4 Consumer Stock Stories For Thursday Investment Shopping

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM): Closing price $31.16

On Wednesday, GM management avoided saying whether the Treasury Department would soon divest its remaining 16.4 percent interest, or 241 million shares, in the automaker, but expectations are high that a near-term sale of at least some of the stake through a block trade is probable. GM posted sharply better-than-anticipated first quarter earnings Wednesday, and minimized its move last week to file a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission registration statement describing a potential share and warrant offering by unnamed “selling shareholders.” Still, the shelf means that Treasury could sell the stake as soon as this afternoon.

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GM

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX): Closing price $60.38

The corporation is instituting a management shakeup that it claims will afford its top leaders deeper experience with the firm, but it declined to indicate if the changes formed part of succession planning for Chief Executive Howard Schultz, who returned as in 2008 and has since led a rebound of the company. Head of the China and Asia Pacific region John Culve was chosen to fill the newly-created role of group president of China and Asia Pacific, channel development and emerging brands. Head of the Americas Cliff Burrows was named to the newly-formed role of group president of the Americas and United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Teavana. Michelle Gass, who went to the Europe, Middle East and Africa, is coming back to the U.S. to develop strategic initiatives for growth; the European business will now be led by Kris Engskov, who is the managing director for the United Kingdom.

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SBUX

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT): Closing price $78.46

Among the retailers who are sending representatives to a meeting near Frankfurt to talk about allying to improve worker safety in Bangladesh prior to that country’s largest industrial disaster, are Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP). The discussions were aimed at gaining support from the firms, labor unions and non-governmental groups for Bangladesh’s national action plan and for supplier appraisals of fire and building risk, according to Peter McAllister, who is a director of the Ethical Trading Initiative, and who also said that  a document covering the talks will be published May 15.

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WMT

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN): Closing price $252.55

Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon plans to manufacture a television set-top box to stream video content, that will feature Amazon’s online video offerings, alongside Prime Instant Video, and on-demand video service, which includes new films and TV shows. The firm expects to debut its own STB by the end of the year. Amazon relies on other devices such as game consoles, digital video recorders, and Blu-ray players to stream its expanding video content, and the new STB could help it build its own brand name and broaden its repertoire of hardware products, including tablets, electronic readers and smartphones.

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AMZN

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