Stocks to Watch: Microsoft, Oracle, Walgreen (Update 1)

NEW YORK -- Microsoft ( MSFT) unveiled Monday a tablet line called Surface, which the software giant said are "PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows."

Microsoft executives, at an event in Los Angeles, showed off "two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail."

The product announcement puts Microsoft back into competition with Apple ( AAPL) and its iPad.

Shares of Microsoft ticked up 19 cents, or 0.64%, to $30.03 in premarket trading Tuesday.

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Oracle ( ORCL) released its fourth-quarter report early and soared past estimates as new software licenses surged 7% to $4 billion.

The software company also added a hefty $10 billion to its existing buyback program.

Oracle shares rose 3.24% to $28.00 in premarket trading Tuesday.

Walgreen ( WAG) said Tuesday it is buying a 45% stake in Alliance Boots for $6.7 billion.

Walgreen also has the option to buy the remainder of Alliance Boots, the European health and beauty retailer.

Shares of Walgreen rose 2.63% in premarket trading Tuesday to $32.80.

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J.C. Penney ( JCP) on Monday announced the abrupt departure of Michael Francis as president after just eight months with the retailer.

A reason for Francis' resignation from J.C. Penney, which is undergoing a revamp that hasn't gone well, wasn't disclosed.

A press release said CEO Ron Johnson would assume "direct responsibility and oversight of the company's marketing and merchandising functions."

FedEx ( FDX), the package delivery giant, is scheduled to post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings before the opening bell Tuesday, and analysts expect a profit of $1.94 a share for the three months ended in May on revenue of $11.13 billion.

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Discover ( DFS) is expected by analysts Tuesday to post quarterly earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $1.86 billion.

Earnings reports are also scheduled Tuesday from Adobe Systems ( ADBE), Barnes & Noble ( BKS), Jabil Circuit ( JBL), Jefferies ( JEF) and La-Z-Boy ( LZB).

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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