It appears the bulls are starting to lose confidence, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the second day, declining 186 points, or 2.3 percent, to close at 7,790. With a deluge of earnings announcements just over the horizon and a very likely dismal first-quarter gross domestic product reading due at the end of the month, investors have evidently decided it's wise to take some money off the table for now.
All but two of the Dow's 30 components fell during today's session; Citigroup rose slightly and Microsoft was unchanged.
Some of the stocks making news today:
American International Group (AIG) has received interest in its asset management unit, but unfortunately its price indication is lower than what many were hoping. The unit runs some $100 billion in assets under management. Some were hoping to see bids of up to $2 billion, but the bids so far have come in around $400 to $800 million according to reports. Shares were down almost 3% at $1.07 late in the day.
Blockbuster (BBI) was (again) noted as having an auditor concern that the movie rental giant might not be generating enough cash to fund operations, but Blockbuster said yesterday that it was taking steps to reduce capital spending and advertising expenses. Shares were still off on the news, with shares down 11% at $0.78 very late in the day.
General Motors (GM) is opening up to an accelerated time line for a possible bankruptcy, according to many reports. If that occurs, this will be total and complete wipe out for holders of stock. GM stock was down almost 12% at $2.00 very late in the day.
Microsoft (MSFT) was one of the few gainers with shares up 0.7% at $18.90 late in the day. This was on the the heels of an upgrade from RBC Capital in a broad technology sector upgrade to 'Outperform.'
Sun Microsystems (JAVA) fell yet again. Still no real word from the company, but the reports are that any merger with IBM has died. Shares were off by 4% at $6.30 right before the close.
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