MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, July 7, 2008

Opening View: General Motors Could Cut More Jobs and Close More Brands

Returning to equities, The Wall Street Journal reports that General Motors (GM: View sentiment for GMsentiment, chart, options) is preparing to cut thousands of additional white-collar jobs and is mulling whether to sell or close more brands. Elsewhere in blue-chip news, Merrill Lynch ( MER: View sentiment for MERsentiment, chart, options) is in talks to sell its stake in Bloomberg LP to the blind trust of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to several press reports. Merrill is also debating options for its 49% stake in BlackRock ( BLK: View sentiment for BLKsentiment, chart, options).

In pharmaceuticals, Merck (MRK: View sentiment for MRKsentiment, chart, options) was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at UBS. Elsewhere, Deutsche Bank downgraded AstraZeneca (AZN: View sentiment for AZNsentiment, chart, options) to "hold" from "buy." Outside of broker activity, Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA: View sentiment for TEVAsentiment, chart, options) said that in a Phase III study, a 40-milligram dose of its Copaxone multiple-sclerosis treatment was no more effective in reducing the relapse rate than the approved 20mg dose.

Finishing up with airlines, AirTran Holdings (AAI: View sentiment for AAIsentiment, chart, options) said June traffic at its AirTran Airways subsidiary rose 15.5% to 1.89 billion revenue passenger miles from a year ago. Delta Air Lines Inc. ( DAL: View sentiment for DALsentiment, chart, options) reported its June traffic rose 0.2% to 11.69 billion revenue passenger miles from June 2007. And Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA: View sentiment for NWAsentiment, chart, options) said its total June traffic rose 4.4% to 7.26 billion revenue passenger miles from a year ago.



Opening View: General Motors Could Cut More Jobs and Close More Brands


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