Cisco’s New Partner, Starbucks Investigated, Nike Dumps Armstrong: Market Recap

Markets closed up today on Wall Street:

S&P 500: +0.41%Nasdaq: +0.10%Dow: 0.04%Oil: -0.12%, Gold: 0.25%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) moved to $91.98 per barrel. Precious metals were up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,750.60 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) rising to $33.21 per ounce.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

At Wednesday’s Citrix Synergy conference, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) made their rumored partnership official. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will recommend Citrix’s cloud network platform, which competes with F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) and Radware (NASDAQ:RDWR), to clients; the companies will develop a cloud solution that combines Cisco’s servers and Nexus switches with Citrix’s platform; and will develop mobile solutions that feature their collaboration.

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A senior member of the British parliament has called for an investigation into how Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) could avoid paying tax on 1.2 billion pounds of sales since 2009. The MP’s concerns stem from a Reuters report that Starbucks had been telling investors its U.K. unit was highly profitable, while telling U.K. authorities that the unit was losing money, and thereby not liable to pay taxes.

Last week, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a 1,000-page report that accused seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of being involved in “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” Armstrong has subsequently stepped down as chairman from his Livestrong cancer charity and had his sponsorship contract with Nike (NYSE:NKE) terminated.

In a bid to jointly increase economic output, the EU and U.S. are looking to strengthen their trade relations with talks beginning early next year. With the transatlantic goods trade worth about $700 billion a year, streamlining regulations, lowering tariffs, and creating a more efficient mechanism to navigate intellectual property rights could boost Europe’s gross domestic product by half a percent a year in the long run, according to European Commission estimates. In particular, Europe’s struggling automotive market stands to benefit as the car trade remains one of the strongest relationships between the regions.

The rate of groundbreaking on new homes accelerated in September to its fastest pace since before the economic recession, according to numbers released by the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday. Housing starts grew 15 percent last month, the biggest increase the housing market has seen in over four years. The surge brought the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 872,000 units and serves as an encouraging sign that the struggling housing market is finally on the road to recovery. Analysts had projected the annual rate would come in at 810,000 units.

Don’t Miss: Lance Armstrong: These Companies Are Going to Dump Me.