Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- 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.
Homebuilders advanced after figures from the National Association of Realtors showed the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in November. Hedge funds including SAC Capital Advisors LP and Caxton Associates LP have been buying real estate-related investments while analysts from Zelman & Associates and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are predicting a housing rebound, the Wall Street Journal reported.
PulteGroup Inc. (PHM US) climbed 6.1 percent to $6.31. The largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue sold a 1,700-acre master-planned community north of Denver to Wheelock Street Capital LLC for an undisclosed amount. Lennar Corp. (LEN US) added 4.6 percent to $19.86.
Masco Corp. (MAS US), which sells and home-improvement products, jumped 8.4 percent, the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, to $10.70.
Financial companies led gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the housing data and separate figures from the Labor Department showing fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in the past three years.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC US) advanced 3.3 percent, the biggest gain in the Dow, to $5.46. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM US) rose 2.4 percent, the second-largest advance in the Dow, to $33.42.
Cell Therapeutics Inc. (CTIC US) rose 11 percent, the most since Dec. 6, to $1.12. The Food and Drug Administration said the company’s pixantrone, which is under review for adults with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who received two or more prior lines of therapy, will be discussed by an advisory committee on Feb. 9.
Diamond Foods Inc. (DMND US) climbed 7.2 percent to $31.51. CNBC reported that hedge-fund manager David Einhorn may have taken a stake in the snack maker, citing speculation. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Einhorn, declined to comment. Stephen Sibert, a spokesman for Diamond Foods, didn’t respond to a voice mail and an e-mail seeking comment.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PPHM US) jumped 9.1 percent, the most since Dec. 6. to $1.08. The developer of antibodies to treat cancer and viral infections said preliminary phase II trial results for its bavituximab in treating patients with hepatitis C showed antiviral activity and that the treatment is safe.
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