Stocks close at record; Halliburton shares jump on talk of a deal with rival Baker Hughes; Nordstrom earnings beat forecasts . Bobbi Rebell reports.
Halliburton is in talks to buy rival Baker Hughes. The report, which came after the U.S. markets closed, sent shares of Halliburton higher in the after hours trading session-rising as much as 18 percent. Baker Hughes stock also jumped after the report. Nordstrom earnings coming in better than forecasts- revenue was in line. But the department store chain lowered its full year guidance. Wal-Mart's earnings beat helped propel the Dow and S&P 500 higher - the Dow setting a record. The Nasdaq at its highest level since March of 2000. Wal-Mart got help from the 'hood. Price hikes and a strong performance from its small Neighborhood Market stores helped push up comparable store sales for the first time in seven quarters. Telsey Advisory Group senior analyst Joe Feldman: SOUNDBITE: JOE FELDMAN, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR AND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, TELSEY ADVISORY GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The small store format for them, the neighborhood market stores, are terrific. They are like basically grocery stores, and some are even small format grocery stores, and they have done a terrific job with those." Cable stocks rallied. Viacom's profit rose and beat estimates. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said his company is going "full steam ahead" with its merger with Time Warner Cable despite the new net neutrality rules. Sticking with media: Shrek may have to share his forest with G.I. Joe. Media reports say toymaker Hasbro is in talks to buy the studio, DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks shares rocketed higher. Hasbro's fell. Amazon and Hachette have buried the hatchet- reaching a deal on e-book sales. The multi-year agreement for e-book and print book sales comes after months of bitter fighting that pitted writers against the world's largest online retail store. Neither side gave details of the deal. Buffett's buying batteries, but that didn't charge up his stock much. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, bought Procter & Gamble's Duracell battery business in a stock swap worth $4.7 billion. P&G shares eased. Crude prices kept sliding, dragging down Dow components Exxon Mobile and Chevron. In economic news, weekly jobless claims rose more than expected to 290,000. Decision Economics chief U.S. economist Cary Leahey: SOUNDBITE: CARY LEAHEY, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The claims were much lower than I would've thought three months ago, so anything below 300,000 is very good. So I wouldn't make a lot out of this bounce." In Europe, positive earnings pushed stocks higher, offsetting weakness in energy stocks.