Tuesday, November 6, 2007

U.S. Stocks Advance, Led by Producers of Energy, Commodities

Nov. 6 -- U.S. stocks rose the most in four days, led by commodity and energy companies, after oil climbed to a record and gold advanced to a 27-year high.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. crude producer, posted its biggest gain in seven weeks. Newmont Mining Corp., the world's second-biggest gold producer, rallied to the highest since July 2006. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. helped carry financial companies to their first advance in four days.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 4.93, or 0.3 percent, to 1,507.1 at 12:55 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21.54, or 0.2 percent, to 13,564.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.73, or 0.1 percent, to 2,793.45. Benchmark indexes in Asia and Europe also climbed.

``Materials are feeding the global boom,'' said Michael Williams, who helps oversee $2.8 billion as managing director of Genesis Partners in New York. ``There is a wide gap between the demand for product and output of product.''

Today's gains were led by two of the three best performing industries of the year. Energy companies in the S&P 500 have rallied 28 percent since December for the top advance among 10 groups as oil prices climb toward $100 a barrel. Producers of raw materials have added 22 percent as a surging global economy boosts demand.

Energy Rally

Exxon gained $2.20 to $89.86. ConocoPhillips, the third- largest U.S. oil producer, added $1.09 to $85.01.

Crude oil for December delivery rose as high as $97 a barrel in New York on speculation that U.S. inventories declined for a third week and as a storm closed production in the North Sea.

Newmont added $1.60 to $53.94. Gold futures for December delivery rose $14.40, or 1.8 percent, to $825.20 an ounce as record oil prices and a slumping dollar increased concern that inflation will accelerate.

The S&P 500 Financials Index climbed 0.4 percent. JPMorgan, the third-biggest U.S. bank, added 94 cents to $43.71. Bank of America, the second biggest, climbed $1 to $45.45.

Financial shares reversed a loss after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. denied market speculation that the most-profitable securities firm was preparing to announce a large writedown.

``The rumors seem to be getting more fanciful by the minute,'' said Lucas van Praag, a spokesman at Goldman in New York. ``We said there was no truth to them last week and the situation has not changed.''

The S&P 500 Financials Index climbed 0.4 percent. JPMorgan, the third-biggest U.S. bank, added 94 cents to $43.71. Bank of America, the second biggest, climbed $1 to $45.45.

MasterCard Inc., the second-biggest payment-card network, advanced $13.68 to $199.61. Deutsche Bank Securities raised its recommendation on the shares to ``buy'' from ``hold,'' increased its price estimate for the stock by 88 percent to $250 and lifted its revenue and earnings forecasts for 2007.

Google $850 Estimate

Google Inc., owner of the world's most popular search engine, increased $10 to $735.65. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. lifted its 12-month share-price forecast to $850 from $720, saying the company's expansion into mobile-phone software and Internet video will improve revenue and profit.

Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry e-mail phone, added $2.25 to $130.22. Credit Suisse Group upgraded the company to ``outperform'' and said the shares may reach $160 in the next 12 months. Annual profits may increase at a 40 percent pace in the next three to five years, boosted by higher demand from international markets, analysts including Michael Ounjian said.

Earnings at technology companies in the S&P 500 may climb 10.3 percent this year and 24 percent next year, according to the average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg on Nov. 2. The 2008 profit growth estimate is the highest among 10 industry groups.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. climbed $2.53 to $37.05. The world's largest grain processor said first-quarter profit rose 9.4 percent as increased sales of wheat, corn and soybeans more than made up for declines in ethanol prices.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia Pacific Index added 0.6 percent, while Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index increased 0.4 percent

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