Feb. 12 - Summary of business headlines: Comcast gives GE $16.7 billion for remaining NBC Universal stake; Dow back above 14,000 on hopes President can ignite economy; Fund manager sees Dow 20,000; Coke sales disappoint, Kors sales soar. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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Investors optimistically look ahead to President Obama's State of the Union Speech. He is expected to focus on economic growth and jobs.
The final numbers are coming, but first a big deal after the bell. Comcast is buying the remaining stake in NBC Universal it does not already own for $16.7 billion from General Electric.
Also buying back $2 billion in stock, hiking its dividend, and issuing quarterly results hours ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, GE, the biggest U.S. conglomerate, now out of the media business -raising a stock buyback to $35 billion, not to mention flush with that $17 billion paycheck.
Both stocks finished the regular session higher and added to gains after the close.
Back to the regular session now, a jump in the Dow puts the blue chip index less than a 150 points away from touching an all-time record, the S&P 500 gains ground, but the Nasdaq slips ever so slightly.
Neil Hennessey, chief investment officer of Hennessey Funds is willing to go out on a limb, with his five-year prediction on the Dow.
SOUNDBITE: NEIL HENNESSEY, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, HENNESSEY FUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"People think I'm crazy - - But I can see the market going to 20,000 and it's now that difficult because I think we are back in the 1982-2000 market, where you can have consistent returns in the 8 to 12 percent range a year. And you get that and you're easy 20,000. And that's not taking a lot of risk, that's just a market growing little by little."
Results from Coca-Cola are reminder that you need sales growth to get you there. Revenues rose 4 percent to nearly $11-1/2 billion, but that was not as good as Wall Street hoped. The blame: weakness in Europe and China. Profits beat forecasts but shares of the No. 1 soft drink company fell 2.7 percent.
Michael Kors continues to shine. The high-end goods company topping expectations and raising guidance for the year. Shares surged nearly 9 percent to a fresh post-IPO high.
In Europe, The City is a bit gloomier. London's financial district - getting word that Barclays' new CEO is slashing 37-hundred jobs. As for the market, stocks in the U.K. and France up about 1 percent, Germany was up by less.
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