Stocks in the news: AIG, Bank of America, Nike, Hertz

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Nike (NKE) reported a 30 percent decline in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit and said orders are down 12 percent because of the global economic recession. Shares dropped over 4 percent ahead of the bell.

American International Group (AIG) said Wednesday it will reduce outstanding federal loans by $25 billion by giving the Federal Reserve Bank of New York a preferred stake in two units -- American International Assurance Co. and American Life Insurance Co. -- that will be spun off from the insurance giant as independent entities. Shares gained over 2 percent in pre-market trade.

Lennar Corp. (LEN) reported a slightly larger second-quarter loss than a year ago that was also wider than analyst estimates. President and CEO Stuart Miller said in a statement that increased unemployment, rising foreclosures and stricter credit standards still weighed on the sector. Shares jumped over 4 percent ahead of the bell.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reported a surprising 14 percent rise in profit and issued a forecast that topped analyst estimates. Shares gained nearly 5 percent in pre-market trade.

BP (BP) named Ericsson (ERIC) CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg as its next chairman. Ericsson named its chief financial officer, Hans Vestberg, to be its next chief executive.

Bank of America (BAC) will be in focus today as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Oversight Committee regarding BofA's purchase of Merrill Lynch last year. BofA also said as a result of debt exchanges and other actions, it will exceed the $33.9 billion capital buffer set by the Federal Reserve's stress test as it announced the preliminary results of its offers. Shares fell some 2 percent in pre-market trade.

ConAgra (CAG) was expected to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 41 cents per share before the opening bell. Conagra said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 13 percent and earned 41 cents per share excluding items.

Accenture (ACN), Palm (PALM) and Micron (MU) are due to report earnings after the closing bell. ACN is forecast to report third-quarter earnings of 64 cents per share, while Palm is expected to report a loss of 62 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter.

Hertz (HTZ) CEO Mark Frissora said in a CNBC inteview he's "literally scrambling to buy as many cars as we can" to ramp up for a rebound in demand. The company's estimates for second-quarter adjusted net income far exceeded analyst estimates. Shares jumped about 12 percent in pre-market trade.

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