- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute1 hr ago
The European debt crisis reared its ugly head after one of Portugal’s biggest banks delayed a debt payment. European stocks plummeted, putting pressure on U.S. markets in early trading, but by the close they had recovered more than half those losses.
Some more encouraging news on the labor front did little to help matters. The Labor Department reported that the number of people filing for jobless benefits last week fell to near a seven-year low.
- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute6 hrs ago
IBM (IBM) said it would commit $3 billion over five years to semiconductor research. The company said Wednesday that it plans to make microchips with smaller circuitry and more components that are faster and more energy-efficient. The company already spends about $6 billion a year on research and development.
IBM hopes to shrink the size of the tiny circuits from 22 nanometers to 7 nanometers, about a thousandth of the width of a human hair. Researchers will also experiment designing chips using some unproven techniques that use quantum physics and that are inspired by the brain.
While IBM plans to continue researching and licensing chips, the company signaled its intention to get out of the chip manufacturing business. It's reportedly looking to sell its chip manufacturing plants in East Fishkill, NY and Burlington, VT to GlobalFoundries.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute6 hrs ago
In a not-so-surprising move, satellite provider Dish Network (DISH) urged the Federal Communications Commission to block the potential $45 billion merger between Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
After meeting with FCC officials earlier this week, Dish wrote in an FCC filing yesterday, “The pending Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger presents serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces and therefore should be denied.”
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute9 hrs ago
Here is a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team is watching today.
Family Dollar Stores (FDO) shares fell in the pre-market. The discount retailer reported earnings of $0.85 a share, missing analysts' estimates by $0.04 amid higher costs and intense competition. However, revenue came in slightly better than expected at $2.66 billion, up 3.3% from a year earlier. The company, which is under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to sell itself, said it plans to close 370 under-performing stores by the end of this year after it posted the third straight quarterly decline in same-stores sales.
Investors took a bite out of shares of Potbelly (PBPB) in early trading. The sandwich shop chain cut its earnings outlook for the year and forecast that second quarter sales will be weaker-than-expected. The company said it will test new menu options and operational tactics in the second half.
Weekly jobless claims near 7-year low; IBM invests $3B in chip research; Dish asks FCC to block Comcast-TWC mergerDean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute10 hrs ago
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell 11,000 last week to 304,000, near a seven-year low. Analysts expected claims to remain at the previous week’s levels of 315,000. The four-week average fell 3,500 to 311,500, the second-lowest reading since August 2007. Continuing jobless claims rose 10,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 2.58 million.
IBM (IBM) said it would spend $3 billion over five years on semiconductor research. The company plans to make microchips with smaller circuitry and more components that are faster and use less energy. While IBM plans to continue researching and licensing chips, the company signaled its intention to get out of the chip manufacturing business. IBM is reportedly looking to sell its chip manufacturing plants in East Fishkill, NY and Burlington, VT.
The venture capital arm of Google (GOOGL) is launching a $100 million fund to back start-ups in Europe. The company had previously focused on Silicon Valley start-ups.
- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Stocks closed higher for the first time this week, buoyed by minutes from the last Fed meeting that essentially set an end date for the Fed's asset purchase program. The Dow (^DJI) gained 79 points to close at 16,986, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 28 points, ending at 4,419, and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed 9 points higher at 1,973.
Fed minutes showed that central bank policymakers "generally agreed" to end the Fed's asset purchases with a final $15 billion reduction in October. (The Fed has been cutting back at a rate of $10 billion after every policy-making meeting.) The minutes did not mention when the Fed would start raising rates, which was also a comfort to the market.
Dow component Cisco (CSCO), which closed up 37 cents at $25.44, was among several technology stocks that rose today. Twitter ended 65 cents higher at $38.06 and Facebook finished $2.21 higher at $64.97.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
The gloves seem to be coming off in a fight between Amazon (AMZN) and Hachette.
The two companies have been in a dispute over e-book prices for months. Amazon began delaying shipments of some Hachette books and removed the preorder button on some new titles to pressure the publisher. Some Hachette authors publicly criticized Amazon for doing that, but yesterday Amazon proposed giving Hachette authors 100% of the revenue from e-book sales until the two companies reached an agreement.
The two billion-dollar companies traded very public blows. Hachette responded that Amazon was trying to make it commit suicide with the offer. Amazon then responded, "We call baloney."
Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli said Amazon had the leverage in this relationship and a more persuasive case in this matter. “I do think that Amazon ultimately gets what it wants here because Hatchette needs Amazon more than Amazon needs Hatchette or these authors,” he said.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Here is a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team are watching for you today.
The Container Store (TCS) shares fell in early trading. The specialty retail chain, which just went public in November, lowered its full-year earnings and revenue outlook after it posted its first same-store sales decline in four years. The company said it is facing what it calls a “retail funk,” where demand is shifting to high-ticket items such as housing and automobiles. Earnings and revenue missed estimates, even though its loss narrowed from a year ago and revenue rose 9%.
Alcoa (AA) shares rose before the bell after the aluminum producer swung to a profit in the second quarter. Earnings and revenue both topped estimates. The company benefited from a comeback in its primary metal businesses and strength in its engineered products.
Looking ahead to the Fed minutes; Another bank may settle in a mortgage probe; Setback for Apple in ChinaDean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Investors are eagerly waiting for the minutes of last month’s Fed meeting. The Federal Open Market Market Committee will release the minutes at 2 p.m. Eastern today. Investors will be looking for clues as to when the Federal Reserve may make its first interest rate hike since 2006.
Citigroup (C) and the Justice Department are close to a $7 billion deal to settle allegations the bank sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis. According to reports, the settlement includes several billion dollars to help struggling borrowers. Settlement talks broke down last month when the two sides could not come to an agreement on how much money Citi should pay. The details of the settlement could be announced as early as next week. Citigroup is scheduled to report earnings on Monday.
- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute2 days ago
Stocks closed lower today for the second session in a row as investors waited cautiously for the latest earnings session to begin. The Dow (^DJI) ended under 17,000, down 118 points at 16,906, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) finished 60 points lower at 4,391 and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell 14 points to 1,964.
Shares of Alcoa, which reported after the close, rose 11 cents, or 0.7%, to $14.85, then added another 24 cents in the first hour of after-hours trading following better-than-expected earnings.
On the economic front, the Labor Department reported that the number of job openings rose to its highest level since June 2007. There were 4.64 million job openings in May according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as JOLTS. That’s up from 4.46 million openings in April.
NeuroMetrix ( NURO ) shares gained a whopping 23.8% to close at $2.34 after the Food and Drug Administration approved a wearable device to treat chronic pain for over-the-counter use.