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Spotlight Stocks: BHP, Citigroup, ConocoPhillips, Legg Mason

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, April 9, 2008:

  • BHP Billiton (BHP), facing strong opposition by Chinese officials over its $135 billion bid for rival Rio Tinto (RTP), may see a state-owned financial institution of the country buy a 9% stake in the company. Chinese companies and officials had expressed concern that the merged companies would have too much control over the price of raw materials.
  • Citigroup (C) is close to making a sale of about $12 billion of leveraged loans and bonds to private equity firms Blackstone (BX), Apollo Group (APOL) and TPG. APOL would buy half of the debt, while the other two companies would each buy a quarter.
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) and BP PLC (BP) are teaming up for the construction of a natural-gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states. According to the Wall Street Journal, over the next three years, the companies will spend $600 million on a design for the pipeline, while it is estimated that the project could cost more than $30 billion.
  • Delta Airlines (DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NWA) may be able to announce their merger as early as next week. The deal hit a snag as Delta has been unable to reach an accord with its 6,000 pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association union, in regard to seniority lists in a merged airline.
  • Honeywell International (HON) has reportedly won a $23 billion contract to supply engines for Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer's midsized business jets, reported Reuters. The company expects to start producing and shipping the engines in 2011.
  • Legg Mason (LM), a major shareholder of Yahoo (YHOO), said it will support the company's efforts to remain independent if Microsoft (MSFT) lowers its buyout offer. MSFT CEO Steve Ballmer sent a letter to YHOO over the weekend giving it three weeks to consider the $42 billion offer before it resorted to a proxy battle.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.35%, Nikkei -1.05%, Sensex +1.30%, Taiwan -0.06% and Shanghai -5.50%.
  • A quick look towards Europe finds the CAC -0.13%, DAX -0.23%, FTSE -0.03%, ATX -0.01% Swiss Mkt. -1.11% and Stockholm -0.13%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.28 to 108.22 and gold is also down -9.2 to 908.8 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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