(At 7:30 a.m. EDT)

Monday's Early Headlines

White House Budget Chief Says Worst is Over.

White House budget director Peter Orszag said Sunday that the free-fall in the U.S. economy appears to have stopped, even as the White House prepared to revise its budget projections to reflect higher-than-expected unemployment.

State Street to Raise Capital Through Offerings.

State Street

(STT) - Get Report

said it plans to raise new funds through common stock and non-guaranteed senior note offerings as part of an effort to repay money borrowed through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. State Street expects to raise $1.45 billion from the common stock offering, which will be used to pay back the $2-billion government loan. Shares were down nearly 5% ahead of the opening bell.

AIG to Spin Off Asian Life Insurance Unit.

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

said Sunday it will spin off its Asian life insurance unit American International Assurance Co., known as AIA Group, in an initial public offering to help repay billions of dollars in U.S. government loans. No timetable for the IPO was disclosed, although it is expected to fetch about $5 billion. Shares of AIG were up 5% before the start of trading.

Image placeholder title

India Stocks Surge on Congress Win.

India's Sensex stock index jumped a record 17% after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Congress Party won nationwide elections, halting trading on the index for the first time ever. The rupee and bonds also jumped on Singh's victory.

Berkshire Buys Banks.

In a regulatory filing last week, Warren Buffet's

Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Report

said it has increased stakes in

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get Report

and

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

. The company also upped its positions in

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

and

Burlington Northern

(BNI)

while cutting its holdings in

Constellation Energy

(CEG)

,

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

and

Carmax

(KMX) - Get Report

.

Lloyds Banking Chairman to Step Down.

Lloyds Banking Group

(LYG) - Get Report

said Sunday that Chairman Sir Victor Blank will to retire from his position by June 2010. The announcement comes amid criticism for Lloyds' decision to purchase HBOS bank, a deal that was pushed by the U.K. government.

Wal-Mart to Revamp Electronics Department.

The Wall Street Journal

reports that

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

will make a stronger push with its electronics offerings starting this week in order to compete better with

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

and

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

.

Earnings and Economic News

Lowe's Shares Surge on First-Quarter Earnings.

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of $476 million, or 32 cents a share, below a year earlier but above the views of analysts. Sales fell 1.5% from the year-ago quarter to $11.83 billion, but also came in ahead of targets. The home improvement retailer's Chairman and CEO Robert Niblock said gross margin growth and expense management helped during the quarter. Lowe's shares were up 12% in premarket trading.

The economic calendar is empty Monday, with no reports scheduled for release.