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Most U.S. stocks rose as optimism about China getting more involved in a solution for Europe’s sovereign debt crisis tempered concern that officials will delay Greece’s second bailout.
Production at U.S. factories increased in January, reflecting gains in demand for U.S.-made automobiles and business equipment that may keep manufacturing at the forefront of the expansion. Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2010. The Federal Reserve today releases minutes of its last meeting.
Dow 12,799.00 -79.28 -0.62%, Nasdaq 2,931.91 +0.08 +0.00%, S&P 500 1,347.48 -3.02 -0.22%
Comcast rallied 5.2 percent to $28.65. Comcast also increased its annual dividend 44 percent to 65 cents a share. Fourth-quarter profit rose more than analysts estimated and video-customer losses narrowed for the fifth straight period.
Kellogg climbed 5.9 percent to $53.25. The $2.7 billion cash purchase gives Kellogg the world’s second-largest maker of savory snacks, with more than $1.5 billion in sales in 140 countries. Kellogg Chief Executive Officer John Bryant said the company is working to boost its global snacks business, which includes Cheez-It, Townhouse crackers and Keebler.
Dean Foods Co. soared 14 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $12.39. The biggest U.S. milk processor reported lower raw- milk costs at its fresh dairy business. Average raw-milk costs in the fourth quarter were 12 percent lower than in the previous quarter, the Dallas-based company said in a statement today. The Fresh Dairy Direct segment is Dean’s biggest unit by sales.
Zynga Inc. tumbled 13 percent to $12.47. The biggest developer of games for Facebook Inc.’s site slumped after product-development costs weighed on profit.
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