Various retailers released
comparable same-store sales
data Thursday morning, with most showing off better-than-expected results.
(COST - Get Report)
said comparable-store sales rose 7% in August, while sales for
dropped by 3.7% and 3.5%, respectively, during the period.
sales were up 1%, while
weighed the most heavily on the Dow, while
put in the average's best gains.
Further deal developments also continued bubbling up Thursday.
shares soared over 25% to finish at $23.58 after news swirled that the fast food chain was to be bought out by
for $4 billion, or $24 a share. Confirmation of the deal price was first circulated Thursday by
, but talk of the transaction began making the rounds Wednesday on reports from the
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
Meanwhile, the bidding war for data storage firm
(PAR - Get Report)
appeared to reach a conclusion Thursday after
(HPQ - Get Report)
sweetened its bid for 3PAR by $3 to $33 a share. The heightened price, which was first reported by
The Wall Street Journal
and later confirmed in a company statement, forced
to drop out of the auction, though the PC maker will get a $72 million termination fee as consolation. H-P shares improved 1.2% to $39.67, while 3PAR added another 2.4% to $32.86. Dell shares improved 2% to close at $12.36.
According to a report,
is thought to be pricing its much-anticipated initial public offering on Nov. 17. According to
, the auto manufacturer is planning to kick off its road show after the November mid-term elections.
An offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, this one owned by
, caught fire Thursday morning. A Mariner spokesperson told
in the morning that all in the crew of 13 were accounted for and there were no indications of an oil spill. But a coast guard officer said an oil sheen a mile long could be seen near the platform, according to a later report from
The Associated Press
. Shares shed 2.6% to $22.74.
inked a renewed search deal with
, with Google exchanging search services for revenue sharing on AOL's content network. Shares of AOL closed 18 cents higher at $23.08, while Google went ahead by 0.6% at $463.18.
lost 2.5% to finish at $12.83 after it trimmed its full-year sales outlook. Sales are now expected to rise 1% to 3% over last year, after previous estimates called for a 2% to 4% jump.
Elsewhere, natural gas inventory levels rose higher last week, the Energy Information Administration said Thursday, adding another 54 billion cubic feet to underground storage in the lower 48 states. The increase landed at the lower end of an expected range that called for an injection between 53 to 57 billion cubic feet, according to analysts polled by Platts.
The October natural gas contract, which was relatively unchanged ahead of the release, settled a penny lower at $3.75 per million British thermal units. Also in commodity markets, crude oil for October delivery was added $1.11 to finish at $75.02 a barrel, and the December gold contract traded higher by $5.30 to finish at $1,253.40 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down 13/32, boosting the yield to 2.627%.
Meanwhile, the dollar was trading fractionally lower against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index losing 0.03%.
European Central Bank
said it was keeping its target lending rate unchanged at 1%, which marks the 16th straight months that rates have been held steady at the record low.
Asian stocks moved ahead
Thursday thanks to the improving U.S. manufacturing picture, though European averages were trading lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2% higher, while Japan's Nikkei gained 1.5%. The FTSE in London went ahead by 0.1% while the DAX in Frankfurt held flat.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York