Read All About It: This Week’s Top Line News Summary – 12/14/09

Happy Monday! The financial services sector kicks off this week’s headlines with markets, banking and bankruptcy news making the biggest splash. Announcements from Citigroup, Exxon, and the upcoming Fed meeting will keep our public relations professionals busy as we monitor for developing stories.

Markets: According to The Wall Street Journal,U.S. stocks were slightly higher this morning as acquisition activity lifted the energy sector and Abu Dhabi’s $10 billion rescue of Dubai provided some relief, though concerns over the financial sector limited the gains.

Exxon announced today their acquisition of XTO Energy Inc., in a $31 billion all-stock deal. The deal ends speculation about when Exxon would exploit the lower gas prices pressuring smaller, debt-laden companies in the oil patch, as they haven’t had a major acquisition since the merger a decade ago with Mobil. Consequently, energy stocks moved higher and crude-oil futures edged higher after lower earlier in the session. Gold futures also climbed, lifting metal stocks. Read more: here

Banking:  Citigroup Inc. will repay $20 billion in government assistance and exit a program under which the U.S. would cover losses on billions of dollars in loans, bringing an end to months of wrestling with its regulators and the Treasury Department. Citigroup will raise $20.5 billion mainly by issuing common stock to repay the Treasury. The bank has also decided to replace some of the cash it had agreed to pay employees with $1.7 billion in stock. Read more: here

Bankruptcy: Fairfield Residential, one of the nation’s largest apartment owners and developers, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday – the latest casualty of the turmoil engulfing the U.S. real-estate market. Fairfield Residential listed assets of $958 million and liabilities of $834.9 million as of the end of September. In addition, many of its properties are worth less than their loan balances. Read more: here

What are YOU reading this week?

 

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