U.S. stocks are building on Wednesday's strong Fed minutes-inspired rally that erased November's losses. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are in the green for the year. The minutes from the Fed's October meeting reinforced the message that interest rates could go up next month, signaling the economy was strong enough to handle a move. But policymakers did leave themselves some wiggle room for delay. (CNBC)
Best Buy shares plunged after reporting another round of disappointing quarterly sales as it faces tougher competition from online stores. Third-quarter profits rose 16.8%. But the company reported a 2.4% drop in sales. The company also reported disappointing same-store-sales growth of 0.5%. (AP)
J.M. Smucker saw sales jump 40% in the quarter, boosted by its pet food business and coffee sales.
The makers of Folgers coffee, Pillsbury products those yummy jellies, jams and peanut butter saw profits increase 11% from a year earlier. Like other big food companies, Smucker has been losing out to smaller competitors that are positioning their products as fresher and more natural. (WSJ)
A four-year labor deal between Ford, the only domestic auto-maker not to be bailed out by tax payers and the UAW appears set to be rejected. Meanwhile, the union may ratify as soon as tomorrow its contract with General Motors. (Reuters)