Hess Corp. jumped 16 percent to $68.21. The oil company said it will close its last refinery and sell its oil terminals after disclosing billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Associates LP planned to buy an $800 million stake and seek board seats. Hess also reported a $566 million profit for the fourth quarter, compared with a $131 million net loss a year earlier.
D.R. Horton Inc. rose 7.3 percent to $23.35. The largest U.S. homebuilder by volume reported that earnings more than doubled in the fiscal first quarter, as low mortgage rates and a shrinking inventory of existing residences on the market are fueling sales of new houses.
Merck & Co. lost 3.8 percent to $41.83 for the biggest decline in the Dow. The second-largest U.S. drugmaker forecast a decline in profit this year as generic competition to its top- selling drug Singulair cuts into results and research setbacks keep the company from getting new medicines to market.
UPS declined 3 percent to $79.97. The Atlanta-based company’s growth is constrained by a sluggish worldwide economy and disputes over the U.S. debt ceiling that erode shipping demand and confidence, Chief Executive Officer Scott Davis said. Investors and analysts use the company as an economic gauge because it handles goods as varied as auto parts and pharmaceuticals.
Dow Chemical Co. dropped 5.8 percent to $32.59. The largest U.S. chemical maker by sales reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates as sales fell in Europe and Chinese growth slowed.
Facebook Inc. slid 5.7 percent to $29.73. The operator of the biggest social network posted a 79 percent plunge in fourth- quarter profit as operating expenses jumped 82 percent, raising concern that margins will come under pressure.
Yahoo! Inc. erased 3 percent to $19.76. The largest U.S. Web portal gave first-quarter and full-year sales forecasts that fell short of some analysts’ projections. The disappointing forecasts underscore the challenge Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer faces in display advertising, an area where Yahoo lags behind Google Inc. and Facebook.