United, Activision Blizzard Rise After Addition to S&P 500

  • New companies added to benchmark stock index trigger buying
  • Pall Corp. to be dropped on Aug. 28; Hospira Inc. Sept. 2

United Continental Holdings Inc. rose the most since November and Activision Blizzard Inc., the largest U.S. video-game company, also gained after the two companies were added to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index.

Activision becomes part of the index after the close of trading on Aug. 28, according to a statement Thursday from S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, part of McGraw Hill Financial Inc. The company, based in Santa Monica, California, joins Electronic Arts Inc. as one of two game publishers on the index of major U.S. companies. It replaces Pall Corp., which is being acquired.

United, the second-biggest carrier in the world behind American Airlines Group Inc., will be added on Sept. 2. It’s the fourth to become a component of the S&P 500. The company, based in Chicago, takes the spot of Hospira Inc., which is also being bought.

The selection of a stock for a benchmark like the S&P 500 triggers buying by funds whose portfolios are designed to match the index. Activision, maker of the Call of Duty titles, rose 4.6 percent to $29.22 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 45 percent this year.

United rose 7.1 percent to $57.12. It’s down 15 percent year-to-date.

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