Bass Pro Shops said to weigh bid for Cabela's
Shares of Cabela's Inc. jumped 10 percent after Reuters reported that rival Bass Pro Shops is considering a bid for the retailer of hunting, fishing and camping supplies. Bass Pro, which is closely held, is working with an investment bank on a potential offer, Reuters said, citing people familiar with the situation. The move followed a push by Cabela's investor Elliott Associates for the company to explore its options, including a possible sale to a competitor or private-equity firm. Elliott disclosed an 11 percent stake in Cabela's last month and said it would hold discussions with management. Cabela's shares rose $4.03 to close Thursday at $43.56. The stock had been down 25 percent this year through Wednesday's close, hurt by sluggish sales.
United CEO Munoz to return early in 2016
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz says he plans to return to work in the first quarter of 2016. Munoz, 56, has been out on medical leave following an Oct. 15 heart attack. The company's general counsel, Brett Hart, has led the company in his absence. "My time away will be a little longer than I would like, but based upon discussion with my doctors I will be back in the first quarter," Munoz said in a letter to employees released by the company. Munoz had spent a month leading the Chicago-based United Continental Holdings before having the heart attack. He became CEO on Sept. 8 after Jeff Smisek was pushed out amid a federal investigation into the airline's dealings with the government agency running one of its most important airports.
Apple Pay now includes Walgreens rewards
Move over, plastic. Mobile payments just got a push with a partnership between Walgreens and Apple. The two companies announced that Walgreens Balance Rewards members can use their Apple Pay account to buy merchandise without scanning their rewards card at checkout. Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that lets customers buy goods with an iPhone or Apple Watch. Walgreens, based in suburban Chicago and the nation's largest drugstore chain by number of locations, is the first U.S. retailer to link its loyalty program to Apple Pay. The companies said Balance Rewards members will be able to earn and redeem loyalty points or use discount coupons through Apple Pay.
Initial jobless claims rise but remain low
More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but levels remain near historic lows as employers are hesitant to let go of workers. The Labor Department said Thursday that a seasonally adjusted 276,000 people sought jobless aid last week, up from 260,000 in the prior week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3,500 to 262,750. Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. Recent multi-decade lows indicate that employers expect the economy to continue to improve despite global pressures on growth, prompting them to hold onto workers. The four-week average has stayed below 300,000 since late March, achieving levels traditionally linked with a healthy job market. The government releases the October jobs report Friday.
Walker: Oscar Mayer exit wasn't about Wis.
The decision to close Oscar Mayer's 100-year-old plant in Madison, Wis., and move its corporate headquarters to Chicago was made at the corporate level and "has nothing to do with Wisconsin," Gov. Scott Walker said. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's job creation agency that Walker created, offered Kraft Heinz "assistance" but the company declined to take it, the governor said. Walker said he has also reached out to the company since the closure announcement to see if the state can do anything now. Walker made his remarks to reporters during an impromptu question-and-answer session in Madison.
Stocks quiet ahead of Friday's jobs report
The U.S. stock market ended trading slightly lower as investors were hesitant to make any large bets before the release of the government's closely watched jobs report, out Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 4.15 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 17,863.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.38 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,099.93. Drug stocks were among the biggest decliners, following another steep drop in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Shares in the company fell below $80 on reports that a major hedge fund had sold its investment in the company and a congressional panel is probing the company's operations. Valeant closed down $13.20, or 14 percent, to $78.77.
U.S. Steel pulls out of HQ deal in Pittsburgh
United States Steel Corp. has pulled out of a deal to build its new world headquarters as part of an ongoing $440 million redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site by the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. Thursday's decision comes almost exactly a year after company, team, local and state officials announced the plans at the Consol Energy Center, the Penguins' new arena. That arena sits across the street from the site where a team-controlled subsidiary planned to break ground on the new headquarters and complete the project before U.S. Steel's lease expires at its current downtown location. The announcement comes two days after the steelmaker reported a third-quarter loss of $173 million.