Stocks in the news: ConAgra, CarMax, Lowe's, Macy's, AIG

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Some of the companies making headlines today:

ConAgra Foods (CAG) said Tuesday that its fiscal first-quarter profit dropped 63 percent because of a gain last year, but adjusted results beat analysts' estimates and it also raised outlook.

CarMax (KMX) said its fiscal second quarter profit surged on higher sales and a one-time gain related to its auto financing business. It earned $103 million, or 46 cents per share, but the results included a net gain of 10 cents per share related to its financing division. Sales rose 13 percent to $2.08 billion. The company handily beat estimates. Shares jumped nearly 7 percent ahead of the bell.

Lowe's Cos. (LOW) on Tuesday reaffirmed its fiscal 2009 profit and sales outlook, but warned it may need to write off up to $100 million during the second half of the year. Shares fell about 1 percent in pre-market trade.

AMR (AMR), the parent of American Airlines, said it's planning to sell 30 million shares and $250 million of convertible notes. Shares dropped over 5 percent before the bell.

Citigroup Inc. (C) -- A Singapore sovereign wealth fund has cut its stake in the bank from 9 percent to below 5 percent, realizing a $1.6 billion profit. Shares traded 3.4 percent in pre-market action.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) now faces a trial with the Securities and Exchange Commission over billions in bonuses paid at Merrill Lynch, after a judge threw out the bank's $33 million settlement and rebuked the agency for not pursuing charges against executives and executives are set to meet Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., after it missed a Monday deadline to turn over details of the hastily arranged acquisition to a congressional committee. Shares climbed about 2.5 percent in pre-market.

Macy's Inc. (M) was upgraded to Buy from Hold by Citigroup, which doubled the price target on the stock to $30. Macy's shares jumped over 5 percent in pre-market trading.

Ford Motor Co. (F) will build a third car factory in China as the nation's economic growth spurs auto demand, two people familiar with the plans said, Bloomberg reported. Shares gained about 1.8 percent ahead of the bell.

General Electric Co. (GE) plans to test a new management model in India that it believes will help it flourish through a long period of sluggish post-recession growth in developed markets. Shares were 2 percent higher in pre-market.

Google Inc. (GOOG) -- a European Union court advisor said Tuesday that Google does not violate luxury goods makers' trademarks when it sells brand names as advertising keywords triggered by Internet searches.

Carnival (CCL) is due to report earnings today. Update: Carnival profit falls 20 pct, still beats Street. Shares soared 5.5 percent before the bell.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison said Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA) is losing about $100 million a month as European regulators delay approving Oracle's $7 billion purchase of the struggling Sun.

AIG (AIG) shares climbed over 10 percent after jumping 21 percent Monday on hope the government may ease the terms of its bailout of AIG again.
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