Microsoft surged as much as 5.6 percent to an all-time high of $60.45, while McDonald's was up 3.1 percent. "If companies cannot beat estimates in this (low-rate) environment, it raises the question of what will happen when the Fed raises rates in December," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive at Sarhan Capital. At 11:03 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 94.54 points, or 0.52 percent, at 18,067.81.
(Reuters) - AT&T Inc is in advanced discussions to acquire media conglomerate Time Warner Inc , and a deal could come as early as this weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The talks have come together quickly and revolve around a cash-and-stock deal which would be one of the largest in the sector in recent years as telecom companies make a grab for media providers to acquire content, the Journal reported. AT&T shares were down 3.3 percent at $37.39.
The New York Federal Reserve on Friday downgraded its forecasts on U.S. economic growth in the second half of 2016 following data on regional business activities in October and a steep drop in housing starts last month. The regional central bank said its "Nowcast" model projected gross domestic product in the third quarter growing at 2.22 percent versus 2.30 percent a week ago.
By Jessica DiNapoli NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of SunEdison Inc lenders took control of the renewable energy developer after inking a "sweetheart deal" to try to save their investment as the company approached bankruptcy, hurting other creditors, according to a lawsuit filed late Thursday in U.S. bankruptcy court. SunEdison transferred "hundreds of millions of dollars" to the lenders, which included buyout firms Apollo Global Management LLC and Cerberus Capital Management LP and more than 15 hedge funds, before it filed for bankruptcy, hurting the company's other creditors, according to a redacted version of the complaint. SunEdison's unsecured creditors, including Vivint Solar Inc , filed the lawsuit.
General Electric Co beat analyst profit forecasts in the third quarter, but revenue growth remained sluggish, prompting the company to scale back expectations for full-year revenue and profit on Friday, sending shares sharply lower. The industrial giant's adjusted profit jumped 10 percent to 32 cents a share, exceeding the 30 cents that analysts had estimated on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts had been looking for GE to report stronger revenue growth after a weak first half, but that was stymied by a 25-percent slump in oil and gas revenue in the quarter.
Sales at established U.S. restaurants rose 1.3 percent as a result, offsetting the negative impact of competition and lower grocery prices that encouraged some diners to cook at home. The result from the United States, which accounts for about 40 percent of overall profit at McDonald's, just exceeded analysts' lowered expectations, and was not as robust as the 2 percent U.S. same-store sales gain reported by rival Dunkin' Donuts on Thursday. McDonald's international restaurants easily beat expectations on same-store sales growth in Britain, Australia, Canada and Germany.
British American Tobacco has offered to buy out U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc in a $47 billion takeover that would create the world's biggest listed tobacco company with brands including Newport, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall. The cash-and-stock deal would mark the return of BAT to the lucrative and highly regulated U.S. market after a 12-year absence, making it the only tobacco giant with a leading presence in American and international markets. A Reynolds takeover by BAT, which already owns 42 percent of the U.S. group, has long been seen as part of an inevitable wave of global consolidation in a mature industry.
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