Market Focus

General Electric

A big move in one of the most widely-held stocks: General Electric. The company is close to selling all or part of its $30 billion real estate holdings, according to reports. This as the conglomerate moves to shrink its finance business. The company’s real estate portfolio includes office buildings, apartment complexes and other commercial property. Shares popped almost three percent to $25.73.

Walgreen Boots Alliance

Walgreen Boots Alliance reported earnings that topped estimates, but revenue lagged. As part of a plan to save $1.5 billion dollars a year by the end of 2017, the the drug store chain will shutter 200 locations. The company’s forecast for full-year profit was largely short of estimates. Still, shares rose more than 5.5 percent to $92.62.

Costco

Costco reported a big drop in March same-store sales. The wholesale retailer was hurt by the timing of an earlier Easter, which cut the selling period short compared with last year. The stock fell two percent to $148.81.

Constellation Brands

A big profit beat from Constellation Brands. The maker of Corona beer also unveiled its first quarterly dividend ever of 31 cents a share for its class A stock and 28 cents a share for class B, which it will pay in May. Class A shares were up a fraction to $120.06.

Bed Bath and Beyond

Investors got a chance to react to Bed Bath and Beyond’s quarterlies, and they weren’t pleased. The retailer’s profit slumped and it issued earnings guidance for the current quarter that was below estimates. The company said bad weather and the West Coast port slowdown weighed on its results. The stock tumbled more than five percent to $73.46, making it the worst performer in the S&P 500.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. 

Pacific Gas & Electric was hit with a huge fine. California regulators charged the utility company with a $1.5 billion dollar fee over a pipeline explosion that killed eight people back in 2010. The fine is for violating state and federal pipeline safety standards. The company’s CEO says he does not expect to appeal the ruling. PG&E fell 1.5 percent to $52.78.

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