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U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher a second day, on speculation European leaders may act to contain the debt crisis after S&P put 15 euro nations on review for possible downgrade.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said S&P’s warning will help force European leaders to ratchet up efforts to resolve the crisis. Six nations may lose their AAA ratings depending on the result of a summit of European Union leaders this week, S&P said yesterday. S&P today said the European Financial Stability Facility may lose its top credit rating if any of its guarantors have their own debt grade cut.
Financial stocks in the S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent as a group. JPMorgan declined 1.1 percent to $33.15. Citigroup lost 1.6 percent to $29.34.
Darden fell 11 percent to $42.28. Full-year earnings per share growth from continuing operations will be 4 percent to 7 percent, down from a previous forecast of 12 percent to 15 percent, the Orlando, Florida-based company said today in a statement. Total sales growth will be 6 percent to 7 percent, reduced from a prior forecast of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
A measure of transportation shares had the biggest decline in the S&P 500 among 24 industries, falling 1 percent. Union Pacific Corp. lost 2.3 percent to $102.20. CSX Corp. declined 1.6 percent to $21.68.
3M rallied 1.6 percent to $82.24. Sales may be $30.2 billion to $31.5 billion, according to a presentation on the company’s website, in line with the $30.6 billion average estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The maker of Scotch-Brite sponges and Nexcare thermometers expects earnings per share of $6.25 to $6.50 next year, also tracking estimates.
GE added 2.3 percent to $16.71. Sanford C. Bernstein raised its recommendation for the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company to “outperform” from “market perform,” citing rising dividends and energy orders starting in 2012.
MetroPCS Communications Inc. added 7.1 percent to $8.94 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. The pay-as-you-go U.S. wireless carrier was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” at William Blair & Co., which said the stock’s price doesn’t reflect the company’s “ healthy balance sheet.”
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