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AIG, UBS: Thursday's Headlines

U.S. regulators reportedly end a probe into AIG executives, and Swiss lawmakers approve the UBS tax deal.



) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Thursday, June 17, 2010.

Thursday's Early Headlines

  • Jobless Claims Rise; CPI Falls in May -- The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by 12,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 472,000, disappointing economists who had predicted a decline in first-time benefits applications. In a separate release, the consumer price index fell 0.2% in May, doubling the decline economists expected. The core index, which strips out food and energy prices, rose 0.1% as expected.
  • Spain Raises $4.3 Billion in Bond Auction -- Spain raised nearly €3.5 billion ($4.3 billion) in an oversubscribed auction of 10- and 30-year Treasury bonds, The Associated Press reports, noting that the bonds come at sharply higher interest rates. The auctions were oversubscribed 1.89 and 2.45 times, respectively, suggesting investors retain an appetite for Spanish debt but demand a higher yield.
  • Swiss Lawmakers Approve UBS Tax Deal -- Swiss lawmakers agreed to hand over the names of 4,450 American clients suspected of dodging taxes through UBS's (UBS) - Get Report private offshore accounts to the American authorities. The agreement allows Switzerland to meet obligations it had negotiated with the U.S. last August, after an enormous tax case was launched against UBS, alleging that it helped American clients avoid taxes on income totaling up to $20 billion
  • SEC to End Probe of AIG Executives: Report -- The Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly closed an investigation of American International Group (AIG) - Get Report and some of its executives over the giant insurer's near collapse in 2008. Citing two sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that U.S. regulators have ended a probe focusing on AIG Financial Products head Joseph Cassano and others several weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice closed its criminal investigation in May.
  • AOL Reportedly Close to Selling Bebo -- AOL (AOL) is close to selling its social-networking site Bebo to a private investment firm at a fire-sale price, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. AOL is in final negotiations to sell Bebo to Criterion Capital Partners for a fraction of the $850 million it paid for the site two years ago, and a deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, the newspaper reports.

Thursday's Earnings Roundup

  • Smithfield Foods (SFD) said it had fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $2.91 billion. Analysts were looking for a profit of 16 cents a share on revenue of $2.94 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Kroger (KR) - Get Report posted a first-quarter profit of 58 cents a share on sales of $24.76 billion, compared to estimates for earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $24.12 billion. Kroger reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance range of $1.60 to $1.80 a share, which is in line with consensus estimates.
  • J.M. Smucker (SJM) - Get Report said it had fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.07 a share on revenue of $1.07 billion, above the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate for earnings of 80 cents a share on revenue of $1.04 billion. J.M. Smucker offered better-than-expected earnings guidance for the full year.
  • Pier 1 Imports (PIR) - Get Report notched a first-quarter profit of 7 cents a share, surprising analysts who had forecasted a loss of 2 cents a share. Revenue of $306.3 million was slightly above consensus.

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-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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