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U.S. stocks fluctuated as concern about Spain’s finances tempered optimism with data showing American consumer confidence rose to the highest since 2007.
Equities were little changed as Reuters reported that Spain’s Catalonia is running out of debt financing options and needs help, quoting Catalan President Artur Mas. Spain’s government is analyzing “with all caution” requests from regional governments to help them regain access to capital markets, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.
Concern about a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis offset better-than-estimated U.S. economic data. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 79.3 from 76.4 the prior month. The gauge was projected to hold at the preliminary reading of 77.8, according to the median forecast of economists.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. rallied 2.6 percent to $15.99. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, known for pushing for change at the companies in which he invests, has become one of Chesapeake’s largest shareholders, said a person with knowledge of the matter.
Quest Software Inc. jumped 4 percent to $26.18. Dell Inc. is in discussions to acquire the maker of tools that help companies manage their computer systems, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
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