U.S. stocks fluctuate near records on earnings, stimulus bets

‘Look Deeper’

“Valuations are not as attractive and people need to look deeper into the market to find better value,” Ignis’ Porter said by phone from Glasgow.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which measures future volatility signaled by S&P 500 options, fell 3.3% to 12.48 today, headed for the lowest close since August.

Five of 10 main S&P 500 groups advanced today, with technology stocks rising 0.2% to pace the gains. International Business Machines Corp. jumped 1.6% to $182.78 for the best gain in the Dow. Phone shares fell 0.4% for the worst performance in the broader index.

Transocean rose 3.9% to $55.52. The company agreed with Icahn to pay about $1.1 billion in dividend and to increase margins by $800 million through cost cutting. Transocean will also back two of Icahn’s nominees to the board, whose size will be cut to 11 directors from 14, according to a joint statement.

Deal Activity

ViroPharma rallied 26% to $49.43, it’s highest since April 2000. Dublin-based Shire will pay $50 a share in cash for the maker of drugs that treat some rare diseases, according to a statement today.

Gogo Inc., a provider of in-flight Internet services, jumped 30% to a record $24.34 after the company raised its year-end revenue estimate. Itasca, Illinois-based Gogo reported a smaller third-quarter loss than analysts had expected.

Amazon.com Inc. rose 0.9% to $353.61. The world’s biggest online retailer said it is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to offer Sunday delivery.

Best Buy rose 4%, the most in a month, to $44.09 after UBS analyst Michael Lasser upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. Lasser said he sees Best Buy estimates being pushed higher when the company reports third quarter earnings on Nov. 19.

FirstEnergy Corp. plunged 4.9% to $36.92, its biggest drop since May. The public utility holding company said yesterday it plans to spend $2.8 billion on transmissions through 2017.

An S&P index of homebuilders dropped 1% for a third day of declines. D.R. Horton Inc. slid 1.7% to $17.84, the lowest in almost four weeks.

Denbury Resources Inc. plunged 5.4% to $18.32 for its biggest drop since July 2012 and the steepest slide in the S&P 500. The petroleum producer yesterday said it would initiate a regular quarterly dividend and not create a master limited partnership, something the company in May said it was considering.

KKR declined 1.5% to $23. The private-equity firm led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts agreed to buy landscape- maintenance company Brickman from Leonard Green & Partners LP for $1.6 billion.


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