Morgan Stanley's Exposure to Indebted Europe Drops: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Morgan Stanley ( MS) on news that the world's largest brokerage said its net exposure to five of Europe's most indebted nations has dropped since since the beginning of the year.

Morgan Stanley said its current net exposure to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain is now $2.41 billion, down from $3.06 in January. According to the firm's Web site, its exposure was $4.01 billion before hedges.

Morgan Stanley has the most net exposure to Spain, at $1.32 billion. It also had a net short position of $137 million on Portugal.

Starbucks ( SBUX) is trending as the coffee chain announced it will stop using cochineal beetles to color some of its beverages.

The company came under fire from vegan groups and others who criticized its use of the bugs. Starbucks U.S. President Cliff Burrows announced on the company's consumer Web site that affected products are being reformulated and will instead include lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, by the end of June. Drinks such as its Strawberry & Creme Frappuccino as well as food products like its raspberry swirl cake will contain the new ingredient.

Ron Paul is another popular search. A computer programmer is developing a Ron Paul video game due out this summer.

In Ron Paul: Road to REVolution, players will take on the role of the congressman and must make their way through 50 levels, each representing one of the U.S. states, to collect gold and delegates. Players will also face "boss battles" along the way, symbolizing the Federal Reserve and each of its 12 district banks.

The game is being developed by Daniel Williams of Cypress, Texas. Williams has already raised more than his $5,000 goal on crowd-funding Web site Kickstarter. He hopes to have the game out by July.

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

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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