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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 14, 2014
12:21 EDTACM, RVBD, C, ABT, URS, HLIT, MYL, AAPLOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday to start the week after Citigroup's (C) better than expected headline results appeared to renew investor optimism over the earnings season. Also, a number of additional M&A deals were reported over the weekend and this morning. Since its initial move higher the market has moved in a very narrow range, but the early gains are still enough to put the major averages on track for their best daily performance since late May. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was released this morning. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Citigroup (C), the second major U.S. bank to report on its second quarter results, advanced 3% after its headline earnings and revenue beat expectations. Also, the bank announced that it has reached a $7B settlement that resolves actual and potential civil claims by the Department of Justice, several state attorneys general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation relating to RMBS and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008... Mylan (MYL) struck a deal to buy Abbott's (ABT) non-U.S. developed markets specialty and branded generics business in an all-stock transaction valued at about $5.3B. Under the terms of the deal, Abbott will carve out the assets and transfer them to a new public company organized in the Netherlands. Mylan will then merge with that company to become a new public company, called Mylan N.V., allowing it certain tax advantages. Abbott will receive 105M shares of the combined company, meaning it will hold an approximate 21% stake in Mylan following the deal. Shares of both companies advanced after the deal announcement, with Abbott gaining 1% and Mylan rising nearly 3%. MAJOR MOVERS: Shares of Apple (AAPL) rose 1.5% after Barclays upgraded its stock to Overweight and raised its price target for the shares to $110 from $95, citing channel checks that indicate near-term upside to consensus estimates and strong new products into 2015. The firm also said it believes troubles at Samsung are creating an opportunity for Apple to regain market share. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley reported that its survey results suggests June quarter iPhone demand upside and the firm raised its iPhone unit estimate and its EPS estimate for the coming quarter above the consensus forecasts. Among the notable gainers with merger news was URS (URS), which rose about 11% after it announced this weekend that it agreed to be acquired by AECOM Technology (ACM) for a combination of cash and stock valued at approximately $4B, or $56.31 per URS share. Shares of the buyer also rose 7.5% after the announcement. Among the noteworthy losers was Harmonic (HLIT), which plunged 10.5% after the company's second and third quarter outlooks fell significantly short of analysts' consensus estimates. Also lower following its own profit warning was Riverbed (RVBD), which fell 5.5% after the company cut its second quarter adjusted EPS and revenue outlook. Afterward, activist investor Elliot Management reaffirmed its prior $21 per share bid for the company and urged the company's board to "immediately" retain an advisor and announce a review of strategic alternatives, including a sale. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 129.89, or 0.77%, to 17,073.70, the Nasdaq was up 31.62, or 0.72%, to 4,447.11, and the S&P 500 was up 11.13, or 0.57%, to 1,978.70.
News For C;AAPL;URS;RVBD;MYL;ABT;ACM;HLIT From The Last 14 Days
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February 1, 2016
19:15 EDTAAPLAlphabet overtakes Apple as most valuable public company
Shares of Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) surged after the company reported fourth quarter results Monday, with after-hours stock prices signaling it has overtaken Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable publicly traded company. WHAT'S NEW: Alphabet reported Q4 EPS of $8.67, above analyst expectations of $8.10, and Q4 revenue of $21.33B, above consensus estimates of $20.77B. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Alphabet reported that Google's aggregate paid clicks were up 31% in Q4, while paid clicks on Google Network Members' websites were up 2%, aggregate cost-per-click was down 13%, cost-per-click on Google websites was down 16%, and cost-per-click on Google Network Members' websites was down 8%. PRICE ACTION: Alphabet's Class A shares under ticker symbol GOOGL are up 4.65% to $806.61 while its ordinary shares under symbol GOOG are up 5.25% to $791.50 in after-hours trading. Shares of Apple, meanwhile, are down fractionally to $96.18. According to CNBC, those after-hours levels, though not yet indicating real world value, represent a market capitalization of roughly $570B for Alphabet, surpassing Apple's market cap of $535B.
