(At 8:39 a.m. EDT)

Friday's Early Headlines

Six insurers have been granted access to $22 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program as the government hopes to prevent the industry from getting battered further.

Hartford Financial

(HIG) - Get Report

,

Lincoln National

(LNC) - Get Report

,

Allstate

(ALL) - Get Report

,

Prudential Financial

(PRU) - Get Report

,

Principal Financial

(PFG) - Get Report

and

Ameriprise Financial

(AMP) - Get Report

were each approved by the government.

The insurers were rallying ahead of Friday's open, with Lincoln National and Hartford Financial surging more than 12% each.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

is in talks about selling its asset management arm Barclays Global Investors with potential bidders being private-equity group

BlackRock

(BX) - Get Report

and

Bank of New York Mellon

(BK) - Get Report

, according to a report in

The Financial Times

.

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Barclays Global Investors could be sold for about $10 billion

, according to the report. Shares of Barclays were up 3.3% ahead of the opening bell.

Government officials have pressured

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

to revamp its board by bringing in directors with more banking experience, according a report in

The Wall Street Journal

. The news comes as

Temasek Holdings said it has sold its 3.8% stake in BofA

at a loss that may total $4.6 billion, according to

Bloomberg

. BofA shares were flat ahead of Friday's open.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

is nearing a deal that would slash its hourly labor costs by more than $1 billion a year and reduce its $20 billion pledge to the United Auto Workers to cover health care obligations,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

Under the Treasury Department's direction,

GM and the UAW could finalize terms

as early as next week. But the plan is still in flux, the

Journal

reports, citing people familiar with the matter. GM shares were down nearly 2% in Friday's premarket session.

Earnings and Economic Data

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

shares were dropping more than 7% after the apparel retailer swung to a first-quarter loss that was worse than expected. The company said it is planning a strategic review of its Ruehl business, which is aimed at an older demographic.

After Thursday's close,

Blockbuster

(BBI) - Get Report

said

profits plunged 42% in the first quarter

, missing expectations by 3 cents a share. Revenue dropped 20% from a year ago to $1.12 billion in the quarter. Shares of Blockbuster were tumbling 20% ahead of Friday's open.

Also after the bell Thursday,

Nordstrom

(JWN) - Get Report

posted a 32% decline in first-quarter profit

, but raised its full-year outlook in anticipation of higher gross profit and an increase in credit-card revenue.

On the economic docket, the consumer price index was unchanged in April, in line with expectations. However, the core number, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3%, well above the consensus 0.1% and the biggest increase since July last year.