Stocks in the news: General Motors, Kroger, MGM

General Motors Corp. (GM) and Chrysler - The Obama administration didn't find the plans submitted by GM and Chrysler acceptable to receive more federal bailout money. The task force has determined that neither company is viable, but in a last effort, the administration gave each company a brief deadline to try one last time to convince Washington it is worth saving and deserves more taxpayers money. President Obama is set to make an announcement at 11 a.m.

Further, the White House pushed out GM's CEO Wagoner but allowed Chrysler's Nardelli to keep his job. The administration also gave Chrysler 30 days to forge a partnership with Fiat if it expects to receive additional government assistance. Finally, by Tuesday GM will have to decide whether its struggling Hummer brand will die a quiet death or live on with perhaps a Chinese automaker. GM shares plunged over 20 percent in pre-market trade.

Kroger Co. (KR) on Friday recalled the "Private Selection" shelled pistachios sold at its stores because of possible salmonella contamination. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the product.

Honda Motor (HMC) was upgraded at Citigroup from Sell to Buy, and Toyota Motor (TM) from Sell to to Hold. The analyst added these are "promising longer-term investments."

MGM Mirage (MGM) and Dubai World's Las Vegas' CityCenter narrowly averted bankruptcy Friday when MGM secured waivers from its lenders and stitched together $200 million in funding to keep the massive project alive.
The funding includes $100 million that should have been financed by Dubai World, MGM said. CityCenterhad hired law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf to prepare a possible bankruptcy filing, according to the The Wall Street Journal. MGM declined over 5 percent in pre-market trade.

Citigroup (C) slid nearly 10 percent, Bank of America (BAC) nearly 8 percent, Wells Fargo (WFC) over 5.5 percent and JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) about 5 percent in pre-market trade following comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday that some banks still need large amounts of assistance and the government will have about $135 billion left after other banks give back some of the bailout money.

Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) responded to drops in commodity prices as oil and copper retreated, and the report from Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (ACH) that its profit plunged 99.9 percent in 2008. Chinalco also forecast a loss in the first quarter on lower prices. AA shares dropped 5.2 percent, XOM's 1.9 percent. ACH shares plunged nearly 11 percent in pre-market trade.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s iPhone will finally get free Skype for iPhone, which will be available to download from the iTunes App Store Tuesday. AAPL shares declined over 2 percent in pre-market trade.
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