MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Stock futures drop as dollar hits new lows; retail sales in view - MarketWatch

Stock futures drop as dollar hits new lows; retail sales in view - MarketWatch

Oil prices extended the record set in the previous session, with the April-dated light crude contract briefly spiking to $105.10 before falling back to trade down 11 cents at $104.41 a barrel.
Investors are also awaiting a raft of same-store sales figures, which could be the worst since 2003 amid increasing consumer fears over the economy. See full story.
Among companies in focus, Motorola (MOT:
MOT
shares could rise after Carl Icahn increased his stake in the group to 6.3% from 5%. Icahn has been pressuring the company to restructure its handset division.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK:
GSK
won't face prosecution following a four-year U.K. investigation into its disclosure of potential suicide risks linked to its Seroxat drug. The U.K. drug regulatory authority, however, said the firm could and should have done more to disclose the risks. See full story.
Thornburg Mortgage Asset Corp. (TMA:
TMA
said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it failed to meet a margin call of about $28 million, triggering a string of cross-defaults.
Carlyle Capital Corp., (CARYF:
CARYF
an investment fund managed by the Washington private-equity firm Carlyle Group, said it's failed to meet margin calls from four counterparties and has already received one notice of default. See full story.
Meanwhile, UBS (UBS:
UBS
may have sold a portfolio of Alt-A securities worth 25 billion Swiss francs ($24.1 billion), according to an analyst at J.P. Morgan. See full story.
Among companies due to report earnings, Blockbuster (BBI:
BBI
is expected to have earned 17 cents a share in the fourth quarter and chipmaker National Semiconductor (NSM:
NSM
is seen reporting earnings of 25 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter.
Japanese stocks bounced back on gains for exporters, while in Europe the French CAC 40 index slipped 0.8% ahead of the ECB's interest rate decision. End of Story


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