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The Markets Now: Comcast Rallies After Buying Stake in NBC


Apple CEO Tim Cook brushed off the Greenlight Capital lawsuit.


Stocks moved higher following Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) $16 billion deal to buy General Electric's (NYSE:GE) 49% stake in NBC Universal. Comcast now has full ownership of NBC. Comcast shares rallied 6.16% to $41.38.

In economic news, the president urged Congress to act on raising the minimum wage from $7.25 in his State of the Union address. This was one of the more specific and surprising initiatives laid out in his speech.

Retail sales increased 0.1% in January, according to the Commerce Department, generally meeting economist predictions. Retail sales were up 4.4% from 2012, however. While consumers spent more at grocery stores and gas stations, spending at restaurants and furniture stores were down, suggesting a move away from discretionary spending.

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 25 points to 139993.23 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) inched up 0.17% to 1522.01. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) moved up 0.45% to 3200.76.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares rose to $5.57, up 5.29% after the company acquired MashLogic, the company that created the toolbar plugin Britley. Stern Agree also upgraded Groupon shares from Neutral to Buy.

Dutch Bank ING (NYSE:ING) announced that it is cutting 2,400 jobs in the retail banking division as a result of the increasing popularity of mobile banking.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook belittled the lawsuit brought by David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, calling it a "silly sideshow." Its stock gained 1.15% to 473.31.

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) announced four updates to its UltraSharp monitors, which will make screens bigger and improve their color range and accuracy. Shares moved up 0.76% to $13.90.

The UK Financial Services Authority fined for UBS (NYSE:UBS) failing to understand the AIG fund they were selling between 2003 and 2008. Shares declined 1.17% to $16.88.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) plunged 18.38% to $29.90 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings yesterday. The report included $2 billion in impairment charges, or $11.36 per share. The company earned $0.62 per share, beating analyst expectations of $0.51 per share.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) announced that it has approved a buyback plan of $1 billion in shares. Its shares moved up 0.17% to $46.17.

Western Union (NYSE:WU) stock inched up 0.49% to $14.41 after profit fell nearly 50% to $0.40 per share from $0.3 per share a year ago. Its outlook for 2013 was lower than analysts expected at $1.33 to $1.43 per share.

Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) missed fourth-quarter estimates of $0.95 per share in net income, reporting $0.89 per share from $0.73 per share a year ago. Its shares declined 4.28% to $77.60.

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) amended its bank credit facility to up its borrowing capacity to $1.85 billion from $1.5 billion. Shares gained 3.87% to $20.03.

Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) ended 2012 with $4.27 billion in total long-term debt and $1.26 billion in revenue for 2012. Its revenue for the fourth-quarter dropped 14% to $311 million, more than the 13% analysts expected. Its stock fell 0.30% to $3.17.

The health insurer WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) named Joseph Swedish as CEO. Swedish was formerly an executive at Trinity Health, a non-profit health system. Shares fell 4.56% to $63.07.

In commodities, crude oil fell 0.22 to 97.29, and gold declined 2.4 to 1647.

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