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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks at Multi-Year Highs After Obama Address; Comcast Completes NBC Buy


Marissa Mayer is not impressed with Yahoo's Bing partnership.

Stocks are set to extend a five-year high today after President Barack Obama championed fiscal stimulus.

Obama called for expanded trade with Europe and infrastructure spending in his State of the Union address. He also called for raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and urged Congress to end the "manufactured" sequester crisis coming up on March 1.

The call for $50 billion in infrastructure spending could lift industrials and construction shares today. He also talked about other issues such as climate change, immigration, and gun control.

Retail sales rose 0.1% in December, meeting economists' estimates after rising 0.5% in November. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.2%. Export prices rose 0.3% while imports prices rose 0.6%. On a yearly basis, imports were 1.3% cheaper and exports were 1.1% more expensive.

Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures gained 0.13% at 13,991. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.22% to 1,519.50 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures were up 0.31% to 2,769.25.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) shares rose 2.79% after it agreed to sell its 49% stake in NBC Universal to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) for $16.7 billion. Comcast shares gained 8% on the news. GE's pretax profit on the deal is about $1 billion. After completing its 100% ownership of NBC, Comcast will also buy NBC's 30 Rock building as well as CNBC's headquarters in New Jersey for $1.4 billion. Comcast also reported a 18% rise in profit in the last quarter and announced that it will increase its yearly dividend to $0.78 per share.

At yesterday's Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Technology and Internet Conference, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer said that her company's search partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is not bringing the market share or revenue gains that Yahoo expected. Since the 10-year deal was signed in 2010, Bing has actually taken marketshare from Yahoo rather than vice-versa while Google's share remained the same.

"One of the points of the alliance is that we collectively want to grow share rather than just trading share with each other," she said.

According to Gartner, global cell phone sales dropped for the first time in three years in 2012. According to the research firm, Samsung (KRX:005930) is still the top seller of all handsets. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) share of the smartphone market fell to 20.9% from 23.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Eurozone industrial production rose by 0.7% in December 2012, meeting economists' expectations. On a yearly basis, production fell 2.4%.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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