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Spotlight Stocks: Citigroup, Dreamworks, Microsoft, Staples


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, June 18, 2008:

  • Citigroup (C) offered some 1,350 employees in its Japanese consumer finance unit an early retirement package. Reuters reports the company said earlier this month it would shut its remaining 32 consumer lending outlets and 540 unmanned loan machines in Japan. July 15 was the deadline set to apply for the package. The CFJ KK labor union voiced its concerns with the proposal as all workers, regardless of the amount of time worked, will receive the same amount.
  • DreamWorks (DWA) is close to striking a deal with Indian entertainment company Reliance ADA to form a new movie venture. The Wall Street Journal reported Reliance will provide Steven Spielberg and DWA $500-600 million in equity, which will help in the director's battle to finance his team's departure from Viacom's (VIA) Paramount Pictures.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) said it has purchased Navic Networks, a company that specializes in emerging forms of television advertising technology, reported the Associated Press. "Television media represents the largest percentage of advertisers and agencies' media budget today," said Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of Microsoft's Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group. Financial terms of the deal were not yet disclosed.
  • Staples (SPLS) received European Commission approval for its takeover bid for Corporate Express worth 1.7 billion euro ($2.64 billion). In a statement, the company said, "The Commission's decision not to oppose the transaction constitutes the final regulatory clearance requirement for the offer," as the deal has previously been approved by regulators in the US and Canada.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed skewed to the upside with the Hang Seng +1.16%, Nikkei +0.73%, Sensex -1.75%, Taiwan -0.19% and Shanghai +5.24%.
  • A glance finds Europe bleeding red with the CAC -1.07%, DAX -0.74%, FTSE -1.47%, ATX -0.83%, Swiss Mkt. -0.57% and Stockholm -0.87%.
  • Over in commodity land, crude oil is higher +0.52 to 134.53 and gold is also up +0.7 to 884.3 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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