Market Minute: Verizon, Vodafone Renew Talks; Fast-Food Workers to Walkout

One of the biggest corporate buyouts ever is back on the table. That and more are what's in Thursday's Market Minute.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 48 points Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 4 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) gained 14 points.

Verizon Communications (VZ) has renewed talks to buy Vodaphone's share of their wireless joint venture. Vodaphone (VOD), which owns 45 percent of the business, confirms that talks are underway. Verizon Wireless is the largest cellular carrier in the U.S. and an acquisition would likely cost Verizon well over $100 billion.

Verizon May Sell 2 Million IPhones As Bid To Win Users From AT&T Begins
Ryan Anson, Bloomberg via Getty Images
Protests by workers at fast-food chains are expanding, with employees in 50 cities expected to walk off the job today. They're seeking a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Currently, fast-food workers earn well below the poverty level. Workers will picket during lunchtime at McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW), KFC -- a unit of YUM Brands (YUM) -- and Wendy's (WEN) restaurants.

Walmart (WMT) executives will answer questions today from shareholders about how the company operates in Bangladesh following a series of deadly disasters at factories there. The company is expected to lay out its plan to improve worker safety.

Williams-Sonoma's (WSM) quarterly earnings rose by 13 percent, led by strong sales at its Pottery Barn and West Elm units. The retailer also raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

Sticking with the retail theme: Urban Outfitters (URBN) plans to buy back up to 10 million shares of its stock. This is its fourth large repurchase program in the past seven years.

And chip-maker Altera (ALTR) raised its buyback authorization to 13 percent of its shares outstanding.

Shares of the apparel maker Guess (GES) are set to rally after the company's earnings beat expectations.

MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) could benefit from Obamacare. The Administration will require health insurers to accept prepaid debit card payments from lower-income Americans who don't have checking accounts.

And Ford (F) is adding a second shift at a Michigan plant to ramp up production of its hot-selling Fusion. Sales are up 13 percent so far this year.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

Apps That Manage Your Money For You
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Market Minute: Verizon, Vodafone Renew Talks; Fast-Food Workers to Walkout

Mint made the Mac App Store's Best of 2012 list for a reason. This simple, clean app shows how much you are spending in each category of your budget by monitoring all of your transactions. We love signing in and getting a quick, dirty rundown of where our money has gone over the last week, and using their personalized budget tools to stay on track. We highly recommend adjusting your budgets for summer months. You might spend less on transportation when the weather is nice, and chances are you could use that extra cash to flesh out that restaurant tab, right?

Price: Free

Available for Apple and Android.

This is the all-in-one financial organizer. Manage all of your accounts, from credit cards to magazine subscriptions, in one place and even make custom accounts for your rent or cleaning service. Get reminders for bill payments, and monitor all of your travel reward points, too. You'll always know what you owe, how much money you have and can plan for upcoming bills and expenses without having to sift through tons of paperwork.

Price: Free

Available for Apple and Android devices.

If you want to isolate the expense tracker function of Mint in a super simple day-to-day app, then DailyCost is a great buy. A wide variety of categories lets users input all of their daily expenses. Holding your phone horizontally, you will be able to see graphs and statistics on your spending. The app also tracks your weekly and monthly spending by category and can be backed up to iCloud for Mac users, so you'll never lose your data.

Price: $1.99

Available for Apple only.

If you're a heavy traveler, Toshl is an excellent expense and budget tracker. It works with any currency and lets you separate your travel budget from your day-to-day expenses. It comes with all the trappings of a regular money management app, too, such as bill organizer and alerts, and can be synced across all your devices.

Price: Free

Available on Apple and Android devices.

Next time you organize a group activity, Tricount will split up the expenses for you. Create the expense report on your phone and organize by person, how much they owe, and then share via email so everyone knows their share. With options for expenses, balance, share, and configuration, the app does all of the math for you.

Price: Free

Available for Apple and Android devices.

Never miss a bill payment again. This app reminds you when your payments are due, and lets you pay on the spot from a bank account or credit card, or you can schedule a payment for the future. Connect all of your accounts to the encrypted app and then view them all in one place for easy access and payment options. You'll never overdraft or miss a payment again.

Price: Free

Available on Apple and Android devices.

Make and share payments with friends. This app uses the same technology to pay as LivingSocial, Uber and Airbnb. Pay with your debit card or transfer funds from a linked bank account, right to a friend's Venmo account. It is Verisign Certified.

Price: Free

Available on Apple and Android devices.

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