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Stocks to Watch: Apple, MBIA, Sallie Mae

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

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, December 27, 2007:

  • Apple (AAPL) shares surpassed the $200 mark yesterday, reaching a new all-time high. The company attributes the stock's growth to strong sales of Macintosh computers, iPod media players and the recently released iPhone.
  • Conseco (CNO), amid concerns over its 2007 financial results, was downgraded at Fitch Ratings from BB+ to BB, along with a similar downgrade of $330 mln in senior unsecured convertible debt.
  • FedEx (FDX) announced a rate increase of 5.5% in its freight segment, effective January 14, reported the Wall Street Journal. FDX's long-haul less-than-truckload company will see a similar increase as well. The raised rates will apply to interstate and intrastate traffic, and certain shipments between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada. FedEx Express and Ground will not be affected.
  • MBIA (MBI) saw mutual-funds manager Davis Selected Advisers up its stake in the company to about 6.4 mln shares from 481,021 shares. This comes a day after Davis Selected Advisers joined with Temasek Holdings of Singapore to invest $6.2 bln in Merrill Lynch (MER).
  • Sallie Mae (SLM) hopes to raise $2.5 bln in capital by offering $1.5 billion of common stock and $1 billion of preferred stock.. $2 bln of the raised money is slated to settle an equity forward purchase pact outstanding.
  • United Rentals' (URI) dispute with Cerberus Capital Management over the backing out of its $6.6 bln buyout agreement has come to an end. Cerberus paid the originally agreed upon termination fee of $100 mln and was not forced to follow through with the buyout, as ruled by a Delaware court.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.02%, Nikkei -0.57%, Sensex +0.12%, Taiwan +1.93% and Shanghai +1.44%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.69%, DAX +0.81%, FTSE +0.24%, ATX +0.89%, Swiss Mkt. +0.75% and Stockholm +0.22%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.45 to 95.52 with gold also down -0.9 to 825.1 this morning.
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