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Squawking AOL and Obamacare; why Twitter tanked

Talking Squawk, the official "Squawk Box" blog, provides tidbits, insights and some sarcastic reflections on the WEEK THAT WAS and the WEEK TO COME from the notepad of the show's senior executive producer.

General Motors headquarters in Detroit
Getty Images
General Motors headquarters in Detroit

Earnings disappointment

GM Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens had a tough time Thursday explaining the automaker's big earnings miss. At first he called the results "very solid." But when pressed, he cited higher tax rates and restructuring costs contributed to profits.

401(k) changes

AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong had plenty to crow about after the company reported better-than expected earnings and revenues Thursday. But he also had some explaining to do about why AOL is altering the way it distributes 401(k) matching contributions to employees. Obamacare costs figured into it.

Buy bonds or stocks?

Bond prices suffered last year because of the roaring stock market. But fixed income has been the leader in 2014. Leading analysts weighed in Wednesday on whether this trend will continue.

Anti-debt crusader

He's our absolutely favorite budget-buster. Erskine Bowles does not mince words or sugarcoat the perils of our nation's spending habits. The United States spends about $230 billion a year in finance payments to creditors—a level that could more than double if interest rates returned to more normal levels, he said Monday.

Wearable 'home theater'

The CEO of Avegant, a small Michigan start-up, brought a cool gadget to the "Squawk Box" set Tuesday. It's one of those a picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words situations, but the device is best described as integrated audio and video headgear that connects via a single cord to your smartphone or video game device. Show co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin checked it out.

Earnings on tap

Cramer clips

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday that heavily-shorted Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a different company now that Coca-Cola has bought 10 percent of it in a $1.25 billion deal. Coke also plans to help launch the K-Cup maker's cold-drink machine.

On Wednesday, Cramer explained why he thinks the CVS Caremark move to end tobacco sales hurts shareholders.

Twitter growth?

In its first earnings report since its IPO, Twitter beat on the top and bottom lines but revealed weak user growth, which sent the stock sharply lower Thursday.

Mark your calendar (or set your DVR):

  • Monday: Bob Shrum (Democratic strategist) and David Walker ("Taxes Ranger!")
  • Tuesday: James Paulsen (Wells Capital Management) and David Darst (Morgan Stanley Wealth Management)
  • Wednesday: Bud Konheim (Nicole Miller CEO)
  • Thursday: Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (Banking Committee member)
  • Friday: Martin Feldstein (Harvard economics professor)

Next week's economic calendar

  • Monday: 3- and 6-month bill auctions (11:30 a.m. ET)
  • Tuesday: NFIB Small Business Optimism (7:30 a.m.) and Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks (10 a.m. ET)
  • Wednesday: Mortgage Applications (7 a.m. ET)
  • Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims and Retails Sales (8:30 a.m. ET)
  • Friday: Industrial Production (9:15 a.m. ET)

The Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-Based Inspirational Quote

"In all realms of life, it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power and fulfill your potential. It's no different in the financial realm."
—Suze Orman

—By CNBC's Matthew Quayle. Follow him on Twitter @matthew_quayle.

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