Updated from 1:02 p.m. EDT
were among the NYSE's winners Thursday, jumping 6.1% after the hamburger giant increased its dividend by 50%.
The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of $1.50 a share. In addition, McDonald's said it expects to return $15 billion to $17 billion to shareholders over the next three years, through dividends and share buybacks. The stock climbed $3.10 to close at $54.30.
shares got a boost after the steel producer announced an acquisition and was added to Credit Suisse's focus list. The company, which was in the news Wednesday for issuing a profit warning, said it agreed to buy privately held Nelson Steel for $54 million. Nelson is a New Salem, Pa., producer of wire mesh and related products.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse in its note said that Nucor is North America's most diversified steel producer. The firm believes the company has an attractive valuation and strong free cash flow. Shares of Nucor closed up $2.84, or 5.3%, to $56.30.
( BBI) shares were up 4.5% after the movie-rental chain named a new chief financial officer. Thomas Casey, most recently a managing director for Deutsche Bank Securities, will replace Larry Zine as CFO. Zine, who also serves as chief administrative officer, will retire at the end of September, Blockbuster said. Shares climbed 23 cents to close at $5.31.
rose after the office-goods retailer said its board is considering the removal of the company's supermajority voting provisions. The proposed amendment to the company's charter would remove provisions requiring that holders of at least two-thirds of Staples' outstanding stock approve significant transactions.
Shareholders, who had pushed for the change in June, will vote on the removal at Staples' 2008 annual meeting. Shares of Staples closed up 9 cents to $22.09.
Dick's Sporting Goods
edged higher after the retailer announced plans for a 2-for-1 stock split. The company expects to distribute an additional share to each shareholder on or around Oct. 19. Shares closed up 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $67.82.
On the losing side,
dropped 8.6% after the mattress maker warned of a third-quarter earnings shortfall. The company said its results are likely to miss analysts' average estimate of 27 cents a share. Select Comfort said it is on track to meet the low end of its full-year earnings and sales projections. Shares slid $1.49 to close at $15.91.
( CEPH) fell 5.2% on news that the drugmaker has issued warnings to doctors about its drug Fentora. According to letters posted on the Food and Drug Administration's Web site, Cephalon said that serious adverse events, including deaths, have occurred in patients treated with the cancer-pain drug. These deaths were associated with improper patient selection, incorrect dosing and improper product substitution. Shares of Cephalon closed down $3.99 to $72.55.