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  • NovaStar Financial  shares fell as much as 63 percent Thursday after the troubled subprime mortgage lender posted a $598 million third-quarter loss and said bankruptcy is possible.

  • Investment analysis firm MSCI, which is being spun off by Morgan Stanley, soared in its stock market debut on Thursday, a day after raising $252 million with an initial public offering that priced at the top of expectations.

  • United Rentals said on Wednesday that Cerberus is not prepared to proceed with the purchase of the company on the terms set forth in its July takeover agreement.

  • Inflation and retail sales data, plus a speech from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are the big before-the-bell events that could sway market direction Wednesday.

  • A Bank of America branch.

    Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank, said on Tuesday it expects to write down $3 billion of debt in the fourth quarter, as fallout from the nation's housing slump deepens.

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  • A Wachovia branch bank.

    Wachovia said Friday it suffered a $1.1 billion loss on subprime mortgage-related debt in October, while Capital One Financial said more customers are having trouble paying their bills as the U.S. credit crisis deepened.

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    Bank stocks stopped the slaughter and mounted a dramatic rebound Thursday with Morgan Stanley rising and Citigroup paring its losses. Can these financial giants regain their footing or is there more carnage to come?

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    Ben Bernanke’s latest assessment of the economy shows the Fed’s job of balancing  inflation with a slowing economy is more difficult than ever, leaving policymakers undecided on further rate cuts.

  • Falling real estate prices, massive bank write-downs and a quickening drumbeat of slashed credit ratings adds up to one thing: The credit crunch has only just begun.

  • European equities lost ground on Thursday, ending at their lowest close in six weeks as persistent credit fears continued to pull banking stocks lower.

  • Perma bear Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners just put out a note saying he sees a rally coming, albeit a brief one. "This is a tough call for me to make because I believe the world's economy and capital markets face significant challenges. But, increasingly, many of those concerns have been recognized and some of my shorts have reached my targeted price objectives.

  • Stocks are striking a much-improved tone after Wednesday's high energy selloff, as investors await testimony this morning from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Monthly chain store sales and some big earnings could also influence direction.

  • Morgan Stanley

    Morgan Stanley on Wednesday said it has suffered a $3.7 billion loss stemming from its U.S. subprime mortgage exposure, which it expects will reduce fourth-quarter earnings by about $2.5 billion.

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    Morgan Stanley on Wednesday said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to be reduced by about $2.5 billion from a write-down of its U.S. subprime exposure.

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    Citigroup's problems deepened as it was unable to assure investors a potential $11 billion write-down for subprime mortgages won't grow, and its nearly pristine credit rating was downgraded.

  • Chuck Prince

    Charles Prince resigned on Sunday as chairman and chief executive of Citigroup, and the bank said it may suffer an $11 billion write-down for subprime losses.

  • Merrill Lynch

    Merrill Lynch's credibility and stock took a big hit Friday on reports that the biggest brokerage firm sought to delay billions of dollars of losses on troubled assets by moving them to hedge funds.

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    Large U.S. banks and brokerages will suffer additional writedowns of more than $10 billion in the fourth quarter as deteriorating credit trends continue, a Deutsche Bank analyst said.

  • Markets dealing with several issues this morning. 1) The S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index August fell 4.4% year over year. This is the biggest decline since the series began 6 years ago. The index is a composite that tracks twenty U.S. cities.