Movers: Goldman Sachs, WaMu, GE, Oracle, Palm

Stocks in the news on Friday

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) and financials are indicated broadly and sharply higher on news that federal government is working on series of programs to aid the battered sector and SEC's announcement that it is imposing a temporary ban on short sales of 799 financial institutions.

Washington Mutual (WM) - According to various media reports, at least 5 companies are said to be looking a WM as a possible acquisition: HSBC (HBC), Citigroup (C), JP Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Banco Santander (BCDRF.PK).

General Electric (GE) rises 1.83 to 26.62 after CNBC reports GE has asked to be added to the list of SEC's temporary short-sale ban on 799 financial institutions. GE derived 20% of 2007 revenue from its consumer finance segment, 15% from GE money segment.

MBIA Inc. (MBI) falls 1.12 to 12.88. Moody's Investors Service has placed the Aa3 insurance financial strength rating of ABK's Ambac Assurance Corporation and the A2 insurance financial strength rating of MBI's MBIA Insurance Corp. on review for possible downgrade.

Oracle (ORCL) posts $0.21, vs. $0.16, first quarter GAAP EPS on 18% revenue rise. S&P reiterates strong buy. Piper Jaffray reportedly upgrades to buy from neutral.

Palm (PALM) posts $0.39 first quarter loss, vs. $0.01 loss (both quarters included options expenses) as narrowed gross margin offset 10% revenue rise. Non-GAAP loss was $0.12, vs. Street's $0.18 loss estimate. Reportedly sees second quarter revenue down sequentially.

Goldman believes Morgan Stanley (MS) is sound as an ongoing entity, reiterates Buy Conviction List.

Texas Instruments (TXN) says it plans to raise its quarterly cash dividend 10%, to $0.11 per share. The new quarterly dividend rate will be payable November 17, 2008, to stockholders of record on October 31, 2008.

Nvidia (NVDA) announces that it expects to eliminate about 360 positions worldwide, or 6.5% of the company's global workforce. The reduction is expected to be completed by the end of third quarter of fiscal year 2009.

Aegon N.V. (AEG) says it does not hold common equity in AIG. Says during 2008, it actively lowered its exposure to AIG by about 20%; as of Sept. 18, it had a total general account gross exposure of: €189 million to AIG holding company; €311 million to AIG operating companies.

Verasun Energy (VSE) says it is suspending its previously announced equity offering and, in light of strategic interest expressed by multiple parties, it has retained Morgan Stanley to act in an advisory capacity to evaluate strategic alternatives.

CBRL Group (CBRL) raises quarterly dividend by 11% to $0.20. The dividend is payable on November 5, 2008 to shareholders of record on October 17, 2008.

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