ASIA The Nikkei rose for the first time in four sessions, pulling out of a slide to 16-month lows earlier in the day, buoyed by short covering on an oversold view and with a USD 1.8bln bid led by a US buyout firm to buy nearly one-third of midsize lender Shinsei Bank Ltd (RTRS) Oil prices fell overnight succumbing to fresh concerns over the US economy that struck down other markets a day ago, although weakness in the US dollar and forecasts for a chilly December kept losses in check (RTRS) At 0625 crude was trading $94.54 down 10c. U.S. Stocks finished sharply lower on Monday on continuing credit/economic concerns after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on Citigroup (-5.9% to $32.00) to Sell before the open and lowered its price target on other banks and investment banks, including JP Morgan (-4.0% to $41.37), Bear Stearns (-5.07% to $94.05), Morgan Stanley (-3.35% to $51.13) and Merrill Lynch (-3.99% to $53.87). Goldman Sachs said that Citigroup could face $15 billion in CDO write-downs over the next two quarters. Additionally, there were no signs of a bottom in the housing market with the NAHB Housing Market Index remaining at a 22 year low in Nov. at +19. The DJI fell 218.35 pts (-1.66%) to 12,958.44. The S&P 500 Index declined 25.47 pts (-1.75%) to 1433.27 and the Nasdaq 100 Index dropped 27.48 pts (-1.34%) to 2021.14. Decliners on the NYSE led advancers by a ratio of just under 4 to 1. There were no positive sectors on the session, while financials and homebuilders weighed most heavily to the downside. Technology stocks were not immune to the broader market weakness. Shares of Apple ended down 1.47% at $163.95 while shares of IBM fell 2.45% to $102.22. Hewlett Packard - Reported Q4 EPS of $0.86 vs. $0.82e on sales of $28.3B vs. $27.34Be. The company guided Q1 EPS at $0.80 vs. $0.78e on sales of between $27.4B - $27.5B vs. 27.05Be. Additionally, Hewlett sees FY08 EPS at $3.12 - $3.17 vs. $3.27e on sales of $111.5B vs. $109.4Be. Additionally, the company said its board has approved $8 billion in share repurchases. In the company's conference call, CEO Hurd said that it saw no change in spending from financial services in Q4. Shares traded up 1% after results and guidance to above $50. (RTRS) Pfizer - The company received positive news after a federal ruling that might wipe out some lawsuits alleging that the drug maker's painkiller Celebrex caused heart attacks and strokes. (WSJ) Medtronic - Reported Q2 EPS of $0.58 vs. $0.57e on sales of $3.124B vs. $3.01Be. The company said it still expects revenue growth to accelerate in the second half of FY08. (RTRS) Nordstrom - Reported Q3 EPS of $0.59 vs. $0.52e on sales of $1.97B vs. $1.97Be. The company guided Q4 same store sales flat and said it sees FY08 EPS $2.87 - $2.91 vs. $2.76e. Nordstrom said its board authroized an additional $1 billion in share repurchases. Shares rose 10% after results and guidance to $$34 from the $30.52 close. (RTRS) FTSE-100 Rio Tinto - In defending a takeover proposal from BHP Billiton, the company may offer joint ventures instead of a merger. (Telegraph) Scottish & Newcastle - In a trading update the company said it had made good progress in Q3 as demand increased at its Russian business. The company also plans to sell its French wholesale unit. On the M&A front, the CEO said it would consider being a minority partner in BBH but intends to take full control, and that a return to partnership with Carlsberg is not an option. (RTRS)** iCap - 1H net GBP 80.1mln vs Exp. GBP 72.8mln, 1H revenue GBP 626.3mln vs Exp. GBP 615mln. The company sees FY pretax slightly higher than analysts estimates. (RTRS)** DAX SAP - The company says it is considering several options for futures of Tomorrow now Business, including a possible sale. SAP also announced that several senior managers of Tomorrow now, including the CEO, have resigned. (RTRS) Deutsche Postbank - DZ Bank's CEO reiterated that his company is not interested in buying Deutsche Postbank. (RTRS) CAC Vivendi - The company said that talks with Saudi Oger Telecom have ended with no deal. (RTRS) Dexia - Bradford & Bingley has sold its Housing Association loan book to Dexia following a review of the growth potential and capital utilisation of the assets. (RTRS) SMI Swatch/Richemont - Swiss October watch exports rise 12%. (S&P) BROKER UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES SWISS RE CUT TO `HOLD' VS `ADD' AT WESTLB SAINSBURY RAISED TO `OUTPERFORM' WAS RATED `MARKET The above commentary is provided to subscribers of Ransquawk. To sign up for a free 1 week trial, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details.