Apple and Time Warner lead stocks

image credit: gflinch

U.S. stocks advanced as companies from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) and Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) rallied amid deals and earnings reports while data showed China’s second-quarter economic growth topped estimates.

Time Warner surged 16 percent as Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. made a takeover bid that was rebuffed. Intel gained 6.5 percent after forecasting third-quarter sales above analysts’ projections. Apple and International Business Machines Corp. rose at least 1.8 percent after agreeing to develop applications for corporate users of wireless devices.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.5 percent to 1,982.75 at 9:32 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 61.82 points, or 0.4 percent, to a record 17,122.50.

“We’ve had some pretty positive news and developments for two of the bigger market cap companies in the S&P, and that’s spilling over into the market overall,” Michael James, a Los Angeles-based managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc., said in a phone interview, referring to Intel and Time Warner. “It’s given a better tone to the market and is carrying sentiment.”

Fourteen companies in the S&P 500 including EBay Inc. and Yum! Brands Inc. are reporting second-quarter results today. Profit by the gauge’s members increased 4.5 percent in the quarter, and revenue rose 3.1 percent, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Intel climbed 6.5 percent. Third-quarter revenue will be $14.4 billion, plus or minus $500 million, the company said in a statement. Analysts on average estimated sales of $14.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Intel also added $20 billion to its stock-repurchase program, including $4 billion planned for the third quarter.

Time Warner

Time Warner surged 16 percent. 21st Century Fox made an $80 billion takeover bid in recent weeks for Time Warner that was rebuffed, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter whom it didn’t identify. Fox indicated that it would sell CNN to ward off potential antitrust concerns since Fox News competes directly with CNN, the newspaper said.

Fox confirmed the proposal. The company is prepared to offer more than $85 a share for Time Warner Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

“This M&A just seems to have taken off, not that it was dead before, it just seems to be almost a daily event,” said Timothy Ghriskey, chief investment officer at New York-based Solaris Asset Management LLC, in a phone interview. “A bid for something like Time Warner, that’s big news. A takeover environment creates a lift to the markets. Everyone is looking for the next big name.”

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