Stocks in the news: Boeing, National Semi, United Tech

Boeing (BA) said on Thursday that its 787 Dreamliner may finally -- finally -- fly as early as Tuesday. After two years of delays, Boeing is allaying concerns that it will miss its latest goal of test flying the long-awaited aircraft before the end of the year. Boeing shares climbed 2% in pre-market trading.

National Semiconductor (NSM) beat analysts' earnings and sales estimates for its fiscal 2010 second quarter. The company reported earnings of 20 cents per share, on $345 million in sales, beating analysts' estimates of 14 cents EPS on $336.7 million in revenue. Still, shares declined 2.2% ahead of the bell as the company projected sequentially flat sales in its third quarter.

United Technologies Corp. (UTX) forecast 2010 revenue of between $54 billion and $55 billion, higher than Wall Street's expectations of $53.33 billion, partly because of the weak dollar. The earnings guidance of $4.40 to $4.65 per share was in line with analysts' estimates. UTX shares advanced 1.5% ahead of the bell.

Bank of New York Mellon's (BK) CEO Robert Kelly, has resurfaced as a possible candidate to succeed retiring Bank of America (BAC) CEO Kenneth Lewis, The Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) has won European approval for a more protective form of its blockbuster vaccine that fights pneumonia, the company said on Friday.

Google Inc. (GOOG) and Apple Inc (AAPL) are now vying to acquire some of the same Silicon Valley start-ups, and developing products that put them in more direct competition with each other, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Goldman Sachs (GS) announced Thursday that its top 30 executives won't receive cash bonuses this Christmas; instead, they will be given stock that cannot be sold for five years.

NCR Corp (NCR) was upgraded to overweight from neutral at J.P. Morgan, with analysts citing expected 5% revenue growth from the ramp-up of its Blockbuster Express operations. Shares jumped 7.7% before the bell.

Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing search engine got an unexpected thumbs up from Mozilla Director of Community Development Asa Dotzler when he said, "Yes, Bing does have a better privacy policy than Google."

In brief:
  • Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) was upgraded to buy from hold at Kaufman Bros. Shares rose 2% to in premarket trading.
  • Citigroup Inc. (C) is preparing for a ruling by Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg on executive compensation at the bank and other companies that have received extensive government aid.
  • ING Group (ING) confirmed it will repay half of the government aid it has received, and said the government is willing to renegotiate the repayment terms for the other half. Shares gained over 3.5%.
  • Seattle Genetics Inc. (SGEN) said Friday that Genentech, a division of Roche Holdings (RHHBY), has terminated the companies' collaboration agreement for dacetuzumab, a potential cancer treatment. Shares dropped more than 3%.
  • Deer Consumer Products (DEER) tanked 25% after it said it will sell 6 million shares at a 30% discount to Thursday's closing price.
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