NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After starting Thursday's trading session in negative territory, U.S. equities have fought back and are now higher.

TheStreet's
Gregg Greenberg said January retail sales came in lower than expected, while weekly jobless claims were more disappointing than anticipated. But that hasn't stopped the markets from moving higher. 

In some merger activity, Comcast (CMCSA) will buy Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45.2 billion, or $158.82 per share. The deal represents a $23 premium to Wednesday's closing price. As a result, shares of Comcast are down 4%, while Time Warner Cable's stock is up nearly 7%, Greenberg said.

Cisco Systems' (CSCO) earnings results have held the tech giant out of Thursday's rally, he added. Shares are lower by about 4%. Despite beating earnings per share estimates by 1 cent, the company's $11.2 billion in sales represents a decline of nearly 8% year over year. 

Finally, those looking for an additional boost from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be disappointed because Yellen's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee was postponed due to the weather, he said.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options.

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