Market Minute: Zynga Moves Into Gaming With Real Money


Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

Zynga (ZNGA) makes a big gamble, and social media meets Wall Street news releases.

Stocks rallied again yesterday, lifting the Dow and the S&P 500 to new records. The Dow rose 89 points, the S&P gained 8 and the Nasdaq added 15.

Zynga is going from virtual money to the real thing. The game maker rolled-out its first real money casino games – but only in the U.K. Zynga has also taken preliminary steps to provide internet gambling in Nevada, if U.S. laws are changed to allow it.

Zynga Gambling
Paul Sakuma, AP

Federal regulators have cleared Netflix (NFLX) and its CEO of wrong-doing when they used Facebook to release key information about the company. The SEC now says using social media outlets like Facebook (FB) and Twitter does not violate Fair Disclosure guidelines, as long as companies inform investors in advance about which sites they'll use.

Ron Johnson, under-fire CEO of J.C. Penney (JCP), received a pay cut of 96 percent last year. In 2011 he earned more than $53 million, mostly from stock awards. Last year, no stock. Johnson's pay fell to $1.9 million, as the company reported a huge loss.

Verizon (VZ) says it has no current plan to make an offer for Vodafone (VOD), but says it does remain interested in buying Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. Reports yesterday said Verizon might team up with rival AT&T (T) to buy Vodafone and then split up its assets.

A management shake-up at the brokerage firm Legg Mason (LM): The head of global investments has quit after losing out earlier this year in a battle to become CEO. A second executive, the general counsel and head of governance, is also leaving.

Target (TGT), CVS (CVS), Family Dollar Stores (FDO) and other retailers subscribe to a database that identifies workers accused of stealing. The New York Times says those workers are in effect banned from working in the industry again. Employee theft accounts for an estimated 44 percent of missing merchandise.