Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares declined 1.3 percent on Thursday and continue to edge lower in late afternoon trading. The tech giant’s share of the U.S. mobile market grew the most in the three months ended in November, even as Samsung (SSNLF.PK) remained the top handset manufacturer. According to the ComScore, Apple rose by 1.4 percentage points to go from a 17.1 percent share of the market to 18.5 percent, while Samsung added 1.2 percentage points to go from 25.7 percent to 26.9 percent.
Shares of General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) both hit fresh 52-week highs after positive data was released on the automakers. GM reported its highest December sales in five years, smashing expectations with total sales up 4.9 percent year over year to 245,733 vehicles, and retail sales up 1.5 percent to 193,081 vehicles. Ford came in line with expectations, selling 214,222 total vehicles in December. However, it was the only brand to top 2 million U.S. sales in 2012.
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Despite missing December sales numbers, Target (NYSE:TGT) shares jumped more than 2 percent on Thursday. The retailer said comparable store sales last month were essentially flat, below expectations for a 3 percent increase. Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive of Target, said, “December sales were slightly below our expectations, as strong results late in the month did not completely offset softness in the first three weeks.”
Shares of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) finished the trading day in the green and continue to edge higher in late afternoon trading. The Federal Trade Commission has finally ended its year-and-a-half long anti-trust investigation into Google. Regulators slapped the search-engine giant on the wrist and told it to play nice with the patent portfolio it acquired from Motorola. Google is also making minor changes to the way it treats advertisers, and will allow companies like Yelp (NYSE:YELP) to opt out of vertical searches that could eliminate a user’s need to visit their site.
Investor Insight: Internet Connected Devices Win Over the Nation