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Spotlight Stocks: AIG, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Yahoo

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

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Stocks to watch for Friday, June 27, 2008:

  • American International Group (AIG) said it will take $5 billion in losses of sales of investments from a dozen insurance units hurt by the subprime situation. AIG plans to inject some capital into these subsidiaries, according to Christopher Swift, vice president for life and retirement services.
  • Bank of America (BAC) will slash about 7,500 jobs once its acquisition of Countrywide Financial (CFC) is completed. The Associated Press reported that this amounts to about 12.5 percent of the combined companies' mortgage, home equity and insurance businesses. The cuts will occur "in instances where the two companies have significant overlap." The deal, now worth around $2.8 billion, is expected to be completed July 1.
  • Citigroup (C) may sell most or all of its assets in its India backoffice operations, The BPO, Citigroup Global Services and Citos, which are valued at around $1 billion. The company is close to finalizing a deal with International Business Machines (IBM).
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) will probably take $5.4 billion in write-downs in its 2Q. The charges come primarily from exposure to monolines, said Lehman Brothers analyst Roger Freeman. According to Reuters, Freeman widened his second-quarter loss estimate to $2.78 a share from 64 cents. For 2008, he sees higher losses of $2.99 a share, from his prior view of a loss of 53 cents. He also cut his price target to $44 from $47, and rates the stock "equal weight."
  • Yahoo (YHOO) has a new reorganization plan which aims to centralize its product development and increase global revenue, reported The Wall Street Journal. President Susan Decker said the initiative looks to speed development of international products such as email and instant messaging by cutting back on approvals needed to launch them.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.84%, Nikkei -2.01%, Sensex -4.30%, Taiwan -3.37% and Shanghai -5.29%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -1.00%, DAX -0.78%, FTSE +0.19%, ATX -0.28%, Swiss Mkt. -1.59% and Stockholm -2.64%.
  • Commodities are in the green with crude oil up +1.41 to 141.05 and gold higher +9.6 to 924.7 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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