Stocks Finish Strong, Boosted by Health Care, Financials
The FTSE 100 in London tacked on 0.2% and the DAX in Germany rose 0.4%. Japan's Nikkei average tacked on 0.5% to snap a four-day losing streak. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added less than 0.1%.
November crude oil futures fell a penny to settle at $91.85 a barrel, while gold for October delivery was down sharply, losing $22.10 to settle at $1,737.60 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury slumped 2/32, lifting the yield to 1.671%. The greenback gained 0.04%, according to the dollar index.
In corporate news, Softbank reached a deal Monday to acquire a 70% stake in Sprint for $20.1 billion. The deal is expected to be completed by the middle of 2013. Sprint shares slipped 0.7%.Sprint is the No. 3 wireless provider, behind AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless. The deal will give Sprint more capital to use to compete against its much bigger rivals. Shares of Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank, jumped 5.5% after the company posted third-quarter profit of 15 cents a share. Excluding items, operating profit was $1.06 a share, beating the consensus estimate of 96 cents. Net revenue came in at $19.4 billion, excluding CVA/DVA. Charles Schwab (SCHW), the discount broker, said third-quarter earnings rose 12% to $247 million, or 19 cents a share; analysts forecast profit of 17 cents. The stock advanced 0.6%. Shares of Sonic Automotive (SAH) dropped 8% after the Charlotte, N.C. automotive parts retailer said it expects adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share for the third quarter, below the current average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 43 cents a share in the September-ended period.
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