U.S. stocks advance as investors analyze Bernanke testimony

Barbie Sales

Mattel Inc., the largest U.S. toymaker, fell 6.5% to $43.34. Second-quarter profit fell short of analyst forecasts, as declining demand for the aging Barbie doll line and increased costs to expand the American Girl chain hurt results.

Hasbro Inc. fell 1.4% to $46.50.

Caterpillar Inc. dropped 1.9% to $86.54. The largest maker of construction and mining equipment “is tied to the wrong products at the wrong time in the cycle,” Chanos said today in a speech at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York.

Chanos, the president and founder of Kynikos Associates Ltd., said he’s shorting the stock and the company is “being aggressive with their acquisitional accounting.”

Jim Dugan, a spokesman for Caterpillar, declined to comment on Chanos’s statements.

McDonald’s Corp. slid 0.7% to $100.18. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC downgraded the world’s largest restaurant chain to neutral from a buy rating, with a 12-month price target of $105 a share.

American Tower

American Tower Corp. fell 0.8% to $74.10 after short-seller Carson Block said the company is engaged in a “value-destroying investment binge” that will knock shares down 40%. Shares of the operator of cell-phone antennas have almost tripled since 2008.

The company has overstated the value of acquisitions in the U.S. and Brazil, and the shares are worth $44.57 a share, Block’s firm, Muddy Waters Research, wrote in a report published on its website today.

Matt Peterson, an American Tower spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Leon Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors Inc., said the stock market could correct or stay at the current level after its rally since March 2009.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the market corrects or goes sideways,” Cooperman said today at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference.

For the longer term, he predicted that over the next 12 months the S&P 500 will rise 5% to 10%. That compares with a jump of about 18% so far this year.


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