S&P 500 gains for fifth day on Chinese exports, acquisitions

Merger Activity

The U.S. market is poised for the busiest month of takeovers in more than six years. About $160 billion of mergers and acquisitions have been announced since the end of August, the most since July 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Among other deals today, Neiman Marcus Inc. agreed to sell itself to Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $6 billion. Neiman’s private-equity owners TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus LLC paid about $5.1 billion for the Dallas-based retailer in 2005.

Apple added 1.7% to $506.62. The company will unveil a less expensive version of the iPhone and an upgrade of the iPhone 5 tomorrow, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The device is the country’s top-selling smartphone. FBN Securities Inc. raised its priced target on the stock to $600 from $575 today.

Delta advanced 8.2%, the most since April, to $21.52. The airline will join the S&P 500 after the close of trading tomorrow, according to a statement from S&P Dow Jones Indices on Sept. 6, making Atlanta-based Delta the second carrier in the index after Southwest Airlines Co. BMC is leaving the gauge after being bought by Bain Capital LLC.

Homebuilders Jump

An S&P index of homebuilders jumped 5.3% as Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. reported a profit for its fiscal third quarter as sales and prices increased amid a nationwide housing recovery.

Hovnanian, the best-performing U.S. homebuilder stock in the past year, rose 3% to $5.19. PulteGroup Inc., the largest U.S. homebuilder by market value, added 7.6% to $16.64 for the second-biggest gain in the S&P 500. D.R. Horton Inc. advanced 6.3% to $19.24.

Crown Castle International Corp. climbed 2.4% to $72.22. The provider of infrastructure for wireless communications said it will take steps to qualify as a real estate investment trust for tax purposes.

Expedia Inc. climbed 2.1% to $50.73. The provider of online travel services was raised to buy from neutral by Lazard Capital Markets LLC.

Refiners fell after Simmons & Co. downgraded the sector, citing the likelihood of significant cuts to third-quarter earnings forecasts. Tesoro Corp. lost 0.9% to $46.34 while Marathon Petroleum Corp. slipped 1.8% to $69.59. Both had their recommendations reduced to neutral from overweight.

www.bloomberg.com

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