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Dow tops 18,000 on strong GDP report

Hot Stock Minute

The Dow (^DJI) topping the 18,000 mark for the first time and the S&P 500 (^GSPC)  is moving further into record territory this morning as investors applaud a stronger-than-expected reading on third quarter Gross Domestic Product.

The U.S economy grew at its fastest pace in 11-years in Q3. The Commerce Department revised up its estimate of GDP to 5% from 3.9%.   

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says a spurt of activity from consumers helped drive the economy in the third quarter. 

“It does show you that the consumer was in pretty good shape in the back half of the summer and fall, too.” 

Santoli doesn't believe today's GDP figures will change the Fed's thinking on interest rates because measured inflation is not actually making any noise at all. But it does confirm the Fed's view that the economy was going to operate in a higher gear, he says.   

However, Santoli warns we've seen these false starts in the economy before, like what we saw in the housing market. 

"You are going to have push-pull for several quarters to go," according to Santoli. 

On the flip side, orders for long-lasting goods unexpectedly fell last month. The Commerce Department reporting durable goods orders declined  0.7% in November due to in big drop in demand for defense-related goods.   

Some stock specific news. 

Related: Keurig shares fall after recall; Walgreen jumps on strong profits; Family Dollar votes on Dollar Tree buyout

Walgreen (WAG) shares were higher in early trading. The drugstore chain posting profits that blew past estimates. Revenue also came slightly ahead of forecasts. Sales rose nearly 6.7% from a year earlier thanks strong prescription sales.  

Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) shares are lower this morning. The company famous for the Keurig one-shot coffee makers is recalling some 7 million of its Mini Plus Brewing Systems sold since 2009. Keurig Green Mountain says they can overheat and spray water during brewing, posing a burn hazard.

Greek related shares (GREK) are in focus after the country's lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a second round of voting. If the Greek parliament doesn't appoint a president next week, a general election must be held by early February.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb (BMY) shares were higher in early trading. The Food and Drug Administration approved the company's skin cancer treatment for patients with advanced melanoma who no longer respond to other drugs.

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The long-running takeover drama in the discount retail space is not over yet.

Family Dollar (FDO) delayed a shareholder vote on Dollar Tree's (DLTR) proposed $8.5 billion buyout until January because it did not have enough support to approve the deal.  The Family Dollar takeover battle began in July when bigger rival Dollar General (DG) made a hostile bid for the discount chain. 

Related: Can Twitter be sued for your tweets?

Twitter (TWTR) caught in the crosshairs of the Sony (SNE) hack attack. Sony's attorney David Boies is warning the social media site will be sued if users continue to share information revealed by the hacking.

And the battle between DISH (DISH) satellite and Fox (FOX) is now in its 3rd day.  DISH pulled the plug on the Fox News and Business Channels Saturday night in a dispute over fees.