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Spotlight Stocks: AIG, Costco, Genentech, Toyota

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

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, August 7, 2008:

  • American International Group (AIG) posted a 2Q loss of $5.36 billion, or $$2.06 per share, down from earnings of $4.28 billion, or $1.64 a share a year ago. Over the past three quarters, AIG has lost more than $25 billion, pretax, to credit default swaps, and more than $15 billion, pretax, in other investments. The company's general insurance unit saw operating income decline 54.3% to $1.39 billion. Its life insurance segment lost 10% to $2.61 billion.

  • Costco (COST) reported same store sales were up 10% in July, beating analyst estimates of 7.8%. International sales also were up 11%. Costco said total sales in the four weeks ended August 3 percent rose 14 percent to $5.70 billion. Reuters reports the company plans to open six new warehouses by the end of its fiscal 2008 on August 31.

  • Genentech's (DNA) cancer drug Avastin, which is sells along with Swiss company Roche, may work against an expanding list of tumors, according to tests. Roche has recently offered Genentech $89 a share for the 44% stake it currently does not own. The Avastin news may cause this price to rise significantly. If tests are successful, the drug's $3.4 billion in annual sales will grow by $2.2 billion should doctors begin using the treatment before colon tumors spread to other organs, said one analyst.

  • Toyota (TM) reported fiscal 1Q profits of 353.66 billion yen ($3.23 billion), down 28% from 492 billion yen a year ago. Sales for the quarter fell 4.7% to 6.215 trillion yen ($56.8 billion). The company cited a strong yen and rising costs of materials for the decline. Toyota sold 2.19 million vehicles worldwide, as it saw sales drop in North America and Europe.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.70%, Nikkei -0.98%, Sensex +0.29%, Taiwan -0.02% and Shanghai +0.30%.

  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +1.08%, DAX +0.30%, FTSE +0.47%, ATX +1.50%, Swiss Market +0.19% and Stockholm +0.60%.

  • Commodities are in the green as crude oil trades higher +1.41 to 120.00 and gold is moving up +6.6 to 882.2 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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