Stocks in the news: Goldman Sachs, Genworth Financial, Biogen

The drumbeat of economic news continues even though U.S. stock markets are closed for the Good Friday holiday.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is planning a multi-billion stock offering to raise funds to repay the $10 billion it borrowed from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The Wall Street Journal reports that an announcement about the sale -- which one analyst expects to be about $5 billion -- to come as early as next week.

Shares of New York-based Goldman have soared 47 percent this year, along with other financial stocks. They dropped 61 percent last year, according toBloomberg News.

In a related development, Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW) has decided not to participate in the TARP program, saying that its efforts to improve its financial position are working. The Journal notes that the company had few other options.

"Treasury officials told life insurers in late 2008 they could be eligible for federal assistance if they owned bank-holding companies," according to the Journal. "However, Genworth said it was informed by Treasury on Thursday that the deadline it set for approval by the Office of Thrift Supervision to become a bank-holding company wouldn't be extended."

Billionaire Carl Icahn's fight with Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) is intensifying. The activist investor is seeking support for four director nominees to the biotechnology company's board of directors. He has been feuding with Biogen since 2007 when he pressured the company to put itself up for sale. Icahn had argued that the sale process was rigged.

Economists expect the recession to be over by September, though unemployment may not recover until the second half of 2010.

"It marked the first time since the recession began that the economists didn't push the date of recovery further into the future," the Journal said.

Maybe investors will find deals too good to pass over on Monday.

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