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Spotlight Stocks: Barclays, Countrywide, General Mills, Hilton

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, June 25, 2008:

  • Barclays (BCS) successfully raised 4.5 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) from various investors including Qatar and Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui. The company plans to use half of the money to rebuild capital and the other half to pursue growth, reported Reuters. Existing shareholders will be given the opportunity to buy up to 4 billion pounds of shares at a discount, with outside "anchor" investors acting as underwriters.
  • Countrywide (CFC) and CEO Angelo Mozilo are being sued by the Illinois attorney general's office. The state is claiming the company engaged in deceptive trade practices regarding loans. According to Reuters, the loans include those lost to foreclosure as well as those that were refinanced, sold or are being serviced by Countrywide, attorney general spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said.
  • General Mills (GIS) reported fiscal 4Q net income of $185.2 million, or 53 cents a share, down 17% from $224.1 million, or 62 cents a share a year ago. Excluding the reduction of the value of certain commodity positions, earnings were 73 cents a share. Sales increased 13 percent to $3.47 billion from $3.06 billion. Rising costs of commodities has forced the company to raise prices and find other ways to cut costs.
  • Hilton Hotels (HLT) hopes to add 300 hotels in Asia over the next 10 years, where it currently operates only 47. The company is aiming to capitalize on strong growth in China and India, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing senior company executives. In India, the company has a joint venture with DLF Ltd., which hopes to open 75 new hotels in the next five years.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.80%, Nikkei -0.14%, Sensex +0.80%, Taiwan +1.51% and Shanghai +3.64%.
  • Over in Europe, we find the CAC +1.08%, DAX +0.78%, FTSE +0.46%, ATX +0.47%, Swiss Mkt. +0.33% and Stockholm +1.04%.
  • Checking commodities, crude oil is lower -0.18 to 136.82 while gold is higher +4.4 to 889.2 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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