Stocks in the News: Alcoa, Citigroup, Ford

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

Alcoa (AA), the first of the Dow industrials to report, unofficially kicks off fourth-quarter earnings season after Monday's closing bell. Alcoa is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters, compared to a loss of 28 cents a share in the same quarter last year. In general, investors expect most companies to perform much better compared to that dismal quarter. Shares of Alcoa climbed over 2% ahead of the bell.%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-1 payloadId-61603 alignment-right size-small"%% Jarden Corp. (JAH) raised its fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $1.35 billion on Monday, above analysts' estimates, and said it expects 2009 sales to also come in above Wall Street's expectations. It also said it plans to offer $400 million in senior subordinated notes due 2020. Shares were 1% higher in pre-market trade.

Citigroup Inc. (C) is sending the chief executive of its Japan unit, Douglas Peterson, back to New York, The Wall Street Journal reported. Peterson oversaw the swift sale of assets in Japan and is to help Citi repay the U.S. government. He will be replaced by Darren Buckley, president of Citibank Japan Ltd. since 2008. Meanwhile, Citigroup's Global Transaction Services unit continues to grow. Shares advanced 1.4% before the bell.

Heineken NV agreed to buy the beer division of Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (FMX), Mexico's second-biggest brewer, in an all-stock deal valued at 5.3 billion euros ($7.7 billion) to tap faster sales growth in Latin America. Femsa will own 20% of Heineken and continue to hold Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF). FMX shares fell over 2.5% in pre-market trading.

Google's (GOOG) Nexus One smart phone, aimed to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, has revived the rivalry between the two giants. The blogosphere is full of pro-iPhone and pro-Nexus One supporters.

Ford Motor Co. (F) is unveiling the 2012 Focus, a small sedan that is the company's first truly global car. The company said it tweaked the car to add fuel efficiency.

Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc. (MDRX) said it swung to a second-quarter net profit. Shares jumped some 3.6% in premarket action.

WD-40 Co. (WDFC) is also to report Monday. Intel (INTC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) report results this week as well.

Select analyst calls:
  • Citigroup upgraded BP (BP), Petrobras Brasileiro (PBR) and Chevron (CVX) from hold to buy. Shares of BP were 3% higher in premarket trade, PBR and CVX shares advanced 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively.
  • Deutsche Bank upgraded Panera Bread (PNRA) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) from hold to buy, but downgraded Burger King (BKC) from buy to hold. CMG shared dropped nearly 6% despite the upgrade.
  • Deutsche Bank upgraded Corning (GLW) and Parker-Hannifin (PH) from hold to buy. GLW shares rallied over 4.5% in premarket, while PH shares rose about 1.2%.
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