Market Minute: GM Profit Beats Forecasts; Hardees, Carl's Jr. Up For Sale?

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General Motors races past expectations, and a pair of fast food chains could go up for sale. Those and more are what's making business news Thursday.

The Dow industrials (^DJI) fell 25 points Wednesday. The S&P 500 (^GPSC) lost 6 points and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose a fraction.

gm earnings chevy impala stocks investing wall street automotive industry
Mario Tama/Getty Images2014 Chevrolet Impala sedan
General Motors (GM) quarterly profit fell by 24 percent, but that was still better than expected. The company says its loss in Europe narrowed significantly. Analysts say the second half of the year should be more profitable for GM, as it rolls out a series of new models.

Separately, GM's Chevrolet Impala has been named as Consumer Reports' top sedan in the U.S. It's the first time a domestic brand has won that honor in more than 20 years.

The restaurant chains Hardees and Carl's Jr. could soon go on the auction block. Reuters reports that CKE, which owns both chains, may put them up for sale after withdrawing a planned IPO late last year. A deal could be worth more than $1.7 billion.

Facebook (FB) is making lots of friends on Wall Street after blowing past earnings estimates. The company turned in a solid profit, reversing a year ago loss. Mobile ad revenue –- considered the key to its future growth -- now accounts for 41 percent of its total, up from 30 percent just three months ago. Facebook shares are soaring on the news.

Other stocks moving up on earnings news include Visa (V), E-Trade Financial (ETFC) and Qualcomm (QCOM). But shares of the footwear-maker Crocs (CROX) are getting stomped.

Also reporting this morning: 3M (MMM), Bristol-Myers (BMY), and two airlines: Southwest (LUV) and United Continental Holdings (UAL).

After the bell it's Amazon.com (AMZN) and Starbucks (SBUX).

And a bit of good news for TV viewers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Time Warner Cable (TWC) and CBS (CBS) have extended the deadline on contract talks until Monday. Their deal had been set to expire this morning. Time Warner Cable is threatening to pull the plug on CBS and its Showtime unit in a dispute over fees for the programming.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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