U.S. stocks surge most since January on optimism for debt deal

Financial Shares

Financial shares rallied 2.8% as a group, the biggest rally since Jan. 2, as all 81 members of an S&P index advanced. American Express, the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by purchases, jumped 3.2% to $74.50.

Wells Fargo gained 2.6% to $41.39 while JPMorgan added 3.2% to $52.37. JPMorgan is among lenders that said earnings will suffer from a bond-trading slump, while Wells Fargo guided analysts to expect mortgage originations to fall by almost 30%.

MetLife Inc. added 3.5% to $47.99 and Prudential Financial Inc. climbed 3.6% to $78.72, pacing gains among insurers as bond yields rose. The firms invest funds from clients in bonds and other assets to back future payouts.

Gilead Sciences climbed 6% to $62.41. The company said patients benefited enough from the cancer drug idelalisib to end a late-stage study early.

Netflix Rating

Netflix Inc. rose 5.6% to $304.56, snapping a three- day slide. Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Co., started coverage of the stock with a buy rating and said the video service provider has the ability to boost subscription prices. While Netflix fell 12% this week through yesterday, the stock has more than tripled since the start of the year.

Time Warner Cable Inc. jumped 5.5% to $116.34, headed for the biggest increase since June. The cable company and Univision Communications Inc., a media group that caters to Hispanic Americans, agreed to extend their partnership and deliver more Univision content to Time Warner subscribers.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. surged 3.4% to $73.82. The biggest U.S. insurer had the outlook on its credit rating raised to positive from stable by S&P on expectation that the company will improve its leading market positions and pricing flexibility.

Citrix Systems Inc. slumped 12% to $58.90 as the technology company reported preliminary third-quarter earnings of 68 cents to 69 cents a share. That missed the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg of 73 cents.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. slipped 4.4% to $58.99. The biggest U.S. operator of medical laboratories said preliminary results showed that, excluding some items, it earned $1.02 a share in the third quarter. Analysts, on average, estimated $1.20, according to a Bloomberg survey.

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