16:59 EDTAAPLGoogle plans more control over Nexus phone in bid for high-end, Information says
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16:21 EDTABTOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks began the session deep in negative territory, beginning February the way they spent most of January, weighed down by the price of oil, which fell about 6% for the session. Also hitting the market early were weak economic reports, both in China and the U.S. The averages moved higher late in the day as investors awaited the next barrage of earnings reports, which will include results from Google parent Alphabet (GOOG). ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income rose 0.3% in December, versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%, while spending was flat, versus expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index for January dipped to 52.4 in the final January reading, down from the 52.7 flash reading and below the 52.6 reading that was expected. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for January came in at 48.2, below the 48.4 that analysts expected. Construction spending rose 0.1% in December, which was weaker than the 0.6% increase that was forecast. Separately, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer spoke about recent monetary policy decisions undertaken by the Fed, reiterating expectations that "economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate," while also revealing that four rate hikes is among the numbers being discussed by the Federal Reserve for this year. In China, the government's official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.4 in January from 49.7 in December. The private Caixin manufacturing PMI edged up to 48.4 from 48.2 in the prior reading, but both figures still remain in contraction territory. In Europe, Markit's manufacturing PMI for the euro zone dropped to 52.3 from December's 53.2, in-line with the earlier flash estimate. COMPANY NEWS: After swinging as high as $18.77, shares of Twitter (TWTR) ended the day up 6.55% at $17.90 after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator, though Lessin noted she didn't know if deal talks are currently active. Later in the day, a source familiar with the matter told Fortune that Silver Lake has no interest in acquiring "even a slice" of Twitter... Alere (ALR) surged 45.5% to $54.11 after Abbott (ABT) agreed to acquire the company for $56 per share at a total expected equity value of $5.8B. In other M&A news, Questar (STR) jumped 22.5% to $24.99 after Dominion Resources (D) agreed to acquire it for $25 per share, or about $4.4B. Dominion slipped 2.76% after announcing the deal and reporting its latest quarterly results... Chipotle (CMG) rose 4.3% to $472.64 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its final update on the company's E. coli scare, saying the two outbreaks "appear to be over." MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Sysco (SYY) and Aetna (AET), which advanced 8.4% and 1.4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Also higher was Barracuda Networks (CUDA), which jumped about 11% to $11.75 after Bloomberg reported the company is exploring a sale. In addition, Time Warner (TWX) gained 2.7% after the New York Post reported over the weekend that billionaire investor Nelson Peltz is considering taking an activist position in the company. Among the noteworthy losers was GoPro (GPRO), which declined 3.4% to $11.06 after analysts from Piper Jaffray and Citi predicted that the company's guidance this week will disappoint investors. Also lower was DreamWorks (DWA), which fell 6.8% to $23.90 after the studio's new film "Kung Fu Panda 3" missed expectations for its domestic box office opening. Meanwhile, Roper Technologies (ROP) and Cardinal Health (CAH) lost a respective 6.8% and 1.9% after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: The Dow slipped 17.12, or 0.1%, to 16,449.18, the Nasdaq gained 6.41, or 0.14%, to 4,620.37, and the S&P 500 fell 0.86, or 0.04%, to 1,939.38.
16:01 EDTAAPLOptions Update; February 1, 2016
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12:13 EDTABTOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, but off their worst levels of the day, as oil is once again being weighed on by worries of slower growth in China. Several M&A announcements helped fuel speculation that deal-making may be set to pick up, but the headwinds of lower oil prices and weak economic data are outweighing that potential boost and keeping stocks in the red to start the month. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income rose 0.3% in December, versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%, while spending was flat, versus expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index for January dipped to 52.4 in the final January reading, down from the 52.7 flash reading and the below the 52.6 reading that was expected. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for January came in at 48.2, below the 48.4 that analysts expected. Construction spending rose 0.1% in December, which was weaker than the 0.6% increase that was forecast. In China, the statistics bureau's official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.4 in January from 49.7 in December. The private Caixin manufacturing PMI edged up to 48.4 from 48.2 in the prior reading, but both figures still remain in contraction territory. In Europe, Markit's manufacturing PMI for the euro zone dropped to 52.3 from December's 53.2, in-line with the earlier flash estimate. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) advanced 9% after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator. Lessin noted in the report published on her site, The Information, that she did not know if deal talks are "active" now between Andreessen, Silver Lake and Twitter... Alere (ALR) surged 45% to $54 per share near midday after Abbott (ABT) agreed to acquire the company for $56 per share at a total expected equity value of $5.8B. In other Monday M&A news, Questar (STR) rose 22% after Dominion Resources (D) agreed to acquire it for $25 per share, or about $4.4B, and assume Questar's outstanding debt. Meanwhile, Stryker (SYK) announced a deal to acquire Sage Products for $2.775B in cash. The buyers' shares did not fare as well in the wake of the deal announcements, as Abbott slipped 0.5%, Dominion dipped 1% and Stryker fell 1%. Also lower were shares of Smith & Nephew (SNN), which slid fractionally as investors may have been concerned that Stryker's deal decreases the likelihood that it will come after S&N. Additionally, Smith & Nephew announced that its CEO Olivier Bohuon has been diagnosed with a "highly treatable" form of cancer. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Lumber Liquidators (LL), which gained 8.5% after a judge accepted the company's $10M plea deal to settle timber source crime charges, according to media reports. Also higher was Chipotle (CMG), which rose 5.5% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to formally declare the end to its E.coli outbreak as soon as today. In addition, Sysco (SYY) and Aetna (AET) were up 7% and 2%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Nokia (NOK), which fell 12% after it forecasted how much revenue it expects to gain from its IP portfolio after its patent deal with Samsung (SSNLF) and its shares were downgraded at Canaccord and BofA Merrill Lynch. Also lower was GoPro (GPRO), which was slid 5% after analysts from Piper Jaffray and Citi predicted that the company's guidance to be issued this week will disappoint investors. In addition, Roper Technologies (ROP) and ImmunoGen (IMGN) were down 6.5% and 5.7%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 56.40, or 0.34%, to 16,409.90, the Nasdaq was down 12.25, or 0.27%, to 4,601.70, and the S&P 500 was down 6.51, or 0.34%, to 1,933.73.
