Thursday's Early Headlines
- Initial Jobless Claims Fall -- The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 last week to 462,000, down from a revised 468,000 the week prior. Economists had expected new claims to fall to 460,000. The 4-week moving average was 475,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average of 470,500, the Labor Department said. Separately, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit fell to $37.3 billion in January from a revised $39.9 billion in December.
- Citicorp May Earn $20 Billion by End of 2012 -- Citigroup (C) CEO Vikram Pandit will present at an investor conference Thursday, and The Financial Times reports that Pandit will raise the prospect of the bank earning as much as $20 billion from its core Citicorp business by the end of 2012. The FT arrived at the $20 billion figure by taking its expectation that Pandit would say Citicorp could earn a yearly return of 1.25% or more on its assets, and factoring that projection in with the current asset total of $1.3 trillion for the unit and a previously disclosed estimate that Citicorp would be able to grow its assets by 5% per year.
- GMAC Bailout Blasted by Oversight Panel -- The federal government has spent $17.2 billion to bail out GMAC but the rescue came at great public expense to taxpayers, says a government watchdog report. The government now owns 56.3% of the giant auto finance company, but it's estimated that $6.3 billion or more may never be repaid to taxpayers, says a report released Thursday by the Congressional Oversight Panel. The panel says it is deeply concerned Treasury hasn't required GMAC to lay out a clear path to viability or a strategy for fully repaying taxpayers
- Wendy's Owner Eyes CKE Restaurants -- CKE Restaurants (CKE) might be facing a bid from Wendy's/Arby's (WEN) owner Nelson Peltz, The New York Post reported, citing sources close to the matter. CKE already agreed back in February to be purchased by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners for $619 million in cash. The company did say, however, that it would continue to seek better offers until April 6.
- Sony to Launch PlayStation Move This Fall -- PlayStation Move, Sony's (SNE) motion controller for PlayStation 3 gaming console, launches worldwide this Fall. Sony says the new motion controller will compete with the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii. Microsoft (MSFT) is also prepping a motion controller, dubbed Project Natal, for its Xbox 360 console.