U.S. stocks drop as improving economy, earnings fuel taper bets

Medical Stocks

Hologic Inc. sank 15% to $19.55, the biggest drop since May 2009. The X-ray company’s 2014 forecasts for sales and adjusted revenues fell short of analysts’ estimates as the company sees “headwinds.” At least three research firms cut Hologic’s stock to the equivalent of a hold rating.

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. plunged 62% to $13.86. U.S. regulators indicated more data may be needed before the company files a new drug application for its experimental treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Sarepta has no products on the market. The stock had climbed 42% this year through yesterday.

Xerox rose 3.2% to $10.61, its biggest gain in more than a month. The printer and photocopier pioneer predicted that 2014 earnings may grow more than analysts estimate, as business services account for a bigger chunk of its revenue.

Dish, Horton

Dish Network climbed 5.1% to $49.90. The satellite- television provider reported third-quarter profit that exceeded estimates after luring more customers away from cable companies.

D.R. Horton Inc. rose 2.4% to $18.35. The largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue reported a higher quarterly profit as it increased prices amid a nationwide housing recovery.

The Bloomberg U.S. Airlines Index added 1.4%, headed for the highest close since April 2007. Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 1.9% to $27.98. Carriers are benefiting as jet fuel prices retreat from an eight-month high against diesel amid rising output and the lowest seasonal demand in more than two decades.

US Airways Group Inc. fell 0.9% to $23.06. The carrier and American Airlines reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department over the government’s bid to block their merger, clearing the way to a tie-up that would create the world’s biggest carrier.

The airlines must give up slots at Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport under a proposed settlement. AMR Corp., American’s parent company that is in bankruptcy, rose 18% to $11.20 in over-the-counter trading.

www.bloomberg.com

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