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) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Thursday, April 1, 2010.

Thursday's Early Headlines

  • Initial Jobless Claims Fall to 439,000 -- The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 439,000 last week from a revised 445,000 the week before, compared to analysts' forecasts for a slightly smaller decline to 440,000. Continuing claims dipped to 4.662 million from 4.668 million the week before.
  • JPMorgan Could Raise Dividend: CEO -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in a letter to shareholders that the bank could increase its annual dividend to a range of 75 cents to $1 per share if economic conditions improve and potential regulatory reform is settled. Dimon also wrote that the bank plans to expand the bank's investment and private banking divisions by adding 500 bankers, investors and other staff to its private bank this year.
  • General Growth Files Plan to Exit Bankruptcy -- General Growth Properties (GGP) submitted to bankruptcy court a plan for its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. If approved, the plan also would establish a floor of $15 a share for buyout offers, which is above the $9-per-share offer from rival Simon Property Group (SPG) - Get Simon Property Group, Inc. Report, which General Growth rejected in February.
  • Credit Suisse Eyes Piece of Hedge Fund York -- Credit Suisse (CS) - Get Credit Suisse Group AG Report is in talks with hedge-fund giant York Capital Management to take a minority stake in the investment firm, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The talks could still collapse midway, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. But the developments suggest that at least some Wall Street players expect Washington rule makers will allow big financial firms to continue owning stake in hedge funds.

Thursday's Earnings Roundup

  • Research in Motion( RIMM) posted a fourth-quarter profit of $1.27 a share, a penny below the Thomson Reuters average estimate. Sales were up 18% to $4.08 billion, also below consensus as unit shipments were below forecasts. Looking ahead to the first quarter, RIM offered earnings guidance above Wall Street's view and revenue in-line with analysts' forecasts.
  • CarMax (KMX) - Get CarMax, Inc. Report reported fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, better than the Thomson Reuters average of 25 cents a share. Revenue was up 24.6% from a year ago to $1.83 billion, also above consensus.
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-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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