After Market: Stocks Stabilize, and Microsoft's CEO Short List Gets Shorter

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The market ended a rough week with some green arrows, and one major tech company took a preemptive step to block Microsoft from poaching one of its top executives.

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Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesSteve Mollenkopf, president and COO of Qualcomm, is being tapped as its next CEO -- which appears to rule him out as a successor to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Qualcomm (QCOM) unexpectedly named a 20-year company veteran as Chairman and CEO. President and COO Steve Mollenkopf will take over for Paul Jacobs, the son of the company's founder. Here's the reason this is big news: Mollenkopf had recently emerged as a leading candidate to succeed Steve Ballmer as CEO at Microsoft (MSFT), which can now cross him off its short list. Qualcomm was little changed, but Microsoft fell 1.5 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 16 points on Friday, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 2, but the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged down by less than a point. The averages all ended lower for the week.

Two factors that have boosted the market all year were on display again today: stock buybacks and IPOs.

Honeywell (HON) announced plans to buy back up to $5 billion worth of its stock. It's shares edged higher for the day; Honeywell's up 40 percent over the past year.

And on the IPO front, Nimble Storage (NMBL) jumped 61 percent from its $21 a share initial pricing. So far this year, the market has been inundated with more than $51 billion in new stock offerings, the most in 13 years.

Some of the biggest names on the Nasdaq were on the move.

Amazon (AMZN) gained about 1 percent on reports that it's working on a plan to expand home delivery of consumer packaged goods –- everything from paper towels to pet food. Analysts say it's a direct challenge to Costco (COST) and Sam's Club (WMT). Twitter (TWTR) rose 7 percent on a recommendation from the brokerage firm RBC. But Apple (AAPL) and Intel (INTC) both lost about 1 percent.

Adobe (ADBE) jumped 13 percent. Quarterly results were weak, but subscriptions to its new cloud service jumped 40 percent.

And Anadarko Petroleum (APC) slid 6 percent after a bankruptcy court judge said the company could be liable for at least $5 billion -- and maybe a lot more -- in an environmental lawsuit.

What to Watch Monday:
  • At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time the Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for December, and the Labor Department reports revised productivity and costs data for the third quarter.
  • At 9 a.m., Markit releases its manufacturing index of purchasing managers for December, and the Treasury Department reports international capital for October.
  • The Labor Department reports industrial production for November at 9:15 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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