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Spotlight Stocks: General Motors, Research in Motion, Schering-Plough, United Air

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

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, April 3, 2008:

  • Capital One (COF) changed interest rates on several of its credit cards to fixed rates as opposed to the previously used variable rates for new customers. The affected card holders will not see lower interest rates if the Federal Reserve continues to cut short-term rates.
  • General Motors (GM) is mulling over the possibility of taking on more of Delphi's pension liabilities in order to help it exit bankruptcy-court protection, reported the Wall Street Journal. Delphi has needed to shore up $6.1 billion in financing to escape Chapter 11, and GM has already assumed some responsibility for its former partner.
  • Google (GOOG) said it will cut 25% of US employees at DoubleClick, its newly acquired ad unit. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company also plans to sell DoubleClick's search engine marketing unit.
  • Micron Technology (MU) reported a 2Q loss of $777 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with a loss of $52 million, or 7 cents, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $1.36 billion, down from $1.43 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report a loss of 36 cents a share on revenue of $1.43 billion, reported Dow Jones.
  • Research in Motion (RIMM) reported fiscal 4Q profit of $412.5 million, or 72 cents a share, up from the year ago profit of $187.4 million, or 33 cents a share. Revenue jumped to $1.88 billion, from $930.4 million a year ago. The company now has more than 14 million BlackBerry subscribers after signing up 2.18 million new customers in its 4Q.
  • Schering-Plough (SGP) unveiled a cost cutting plan that would save the company $1.5 billion by 2012. The company announced this in the wake of doctors cutting the use of its cholesterol drugs it markets with Merck (MRK), Vytorin and Zetia. As part of the plan, about 5,500 employees will lose their jobs as the company cuts manufacturing plants and layers of middle and senior management.
  • United Airlines (UAUA) canceled 41 flights yesterday and delayed dozens more in order to test their Boeing (BA) 777's cargo fire-suppression systems. Maintenance records showed that a test on a bottle in these systems had not been performed. These were mostly international flights, and affected thousands of travelers globally.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.64%, Nikkei +1.52%, Sensex +0.52%, Taiwan -0.10% and Shanghai +2.94%.
  • Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC -0.53%, DAX -0.48%, FTSE -0.39%, ATX +0.47%, Swiss Mkt. -0.80% and Stockholm -0.63%.
  • Over in commodities, crude oil is trading down -0.59 to 104.24 while gold is higher +1.6 to 896.8 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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