Hybrids, Education: Hot Trends

(Information on hybrids and Texas' proposed budget cuts updated in today's Hot Trends article.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Hybrids" is a hot search topic today as many automakers are developing new hybrid and electric cars.

Chrysler is working on a hybrid minivan that won't require batteries or an electric motor to operate.

The automaker and the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that is building a hybrid Town and Country van that will operate on pumped-up hydraulic fluid.

Meanwhile, Toyota Motor ( TM) engineers are working on a lighter, more efficient motor for hybrid and electric cars that won't rely on rare-earth minerals.


"Education" is a heavily searched topic today following news that Texas may see a $5 billion cut to its public schools.

Lawmakers are proposing severe budget cuts to deal with the state's massive deficit while keeping its promise of no new taxes. It would include major cuts to arts education, pre-kindergarten programs and teacher incentive pay.

The budget draft is expected to be filed as legislation in the House by the end of this week.


"American Idol" is a trending search topic today after the tenth season premiere of the popular singing contest show aired on News Corporation's ( NWSA) Fox Network on Wednesday night.

Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez sat as the official American Idol season 10 judges, and Ryan Seacrest returned as the show's host.
American Idol Judges

This year, Fox moved the show to Wednesday, followed by the results show on Thursday, in an effort to gain more viewership in the show's tenth season. Idol is one of the most successful television shows in history and the only program to claim the top Nielsen rating for six consecutive seasons. Management likely hopes to boost its typically weak Thursday nights by shifting the program further into the week.

Fox has chosen to keep Glee in the Tuesday night slot as the lead-in for new comedies Raising Hope and Mixed Signals.


Morgan Stanley ( MS) is a heavily searched topic today after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday morning.

Morgan Stanley's quarterly earnings increased 60% to $600 million, or 41 cents per share, from $376 million, or 29 cents per share in the same period a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had been expecting an average profit of 35 cents per share.

Net revenue came in 14% higher at $7.8 billion, due to annual improvements in all of the company's business segments.


The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on Google, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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