NEW YORK (
) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Friday, August 28, 2009.
Friday's Early Headlines
- Fed May Not Need to Buy All Authorized MBS. - Bloomberg reports that two Federal Reserve officials said the central bank may not need to buy the full $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities the Fed has authorized by year-end. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said yesterday in a speech that he'll evaluate "whether we need or want the additional stimulus" from buying the full amount, the report said, adding that St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said "it might not be necessary." The Fed's $1.25-trillion program to buy mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae( FNM), Freddie Mac( FRE) and Ginnie Mae is meant to help reduce home-finance costs and arresting the housing slump that triggered the recession, the report said.
- Benmosche Not Rushing To Sell AIG's Assets. - The Wall Street Journal reports that American International Group (AIG) - Get American International Group, Inc. Report CEO Robert Benmosche is willing to wait as long as three year to offer stakes in two multibillion-dollar foreign units that the troubled insurer had been racing to spin off. AIG was moving to spin off the units through initial public offerings in order to pay back $173 billion in government aid, the report said, before the new CEO said he will take a more patient approach.
- FDIC "Problem" Bank List Tops 400. - Reuters reports that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said on Thursday that the industry swung to a $3.7 billion loss in the second quarter, compared with a $7.6 billion profit in the first quarter, primarily due to costs associated with rising levels of bad loans and falling asset values. The report said that the combined assets of 416 "problem" institutions rose to $299.8 billion in the second quarter from $220 billion at 305 banks in the prior quarter.
- Japan Unemployment Rate at Record High. - The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan's unemployment rate rose to an all-time high in July, climbing to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.7% from 5.4% in June. The previous record for the unemployment rate was 5.5% in April 2003. Combined with prices falling a record pace, the Journal report says that the Japanese economic recovery is threatened.
- China Unicom to Sell Apple iPhone. - China Unicom (CHU) - Get China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. Report said Friday it has reached a three-year agreement to sell Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report iPhone in China. Sales of the iPhone will begin in the fourth quarter, China Unicom said in a statement Friday, although the company did not provide pricing details.
Friday's Earnings Roundup
- Dell (DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc Class C Report reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 28 cents a share, topping the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 23 cents a share. Revenue was down 22% from a year ago to $12.76 billion, slightly higher than expectations. Gross margin also expanded from a year ago to 18.7%.
- Tiffany (TIF) - Get Tiffany & Co. Report reported second-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, topping the Wall Street consensus estimate of 33 cents a share. Sales slid 16% from a year ago to $612.5 million, although that was also above forecasts. Tiffany also provided better-than-expected guidance for full-year 2010, although the company did say it expects worldwide sales to fall 10% this year.
- Frontline (FRO) - Get Frontline Ltd. Report posted a second-quarter profit of 36 cents a share, although that may not be comparable to expectations the oil tanker company would see breakeven results. Revenue tumbled 48.6% to $281.5 million, although that was better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $229.2 million.