Markets Finally Open, GM Earnings, Generac Surges: Afternoon Buzzers

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It’s Wednesday, and the U.S. equity markets are open for the first time this week, and the last time this month. Mickey Mouse Darth Vader

In what is sure to generate a modicum of fan-based outrage, Disney (NYSE:DIS) will buy Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion. Lucas, of course, is the force behind “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” and the two franchises will be passed along with the company. Disney, for its part, has said there will be a new series of “Star Wars” movies starting in 2015. Shares of Disney are trading down 1.49 percent Wednesday.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) posted third-quarter 2012 earnings that came in at $0.85 per share, beating estimates by $0.25. Revenue did drop by 2.4 percent year over year to $37.6 billion, but still beat estimates by $1.9 billion. Shares climbed as much as 9.24 percent this noon.

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GM joins Ford (NYSE:F) in celebrating a strong quarter despite losses in the European market. Ford is up as much as 6.30 percent.

Generac (NYSE:GNRC), the manufacturer of power generators, surged as much as 20.31 percent Wednesday because of hurricane Sandy and strong third-quarter 2012 earnings. Revenue was up 25.6 percent year over year to $300.5 million, while earnings per share came in at $0.78, beating estimates by $0.07. Highlights include a 48.3 percent jump in commercial and industrial product sales.

Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) posted earnings last week that showed a 10 percent year over year revenue drop. The company has filed a 10-Q saying it will post a fourth-quarter charge of $900 million to $1.1 billion related to a restructuring program that could close 20 facilities and cut 2,400 positions, or 5 percent of its workforce.

The list of flights cancelled due to hurricane Sandy tops 18,000, according to FlightAware.com and airlines are down Wednesday, with Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) dropped 0.15 percent while US Airways Group (NYSE:LCC) gained 0.50 percent.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) trekked as much as 2.47 percent higher as a post-hurricane sales boost is expected. Insurance company Travelers Cos. (NYSE:TRV) dropped as much as 1.52 percent this noon.

Investors will be taking Tuesday’s positive home price numbers into consideration and looking forward to the non-farm payroll report on Friday as they position themselves for the presidential election on November 6.

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