U.S. stocks advance ahead of American presidential elections

Apple Rallies

Apple rose 1.4 percent to $584.62, after slumping 4.5 percent last week. The company began selling the 7.9-inch tablet in the U.S. and more than 30 other countries on Nov. 2, ramping up an effort to fend off competition in the market for tablets, which NPD DisplaySearch predicts will more than double by 2017.

“Demand for iPad mini exceeded the initial supply and while many of the pre-orders have been shipped to customers, some are scheduled to be shipped later this month,” Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement.

KBW jumped 7.2 percent to $17.47. Shareholders will receive $17.50 per share, comprised of $10 in cash and $7.50 in Stifel common stock, the companies said today in a statement. The deal values KBW 7.4 percent higher than its closing price on Nov. 2.

FuelCell Energy Inc. surged 13 percent to $1.03. The U.S. manufacturer of fuel-cell power plants announced its biggest order to date. Posco, South Korea’s largest steelmaker, agreed to pay about $181 million for 121.8 megawatts of power plants and services beginning in May, Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell said today in a statement.

Cost Control

Transocean Ltd. climbed 5.6 percent to $48.64. The world’s largest offshore rig contractor posted adjusted third-quarter earnings that exceeded estimates on improved cost control.

Time Warner Cable slumped 6.4 percent to $91.93. It lost 140,000 video subscribers, more than the 128,000 that analysts had estimated. Time Warner Cable has become “top-heavy” after shares gained more than 54 percent this year, Todd Mitchell, an analyst at Brean Capital LLC in New York, said in an interview before the results were released. Its operations also aren’t as strong as those of Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, he said.

McGraw-Hill Cos. slumped 4 percent to $52.24. The owner of the largest credit ratings company S&P fell after an Australian judge ruled it misled investors by giving its highest credit grade to securities whose value plunged during the global financial crisis.

Radian Group Inc. tumbled 10 percent to $4.83 after Barron’s said the mortgage insurer may eventually incur costs for claims that it denied.

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