Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. jumped 3.4% after the world’s largest corn processor reported better-than-forecast earnings and revenue as its U.S. soybean-crushing operations ran at record capacity. Yum! Brands Inc., owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut fast-food chains, fell 3% after saying profit this year will be less than it previously expected as a probe into its chicken suppliers hurt sales in China.
More than 20 companies in the S&P 500 were scheduled to report quarterly results today. Earnings per share beat the average analyst estimate at 75% of the 281 companies that released results so far in the reporting season, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index, which covers about 90% of the economy, fell to 55.2 in January from 55.7 the prior month. The median forecast of 76 economists projected the index would reach 55. Readings above 50 signal growth.
Dell added 1.2% to $13.43 after the world’s third- biggest maker of personal computers said it is going private in a deal valued at $24.4 billion. Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC will pay $13.65 a share, the companies said today in a statement.
“These are indications that there’s long-term confidence in the economy and the markets,” Macey said of the Dell LBO. “It signals there’s a long-term appetite for stocks because they’re going to have to exit at some point.”
McGraw-Hill Cos. slid 13%, extending its two-day slump to a more than 25%. The U.S. is seeking as much as $5 billion in penalties from McGraw-Hill and its Standard & Poor’s unit as punishment for inflated credit ratings that Attorney General Eric Holder said were central to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Moody’s Corp. sank a similar amount, extending its two-day slump to a record 22 percent.
Two shares advanced for every one that fell in the Stoxx 600. Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, rose 3.9% after proposing to raise its dividend. ARM Holdings, whose chip designs power Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, climbed 4.3% as fourth-quarter sales rose more than analysts predicted.
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