us know.

Want to get your Five Dumbest in the mail? It's easy. Just become a TSC member -- it's free -- and you'll receive the Five Dumbest in our Before the Bell email newsletter every Friday. The rest of the week, before each trading day, Before the Bell gives you a comprehensive look at the stocks expected to move the market, plus access to a sampling of our premium content from RealMoney. Click here to sign up for Before the Bell!

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