Bank of America Faces Settlement Opposition, Ford Issues a Tremendous Recall, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): It’s a busy day in New York’s court system, as a hearing is due to begin today to decide whether to approve Bank of America’s $8.5 billion mortgage settlement over claims with investors over soured mortgage bonds. Titans BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) stand in support of the settlement, but AIG (NYSE:AIG) is rooted firmly against it, as it says it has $10.5 billion worth of claims against the bank.

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Ford (NYSE:F): Ford has issued a recall for 465,000 2013 models for potential fuel tank leaks, that could ultimately result in a fire. The Fusion, Flex, Explorer, Taurus, Interceptor Sedan and Interceptor Utility, as well as the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, MKS and MKT were all encompassed in the recall, and the company says it may not have replacement parts for all the owners affected until September. Ford said a fuel delivery module in the tank could leak, and that it had received 600 consumer complaints as of March 31st. About 420,000 vehicles are in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK): An early-stage study on its skin cancer drug labrolizumab shows that it shrinks tumors in 38 percent of advanced melanoma patients, and has sent shares up 4 percent. The results, presented at the ASCO meeting on Sunday, represent Merck’s strongly competitive answer to Bristol-Myers’ (NYSE:BMY) nivolumab. Both drugs work by dismantling a cloaking mechanism known as PD-1 used by cancer cells to hide from a patient’s immune system.

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AIG (NYSE:AIG): Though the risk of AIG’s sale of its ILFC unit to a Chinese group is no longer non-negligible, the insurer should still be in good shape even were that to happen, according to Barron’s‘ Sandler O’Neill. Given that the market conditions have improved since the sale was announced, AIG could potentially find an alternative buyer, or even spin the unit off as an IPO. The primary risk now is delay.

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Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS): Shares are up ever so slightly as the company announces that it has received its milestone $10 million payment from AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), as the latter has added a second development candidate, ISIS-ARRx, to its collaboration with Isis.

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