10:52 EDTAAPLActive puts; AAPL SPY TWTR MU UVXY
Active puts @ CBOE: SPY 2/19/16 192, TWTR 2/12/16 15, UVXY 3/18/16 33, AAPL 2/19/16 91, MU 2/5/16 9.50
09:44 EDTAAPLForbes contributor suggests Apple should buy Netflix
Forbes contributor Jay Somaney noted that Apple (AAPL) has recently been reported to be talking to TV producers and Hollywood studios about investing and developing original TV shows and he contends that "one way to circumvent the tedious and lengthy negotiations process with Hollywood and the networks" is for Apple to offer to buy out Netflix (NFLX). Reference Link
09:36 EDTC, AAPLActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: BAC AAPL FB AMZN TWTR MGM MCD NFLX GILD INTC TSLA AA BABA C
09:27 EDTABTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Alere (ALR), up 45.4% after announcing that Abbott (ABT) will acquire the company for $56 per share... Questar (STR), up 20.2% after announcing that Dominion (D) will acquire the company for $25 per share and assumed debt... Mast Therapeutics (MSTX), up 12.2% after the Phase 2a study of AIR001 met its primary endpoint... Twitter (TWTR), up 5.7% after The Information reported that Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake have considered a deal for Twitter... Herbalife (HLF), up 2.2% after the Wall Street Journal reported that probes into Bill Ackman's "pyramid scheme" accusations against Herbalife, as well as Herbalife's own accusations that Ackman sought to manipulate the company's stock, have both failed to uncover enough evidence to support criminal charges. LOWER: Dominion Resources, down 1.7% after reporting quarterly results and that it will acquire Questar... Abbott, down 4.1% after announcing that it will acquire Alere... GoPro (GPRO), down 4.4% after Piper Jaffray cut its price target to $7.50.
08:09 EDTABTOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: GOOGL GOOG YHOO UPS KORS UPS BAX RCL CCL PFE AET D STR DWA CMG ABT SYK.
08:05 EDTABTAbbott to acquire Alere for $56 per share
Abbott (ABT) and Alere (ALR) announced a definitive agreement for Abbott to acquire Alere. Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will pay $56 per common share at a total expected equity value of $5.8B. Once the transaction is completed, Abbott will become the leading diagnostics provider of point of care testing, the company said. Abbott's total diagnostics sales will exceed $7B after the close. The transaction will be immediately accretive to Abbott's ongoing earnings per share upon close and significantly accretive thereafter, with approximately 12c-13c of accretion in 2017 and more than 20c in 2018. The combination is anticipated to result in annual pre-tax synergies approaching $500M by 2019 and increasing thereafter, including both sales and operational benefits. Under the terms of the agreement, Alere shareholders will receive $56 per common share in cash at the completion of the transaction, and Alere will become a subsidiary of Abbott. Alere's net debt, currently $2.6B, will be assumed or refinanced by Abbott. The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of Alere and Abbott, is subject to the approval of Alere shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.
