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A new reality TV show from the E! network follows celebrities on blind dates with regular Joes (and Janes). Already slated to take part are Family Ties' Tina Yothers, Dustin Diamond (Screech) from Saved By the Bell, and Kim Fields from The Facts of Life. Yes, the beloved Tootie.

The FOOL 50 made a love connection with Full House'sDave Coulier and was up over 2% today.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Schering Sheds a CEO

Six weeks after a controversial meeting with analysts and a mysterious stock price drop, Richard Kogan is retiring as CEO of Schering-Plough(NYSE: SGP).

The trouble started the first week of October, when shares of Schering slipped 15%. Then, late in the evening on Oct. 3, the giant drug maker warned its third-quarter and full-year earnings would be sharply lower than expected.

Furious investors wanted to know why the stock fell in the days leading up to the warning. Did Kogan tell analysts and influential investors beforehand, triggering a selloff? The SEC opened an investigation, presumably to find out if anything said at the meeting was in violation of Regulation Fair Disclosure. The company pledged cooperation and "believes that it has complied with all applicable securities laws in this matter."

The 61-year-old Kogan has been at the helm for six years, and while he undoubtedly had many successes, recent issues have violated investors' trust. Major manufacturing problems, for example, drew regulatory scrutiny and delayed the launch of new drugs.

Interestingly, Dow Jones Newswire says Kogan's departure opens up the possibility that a competitor -- possibly Merck(NYSE: MRK) -- could buy Schering. Stay tuned.

Quote of Note

"There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same." -- Norman Mailer, The Deer Park

Intuit's Growth Quickens

Things keep getting better and better for Intuit(Nasdaq: INTU). The financial software specialist raised its full fiscal year outlook after posting an expected first-quarter loss.

Why the loss? Consider the company's product lines.

TurboTax doesn't sell briskly until February, March, or even April, before the April 15 filing deadline. The company's flagship money management gem, Quicken, is an easier sell by year's end, when folks resolve to get their finances in order and budget for a better tomorrow.

The company's third core product, its QuickBooks suite of small-business accounting tools, is at its strongest when folks are cheery about the economy and want to don the warm, fuzzy hat of entrepreneurship.

But wait a minute. QuickBooks sales shot up by 55% during the quarter, helping the top line surge overall by 32% to $223.3 million. A lot of that comes from home-office users and small-business owners, who hadn't updated their software since Y2K compliance three years ago. Intuit also created enhanced versions, complete with enterprise solutions and remote access capabilities, which helped sales. And the recent wave of corporate downsizing has caused many to go into business on their own.

So Intuit expects sales to grow by at least 27% this fiscal year. Margins are set to expand, as profit growth is targeted at a healthy rate between 34% and 40%. It's no wonder the stock has bucked the technology trend.

Shares have been trending higher over the past two years, while the rest of the business-software market went the other way. With the stock trading at highs unseen since 2000, Intuit's not exactly an undiscovered stock. It's not exactly a bargain, either, at nearly 40 times earnings.

Don't dismiss the solid fundamentals. Just don't give in to the pricey euphoria.

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Dueling Debit Cards

Have you been cheating on your bank? The twin towers of the lending industry sure hope so. In fact, they are alleged to have done everything in their power -- legally or not -- to assure that you use their debit cards when it's your turn to pony up at the checkout counter.

According to recently unsealed depositions and company memos (we just love this secret stuff!), Visa USA, Inc. and MasterCard International, Inc. systematically set out to keep smaller credit networks out of the debit card business. According to a report in today's Wall Street Journal, the card giants spent millions to convince banks to curtail their debit card business with regional issuers. The suit also charges them with forcing retailers to favor Visa and MasterCard's costlier and less efficient debit card offerings.

The federal antitrust suit alleges that the Plastic Powers That Be lorded over the credit card market by threatening retailers with pulling access to credit card sales if they didn't take their debit cards. (Such allegations are nothing new for the companies.) According to the Journal's report, Visa and MasterCard went so far as to dress up their debit cards to deceive merchants into believing they were credit cards.

What's a retailer to do? Fight back, that's what. The class action suit is led by the world's largest merchant -- Wal-Mart(NYSE: WMT) -- but nearly every retailer in the U.S. is a plaintiff. Retailers say they paid billions of dollars in extra processing charges to accommodate Visa and MasterCard's debit cards.

Oh, and guess who ended up paying the padded costs? Yup, you and me.

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Quick Takes

PC(S), phone home. Sprint PCS(NYSE: PCS), the tracking stock for Sprint's wireless communications business, will cut 1,600 jobs, or 6% of its workforce, after losing customers last quarter for the first time.

The British are coming! The biggest U.K. bank, HSBC Holdings(NYSE: HBC), said it will buy U.S. consumer finance company Household International(NYSE: HI) in a $14.2 billion stock deal. HSBC will pay a 34% premium over household's yesterday close. Household has been on the ropes -- its shares down over 50% in six months. It agreed last month to pay $484 million to settle a case alleging it misled borrowers.

Bull's-eye. Target Stores(NYSE: TGT) announced a 50% bump in Q3 profits versus last year, on a 9.2% gain in revenues, and said in a prepared statement it expects "modest" growth in Q4. The Wall Street Journal today raised questions about the quality of Target's credit card debt.

The Commerce Department said retail sales were flat for October. But without a 1.9% drop in auto sales, they posted a 0.7% gain, the biggest in six months. Retail buyers fuel 40% of overall consumer spending. The rest get it wholesale, apparently.

It's not enough, but it's something. Thirty-plus companies, including Intel(Nasdaq: INTC) and Cisco Systems(Nasdaq: CSCO), will report stock option data in their 10-Q filings. Currently, the SEC requires companies to do so in 10-K and proxy statements (Forms DEF14A). We won't be silent until all companies expense stock option grants.

And Finally...

Today on Fool.com: Rick Munarriz wants to know what you do when good stocks are doing bad things.... Tom Jacobs nails homebuilders on potential inventory problems.... The Fool Community discusses whether Europe's gone soft, thereby hurting its ability to compete in a global economy.... In Fool's School, help out a charity and save money via a tax trick.... And the Post of the Day: Living below your means.

Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Matt Richey, Jackie Ross, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim