Wall Street Brief: The iPhone 5 Lacks WOW Factor, Ford Prepares to RESTRUCTURE

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on Friday after introducing it on Wednesday. The phone did not have too many surprises and has been considered lacking the “wow” factor. But analysts still think 10 million-12 million will still be purchased in September. The device will ship on Sept. 21 in the U.S., U.K. and numerous other countries with 100 nations by the end of the year. This represents the iPhone’s speediest roll-out so far.

Don’t Miss: INTRODUCING: The iPhone 5.

With its eye on European profitability, Ford (NYSE:F) will starting preparing to restructure its operations there and shut-down a factory; this may be the 4,000-employee facility in Genk, Belgium, reported the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Meanwhile, its rival GM (NYSE:GM) is conducting talks with labor unions about closing an older Bochum, Germany plant as it faces challenges turning around major losses.

In European trading, BAE Systems (BAESF.PK) fell 6.2 percent and EADS (EADSF.PK) 8.65 percent after Wednesday’s news that they’re in advanced merger talks for a deal that will have the company worth$48 billion and pass Boeing (NYSE:BA) as the world’s biggest  aerospace and defense firm. The U.S. probably won’t block the deal, reported Reuters but the Financial Times believes it could face regulatory hurdles.

Treasury Department attorneys have recommended a preliminary settlement for federal and state prosecutors and Standard Chartered (SCBFF.PK) from its Iranian dealings, reported the New York Times. As for the bank’s potential fine, it is less than the $340 million it agreed to pay New York’s Department of Financial Services.

Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) will get back an additional $2.2 billion-$3.4 billion from banks over bad mortgages after reviewing the way it had initially assessed loans that were repurchase request candidates. In January 2011, Freddie reached a $1.35 billion settlement with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) over this issue, but conducted a review at the request of the FHFA inspector general; he found Freddie’s original methodology lacking.

Catalysts are critical to discovering winning stocks. Check out our newest CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.