Stocks Drift Lower on Global Economic Woes

Stocks opened lower as the global economic weakness weighed on Japanese and Chinese companies with Toyota Motor expecting to post its first loss since 1941. The Dow lost 33 points to 8545 while Nasdaq tumbled 21 points to 1542.

On the upside

The Irish government injected 5.5 billion euros into its banks. Shares of The Governor and Company of The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) rose sharply.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) announced the sale of its Hartford Steam Boiler unit to German reinsurer Munich Re for $742 million.


On the downside

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) fell on expectations that shareholders will hold little to no equity in the automaker. Analysts focused on the company's inability to pay back loans.

SINA Corporation (Nasdaq: SINA) announced a $1.2 billion deal to buy substantially all of the assets of Focus Media's (Nasdaq: FMCN) digital out-of-home advertising networks.

Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) posted lower 1st quarter profits that missed expectations as it opened 212 new stores.

Inotera, a joint venture between Qimonda and Nanya Technology, was expected to be a $400 million deal for acquirer Micron Technology (NYSE: MU).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 7 points to 479.
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