NEW YORK -- The merger of American Airlines and US Airways ( LCC) will be formally announced Thursday, according to reports.

The boards of American parent AMR ( AAMRQ.PK) and US Airways approved the deal late Wednesday, according to four people close to the situation, The Associated Press said.

The merger would create the world's biggest airline.

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Cisco ( CSCO - Get Report) beat Wall Street's second-quarter earnings and revenue estimates.

The networking company reported revenue Wednesday of $12.1 billion, up from $11.5 billion a year earlier and just above analysts' estimates of $12.06 billion. Excluding items, Cisco earned 51 cents a share, compared with 47 cents a year earlier. Analysts were looking for profit of 48 cents.

The company's non-GAAP earnings included a tax benefit of about 1 cent a share.

"Cisco delivered record earnings per share this quarter and record revenue for the eighth quarter in a row in a challenging economic environment," CEO John Chambers said in a statement released after the market close.

For the third quarter, Cisco predicted revenue between $12.06 billion and $12.3 billion and earnings, excluding items, between 48 cents a share and 50 cents a share. Analysts are looking for sales of $12.22 billion and earnings of 49 cents a share.

Cisco's second-quarter gross margin came in at 60.7%, down from 61% in the first quarter. In the prior year's quarter, Cisco's gross margin was 61.3%.

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Automaker General Motors ( GM - Get Report) is expected by analysts Thursday to report fourth-quarter earnings of 51 cents a share on revenue of $39.14 billion.

Whole Foods ( WFMI), the natural and organic grocery chain, said Wednesday that fiscal first-quarter profit rose 24% as revenue jumped almost 14%.

Whole Foods narrowed its revenue forecast and said its earnings growth may slow through the remainder of the fiscal year.

PepsiCo ( PEP) is expected by analysts Thursday to report fourth-quarter earnings of of $1.05 a share on revenue of $19.7 billion.

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CBS ( CBS - Get Report) is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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