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Washington Mutual


, a member of both sector trackers, slid 8.8% following yesterday's postclose announcement that it will slice 41 cents off its quarterly dividend to 15 cents a share, as well as offer around $2.5 billion in convertible preferred stock, in efforts to

shore up its shrinking capital levels. The bank will also take a $1.6 billion after-tax charge this quarter from its home-lending business due to mortgage-market woes, as well as its forthcoming efforts to size it down.

Among other things, WaMu plans on halting subprime lending entirely and laying off around 2,600 employees from its home-lending business, or 22% of the unit's work force, as well as roughly 550 other positions. Its institutional broker-dealer business, WaMu Capital, will also be shut down, along with its mortgage banker finance warehouse lending operation. Citigroup cut the stock to sell from hold on the news, while Fitch Ratings lowered WaMu's long-term issuer default rating to A- from A. Shares surrendered $1.75 to $18.13.


Freddie Mac's

( FRE) Chief Executive Richard Syron expects that the mortgage investor will see between $10 billion and $12 billion credit losses on its current book of business, according to


. Its shares dropped 5.4% at $33.15 as sister firm

Fannie Mae

( FNM) lost 4.5% at $35.24.

Shares of




Millennium Pharma

( MLNM) settled down on Tuesday as investors digested competing data for Celgene's oral Revlimid and Millennium's Velcade injection as front-line multiple myeloma drugs.

Both drugs are already approved for patients who've tried other treatments unsuccessfully, and they're eyeing approval for previously untreated patients in 2008. Millennium presented stronger-than-predicted Velcade data at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting, agitating Celgene's share price Monday. But analysts have also reaffirmed Revlimid expectations and on Tuesday shares reversed.

Shares of Celgene slid 11.1% between Friday's close and Tuesday's open, but rebounded $2.34, or 4.8%, to $51.52 in recent trading Tuesday. Meanwhile, Millennium's shares gained 8.5% between Friday's close and Tuesday's open, and retracted 19 cents, or 1.2%, to $15.80 on Tuesday.



soared 4% after the company issued a strong outlook for 2008 and increased its dividend. AT&T said it expects revenue to rise by mid-single digits or better in 2008 with positive growth in revenue from business customers.

It increased the quarterly dividend by 12.7% to 40 cents a share from 35 cents a share and to $1.60 for the year from $1.42 a share in its previous guidance. The company's board also approved a new authorization for the repurchase of 400 million shares, or approximately 6.6% of AT&T's shares outstanding as of Dec. 7. AT&T was up $1.50 to $39.40.

Among the day's biggest gainers was

4Kids Entertainment


. The New York children's entertainment company announced the Dec. 15 release of its Chaotic Trading Card Game. The multiplatform trading card game had a successful run in hobby shops, spurring expansion into f.y.e. and Suncoast stores nationwide, 4Kids said in a press release. Shares rose 6.2% to $12.78 in recent trading.

On the losing side, Houston's

NCI Building Systems


dropped 21.4% to $28.12 after reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter 2007 results. NCI reported a profit of $25.4 million, or $1.27 a share, compared with $28.1 million, or $1.33 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, the company earned $1.30 a share in the fourth quarter, short of the $1.59 analysts were expecting. Revenue was $463.4 million, vs. $498.5 million a year ago. The company also guided for 2008 EPS between $3.35 and $3.70, short of analysts' mean expectation of $4.18.


continued to trend lower after CEO Patrick Byrne's recent comments that the company's gross margins would be lower in the fourth quarter due to aggressive sales promotions and discounting.

Bryne said gross bookings have increased by approximately 10% over last year's fourth quarter due to an increase in the order size of the average transaction. was off $1.17, or 6.2%, to $17.57.