Nokia Surges, Trouble at H-P, and Google Challenges Apple: Market Recap

The U.S. equity markets closed up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday:

S&P 500: +0.23%, Nasdaq: +0.34%, Dow: +0.38%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose 1.05 percent to $87.66 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 0.30 percent to $1,728.80 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 1.21 percent to $33.42 per ounce about ten minutes after the bell.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Wednesday’s top stock stories:

It’s been a hard year for consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). The company’s stock price has come down nearly 50 percent this year to date and hit a new 52-week low on November 21 of $11.41 per share. With limited options on the table and unwilling to see his company collapse, founder and 20-percent stakeholder Richard Schulze is preparing his bid to take the company private. (Read more.)

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Did Autonomy truly swindle Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) to the tune of a whopping $8.8 billion write down? According to Bloomberg, the FBI is now involved after the SEC asked for assistance in one of the biggest M&A scam accusations to ever rock Silicon Valley. (Read more.)

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is taking on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) in online content after reaching a licensing deal to add 5.5 million musical works from 35 countries around the world to its Google Play service. The agreement with Armonia, the alliance of French, Italian, and Spanish licensing groups, is probably the broadest of its kind, and includes the British and American collections of Universal Music Publishing and Sony Music’s Latin works. (Read more.)

Shares of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) closed down 3.67 percent after the company posted an earnings miss on its fourth-quarter resultsNokia (NYSE:NOK) was among the top gainers, closing up 12.2 percent.

While initial weekly unemployment claims have for the most part remained flat this year, Hurricane Sandy caused a sharp increase in the 4-week moving average reported Wednesday, as claims increased significantly in the impacted areas. Initial jobless claims 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. (Read more.)

The impending fiscal cliff, which is expected to have widespread repercussions on government spending and federal tax rates, has caused consumer sentiment in the United States to stall in November. According to the monthly survey of 500 households conducted by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, the consumer sentiment index stood at 82.7, on a scale of 1 to 100. (Read more.)

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