) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Wednesday, August 5, 2009.

Wednesday's Early Headlines

  • ADP Report Shows Another Drop in Employment. - Automatic Data Processing's (ADP) - Get Report employment report, released Wednesday morning, showed that the private sector shed 371,000 jobs in July from a revised drop of 463,000 in June. Economists had forecasted a 340,000 decline in July. By comparison, the Labor Department's report, due out on Friday, is expected to show that the U.S. economy lost 333,000 jobs.
  • Reid: 'Cash for Clunkers' Will Pass Senate. - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the "Cash for Clunkers" program will be extended. Speaking to reporters after Democrats lunched at the White House with President Barack Obama, Reid (D., Nev.) declared, "We'll pass cash for clunkers before we leave here," The Associated Press reported.
  • SEC Close to Banning Flash Trading. - The government is moving closer toward eliminating a controversial trading method called "flash trading," the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday. SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro said she has been "concerned" by flash orders and other types of behind-the-scenes trading action called "dark pools." After a review of exchanges and electronic trading systems, she has ordered staffers to come up with a system to eliminate any competitive disadvantages
  • Citigroup to Sell 20 Consumer Finance Businesses. - Reuters reports that Citigroup (C) - Get Report CEO Vikram Pandit told Singapore's Business Times that the bank plans to sell 20 businesses in the consumer finance area. Many of the businesses are located in Europe, the report said.
  • Micro-hoo Deal Details Emerge. - The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report agreed to pay Yahoo! (YHOO) $150 million over three years to help cover Yahoo's costs in getting the partnership started. Microsoft also agreed to hire at least 400 Yahoo! employees, a regulatory filing showed, while another 150 Yahoo! employees will assist with providing the transition services for the software giant.

Wednesday's Earnings Roundup

  • Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, a penny better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate. Revenue of $18.66 billion slumped 10.6% from a year ago and was below the consensus target of $19.32 billion.
  • Marsh & McLennan (MMC) - Get Report posted second-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, also a penny better than estimates. Revenue slumped 13.3% from a year ago to $2.63 billion, shy of the $2.76 billion consensus.
  • Garmin (GRMN) - Get Report reported adjusted second-quarter earnings of 83 cents a share, blowing past the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 51 cents a share. Revenue of $669 million was down 26.6% from a year earlier but came in ahead of analysts' consensus target of $657.1 million. All four of the company's business segments saw margin improvements on a year-over-year basis.
  • Baker Hughes (BHI) said it had adjusted second-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share, a nickel worse than estimates. Revenue slumped 22% from a year ago to $2.34 billion, topping the consensus estimate of $2.25 billion.
  • Agrium (AGU) reported second-quarter earnings of $2.35 a share, coming in well ahead of the consensus target of $1.81 a share. Revenue climbed 5.7% from the year-ago quarter to $4.09 billion, also ahead of forecasts. Agrium said it anticipates a recovery in potash demand later in the second half of 2009.
  • Transocean (RIG) - Get Report posted adjusted second-quarter earnings of $2.79 a share, below the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $3.03 a share. Revenue feel 7.6% to $2.88 billion, also falling short of consensus targets.