Stocks in the News: C, FNM, FRE, PFE

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The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Citigroup Inc. (C) on Wednesday repaid $20 billion in bailout money and the government removed the pay restrictions imposed on companies receiving the most rescue money. The government previously postponed selling its 34% stake in Citi. American International Group (AIG), Chrysler and General Motors and their financing arms are now left with pay restrictions. Well Fargo (WFC), which had not been covered by the "exceptional assistance" pay restrictions, also repaid its $25 billion bailout money.%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-1 payloadId-61603 alignment-right size-small"%% Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) -- Regulators for the government-run mortgage-finance companies are expected to announce executive packages worth millions of dollars. The CEOs' packages are expected to be in the range of $4 million to $6 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. No doubt, the timing of the announcement will just add to already existing public scrutiny.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) said that the company's Lyrica, a potential single treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, was again rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer said it was disappointed with the FDA's decision and would work with the agency to figure out how to proceed.

Bunge Ltd. (BG) said it would acquire Usina Moema Participacoes, a holding company for a sugar-cane mill in Brazil and ownership interests in five others, for 7.3 million shares. Based on Wednesday's $61.97 closing price of Bunge's shares, the company said, the deal is valued at about $896 million.

Domino's Pizza Inc.'s (DPZ) Indian franchise, gym chain Talwalkars Better Value Fitness Ltd. and Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd., a developer of games for Sony Corp.'s PlayStation, all plan to sell shares in India. This, Bloomberg writes, allows investors to tap into the world's second-fastest growing major economy and India's consumer boom.

Teva-Kowa Pharma Co. -- a joint venture of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) and Kowa Co. of Japan -- definitively agreed to acquire at least two-thirds of Taisho Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the Tokyo generic-drug maker. Terms weren't disclosed. Taisho produces more than 200 generic products and generates annual revenue of more than $130 million.

U.S. retailers used extra promotions and extended hours to draw procrastinators and shoppers delayed by the East Coast snowstorm in the final stretch before Christmas: Target Corp. (TGT) extended its hours to midnight Dec. 21 through yesterday. Borders Group Inc. (BGP), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Toys "R" Us Inc. also kept stores open longer. Best Buy Co. (BBY) offered some DVDs for half off and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. (JOSB) deepened discounts to at least 50%, Bloomberg reports.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs was paid his customary $1 annual salary in 2009, but don't feel sorry for him. Apple's strength through a rough economic climate returned the value of his personal holdings in the company to pre-meltdown levels.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) will ship around 60,000 Nooks this year, TechCrunch reports. Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) shipped 400,000 Kindles in its first year.
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Markets

S&P 500 2,191.95 0.87 0.04%
DJIA 19,170.42 -21.51 -0.11%
NASDAQ 5,255.65 4.55 0.09%
DAX 10,513.35 -20.70 -0.20%
HANG SENG 22,564.82 -313.41 -1.37%
NIKKEI 225 18,426.08 -87.04 -0.47%
USD (per EUR) 1.07 0.00 0.06%
USD (per CHF) 1.01 0.00 -0.01%
JPY (per USD) 113.48 -0.41 -0.36%
GBP (per USD) 1.27 0.01 1.16%

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