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Spotlight Stocks: Countrywide, General Motors, Microsoft, Sanofi-Aventis

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, April 30, 2008:

  • Citigroup (C) plans to raise at least $3 billion in capital by selling its common stock, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company has now recently raised about $39 billion from investors.
  • Countrywide Financial (CFC) reported a 1Q loss of $893 million, citing rising loan defaults amid a deepening housing downturn which forced the company to sharply increase its provision for loan losses and book other credit-related charges. CFC took a $3.05 billion credit-related charge.
  • General Motors (GM) reported a 1Q loss of $3.3 billion, wider than its loss of $42 million a year ago. Strength in overseas markets was offset by a strike at supplier American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. and weak U.S. sales. The strike, affecting 30 GM plants, cost the company $800 ion and 100,000 vehicles.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) claims it would devote $1.5 billion to employee retention in the event its bid for Yahoo (YHOO) is accepted and the companies merge. According to The Wall Street Journal, this stems from "a suit filed by two Detroit pension funds in the Court of the Chancery of the State of Delaware alleging that Yahoo's directors breached their fiduciary duties by not responding in good faith to Microsoft's unsolicited acquisition offer."
  • Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) reported 1Q net sales of 6.937 euros ($10.81 billion), down 3.3% on a reported basis and down 0.8 percent on a comparable basis, reported Reuters. Current operating income fell 7.2 percent to 2,522 billion euros. The company cited competition in the US for weak sales of its sleeping drug Ambien which fell 62%.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.61%, Nikkei -0.32%, Sensex -0.52%, Taiwan -0.32% and Shanghai +4.82%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.56%, DAX -0.31%, FTSE -0.68%, ATX +0.49%, Swiss Mkt. -0.53% and Stockholm -0.29%.
  • In commodities, crude oil is trading down -0.19 to 115.43 and gold is also lower -11.3 to 865.5 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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