08:04 EDTMYLTeva Mylan not seeing same negative trends as Sandoz, says Bernstein
After Novartis (NVS) reported weak results for its generics unit, Sandoz, and blamed it on industry trends, Bernstein quotes Mylan (MYL) and Teva (TEVA) as saying that they are seeing only "slight adjustments back to normal levels" from "mildly favorable" results in 2014 and 2015. Bernstein says that Sandoz has lost a number of fairly profitable products and has had fewer approvals than its peers. Bernstein keeps Outperform ratings on Teva and Mylan.
08:02 EDTABTAbbott to acquire Alere for $56 per share
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07:24 EDTAAPLEU's Vestager dismisses U.S. criticism of tax cases, Reuters says
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06:53 EDTAAPLApple's iPad Air 3 may come with SMart Connector support, 9to5Mac reports
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January 31, 2016
20:43 EDTCOn The Fly: Top five weekend stock stories
Catch up on the weekend's top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Coca-Cola (KO) announced a minority stake in diary and juice company Chi, with plans to take full ownership within three years. 2. Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz is considering taking an activist position in Time Warner (TWX), the New York Post reported. 3. Toyota (TM) could temporarily halt domestic production after an explosion at a key supplier curbed its supply of steel, Reuters said. 4. Investigations into Herbalife (HLF), as well as investigations into Bill Ackman himself, have fizzled and criminal charges look unlikely, the Wall Street Journal revealed. 5. Virtu Financial (VIRT) and Ctrip (CTRP) were discussed positively by Barron's this week, as well as "tech bargains" Autodesk (ADSK), Akamai (AKAM), Western Digital (WDC), SanDisk (SNDK) and Lam Research (LRCX) and attractive banking stocks Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
19:04 EDTAAPLApple acquires Flyby, assembles 'secret' virtual reality team, FT says
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14:12 EDTAAPLApple should avoid 'dubious' M&A, focus on cloud, AI development, Barron's says
"Impatient" investors encouraging Apple (AAPL) to become a mere dividend payer or make "dubious" acquisitions are not making much sense, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Apple continues to innovate and its iPhone franchise "will endure," though the one area where Apple lags behind peers and "can and should" make progress is cloud computing, according to the publication. Alphabet (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) are making large strides in cloud and artificial intelligence, but the company still has "plenty of opportunity" to catch up given its product install base, Barron's says. Reference Link
12:33 EDTCU.S. banks could return 20% or more, Barron's says
The banking sector looks like "one of the best bargains in the market," Barron's contends in a cover story. Names such as Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), SunTrust (STI) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are showing healthy balance sheets and could offer "at least" 20% upside, the publication argues, adding that the industry's exposure to the energy sector "looks manageable" given information offered in recent earnings reports and conference calls. Reference Link
11:39 EDTAAPLS&P falls 5% in January despite second straight winning week to close month
Stocks finished the month of January with two straight winning weeks, but investors are still glad to see the calendar flip as those winners only cut the S&P's loss to 5% for the month. With growth worries abounding amid troubling signs from China and as oil languishes below $35 per barrel, the manufacturing readings from China, Europe, and the U.S. due out on Monday will be essential to whether the new month continues the uptrend of the end of January or the dour tone that dominated the early half of the month. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting this week, as almost universally expected. In its accompanying statement, the central bank said its committee members expect that economic conditions will "evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." The group added that inflation is expected to "remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"... In other domestic economic news, the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. New home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. Initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast... In a surprising move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: McDonald's (MCD) advanced Monday after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S.... Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M (MMM) was the top advanced on the index with a gain of over 5%, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and DuPont (DD) all notched gains that day following their reports as well... Apple (AAPL) declined more than 6.5% on Wednesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectations. The company was noted by several analysts as taking a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China. Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow that day, as Boeing (BA) shares plummeted nearly 9% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast... Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% on Thursday after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. The same day, Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded almost 5% after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... On Friday, shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined more than 7.5% after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings, gained almost 6%. Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Sprint (S) and Biogen (BIIB) gained immediately following their reports, while Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW) and Anthem (ANTM) all slid following their own... Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Terex (TEX) surged more than 36% higher on Tuesday after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also gained after the offer was disclosed... Weight Watchers (WTW) shares soared nearly 20% Tuesday after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress using the company's program, indicating that she'd already lost 26 pounds thanks to its plan... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup... SunEdison (SUNE) gained 18% during the week after agreeing to new corporate governance initiatives with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, including amending its bylaws to restrict equity issuances for two years without a supermajority board vote... Twitter (TWTR) slumped nearly 6% this week after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 2.2% to close at 16,466.30; the S&P 500 rose about 1.6% to close at 1,940.24; the Nasdaq advanced about 0.4% to close at 4,613.95.
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