Updated from 1:58 p.m. EST
Just Stick to Shea
Turns out conservatives and liberals can come together for a good cause. In this case, that cause is to get
to abandon its naming rights arrangement for the New York Mets new stadium.
The $400 million deal to call the Queens park Citi Field for the next couple of decades might have been a fine idea at the time, if corporate names on stadiums can ever be a fine idea, but in light of the downturn in the economy, and in particular banking, and specifically
, the agreement makes little sense.
So now two House members, Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, and Ted Poe, a Republican from Texas, have written a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking him to get Citi to walk away from the deal.
Citi, of course, has gotten billions of dollars in aid from the government and is cutting tens of thousands of jobs as it tries to get its business in order. The bank has taken some steps recently to do the right thing -- former chief
is graciously giving up the generous perks he has had during retirement and current chief
steered clear of this year's Davos nonsense -- but Kucinich and Poe want to see more.
"We request that you intervene and demand that Citigroup dissolve the agreement they have with the New York Mets," the letter from the representatives read. "Absent this outcome, we feel strongly that you should compel Citigroup to return immediately all federal monies received to date, as well as cancel all loan guarantees."
Now that's playing hardball.
Either way, he'll still be smiling.
More Down Than Up
being issued on Dow stocks as the new week arrived. Sadly,
investors got more bad news, this time from Barclays Capital, which cut its estimates on the automaker and gave it a 50-cent price target.
This is a stock that's already been battered down to under $3, compared with a 52-week high near $30. In other words, it's come down 90% from its best level of the past year. Now Barclays says GM might deserve a price that's equal to only about one-sixth where it currently trades?
The firm said GM just isn't getting it done with international sales, and demand in North America will continue to be sluggish. Not really a surprise that the company wants
. GM fell 4% to $2.89.
, which last week offered a
, went to hold from buy at Argus. Shares were down 5.9% to $50.62 and now are less than a dollar above the 52-week low.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley had a negative call on three of the Dow's financials, cutting its estimates for Citi,
Bank of America
. The latter firm, Morgan Stanley said, might have no choice but to
cut its dividend
, an all-too-common occurrence in the banking sector these days. BofA was the worst performer and the most heavily traded stock on the Dow, dropping 8.8% to $6.
It's Not All Bad
On the upside,
was one of the better Dow stocks, tacking on 2.1%. But it needed that after a 16% thumping last week following news it would buy fellow drugmaker
. Credit Suisse upgraded Pfizer to outperform, saying the
ultimately will be good for earnings.
milled around the flatline despite positive remarks coming from UBS, which raised its 2009 estimates for both. Chevron should earn $5.24 a share this year, while Exxon will make $5.30, UBS believes.
Both of those numbers are still below the Thomson Reuters consensus expectations of $5.86 for Chevron and $5.39 for Exxon.
Technology stocks had the best session, with
up 5.7% and
Overall, 10 stocks in the Dow rose, 19 fell and
Johnson & Johnson
was unchanged. The index spent all day in the red, ending down 64.11 points, or 0.8%, at 7936.75, the lowest close this year.