Stocks in the news: AIG, Barclays, Discover Financial

American International Group Inc. (AIG) used more than $90 billion out of the $170 billion in federal aid to pay out foreign and domestic banks, some of whom had received their own multibillion-dollar U.S. government bailouts. That's not all. AIG also paid out around $450 million in bonuses. AIG shares are up over 18 percent in premarket trade.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) has scheduled an announcement on Monday, which would include a new strategy, dubbed "Project California." The initiative is expected to involve Cisco's plan to expand further into the corporate data center, especially big corporations, to run their information-technology networks. CSCO shares are up over 1.9 percent in premarket trade.

Barclays (BCS) on Monday confirmed it has held talks over the potential sale of its iShares unit. Barclays could raise up to 5 billion pounds ($7.02 billion) by selling iShares, boosting its capital reserves and potentially helping it avoid getting into UK government insurance program. The British bank also said it had not yet decided whether to proceed. BCS shares are up over 13 percent in premarket trade.

HSBC Holdings (HBC) CFO said it won't require a U.K. government bailout even if economic conditions deteriorate further, according to the South China Morning Post. The U.K.- and Hong Kong-listed bank was also unlikely to go back to shareholders for more capital, after raising $17.7 billion earlier this month. Even its U.S. subprime arm will not assistance, the CFO said. HBC shares are up over 3.7 percent in premarket trade.

Discover Financial Services (DFS) said late Friday that it got a $1.2 billion investment from the Treasury Department after it transformed itself into a bank-holding company to gain access to government support. DFS shares are up about 5.5 percent in premarket trade.

Medtronic Inc. (MDT) said fractured wires in its cardiac defibrillators may have caused 13 deaths, more than double the number initially suspected, but analysts brushed off heavy damage to the stock. MDT shares are down 2.9 percent in premarket trade.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) will announce today the latest in a series of niche Web shows. This time, Yahoo's executives say they have found a sustainable model for making original video online.

CV Therapeutics (CVTX) will likely have to contend with Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) $20 a share bid after Astellas Pharma Inc. (ALPMY) dropped its $16-a-share takeover proposal for CV Therapeutics. While CV has agreed to GILD's offer, some hoped for another, higher bid from Astellas. CVTX shares are down 4.7 percent in premarket trade.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) won a $665.6 million order from the government of Taiwan to upgrade 12 mothballed U.S. Navy surveillance P-3C Orion airplanes.

Avon Products Inc. (AVP) was featured in Barron's, with analysts and investors saying it may double in the next year as the company expands its sales force and increases advertising to overcome the recession and a stronger U.S. dollar. AVP is up about 6.5 percent in premarket trade.

Analyst calls:

  • Alcoa (AA) was downgraded by Davenport from Strong Buy to Buy. AA is up about 3 percent in premarket trade.
  • Sprint Nextel (S) was downgraded by Wachovia from Outperform to Market Perform.
  • Intel (INTC) was upgraded by Caris & Company from Below Average to Buy. INTC is up about 1.2 percent in premarket trade.
  • Micron (MU) was upgraded by Caris & Company from Average to Buy. MU is up about 4.4 percent in premarket trade.
  • Whole Foods Market (WFMI) was upgraded by FBR Capital Markets from Underperform to Market Perform. WFMI is up about 2.6 percent in premarket trade.
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) was initiated by Citigroup with a Buy rating and a $77 price target.
  • Legg Mason (LM) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral by Merrill Lynch, due to the firm's 26 percent rally last week. LM is up about 5.7 percent in premarket trade.
  • General Electric (GE) -- UBS removed a short-term trading sell on the company. It is rated Neutral. GE is up about 3 percent in premarket trade.
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