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Stocks to Watch: Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Microsoft, Research in Motion


Monday's top stories and stocks with potential to move...


Stocks to watch for Monday, October 8, 2007:

  • Goldman Sachs (GS) reportedly wants to raise more than $500 mln for a private equity fund, to be based in London, that will buy stakes in hedge funds.
  • IBM (IBM) and Google (GOOG) are teaming up to create a program on college campuses teaching computer programming techniques for clusters of processors called 'clouds'. The companies' executives said each company will spend between $20 million and $25 million for hardware, software and services that can be used by computer-science professors and students.
  • Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan (JPM) are expected to disclose losses of about $3 billion in mortgage securities and leveraged loans when they report earnings this month according to an analyst, the Financial Times reported.
  • Microsoft (MSFT), after releasing new versions of its Zune media player, named a new executive to oversee the product. The goal will be to compete more effectively against Apple's (AAPL) iPod.
  • Research In Motion (RIMM) said it settled a dispute with the Trustees of Ironworkers Ontario Pension Fund over the company's option granting practices. RIMM said the settlement, in part, outlines a commitment to exclude independent directors from receiving stock options. It also requires co-chief executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to pay the company $2.5 million each to defray the costs of a review of past stock-option granting practices.
  • Whole Foods Market's (WFMI) special board committee has completed an investigation into postings on Internet message boards related to the company and Wild Oats Market (OATS). The board reaffirmed its support for Chief Executive John Mackey, and said that the findings of the investigation have been turned over to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Wyeth (WYE) said two Phase III clinical trials showed its hormone treatment significantly reduced the number and severity of hot flashes in postmenopausal women by up to 80%. The treatment, known as bazedoxifene/conjugated estrogens, also improved symptoms such as vaginal dryness and atrophy in women participating in the study, compared with those given a placebo. Wyeth plans to use the data to submit a Food and Drug Administration marketing application in the second quarter of 2008.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.22%, Sensex -1.59%, Taiwan +1.04% and Shanghai +2.53%.
  • Checking across the pond we find the CAC -0.30%, DAX -0.19%, FTSE -0.41%, ATX -0.13%, Swiss Mkt. +0.36% and Stockholm -0.36%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.53 to 80.69 and gold is also down -5.7 to 741.5 this morning.
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