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Stocks seek to extend winning streak

The Dow and the S&P 500 come off five straight weeks of gains, as investors look ahead to a relatively light week for economic numbers and earnings reports. Today could be particularly slow, as the Veteran's Day holiday keeps the bond market closed, though stock markets will operate on a normal weekday schedule.


There are no economic reports nor earnings of note this morning, though News Corp. (NWSA) will headline a short list of after-the-bell earnings this afternoon.


Novartis (NVS) is among our stocks to watch today, as it sells its blood transfusion testing unit to Spain's Grifols (GRFS) For $1.7 billion.


ViroPharma (VPHM) is being bought by London-based Shire for $50 per share, 27 percent above ViroPharma's Friday closing price. ViroPharma specializes in treatments for rare diseases.


Transocean (RIG) and activist investor Carl Icahn have reached an agreement that sees the oilfield services company paying out a $3 per share dividend, as well as reducing the number of board seats.


Facebook (FB) director Marc Andreessen's venture firm Andreessen Horowitz has sold about one third of its Facebook stake, according to an SEC filing. The firm still holds nearly 4.6 million shares of the social networking giant.


Best Buy (BBY) has joined the growing list of retailers planning to open on Thanksgiving Day. The nation's largest electronics retailer will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m., joining Toys R Us, Macy's (M), J.C. Penney (JCP), and Kohl's (KSS).


Boeing (BA) remains in the news after the Washington state legislature passed legislation extending tax breaks for the jet maker. Those breaks are designed to convince Boeing to produce its new 777X jet in the Seattle area.


Bank of America (BAC) would have to pay $864 million in damages if the government gets its way. A court filing asks for those damages after the bank was found liable for fraud over mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit.


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has stopped selling some of its products on Amazon.com, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report said J&J is upset because Amazon is not doing enough to stop third-party merchants from selling expired items.


Amazon.com (AMZN) is also in the news for an agreement struck with the U.S. Postal Service. Members of the retailer's Amazon Prime program will be able to receive package deliveries via the USPS on Sundays in the New York and Los Angeles markets. The service will be expanded to other cities next year.


Cooper Tire (CTB) lost a court dispute with buyout partner Apollo Tyres, with a judge ruling that Apollo did not breach its $2.5 billion agreement to buy Cooper in not accepting a union labor agreement that Cooper had negotiated.