U.S. stocks fall as investors await jobs data, earnings reports

Mead Johnson

Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. slipped 5.5% to $75.06. The world’s largest baby-formula maker said the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency, carried out a review of documents related to product pricing at Mead Johnson’s China unit recently. The U.S. company said it’s providing “full” cooperation.

China is probing foreign milk-powder companies including Danone and Nestle SA for possibly violating anti-monopoly laws and setting prices too high, the People’s Daily reported.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. plunged 25% to $6.24. The company said U.S. regulators stopped the clinical trial of one of its drugs for hepatitis C after some patients experienced elevated liver enzymes.

Linn Energy LLC, the oil and natural gas partnership that agreed to buy Berry Petroleum Co. in February, plunged 17% to $27.47, after disclosing a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry of the transaction and its accounting.

Auto Sales

Ford rose 2.9% to $16.19. The automaker’s sales of cars and light trucks climbed 13% to 234,917 last month, beating the 12% increase that was the average of 11 estimates.

Retailers advanced. U.S. sales at stores open at least one year rose 2.9% from a year earlier during the week ended June 29 as concern over increased inventory and markdowns eased, Johnson Redbook Research said.

Abercrombie & Fitch climbed 3.5% to $47.79. The teen retailer may see acceleration in margin expansion amid sales stabilization and cost reductions, Piper Jaffray Cos. wrote in a note, reiterating the stock as a top pick.

Zynga jumped 5.5% to $3.24. The maker of social- networking games named Don Mattrick, the former head of Microsoft’s entertainment division, as its new CEO. Mattrick will start July 8, the company said.

Nielsen Holdings NV, the biggest provider of U.S. television ratings, increased 2.3% to $34.03. The company will replace Sprint Nextel Corp. in the S&P 500 after the end of trading July 8, S&P said in a statement.

Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable technology company, climbed 1.6% to $415.57 for a third straight day of gains. Apple’s shares have retreated 41% from a record high in September amid concern that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has taken too long to deliver a new breakthrough product to help make up for stiffer iPhone competition.

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