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Markets End Hectic Week On Positive Note

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Markets End Hectic Week On Positive Note
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U.S. markets rose on Friday, ending a four-week slide for the major indices despite ongoing Ebola-related scares.

Investors found enough positives in earnings reports from Dow listed Microsoft and Procter & Gamble to justify a triple-point gain in the Dow. The S&P 500 posted its best week since January 2013 while the Nasdaq was also positive despite Amazon.com reporting poor results Thursday evening.

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News Of Note

September New Home Sales rose 0.2 percent to 467,000 (versus expectations of 470,000) from 466,000 in August. Median sales price for September was $259,000.

China launched its $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with the intent of loaning funds to developing nations.

Analyst Upgrades And Downgrades Of Note

Analysts at Credit Suisse maintained a Neutral rating on 3M company (NYSE: MMM) with a price target raised to $156 from a previous $148. Shares hit new 52-week highs of $148.79 before closing the day at $148.59, up 2.44 percent.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) with a price target lowered to $325 from a previous $358. Analysts at CRT Capital maintained a Fairly Valued rating with a price target lowered to $325 from a previous $358. Analysts at Benchmark maintained a Buy rating with a price target lowered to $350 from a previous $460. Analysts at Credit Suisse maintained an Outperform rating with a price target lowered to $395 form a previous $422. Shares hit new 52-week lows of $284.00 before closing the day at $287.06, down 8.34 percent.

Analysts at Credit Suisse maintained an Outperform rating on Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) with a price target raised to $109 from a previous $110. Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating with a price target lowered to $110 from a previous $115. Shares gained 0.17 percent, closing at $99.44.

Analysts at Credit Suisse maintained an Underperform rating on General Motors (NYSE: GM) with a price target lowered to $30 from a previous $33. Shares lost 2.88 percent, closing at $30.04.

Analysts at Credit Suisse maintained an Outperform rating on Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) with a price target raised to $55 from a previous $50. Shares gained 2.47 percent, closing at $46.13.

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Analysts at CRT Capital maintained a Fairly Valued rating on Pandora Media (NYSE: P) with a price target lowered to $26 from a previous $32. Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus maintained a Buy rating with a price target lowered to $29 from a previous $34. Shares hit new 52-week lows of $19.35 before closing the day at $20.00, down 13.49 percent.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Under Armour (NYSE: UA) with a price target lowered to $67 from a previous $69. Shares lost 0.17 percent, closing at $64.23.

Equities-Specific News Of Note

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will merge Beats Music with iTunes. Shares hit new 52-week highs of $105.49 before closing the day at $105.22, up 0.37 percent.

Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM) confirmed it sold part of its stake Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) but did not disclose the timing or amount of the sale. Shares of Toyota gained 0.97 percent, closing at $114.51 while shares of Tesla lost 0.02 percent, closing at $235.24.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) said after yesterday's market close that it has authorized a $10 billion repurchase plan. Shares gained 1.78 percent, closing at $29.11.

Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) shareholders officially rejected a plan to merge with Fyffes during a special shareholder meeting that took place this morning. The company will now enter discussions with Cutrale/Safra over its $14.50 a share offer. Shares of Chiquita gained 2.91 percent, closing at $14.16.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) said during its earnings report it will exit the battery business with a potential split-off of Duracell. Shares hit new 52-week highs of $85.97 before closing the day at $85.16, up 2.32 percent.


Winners Of Note

The New York Post said that Alibaba is considering acquiring a 37.4 percent stake in Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF). Shares of Lionsgate gained 5.26 percent, closing at $33.00.

SODA) will begin testing on PepsiCo co-branded products in Florida. Shares of SodaStream gained 15.38 percent, closing at $24.45.

Decliners Of Note

DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS) sold 250 million shares at $1.40 each as part of a secondary offering. The company intends to use the funds to repurchase some of the $700 million convertible notes that are due in December. Shares lost 24.00 percent, closing at $1.53.

Ebola related stock Lakeland Industries (NASDAQ: LAKE) raised $11.2 million in a private placement of common stock valued at $10 per share. Shares lost 14.22 percent, closing at $13.09.


PreMarket Earnings Of Note

Procter & Gamble reported its first quarter results. The company earned $1.07 per share, missing the consensus estimate of $1.08. Revenue of $20.79 billion missed the consensus estimate of $20.88 billion. Shares hit new 52-week highs of $85.97 before closing the day at $85.16, up 2.32 percent.

Ford Motor (NYSE: F) reported its third quarter results. The company earned $0.24 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $0.22. Revenue of $32.80 billion missed the consensus estimate of $33.66 billion. Shares lost 4.31 percent, closing at $13.78.

United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) reported its third quarter results. The company earned $1.32 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.29. Revenue of $14.29 billion beat the consensus estimate of $14.21 billion. Shares gained 0.11 percent, closing at $100.59.


Quote Of The Day

"A wild and crazy weekend involves sitting on the front porch, smoking a cigar, reading a book." - Robert Gates.

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