Jobless Claims, No Greek Debt Solution, Hewlett-Packard in Focus: Mid-Day Buzzers

Stock futures are mixed on Wednesday afternoon before the Thanksgiving holiday. The S&P and Nasdaq are edging up less than a tenth of a point, while the Dow is fractionally lower. The markets will be digesting initial jobless claims, which for the week ending November 17 dropped 9 percent week over week to 410,000, while the four-week moving average grew about 2.5 percent to 396,250.

Shares of leading manufacturer Deer & Company (NYSE:DE) are off about 4.48 percent in afternoon trading after the company released fourth-quarter results. Worldwide revenue for the quarter rose 14 percent year over year to $9.8 billion, while earnings rose 8 percent to $1.75 per share for the same period. The minor sell off comes from a 13-cent miss in earnings.

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News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) is racking up the acquisitions ahead of a planned separation of its entertainment and publishing businesses. The publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is reportedly in early-stage talks with Simon & Schuster, a book publishing division of CBS (NYSE:CBS).

Experts including the Federal Bureau of Investigation are examining Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) allegations that former managers of its Autonomy Corp. engaged in fraudulent accounting practices. The result was an $8.8 billion write down reported with HP’s recent quarterly report, which catalyzed an 2.48 percent increase in the company’s stock price.

The news out of Brussels is that European finance ministers, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund were unable to reach an agreement on how to deal with Greek’s debt crisis. Greece risks defaulting on debt payments without a resolution that releases 31 billion euros ($39.7 billion) in emergency funding by mid-December.

A decision from U.S. District Judge James Robart about how much compensation Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) deserves for the use of its patented wireless technology in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) products such as the Xbox is still several weeks away, despite the trial wrapping up. Both companies still have to file legal briefs that Judge Robart will examine before making his decision.

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