Ultimate Market Recap: Cracker Barrel Gets a Boost, Skullcandy Strikes Back

Morning Buzzers: Apple Receives Positive iPhone 5 Reviews, Cracker Barrel Surges 7%

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are down slightly this morning despite the iPhone 5 receiving generally positive reviews. Walt Mossberg from AllthingsD says, “Apple has taken an already great product and made it better, overall. Consumers who prefer huge screens or certain marginal features have plenty of other choices, but the iPhone 5 is an excellent choice.” Meanwhile, CNET says users will be “shocked at how light this phone is.”

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) shares are up around 1.5 percent this morning. The company reported that first quarter net income rose 35 percent to $548.9 million (82 cents per share), compared to $405.6 million (61 cents per share) a year earlier. Analysts were expecting around 62 cents per share. International sales increased 27 percent to $1.09 billion.

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AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) shares are up nearly 3 percent this morning. The company said its fourth quarter profit increased 7.4 percent to $323.7 million ($8.46 per share), compared to $301.5 million ($7.18 per share) a year earlier. However, sales in the quarter increased 4.6 percent to $2.76 billion, below estimates of $2.8 billion. Competitor O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY) edged slightly higher on the news.

Shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) are up around 7 percent after the company reported its latest quarterly financial results. Net income came in at $34.7 million ($1.47 per share), compared to $17.5 million (75 cents per share) a year earlier. The company also approved a share repurchase program of $100 million.

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Microsoft Upgrades SkyDrive and 4 Hot Stocks to Notice Now

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S): Samsung Mobile has confirmed that its Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will join the four major U.S. carriers, and US Cellular will also join as the fifth alternative carrier. A recent press release confirms that  the release date of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be near the middle of October or about five weeks following the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5. Also, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the first quad-core Samsung smartphone supporting every US LTE network, for Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and US Cellular, but 3G HSPA+ is only for T-Mobile USA customers.

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Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has redesigned the Fusion in hopes that it will finally outsell the Camry. The Fusion has been Ford’s best-selling car since it entered the market during 2005, and it continues to be one of the top sellers in the country. But Ford has incorporated sexier styling, improved fuel economy, and innovative features such as automatic parallel parking on the 2013 version in hopes that it will assist it in passing the yearly leader, the Toyota Camry. On Tuesday, Ford intends to use “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest for the introduction of the redesigned sedan alongside CEO Alan Mulally in New York’s Times Square. It will also have events in Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and on the lawn of its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:QCOR) has fallen 34 percent after reports from Citron Research indicated that Aetna no longer intends to cover key drug Acthar.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) completed a long-awaited $7.6 billion deal with China’s Alibaba Group, which should cause a windfall assisting in easing the pain of Yahoo! shareholders, and it should raise stock prices.

Microsoft (NYSE:MSFT):On Wednesday, in an effort to appeal to students, Microsoft announced that it intends to update its SkyDrive cloud storage service, which will now include a recycle bin for the cloud. The company hopes that new features will streamline group projects and give a safety net for work in progress, which tackles concerns submitted by students, according to SkyDrive Group Program Manager Omar Shahine’s statement in a blog posting. The SkyDrive recycle bin is intended  to store deleted files for a minimum of three days, in case an important document has accidentally been thrown in the trash from the cloud. If the deleted docs account for over 10 percent of your storage limit, they will be removed in three days. The recycle bin update will be introduced now and will be available to all users within the next day.

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Corning Gets a Boost and 4 Hot Stocks to Track

Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ:SKUL): After Skullcandy’s stock damage after the introduction of the new Apple EarPods and it was downgraded by Morgan Stanley, it will launch its Edit headphone customization service with several personalization options which begins from $199.

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Neuralstem, Inc. (NYSE:CUR) focuses on developing and and commercializing treatments for central nervous system disease based on transplanting human neural stem cells and using small molecule drugs. The company is in an FDA-approved Phase I safety clinical trial for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and it has been awarded orphan status designation by the FDA.

Corning (NYSE:GLW) shares have been seeing an increase on Wednesday morning following Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski’s decision to raise her rating to Buy from Hold, which also sets a new target price of $16, an increase from $14. Tuesday, the stock closed at $12.73.

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) decision on Tuesday to cut 1,200 jobs is the most recent setback in the business of burning coal to produce electricity, as the U.S. puts its focus on natural gas and renewable energy, like wind. Alpha Natural Chief Executive Kevin Crutchfield stated that the company is strategically positioning itself for possible growth in thermal coal overseas, along with an expected uptick in metallurgic coal used to make steel.

 Cisco (NYSE:CSCO): Arista and Juniper Networks are in the market for low-latency switching. On Wednesday, Cisco confirmed that it will launch the Nexus 3548, which is an Ethernet switching system claiming to provide a minimum of 60 percent network performance improvement over any other competing 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches. This didn’t come as a surprise in regards to Cisco, which informed The Wall Street Journal that it intended to release a product to, in the words of David Yen, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, “give Arista a very, very significant challenge.”

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