Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gained 0.32 percent on Thursday pre-market trading. The tech giant’s Taiwan suppliers are expected to ship 13 million units of the iPad mini in the first quarter of the coming calendar year, helping the company get closer to the NDP DisplaySearch prediction of sales of 20 million units in 2013. There have been reports that Apple will substantially expand iPad mini production next year with help from electronics manufacturer Pegatron.
After plunging almost 40 percent in less than a week, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) shares gained 0.66 percent Thursday early morning. The nutrition company said it hired a strategic adviser and law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP to defend itself against Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager who recently called Herbalife a “pyramid scheme.”
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Although an early reading on holiday retail sales in the United States indicated the weakest shopping season in four years, shares of J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) jumped more then 4 percent on Wednesday. Earlier this week, Oppenheimer reiterated its bullish stance on the retailer. Analyst Brian Nagel explains, “We are increasingly optimistic that the more price promotional stance that J.C. Penney is now assuming will allow the chain to make the most of a challenging Holiday selling season and position it well to re-accelerate its aggressive turnaround strategy in 2013.” Other retailers such as Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Gap (NYSE:GPS) fell more than 3 percent Wednesday.
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) gained 0.72 percent in early morning trading. The social network is under scrutiny and criticism in the U.K. and Ireland after pulling a “Double Irish” to get away with massive tax cuts that left the Ireland-based operation paying less than 1 percent of its annual revenue in taxes. A “Double Irish” involves moving money to other subsidiaries in the form of royalty payments. Facebook moved $1.2 billion from Ireland to California and the Cayman Islands. After the transfer, Facebook Ireland could report $24.3 million in losses despite having made $1.4 billion in gross profits, leaving it to pay just $5.2 million in corporation tax.
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