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Spotlight Stocks: Citigroup, Exxon, MF Global, Tata Motors

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

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Stocks to watch for Tuesday, March 18, 2008:

  • Citigroup (C) will lay off 185 employees in its home-mortgage division, said a CitiMortgage spokesman. The layoffs were triggered by difficulties in selling home-equity products. However, C is not exiting the home-equity business but will focus more on supporting existing customers, reported Bloomberg.
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) lost a UK court ruling, lifting its $12 billion freeze on Venezuelan assets which were awarded to the company. Exxon has the right to appeal but its lawyers declined to comment immediately on whether they would do so.
  • MF Global (MF) said that it is "very well capitalized" and has "sufficient funding to conduct our business in normal course" after the value of the company was cut by two-thirds, reported the Wall Street Journal. LCH Clearnet and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange both said MF remained current on its obligations.
  • Tata Motors (TTM) will receive a $3 billion one-year bridge loan from Citigroup (C) and JP Morgan (JPM) to help finance its potential purchase of Ford's (F) Jaguar and Land Rover units. Sources said this would be a one-year loan.
  • Vodafone (VOD) will cut 450 jobs in its UK business in its efforts to simplify its operating model. Senior management levels will be cut by 20% and the company will recruit 330 retail advisers to boost customer service in its stores.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.42%, Nikkei +1.50%, Sensex +0.16%, Taiwan +0.65% and Shanghai -3.96%.
  • A quick check of Europe finds the CAC +2.00%, DAX +2.28%, FTSE +2.05%, ATX +0.88%, Swiss Mkt. +2.69% and Stockholm +1.42%.
  • Commodities are in the green as crude oil is +1.51 to 107.25 and gold is up +4.9 to 1007.5 this morning.

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