The markets retreated to trade lower during the midday with the Dow slipping 15 points to 25,787. Nasdaq lost 32 points to 7228.


As part of the company's shift to healthier products, Nestle will sell its U.S. confectionary business to Nutella maker Ferrero for approximately $2.8 billion. Sales of Nestle's popular sweets such as Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Crunch, Laffy Taffy and Raisinets to the American market reached nearly $900 million in 2016. Nestle will maintain ownership of its Toll House baking brand and KitKat chocolate bar.


Citigroup will close the wage gap between different demographic groups by increasing the compensation of women and minorities in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. An internal survey conducted in the three countries revealed disparities in pay between white male employees and women and minority employees. The median pay differential among the banking industry is approximately 24%.


IBM will enter a joint venture with A.P. Moller-Maersk Group to improve efficiencies for the global shipping industry. A new platform based on blockchain technology will digitize the industry creating faster trade and slashing costs. Shipping companies, freight forwarders, ocean carriers as well as customs and port authorities will be able to manage and track shipping containers around the world.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 lost 9 points to 2,776. Bitcoin crashed $2,089 to $11,720.


Markets soar on upbeat earnings

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Upbeat earnings sent the markets soaring to a sharply higher open with the Dow jumping 184 points to 25,987. Nasdaq gained 46 points to 7307.


On the upside


Blackhawk Network Holdings (Nasdaq: HAWK) will be acquired by Silver Lake and P2 Capital partners in an all cash deal valued at approximately $3.5 billion.


Bernstein upgraded Vipshop Holdings (NYSE: VIPS) from a Market Perform rating to an Outperform rating and lifted its price target from $9.20 to $23.50.


Energizer Holdings (NYSE: ENR) will pay approximately $2 billion to acquire the battery and portable lighting business of Spectrum Brands (NYSE: SPB).


On the downside 


Avis Budget Group (Nasdaq: CAR) announced preliminary full year results and adopted a one year stockholder rights plan.


Tesaro (Nasdaq: TSRO) updated the packaging for its VARUBI injectable emulsion to include a warning about anaphylactic shock.


Tiger BioPharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: EIGR) reported disappointing results from a Phase 2 LIBERTY study in pulmonary arterial hypertension.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 gained 12 points to 2,798. Bitcoin crashed $1,909 to $11,900.


U.S. markets closed

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U.S. markets are closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Markets soar as CPI rise 0.3%

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The Consumer Price Index rose a healthy 0.3% last month to lift the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow leaping 228 points to 25,803. Nasdaq climbed 49 points to 7261.


On the upside


Shares of Liberty Oilfield Services (NYSE: LBRT) surged in its market debut.


Atara Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: ATRA) stock climbed for the fourth day in a row.


Intexon's (NYSE: XON) majority owned subsidiary AquaBounty Technologies (Nasdaq: AQB) priced its public offering of nearly 3.7 million common shares at $3.25 per share.


On the downside 


Share of Invitae (NYSE: NVTA) extended its losses.


Concert Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CNCE) was not granted a Post Grant Review petition challenging the validity of an Incyte Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: INCY) patent.


Xunlei (Nasdaq: XNET) exhibited its OneThing Cloud at CES 2018.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 6 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 soared 18 points to 2,786. Bitcoin slipped $7 to $13,585.


Higher open as retail sales rise

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Retail sales rose 0.4% in December to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow climbing 64 points to 25,638. Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 7208.


On the upside


Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) climbed for the fourth day in a row.


Synaptics (Nasdaq: SYNA) stock continued to advance.


Shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) rose after Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) announced changes to its news feed that could lower its ad revenue.


On the downside 


Morgan Stanley downgraded Etsy (Nasdaq: ETSY) from an Equal Weight rating to an Underweight rating.


Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) will change its news feed to present more stories from users' friends and families over those created by companies.


Former Aflac (NYSE: AFL) employees have sued the insurance firm for exploitation.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 added 3 points to 2,770. Bitcoin leaped $828 to $13,894.


Rising crude oil prices lifted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow jumping 205 points to 25,574. Nasdaq soared 58 points to 7211.


