Market Focus

Time Warner Cable

There was a run-up in shares of Time Warner Cable right before the closing bell. Just before 4:00ET, it was reported that the cable operator would likely accept a $150-$160 billion buyout offer. No word yet on who the buyer might be, but there’s been recent speculation that Cox Communications, Charter and Comcast are interested. Comcast is the parent of CNBC which producers NBR. After the spike, shares of Time Warner Cable erased most of those gains closing at $132.53, up just a fraction.

J.C. Penney 

J.C. Penney’s stock fell sharply because of a research note from Wells Fargo. Analysts from the investment firm said although Penney’s sales recently jumped by 10%, that may be as good as it gets. Shares of the struggling retailer tumbled 8% to $8.85.

Apple

Apple hitting a 52-week high. Shares rose on yet another report, this one from the Wall Street Journal. The report said Apple signed a deal with China Mobile to carry the iPhone starting in mid-December. China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile phone carrier in terms of subscribers. The stock closed a $567.90, up half a percent. 

Costco

Costco’s November sales missed expectations. Its weakest month since September 2009. The warehouse retailer said sales were soft in its consumer electronics and lawn and gardens businesses, while sales of office, apparel and small appliances were stronger. The stock fell more than 1% to $120.95.

Dollar General 

Dollar General reported earnings that beat estimates, despite what it calls a challenging consumer environment. The discount retailer’s profits have grown steadily as it opens new stores and attracts cost-conscious shoppers. Dollar General also added $1 billion dollars to its stock buyback program. Shares climbed 6% to $59.81. 

Kroger 

Kroger, the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, issued a cautious outlook for the rest of the year. The company reported earnings in-line with estimates, but its still concerned about cuts to the food stamp program and how it will ultimately impact the current quarter. The stock dropped 3.5% to $40.06.

Mattress Firm 

Mattress Firm beat earnings and revenue estimates and raised its full-year sales guidance. The company, which sells national mattress bands such as Sealy and Simmons said increased advertising is helping drive customer traffic and sales growth. The stock rose almost 14% to $38.90. 

Electronic Arts

Shares of Electronic Arts fell sharply after the company said that ongoing problems with its Battlefield 4 game forced the delay of future games from its developer. Issues include the game crashing repeatedly and problems with accessing downloadable content. Battlefield is one of Electronic Arts biggest franchises. The stock fell almost 6% to $21.01.

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