(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.
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.
is in talks about selling its asset management arm Barclays Global Investors with potential bidders being private-equity group
Bank of New York Mellon
, according to a report in
The Financial Times
, according to the report. Shares of Barclays were up 3.3% ahead of the opening bell.
Government officials have pressured
Bank of America
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
. BofA shares were flat ahead of Friday's open.
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
Under the Treasury Department's direction,
as early as next week. But the plan is still in flux, the
reports, citing people familiar with the matter. GM shares were down nearly 2% in Friday's premarket session.
Earnings and Economic Data
Abercrombie & Fitch
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,
, 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,
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.