On the upside


Bloomberg reported that Blackstone and Carlyle may be interested in acquiring Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI).


Progress Software (Nasdaq: PRGS) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter.


Shares of Energy XXI Gulf Coast (Nasdaq:EXXI) continued to climb.


On the downside 


J.P.Morgan Chase sold some of its holdings in Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA).


Shares of Axovant Sciences (Nasdaq: AXON) fell again.


Orchid Island Capital (NYSE: ORC) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per share payable on February 9, 2018 to shareholder of record on January 31, 2018 but the stock price fell.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 climbed 19 points to 2,767. Bitcoin collapsed $1,176 to $13,301.


Walmart to increase hourly wage

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The markets extended its gains during the midday with the Dow leaping 145 points to 25,514. Nasdaq climbed 43 points to 7197.


Walmart will increase its entry level hourly wage from $10 per hour to $11 per hour for workers in the U.S. beginning in February. The world's largest retailer credited the new tax law which slashes the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% for making the raises possible. Bonuses of up to $1,000 will also be given to workers.


MoneyGram has partnered with Ripple to pilot a program that transfers funds using the cryptocurrency. The arrangement is expected to lower the cost of transferring money. The transaction time will also plunge to 2-3 second from the current time of between 15 minutes to an hour.


Tivo sued Comcast again for patent infringement. The International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Tivo last year by ruling that Comcast infringed on two patents. The current suit alleges infringement on patents dealing with video recording functions such as pausing and resuming shows on different devices.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 gained 14 points to 2,762. Bitcoin collapsed $644 to $13,834.


Wholesale prices eased 0.1% in December but the markets opened higher with the Dow gaining 29 points to 25,398 as crude oil prices edged up. Nasdaq rose 15 points to 7168.


On the upside


KB Home (NYSE: KBH) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates.


In response to widespread flu activity, Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) is urging people to get the flu vaccine.


Shanda Group increased its holdings in Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH).


On the downside 


Alamos Gold (NYSE: AGI) reported record gold production and sales for the fourth quarter but the stock price fell.


Investors locked in profits on Eastman Kodak (NYSE: KODK).


Profit taking weighed down shares of Cogint (Nasdaq: COGT).


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,752. Bitcoin crashed $793 to $13,685.


The markets closed lower with the Dow slipping 16 points to 25,369 after Canada filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the United States. Nasdaq lost 10 points to 7153.


On the upside


Shares of Eastman Kodak (NYSE: KODK) surged again.


DST Systems (NYSE: DST) may be acquired by SS&C Technologies (Nasdaq: SSNC).


Tandem Diabetes Care (Nasdaq: TNDM) reported sharply higher preliminary fourth quarter revenue.


On the downside 


Third quarter revenue for Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) fell short of expectations.


Shares of Ambarella (Nasdaq: AMBA) extended its losses.


Zacks Investment Research lifted its full year earnings expectations for Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARWR) but the stock price fell.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 6 to 5 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 slipped 3 points to 2,748. Bitcoin gained $41 to $14,460.


Four new Diet Coke flavors

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The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow adding 4 points to 25,390. Nasdaq lost 19 points to 7144.


Coca-Cola announced four new flavors of its zero calorie Diet Coke that will be available at the end of the month. Feisty Cherry, Ginger Lime, Twisted Mango and Zesty Blood Orange will come in a redesigned skinny 12-ounce can. The adventurous new flavors are being marketed to millennials.


Boeing introduced a new autonomous electric cargo air vehicle with the capacity for a 500 pound load. The autonomous vehicle is powered by an electric propulsion system and fitted with eight counter rotating blades that allow the aircraft to take-off and land vertically. Boeing expects the prototype to have many uses beyond cargo delivery.


Owners of the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks have sued Ford for emissions cheating. The lawsuit alleges that the car maker installed software that would allow the trucks to pass emissions tests but released emissions that were at least double the legal limit when the truck was being driven under normal circumstances. German auto supplier Robert Bosch was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. 


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by 9 to 8 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 slipped 2 points to 2,748. Bitcoin climbed $151 to $14,570.


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