Morning Buzz: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Ericsson (ERIC), Fitbit (FIT), Microsoft (MSFT)

Apple Tim Cook

Apple Inc (AAPL) – In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” CEO Tim Cook defended Cupertino’s tax policies, saying that any criticism of how the company handles taxes on overseas revenue is “political crap.” Cook also said that Apple keeps its overseas revenue outside of the U.S. because the country’s tax code was built for the industrial age and not the digital age. He pointed out that the actual code would force Apple to pay 40% tax to bring that revenue home.

“It would cost me 40% to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do,” said Cook, adding that Apple pays “more taxes in this country than any one.”

Shares of Ericsson (ERIC) are higher by nearly 6% to $9.65 in morning trading on Monday after the company announced that it signed a global patent license deal with Apple Inc. Ericsson signed a seven-year agreement that requires Cupertino to make a one-time payment to the Swedish mobile tech maker, then provide ongoing royalties for the next seven years.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) are feeling a boost today on the back of a positive article in this weekend’s edition of Barron’s. The publication suggested the software giant’s stock could surge 30% over the next 18 months thanks to the boost provided by its cloud-computing business. After closing last week at $54.13, Microsoft stock is up about 1.61% to $55 today.

Fitbit Inc. (FIT) shares gained 1.84% to $28.24 in early trading after Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brad Erickson said the company’s holiday sales have been “exploding” since Black Friday. According to Marketwatch, Erickson said that based on recent in-store check sales appear to have soared since last month

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