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Some of Thursday's midday movers.
Dec 19- Darden Restaurants Inc said it would spin off or sell its struggling Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from hedge fund Barington Capital Group, and warned that earnings would fall more than expected this year due to weak demand.
Dec 19- Darden Restaurants Inc said it would sell or spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group after reporting another quarter of sliding profits.
*Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops. NEW YORK, Dec 19- U.S. stocks were set to open lower Thursday following data showing a rise in jobless claims, having hit record highs a day earlier after the Federal Reserve said the economy was strong enough for it to begin paring its massive stimulus.
Companies are making headlines before the bell Thursday.
U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower opening on Thursday after stocks surged yesterday on news from the Fed.
Dec 19- Darden Restaurants Inc, under pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group because of sliding profits, said it would sell or spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain.
*Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops. *The Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Dec. 14 at 8:30 a.m. EST.
Even with stocks surging to record highs, traders see upside for the market into year end and they are looking to Santa to provide some of the lift.
"It was said the recession was officially over in 2009, but consumers aren't behaving that way," one analyst said.
Dec 17- Barington Capital Group, an investor pushing for change at Darden Restaurants Inc, on Tuesday released its detailed plan for improving the parent of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.
Beginning with Applebee's and Buffalo Wild Wings, many restaurants are looking to tablets as a way to boost sales and reduce wait times.
Traders are widely divided on what the Fed will do next week, which raises the odds for a volatile market reaction.
"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams visited this week, bringing custom characters for hosts Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin.
As restaurants battle to lure diners, Olive Garden on Monday introduced its version of an American classic: the Italiano Burger.
Nov 21- Activist investor group Barington Capital Group stepped up its push for change at restaurant chain and Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc on Thursday.
Barington, which leads a group of shareholders that own a combined 2 percent stake in the Olive Garden and Red Lobster parent, also said it is working with proxy solicitation firm MacKenzie Partners.
*Third-quarter earnings/share $0.11 vs est $0.11. Nov 6- Restaurant operator Noodles& Co reported lower-than-expected revenue in its second quarter as a public company, citing a tepid consumer spending environment.
Oct 23- Brinker International Inc reported first-quarter results that missed analysts' estimates, hurt by a decline in same-store sales at its Chili's Grill& Bar chain.
Oct 17- Darden Restaurants Inc, parent of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, should break itself up and explore spinning off its real estate properties, activist investor Barington Capital Group said.