Thursday Pre-Market US: Key News & Data

by: Between the Hedges

From Between the Hedges:

Late-Night Headlines

Bloomberg:
Crude oil was trading near a seven-week low in NY after yesterday falling below $58 for the first time this year as a report showed US stockpiles jumped almost five times estimates.
- Shares of United Microelectronics, the world’s second-biggest made-to-order chip supplier, posted their biggest jump in two years on the company’s plan to buy back 5% of its stock.

Wall Street Journal:
- More than $200 billion in credit derivatives are linked to General Motors(NYSE:GM), which has about $30 billion in debt.
- Amazon.com(NASDAQ:AMZN) is in discussions with four music companies, including Warner Music Corp. and EMI Group Plc, to obtain licensing for a digital-music service.

Financial Times:
- Merrill Lynch(MER) will start a unit to advise companies on how to address investors activism, citing an internal company memo.
- Knight Ridder’s(KRI) sale may be affected by its holding in the CareerBuilder.com Web site.

London-based Times:
- London house prices rose 2% in January, the biggest monthly gain for two years, citing UK real estate agents Haart and Knight Frank LLC.

Nikkei English News:
- Audible Inc.(ADBL) plans to offer in Japan a fee-based system to distribute and download copyright online music and video.

Xinhua News Agency:
- China’s pollution has become a “blasting fuse