MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Opening View: AIG and Wal-Mart Stores Push U.S. Stock Futures Lower

American International Group (AIG: View sentiment for AIGsentiment, chart, options) is the big news this morning, as the company reported a $5.36-billion second-quarter net loss, or a loss of $2.06 per share, after the close last night. The blue-chip insurance giant was hit by write-downs and impairments on mortgage-related exposures. The quarterly net loss included $5.57 billion of unrealized market valuation losses on AIG's super senior credit default swap portfolio.

Also in the financial sector, Citigroup (C: View sentiment for Csentiment, chart, options) is close to an agreement to buy back at least $5 billion worth of auction-rate securities and pay a $100 million fee. The agreement could settle a case brought by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and 12 state securities regulators, the Financial Times reported. The deal may be announced as early as Thursday.

In retail, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT: View sentiment for WMTsentiment, chart, options) reported that July same-store sales rose 3%, missing the consensus estimate for a gain of 3.4%. Wal-Mart U.S. same-store sales rose 3%, and Sam's Club's increased 3.5%, both missing estimates.

Elsewhere, Costco Wholesale (COST: View sentiment for COSTsentiment, chart, options) said July same-store sales rose 10%, with U.S. growth of 10% and international growth of 11%. Excluding gasoline price inflation, U.S. comparable sales would have climbed 6%, and excluding exchange rates, international comparable sales would have climbed 9%. Analysts were looking for same-store sales of 7.6%, or 4.6% excluding gas. Total sales for the period rose 14% to $5.02 billion.

Finally, Sirius XM Radio (SIRI: View sentiment for SIRIsentiment, chart, options) posted a second-quarter net loss of $83.9 million, or 6 cents per share, down from $134.1 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter rose 25% to $226.4 million and subscriber numbers were also up 25% from a year earlier to 8.92 million. The adjusted net loss was 5 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 7 cents per share.


Opening View: AIG and Wal-Mart Stores Push U.S. Stock Futures Lower



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