Cleveland-based National City (NCC) plunged to an all-time new low of $4.75 after The Wall Street Journal said the bank had agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the OCC. This informal action is taken when the regulator believes a bank needs to take certain steps to stabilize it. The next step would be a cease-and-desist order. More recently, the stock was trading down 8.1% to $4.91.
Also hitting 52-week lows on Friday were banking giants Washington Mutual (WM - Get Report) and Wachovia (WB). Both raised capital in April and both have been subject to negative reports by analysts. Concerns over troubled loans and earnings going forward, coupled with active regulators sent the stocks tumbling. WaMu tanked 13.5% to $7.45 and Wachovia slid 6.6% to $20.17.
Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH) surged $1.39, or 36%, to $5.24 after the company said a late-stage trial of inhalation solution Denufosol, its prospective cystic fibrosis drug, met its primary goal.
A buyout bid lifted Tumbleweed Communications (TMWD), shares of which skyrocketed 45.2% to $2.57. Sopra Group said its Axway subsidiary is buying Tumbleweed, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of managed file transfer, email security and identity validation products, for $138 million, or $2.70 a share.Shares of National Semiconductor (NSM - Get Report) were up $1.47, or 6.5%, to $24.12 after the company predicted a 15% to 20% increase in earnings per share in its new fiscal year. The improvement is likely to come from continued cost-savings and by an increasing focus on selling higher-margin analog chips, the company said. Chipmaker Intel (INTC - Get Report) was down 80 cents, or 3.3%, to $23.05 after the company said it has received a subpoena from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has opened a formal anti-trust investigation into its business practices.