U.S. stocks erase gains as finance chiefs meet on Greece aid

Titanium Metals

Titanium Metals surged 43 percent to $16.50. Precision Castparts, the maker of metal forgings for jet engines, agreed to buy Texas billionaire Harold Simmons’s Titanium Metals for $2.9 billion in its largest acquisition in almost two decades. Titanium Metals’ stockholders will get $16.50 a share, 44 percent more than the Dallas-based company’s closing price on Nov. 8, according to a statement after markets closed on Nov. 9. Precision Castparts added 4.9 percent to $179.69.

Sherwin-Williams Co. climbed 5.8 percent, the biggest gain since September 2011, to $149.06. The largest U.S. paint retailer agreed to acquire closely held Consorcio Comex SA de CV for about $2.34 billion including debt to gain Mexico’s largest paint maker as housing demand improves.

Gilead Sciences Inc. rose 14 percent to $73.93 after a combination of its experimental hepatitis C therapies cleared the virus in 100 percent of patients in a trial. Gilead, the world’s largest maker of HIV medicines, is among several drugmakers racing to develop new hepatitis C treatments that act faster with fewer side effects than the current standard of care.

Homebuilders Tumble

Celgene Corp., the fourth-largest biotechnology company, gained 5.8 percent to $75.66. The drugmaker reported its medicine for pancreatic cancer met goals of a late-stage study.

All 11 members in the Supercomposite Homebuilding Index dropped, with D.R. Horton Inc. losing 5.8 percent to $19.40. The largest U.S. homebuilder by volume fell after CEO Donald Tomnitz cautioned during a conference call that employment growth will remain weak next year, potentially hurting sales of new houses.

Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA Inc., which isn’t part of the S&P index, declined 17 percent to $13.77 after reporting a wider-than-estimated fourth-quarter loss.

The S&P 500 Utilities Index fell for the eighth straight trading day, the longest losing streak in 10 years. The benchmark, which includes companies such as Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Resources Inc., lost 0.8 percent and closed at the lowest level since April.

Apple Falls

Apple fell 0.8 percent to $542.83, after gaining as much as 1.4 percent earlier in the day. The shares have dropped 23 percent from their September high. Apple hasn’t been able to keep up with demand for the latest version of the iPhone, which accounts for about two-thirds of the company’s profit.

J.C. Penney Co. tumbled 13 percent to $17.97, the lowest price since March 2009, as the department-store chain’s third- quarter sales plunge fueled investor concern about the viability of Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson’s turnaround plan. The shares fell 4.8 percent on Nov. 9 after the company reported a third-quarter loss greater than analysts estimated.

The New York Stock Exchange canceled trading and closing auctions in 216 securities today after a malfunction in a computerized “matching engine.”

The affected stocks, which included such companies as Travelers Cos. and U.S. Steel Corp., continued to trade on other exchanges, including the Nasdaq Stock Market. The exchange anticipates a “normal trading day in all securities tomorrow,” according to an e-mail to traders.

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