U.S. stocks advance on economic optimism amid stimulus efforts

Molycorp Jumps

Molycorp Inc. surged 31%, its biggest increase ever, to $7.34 after posting a net loss of 15 cents a share for the first quarter. Analysts had predicted a loss of 30 cents apiece, according to a Bloomberg survey. Revenue of $146.4 million beat the median analyst estimate of $137.3 million.

Energy companies posted the biggest decline out of 10 S&P 500 groups, erasing 0.5% as crude prices fell for a second day. The price of oil slid 0.4% to settle at $96.04 a barrel, as the dollar climbed, reducing the appeal of raw materials priced in the U.S. currency. Gold for June delivery fell by the most in a week. Exxon Mobil Corp. dropped 1% to $90.14, while Chevron Corp. erased 0.3% to $123.23.

Apple Slides

Apple sank 0.8% to $452.97, after earlier rising as much as 0.6%. While the iPhone maker has jumped 16% since hitting a 16-month low on April 19, shares failed to stay above their 100-day moving average of $460.43, according to Bloomberg data. Apple closed above the 100-day moving average on May 8 for the first time since October 2012, the data show.

CareFusion Corp. tumbled 3.1%, the second-most in the S&P 500, to $33.59. The maker of medical pumps, ventilators and medicine dispensers said sales for 2013 will be flat to down by a “low” single-digit%. The San Diego-based company had predicted in February revenue would increase 1 to 3%.

Air Lease Corp. slid 1.9% to $30 after posting first-quarter revenue of $192 million. That trailed the average analyst projection of $196 million.

Hess Corp. fell for the fifth straight day, losing 2.3% to $69.30. The oil company that’s in a proxy battle with billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. will strip Chief Executive officer John B. Hess of the chairmanship after its annual meeting next week.

John Krenicki, a company nominee and former CEO of General Electric Co.’s energy unit, will become chairman if he’s elected to the board at the May 16 meeting.

Bloomberg News

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