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Spotlight Stocks: Ambac, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Morgan Stanley

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

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Stocks to watch for Monday, February 25, 2008:

  • Ambac (ABK) may be recapitalized by a group of eight banks in order to save its AAA rating. The company said the plan is not a done deal but expects to announce something today or tomorrow.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) has proposed a $2 billion cash offer to buy video game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO). Last week, Take-Two's board rejected the proposal and now maintains its opinion that $26 a share is insufficient. The offer is a 50% premium over the closing price of Take-Two's shares Friday.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) said it will add fees on riskier mortgages as it continues to battle the housing slump. Reuters reported the new fees include a 0.3 percentage point to lenders on all mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent or more and credit scores less than 740.
  • Genentech (DNA) said the FDA granted accelerated approval for breast cancer drug Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy, for patients who have not yet gone through chemo, reported Dow Jones. This means the FDA must still review data on the drug before granting full market approval.
  • Gold Fields (GFI) said it will scale back production at some of its mines. There will be some job casualties, with 6,900 at risk currently. The move is in response to a power crisis which has reduced electricity for industry by 10 %, reported Reuters.
  • Morgan Stanley (MS), in its attempt to sell its stake in China International Capital Corp., has short-listed three bidders: Bain Capital, TPG and a consortium composed of General Atlantic LLC, Starr International Co. and J.C. Flowers & Co. The Wall Street Journal reports MS is balking at the latest offer of $600 million.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.15%, Nikkei +3.07%, Sensex +1.74%, Taiwan +2.19% and Shanghai -4.07%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +1.77%, DAX +1.18%, FTSE +1.64%, ATX +1.55%, Swiss Mkt. +2.11% and Stockholm +1.66%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.12 to 98.69 while gold is up +4.0 to 948.7 this morning.
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