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Will eBay Be the Next Wal-Mart?

Stocks in this article: EBAY WMT DLTR DFS

This may partly be due to its investor-friendly $1.59 annual dividend plus the appearance that investors seem to buy the company's prospects for recovery and new impetus to expand its growth rate.

Whether or not the company has a stellar second quarter, investors may reward the idea that Wal-Mart seems to do better whenever the economy is sputtering.

Hopes for increasing dividends and more positive news down the road should help the shares stay buoyant. The bottom of the Bollinger Band range is just north of $70, and the 200-day moving average is around $63.

And Then There's eBay

The "Wal-Mart of the Web" is a story that may have even more upside potential than WMT, especially considering some big news that broke early Wednesday morning.

I'm referring to eBay (EBAY), which set a new 52-week high during Wednesday's session after it announced its PayPal unit and Discover Financial Services (DFS) have created a strategic partnership that will expand PayPal's payments platform to include over seven million merchant locations in the U.S. alone.

According to Jim Cramer, Stephanie Link, and TheStreet Research Team report at Action Alerts PLUS "... any merchant that accepts Discover credit cards will now be able to offer the PayPal service without any additional technology build-out -- certainly a positive.

"Discover will help promote the partnership and the PayPal network. Consumers can use their PayPal charge cards or pay by entering their mobile phone number and PIN at the terminal. And they can also order online and pick up purchases at the store."

For eBay, the partnership gives its PayPal unit immediate access to millions of vendors and tens of millions of consumers. The deal helps expand eBay's franchise, exposure, marketing and branding so that any merchant accepting Discover credit cards will now be able to offer the PayPal service without the need for new technology.

"Most importantly," according to the report, "this deal builds eBay's scale and credibility in the payments market."

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