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News That Moved the Market
Stocks Fall As Bernanke Predicts Difficult Beginning to 2008. Markets sold off Thursday, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that growth in the coming quarters will be slower. Along with Treasury Secretary Paulson, Bernanke testified in front of Congress, saying growth should decrease in 2008, but the Fed and government would work hard to make sure that the rate cuts and economic stimulus will have their intended effects on the U.S. economy. Though none of what was said today was unexpected, it seemed like a good reason for many to take profits from the recent rally.
UBS Dives Into the Red. Swiss bank UBS (UBS, -8.2%) announced a $11.3 billion writedown, confirming the company's first full-year loss in 10 years. UBS added that it still has significant exposure to the mortgage market in the U.S. and more major writedowns were not out of the question.
FGIC Loses Aaa Rating. FGIC Corp., the fourth largest bond insurer, lost its Aaa bond insurance rating at Moody's. The company was about $4 billion short of the amount of capital needed. However, Moody's also said MBIA (MBI, +8.7%) and Ambac (ABK, +12.4%) are better positioned "from a capitalization and business franchise perspective" compared to FGIC, lessening fears other larger bond insurers will share FGIC's fate.
Comcast Brings Back Dividend. Comcast (CMCSA, +8.0%) surged higher after the company reported a 54% increased in earnings and its first dividend in 10 years. The company also sees revenue in 2008 rising 8%-10%.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.(NYSE:ANF) Before Open
8:30 AM: Empire State Mfg Survey
8:30 AM: Import and Export Prices
9:00 AM: Industrial Production
10:00 AM: Consumer Sentiment