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U.S. stocks fell, trimming the longest weekly rally since January in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as scrutiny deepens on Europe’s latest measures to contain the region’s sovereign debt crisis. Italy’s borrowing costs rose to a euro-era record at a sale of three-year bonds, driving yields higher amid concern that efforts to contain the sovereign crisis won’t be enough to safeguard the region’s third-largest economy. Fitch Ratings said part of the plan to contain debt turmoil amounts to a Greek default. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the debt crisis won’t be over “in a year.” European leaders may struggle to maintain the euphoria that drove the euro to its biggest one-day gain in more than a year as scrutiny deepens on their latest attempt to stem the region’s turmoil.
Consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in October from the previous month, indicating the biggest part of the economy will help keep the U.S. recovery intact. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 60.9 from 59.4 in September. The gauge was projected to drop to 58, according to the median forecast of 66 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The preliminary reading for the month was 57.5. A separate report showed that consumer spending in the U.S. accelerated in September. Still, incomes rose less than projected, sending the savings rate down to the lowest level in almost four years.
Dow 12,192.81 -15.74 -0.13%, Nasdaq 2,725.50 -13.13 -0.48%, S&P 500 1,279.94 -4.65 -0.36%
Whirlpool, the largest maker of household appliances, slumped 12 percent to $53.28. The company’s plan, which also includes reducing factory capacity by 6 million units, will cost $500 million and $160 million will be booked in 2011, Whirlpool said. Profit this year will be in a range of $4.75 to $5.25 a share, down from a previous forecast of $7.25 to $8.25, the company said.
Cablevision Systems, the fifth-largest U.S. cable-TV provider by subscribers, tumbled 15 percent to $14.68. The company lost 19,000 video subscribers, fewer than the 26,000 average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Cablevision’s market has a 40 percent overlap with Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS, leading to a “hyper competitive dynamic” that makes it difficult for the company to grow, said Todd Mitchell, a Brean Murray Carret & Co. analyst in
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) rallied 3.6 percent, the most in the Dow, to $27.95. Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman is backing away from a spinoff proposal made by former CEO Leo Apotheker, who raised the idea in August as part of a sweeping overhaul. The company’s evaluation found that being the world’s largest PC seller was too valuable to Hewlett-Packard’s brand, procurement power and customer relationships.
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