[Update 9:00 a.m.: U.S. nonfarm payrolls fell by a large 63,000 in February, the second straight decline in employment. This is a clear sign of a recession. Stock futures are declining, suggesting another down day ahead of us on Wall Street.]
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) outlined the features of the new iPhone 2.0 software. While the software is scheduled for release this June, it is available in beta version now. The new features target business users as it has "support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide secure, over-the-air push email, contacts and calendars as well as remote wipe, and the addition of Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to private corporate networks." Also it allows third-party developments through the iPhone Software Development Kit.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) said late Thursday that it will reduce its mortgage assets by 20%, or $45 billion over the next year. By shrinking its mortgage business and integrating CitiMortgage, Citi Home Equity and Citi Residential Lending into one division, the bank hopes to lower expenses by $200 million during the same time period.
Warburg Pincus has agreed to lower the purchase price to $12.15 per share and extend the deadline until June 30 for some shares certain MBIA Inc. (NYSE: MBI) executives have committed to buy, essentially lowering the investment amount struggling MBIA will receive. MBIA also canceled stock options given to the executives related to the agreement.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) share are up 2.2% in premarket trading after the company said Thursday its board authorized a new $150 million stock repurchase program.
A Merrill Lynch analyst Thursday suggested that Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) may be a takeover target to T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom as it attempts to block a price war in the mobile phone industry. Already Sprint has cut prices and will likely continue to do so, threatening T-Mobile's position as the low-cost alternative among the top five U.S. mobile phone companies. The German-based company could benefit from the weak dollar if it tries to buy Sprint.
MarketWatch's John Dvorak has an interesting commentary entitled Should Yahoo and AOL Merge? As some in the valley speculate whether Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) will merge with Time Warner (NYSE: TWX)'s AOL just to thwart Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), he thinks that this move would make sense as Yahoo wants to become a better content provider, something AOL is better at. Also, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) might even encourage such a deal (Google has a 5% stake in AOL).
Meanwhile, TechCrunch suggests that both Google and Microsoft might be preparing bids for Digg.