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Comcast agrees to buy Time Warner Cable

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(CNN) — In a deal creating the largest U.S. cable TV operator, Comcast has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.

Comcast has agreed to pay $158.82 per share for Time Warner Cable, a 17% premium to Wednesday’s closing price. Neither stock was active pre-marketbut shares in a smaller rival — Cablevision Systems — gained 2%.

Bad weather on the east coast could keep markets subdued, and has already forced Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen to postpone her second appearance this week before Congress, which was due Thursday. Her first day of testimony as chairman sent stocks sharply higher on Tuesday.

U.S. stock futures were down by about 0.4%. Markets ended mixed Wednesday as investors took a breather after a four day winning streak.

In other company news, Dow component Cisco Systems raised its dividend despite reporting lower revenue and earnings. But while results were a bit better than expected, guidance that revenue would continue to fall sent shares lower in after-hours trading Wednesday.

European markets were weaker in morning trading, while Asian markets ended with losses, led by the Nikkei, which fell 1.8%.

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