U.S. stocks rise as earnings top estimates before Fed meeting

Health Insurers

Aetna Inc. slipped 1.5% to $60.83. The third-biggest U.S. health insurer said quarterly profit rose 3.9%, boosted by the acquisition of rival Coventry Health Care Inc. Insurer shares have slid this month after the top two carriers, UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc., gave outlooks for next year that disappointed investors.

The industry faces falling payments from the U.S. Medicare program. Technical issues with the Obamacare rollout also have clouded prospects for new business from the federal health-care law.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber plunged 6.4% to $20.63. The company reported third-quarter sales that missed analyst estimates and said consumer demand for original equipment in Europe, the Middle East and Asia may fall 5% in the rest of 2013.

Cummins Inc. fell 5.8% to $127.11. The engine maker experienced “weak demand for capital goods in most of our major markets,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Linebarger said in a statement. Third-quarter profit of $1.90 a share missed analysts’ average estimate of $2.11, as growth in China and Brazil was offset by weak demand in India, Australia and Europe, according to the statement.

Industrial Stocks

Caterpillar Inc., the maker of construction and mining equipment, slid 0.4% to $83.9253 for the steepest drop in the Dow. Joy Global Inc., which manufactures machines for extracting ores and minerals, lost 1.9% to $57.59, halting a five-day rally.

MeadWestvaco Corp. plunged 9.3% to $35.15 for the biggest drop in the S&P 500. The packaging maker reported adjusted earnings that fell short of estimates.

Seagate Technology Plc lost 3.5% to $48.11. The disk drive maker forecast fiscal second-quarter sales below analyst estimates and said it expects demand for its products to remain similar to prior quarters.

American Capital Agency Corp. fell 8.8% to $21.78. The real-estate investment trust that buys mortgage debt reported third-quarter spread earnings per share of 58 cents, compared with analysts’ forecast of 81 cents.

A faulty data feed prevented prices for Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s benchmark U.S. stock indexes from being disseminated for almost an hour, pausing trading for some options.

The Nasdaq Composite Index and Nasdaq-100 Index were among the measures that stopped updating at about 11:53 a.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They started moving again at 12:45 p.m., the data show. Individual stocks listed by Nasdaq OMX, such as Apple Inc. and Google Inc., had continued to trade during the outage. Nasdaq shares added 0.3% to $35.81, a five-year high on a closing basis.

www.bloomberg.com

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