Stock Market News: TWC, NWS, AXP, MSFT, XOM, T, WFC

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Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWS) are in an ongoing dispute over TV programming that may not be resolved before the New Year deadline. If unresolved it will threaten millions of cable subscribers with the loss of Fox broadcast programs, including big football games, in coming days. At the core of the issue is a much higher fee that Fox is charging Time Warner Cable for carriage of local Fox TV stations. –AOL Money & Finance

In other news, many are looking at the yearly stock performance numbers. Of the Dow industrial companies, American Express (NYSE:AXP) is on track to become the top performer for 2009 with a gain of $22.25 per share, or 120%. It is followed by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), showing gains of $11.52, or 59.3%, for the year so far. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) rounds out the bottom of the pack with a loss for the year so far of $11.06, or 13.9%. –Daily Finance

AT&T (NYSE:T) terminated its sponsorship deal with Tiger Woods after the professional golfer admitted to marital infidelity. “We are ending our sponsorship agreement with Tiger Woods and wish him well in the future,” Michael Coe, a spokesman for AT&T, stated in an e-mail. –Bloomberg

Crude oil futures were higher today, supported by a weaker dollar, oil stock draws in the U.S. and continued chilly temperatures across the northern hemisphere. Light, sweet crude for February delivery recently traded 52 cents, or 0.7%, higher at $79.80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded 42 cents, or 0.5%, higher at $78.45 per barrel. –The Wall Street Journal

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) board approved granting retention performance shares to President and Chief Executive John Stumpf and three other officers. The shares are forfeited if the executive receiving the shares leaves the company to work for a competitor. The shares will vest after three years, but only if the company meets specified performance goals, and must be held for as long as the executives remain with the company. Also, the executives will not receive cash incentive bonuses for 2009. –MarketWatch

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