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Apple, CF Industries, Dillard’s, Pennichuck: U.S. Equity Movers

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 4 p.m. in New York.

Commodity producers dropped amid speculation China will lift interest rates to curb inflation, eroding demand for metals and crops.

Alcoa Inc. (AA US), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, had the second-biggest decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, losing 2.3 percent to $13.49. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX US), the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, fell 3.8 percent to $103.92.

CF Industries Holdings Inc. (CF US), the world’s second-largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer, fell the most in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, losing 6.4 percent to $119.65. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT US), the world’s largest fertilizer producer, declined 1.5 percent to $139.91.

AeroCentury Corp. (ACY US) dropped 16 percent, the most since Aug. 13, to $14.81. The finance company which specializes in leasing used regional aircraft and engines reported third-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share. One analyst had estimated earnings of 43 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Apple Inc. (AAPL US) slipped 2.7 percent, the most since Aug. 11, to $308.03. Kenneth Heebner, manager of the top-performing diversified U.S. mutual fund in the past 10 years, sold most of his stake in the maker of the iPad and iPod in the third quarter, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Boeing Co. (BA US) fell the most in the Dow, sinking 3.5 percent to $63.09. The world’s largest aerospace company said the failure of a power panel in a 787 Dreamliner test jet’s belly led to this week’s fire and emergency landing, and the company is still investigating any effect on the plane’s entry into service.

D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI US) had the second biggest decline in the S&P 500 Index, losing 5.4 percent to $11.51. Chief Executive Officer Donald Tomnitz said on an earnings call with analysts that achieving profitability in 2011 will be a “greater challenge” as sales will be slower. The second-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue reported a narrower loss for the fourth quarter as the company reduced writedowns and impairments.

Dillard’s Inc. (DDS US) rose 9.7 percent to $30.82, the highest price since April 26. The Arkansas-based department-store chain reported third-quarter profit of 22 cents a share, excluding some items, beating the 5-cent average estimate from analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Dynavox Inc. (DVOX US) slid 28 percent to $4.21, the lowest price since its initial public offering on April 22. The seller of speech software for people with learning disabilities cut its 2011 earnings forecast to below the average analyst estimate and said next year’s sales will be down 10 percent to 15 percent.

Finisar Corp. (FNSR US) climbed 8.1 percent to $19.39, the biggest gain since since Sept. 3. The maker of fiber-optic transmission gear boosted its second-quarter sales and earnings forecast to above analysts’ estimates.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGSI US) fell 11 percent, the most since April 20, to $23.60. The company’s experimental lupus drug Benlysta has safety risks compared with a placebo, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement today.

Intel Corp. (INTC US) rose 1.5 percent to $21.53, the highest price since July 27. The world’s largest chipmaker said it will increase its quarterly dividend about 14 percent to 18 cents per share, starting with the payout to be declared next quarter, as a pickup in personal-computer demand boosts its earnings.

Microsemi Corp. (MSCC US) climbed 8.7 percent, the most since July 23, to $22.64. The semiconductor maker that agreed to buy Actel Corp. (ACTL US) said first-quarter adjusted earnings will be 36 cents to 39 cents a share, versus the 37-cent average analyst estimate.

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA US) had the second-biggest gain in the S&P 500 Index, gaining 5.2 percent to $13.26. The maker of chips for computer graphics cards said third-quarter adjusted earnings beat estimates and forecast fourth-quarter revenue will top the average analyst prediction.

Pennichuck Corp. (PNNW US) surged 13 percent, the most since November 2003, to $27.52. The water utility company agreed to be acquired the city of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS US) advanced 5.1 percent to $37.75 for the third-biggest gain in the S&P 500 Index. The world’s largest media company rebounded as some analysts said fourth quarter profit released yesterday topped estimates, excluding $216 million of restructuring an impairment costs. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated its “buy” rating on the shares and raised the 12 month share-price estimate to $43 from $42.

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