Google Launches Maps for iOS and Sprint Makes a Move on Clearwire: Buzzers

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Markets closed down on Thursday. The United States Department of labor posted initial jobless claims that showed a 7.8 percent drop in the number of claims filed week over week, and a 6.6 percent drop in the four-week moving average.

At the close: S&P: -0.63%, Nasdaq: -0.72%, Dow: -0.56%.

Here’s what’s buzzing:

Shares of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) shot up over 15 percent in the afternoon as news broke that founder Richard Schulze is expected to make a fully-financed offer for the struggling electronics retailer.

Wireless Consolidation: Many expected it and a few have just been waiting: Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) is reportedly offering $2.90 per share for the remaining 48 percent of Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR). The price represents about a 20 percent premium on Clearwire’s closing price on December 10, before rumors broke and sent the stock higher. Shares were up 14 percent Thursday afternoon to as much as $3.14.

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E-Book Battling Continues: European Union regulators accepted an offer by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and four other publishers to relax e-book price restrictions on Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), effectively handing the world’s largest online retailer another victory in the ongoing publishing war. Shares of Apple dropped 1.47 percent in the afternoon.

The Day Has Come! Nearly three months after Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized to users for the great “maps fiasco,” Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has launched its much-expected native maps app for iOS. Reviews are positive, with TechCrunch saying its pretty much everything users have been waiting for. One downside: no biking directions yet.

Greece Receives Emergency Funding: After the delayed completion of its 31.8 billion euro ($41.5 billion) debt-buyback program, Greece will finally receive 49.1 billion euros ($64 billion) in emergency funding. The country will receive about 34.3 billion euros ($44.78 billion) immediately to help fund the debt-buyback program, with the rest helping bring Greece’s debt down to a target level of 124 percent of GDP by 2020.

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