Stocks in the news: HD, AIG, MU, JPM, TGT, M, RSH, HNZ, NWS, SPSN ...

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Once again this morning U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher start, after Monday the Dow and S&P reached their lowest levels since 1997 following renewed financial concerns and fears of more bank nationalization. Stocks may recover today ahead of Bernanke's testimony. Before the bell: Stocks set to rebound from 12-year lows ahead of Bernanke testimony

Home Depot (HD) managed to beat analyst estimates when it reported results this morning. While posting a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $54 million, it was mostly due to its plan to shut its four smaller home-improvement brands. Excluding charges, profit was 19 cents per share, despite the 17 percent slide in revenue to $14.61 billion, and comparable-store sales down 13 percent. Analysts forecast a profit of 15 cents per share on revenue of $14.67 billion. Share are climbing over 4% in pre-market trade. HD gained over 6% shortly after the open.

Tech layoffs:
  • Micron Technology (MU), despite saying before it wouldn't cut more jobs, announced it will slash as many as 2,000 workers by the end of August and phase out certain manufacturing operations. MU shares gained over 2.5% shortly after the open.
  • Spansion Inc. (SPSN) also said late Monday that it plans to cut its global workforce by roughly 3,000. SPSN shares are soaring over 18% half an hour after the open.


Financials:
  • AIG (AIG) was reported Monday it may lose $60 billion, and following that it said it may seek even more government aid. This morning it received bids from MetLife Inc. (MET) and Axa SA (AXA) for a life-insurance unit , a sale that may mark the biggest step yet in the company's dismantling. Shares are slumping over 13% in pre-market trade. AIG shares are slumping over 18% by 10:00 am.
  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) late Monday slashed its quarterly dividend to 5 cents a share, down from 38 cents to save $5 billion a year and said that its first-quarter has been "solidly profitable" so far. This will bolster its financial strength and have JPM better equipped with a longer and deeper recession than expected. Shares are soaring over 7% in pre-market trade. JPM shares are up over 2% half an hour into the open.
  • Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) will continue to be in focus as they have been in the past few days due to concerns over more governemnt ownership and even nationalization as they two financial institutions struggle. C shares are gaining over 6% and BAC shares are also gaining about the same in pre-market trading. C and BAC both are gaining about 2% at around 10:00 am.
Earnings:
News Corp. (NWS) announced that company president Chernin will leave the company later this year. Shares are down over 2% in pre-market trade.
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