There's talk that Texas-based JCPenney may soon consider selling itself! The struggling retailer, dumping the guy it brought over from Apple after his makeover efforts which included cutting back on sales events, turned out to be disastrous. The company is now bringing back its previous chief executive instead. Industry analysts say JCPenney has a lot of cleaning up to do, and a sale of the company's one possibility.
Meantime Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings is getting some good news from the IRS. The Texas power company was taken private six years ago in the largest buyout in history. Now the IRS has decided the company won't have to pay a potential tax liability on $23 billion, if it cuts ties to some of its units in a restructuring.
And a warm spell in the east is helping push natural gas prices slightly lower. Natural gas prices have gone up more than 20 percent this year, with cold weather bolstering heating demand.
President Obama sends his new budget to Congress Wednesday. Included is a federal tax hike on cigarettes that would fund preschool programs. Tobacco companies and sellers are against it. Anti-smoking groups are praising the plan.
The federal government currently taxes cigarettes at about a dollar a pack.