Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed Near Five-Year High

Swiss stocks were little changed near a five-year high before U.S. reports that may show industrial production and consumer confidence increased.

Novartis AG (NOVN) climbed as JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded the drugmaker and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration designated an experimental lung cancer treatment as a Breakthrough Therapy. Dufry AG (DUFN) rose 1.1 percent after profit increased. Lindt & Spruengli AG (LISN) fell after the world’s largest maker of premium chocolate reported earnings that missed analyst estimates.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) was unchanged at 7,842.85 as of 11:40 a.m. in Zurich, bringing the gauge’s weekly advance to 1.3 percent. The broader Swiss Performance Index added less than 0.1 percent today.

The number of shares changing hands in companies on the SMI was more than double the average of the past 30 days as options expired, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Stocks climbed around the world yesterday as an unexpected decline in U.S. jobless claims sent the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index within two points of its October 2007 record.

A Federal Reserve report at 9:15 a.m. in Washington may show U.S. industrial production climbed 0.4 percent in February after a 0.1 percent drop the previous month, according to a Bloomberg survey of 83 economists. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment for March climbed to 78 from 77.6 last month, a separate survey predicted.

Novartis Gains

Novartis rose 0.4 percent to 65.70 francs after JPMorgan raised its recommendation to overweight, the equivalent of a buy rating, from neutral. Separately, the FDA gave Novartis’s LDK378 compound a Breakthrough Therapy designation for the treatment of patients with lung cancer.

In addition, two people with knowledge of the matter said Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc’s injectable-drug business has drawn interest from companies including Novartis. Spokesmen for Novartis and Hikma declined to comment.

Dufry advanced 0.8 percent to 123.70 francs, snapping seven days of losses. The operator of duty-free shops said 2012 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 28 percent to 474 million francs.

Lindt dropped 1.1 percent to 40,560 francs. The company reported a 12 percent increase in 2012 net income to 271.9 million francs ($287 million), missing the 277 million-franc average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Daetwyler Holding AG (DAE), a provider of engineering and electronics components, climbed 2.8 percent to 102.70 francs. The company reported a 33 percent gain in full-year net income to 127.5 million francs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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