Market Focus

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney had happy holiday news to report to investors after the market close. The struggling retailer said same-store sales rose 10% compared to last November. Sales on also were stronger. Penney’s stock rose in after-hours. Shares were up 1% to $10.11 in the regular session.


Groupon saw record sales this holiday weekend, with more customers logging on to score savings. The daily deals site reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the two biggest sales days ever in North America since the company’s founding. The good news sent the stock up almost 4% to $9.09.

Oncomed Pharmaceuticals

Shares of Oncomed Pharmaceuticals soared on news of a deal with Celgene. Celgene will help Oncomed develop and market six experimental anti-cancer stem cell drugs. The deal will leave Oncomed with $155 million to study the treatments. Celgene will also take a 5% stake in the drug maker. Oncomed skyrocketed doubling its price to $27.70. Celgene shares fell 2%.


Xencor was a high-flyer in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq today. The biotech company went public, raising $70 million in its IPO. The stock rose more than 51% to $8.34.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Activist investor, Engaged Capital, is certainly engaged in changing things up at Abercrombie & Fitch. The firm sent a letter to the teen retailer’s board telling them to replace their CEO, whose contract is up this February. The letter also said selling the struggling chain may be the best option for shareholders. Abercrombie responded to the suggestions saying it welcomes input from shareholders. Shares popped nearly 6% to $35.99.


Oreo cookie maker, Mondelez, boosted its stock buyback program by $1.7 billion. The increase is part of the company’s plan to use the proceeds from its legal dispute with Starbucks. In November, Starbucks was ordered to repay Mondelez for the early termination of a grocery store deal. The buyback announcement sent shares of Mondelez up more than 1% to $33.90.


Potash will cut nearly 20% of its workforce or about 1,000 jobs. The world’s largest producer of potash has been struggling to keep up as demand for two key fertilizers ingredients, potash and phosphate have slumped. The cuts will take place in Canada, the U.S. and Trinidad. Shares were a fraction higher to $31.79.

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