Stocks in the News: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan

The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Financial stocks are in focus this morning with a myriad of news coming out of the sector:

Morgan Stanley (MS) may overhaul the way it pays its senior executives, according to a Wall Street Journal report, deferring more of their compensation over time and benchmarking their pay against rival firms. It will also relegate a larger percentage of total compensation to shares rather than cash.%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-1 payloadId-61603 alignment-right size-small"%%
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski cut his fourth-earnings estimates for U.S. brokerages, citing trading deceleration starting in mid-November, MarketWatch reported. His estimate on Goldman Sachs (GS) EPS was cut to $5.74 from $6.57, on Morgan Stanley was cut to 40 cents from 47 cents, on J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) was cut to 68 cents from 71 cents and was left unchanged at Citigroup (C) with a 36 cent loss due to its large share base.

Still on the matter of pay, American International Group Inc. (AIG) is preparing to pay its outgoing general counsel Anastasia Kelly several million dollars in severance after she resigned over federal pay curbs, according to WSJ sources.

J.P. Morgan is considering axing plans for new European headquarters in Canary Wharf, London because of the 50% bonus tax U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced in his pre-budget report this month, the Financial Times reported. Bloomberg added CEO Jamie Dimon told Darling the tax on banker bonuses would unfairly penalize the U.S. bank.

Imperial Sugar Co (IPSU) jumped over 5.5% after the company said it had settled an insurance claim for a February 2008 industrial accident.

Pharmacies and supermarkets such as Rite Aid Corp. (RAD), Kroger Co. (KR) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) are jockeying to become the go-to provider for swine-flu vaccinations in a bid to attract more customers, the WSJ reported.

RC2 Corp. (RCRC) agreed to pay a $1.25 million settlement for importing and selling Thomas & Friends children's toys that contained lead levels above legal limits and risked sickening children. It denied that it knowingly violated federal law about consumer safety.

Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) settled patent lawsuits with Infineon Technologies AG and entered into a broad cross-licensing agreement with the German technology firm.

Pilgrim's Pride (PGPDQ) and six of its subsidiaries have emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following a year-long restructuring.

AT&T Inc. (T) resumed online sales of the Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone Monday to New Yorkers, after they were unable to buy the popular phone on AT&T's website over the weekend., Inc.'s (AMZN) target price was boosted at Kaufman Bros from $120 to $155, and at Piper Jaffray from $163 to $172. Shares climbed nearly 1% in premarket trading.

Target Corp. (TGT) and others are trying to warn workers against a bill that would make union organizing easier.

Google Inc. (GOOG) is facing a lawsuit in China as a Chinese novelist is suing the company for scanning her work into its online library. The author wants damages of 61,000 yuan ($8,950) and a public apology.

Vivus Inc. (VVUS) submitted to the FDA a new-drug application for Qnexa, an investigational treatment for obesity in patients who have additional disorders. Shares advanced 2.6% ahead of the bell.

Ford (F) is the first auto manufacturer to offer HD Radio technology with Apple's iTune Tagging capability; this new functionality will be available next year, the company announced Tuesday.
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