Market Focus

Macy’s

Macy’s announced a restructuring plan after the market close. The retailer will law off 2,500 workers as part of a plan to sustain its profitability and save $100 million per year. The company also reported a strong holiday season, same-store sales were up in November and December by more than 3.5%. Shares initially spiked after-hours. The stock ended the regular session slightly lower to $51.84.

Forest Labs & Aptalis

Forest Labs is buying Aptalis, a privately held drug maker, for $2.9 billion. Aptalis specializes in treatments for Cystic Fibrosis and gastrointestinal disorders. The move is an effort by Forest to find new drugs to replace blockbusters, like Lexapro, that are facing generic competition. Shares surged, up almost eight percent to $69.30.

Riverbed Technology

Billionaire investor, Paul Singer’s hedge fund, Elliot Associates, offered to buy Riverbed Technology for $3 billion. The firm already owns a large stake in the network equipment maker. Elliot has been pressuring Riverbed since Novembers to review its business, calling the stock “significantly undervalued.” The offer sent shares of the company soaring, up more than nine percent to $19.53.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble has a new CEO. The struggling book retailer promoted the head of its Nook division, Michael Huseby, to the company’s top spot. The chief’s position has been vacant for almost six months since the last CEO, William Lynch, resigned after several earnings misses and weak sales in the e-book business, which he developed. Shares fell slightly to $14.63.

Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands was also out with an earnings beat. The liquor maker saw its profits nearly double last quarter, benefiting from acquiring the full distribution control of the popular beers from Corona. On top of that, the company raised its 2014 outlook because of its strong beer performance. Shares rose 9.5% to $76.61.

McDonald’s

Shares of McDonald’s were in the red after the stock was downgraded by Wells Fargo. The firm lowered its rating to “market perform” from “outperform” saying the company has lost its market shares in the U.S. in three of the last four months through November. The stock fell one percent to $95.41.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney told investors it was “pleased’ with its holiday sales performance, but the company skimped on specifics. Penney’s has been giving detailed reports on its progress as it tries to turnaround, so the lack of hard numbers in this release fueled speculation that the retailer’s comeback is stalling. Shares slumped 10 percent to $7.37.

Bed Bath & Beyond

After the market close today, Bed Bath & Beyond posted weaker-than-expected earnings and cut its full-year outlook. Profit was up 1.9% as the retailer saw an increase in sales, but that wasn’t enough to make up for than disappointing forecast. Shares plunged initially after hours. During the regular session, the stock rose slightly to $79.68.

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