Start the conversation
Analyst: BofA Needs More Equity; Chrysler Working Fast on Fiat Alliance; India Stocks Near Six-Month High; Alcoa Posts Loss, Cuts Costs; SEC Approves Uptick Rule Proposals; Wholesale Inventories Post Record Drop; Auto Suppliers Get Bailout Funds; Oil Rallies on Surprise Distillate Drawdown
- Chris Kotowski, an Oppenheimer & Co. (OPY) analyst, said Bank of America Corp. (BAC) needs to raise $36.6 billion in equity to align capital ratios with those of its competitors. Kotowski also cut the bank's quarterly earnings estimate to 2 cents a share from 10 cents because of higher than expected credit card and loan losses, Bloomberg reported.
- Seeking to avoid bankruptcy protection and hoping to secure up to $6 billion more in U.S. government emergency loans, Chrysler LLC is working around the clock to complete an alliance with Italian carmaker Fiat SpA (ADR: FIATY). Chrysler was given until the end of April to complete a deal, which would give it access to much-needed small-car technology, Reuters reported.
- The five-day run on India's benchmark index has lifted it to nearly a six-month high. "There is a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines," Kenneth Andrade, head of investments at IDFC Asset Management Co., who oversees assets worth $2.9 billion in Mumbai, told Bloomberg. "Investors who missed the rally from the lows this year might be buying now."
- Alcoa Inc. (AA) posted its second consecutive quarterly loss, $497 million (or 61 cents a share) but saw its stock value rise as analysts cheered the company's cost-cutting measures. Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld said its end markets have shown signs of bottoming or stabilizing, Reuters reported.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday (Wednesday) approved the release of five different proposals for reinstating the uptick rule, a provision that would limit short selling, MarketWatch reported. Under pressure from lawmakers and financial institutions, the five-member panel unanimously approved five SEC proposals, which will be put out for a 60-day public comment period. The proposals vary from reinstating the old rule to creating a new rule that would only apply in severe market conditions.
- Sales at U.S. wholesalers rose 0.6% in February, the increase in eight months, the Commerce Department said yesterday (Wednesday) in Washington. The surge led to a 1.5% decrease in the value of inventories, a record drop that indicates distributors are well on their way to eliminating the glut in stockpiles.At the current sales pace, it would take 1.31 months for distributors to deplete the amount of goods on hand, the lowest since November. When inventories decrease, any stabilization in demand translates into a pick up in orders and production, Bloomberg reported.
- Backed by up to $5 billion in U.S. government funding, General Motors Corp. (GM), and Chrysler LLC, yesterday (Wednesday) launched programs to help cash-strapped parts suppliers. The news sent shares of major auto parts makers soaring. The U.S. Treasury said the programs would guarantee receivables owed to the companies for any parts shipped to GM and Chrysler after March 19. Citigroup Inc. (C), is working with GM and Chrysler to determine how to distribute the funds to suppliers, Reuters reported.
- Oil rose more than $1 a barrel yesterday (Wednesday) after a U.S. government report showed a surprise drawdown in commercial distillate stockpiles like diesel and jet fuel. "The big distillate draw is a big surprise and shocked everybody and that has a lot to do with crude turning to the upside here," Mark Waggoner, president of Excel Futures in Huntington Beach, California told Reuters. U.S. light crude for May delivery rose $1.32 a barrel to $50.47, down from a high of $51.30 earlier in the session. London Brent crude rose $1.72 to $52.94.