U.S. Markets closed

Verizon & Vodafone in Talks to End Venture; GDP & Jobless Claims; Beef over Fast Food

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute
Verizon & Vodafone in Talks to End Venture; GDP & Jobless Claims; Beef over Fast Food

As much as $130-billion dollars is on the line. Verizon (VZ) and Vodafone (VOD) are in talks to end their partnership in Verizon Wireless. Word is Verizon would pay Vodafone well over $100-billion for its stake in the joint venture. Vodafone has been up roughly 7.5% on the news. Verizon has been up 4.5%. Vodafone confirms it has been in talks with Verizon over a buyout, but says there's no agreement in place at this time.

Breaking news: The Commerce Department's latest estimate of GDP has exceeded expectations. The second estimate for the second quarter has come in at 2.5% annually when consensus was for 2.2% annually. The first estimate came in at 1.7%. Meanwhile, the Labor Department says weekly jobless claims came in at 331,000, in line with estimates which were for about 330,000 new claims.

It's not exactly hitting the skids, but oil has slid back a little in price. Brent crude has now dropped below $115 a barrel after its strongest two-day gain since January 2012. And, U.S. oil has dropped by $1.50 to $108.60 following a rise of almost 4%. The rapid climb came on concerns the U.S. would intervene in Syria. But now President Obama says he has not made any decisions on the matter.

Fast food workers are taking a beef to the picket lines. Thousands of them are expected to stage walkouts today in dozens of cities nationwide. The workers are pushing to get chains like McDonald's (MCD), Wendy's (WEN) and Taco Bell (YUM) to raise their wages to $15 an hour, which is double the national minimum wage. The average pay right now for a fast food worker is $9 an hour.


Campbell's (CPB) reported earnings this morning. The maker of soup and more posted earnings of 45-cents a share, up 4-cents from a year ago and 3-cents better than estimates. Revenue, however missed at $1.72-billion versus consensus of $1.84-billion. The company has been working to strengthen its core business while also expanding into higher-growth spaces. Those efforts include the acquisition of Bolthouse Farms juices. So far Campbell's stock is not moving much on the report. It has been up 24% year-to-date

Guess (GES) has been up more than 18% since yesterday's closing bell. The company shattered estimates with its earnings report, posting profits of 52-cents a share, when analysts were looking for 36-cents. Revenue also beat, coming in at $639-million. Profits were actually down 7% from last year, but Guess has upped its outlook citing success in cutting expenses. The company has also been streamlining its business and is moving into new markets. The climb we're seeing on this report, just about mirrors an 18% drop in Guess stock over the past month. Prior to this morning, shares were up about 10% year-to-date.

Fresh Market (TFM) has been down more than 4.5% since reporting its earnings after the closing bell. The smaller competitor of Whole Foods says same store sales rose 3.4% in the quarter, and revenue rose 13% from a year earlier. Still, the overall sales figure of $354.8-million was a million short of estimates. A state that seemed more important to investors than the chain's 4-cent beat on earnings. Prior to this morning Fresh Market shares were up 13% year-to-date. As for Whole Foods, its stock has been up 12%.

Krispy Kreme (KKD) reports after the closing bell. This stock has been about the best thing 'round, up 128% year-to-date, and hitting a new 52-week high on Monday. In fact, the company has come recently come out of a slump that's lasted well over 5-years. The chain has been enjoying new success as it opens smaller stores which expand its reach into less populated areas. It has also been moving overseas to places like Russia and India-- where you have to wonder what the current crisis with the Rupee is doing. Krispy Kreme is expected to post healthy gains over last year: earnings of 16-cents a share, up from 12-cents on revenue that's risen to $111-million.