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Spotlight Stocks: Barclays, Freddie Mac, General Electric, Yahoo

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

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, May 15, 2008:

  • Barclays (BCS) reported a 1Q profit below year ago levels as it took a write-down of 1.7 billion pounds ($3.3 billion), reported MarketWatch. Overall figures for the quarter were not provided. However, Barclays Capital, the company's investment banking unit, remained profitable because of a 700 million pound gain on the value of its debt.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) reported a 1Q loss of $151 million, or 66 cents a share, beating expectations of a 92 cents a share loss. Changes in accounting practices, including how it accounts for derivatives, showed the company lost more than $1.3 billion on those derivatives in the first quarter, down from a loss of nearly $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the Associated Press. The adjustment helped the company exceed expectations.
  • General Electric (GE) has plans to sell or divest itself of its appliance business, reported The Wall Street Journal. The company could receive between $5 billion and $8 billion for the unit. The appliance arm of GE was started in 1907 and is responsible for introducing the refrigerator, room air-conditioner and toaster oven.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) will reportedly undergo a proxy battle led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn who wishes to replace the company's current board of directors. Icahn has gobbled up about 50 million shares of Yahoo. He and other investors face a deadline today to recommend an alternative slate of investors who could potentially push forward with renegotiating Microsoft's (MSFT) buyout offer.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.08%, Nikkei +0.94%, Sensex +2.21%, Taiwan +1.54% and Shanghai -0.55%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.08%, DAX -0.18%, FTSE +0.35%, ATX -0.08%, Swiss Mkt. +0.99% and Stockholm +0.16%.
  • Over in commodities, crude oil is up +0.78 to 125.00 and gold is also higher +0.5 to 867.0 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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